As Awkward returns, it seems soon it will be out with the old and a remix of the familiar.
Episode 12 – Finals
Review (with Spoilers)
It has been 3 long months since the mid-season finale of Awkward, and boy am I glad this episode was mostly a recap. If just because I honestly forgot most of the drama. Though with one to two characters possibly being on their way out, and there being refocus on familiar faces as the show continues senior year, we can only hope when this all ends that Jenna and co. land on their feet. Also that we get to follow them into college.
Topic 1: Finals Week Drama – Jenna
With Matty and Amber together, despite the snow trip reveal; Luke being weird, and maybe cheating; and Jenna only with Sadie to confide in about all that has happened, her stress levels are maxing out. And, as always, when her stress levels are up, she begins freaking out and only Tamara can save her. For with Tamara being someone who has seemingly planned life to the T, no pun intended, she does her best to keep Jenna from falling apart for the umpteenth time. Also, she tries to remind her that she needs to set the boy drama aside, focus on finals, and that she has her back.
Topic 2: You’re A Nice Person – Jenna & Luke
Thing is, while Jenna loves T, she especially loves Luke. However, with him ignoring her text, and then her seeing him with this girl name Kat who was hanging all over him, it is like she is being dealt blow after blow and focusing on finals is just an uphill battle in the rain. One in which every time she steps forward she falls face first again and again. For with Luke maybe cheating, but not announcing their breakup or who this girl Kat is, she is just lost and bewildered. Thankfully though, rather than drag this out, Luke simply breaks up with her and says he needs to focus on his studies. Which could be true since earlier in the season he was having major issues keeping Jenna happy and maintaining his academic scholarship.
Topic 3: I Lie To Protect Us – Matty, Amber, Lissa, Sadie, Jenna
Starting with Lissa, she and Tyler are full on secret dating. They make out in empty classrooms, in the library when Lissa thinks no one is around, and she seemingly can’t get enough of her would-be brother. Thing is, with her seeing their relationship as a pleasurable sin, one she surely doesn’t want Sadie to know about, who is already on her heels, she has to figure out a way to divert her. So, as a sort of beard, Lissa decides to use Jake in order to keep Sadie off her tracks. Though considering Sadie and Sergio are getting chummy, who knows if Sadie may investigate Lissa’s lie. But what is known is that while Tyler goes along with the plan, he is in no way happy about it.
As for Amber, Sadie has given up on trying to bring Matty out into the light and seems like she’d rather focus on work, Sergio, and Lissa’s little secret more than Matty. Something which sucks for Jenna for Sadie is the only one she can talk to. For with her not wanting to tell Tamara, since Tamara would overreact, she is now stuck with this information and, on top of that, Amber taunting her and still throwing dirt on her name.
How? Well, Valerie holds an assembly due to her learning a student is pregnant and not wanting it to be more than just that one student. And, naturally, Amber uses Valerie’s assembly as a chance to plant the idea in Matty’s head that Jenna is the one who told. Though Jenna reminds him that keeping secrets between just them is kind of her thing. After all, their relationship she kept a secret and she held that one close to the heart.
But, even with Jenna being insulted, and Matty pushing her away, she still tries to save him. All of her actions are in vain though for with Amber pregnant, and him wanting to be there for his kid unlike his biological parents were, he is ready to deal with her crazy for the sake of the kid. Even to the point of marrying Amber. However, as if a light bulb went off in his head, he decides to investigate Amber a bit. Mostly because he overhears Amber really go in on Jenna when it comes to her grades, how she can’t keep a man (information I’m unsure how she learned), and just overhearing this conversation is like the smack in the face Matty needs.
So he starts looking into things and he learns Gloria is pregnant also, and somehow got his mom’s earrings. Then, putting one and one together and finally getting two, he realizes Amber is living a double life of which he refused to see. And with his decision made about their relationship, he dumps her. But that is not all! He also tells her to get the hell out of the school and the town. Otherwise he will reveal her lies. Though, in all honesty, I think him kicking her out of town also it to protect himself as well. For while he goes to Jenna right after the breakup, I’m sure he doesn’t want an “I told you so” or the embarrassment involved with being duped by a girl for so long. Though with this being Awkward, likely all it would mean is a bunch of girls feeling sorry for him, one of them dating him, and Jenna being jealous about it until they get back together somewhere near the end of the season. This isn’t me saying Awkward is predictable though.
