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Awkward. "Homewrecker Hamilton" Review: Blowing the Whole Thing Up

Awkward. S02E09: "Homewrecker Hamilton"

(Note: this is kind of a joint review between the last two episodes, focusing on last night's episode "Homewrecker Hamilton")

All season long we've been waiting for Jenna's life to get Hiroshima'd by secrets getting out of their cage, and three episodes ago it did when Sadie, in a bitch move even for the queen B herself, told Jake that Matty humped Jenna. Took a slice of the Hamilton pie, I believe were her words. Awkward. always knew this would happen and spent hours in the writers' room pre-Season 2 figuring out how to handle it. Do you make it part of the season finale? Do you drag it out as long as possible? Do you drop it right away?

Instead, they wisely held it for the tail end of the middle of the season to turn the midseason sag into chiseled abs as we head into the final episodes. Jake finally finding out about Matty has been deftly stretched out for three episodes, because let's face it, there's plenty to milk from it. If "Another One Bites the Dust" was the release of the secret and "Time After Time" was the reaction from the secret, then last night's "Homewrecker Hamilton" was the fallout from the secret and the Return of the Jedi in the three-episode trilogy. But as everyone knows, Empire Strikes Back is the best of THAT series, and "Time After Time" was probably the best episode of the season so far.

There were amazing moments in last night's episode, namely the fisticuffs between Matty and Jake (more on that later) and Jenna's shocking actions at the end (more on that later, too), but two things slightly bothered me about "Homewrecker Hamilton" as I watched it, just like those stupid frickin' Ewoks.

Why did it take so long for Jenna to realize it was her past with Matty that made Jake break up with her? I would think that would be on the forefront of her mind ALL THE TIME. Like, she would wake up in the morning and have a panic attack that Jake would find out, then brush her teeth and cry in the mirror because maybe Jake found out about Matty and her right there and then. Then a terror-stricken breakfast of eggs and toast and fear about Jake finding out about her secret. Point is, teenagers are as good at keeping secrets as gypsies, so I'm not sure why she was so confident she was in the clear.

Second, why on Earth did she think it's okay that she made out with Matty right after Jake broke up with her, and why was that the basis of her argument? Semantics, girl, just semantics. If you want to get technical, no it wasn't cheating, it was just a really, really shitty thing to do to Jake. Like one of the worst things to do and about as disrespectful to Jake as taking a shit in his pillow. And that goes for Matty, too. And no, sleeping with Matty before dating Jake isn't cheating either, but keeping that bit of information from him isn't trust-building for a fledgling relationship. Cheating or not, you screwed Jake over, Jenna, and you knew that information would eventually find its way out.

I understand that typical high-school students are as knowledgeable as out-of-date textbooks at a public school, but I expected Jenna to be smarter than this. Maybe it's just her being a rookie to love and the whole relationship thing, but she could have handled it a lot better. Matty, too. And after screwing her boyfriend over and after screwing his best friend over, Jenna and Matty spent more time in public together than before. Not smart.

But that doesn't make for good television, and the ends justify the means. And if I may rationalize here a bit for the sake of defending smart, teen-based televised entertainment, this is the kind of stuff that happens when things like this happen. Teenagers, especially high-schoolers, spent 90-percent of their lives screwing someone over because teenagers are selfish wastes of space caught between pre-adulthood and post-childhood that don't know better. Yes, that was me too on one end of a weird love triangle back in high school. And that's the tricky line Awkward. has to walk, depicting high-school behavior as is, which is essentially an increasingly growing pile of bad decisions.

But then Jenna made a bold, smart decision, really impressing me. Jenna threw her once private blog out there to the public for all to see, the social media equivalent of Xeroxing your diary and handing copies out at Homecoming, and aired out everyone's dirty laundry. Jenna's, Matty's, Jake's, even her mom's. And while I don't think that was her intention (she only wanted Jake to see her timeline, I think?), it's like pushing your self-destruct button hoping the scraps can be used to build something better or scorching the Earth to give new saplings a chance. The Band-Aid has been ripped off and a lot of skin came off with it, but at least we can finally see what was under there and no one can hide behind lies, secrets, and shame. It seems like social suicide, but it's going to prove to be the move that sets her free.

