Five Possible Ways Charlie's Departure From Girls Can Be Explained

By Abby Schreiber
We were mildly devastated to hear that, as the Post put it, the "cutest boy" -- Christopher Abbott -- was leaving Girls. Not only does this mean that our predictions about Marnie and Charlie getting hitched and becoming marital guinea pigs for their single friends are way off, but it also means that the saccharine scene between the two of them outside of Roberta's during the finale was an effing red herring. Though we don't know all of the details about why the actor is leaving, we've been left with a pretty fun parlor game guessing how his absence will be explained. Below, we humbly submit five suggestions to Lena Dunham and Judd Apatow.

1. Charlie and Marnie decide to move in together and throw a big housewarming party at their new walk-up in Clinton Hill. They decide that, as an "adult couple," they'll skip evites and Facebook and send real paper invitations to the party. Charlie and Marnie see some cute stationary being sold at a stoop sale in their new neighborhood and buy it. Marnie tells Charlie she'll send the invitations but, at the last minute, makes him do it with the excuse that she has to go to this "super important art opening so I can meet David Zwirner." When Charlie starts licking the envelopes, he feels sick and gets taken to the hospital by Ray, who calls Marnie. Marnie rushes over but it's too late -- Charlie died of toxic glue poisoning.

2. Now a couple again, Charlie and Marnie move into a fancy loft apartment in DUMBO at the urging of Marnie, who is still unemployed. Even though Charlie's app has just received a huge investment from a Bay Area angel investor, Charlie is having liquidity problems and cannot afford to pay their rent. He starts embezzling money from the company and, for a few months, no one is the wiser. Finally one night shortly before Memorial Day weekend, he gets confronted by his pretty, blonde bespectacled colleague, Laura, and he confesses. He assures her he will fix everything if she doesn't tell anyone. She tells him that she's going to go to the board and ask for his resignation. Over the holiday weekend, Charlie comes into the office and hangs himself from his office door. His decomposing corpse is discovered after the two angel investors (played by Jon Hamm and Vincent Kartheiser), who have come in for a meeting, notice a terrible smell coming out of Charlie's office, prompting them to bust open the door.

3. Wanting to grow his start-up, Charlie is in search of the "next big app." While attending SXSW, he meets a guy named Michael (played by Paul Dano), who works for a rival app firm, ZapMe. Over bourbon, the two start talking about the tech industry and Michael tells Charlie about an idea he has for an app that rates and ranks all of NYC's public restrooms. Charlie is intrigued and, back in NYC, has an existential crisis: he changes his name to Omar, and decides to steal Michael's idea. He tells his software team to start coding the app immediately and, once it launches, RateMyRestroom becomes a runaway success. Michael, understandably, is not happy and threatens litigation but his suit goes nowhere since he never filed a copyright or patent. Flush with success, Charlie (now "Omar") decides to have a big blow-out party at Top of the Standard in celebration of the app's one millionth user. While leaving the party to grab cigarettes at a Korean deli nearby, Charlie/Omar notices a young, eager-looking teenager staring at him. He assumes he's an intern and pays him no attention. While Charlie/Omar pays for his cigarettes, the young man follows him inside and shoots him in the back of the head. Charlie/Omar dies. It turns out the teen was a summer intern at ZapMe and was sent by Michael to seek revenge.

4. After pissing off everyone in the series -- except for Marnie -- Charlie will get shot by an unknown assailant in his office. No one will know who shot him and Girls' season 4 promos will include the catchphrase "Who Shot Charlie?" While the audience assumes that Charlie has died of his wounds, Lena Dunham and Judd Apatow will secretly reach an agreement with Christopher Abbott and he will decide to return to the show after all. Season 4 sees Charlie recovered from his wounds and the shooter revealed: his ex, Audrey. 

5. Charlie and Marnie decide to get a summer share in Montauk. On the last weekend of summer, they drive out in Charlie's newly-leased Audi convertible with their brand new Wheaton terrier puppy, Matthew (whom they affectionately call "Mattie"). After a day spent at the beach, Marnie returns to the house to get ready for dinner while Charlie decides to drive to the local gourmet market to pick up a rhubarb pie for dessert and vegan dog biscuits for their pup. On his way back to the house, relaxed and blissed out, he decides to get off the highway and take a shortcut through a scenic, wooded route. Thinking of Marnie and with a smile on his face and a twinkle in his eye, he doesn't notice a car approaching him on the road from the other direction. The camera cuts to Marnie holding Mattie, cooing to the dog that Charlie will be back soon with some biscuits. While slightly-ominous music plays in the background, we see a driver get out of his BMW SUV, scratch his head, and look for the passenger whose car he just smashed. The final shot is of Charlie lying on the side of the road, dead and pinned underneath his Audi.

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