Let’s talk about this moment right here for a moment, shall we? Here is the Beast, who has just been beaten, hit over the head, and shot three times at close-range. He is about to die and he knows it, and yet what matters to him? That Belle came back. She came back.
Watch the movie closely and you’ll see that the Beast-Adam-has lost everyone he loved throughout his life. His mother died when he was a child, a crippling blow. His father abused him. The staff stood by and let it happen, effectively choosing their jobs over the well-being of the child they had known from birth. And Adam has accepted that he is unlovable, and reacted to it accordingly: he says for himself, in Evermore, “I never needed anybody in my life.” That is an unhealthy reaction to everyone around him telling him he’s not good enough for them. Furthermore, at the ball where Agathe cursed him, we see everyone hauling off and abandoning him to his fate. They left him alone, and the only reason the servants stayed is because they had to.
The movie makes it pretty clear that Adam does not believe the curse will be broken. He says, again and again, that Belle “will never love me”. Even when he loves her enough to let her go, he does not believe that she will ever come back. He believes Gaston when he says that Belle sent him. The chase across the turrets really gets me, because Adam is trying to get away from Gaston, but not to safety: he could easily have slid down one of the turrets and angled for an open window. Instead we see him trying to climb up one of the turrets, away from any sensible platform or window.
I think he was going to jump off. Better die by his own hand than be hunted like an animal.
And then Belle comes back, and he immediately forgets everything else in his rush to get to her. He even lets Gaston go, because “I am not a beast” (which I love. I love that he rejects the label they’ve all put on him.) And then of course Gaston shoots him in the back. Those are killing shots; if this wasn’t a Disney movie there would have been a ton more blood. But what does he say? Not “I don’t want to die”, not “help me”, but “You came back”. Because that is all that matters to Adam in that moment. Belle is the first person to ever come back after leaving him, and he cannot get over it.
And that friggin breaks my heart.