Who is Adam in The Crowded Room? What Happened to Him?

In Apple TV+’s ‘The Crowded Room,’ we follow Danny Sullivan as he recounts his life to Rya Goodwin, a psychiatrist, intent on understanding how he ended up shooting at people. In the beginning, it looks like Rya’s main motive is to figure out where Danny’s accomplice, Ariana, is. However, as the conversation progresses, we discover more shocking things about Danny’s past, which gives a better context to how things have been for him and why he did what he did.

In between all this, Danny mentions Adam. It is clear that Adam was very close to Danny, and whatever happened to him shook Danny to the core. This makes him a very important character in the story. Danny doesn’t open up about him, but he leaves a few clues that help us understand who Adam was and what happened to him. Here’s what you need to know about him. SPOILERS AHEAD

The Mystery of Adam: Danny’s Grief and Loss

Picking up from all that Danny speaks about Adam in the first three episodes, it looks like Adam was Danny’s twin. He mentions how they didn’t just look like but were also sort of the same person. They were inseparable. Danny deeply grieves losing Adam, which exhibits the close bond between them. Later, when Ariana talks about how she suffered abuse at the hands of her father’s friend, Danny talks about Adam.

Danny says he understands how Ariana must feel because his twin went through the same thing. Their stepfather, Marlin Reid, abused Adam until he couldn’t take it anymore. This suggests that Adam died by suicide. Danny blames Marlin for this, which explains why he would want to kill Marlin. However, this is just a superficial version of the story. A deeper look into the conversation between Danny and Rya and how she insinuates certain things suggests that Danny might remember Adam differently.

When Danny tells Rya about Ariana and Yitzhak, she questions how they seemed to waltz into his life just when he needed them. She questions how the man who raped Ariana happened to be Danny’s stepfather and how they both ended up living in the same house. Similar questions arise about Yitzhak, who always miraculously shows up whenever Danny needs to fight for his life and then disappears into the shadows. All of this points toward the fact that Danny has dissociative identity disorder. This means that Ariana and Yitzhak could be his other personalities. Could the same assumption be extended to Adam?

Now that it has been established that Danny is an unreliable narrator, a question mark is raised on his version of events. If he has DID, what triggered it, and who was the first personality to show up inside his head? For someone to split into multiple personalities, it has to be a severe trauma that forces the brain to bury some memories. It is a survival instinct, and perhaps, that is what led to Adam.

When Danny talks about Adam being abused by Marlin, it could be that there never was an Adam, and it was Danny whom Marlin abused. To distance himself from the trauma, Danny’s mind created Adam so that the bad things never happened to Danny but to his brother, who looked just like him. This was how he survived those traumatic years of abuse until he grew up.

It remains to be seen how, if ever, Marlin stopped his cycle of abuse, but once that happened, Adam wasn’t needed anymore. To keep that part of him buried forever, his mind killed Adam, convincing Danny that he had a twin who died because he couldn’t take the abuse anymore. Danny might have tried to kill himself, which could be what stopped Marlin from hurting him anymore. In any case, Adam’s death allowed Danny to detach from his trauma and function in the world that became increasingly distant as he splintered into more personalities.

Losing Adam was the loss of Danny’s innocence, which is why perhaps he misses Adam so deeply. The abuse suffered at his stepfather’s hands stole his childhood, pushing him towards further isolation and loneliness. This left him friendless and turned him into an outcast, further worsening his mental health by forcing him to develop more personalities that could act as his friends, advisors, and protectors. All things considered, Adam might have been the first personality that Danny developed.

Read More: Is Marlin Reid Based on a Real Person?