Girls has always been a creatively uneven show (with the first season maybe being an exception). Season four, which just finished its run last weekend, does nothing to change that. However, for a show that struggled to organically insert moments of greatness into its previous season, Girls certainly found times to insert them this time around. Not everything works within season four, but a lot of it (especially during the second half of the season after discarding a troublesome plotline) makes you remember why Lena Dunham was such an intriguing creative talent when the show began.
The fourth season of Girls picks up with Hannah (Lena Dunham) moving to Iowa for her writer’s workshop while both she and Adam (Adam Driver) try to carry on after breaking up from each other. Meanwhile, Marnie (Allison Williams) tries to get more commitment from Desi (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) in both their musical career and their relationship, and Shosh (Zosia Mamet) tries to find a job that suits her.
This is one of the first seasons of Girls that feels like every character has a storyline that continues from the beginning of the season to the end. Sure, Jessa (Jemima Kirke) still gets very little to do, but even she feels like more of a character than she ever has before. The other three leads do have storylines that not only feel complete but also are for the most part interesting. Storylines such as Hannah moving to Iowa and the continuation of the Marnie-Desi relationship start off as real drags but have the necessary payoff to not only feel worthwhile but also improve everything that came before the conclusion.
It’s fair to say that the finale of this season is one of the best episodes Girls has ever done. It feels like most of the characters in the episode undergo some sort of change, which very rarely happens on this show, and makes it appear as though the show is going into exciting and uncharted territory next season, which should only help a show entering its fifth season.
Girls still suffers from inconsistencies in its fourth season. The second half of the season is vastly superior to the first half, and some characters (Shosh) work much better than others (Marnie). However, Girls reveals itself to be a show that wants to try different things and still wants to feel like the breath of fresh air that it was when it first premiered.