girls talk

To Root or Not to Root for Adam and Jessa on Girls

Photo: HBO

Every week during the final season of Girls, Vulture TV columnist Jen Chaney will offer input or advice, sometimes unsolicited, to various characters on the HBO series. This week’s recipients: Adam Sackler and Jessa Johansson.

Adam and Jessa, there are only two Girls episodes left and I still don’t know how to feel about your relationship.

Prior to this week’s episode, in which Adam and Hannah got back together for a time period so brief it barely qualified as a blip, I was all in favor of seeing you split. Lately, your relationship seems to be defined by arguments that lead to the unnecessary destruction of furniture, indie-movie pipe dreams, and a general tendency to behave like sloths in each other’s company. I can practically smell the lousy funk of your relationship through my TV, although maybe that’s just because Ray once said your apartment constantly smells of reheated fish. My theory is that your apartment actually smells like a combination of unwashed socks, sex musk, and trash that rarely gets taken out, a potpourri that could very easily be mistaken for reheated fish. Either way, it’s gross and someone needs to open a window.

This is also true of the dynamic between the two of you, Adam and Jessa: Someone needs to open a window and let in some air. There is something stifling and suffocating about the dynamic you currently have going on, perhaps because it’s always been so defined by the absence of someone: Hannah. You’ve both consciously or subconsciously still wanted her in your respective lives and have burrowed more deeply into each other, thinking you could somehow replace her in the space between you. And then you didn’t, so you sat around in your underwear for a while longer and did nothing, and then you made a movie about Hannah, and obviously that was never going to help matters. And then you both went back to her.

Jessa, first you went back to reconnect, perhaps thinking that a pregnant, hormonal friend would be inclined to forgive and forget. But Hannah didn’t do either of those things. She rejected you all over again. Adam, you went back to her, too, but in your case, Hannah took you back so easily it almost induced whiplash. Fairly or unfairly, Hannah still felt betrayed by you, Jessa. But you, Adam? You she just wanted to love again.

And I kind of just wanted the two of you to love each other again too. Even though you didn’t always bring out the best in each other, it always felt right for you to be in each other’s orbit. I enjoyed watching the two of you sit on park benches and shop for cribs during Sunday’s episode, even as it became clear this wasn’t a reconciliation so much as a final good-bye. You may have been talking about how you’d raise a baby as a mom and dad, but it was obvious you weren’t two people in love, planning a family. You were two people in love with the nostalgia of what you once were.

To borrow the immortal, drunken words of Rachel Green, “that, my friend, is what they call closure.” With that closure, perhaps Adam can more fully embrace you, Jessa, in a truly healthy way.

And girl, you clearly need a dose of healthy, because the way you responded to Adam’s decision to rekindle his Hannah flame was just classic, self-destructive Jessa. Honestly, Adam was gone for less than 24 hours. Instead of hooking up with some rando in a bar, couldn’t you have just cried and taken a superlong nap like a normal person?

Given your puking in this episode, Jessa, it also appears you may be pregnant. Which makes me wonder whether you decided it would be a good idea to follow in Hannah’s footsteps in a way that would compel Adam to choose you over her. Maybe?

This is a long, long way of saying to you, Adam and Jessa, that your relationship is complicated. Should you be together? Should you be the ones to raise a child if Jessa is in fact pregnant? I don’t know. I don’t know how to feel. I don’t think you know how to feel about each other, either. You’re a very messy work in progress, and I’m pretty sure that when Girls ends in a couple of weeks, that’s still what you’re going to be. You guys are a rough-around-the-edges indie film that’s in need of editing and a sturdier narrative foundation than your mutual connection to a woman who once meant an awful lot to both of you, but now has her own life to live.

Adam and Jessa on Girls: To Root or Not to Root for Them