Main takeaways from this week’s previouslies: Jenna introduced Matty to her new friend Bailey; Val was fired. Looks like we’ve got a new set of bosom buddies—Jenna and Bailey are hanging outside of a liquor store, quizzing Matty on his fake ID’s life. HEY! His ID has my birth year on it! Ugh, I’m so old. After failing miserably at the details, Matty goes ahead anyway, dragging an extremely hesitant Jenna with him. “Don’t worry, the only people who work here are ex-cons or people who can’t read,” he assures her. Enter their clerk, former guidance counselor Val. She’s not concerned about their less-than-legal-ages, but is concerned with bitching out J. “There is one thing you can do for me,” she says. “Go fuck yourself.” Daaaaaamn, Valerie.
When Jenna obsesses over getting Val fired, Matty tries to soothe her anxiety. It’s not actually her fault—Val was the one who actually did those things, she just wrote about them. This break with the school might lead to better things for Val. Considering the apparent state of that school, Matty’s probably right.
It’s Prom time for everyone, and Ming’s trying to get free tickets with her connections. However, not one member of the Asian Mafia can be found. She tracks down a minion, who squeaks “coup d’etat” in fear and runs away. Ming tells Jenna and Tamara about the mascot head in her locker after explaining that she used to think “coup d’etat” meant “fancy brunch” in French.
Jenna doesn’t think that Matty is asking her to prom since she doesn’t want to be disappointed. Matty brings up what asking someone to prom means—i.e., does it DTR? It’s a resounding yes, and for some reason this is what cements the idea that Matty is asking J to prom in her mind.
Jenna’s appeal to the principal gets Val would have a probation hearing. She tries to recruit Ma Lacey, facedown on the couch in her otherwise empty living room, complaining about her lack of job to both the universe and Oprah. Hot Dad cut up all her credit cards, which she claims was because he didn’t approve of how much she was spending on therapy. “RETAIL therapy,” he corrects. Ha! When asked about her dream job, Ma Lacey comes up with several options: “Real Housewife of Palos Verdes! Figure skater! Contestant on Project Runway!” At least she has imagination.
Prom dress shopping: Ming is kidnapped and thrown into a dressing room, where she receives a mysterious demand. She’s to meet at the school in the dead of night to discuss her departure, which sounds more like they’re going to kill her. Meanwhile, in the midst of the dress shopping Jenna receives a voicemail from Val, who reminds her that when she told her to fuck off, she meant it. She didn’t ask for any assistance and doesn’t want the hearing. Daaaaaamn, Valerie.
Ma Lacey agrees to help with the Val situation after realizing that she has what it takes to be a “motivational speaker—life coach!—Top Chef?” Dream big, Ma Lacey! They trudge over to Val’s place, which is covered in vision boards and now features a scary boarder since Val was fired from the liquor store. Ma Lacey loses the desire to motivate: “She’s living with a serial killer, it’s just too sad.” Val doesn’t help matters with, “Sad part is, I don’t care if he kills me in my sleep.” These two. Jenna takes on the motivating herself, citing all the good that Val has done as guidance counselor. Her talk does the trick—Val agrees to go, and also to change the locks on her apartment.
Dun dun duuuuun. Becca is the one behind the coup, and she slaps Ming with her terms: not only is Ming to disappear, but Becca plans to take Fred Wu to the prom. Ming takes a stand with her own terms—Becca needs to leave her and Fred alone and give the very young accountant time off, and she can have the mafia back. Fred Wu is delighted that Ming is willing to give up all the power for him—though they do discuss what they’re going to do with a lack of intrigue/drama/deception in their lives.
Jenna’s trying to rally the troops around Val, but I suppose that’s a tough thing to do when you have shirts that have “SAVE VAG” across the front. She tries to get Sadie to vouch for Val, since she helped my girl S find a new living space with Ally, but Sadie isn’t biting. Of course, during the hearing Sadie is pseudo lawyer Ma Lacey’s surprise witness, proving that my girl Sadie is the BEST. Sadie claims that without Val, Ally would be “childless, barren, and probably drunk.” She also goes on to explain that Val is the reason she has a place to live. Val gets her job back, and Ma Lacey decides that she wants to play a lawyer on TV.
Tamara calls Jenna and tells her that Matty plans on asking someone to prom tonight, prompting Jenna’s assumptions to run wild. She buys a $750 dress (JESUS DO PEOPLE ACTUALLY DO THAT??) and tells her parents about Matty asking before he asks her anything, which I think is a misstep. Matty arrives to talk and Jenna is stuck in her dress, which she tries to downplay with a pair of Uggs, a hoodie, and Ma Lacey shouting, “Jenna? Are you ready for the Bar Mitzvah?” from the other room. Matty seems super uncomfortable and Jenna’s kind of basking in it—until he asks her if it’s okay to ask Bailey, Jenna’s new bestie, to the prom. OBVIOUSLY. Oh, J. Never count your chickens before they hatch.
Next week: Sadie thinks she’s in love?? Colin wants to know if Jenna’s gotten over her hatred for him yet?? Hart wants them to reflect on the people they want to be?? Lord, it’s going to be quite a night.