'Girls': Alex Karpovsky Love Stories postmortem
Warning: This post contains major spoilers from the two-part Girls season 5 finale that aired Sunday.
Marnie and Ray have finally taken the plunge! In the final moments of “Love Stories,” the first of two Girls episodes that aired Sunday, Marnie (Allison Williams) showed up at Ray’s (Alex Karpovsky) apartment and confessed her love for him. The feelings were obviously reciprocated, and the two lovers fell to the ground in a makeout session. However, that’s not how the scene was supposed to end, and Karpovsky, who directed the episode, says there’s a bit more fans didn’t see.
“There’s actually another 30 to 45 seconds of dialogue on the floor where, as we’re kissing, we’re saying certain things to each other, and it was really fun to kind of explore that too,” Karpovsky tells EW. However, the scene was cut short because they “felt like what happened on the floor was too explicit” and “that we had to take it down so we can explore stuff in the future.”
The question of tone in this scene was actually something Karpovsky and the whole production team spent a lot of time discussing before shooting started. “We wanted to see to what degree is this just a flaky rebound or is this actually something she wants to forge a new path in life with,” he says. “I don’t want to give away what angle we finally chose because I want to believe there’s some open-endedness and subjectivity to it.”
One thing that helped Karpovsky approach the scene as both a director and actor is that he, and Williams, have known their characters were heading in this direction since the beginning of the season. That knowledge helped allowed him to pick out places in the scripts leading up to this episode where he could start planting the seeds for this moment.
“So, it doesn’t seem abrupt or forced or contrived when you ultimately get to it,” he explains. “It feels like an earned and organic extension of a series of small decisions and small glacial little movements that have happened over the course the season. I feel like that’s what happens in life. In movies you often see these sort of big, sweeping paradigm shift moments — these sort of really consolidated events that really change it — and I think life doesn’t happen that way that often. I think it’s actually a series of small little pivots.” He continued, “That’s one thing I actually liked about the show. It reflects that, at least from my experience, quite a bit.”
In the end, Karpovsky is happy with how the scene and the entire episode turned out. “I think it did a lot of what we hoped to accomplish,” he says.
So what’s in store for Marnie and Ray after their big reunion? “A lot of confusion. A lot of torment. A lot of doubt. A lot of speculation,” he teases. “A lot of misguided lust, and things along those lines.”