If you think Jenna didn’t suffer enough from her rebellion period, well think again.
Review (with Spoilers)
Awkward returns and everyone is feeling senior anxiety. The pressure of going to college is upon everyone, Tamara is freaking herself out trying to keep her life to some strict schedule, and Jenna is just trying to recover academically since, frankly, she hasn’t done much which would make a college go “that one!” But, she hopes to make some last minute changed in her life to salvage some type of adult life for herself.
Topic 1: 137 – Jenna
Someone leaks the class ranking and we learn that Sadie is no.3, Tamara and Jake 17 and 19 respectively, and Jenna is number 137 out of, well I’m not sure. Either way, V tries to spin this as a wake-up call, but considering Jenna has aspirations of going to college, it seems more like someone just presented her with a death sentence. But, Valerie [Desi Lydic] believes with some extracurricular activities she can bounce back.
Thing is, the only activity available to Jenna is cheerleading. Which Tamara advocates her joining for, in my opinion, having Jenna on the squad would mean less focus on Tamara, and considering how Tamara is close to losing her mind, wherever a scapegoat can be found, they will be used. Mind you though, while this little subconscious action may be worthy of a side-eye, Tamara is the only one really actively trying to help Jenna reach any of her goals.
As for Jenna’s parents, while her dad does his usual freak out routine, Lacey is naturally of no help. She is very much into the idea, perhaps once again, of vicariously living through Jenna, especially because her senior year didn’t live up to its potential due to her getting pregnant. Naturally, it doesn’t help either that her parents catch her masturbating, and Lacey telling Ally means Sadie finding out and the school knowing. But, even with just Tamara trying to actually be of service, Jenna finds a way to sit down, focus, and begin her college applications.
Topic 2: What Happened To Everyone, And Who Is The New Kid? – Matty, Tamara & Jake
First off, Ming is gone to a boarding school Vermont and seemingly it is noted as unfortunate, but not that big of a deal. However, she gets quickly replaced by: not Bailey since seemingly she has been written off too, but instead we get a new girl named Emma (which is a name way too abused on TV). Now, while Ming was eccentric, and Bailey sugar sweet, Emma seems like she is straight from the Girls cast. She is very open, a tad raunchy, though friendly enough to be likeable. She does though seem a bit out of place in the show.
New girl aside, a lot has sort of happened over the summer. Jake has become some sad imitation of Kurt Cobain, Matty has begun working at the mall for some Abercrombie & Fitch type store, in which he makes sure those who don’t fit the store’s image don’t shop there, and Tamara finally has something to do with all her energy, but no real ability to relax.
Leading us to circle back to Jenna masturbating or, as Tamara would call it, “Tip toe through the tulips.” Now, the reason this is talked about is because Tamara, apparently, has never masturbated, something Emma overhears. And with this, also comes the conversation about orgasms. Something else Tamara has never experienced. Emma’s advice deals with some slightly vulgar sex advice, which seemingly makes both Tamara and Jenna a little uncomfortable, but fact of the matter is, Tamara’s one potential stress reliever is sex, and Jake is a minute man.
So, upon staring at a vibrating toothbrush, she gets to have herself a “CheeriO,” if you get what she implies. Thing is, before her discovering the pleasures of masturbation, she tries to work with Jake to get her there, and he fails. What’s worse is he fails, and during the senior sleepover, he fails and is head on the loud speaker as the two of them do it in the announcer’s booth. Setting up the stage for their eventual breakup since between this embarrassment, and her beating him for class president, who knows how much more Jake can take?
Leaving us to give a little update on Sadie. In the episode, she attempts at reestablishing herself as someone who made it big through Twitter, drives a Mercedes-Benz now, and seemingly she is trying to reclaim her old life. However, we learn the Benz is Ally’s car, and Sadie is working at a German food truck. Something Jenna discovers and with this, there is some attempt to humanize Sadie again, but it is just really hard to feel for her despite her struggles. Yet, she represents the many ways people deal with transitioning into adulthood. People like Tamara take to the challenge and plan out their days in how to conquer them; others like Jenna sort of freak out, though with help get on a roll; then there are those like Sadie. They do what needs to be done, but don’t use all that anxiety and frustration and channel it into something productive, but instead take it out on everyone who they come in contact with. But, what can you expect from Sadie? Unlike everyone else, she has no support system or even parents, much less friends, like Jenna does to give her reason to be nicer. Though hopefully, during the season, between her boyfriend and time with Matty, the writers will mellow her out enough to the point that while she may still be Sadie, it doesn’t seem that with each potential character development, they decide to more deeply root her in being an —hole.