Adam: Don’t be scared
Hannah: [pause] Okay
The opening of What Will We Do This Time About Adam?, I’ll be honest, had me squealing. Then I might have welled up. A bit. I love him, you see. Yes, he’s weird and tempestuous but sensitive, caring, ingenuous, a bit worn from life, and completely captivating. No, not Laird (who’s just a little *too* odd but still a sweetheart) - Adam Sackler. Beautiful-haired, broad-chested, loveable kind-hearted rogue. Best tight-black-underpants wearer in the Girls universe. Yes, I am well aware, he’s fictional (and physically, Adam Driver) but so is Mr. Rochester (now physically Michael Fassbender). Shush. Adam has decided that he wants to raise Hannah’s baby with her.
Jessa steps aside and invites him to explore the possibility, do what he has to do, when in fact she’s devastated. Ray, instead of enjoying the inheritance from Hermie, feels he must earn it and so, is digitising all of his old friend’s tapes containing the interviews with the older generation of their community, portions of which we heard at the end of the Gummies episode. Shosh is helping, well sort of, when they bump into her old work colleague, Abigail (the effervescent Aidy Bryant).
They all seem to be coping with the heat better than poor Elijah and Hannah; their air-conditioning is broken and with her burgeoning belly, she’s so damn uncomfortable. She’s feeling that phone conversation with Paul-Louis harder than she thought, worried that she’s ruining her child’s life by being a single mother:
Hannah: Imagine who I’d be if I hadn’t known my father?
Elijah: Well, you probably wouldn’t have known the lyrics to Funny Girl by the time you were four years old.
While waist-deep in the freezer of her local market, stocking up on ice pops, Adam rocks up and offloads his intentions much to the confusion of his ex.
Ray and Abigail hit it off much to Shosh’s surprise and, let’s face it, all of ours but then why wouldn’t he like her? She’s lovely, warm, genuine and seemingly excellent company; the exact opposite of Marnie in every possible way. Not least, traipsing around the blocks of Brooklyn helping improve his social skills and approaching more subjects for his audio history project. These scenes are truly wonderful, it becomes a celebration of the neighbourhood and injects a slice of realism which really elevates this episode even further.
Jessa’s struggling with Adam’s sudden realisation and heads off into a bar. She attempts to go back, back to the things she used to seek; sex sought when she couldn’t cope with life’s predicaments. It’s an almost identical tracking shot, with her walking down the street as seen in Vagina Panic (s01, ep02). Remember, in the bathroom when she was due to attend her abortion as thrown, spectacularly, by Marnie? Shosh brought candy. This time it doesn’t work. Jessa hasn’t had a great deal to contribute to this season but the sheer desperation of this bathroom scene (2.0, if you will) is astonishing, nothing is held back in Jemima Kirke's performance. Finally, Jessa’s being honest with herself and she’s grown. We can feel for her, for once.
All of the time spent with Adam and Hannah in this episode is astoundingly good and somewhat surreal amid a dozen questions. Does he want Hannah or the baby? Or Hannah *because* of the baby? Are his chivalrous intentions due to the fact that he feels he has to, or is it because he cares? There are still feelings there, for their time together - his film brought it all back - the baby acting (yet again) as a trigger. He's a good guy but… they don’t fit anymore. And just when I thought I had seen the greatest diner scene this year, in Moonlight, this one blindsides me. The only way to describe it, like a low-blow, the overwhelming sadness and honesty of it all is heart-wrenching. Oh who I am kidding? I was inconsolable but it is perfection.
Their afternoon together gives us a glimpse into what might have been, what shouldn't and could never be - complete wish fulfilment. Although, I don’t think I’m alone for believing in their love story, it’s so realistic and familiar. Love is hard. People hold on for far longer than is necessary due to fear - what if they’re never afforded another chance, a different time to get it back?
In the sixty episodes that have been and gone, producer Apatow and creator Dunham have only written, I believe, six together (an additional four along with Jenni Konner) and while they have been strong, this has been, by far, the best (and worst for whingy reasons) and certainly the one to leave me a complete emotional wreck. In case you’re interested, the last one to really play with my emotions was Together (s02,ep10). Watch it, it may give some idea as to why this episode hurt so much.
Where do we go from here? With just two episodes left, will we see all four girls, together again, in the same room before the end? I think it’s inevitable we’ll meet Hannah’s offspring but who knows? I like to think Ray and Abigail interviewed future Hannah and Jessa, the two pensioners who claim a boy came between them and argue over who “got him”, and yet sit outside, every other day with each other, playing bridge or something in the Brooklyn sun. Yes, one can be a romanticist *and* a cynical cow.
This season… Nay, this whole series has been so very special. I might have to create an online support group following its demise.
Dangerous Woman by Ariana Grande ℗2016 Republic Records
You and I by Betty Davis ℗2009  Universal Island Records Ltd
Tak Derakht by Kourosh ℗2011 Now Again Records
Wien Bleibt Wien by Jan Rap ℗1993 Sonoton/APM Music
Adam: Don’t be scared