New prediction: they really are explicitly treating Dan's relationship with sex as an addiction and the "win" Reid Scott mentioned would be he has it "under control" and is completely celibate in his marriage to not-Amy.
That would be such a ‘fuck you’ to Amy that I really hope they don’t go there.
Also, if we were supposed to read Dan as a sex addict all this time, something really fell down in the writing process, because I don’t see that in him at all.
Going by what the first five seasons show us, Dan enjoys sex, but he is remarkably calculated about it – able to wield it strategically to get what he wants, and (this is more implied, I suppose) able to resist the urge to pursue something with Amy, precisely because he knew it would upset the balance of their partnership. (Except of course, since they were both into each other, the lack of sex ultimately upset the balance just as badly).
Now, I can buy that he has a higher than average sex drive, which is why his way of pursuing his ambitions took the form it did – but I just don’t see that kind of compulsive sexual behaviour in him as a whole.
Like, Dan is fucked in the head, that’s beyond doubt, but taken as a whole, I think he’s too emotionally…cool for sex addiction to be his problem (a sociopathic refusal to acknowledge other people’s feelings and a tendency to bottle up his own limited emotional needs until he can’t cope any more – those are his problems). He never seemed to get the kind of emotional gratification, or validation, from sex, that I would expect to see in someone like that. His pursuit of sex also never got in the way of his professional ambitions or any other obligations he had – it’s not disruptive.
I also feel that if Dan was genuinely a sex addict, he and Amy would have slept together much, much sooner than they actually did – he wouldn’t have been able to maintain such strict boundaries with her for so long. He’s known she was interested since at least 4.04 – she’s the person he cares about most in the world (which doesn’t mean much in his case, but is still the most meaningful emotional bond he has) and she’s attracted to him and he’s addicted to the physical/emotional high of sex…and yet, nothing? Really?
It feels if he is a sex addict, he’s been far too…functional all this time.
That said, I am the one who observed – way back in season 5 – that we started seeing an awful lot more of his sexual exploits after Amy withdrew her attention following Sophie-gate.
The last few episodes, with him parading his sexual relationships in front of Amy do have that a rather compulsive feel to them – sleeping with another woman in the next room right after she says she’s considering having the baby – sleeping with her sister, when it did so much damage the last time, and when Sophie is only there to escort her to the abortion – sleeping with a teenager – do have a rather unhealthy feeling to them, I admit.
So, I guess one could argue that what we’ve seen since then is Dan falling into a kind of downward spiral as the one relationship he actually values comes under increased pressure – and being Dan, he had neither the tools nor the willingness to put his relationship with her on a more steady foundation. What we’ve seen is an almost complete refusal to acknowledge that he has any feelings about Amy.
I don’t think that’s what they mean though?