“He’s perfect, he’s an adult,” Jenna opens the episode, making goo-goo eyes at her new “college” beau. I still think he looks like a tenured professor rather than a student. Seriously though, why are we calling college kids adults? That’s the last place you get to be NOT an adult! That’s a false perception of college life, folks. He invites her to see the Arctic Monkeys in Arizona, forgetting that she’s in high school and lives with her parents. At least he has good taste in music. She assures him that they’re cool until her dad calls Luke’s phone explaining that he threatened to have Luke arrested for kidnapping if the dorm didn’t hand over his number.
Jenna is stage managing the school pageant, and Tamara doesn’t trust her. “I need rage management to deal with your stage management,” she says before being distracted by a text on the Autumn phone. Catfishing Jake has gone to the next level.
Lissa’s mom is neglecting Lissa in favor of Tyler. Even when Sadie explains, “I don’t have a car and my stepmother is a skankaholic with a prescription pill problem,” Lissa’s mom leaves them to get home alone. Lissa decides to coach Tyler in the pageant to reconnect with her family. Sadie is convinced that she can make anyone a winner, so they make a bet: “Loser gives up forty bucks and their honor, dignity, and self esteem.” Lissa chooses Kyle, Jenna’s sometimes awkward cheerleader, as Sadie’s charge
Tamara-as-the-now-Australian-Autumn agreed to attend the pageant to support Jake. Jenna thinks she’s a loon, but Tamara argues that she has a foolproof plan: she’ll go, pretend that Autumn comes down with food poisoning, and leave before Jake gets the chance to see her. This is what I’d call less than foolproof.
Jenna’s parents invite Luke to the pageant via Skype, much to her chagrin. She’s further embarrassed when Luke meets her parents in real life, what with Ma Lacey trying to wrestle a shirt off of Jenna’s dad while Ally watches in the background, commenting on Jenna’s sister-wife-like appearance. “That was Luke meeting the adults in my life,” Jenna laments to herself. “Too bad I’m surrounded by children.” Jenna, your faux-maturity is starting to grate on my nerves. When they act like parents, she’s pissed. Let’s not forget the events of last season.
Pageant time! “I hope there’s a dentist in the house because you’re about to meet some major man candy!” Emcee Tamara says. The boys strut out dressed like the Village People (or strippers) and dance. The talent portion of the show is varied—Tyler performs the closing dance from Dirty Dancing with Lissa, Kyle paints himself as a shirtless king, and Jake sings a song about Autumn. Directly after, Tamara screws up with her catfishing phone. She argues that Jake said he could tell her anything, but Jake points out he said that to Autumn.
Matty does stand up comedy, much to his mother’s disappointment. Her eye rolling prompts him to reveal his adopted status on stage in front of the audience. Unfortunately Bad Boy Matty, once provoked, has the tendency to further his douchebag agenda without regard for who he might hurt. He pulls Jenna on stage and begins airing dirty laundry, but J just seems worried about him rather than humiliated. We’re all grateful when Ally cuts the tension and ends the uncomfortable presentation when she yells, “Show us your balls!” Ally absolutely slays everyone else and takes the Line-of-the-Night Crown with that one. Barret Swatek has yet to disappoint with her line delivery.
Matty snaps out of it backstage and apologizes profusely to Jenna, looking like he’s on the brink of tears. Luke leaves. Tamara’s in the parking lot with Jake, so Val’s emceeing. Sans Jake and Matty, the pageant comes down to Tyler and Kyle. When asked what his dream is, Kyle delivers a monologue involving “sushi,” “human flesh” and the phrase “when I woke up the bed was wet,” so Sadie just hands forty dollars over to Lissa.
Jenna finds Luke in the parking lot—he apparently left to pick up flowers since he thought Jenna might need cheering up. Theoretically a good gesture, butr I don’t understand why he wouldn’t just stick around and talk to her rather than make her think he bailed. Material objects mean a lot more than your presence. He professes his like for her and they kiss just in time for Matty to see and walk away even more upset.
“Crowning Moments” wasn’t a winner for me—not a lot of forward momentum for the plot or memorable dialogue. Overall, it seemed like a filler episode.