Girls’ final season has dropped some TV moments I’ll never be able to forget. Lena Dunham’s lip quiver in "The Bounce" and Matthew Rhys’ "American Bitch" Big Bad Wolf smile are forever ingrained in my brain. And now, Jemima Kirk has joined the Girls season 6 pantheon by leading one the most sorrowful sex scenes in history.
"What Will We Do This Time About Adam" opens up with Adam (Adam Driver) telling girlfriend Jessa (Kirke) he wants to "explore" raising a baby with Hannah, his ex-girlfriend and her ex-best friend. Jessa has spent six years proving she’s above "traditional" relationships and "traditional" values, so she pretends to be cool with Adam’s unexpected decision. Remember, this is the girl who got married to a guy she hated by sending her friends mysterious email blast invitations.
But, fans realize how much Adam’s betrayal hurts Jessa when we see her careening around New York City, eventually landing at a nondescript bar. As the "Inside The Episode" featurette points out, Jessa’s walk to the bar is a tracking shot-for-tracking shot remake of a similar moment in season 1’s "Vagina Panic," where she believes she needs to get an abortion. In both episodes, Jessa uses a random hookup in a bar bathroom to escape her problems. (FYI: she also wears the same rarely-spotted red robe. Coincidence? I think not.)
The only difference is, this time the choice feels darker than nearly anything else Jessa has ever gone through.
In "Vagina Panic," Jessa chooses a boy so innocent he asks if the bar they’re in has a pay phone. She even has to direct him in what to do during sex, telling the guy at one point, "Put your hands down my pants." None of that happens in "This Time About Adam."
Where there was previously a winking danger in Jessa before, we now find pure, raw devastation. As Ariana Grande’s "Dangerous Woman" blares in the background, Jessa attempts to find solace in a hardened and much older stranger. She mechanically removes her mohair bikini top and eventually breaks down in tears as the man kisses her topless torso. It’s sex at its most bleak.
Viewers realize Jessa never planned to be in a situation like this again, with a man she doesn’t know again, as she unintelligibly sobs into the stranger’s shoulder, "I don’t want you." Of course, the person she does want is attempting to play house with the biggest ghost of their shared past.
While Jessa left her tryst in "Vagina Panic" better than before — i.e. smiling and not pregnant— she walks away from this encounter feeling more broken than ever. I'm just glad we have two more episodes to build Jessa back up again.