“And Then What Happened” – Awkward.

Screen Shot 2013-11-05 at 8.46.49 PMWe actually really enjoyed this week’s Awkward., mostly because of the relatively unusual format. Positioning the majority of the episode in flashback, with just the right balance of mystery and filling in of blanks, was a great approach. It kept us interested. The piecemeal unfolding of the story of the aftermath of Jenna’s party kept us on the hook until the very end, which was itself made more poignant by the relative levity of the rest of the episode.

And it was light. Humor was a big part of “And Then What Happened”, playing into it in the flashbacks and the interludes. The individual characters’ storytelling style – which could almost be seen as neat little vignettes of their personalities – brought a good few laughs, making us a little relieved. Perhaps this half of the season will not be so plagued by the problems we discussed last week.

But, as we said, that ending was a stark contrast to the rest of the episode. Allowing ourselves to believe that Jenna and Matty would be okay (even if we didn’t necessarily want them to be), and enjoying the sense of fun that “And Then What Happened” sported, made that ending feel like a slap in the face. It’s definitely not a conclusion we expected, and we were kind of gobsmacked.

After two and a half seasons of Jenna pining after Matty, of thinking she wasn’t good enough for him, of wanting nothing more than to be with him, to see her walking away was more than surprising, making us think that the writer’s should have saved last week’s episode title – “Surprise!” – for this week. Because, yes, Jenna walked away. Matty was willing to forgive her. He was willing to work on it. He was willing to forget everything that had happened. And she wasn’t. We feel like we’ll always remember the look on Matty’s face when she told him it was over (and, to a lesser extent, his face when he went over to Sadie’s after the party). We often get emotional when we’re watching TV, but we can’t remember the last time we’ve every sympathized with someone on quite this level.

But, while it may have broken Matty’s heart, Jenna’s decision is going to make for great television. Aside from the fact that we no longer have to worry about how much screen time Jenna and Matty are eating up, we’re also likely to get a return to the feel of Season 1 – Jenna’s life won’t be too perfect, there’s going to be a little more conflict (not manufactured) to keep us ticking over, and, possibly, Jenna’s going to start being just a little reckless again. Not to mention that we’re going to be getting some quality Collin time. We’re definitely liking the direction this second half of Season 3 is going. As we said last week, hopefully the writers can maintain… – K

Quoteworthy: “You don’t need to say anything. I think that kiss said it all.” – Matty

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