The Crowded Room: Was Adam Real? What Happened to Him?

Apple TV+’s ‘The Crowded Room’ follows Danny Sullivan, who has dissociative identity disorder. Over the years, Danny’s mind has broken into different variations of his personality, and they show up as separate people in his mind. These alters are not visible to others, but to Danny, they are just as normal as any other person he meets, making it difficult for him to draw a line between who is real and who is his alter.

‘The Crowded Room’ creates a sense of mystery about what’s going on inside Danny’s head, making us question the nature of every personality. Slowly, as we find out more about Danny, we discover why he needed a certain alter and how it helped him survive. One such person in Danny’s life is Adam. He remains an important figure for Danny, but there is nothing to show him except the memories Danny has of him. What happened to Adam? Was he real or just another alter? Let’s find out. SPOILERS AHEAD

Adam Only Existed in Danny’s Memory

When Rya Goodwin meets Danny and starts talking to him about his life, she deduces that the point where Danny’s mind started to fracture into different personalities was in his childhood, when he was abused by his stepfather, Marlin Reid. All the alters came after that, showing up at the times when Danny needed them the most. This way, Rya could explain each alter’s presence, helping Danny understand how he could control them and be in charge at all times. Adam, however, was a different case.

In their sessions, Rya met with Danny’s alters like Jack, Jonny, Mike, and Yitzhak. Adam, however, existed only in Danny’s memories. Danny recalled Adam as his twin, who used to live with their father after their parents separated. Adam would come over to their place sometimes, but he studied in another school and lived in a different place, which explained why Danny couldn’t see him all the time. However, Adam was always there when Danny needed him.

When asked about what happened to Adam, Danny said he died and refused to discuss it further. Eventually, he opens up and reveals that Marlin tried to sexually abuse Danny, but Adam took his place. The continued abuse broke Adam, and he eventually died. While it would have made sense that Adam showed up around this time, Rya cannot explain why Adam had already been in Danny’s life. Rya confirms from Candy that Adam never existed, which means he was yet another alter. But how did he come about, and what happened to him?

It is much later that Candy confesses to Danny about knowing what Marlin did to him all those years. She tells him about his biological father, who had also been the same. When Danny was four years old, Candy realized what kind of person her husband was, so she decided to leave him. She ran away with Danny, moving to a new place, raising her son all alone. This means that Danny had been subjected to some form of abuse early in his life, which explains why Adam showed up so early and remained with him all this time.

Adam’s purpose was to shield Danny, to keep him safe from the abuse so that he could survive such traumatic events. Adam took those memories, leaving Danny’s mind pristine with happier memories. This created a distance between Danny and the trauma and helped him go on with his life, not thinking about what his stepfather did to him all the time. Over the years, as things got worse, new alters started to emerge. At first, these alters were there to help, but soon, they turned into their own person.

As the alters multiplied, they started to decide between themselves about what would be best for Danny. This was when they thought Adam should go. It turns out that Adam not only shielded Danny from the trauma but also accepted it because he didn’t want their mother to be alone. Adam believed that outing Marlin would lead Candy to leave him, meaning she would be alone again. Adam didn’t want this, but his decision did not favor Danny’s survival, so the other alters decided it was time for him to go.

Like most other personalities, Adam was drowned in the murky waters of Danny’s subconscious. Because he had been such an important part of his life, he couldn’t entirely forget him, so he remembered him as his twin who died due to tragic circumstances. Danny eventually realizes what had happened to him and who Danny was during the trial. He accepts the truth, which not only helps him win the trial but also helps him heal.

Read More: Is The Crowded Room Based on a True Story?