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'Finding Carter' recap: Two relationships crack and fall apart

Season 2 | Episode 2 | “Shut Up and Drive” | Aired Apr 7, 2015

When Finding Carter returned for season two, it tied up a lot of the loose ends it left open in the season-one finale right away. Carter was rescued from Lori and Lori was finally apprehended by the authorities. Elizabeth got her arrest. Max and Taylor made up and Max decided to stay in town after all. Everything seemed perfect, which was a sure sign that nothing was.

The second episode of season two was all about putting the small cracks in the characters’ relationships under a microscope and then driving wedges deep, deep into them so they split wide open into impossibly large canyons. Doubt makes cracks in most of the relationships on the show this week, but two suffer most of all: David and Elizabeth (duh—we all saw that one coming, right?) and Max and Taylor (let’s all take a second to let out a collective sob about it before we keep going).

Let’s talk it out, because the truly devastating thing about each of these situations is just how real they are.

Elizabeth and David
Elizabeth and David have had a troubled go of it since day one of Finding Carter. When the show begins, we know she’s cheating on and preparing to leave him and, as time goes on, it becomes more and more clear that David isn’t the perfect father and husband he initially appeared to be. Elizabeth ended her affair and rededicated herself to working things out with David, but it was starting to look more and more like he was tied to Lori in a very, erm, intimate way. This week, we finally got answers about David and Lori’s past and it’s about as innocent as it could possibly have been without invalidating all of the evidence that was piling up against David in season one. Basically, she cozied up to David, who, as a work-from-home writer, was assuming primary parenting duties of Carter (who went by Lyndon back then) and Taylor. He and Elizabeth were already in a rough patch in their relationship (meaning they’ve been unhappy for approximately 98% of their marriage?) and eventually all of Lori’s attention ended in a one-night stand with David. He swears that was all that ever happened between them, but since the confession was being very awkwardly made to his estranged teenage daughter, it’s hard to say for sure that’s the whole truth.

Lori, of course, hinted to Elizabeth last week that there was more to her history with David and Elizabeth tried to get the truth out of David, to no avail. So, when she heard Lori’s testimony about her affair with David (one which she describes as more intimate and lasting than he remembers it), she’s understandably, well, irate. Carter forces David to tell her his side of story and the whole thing made me hope they stop having scenes together for a while. Watching Carter coax out details about her biological father’s affair with her kidnapper/long-time mother figure was so uncomfortable. (Tell me I wasn’t alone in feeling my skin crawl as Carter basically forced David to tell her about the relationship.) Eventually, she convinces David to confess the affair to Elizabeth, you know, for the good of the family, and they drive to the police station together because apparently Carter is all-in on this conversation. It’s too late though; Elizabeth has already heard the truth from Lori and will probably run directly into Kyle’s arms.

I think I’m supposed to wish Elizabeth would forgive David, but honestly, I don’t—not in the I-forgive-you-let’s-stay-together kind of way, anyway. I want Elizabeth and David to be on good terms because they have children and that’s what’s best for them, but I’m not invested in them as a couple. I think David does deserve forgiveness for the affair (at least if his version of events is accurate). It was a mistake, but he never could have known or anticipated that Lori would be a psychopath and kidnap his daughter. But the affair isn’t why I’m for Elizabeth and David splitting up. I’m in favor of a split because they aren’t in love, and I’m not sure that any amount of effort to fall back in love with each other will help. Carter puts her nose in places it doesn’t belong, and I’m sure she’ll keep trying to pull the puppet strings and “fix” her family, but I’m not sure that’s what’s best for anyone.

Max and Taylor
Now onto a much more serious relationship: Max and Taylor. When Max broke up with Taylor last season, it was devastating. It was understandable—he’d just been shot, he needed to move away, they’re only teenagers and very different teens, at that. Then, in the season two opener, the writers pulled a take-back and Max and Taylor reconciled. He was staying in town, he realized he still wanted to be with her after all and all seemed right with the world.

Except, of course, that it wasn’t.

The problem with the Max and Taylor reunion is so real it’ll kick you in the gut if you’ve ever experienced anything similar. Taylor and Max couldn’t get back together because Taylor had already mourned the loss of Max and the relationship and come to terms with the differences that drove them apart in the first place. Getting back together felt easy for Max, but the break left Taylor full of questions and lingering resentment that she’s now going to have to work out before the Crouton Cuteness can ever live again. Now, Max and Taylor might still be OTP, but they’re both going to have to grow back together now that their innocent, perfect puppy love has ended. R.I.P. (again … for now …) Max and Taylor.

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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