Episode 13 – Auld Lang Party
It’s New Year’s Eve and while a new year is beckoning, it is hard to say if Jenna has changed.
Review (with Spoilers)
In episode 12’s overview I said things will be out with the old and a remix of the familiar, and that still applies. For no matter what boy comes into Jenna’s life, being that Matty was her first love, and first sexual partner, until he is utterly unavailable, or does something seriously bad toward her, things will always circle back to him. For while she wants to be friends, all he has to do is hint that he wants to spend alone time with her, or anything like that, and those butterflies start to flutter and her imagination runs wild. However, being that Jenna has been down this road with Matty a few times, it at the very least seems she doesn’t have tunnel vision.
Topic 1: The Secret is Out! – Lissa & Sadie
While it seemed Jake being Lissa’s beard would last awhile, said storyline ends when Lissa publicly comes out that she and Tyler are making out, and touching. Something which is probably the least controversial thing within Lissa family, if just because the way Lissa’s mom looks at Tyler almost makes you think she has had urges of her own. Especially with a husband who is a closeted gay man. One which got discovered at Aly’s New Year’s Eve party, where the episode takes place. But with only Lissa and Tyler being the relevant characters who saw anything, it seems daddy’s secret is safe for now.
As for Sadie, while it seems very much her and Sergio were going to take a year and a day to be official, I think he finally won her over. If just because he defends her against a guy who was talking bad about her, he challenges her, and you can tell, from the “Snow Jobs” episode, he is willing to do a lot for her despite her attitude. Hence why, as the clock hits midnight, they kiss.
Topic 2: YOGO (You Only Graduate Once) – Tamara & Jake
With Tamara single and miserable, she decides to make an F it list under the YOGO mantra. Of which, making out with a wrestler named Pete is on top of her list. As for Jake, as always he is just a tag along character who honestly should have left with Ming. For still, I find it hard to justify why he is part of the main cast. For with him not dating Tamara, Jenna, or even Lissa, and not really contributing much at all to the show, he really should be demoted to a reoccurring character. Perhaps seen as much as Jenna’s dad Kevin.
My feelings aside, like Tamara he hooks up with someone at Aly’s party. But rather than it being someone around his age, much less in high school, it is someone’s Aly’s age who has a kid. Yes ladies and gentlemen, Jake and an older woman hooked up. Now by what definition of “hooked up” I couldn’t tell you but, being that Jake is written as such a throwaway character, honestly who cares?
Topic 3: New Year, Same Us – Jenna & Matty
Leaving us with Jenna and Matty. Our favorite end game couple who constantly seem to be on either the brink of dating or breaking up. As of this episode though, between Matty saying he wanted a quiet new years with Jenna, her cooking, and her setting up a romantic dinner, you’d think that night would be the one when they get back together. However, with Jake and Tamara ending up at Jenna’s private affair, and bored, they end up at Aly’s party and this leads to an odd pact between Jenna and Matty: Don’t hook up with anyone, and stop the other person from possibly hooking up. A fun game to watch as they both cock block each other but, as fun as it is to watch, you can see Jenna starting to emotionally rebound to the place where she wants Matty back. Thing is, as much as she wants Matty, she also feels Matty needs his mom so she has him talk to her. Leading to a conversation which helps heal old wounds, if just because they both take responsibility for their actions.
However, being that Jenna was led to believe, by Pete, that Matty went off with an older woman somewhere, for Matty was mistaken for Jake, Jenna thinks Matty broke their pact. Thus leading to her checking out this kid named Owen, who is a charming pianist, and having him be her new year’s kiss. Mostly under the impression she would never see him again. However, between learning Owen goes to her school, and is a sophomore, as well as Matty only kissing his mom that night, a dark cloud begins to creep over Jenna for you know, sooner or later, Owen is going to want to say “Hi” and see where things could go.
Episode 14 – Welcome to Hell
As everyone begins getting “accepted” or “rejected” notices from colleges, Jenna begins worrying what her future will be.