What I love about this move is that it splits the entire threesome up. Jake is mad at Jenna and Matty. Matty is now mad at Jenna, and given his fight with Jake, probably not to keen on Jake, either. And there's Jenna in the middle, both of her options for happiness completely irate with her. This could have easily been written as a way for Jenna to fall back into Matty's arms, but instead, Jenna inched back towards redemption and we get to watch her try and repair all the relationships she had a part in destroying. That's much more interesting than seeing her crawl back to Matty with her tail between her legs.



NOTES

– Again, sorry for the inconsistent coverage of Awkward., but I swear I have a good reason! I'll only say that involves something similar that happened in the previous two episodes.

– I still love Valerie, but Awkward. needs to know when to tone her down. Her talk about men fighting over a woman being her fantasy with Jake and Matty in the office after their fight was inappropriate even by her standards. She needs to be pulled back down to Earth a little bit.

– Why does it seem so perfect that Matty can take three punches from Jake, but Jake gets dropped from one from Matty?

– Ming's sidestory with Becca was good, but ill-timed given how deep the shit was with Jenna, Matty, and Jake. Anytime Ming's stuff came up, I was dying to get back to Jenna and company. Still, Ming is awesome, and the smile dance she does with Becca is great.



POP QUIZ!

1. What was the biggest moment for you in "Homewrecker Hamilton"?
... a) Jenna taking her blog public
... b) Jake and Matty's fight
... c) Jenna getting the text pic from Jake
... d) "I f***ed your girlfriend!"

2. Who do you think the anonymous commenter is?
... a) Kevin, Jenna's dad
... b) Clark, the gay kid
... c) Matty, being super sneaky
... d) Other [please say who]

3. What did you think of Sadie telling Matty he was the villain?
... a) Wrong, bitch! YOU are the villain, Sadie! (You're welcome)
... b) She's got a point. This is all Matty's fault.
... c) She's got a partial point. It's really Jenna and Matty's fault, together.
... d) These kids are all screwed up! It's everyone's fault!

4. Have you changed allegiances at all re: Matty and Jake?
... a) I used to be Team Matty, but now I'm kind of Team Jake because he got screwed.
... b) I used to be Team Jake, but now I'm Team Matty because Jake is a puss.
... c) Still Team Matty! Always will be.
... d) Still Team Jake! Always will be.


The correct (a.k.a. my) answers: D, D because I have no idea, C, A



THE JAKE VS. MATTY-o-METER

Well, I'm not sure how much this thing applies anymore given that everyone is blown up. But Jenna's brush-off of Matty after Matty and Jake's talk with Val indicates that she might be blaming Matty for her problems and still wants back with Jake.



Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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I'm just now watching Awkward. for the first time, so obviously I'm way behind. I've heard the later seasons aren't as good as the first two, but I'm still oblivious to this fact, if it is indeed a fact, so I'm enjoying.

1. What was the biggest moment for you in "Homewrecker Hamilton"?
d) "I f***ed your girlfriend!"

2. Who do you think the anonymous commenter is?
d) Other [please say who] My most recent guess was Jenna's mom. We know she likes to butt in on Jenna's shit, and maybe she's wanting to take a kinder direction with it. BUT, I'm now thinking it is someone else, perhaps someone a little smarter and less selfish. And someone at school, since they knew about the "Homewrecker" thing. Hmm, the Jenna Lives guy? Valerie?

3. What did you think of Sadie telling Matty he was the villain?
b) She's got a point. This is all Matty's fault. AND
c) She's got a partial point. It's really Jenna and Matty's fault, together.

As in, I do think it's MORE Matty's fault, since it was more him that didn't want to tell Jake, and Jenna was really upset about the breakup and is perhaps a little less to blame for the kiss. On the other hand, with cheating, I always place the blame on the person in the relationship (Jenna), not the "other man" (Matty). Ok, I know it wasn't cheating, but making out with someone an hour after you break up with someone else? Tacky. Also, super unrealistic, for a girl. I know some guys that like to have sex as soon as possible to cheer up after a breakup, but in my experience we girls are just 100% uninterested in strange dick for at least a month or two (will to cut that down to a week, since these guys are in high school, but. . .)

