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'Finding Carter' recap: Finding Cupid

Season 2 | Episode 4 | “Pretty When You Cry” | Aired Apr 21, 2015

Finding Carter has spent a lot of energy during its first episodes of season two meticulously pulling apart some of its most integral relationships from the seams. “Tenuous” is the most generous adjective you could use to describe some of the show’s central romantic relationships. Elizabeth and David are trying to work on things, but they’re officially separated and alternating nights at the house. Taylor and Max have been yo-yoing with their love and, as an extension, toying with all of our hearts. Carter has been kind of blissfully and legitimately single, with no ties to Crash and no Gabe following her around like a puppy. It started to feel like, maybe, this season of Finding Carter was going to go super internal with the characters and explore what they’re like as individuals, with no significant others to lean on and melt into.

And then episode four happened.

Those splits for the characters, they weren’t about isolating the characters permanently, so much as they were about testing their limits and giving them some emotional excuses to make very bad, but very interesting decisions. If these people were my friends, I’d shake my head, sit them down and caution them against every single thing they’re doing. But they’re not my friends, and it’s wildly entertaining to watch these totally terrible (and, importantly, totally believable) bad decisions play out. Here are all of the stupid-Cupid moments from “Pretty When You Cry,” in which Carter, Taylor, and David all make terrible decisions, Elizabeth toys with a bad call that she might regret not making, Crash shows a little uncharacteristic integrity, Ofe gets set up for heartbreak, and no one really know exactly what is going on with Max and Bird. That’s every single character on the show (except Grant, but isn’t the whole point that Grant is never included in anything?).

Carter and Crash
I guess it’s only right to start with Carter, since her potentially terrible romantic choice comes as the culmination of the only nonromantic plot of the episode. Lori, the master manipulator that she is, sends an old flame (a man she dated when Carter was younger) to talk to Carter on her behalf. He explains that Lori has been deemed mentally stable and therefore faces massive jail time for Carter’s kidnapping. He insists that, even though Carter never saw it, Lori has struggled with mental issues for years and she needs Carter to round up $2,000 to pay an expert witness to testify that she belongs in a hospital, not prison. Lori is Carter’s Achilles heel, and she eventually caves, even after Elizabeth tells her not to. She tries to get a job at Crash’s uncle’s garage to earn the money (Max just got a job there, and Crash told her to come to him if she ever needed anything, so she asks him to hook her up), but Crash refuses to put in a good word. Later, however, he comes through with $2,000 he’s been saving for a rainy day and just gives it to her, along with a RomCom-y speech about loving the girl who cares about her loved ones so much that she’s willing to dole out unlimited chances, no matter how many times she’s burned. It kind of sounds like a sweet speech if you don’t think too much about the actual words and what they mean.

Carter hires the expert witness and Lori squanders the entire meeting; it was all a ploy to get Carter to come see her. She wants to be put in a hospital so Carter can visit her more often, but she doesn’t believe she’s anything less than sane (although, honestly, I think that’s still a little debatable). After the disastrous meeting, Carter kisses Crash who, in the rare moment of integrity mentioned above, pulls back and asks if she’s sure. Carter says no, but goes back in for the kiss anyway, and that’s good enough for Crash. So it looks like that’s happening again. Sigh.

Max and Bird
We have to talk about Max and Bird next so that Taylor’s terrible decision makes sense. Max is staying with Bird, and Taylor is obviously deeply jealous about it. She doesn’t want Max right now, but she clearly doesn’t want anyone else to have him either. Rational? No. Normal? Absolutely. When she sees Bird flirting pretty shamelessly with Max at a party (although it’s unclear if it’s real flirting or just Bird being Bird flirting), she storms off for bad-decision time.

Taylor and Ofe
Taylor and Ofe’s chemistry was immediate and electric when they kissed in the closet during the spin-the-bottle episode in season one, and they’ve grown closer and closer as friends since then. This season in particular, they’ve gotten very close and borderline flirty. There’s tension there, and it’s palpable. So, in her fit of jealousy, it’s easy for Taylor to grab Ofe, take him to what appears to be another closet (they do well in closets), and make out with him. I get the feeling that Ofe really likes Taylor and that he might be positioning himself for major heartbreak if she and Max make up.

Elizabeth and Kyle
Kyle, presumably knowing about the separation and that David won’t be home, stops by Elizabeth’s house late at night to bring her a file that could probably wait until morning. They share a moment and an almost-kiss at the door, but Elizabeth stops things before they begin because she really, genuinely does want to work on things with David after all. That alone is incredibly interesting to know — she’s seemed very unsure about trying to fix things since the separation.

Because Grant is becoming an increasingly annoying character (the meddling; the obnoxious self-pity; the rude, disgruntled attitude), he spies on Elizabeth and Kyle’s almost-kiss, but conveniently leaves before she puts a stop to it. Then he tells David about it. He’s becoming the Iago of this Shakespearean comedy of misunderstandings (yeah, I know, I’m mixing my Shakespeare references). In response, David asks out his 22-year-old TA, who is obviously crushing on him. Again: Sigh.

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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