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'Finding Carter' season finale recap: Lori takes Carter to court

Season 2 | Episode 12 | “I’m Not the Only One” | Aired June 16, 2015

It would be hard—potentially impossible—for Finding Carter to top last season’s cliffhanger. As if you could possibly forget, last season ended with Elizabeth on the verge of apprehending Lori, only to miss her as Lori drugged and kidnapped Carter for a second time.

Of course, that was all wrapped up quickly in the premiere, and this season, Lori has been flexing her crazy muscle from behind bars and inside of mental institutions. Now, in the season two finale, she’s once again trying to take Carter against her will—this time with the help of the legal system.

Basically, she’s petitioned for guardianship of Carter, claiming that since she’s Carter’s biological mother and cared for her for most of her life, she’s her legal parent and has the right to custody. Obviously, we all see a lot of gaping legal holes in this argument. The Wilsons are the girls’ legal parents, clearly. Even if Lori’s argument is legally sound, Carter is old enough to have a major say in which family she lives with. Even if the courts disregard Carter’s wishes and grant Lori custody, the appeals process could easily be drawn out until her 18th birthday, at which point the whole proceeding is moot. Finally, and most importantly, I really honestly can’t see any jury awarding custody to a kidnapper, especially when the kidnapped child doesn’t want to live with her.

But let’s ignore all of that, because why let things like reality and logic get in the way of the incredible drama of Finding Carter‘s season finale? The episode deals with three main storylines:

  1. The Max and Taylor relationship, because of course.
  2. Gabe’s adjustment to life without a dad.
  3. Lori’s trial to get custody of Carter.

Max and Taylor

Last season ended with Max and Taylor breaking up and breaking our hearts. It was devastating because with just a few croutons and more than a few cute smiles, they became one of the best couples on TV. Max and Taylor’s relationship was so beloved partially because it was so pure and innocent. Taylor was shy and reserved. Max was quietly thoughtful. Together, they made awkward silences endearing and romantic. Then, after his shooting, Max changed. He needed to go home and be with his family. He needed space. He needed, I presume, more time to film The Fosters. So he ended things with Taylor abruptly and a little harshly, and Tumblr wept.

This season, Alex Saxon must have worked out balancing his filming schedules, because Max’s plans all changed. He was going to stay after all. He wanted to patch things up with Taylor. It was glorious.

Except that it wasn’t.

Taylor was too hurt. Too much had happened. Max and Taylor needed time to grow apart and then grow back together. It seems, as of the finale, that that has finally happened. They’ve both been with other people and made mistakes and had to issue apologies. Their relationship has lost the endearing innocence that drew us in, but I think it’s stronger and realer for it. I still ship Maxlor.


Gabe is coping surprisingly well with the death of his father. He’s coping so well, in fact, that it’s clear he’s not coping at all. He doesn’t want to live with his relatives or with the Wilsons. He’s hooking up with sympathetic girls and spending his days playing video games and waiting for his dad to miraculously walk through the door. He finally does admit that he needs a support system, and goes to stay with Damon and his family. Otherwise, the issue of Kyle’s death is mostly swept under the rug. I can’t help but wonder if that’s it for the story … or if there’s more to come next season.


Lori continues to be the mayor of Crazy Town. Not only is she dragging Carter through a distressing, emotional, and unnecessary trial, but she stacks the deck against Carter, making it as traumatic possible. She has her lawyer force Carter to recount what she said to Lori at the hospital, when Carter thought Lori was suicidal. She has the lawyer force Carter to admit in court, in front of her family, that she still loves Lori. And finally, she calls a surprise witness. The witness is a teen bad boy who quasi-bonds with Carter at the courthouse.

And who is this bad-boy teen who is so relevant to the case? Lori claims that he’s her love child—with David.

Like I said, nothing could really compete with the season one cliffhanger. It’s hard to beat drugging and abducting the title character. But revealing her potential brother, the result of her biological father’s one-night-stand with her egg donor/kidnapper? Well, it’s not a terrible follow-up.

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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