Adam's ready to play dad — but is Hannah ready to let him?
Credit: Mark Schafer/HBO
S6 E8
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One of the hardest things about a breakup is the reality that your partner — this person you’ve shared so many intimate thoughts, so many moments with over however much time — will, most likely, become a stranger to you. How do you just cut out someone you’ve been that close with? Some people don’t. They become friends or they get back together, leaning on their history, warts and all, to build a future. This is what Adam wants with Hannah. More specifically, he wants to help her raise her baby.

We first find this out as he’s telling Jessa — you know, his girlfriend, whom he is apparently ending things with — what he’s going to tell Hannah. “Hannah, we have a lot of history we can’t seem to erase,” he practices. “We can’t seem to let each other go. So let me raise this baby with you.” This feels slightly out of the blue, but then again, he’s been spending hours and hours on a film all about his relationship with Hannah, so it makes sense that he’s feeling nostalgic. So is that it, that he’s just nostalgic? Or does he genuinely want to be with Hannah?

Whatever it is, Jessa is pretending to be supportive. “You gotta do what you gotta do,” she responds. When he questions why she’s not reacting more negatively, she says, “You haven’t done anything wrong.” In a way, she’s right — he’s being brutally honest with her and being honest with himself, which isn’t so much wrong as it is uncomfortable. Very, very uncomfortable.

It’s clear Jessa’s not as internally zen as she appears. Later on, she frantically calls the cable company demanding “elite channels” before asking them to hold so she can vomit in the toilet. This could be read as a hint that she’s pregnant, though I feel like it’s just a way to show how messed up she really is after Adam’s sudden decision to ditch her for his (and her) ex. Stress vomit: It happens.

Meanwhile, Adam isn’t wasting any time. He finds Hannah digging through the freezer at a bodega and almost immediately blurts out, “I wanna raise your child with you.” Then he gives her a speech about how he’s changed and he wants to watch her blossom as a mother. She goes from clearly thinking he’s being ridiculous to agreeing when he suggests they go to her apartment. Soon, they’re having gentle, smiley sex.

Afterward, Adam starts talking to Hannah’s belly. He’s being corny and warm and Hannah’s eating it up, laughing and stroking his hair. They eventually venture outside to grab sodas and walk around, seemingly happy as ever. Even when Hannah asks Adam what it’s like to have sex with Jessa, she still can’t stop grinning. (His answer? “She laughs more.”) When she later tells him she’s scared but she feels like it’s the right time to have a baby anyway, he sweetly comforts her. They seem like a healthy, happy couple.

It doesn’t last long: Once they get to a diner and start talking specifics, Hannah goes silent and starts crying. Adam cries, too. She’s realizing that this isn’t what she wants, that this isn’t right for her, it seems, and he knows her well enough to get this without her saying anything. So they look at each other with their sad eyes and go back to eating soup. Later, Hannah goes home alone, while Adam returns to his apartment with Jessa and asks if she can buzz him up.

Even as someone who wasn’t particularly rooting for Hannah and Adam to get back together, that last scene between the two felt devastating — more devastating than the multiple fights, breakups they’ve endured over the course of the show. That’s because the source of those was usually obvious. When they ended things, it always made sense because what was broken in their relationship was so clear. Here, not so much: We got an entire episode devoted to showing how good they can be together, only for it to turn out to be a fantasy of sorts. Nothing even remotely bad happens between the two. In fact, they’re rationally planning out how they’ll divvy out duties once the baby is born when, suddenly, Hannah’s lips start quivering and her eyes start welling up. Maybe she’s realizing she really does need to do this alone, no matter how much she still feels for Adam. Maybe she’s remembering all the broken parts, all the parts that even a perfect day can’t overshadow. He doesn’t want to cut her out; she has to.

This bodes well for Jessa, who has been dealing with Adam’s decision by going over to Laird’s house and filling him in on all the drama. When that’s not sufficient, she goes to a bar, where she eyes the only other solo customer: a tough-looking man with a neck tattoo. She heads to the bathroom and throws an inviting glance his way. Soon, he’s in there with her, kissing her neck and her chest as she cries about all that’s wrong in her life. Her top is off, but then, seconds later, she’s alone in the bathroom, top on, still crying. It seems like the bathroom hook-up might have been imagined, though it has the same effect whether it’s real or not: Jessa’s breaking. Later, when Adam shows up at the apartment and asks to be buzzed in, she smiles. It’s supposed to be triumphant. Instead, it’s grim and almost pitiful — yeah, Adam came back to her, but not for the reasons she probably wants. Jessa — anyone — deserves better, and I’m not sure she knows (or believes) that.

Ray, however, is doing great. He’s working on keeping up Hermie’s project of interviewing older Brooklyn residents, a project Shoshana isn’t overly interested in. Lucky for Ray, her friend Abigail (Aidy Bryant) shows up and is super into it. So into it that she whisks the usually shy Ray around the neighborhood, leading interviews before handing the mic over to him in a sweet moment. Abigail is bright and enthusiastic and curious, which I wouldn’t exactly peg as Ray’s “type,” but, apparently, she’s just what he needs right now. By the end of the episode, the two are riding a carousel. “Would you object greatly if I kissed you?” Ray asks her, being as Ray as possible. She wouldn’t, so they kiss — awkwardly, because they are on a carousel, after all. Once they separate, they both smile, satisfied and giddy. It’s childlike and innocent and a welcome contrast to the soul-crushing bleakness of Adam and Hannah’s final interaction.

Though Abigail and Ray aren’t going to be without troubles, either — let’s not forget about Shoshana, who was shocked by how well her two very different friends were getting along this episode and maybe even a little jealous. Sure, it was a wonderful day to Abigail and Ray, but to Shoshana, it probably hurt a lot — just how Adam and Hannah’s joyful reunion pained Jessa. This could be the catalyst to bring her back into the show in a bigger way these last few episodes, something that seems inevitable given her absence for much of this season. And it also could raise a big, interesting question these next episodes, too: How do you strike a balance between being supportive of your friends’ happiness and pursuing your own?

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Four young ladies live in New York City, and it’s SO hard.
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