Review (with Spoilers)
As anyone who had plans on going to a university after high school knows, getting into your dream school can either be the biggest validation of your high school academic career or what makes you feel like their rejection notice is the beginning of a disappointing life. So it is hard to not be in Jenna’s shoes as, for a few moments, it seems that her last minute reprieve may not have been enough to save her. Though, this being Awkward, and Jenna rarely having something monstrously good happening to her, I’m pretty sure you could guess what the college told her.
Topic 1: These Are My Confessions – Lissa
Lissa, after having to be the whore of Babylon for her mother’s career fair booth, finally comes out about her relationship with Tyler. Also, her father comes out to his family.
While I do find Lissa a more interesting character than Jake, mostly due to her religious background, I must admit I’m glad they didn’t drag out her secret romance, or the dad being gay, any longer. If just because it is hard to give a damn about this storyline. For while Lissa’s family surely is interesting, especially since they all seem to have lustful eyes for Tyler, I seriously think Lissa needs to be demoted back to being Sadie’s sidekick.
Topic 2: Rejected! – Jenna
Jenna ends up rejected by SCU and spends a good portion of the episode moping around about it, and hiding she was rejected. However, the stress of not knowing what’s next leads her to blow up on Owen, Tamara, and also her parents. But between author Samantha Perry, and Owen, she gets over the fear of what is to come next.
Quite honestly, while I understand Jenna’s feelings about her not getting into the college she wanted, at the same time I’m increasingly growing tired of seeing the way she mopes around when things don’t go her way. For while we all have bad days, her always blowing up on people, and then insulting Tamara about her using doctor’s notes, among other things, to make up for her bad interview, it just seemed a bit much. Though, come to think of it, when hasn’t Jenna looked down on Tamara in some way? I mean, granted, Tamara for a good part of the show was more shown as boy crazy, and craving popularity, than anything else, but apparently she was also a hell of a student too. So for Jenna to look down on her in the past because of her personal life, much less try to discredit Tamara getting in because of one bad interview, it sort of shows you who Jenna really is. Also, it shows why bad things keep happening to her.
Though, what really matters here is: where will season 5 be? Much less, where will Jenna and the rest of the cast be? For, unless the series ends this year, or we end up covering the summer months in season 5, there is a serious question of what is going to happen to this show?
Topic 3: It’s Just A Little Crush – Jenna, Matty, and Jake
It seems like everyone is going to hook up to begin the setup for senior prom. Jenna is likely going to end up with Owen, despite her feeling a bit odd about their age difference; Jake and Natalie (Allison Carter Thomas) may become something, despite her also feeling a bit odd about their age difference; and Matty is trying to hook this girl named Gabby (Erinn Westbrook), but she doesn’t seem interested. So, as Owen and Jenna explore their relationship, and Jake and Natalie work out there’s, it seems Matty is going to focus on wooing star athlete, and smart girl, Gabby for the rest of the season. That is, unless another Jenna round happens.
I don’t remember if it was post-Collin, or post one of the many Matty breakups, but I remember a season finale in which it seemed Jenna was going to focus on herself and being single. I think maybe Jenna should go back to that idea. If just because, once more, it seems like while she may have some inkling of self-confidence she made within herself, with Owen saying just the right words to her it seems she is about to get attached again. And all I am hoping is she doesn’t let him, like all the guys before, build her up and then leave her the type of mess which is hard to watch.
Now, you already know by now how I feel about Jake’s throwaway storylines so I’ll skip over him and move onto Matty who, in pursuit of Gabby, I bet is going to make Jenna start comparing Owen to him. If just because, as Gabby is showing Matty, he needs to get his sexy back. For with him not being seen doing sports for a while and just being a nice guy, he has gotten kind of boring. Loveable, abs for days, and still very much an OTP with Jenna, but certainly not the same dude we met in the beginning. Which I’m unsure if that is a good thing or bad thing. I mean, character wise it is good but, in terms of why Gabby isn’t interested, it could be like Sadie said and it is because he is from high school.
Things To Note
A friend made it seem there perhaps are too much in the way of spoilers on here, something I have thought since I first started covering TV show episodes, so welcome to TV Episode format volume 3.