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'Finding Carter' react: Characters and psychological complexes

Season 1 | Episode 2 | “Drive” | Aired July 15, 2014

As the first season presses on, it becomes more and more clear that every single person on Finding Carter is suffering from varying levels of psychological not-rightness—I won’t go so far as to call them “disorders,” but there are definitely some classic complexes popping up. Every person. All of them. It’s not so hard to believe that they would be afflicted with these issues, what with the family drama and, if we’re being honest here, trauma. 

Carter: Persecution Complex


What’s a persecution complex? It stems from a belief that everyone is out to get you. People suffering from a persecution complex are often distrustful and feel as though they’re constantly being watched and judged. Yes, Carter actually is being watched and judged a lot (sucks, but it comes with the territory of being a recovered kidnap victim), but she is really embracing the suck and settling into her role as the rebellious victim. The sass that was understandable in the pilot is already wearing thin as Carter continues to be the personification of teen angst.

Taylor: Inferiority Complex

You can almost hear Taylor’s voice morphing into that of Eeyore. She’s one missing tail away from moving to the Hundred Acre Wood. Carter is the cool twin. She’s the hot twin, the sexy twin, the twin Taylor’s lifelong crush wants to marry and grow old with (or whatever the teenage equivalent is). Taylor is the boring Plain Jane who grew up in a household marked by strict rules, while Carter got to live a life of freedom and fun. And no one is more acutely aware of this than Taylor.

Elizabeth: Superiority Complex

Ah, to truly believe that you’re always right and capable of anything. Such is the life of Elizabeth Wilson, the go-getting cop matriarch of Finding Carter. Elizabeth has spent most of her adult life searching for her daughter Lyndon’s (Carter’s) kidnapper. While I find it a little hard to believe that a frantic and grieving mother would really be allowed to act as the lead detective on a case so close to home, Elizabeth certainly feels up to the task. She’s even showing early hints of an emerging God complex, as she tries her hand at manipulating Carter. This one is a multitasker.


Zac: Burgeoning Martyr Complex


After Lyndon/Carter went missing, the Wilsons had a third … kind of more like second … child: Zac. Zac has grown up feeling like “the replacement child” and is pretty convinced that his family doesn’t care about or even notice him. In fact, a lot of the attention he does seem to get is a response to his claims that no one loves him. I don’t want this to sound like I’m complaining about Zac. I’m not. I love him. He’s easily one of my favorite characters on the show, but he’s a little martyr in the making (“I don’t want you to leave … but I don’t want you to die more.”)

Gabe: Hero Complex

The odds seem good that Gabe is going to get himself hurt or arrested in his quest to find Carter’s kidnapper mom and, in the process, win her heart. He’s a sweet guy, but he knows a sweet guy is the last thing Carter wants right now. Some people would take this little bit of awareness and logic and use it to convince themselves to stop pining after (or at least pursuing) the very clearly emotionally unstable new girl in town. But Gabe is not some people. Instead, Gabe convinces himself that all he has to do is rescue the fair maiden; in this case, “rescue” means reunite her with her abductor, even though that’s wildly illegal and possibly dangerous to said maiden fair.

David: Guilt Complex, Future Tense


David and Carter have a wonderful relationship. This week, she called him “Dad,” for crying out loud. They hug. They go to the farmers’ market. They take selfies. ADORABLE SELFIES.

But he’s also writing a tell-all book about her return—against her explicit wishes— after he promised not to. It kind of makes me hate life, even though aside from this one aspect, I’m not all that invested in the series yet.

And there you have it, the Finding Carter crew broken down in the most Psych 101 way possible. Consider this a marker to hold them against in the future, in case they grow as people and all that jazz.

Did you watch this week’s Finding Carter? What do you think of the show and of the characters? Are they growing on you or totally turning you off? Sound off in the comments below.

Finding Carter airs Tuesdays at 10/9C on MTV.


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