'Girls': Trouble in Paradise

What is happiness for Hannah and Adam? Obviously, no one really knows at the end of this week's episode. 

This article is from the archive of our partner .

What is happiness for Hannah and Adam? Obviously, no one really knows at the end of this week's episode.

This week, we found Hannah yearning for the days of old when sex with Adam was weird. Hence, she concocts an elaborate ruse, complete with a wig and bizarre lingerie, to get the old Adam back. But why on Earth does she want this? 

I've previously written about the fact that Adam's transformation from shithead into savior has been confusing, to say the least. But the show finally explained Adam's transformation here. Confronting Hannah in the midst of their awkward coitus, he explains that the reason for his freaky libido in the early seasons was that he used sex in place of alcohol. Now that he's sober—and happy being sober—he doesn't need it, and just wants to be with Hannah. "You have an old idea of who I am," he tells her. In many ways, the viewers have had this old idea too.

Seeing Adam's journey through the prism of his alcoholism does worlds of good for the character, and interestingly enough, it's something that the show never really dwelled on, the way it dwelled on, say, Hannah's OCD. Adam's relationship to alcohol was dropped in and out as a plot point. It was used to illuminate Hannah's cluelessness about the people she knows in the first season, and to show how his relationship with Natalia fell apart in the second. But here, for the first time, we're finally seeing how it impacted him, and he's never been more sympathetic as a character.

Alcohol is a theme throughout the episode, which begins with Hannah getting wasted with her work colleagues. She gets so drunk that her coworker Joe (played by Michael Zegen, who you probably know and love from Frances Ha) takes her to his house and cares for her. Joe is clearly not as drunk as Hannah, nor are any other members of the group. It's not spelled out, but we can infer that she's getting drunk because she's bored.

What's wrong with Hannah's life though? Adam loves her. She has a job that pays well and may be at least somewhat fulfilling. She's not, however, doing what she wants to be doing which is writing, which, to Hannah, rests on having weird experiences. "I'm not here to fill up your life with fucking stories for your fucking Twitter," Adam says in the heat of their argument. It's cruel, but it's right. He's finally found something he's seriously passionate about; Hannah has found disappointing stability.

The episode exists as a parallel to last year's season finale, when Adam came and rescued Hannah, and in turn Hannah's presence rescued Adam. They've now been saved, so why do they need one another? We've got two more episodes this season to find out.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.