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'Finding Carter' recap: Two can keep a secret if one of them is dead

Season 2 | Episode 10 | “Rumour Has It” | Aired June 2, 2015

Max and Carter slept together. Last week. It really happened. This is real life in the world of Finding Carter.

I know it’s easy to think that maybe it was a bad dream or hope that it was a flashback to before Carter moved in with the Wilsons and Max fell in love with Taylor. “I must have missed something,” you tell yourself as you rewind on the DVR, frantically looking for clues that some M. Night Shyamalan-esque twist that will negate the whole thing. But no: It really happened, and now Max and Carter (and the rest of us) have to deal with it.

This week’s episode was almost entirely about Max and Carter’s struggle to cope with their guilt and to find the right time to tell Taylor about their tryst in the bed of his truck on the way home from visiting Lori. Carter suggests that they go up to their grandparents’ swanky cabin the woods (because, of course, their rich, country-club-member grandparents have an amazing lake house) so Taylor can get away. When Taylor asks if Max can come too, Carter sees it as a perfect time and place for them to break the earth-shattering news to Tay.

Of course, since all of Carter and Taylor’s friends are kind of awful in that rude-inconsiderate-teenager kind of way, it becomes a group occasion. (Max mentions to Bird, his roommate, that he’s going away for the weekend; she takes that as an invitation and proceeds to move the usual party to the lake house without consulting anyone at all.) Sadly, a group occasion isn’t really the best for spilling a big, dark secret. What are Max and Taylor supposed to do? Tell Taylor something terrible when all of her closest friends are there to see her (no doubt tragic) reaction? It’s a terrible idea, yet they toy with telling her pretty much every moment of the trip.

Telling Taylor becomes more pressing when the secret gets out. Carter tells Madison, which is ill-advised, since she’s done nothing whatsoever to prove her trustworthiness. Madison technically doesn’t tell Bird, but she does give her enough hints for Bird to guess. From there, news spreads to Gabe and Damon. Gabe is beyond outraged, because Gabe is mostly irrelevant and he needs things to do and things to react to, I guess. It makes sense that he’s upset; Taylor is one of his best friends. But his over-the-top, we-need-to-tell-her-right-this-second reaction is smart. If Taylor is someone you really care about, wait and tell her when she can be alone and grieve the news; not during a big weekend party/obvious product placement for Insidious 3.

Which brings me to my main reaction to the episode’s plot: Max and Carter are being selfish. Yes, they were selfish to seek quick, easy comfort in sleeping together when they knew it would mean nothing to them and everything to Taylor, whom they both love dearly. But that’s not the biggest transgression. That first act of selfishness, damning as it was, was understandable and human. Carter was upset and desperate to feel something other than what she was feeling. Max was hurting for his friend and desperate to help her feel something different. Was it right? No, of course not. Was it unforgivable? Also, I would say, no, of course not.

What I have a harder time forgiving is the selfishness of their decision to tell not only Taylor, but everyone else. They think they want to tell Taylor because she deserves to know what happened, and while that might be true, the real motivation in telling Taylor so quickly is to cleanse their guilt. Carter’s reason for telling Madison isn’t because she thinks Madison can help or even that she’ll be a trustworthy confidante; Carter just needs to confess her sins to get some relief. I get that. I really do, but the pressure of the guilt is making them rush and not think and, honestly, that’s less respectful to Taylor than putting in the time and effort to tell her in the right way. Carter should have spoken up and told the rest of the crew not to come along for the weekend at the lake, or she should have kept the indiscretion to herself until it was over.

Even Gabe, who was so enraged and so ready to jump up and tell Taylor immediately, knows that he can’t do that to her under the circumstances. Carter and Max never do get around to telling her—although by the time everyone else knows, they almost need to, just to ensure that she hears it from them. Max wants to tell Taylor, but she goes first in the “something to tell you” game and apologizes for her fling with Ofe, and makes it clear that she wants to work things out. She thanks him for not having slept with Bird and confesses her trust issues (it’s a really on-the-nose confession, but fair for the character). He can’t bring himself to tell her about Carter.

But then, after a wonderful weekend and a happy drive home, Taylor finds Carter’s necklace in the bed of Max’s truck. You can see the look in her eyes as she puts the pieces together.

Next week is going to be heartbreaking. Absolutely heartbreaking.

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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