The final season of “Girls” kept us guessing. Would Hannah and Adam get back together? Would Elijah make it on Broadway? Hannah said in the first episode of Season 1 that she thought she could be “a voice of a generation.” But did she manage to hurdle that bar? Now that the series finale has aired, we have our answers. Some outcomes were better than others. Here’s a look at who wound up where, ranked from the best fate to the worst.
Ray, played by Alex Karpovsky, was either a delightfully odd bird or an insufferable know-it-all, depending on your perspective. He couldn’t apparently make friends with people his own age, but for some of us, his curmudgeon-in-training tendencies were strangely appealing. Plus he was the voice of reason among a bunch of characters who had no perspective whatsoever. During the final season, he had some rough moments. He lost one of his best friends, Hermie (Colin Quinn), and ended things with Marnie. (Finally.)
But over the course of six seasons, he also triumphed. He became a local politician, the successful proprietor of an anti-hipster coffee shop (thanks to Shoshanna) and he was the only character to get a romantic comedy-caliber happily ever after. When Shoshanna introduced Ray to her old boss, Abigail (Aidy Bryant), Shosh was convinced Ray would hate the woman. Instead, the two hit it off. They ended up traipsing around Brooklyn, interviewing people about gentrification and capped off their day with an awkwardly adorable kiss on a carousel.
When Elijah (Andrew Rannells) first came onto the scene in Season 1, he was Hannah’s pseudo-nemesis ex-boyfriend. After dropping the bombshell that he was gay, he outed her dad, too, without a hint of compassion. But the two went on to become best friends and roommates. He could still be cruel, like when he told Hannah she’d make a terrible mother, but his meanness was so obviously a product of his own fears and insecurities that it was somehow more excusable.
At the end of the series, Elijah’s career had taken off. He got a major part in “White Men Can’t Jump: The Musical” despite botching part of his first audition. And the famous anchor (Corey Stoll) who dumped Elijah in a particularly heartless way came crawling back. Sure, he lost Hannah, and he’s not happy about it. But he ended up with a career, love and that big rent-controlled apartment.
Elijah was right about Hannah’s dad, played by Peter Scolari. Tad was gay, even though he’d been married to Hannah’s mom, Loreen, for decades. He didn’t come out to Loreen in the most compassionate way, dropping the bomb in public after an appointment with a couples therapist. And his first romantic encounter with a man he met online ended in tears and a forgotten wallet. But Tad ended up happy and in a healthy relationship. He had moved to New York to live with his sweet boyfriend, and he became a grandfather.
So Shosh (Zosia Mamet) was getting married. After mismatched pairings with Ray and Scott (Jason Ritter), Shoshanna finally found her other half — and at a cupcake vending machine, no less. But is it good that she got engaged so hastily after that meet-cute? She seemed to be doing well professionally — maybe? It was at least a step up from working at a restaurant in Tokyo.
In a way you could say she had everything she wanted, yet she still had an astonishing amount of bitterness. When Hannah accidentally crashed her engagement party, Shoshanna told her former best friends, not to mention her cousin, that the past six years had been a complete waste of time. Maybe that’s a sign she has moved on from toxic relationships. But it was also kind of tragic.
Motherhood didn’t turn out to be a walk in the park for Hannah (Lena Dunham), and that shouldn’t have been a surprise. Throughout the series, she could barely take care of herself even though she was the only one she ever really cared about. So what would adding Grover to the mix mean? Apparently anger, frustration and some serious postpartum depression. But it wasn’t all bleak for Hannah.
Out of nowhere, like a gift from the gods, Hannah had gotten a good-paying job as a professor in a cute university town (even though she had zero qualifications for such a post). And you had the sense that this would be the perfect opportunity for her to make some cash while turning her life experiences — and maybe her mothering mishaps — into brilliant stories.
She ended up alone romantically. For a moment there, it looked as though she might get back together with Adam, and Laird made a compelling case for why they should co-parent their two children. In the end, the only partner Hannah would accept was Marnie, but it was clear that her codependency might be running its course. In the final episode, Hannah seemed to realize that it was time to be a grown-up and, for once, she was at least attempting to play the part.
Could Adam (Adam Driver) ever be truly happy? He wasn’t exactly a content kind of guy, always one minor altercation away from a total meltdown. He was still lovable in his own way, especially when he was dealing with babies. Somehow, he had a soft spot for infants.
One thing was clear from the movie he made about his time dating Hannah: He wasn’t completely over her. But his attempt to woo her back and his offer to help her raise her child fell flat. He ended up back at home in his same apartment with Jessa, his consolation prize.
Professionally, at least, he had done pretty well, scoring enough parts in Broadway plays and antidepressant commercials to bankroll his own low-budget movie.
Jessa (Jemima Kirke) was one of the sadder characters all along, even if she was routinely selfish and awful. On the plus side, she managed to stay sober even when she knew her boyfriend was trying to win back his ex. But between the gross hookup in the bar bathroom, the fact that she dropped out of school and the knowledge that she wasn’t Adam’s first choice made her more tragic. At least she was starting to do some soul-searching, coming to terms with how nasty she could be.
“I don’t need to be happy,” Marnie (Allison Williams) said in the final episode, and suddenly the character that viewers loved to hate earned some compassion. Here she was trying to almost single-handedly raise Hannah’s son and, even though she was getting nothing but rage and ridicule from her best friend, Marnie didn’t seem to mind.
She had one of the more dramatic falls from grace. Divorced from Desi and jobless, she couldn’t afford her apartment anymore, so she moved home with her mother before relocating to be with Hannah. This wasn’t exactly what she had in mind when she said “I do” and signed a record contract, but there was a silver lining: For the first time in a long time, she was putting someone else first.
At least she had the Michael Sisters as a fallback plan. And, hey, there’s always law school.
Tad may have ended the series happy, but his coming out threw Loreen (Becky Ann Baker) into a tailspin. She had pretty much given up on life by the final season, certain that her best years were behind her. The saddest part of her story arc came when she visited Hannah in New York, and a bad trip on some pot-laced candies sent her wandering the streets of Manhattan, alone and disoriented. To hammer home the point that adulthood is a precarious state of mind, she even vomited on herself in public.
She seemed better off by the final episode when she visited Hannah. But her many regrets were still palpable when she was warning Marnie that sometimes you have to put yourself first.
Desi (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) was terrible and no one described him better than Ray — and right to Desi’s eye-linered face, too: “Don’t ever think that you go onstage anywhere where a vast majority of the crowd doesn’t think, ‘douche.’ ”
His outcome was the saddest, but we’re okay with that, right? By the end, he was a wreck, recovering from drug addiction but still whining and blaming Marnie for everything. He was as desperate for love and acceptance as you’d expect from a man who had been engaged eight times.
Correction: An earlier version of this post stated that Loreen had a bad trip on special brownies. She had actually consumed pot-laced candies.