Previously on Awkward.: Jakeara splits. We revisit the same storyline with Matty and Jenna, only Matty blows Jenna’s mind and tells her he’s adopted, proving the world does not revolve around her.
“Time to stop making everything about me,” Jenna proclaims. She dedicates herself to this peer counseling gig, swearing to keep her meek peer out of harm’s way—except that it looks like her peer counselor IS the harm. Meet Angel, the brash girl formerly known as Prudence. The first meeting of Val’s “We’re Here, We’re Peers” provides the best line of the episode—when Eva’s peer hesitates in taking her advice, Eva retorts, “I haven’t bitch slapped an Olsen twin, doesn’t stop me from dressing like I have.” Swish. That’s two for new girl Eva. Even though things aren’t turning out according to J’s vision, she reaffirms her dedication and even participates in a role-playing game with Sadie. Sadie doesn’t appreciate the hug and starts yelling “Bad touch BAD TOUCH!” Note: there was not enough Sadie in this episode.
Tamara is panicking over the Jakeara break up story, claiming that the person controlling the story has the control. Jenna, showing wisdom I didn’t expect, says, “Do you ever think we spend too much time worrying about what Jake and Matty are thinking?” Tamara waves the concern away, turning the conversation towards Jenna and Matty. “You can’t just transition from BF to BFF without some D in between,” she says, the “D” in this case being drama. She’s not buying Jenna’s claim of emotional intimacy with Matty and declares, “I’m not staring at your am I in or am I out pout.” The rhymes are back with a vengeance for our T.
Fortified by Tamara’s talk, Jenna talks to Matty. He’s frustrated; he wants to be able to go a day not talking to Jenna without her thinking he’s not into her. They DTR—they’re friends with benefits, so they get to be close without having to worry about what it means all the time. Wait, what? That seems like it’s going to crash and burn pretty fast.
We see just how quickly this doesn’t work out when Matty launches into his Bad Boy Matty Phase (as it shall be known henceforth) and blows the girls off for lunch. Tamara is quickly distracted by Jake’s new song that features heavy allusions to their problematic sex life. “Oh Em Jesus Chri he is Taylor Swifting me.” She is even more annoyed when groupies, including her new peer counselee, begin following him everywhere. Disgruntled by their presence, Tamara uses her presidential power to ban music in the cafeteria. Jake volleys back with a private concert announcement. I’m glad for the change in storyline for these two, but I miss the days where Tamara had storylines that actually passed the Bechdel test. Anyway, Tamara turns to Jenna. “I don’t watch TV in the summer, you know why? Because I HATE reruns.” She makes the good point that if Matty hooks up with Jenna but doesn’t bother speaking to her in public, she’s not a friend with benefits, but a fuck buddy.
While attempting (and failing) to utilize her past experiences to influence Angel’s choices, Jenna encounters Matty in his parked car, looking sketchy. Or as sketchy as teenage boys do when they’re smoking up in their school parking lot. She asks if he’s high, which he responds to by immediately trying to hook up with her. Our Miss J isn’t having any of it this time—she pushes him away and says, “The way you’re acting makes me feel like less of a buddy and more like a fuck.” Damn, girl. That’s what I’ve been looking for. Matty’s not interested in sympathy and just wants to be left alone. Jenna’s not having it, so their arrangement is terminated.
Tamara creates a fake social networking profile to stalk Jake and begins talking to him. I guess we won’t be seeing any non-boy centric storylines for T anytime soon.
At the next “We’re Here, We’re Peers” meeting, Angel declares that she wants to become sixteen and pregnant due to Jenna’s and Ma Lacey’s influence, so Jenna considers herself a failure as a counselor. Val implores her not to give up even though the program is most likely being cut due to this revelation. Jenna takes her advice and heads over to Matty. Eva opens the door, explaining, “I don’t think he’s up for company. He’s in bad shape—seems like he really needs someone to talk to.” Jenna, demonstrating some impressive character growth, walks away calmly.
Next week on Awkward.: the seniors might lose spirit week for the first time in eons. Matty is probably going to Eva for conversation, and new character MacKenzie for “other things.” MacKenzie seems like a right little hag and pulls Jenna’s hair and calls her old.
“Touched by an Angel” is the strongest episode of the season so far—there was a big show character growth when it came to Jenna, which is usually the weakest element. The Bad Boy Matty Phase seems like it’s going to be great—it’s progressing with more subtlety than I expected. Based on next week, I have a lot of hope that Eva will be a cause of friend-jealousy for Jenna rather than a romantic rival. Now, here’s to hoping that Tamara gets a storyline not involving her relationship with Jake.
Episode Rating: 8.5/10