Will Hannah & Adam Break Up on 'GIRLS' Season 3 Finale? Here's Why They Shouldn't
Heading into GIRLS ' season finale, few questions weigh on our minds. We know where Marnie is headed (likely straight into being the other woman). We know Shoshanna's extracurricular activities are eventually going to get her into trouble and that Jessa's drug habit is going to have some sort of a point come finale time. The only major question that remains is: what is going to happen with Hannah and Adam after the tumult of the last few episodes?
For answers, we could turn to the season finale preview (below), which suggests that the episode delivers a major spat between the two lovers, and the logline, which suggests more of the same: "Adam's opening night coincides with news for Hannah that could alter her career and their relationship." From what we can see, Hannah and Adam are on a crash course to Break-up Town, and while they're certainly not clicking at the moment, are we sure we really want these two to call it quits? While many fans may be begging for the messed-up duo to split, there's also plenty of value in a reconciliation.
Last season, when Adam ran down the street without WiFi and managed to FaceTime Hannah the whole way until he barreled into her apartment and rescued her like a damsel in distress, I cried foul. This ridiculously romantic conclusion was so unlike GIRLS. It was too perfect, too seamless. But as Season 3 began to unfold, this ridiculous union began to make sense. These two crazy kids were in for a world of hurt together, and with that hurt came multitude of life lessons. Of course, that took time.
Up until the episode in which Hannah's editor died, these two were peas in a pod. They'd have typical little lovers arguments that tend to happen when people opt to cohabitate, but for the most part, they were happy. Hell, Hannah is willing to wear his tooth around her neck at all times. That's real love, however strange.
But when Hannah is forced to deal with her editor's death and can't do it (until she fakes it by using Adam's sister's fake story about an ailing little girl) her character expands. At the time, her character expanded in an infuriating way; she appeared to be a sociopath without a single feeling for the loss of life while Adam was busy feeling his mortality in a rather heavy manner. Later, with Adam on her arm, Hannah used the funeral to get contacts who might actually be willing to publish her book and we all threw our hands up. How could we possibly continue on with this selfish, disgusting person? And furthermore, how could Adam -- the man who feels everything -- put up with her heartlessness?
This icky feeling went further when Hannah got a miraculous job at GQ and subsequently hated it. She was increasingly selfish and horrible and Adam, inspired by her success, went out and got himself a dream job. Within TV moments of his success, Hannah was already letting her insecurities get the best of her. She let Patti LuPone tell her that her relationship was going to suffer (a ridiculous notion in and of itself) because of Adam's success. And when Hannah took it to heart, she pushed her boyfriend further away by grabbing onto him for dear life. Her jealousy over his success drove her to quit her job (or force her boss to fire her). Now, she's jobless and attending dinners where Adam is the interesting one and she's the accessory.
On one level, it looks like these two should definitely break up -- Adam's success is bringing Hannah down and we should want her to be the success and the bread-winner. Adam is a doofus, after all. But what's interesting about where these two have landed in their relationship is that if Hannah wants to continue to make it work with Adam, she's going to have to grow up a little more from where she stands now. And while the priority is always career success, doesn't it stand to reason that if Hannah grows up a bit more as a result of making it work with Adam, her work could grow up as well?
Being with Adam was easy for Hannah when they first got together because Adam was unmotivated. He had no ambition and he really was the stray dog Hannah's mother suggested he was. That meant that Hannah got to be the star of the relationship. It was perfect because the most important person in her life let her home, her apartment, and everything in between be all about her. And as Shoshanna so colorfully pointed out, Hannah is something of a mega-narcissist.
Her creative prospects were more important by default and her ambitions were more important by default, but that's not fair any more than Adam's creative prospects being more important is fair. When the situation is reversed and Adam's creativity becomes the star of the relationship -- and such a big star, in fact, that Hannah might get pushed out altogether -- the balance is still wrong, just in the opposite direction. Here, Hannah has a few options. She can continue to be the navel-gazing 20-something she is and let it ruin her relationship, or she can grow a bit and find a way to balance support for the man she loves with support for herself.
Option two means that she can no longer be the girl who talks over her father when he tries to tell her how his surgery went. She can't be the girl whose dreams are bigger than a widow's grief. She can't be the center of the universe, but rather the co-chair of the universe she shares with this other person. If she wants to stay with Adam, she doesn't have to lower herself and remain the boring accessory girlfriend at Adam's table of actors. Assuming that she needs to be some subservient partner in order to fix her issues with Adam is all wrong, as evidenced by their interaction at his apartment after she hangs out with his friends: she assumes because she played the good, quiet girlfriend that they're moving back in together. She thinks she just put a bandaid on the problem and now they can go back to normal, but it's just proof that she's not processing this relationship normally, similarly to the way she wasn't processing death normally earlier this season. She's not yet grasping the partnership aspect of this whole thing, which is a tough lesson for most people in their first serious relationships.
So when Sunday's episode comes and Adam and Hannah inevitably fight, a break-up isn't the outcome we should be rooting for. If they break up, it's likely that Hannah will be sent into her own self-loathing pity party and not learn anything aside from the notion that she needs find people who put all of their focus on her. If, however, she and Adam continue to try to work it out, there could be the promise and motivation for her to grow and figure out how to balance her own ambition and the part where a relationship means supporting and caring for another person.
I'm not saying Adam is perfect either. Clearly, he needs to learn how to balance his own ambition and Hannah's as well if he has to move out in order to keep his head on straight. But at a time when the generation of which Hannah is a voice is so heavily focused on promoting our own ambitions beyond relationships and romantic entanglements, a story line surrounding the difficult path of learning to hang onto your wildly ambitious dreams while supporting another 20-something with similarly lofty goals is an incredibly relevant and worthwhile exploration. And it's one that fits GIRLS' penchant for uncomfortable, yet relevant stories to a T.
Of all the places this series has taken us this season, Hannah's relationship and creative journey has been one of the most painful, so it's understandable that we'd want it to end. But perhaps, like Marnie's painful Kanye cover, it's pain in pursuit of an extremely worthwhile, yet seemingly unbearable plot.