4. Have you changed allegiances at all re: Matty and Jake?
d) Still Team Jake! Always will be.

Over the course of the show, I might have been able to forgive Matty for being such a jackass to Jenna in the beginning, and being embarrassed to be seen with her, if there were no Jake. But there is Jake, who liked her from the beginning, was never embarrassed of her, and actually has a more believable emotional connection to her. I'm worried that the show has Matty in mind as end game, and I'm not cool with it.


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I am, and will always be, team Jake.



Also, I think the secret commenter might be Alissa. She's trying really hard to be nice to Jenna, so maybe that was her way of reaching out?
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This episode blew my mind and ten even more! The two best episodes of the season!



Qs:

1. A!

2. C, I always had a feeling it was Matty, so I'd say him but with the last episodes my mind got a little bit confused!

3. C, however Sadie is still the bitch an it's her fault for telling at all!

4. No no, C all the way!



I'm really hoping for a coverage of 10 because OMG, can we just talk about it!
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YOU DON'T LIKE EWOKS???!!! =P
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First off, Congratulations Tim! (if you are referring to what I think you are referring to)



1] D, I actually wasn't expecting Matty to be that explicit

2] C, I've always thought the commenter was Matty, but now I'm not so sure.

3] C, While Sadie is a bitch, she is not the bad guy here

4] C, Jake is an oblivious puss.
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d) "I f***ed your girlfriend!"

a) Kevin, Jenna's dad

c) She's got a partial point. It's really Jenna and Matty's fault, together.

a) I used to be Team Matty, but now I'm kind of Team Jake because he got screwed.



Way I see it Matty fries Jenna's brain cells, so a lot of her decisions are made by raging teenage hormones, when Jenna was being Matty's secret booty call I kept hoping she'd have more self esteem and Matty would show some her some respect. For most of last season, she served Matty a lot of pie, just felt like it proved that sex the way Matty managed to avoid a relationship.



When Jake started with Jenna he showed he already valued her after all he liked her so he asked her to the prom i.e. out in public, they communicate, he values her and given time I'd like to think they will have a passion bigger than she had with Matty's. Jake is driven not by the opinion of others, but makes his own choices.



Whilst Matty can knock Jake out with one punch, for me Jake beats Matty hands down where it counts.

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1) D- "I f***ed your girlfriend!"

2) A - Jenna's Dad

3) A - Wrong, bitch! YOU are the villain, Sadie! (You're welcome)

I honestly don't see what anyone did wrong here. Sadie had no right to tell Jake.

4) B - Not that Jake is a puss but Matty seems like a better boyfriend for Jenna. I thought Jake was perfect during season 1 and then I got to know both of them more.
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Best episode of the season!



1-d 2-c 3- b 4- b
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By the way, I love that Jenna Lives got back together! LOL
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Loved Tim's take on things. Most other reviews were, oh Jake is such a wuss, he deserved this, sorry for him, but whatevs, he played and lost. But they're missing the point that Jenna hooking up with Matty right after the break-up was never ABOUT Jake. Jenna took an uppercut to her EGO, and immediately did the easiest thing she could do make herself feel better. Matty, well, what was HIS excuse... availability?



I agree with the Valerie point. Her 'talk' with the boys was cringe-worthy. There's flaky, and there's sleazy. There was a convo in S1 with Jake & Lissa and Val, funny and understated yet very 'Valerie'. This should have been like that. A good opportunity for quality comedy in the midst of the emo-chaos was totally wasted.



My answers:



D: "I f***ed your girlfriend". Yeah, that's right, Matty. All class.

D: Can be anyone, really.

C: It was Matty & Jenna's fault.

D: Still Team Jake, will never be Team Matty
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still don't buy Jake and Jenna as a couple at all. it's like they're cousins making out and that's weird... that's the kind of chemistry they had. Jake totally blew all of this way out of proportion. you dumped her and, sure, she could've waited longer before jumping on top of Matty, but that's not cheating because YOU HAD DUMPED HER, YOU DUMBASS!. and if anything, Jenna cheated on Matty with Jake so whatever. I've been team Matty and I'll stay team Matty.



