TV Review: Awkward. 4×02-“Listen to This”

AwkwardSeason4Previously on Awkward.: Jenna has an abysmal class ranking. Tamara isn’t in love with Jake’s new musician schtick. Jenna is advised to get her life together and proceeds to sleep with Matty.

While shooting Jake’s latest music video (side note: what a tool they’ve made Jake), the Jenna and Tamara have a quick talk about the boys. Jenna spills about her hook up with Matty and suggests to T that the reason Tamara isn’t into Jake’s music is that she’s not into Jake anymore. Tamara swims in denial. Jenna gets a tooth knocked out, thus ending the conversation.

Matty, being the caring soul he is, goes off in search of a first aid kit. The kit eludes him, but some very upsetting material does not. More on that later, though I think we can all guess what information he found. I’ll give you a hint, it rhymes with “He’s schmadopted.”

Jenna’s discussing her lack of extracurricular options with Val, who happens to mention her new peer counseling program. When Jenna expresses interest, our friendly neighborhood guidance counselor vehemently argues against it—according to her, Jenna would make an awful peer counselor. Nevertheless, she gives her a trial run with the stipulation that she gets her teeth fixed so she doesn’t scare any peers.

Sadie tries to bail on cheer practice, presumably for her secret food truck job. When newly elected cheer captain Lissa expresses concern, Sadie declares their friendship over. Rather than back down, Lissa levels an ultimatum at Sadie: if she walks out of practice sans explanation, she shouldn’t bother coming back.

While Jenna’s doped up on anesthesia, Ma Lacey gives the dentist the go-ahead to pull Jenna’s wisdom teeth in addition to fixing her front tooth. When Jenna wakes up, she’s not allowed to talk for 24 hours? That’s quite a plot device, writers. I’ve never heard of such a post-wisdom teeth removal rule. Ma Lacey takes full advantage of Jenna’s forced oath of silence.

Val tells Matty he’s in the running for some college scholarships, but he’s knee deep in angst so he doesn’t care. All he wants to do is get far away. Matty, that scholarship can help with that!

Jenna suffers through a train of irksome mentees and a few annoying hipsters looking to score her pain meds when Sadie drags her into a closet. Sadie is jealous of the perceived friendship between Jenna and Lissa, so she bitches her out. Enter Jenna’s pain meds! Jenna spends the rest of their conversation petting Sadie’s hair. Best moment of the episode award! Wait, that may be upstaged by Eve saying, “The upside to dating a junkie was getting over my fear of needles. Also, he wrote a killer song about me.” I can’t decide. While she’s no Ming, Eve is entertaining so far—I’m wondering where the writers plan on taking her for the rest of the season. It’ll be annoying if they reduce her to just an obstacle between Matty and Jenna.


Tamara finally listens to Jake’s new song and to her surprise, loves it. She declares Jakeara a perfect union again. She’s backhanded complimenting him in his car when he drops the break up bomb on her. One of Tamara’s first responses is, “Do you really want to be single your senior year?” Jake points out what a ridiculous reason this is to be with someone (thank you, Jake) and thus ends Jakeara.

Jakeara’s over, but the BFF-ship Sissa/Ladie set off on another voyage. Sadie went for the grand gesture to apologize to her best friend, driving the German food truck into the gym while in full dirndl. She explains her absences in front of everyone and the two make up. Sadie suggests Lissa can make it up to her by giving up her captaincy, so she hasn’t gone completely soft.

Ma Lacey removes Jenna’s bandages and unleashes a torrent of pent-up Jenna word vomit. At the forefront of her mind is Matty’s noticeable lack of communication in the wake of their hookup. Ma Lacey advises her to sit tight, that Matty will talk when he’s ready. Jenna, or “Captain Listens in Class But Does Not Follow Directions” as she will be known henceforth, confronts Matty at school. “I’m not going to be your shameful secret again,” she shakily declares. “Pretending I don’t exist isn’t a nice way to handle things…It’s about me, it’s all about me.” Sheesh, J. You may have kicked a few of your bad habits, but apparently you still haven’t wrapped your head around the fact that the world doesn’t revolve around you. Here’s when Matty drops some knowledge: he’s adopted and it’s not actually about her.

Next week on Awkward.: Matty and Jenna try out being friends with benefits, heavy on the benefitting. Tamara stalks Jake’s life now that they’re broken up. Jenna confronts Eva in order to find Matty.


“Listen to This” wasn’t quite as strong as last week’s episode—the writers relied heavily on a few non-convincing plot devices and Jenna backpedaled, development-wise. Points for Jakeara finally breaking up, but it went on far too long.

Episode Rating: 5/10


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