It was all a dream that began when Hannah took that opium tea in the pilot.
This Sunday, hot-take writers across the internet will sigh out one last splatter of think pieces about the final episode of Girls, HBO’s divisive sitcom about four young women coming of age in New York and the men with prominent noses who love them (and sometimes hate them). Most people expect the episode to focus on creator Lena Dunham’s character Hannah Horvath, what happens when she gives birth to a son, and how she might have finally achieved adulthood.
But not so fast. This is HBO after all. This season of Westworld ended with us finding out that everyone is actually a robot and there are all sorts of robot theme parks other than the Wild West park we’d inhabited. The ending of The Sopranos was so ambiguous that it’s been debated for more than a decade. The ending of Game of Thrones is only a season away and it’s such a twist that it hasn’t even been written yet and is imperiled every time George R.R. Martin orders both French fries and onion rings with his bacon double cheeseburger.
So, what if Girls ends with a twist, too? Here are some of the possible scenarios we could be looking at. (But, I mean, seriously, none of these will actually happen.)
It was all a dream. This is literally the oldest trick in the book, with everything from Alice in Wonderland to Wizard of Oz to St. Elsewhere telling us in the very final moments that the narrative we’ve been witnessing was all some kind of hallucination. This was actually set up in the pilot episode, when Hannah takes a bunch of opium tea and then goes to see her parents at their hotel. What if this is all just her imagining what her life would be like? What if this whole time she was just passed out in the hallway imagining her love affair and eventual breakup with Adam, becoming a (somewhat) successful writer, getting knocked up by a surf instructor, and then moving to a university upstate to live happily ever after?
Welcome to Hipsterworld. What if they’re all cyborgs too? What if Hannah and all of her friends are playing out some vast narrative that is preprogrammed so that visitors can come spend some time in Hipsterworld, a simulated experience that brings wealthy people back to the squalor and “authenticity” of 2010s-era Bushwick. That would explain why it always seems like Hannah is so suddenly and uncharacteristically changing course.
I had to wonder … It seems like Hannah is about to move upstate and start a life as a professor. But what if, at the last minute, she gets a huge rent-stabilized apartment on the Upper East Side, a job writing one column a week for a newspaper, and starts dating some hedge-fund guy who won’t commit. Marnie decides to become a lawyer and then marries a hot, great bar owner who is far too good for her. Shoshanna moves to Connecticut with Byron Long but then can’t get pregnant so she adopts a daughter from China just as she gets knocked up. And Jessa, well, she’ll probably die of an overdose at some point. What I’m saying is, there is still a chance that Girls could actually turn into Sex and the City. People have been wishing it for so long.
Marnie, I am your father. Obviously we’ve met Hannah’s parents, we’ve visited Jessa’s father upstate, Shoshanna’s parents dropped by briefly in season four, and Marnie’s mom is played by undervalued American treasure Rita Wilson. But who is Marnie’s father? This is the last chance for us to find out. And could he possibly be played by serial sitcom guest Brian Williams? It seems fitting.
Let’s make a Dill. It always seemed odd to me that Elijah’s ex Dill Harcourt was looking to adopt a baby just as Hannah was about to have one. What if the final episode isn’t about Hannah keeping her baby, but giving it away? What if she decides she’s not ready for motherhood and real life after all and decides to give her son up to Dill Harcourt so that he can raise it with all of that CNN money that he’s been sitting on for all of these years? Dill’s only prerequisite was that the baby be white, but I’m sure Hannah’s half-white child will do.
Love will tear us apart. Last we saw Adam it seemed like he choose Jessa over Hannah. But what if he gets really, really sick in the finale? Hannah rushes to his bedside where he has soaked through the covers with sweat. He tells her with his dying words that it is her he has always loved, and then expires. She sits at his bedside, crying and crying and crying. Until suddenly, his eyes snap back open and reveal milky clouds of blue as he starts groaning and slapping his jaws together. Yes, it’s the zombie apocalypse. Hannah couldn’t even make it through a shift at Café Grumpy — how will she survive this?
Doctor, doctor, give her the news. It was no accident that Patrick Wilson’s Joshua was the one to give Hannah the news that she had a Paul-Louis bun in her sand-drenched vagina. He could come back at any moment. He has her chart, which has her address and phone number on it. It could be the life he always wanted, raising a baby with Hannah and playing naked ping-pong in the basement. Just as she’s about to pack her last box for her new university home, he comes in and tells her that they’re going to make it work. After all, they never really separated — they were just on a break.
They’re in heaven. Oh, please, that was stupid when they did it on Lost.