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'Faking It' fan recap: This time, Amy breaks Karma's heart

Season 2 | Episode 20 | “School’s Out” | Aired Nov 2, 2015

I have to say, the season 2 finale of Faking It was not what I expected. I expected a loud crash and for everything to metaphorically (or, you know, maybe literally) catch fire and burn to the ground. But that didn’t happen. The season finale of Faking It was emotional, yes, but not gut-wrenching in the way I was expecting. This is coming from a show that ended its first season by having Amy sleep with Liam, after all. I thought things were going to be big, epic, and earth-shattering.

But Faking It has done the big OMG cliffhanger before. What the season 2 finale did was something much more nuanced and, in some ways, more devastating.

The big event of the episode, ostensibly, was the potential end of Hester High as we know it. At the end of his rope after his son, Felix (who, we learn, is a recovering alcoholic and must now go back to rehab, effectively writing him off the show, at least for the summer—if we even pick up at the beginning of summer next season, which we might not), crashes his car after attending Lauren and Amy’s accidental house party, Principal Turner calls for Hester’s end. He brings the issue to the school board, which is evenly split with one swing vote. He pleads his case and the students plan an hours-long roster of peaceful protests to plead theirs. When they learn they have just five minutes to make their case, however, everything seems to fall apart—until Lauren steps up to save the day.

If you just did a double take, you read that correctly: Lauren steps up to save Hester.

Let me explain: Earlier in the episode, Amy and Lauren’s parents return from their trip with a decision about their marriage. They’re going to divorce and Lauren’s dad plans to move back to Dallas. Lauren is excited at first, even though Amy and her mother tell her she’s welcome to stay with them through graduation if she wants to finish school in Austin. But Lauren has just been burned by Tommy, and she’s eager to return to a place where no one knows that she’s intersex. She calls two of her most vapid, Lauren-y friends from home to tell them the good news and they excitedly catch her up on the school gossip, like who’s pregnant and the transgender teacher they’re trying to get fired. Lauren doesn’t think the transgender teacher should be fired, and in that moment, she realizes that she’s changed and she doesn’t actually want to go back to a judgmental, “typical” high school at all.

Which brings us to her epic speech in defense of Hester. She proclaims her intersex status and explains that it was something about herself that she kept secret until she went to Hester. She explains that Hester is not like any school she’s ever been to and that they celebrate what’s different and make it okay to be different and totally yourself, something that she’s, apparently, grown to really appreciate. She implores the school board to keep Hester open, and she succeeds. She’s the school hero and invited to celebrate with everyone. In typical Lauren fashion, she blows the whole thing off to go home and unpack because she’s unrelentingly herself, even when that means being abrasive and a little mean. For the record: I love Lauren.

The episode might dedicate a lot of attention to Hester’s impending doom, but the real emotional arc of the episode is, as always, with Amy and Karma. Karma doesn’t remember the kiss at first, and when she does, she regrets it immediately. She apologizes to Amy for being a bad friend and expects that will make things okay, which only shows how little she really understands about the situation and the depth of Amy’s feelings for her. Amy skips the “Save Hester” rally to talk to Reagan because when she was with Reagan, she was really happy and as soon as they broke up, her feelings for Amy started to resurface. Reagan has moved on and is living with her new girlfriend at this point, but she’s not petty and she welcomes Amy in to talk about what’s bothering her. She gives her amazing advice, too. She tells Amy that she needs to move on and get over Karma, and Amy insists that she’s tried. Then, in the kindest way possible, Reagan points out that, in her experience, the only way to really get over someone is with space and time, and Amy hasn’t taken either from Karma. School is out, and Amy decides to take Reagan’s advice. She takes the opportunity to get away and take both time and space from Karma by accepting a gig on the tour Reagan talked about earlier in the season. (It’s worth noting that Reagan is now skipping the tour to stay with her new girlfriend, so it’s not about rekindling that romance; it’s really about what’s best for Amy.)

When Karma finds out that Amy’s leaving town (from Amy’s mom, when she tries to stop by to see her friend), she freaks out. She rides her bike to the tour bus and insists on talking to Amy to change her mind. It’s like the last scene in a romantic comedy, when one of the leads makes a grand gesture to prove their love for the other. Except, in this case, Amy asks if it’s about that kind of love, if the kiss meant anything, and Karma says that it didn’t and it’s just about their friendship. With that being the case, Amy knows she has to get away, to give herself a chance to get over Karma if they’re ever really going to be friends like they used to be. Karma is heartbroken, but as a viewer, I can’t be heartbroken with her. It’s painful to watch, but feels necessary, like the pain that comes with ripping off a Band-Aid that you’ve left on way too long. For the first time, Faking It hasn’t left me feeling panicked about how things will be when the show returns. This time, I think that the pain the characters are experiencing is really for the best.

Faking It airs Mondays at 9:30/8:30C 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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