1. A, It's a bigger deal that she told the world her most personal thoughts like that than Matty making it sound like they had sex while she was dating Jake



2. A has crossed my mind, but I'm going to say D because who knows. I also thought it could be Alissa , Ricky, or and even Sadie as points since the first episode it happened.. people use anonymity to be bitches, so maybe Sadie does the reverse and uses it to be sweet? but that's way too sweet.



3. D, everybody's at fault lol



4. C. Jenna and Matty were the basis of the show from the start, stop throwing in curveballs just to make it dramatic. all shows do that. I think having couples stay together is more dramatic turn of events these days on TV.
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I'm really not sure who's writing on Jenna's blog, and I don't want o think about it. I was actually surprised last season when it was her mom because I almost always suspect every last character so no matter who it turns out to be I'm not surprised. It could be anybody so there's really no sense in guessing at this point. I just hope the reveal is as stunning as last season's.
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2. D, Asian Chick who knows everything
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1. D

2. D - "Jenna Lives" stalker guy maybeh?

3. C

4. C - I dunno why but I'm completely in love with Matty even though most of this drama is his fault.
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a) D

b) C (it's way to obvious...but a girl can dream :X:x)

c) E = it's Jenna's fault...and she is starting to be kind of a skank

d) C (but I'm starting to think he might be too good for Jenna)
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1. None of the above. It was when Sadie shoved some truth down Matty's throat. (He's welcome).

2. I have no idea.

3. c) is the closest. It's Matty and Jenna's fault. But that's not a partial point. It's a HUGE point. Those two can sit around and say "I never meant for this to happen" all day, but they should have known better.

4. Matty I guess. It has never been really believable that she really wants Jake.
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I used to be team Matty but now I am definitely team Jake! I realy HATE it when characters have one little fight/break up in an otherwise good relationship and instead of hanging in there they go off with someone else! I expected more from Jenna.



I ma loving Ming's Asian mafia storylines. I'm glad she is getting more screen time.



I can't help but think that the 'anonymous friend' is Sadie, and that she is just messing with Jenna.

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1. .. d) "I f***ed your girlfriend!

2. ... d) Don't know.

3. ... d) These kids are all screwed up! It's everyone's fault!

4. ... b) I'm in the middle...
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1. .. d) "I f***ed your girlfriend!

2. ... d) Sadie...Spooky.

3. ... c) She's got a partial point. It's really Jenna and Matty's fault, together.

4. ... c) Still Team Matty! Always will be.
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I was wondering that too... why with one punch from Matty, Jake went down. Maybe Matty is used to getting punched? Or maybe Jake punches like a girl...



2) Other - Sadie

3) D. Everyone is to blame!
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1. a) blog -public -yay!,



2.a) Kevin, Jenna's dad



3. c) She's got a partial point. It's really Jenna and Matty's fault, together.



4. d) Jake all the way but he deserves a better girl! so Jake with some nice girl!!! I kinda like Lissa
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I'm for Team Jake Telling Jenna to go Screw Herself. The entire relationship was based on a lie, and half was based on two lies until she finally told him she'd been with someone before. So, thank you, Sadie.



I was happy to see that Ming hadn't been disappeared for good, but I agree it was a weird time to toss her story in. Better than nothing, I guess, and Becca's still awesome. The Asian Bitch description was painfully inaccurate and stereotypical (as they'll walk up and cut a bitch just as quickly as anyone else...in my modest xp), but it was still fun, and it does fit with Becca's character.



Becca's mom still sucks, but she's still hot. And Matty's freshman is pretty cute, but he's all hung up on Jenna. K. I guess I never like main characters on shows, especially when they're usually just whining in first person in their head. Fortunately, the show around her is great, and that'll do.
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Jenna's mom*



Oops. But Becca's mom probably sucks, too...in an evil and awesome way.
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Tim, how we've missed your Awkward recaps! Missed them dearly. That said, I thought about your meter and where you'd place the arrow at. I actually thought you were going to show us an image of a broken meter instead, haha!



