There’s something very unusual about the latest season of Girls.
Season Six has arguably been the best yet. The ratings are high, sitting at 91 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes, and the content is bold.
Something has changed and I think I know what it is: they’ve added strangers.
Not any kind of strangers but wise strangers. Characters who appear out of nowhere to impart wisdom upon the central cast.
Have you been watching the latest season? We decontruct ‘that big’ episode in this special podcast. Post continues after audio.
The most recent episode, Episode Seven, held two examples of where this has occurred.
There was the dancer who convinced Elijah to stay at his audition; and there was the man who forced Marnie to accept she had a problem with blaming others.
Past episodes, like Episode Two, saw Hannah receive insight and a complimentary teapot from the mysterious owner of an antique shop.
It’s almost as though when a character is facing a crisis: a stranger appears.
Let's start at the most recent episode, Episode Seven. Using only her own words against her, the man in the pawn shop is able to reveal flaws central to Marnie's personality.
Her usual protective 'woe is me' shell is cracked and Marnie is forced to consider that her problems may just be her own fault.
Elijah, running from the audition, similarly finds a character that offers some hard truths about his situation.
Singing at the bottom of a stairwell, this stranger convinces him to use his pain as a weapon, not a hindrance.
And then we have the antique store owner from episode two. She shared her story of letting go and making use of second chances at a time when Hannah's own life was about to take a new path.
The theme of the stranger isn't limited to single-episode appearances, either.
Secondary cast members such as Jessa and Adam's "pretend Hannah" and Hannah's father's partner Keith, have also served important roles.
Keith encourages Hannah to tell the father of her unborn child that she is pregnant. He shares how as a sperm donor himself, he would want to know of any children he helped create.
Pretend Hannah, the girl playing Hannah in Jessa and Adam's vanity project, similarly becomes a voice of reason during another time of need.
When Pretend Hannah learns of the pregnancy, she offers this advice.
"Kids are super easy," she says. “It’s being an adult that’s hard."
There is no clear answer behind why so many secondary characters have been introduced this season but it is a welcomed change.
The advice they offer only seems to steer the central cast towards better decisions. And although fans may appreciate the flawed realness of Hannah Horvath, surely there remains hope that she too can find a happy ending.
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