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'Finding Carter' react: Elizabeth's affair gets outed

Season 1 | Episode 8 | “Half Baked” | Aired Aug 19, 2014

Well, we knew it was only a matter of time before Elizabeth and Kyle’s affair came to light. Of course, who knew it would take eight episodes? After Grant and Gabe overheard Elizabeth and Kyle talking about their affair, it had to be sooner rather than later.

This week, no time is wasted getting down to business. Elizabeth tries to offer Grant some lunch, and the act of kindness is met with a vitriolic “I hate you!” Grant runs off to Max’s for a little escape. Max and Taylor are in the middle of a make-out session; Max almost pretends not be home because, as he says in what is easily the best line of the episode (aren’t the best ones always Max’s?), “Shhh … I’ve been getting a lot of Mormons.”

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As an aside from the affair drama, this scene is also the first of several this week in which Max hints at thinking he’s not good enough for Taylor. He’s adorably protective of her and geared toward what’s best for her, and he’s turning some of that instinct on himself. Her grades are already slipping, and the aftermath of the affair only pushes her in more non-Taylor directions.

Grant immediately opens up about his mini-runaway from home. (Can we take a second to talk about how unbelievable it is that parents who lost a child to kidnapping wouldn’t chase after him when he ran out of the house, though?) He is met with a whole lotta “WE DON’T BELIEVE YOU, LITTLE THIRD CHILD WHOM NOBODY LISTENS TO! YOU’RE JUST ACTING OUT TO GET SOME OF THAT ATTENTION YOU CRAVE.” Grant counters this with a solid, “NUH-UH, GABE HEARD IT TOO.” Gabe, being a worldly 16 or 17 and, by all accounts, a child receiving enough parental attention to not make up outlandish tales of scandalous trysts, is believed immediately.

See, rest of Finding Carter? This is why Grant is always commenting on his low totem-pole status. This, right here.

Anyway, turns out Gabe has known for three years and just kept quiet because his dad had been so mega-depressed after his mom died of every horrific cancer you can think of that he was just glad to see his dad come out of it … even if it meant an affair with his BFFs mom. The girls decide (by which I mean, of course, that Carter decides and lumps Taylor in with herself) to confront Elizabeth about the affair immediately—you know, to fix their family.

Everything about the way they think this will go is wrong. Everything about everything is wrong. Let me count the wrong thoughts that Carter & Co. had during this episode:

1. “Ambushing our unfaithful mother will foster open communication.” Predictably, Elizabeth goes straight for denial when Carter and Taylor confront her about the affair, standing in Angry Olsen Twin poses.

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Though Elizabeth eventually—after stumbling over many lies and half-assed coverups—does promise that the affair is done for good and agrees to tell David, it’s only out of fear of losing her children and family. Carter and Taylor handled the situation with approximately the finesse of cracking open an egg with a jackhammer.

2. “Telling Mom to tell Dad she’s been cheating on him for three years will fix our family. As soon as she does this, we can go back to normal.” The normal part isn’t me facetiously paraphrasing. That’s actually what Carter says about the situation. I understand that this family has a skewed take on “normal” to begin with, but that doesn’t excuse willful ignorance. Elizabeth finally confessing to the affair can let them start to work things out, to heal and to move forward, but I wouldn’t say it would bring things back to “normal” in any circumstance.

3. “We are shocked that Mom moved out.” When Elizabeth does break the news to David, he takes it shockingly well, explaining that he already knew, and stayed with her because he believed that she would end it eventually. He seems 100 percent okay and ready to move on, actually, until he realizes that this was what Taylor and Carter had to talk to her about. Taylor and Grant know, and that’s bad. But Carter knows and that’s terrible. He’s so fixated on being cool and loved and admired by her that he can’t stand the idea that she might now pity him. He kicks Elizabeth out to take back power in the situation.

The kids are floored by this development (they have none of the details, just that she told him and he kicked her out). It’s like they live in a magic bubble where bad fiction reigns supreme. This wasn’t a one-night-stand or a bad decision; it was a three-year affair. David has some questionable motives and morals himself, but it’s completely reasonable for him to ask her to leave. Carter and Taylor are both smart (a mix of street smarts and book smarts that should make them unstoppable), and we sometimes forget that they’re naive teens. This moment is a big reminder.

4. “We can take care of the family.” With Elizabeth gone, everything immediately goes to hell. The kids oversleep for school, there’s no milk in the fridge and David is nowhere to be seen. The girls get Grant off to school and promise to pick him up (SPOILER ALERT: They forget), then skip school to go hang out with Max and Crash, whom they’re trying to force into a bromance. They only thing they have in common is smoking pot, so Crash offers some as a “peace pipe.” Taylor decides to try it (much to Max’s chagrin—again he’s worried that he’s a bad influence), and has a bizarre little episode before passing out to forget about her brother.

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5. “It’s my job to fix my parents’ marriage by allowing my dad to write a book about my personal life that I don’t want written.” Carter goes to have a heart-to-heart with David, to ask him to let Elizabeth come home. He implies, with just enough drunken slur to make it sound like truth (and maybe it really is), that a lot of their problems come from his low self-esteem. Elizabeth married a writer. No one wants any of his books—except, of course, for the one he can’t write. Carter picks up the pieces just as Puppet Master David wants. She knows that if he could just write the book about her, they could be a family again (which is a messed-up thing to make a 17-year-old girl think). She goes to Elizabeth and demands a promise that she’ll really try this time, then returns to David to grant permission for him to write the book. He accepts, with a nice little line about this showing how much she wants them to all be together. It’s despicable, but I personally can’t hate him too much because he’ll always be Wesley Wyndham-Pryce, Rogue Demon Hunter, to me. For those of you not obsessive about the Whedonverse, though, I imagine there’s a lot of David hate happening.

Oh, and it all comes crumbling down when Elizabeth accidentally reveals that David didn’t try to set up a meeting with Lori. Since the episode opens with him and Carter waiting for Lori (and David so convincingly pretends to want the fake meeting to happen, even though he knows all along that Lori won’t show), this is a big blow. Cue Carter’s spiral.

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What did you think of this week’s Finding Carter? Are you feeling lots of David hate right now? Do you think the family can bounce back from this? Sound off in the comments!

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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