Throughout Girls’ second season, I've been struggling with my reaction to Adam, Hannah's ex-boyfriend who broke up with her in last year's finale. There's no question that Adam Driver is a tremendously magnetic actor, which makes it exceptionally uncomfortable and constantly compelling to watch him paint a nuanced portrait of a jerk. As Adam transitioned from being Hannah's hookup of convenience to her boyfriend, he treated her with more respect and earned more of the audience's in return. But as he's slid back into old ways and worse, Girls is raising an interesting and disturbing question: What's the line between a dangerous person and someone who is failing to be the good man he’d like to think himself to be?
After the breakup, Girls may have intended for Adam's behavior to be funny and pathetic, but I started to find it scary. Manipulating Hannah into effectively acting as his home health aide after he was hit by a truck mid-breakup was a way for Adam to keep Hannah close to him. His YouTube videos exposed a degree of obsession and emotional intensity that could be reasonably interpreted as dangerous. When Hannah called the cops on Adam, I couldn't really blame her, and I appreciated that the cops took the possibility of a threat to her safety seriously. Adam's filching a dog from Staten Island might seem like an excuse for him and Ray to have a kooky adventure, but it's in keeping with a guy who with an underdeveloped sense of boundaries and an exaggerated sense of entitlement.