Top 5 Episodes of Girls Season 3

By Will Ashton


On the whole, this latest season of Girls was, simply, just pretty good. It started out really strong, then began to fizzle out towards being painfully average before eventually picking itself up towards the end. Much like last season, this season didn’t quite hold a candle to the first season’s success but, compared to the steady decline season 2 had, this season was at least better at getting its barrings.

That said, last season took risks that, while they didn’t quite pay off, were an interestingly dark look at these characters. Many of those failed to pick up any steam this season, or even get addressed. So, ultimately, these last two seasons fall somewhere down the middle.

However, that is not to say that this season didn’t have its gems. Let’s look back on those now as I count down the five best episodes of season 3 of Girls.

Honorable mention: Role-Play

5. Flo

Directed by Richard Shepard

Girls has always been in a unique position whenever it decides to get out of its New York City comfort zone. Whether or not it is in Hannah’s hometown, or Jessa’s hometown, or in a destination that I will talk more about in the near future, these changes in scenery don’t always work, but this is one where it does. Getting to see a hilarious and oddly heartfelt look at Hannah’s family, including a great supporting performance by June Squibb as Hannah’s dying Grandma, this episode is better at capturing the balancing act of dry comedy and uncomfortable drama that the show established itself on. It also has the added benefit of including some family issues sass.

4. Truth or Dare

Directed by Lena Dunham

In the season’s second episode, involving the full return of Jessa into the show’s dynamics, the show is once again able to capture the oddball dynamic that was beginning to disappear from the end of season two with her disappearance. While her story lines, unfortunately, took a more routine path than I would have liked this season, the beginning of this season featured some of her best scenes in some time, and, ultimately, ever. Whether it is chewing out her fellow rehab buddies or causing one to find their sexuality in a very explicit way, this is easily the best the character has been used in some time.

3. Two Plane Rides

Directed by Lena Dunham

Considering that last season’s finale was the only episode thus far in the show that I felt completely shit the bed, I was relieved to find just how emotionally tender and bittersweet this episode was. Not only was I happy to see how they tied up some characters interactions, especially for a show that gets confused along its way with what to do with them, but I liked how this episode was able to address Adam and Hannah’s relationship, a sort of won’t they, will they stay together that has been building throughout this season is a surprisingly successful way, in a manner that felt genuine and heartfelt. Whether or not the next season is able to pick up steam, they seem to be in a good place right now. Which is more than I can say at this time last season.

2. Beach House

Directed by Jesse Peretz

Featuring the characters in an environment that is completely alien to what we have seen from them before, this episode was able to be one of the best the show has had in a while thanks to the fact that it kept it about what makes this show work: the characters, and their interactions together. In addition to the fact that they, finally, brought back Elijah—a small, but much need gesture—the final scenes with all these characters bickering with each other is one of the funniest and most satisfying that the show has in some time.

1. Females Only

Directed by Lena Dunham

Ultimately, the episode that started off this season with so much promise is the one that was the season at its height. In case you haven’t noticed yet, the show seems to be at its most successful, generally, when it is headed by its show creator Lena Dunham. Her vision and her acute understanding of these characters makes for the funniest and more sincere interactions (minus the season two finale, of course). This episode was no different. Her writing is top notch here, and this is the episode that truly makes us sympathize with Adam. Which, for all considerations, is not an easy task.


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