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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.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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