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Girls showrunner shares the plan behind that surprising pregnancy

(Photo: Craig Blankenhorn/Getty Images)
(Photo: Craig Blankenhorn/Getty Images)

This post discusses plot points from the episode of Girls ”Painful Evacuation.”

In Girls’ final episodes, Lena Dunham’s Hannah Horvath has shown some moments of maturity, a word rarely associated with the character. She’s channeled her frustration over her ex’s relationship with her best friend into a New York Times piece, and debated a lauded (albeit creepy) author. But given the events of Sunday’s episode, she seems to be inching toward her most grown-up move yet: she may become a mother.

Co-showrunner Jenni Konner tells The A.V. Club that Dunham has been mulling this storyline for a while. “Lena’s been talking about the idea that Hannah would get pregnant and would have a child for a long time,” she explained. “Since season one probably.” And, indeed, in the final season it appears that is coming to pass. Hannah gets the news from Patrick Wilson’s Joshua, the handsome older man she had a fling with in season two’s “One Man’s Trash.” He’s working an ER shift when she comes in seeking treatment for a nasty UTI, and casually informs her she’s pregnant, assuming she already knew.

The decision to bring Joshua back was in part because the Girls team wanted to work with Wilson again, Konner explained, and also because the writers’ room tried to answer the question: “What would be the worst way on Earth for her to find out she’s pregnant?” The situation becomes even worse when he offers to help her get an abortion, an idea she immediately rejects. “It’s almost maybe the first moment where Hannah has ever considered keeping it just because he suggested she not,” Konner said. “Because she’s so contrary, and she’s like, ’Don’t make an assumption about me.’”

Girls has never shied away from portraying abortion as an option. In the first season’s second episode, Jessa is going to have the procedure before getting her period while making out with a guy at a bar. Later, Adam’s girlfriend Mimi-Rose (Gillian Jacobs) got one without telling him beforehand. “Those are two instances of women thinking ‘I don’t want this to stop my life,’” Konner said. “And now Hannah’s in this place where it’s the first time she could even think she could be in a place to actually grow up and she might actually be able to do this insane thing.” Girls has always been about the rocky path to adulthood, and according to Konner, the pregnancy is “just a way to show a growth in Hannah and to show that she’s seeing herself for the first time as a grown woman who could actually take this on.”


As for the father, well, that’s Paul-Louis, the chill water-ski instructor played by Riz Ahmed, whom Hannah met in the Hamptons. They had a fling, but he is in an open relationship. “We wanted him to be a guy that you wouldn’t necessarily want to co-parent with or want to be part of your life,” Konner said. “But he really is a nice and beautiful man with a pretty positive attitude. You could do a lot worse for a sperm donor.”

Konner promises “further conversation” about what Hannah will do.

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