THIS EPISODE WAS SOOOOO GOOD! Like I think it's the best of the season? I don't know, I pretty much love every episode Awkward. throws at us, but this episode was REALLY GOOD!



I agree with pcsjunior002 about the Ming side story. I didn't mind it at all. I love Ming, I absolutely love the Asian Mafia, and it brought for an excellent side story. Also I loved the comeback with the White B vs Asian B. Haha, this show! It's genius.



QUIZ ANSWERS:



- A

- D

- D

- E I still can't choose, so BOTH?
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D, D no clue, C and D, C bitch im a loyal shipper. Jake is such a little baby i cant even take him seriously
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Notes:

-I blame you.

-I'm willing to give her the benefit of the doubt as this is as over-the-top as she gets. But that might be because I so love Valerie.

-I actually thought that that entire fight scene was far more accurate and realistic than fight scenes usually are. Good job "Awkward.".

-I didn't mind the Ming stuff in there. I think it did a good job of providing the side-story relief.



Questions:

1) A. B and D were huge moments, but this show lives around Jenna, and it obviously wasn't C.

2) D, Lissa. A would be too obvious after her mom being the one who wrote the letter. B wouldn't be it because Clark wouldn't hide it. C wouldn't be in his psychology. I like D, Lissa for it because I think that's really who she is inside. A good, nice person. Plus, she was scared into a quiet support of Jenna by Sadie.

3) B, because it's closest to the truth in my book. A, sure, she's a witch, but she was only able to be one because of their actions. C is the next closest, but Jenna was only still trying to figure out how to act around her first ex-boyfriend and was being nice for him. D, well, that could be said about just about everyone, couldn't it? B wins because it pretty much was Matty's decision to remain anonymous and be a jerk about that whole thing the entire last season.

4) D! Always was, and it'll be hard to get me to switch. The whole non-public thing with Matty always annoys me.
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D, D (no idea), B, D!
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This was by far, best episode of season 2. I can't wait for season finale.
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A, D -- this may sound crazy, but I was thinking it might be Sadie, C, C
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OMG! That was an awesome episode...probably best of the season. We missed you Tim, you always give good reviews on these shows. The fact that Jenna hopped back in Matty's arms IMMEDIATELY after she broke up with Jake makes question whether or not her feelings for Jake were actually legitimate, or whether he was just a rebound. I figured her feelings for Matty were still there, especially after she said "It still stings a bit" to him. Whenever she's with Matty, she never thinks of Jake like she does vice-versa.



I really felt bad for Jake the whole way through...he finally found out he was the third wheel in the relationship triangle, and really pulled at our heart strings seeing him shut down in front of Jenna and Matty. I was always a Team Jake guy, mainly because I'm always a "root for the underdog" kind of guy. The fact that Matty implied to Sadie that he was trying to sabatoge the relationship with Saide earlier in the season shows his true character. When Jake finally broke down on stage, I was on the edge of my seat. It was truly awesome television. I actually can't wait for the next episode.



I do agree that the Ming story was a little misplaced, this episode really had too much of a serious tone for such a light sub-story (though I did enjoy it). It really should have gone earlier during one of the more "filler" episodes.



I really do think Jenna did the right thing publishing her online journal to the public...it shows she's truly ready to stop with the secrets. The fact that she told her mom about her dad's new "girl" shows that she's truly tired of keeping secrets from everyone. The end where she steps in front of the moving car, really made you jump. What exactly was she trying to do to herself? Anyway, the questions:

1. A, B, C, and D. (Though "I F***ED YOUR GIRLFRIEND" was awesome.)

2. D. I think this show is always known for throwing curve-balls, and I think Lissa, Sadie's friend, has always sort of been on Jenna's side, and I can really picture it being her...kind of her "secret friend."

3. C

4. D

Awesome episode.





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Totally agree except for Point 1... I'll go with D ("I F***ED YOUR GIRLFRIEND") - if you gotta screw your best friend totally, this is how you do it with panache! The Lissa idea is cool too, plausible as well.
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