Faking It Episode 208 Recap: The Flavor Of The Month Is Lezberry Blast

Welcome to the eighth recap of the second season of Faking It, a patriotic musical revue from the same network that brought you Doggy Fizzle Televizzle. This recap would’ve been up earlier, but Comcast decided it would be better for my mental health to take a billion years to upload each photo to this post. It was sort of like I was writing a recap on the wall of my cave in prehistoric times! Shit got real.


We open on — surprise! — the resplendent outdoor grounds of Texas Superstar Hester Blue Oasis Hummus High School, where Karma is sulking until Amy appears like an angel from the sky to inform Karma that she’s not mad at her! This is a relief to Karma, who reveals to Amy that her boyf is also mad at her.

Karma: He feels second place to well.. you.
Amy: Because he is.

So you're getting cheese-curd-esque vaginal discharge and also experiencing redness and burning?

So you’re getting heavy vaginal discharge and also experiencing redness and burning? Hmmm…

Karma’s gotta find a way to show Liam how important he is to her. Unfortunately, she’s not going to make a butter sculpture of Liam and showcase it at the Ohio State Fair, as I would’ve recommended, but rather plans to come out to her parents as straight. But they just got new rainbow tattoos!

Oh my goddess you're right, I must have forgotten to remove my old tampon when I put in my new tampon

Oh my goddess you’re right, I must have forgotten to remove my old tampon when I put in my new tampon

Karma admits she relished her brief moment in the sun as “favorite child,” and also that all she’s come up with for her coming out speech is a big fat lie about being knocked unconscious and turning straight. If only.

Amy: Maybe if they’re high when you tell them? Have you thought about telling the truth.
Karma: You know that’s not how my brain works, but it would make Liam really happy. He’s never told a lie in his life.

Right except for when I asked him if his brain was made out of butterscotch pudding and he was like, “no, I’m totally tapioca all the way.” GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT


Back at Chez Fawcett, Lauren’s trying on dresses for the Miss Teen Cactus Flower pageant, which sounds like a cultish virgin sacrifice ceremony. Dad thinks she looks like “an albino hooker” in the teal and would look better in pink.

Well, the dress does a pretty decent job of covering up the

I don’t know, I was thinking a little more “prom 1989” and a little less “prom 1991”

Meanwhile, Amy’s being surly while doing homework, but she transitions into full-on simmering rage when Farrah gushes over how nice it is to finally have a daughter who wants to be in pageants — especially one who “could actually win.”

What did you just say about Andrea Gibson?

What do you mean you’re not coming on our family outing to the Andrea Gibson reading?

I'm just not big into feelings, okay?

She’s just not my style, too many feelings!

Well look at YOU thinking you can be a lesbian but not be into Andrea Gibson.

Well look at YOU thinking you can be a lesbian but not be into Andrea Gibson.

Oh I'll show you writing bloody

I will write bloody all over your face, woman


Cut to Amy being sad to Reagan, who can’t comprehend Amy’s damage because it’s about a pageant, and she thinks pageants are stupid, so who cares. But it’s not about that, really, it’s just the Maid of Honor thing all over again: Amy’s pissed that her Mom doesn’t think SHE could be the prettiest princess.

Are you sure? I swear I feel a pubic hair between my two front teeth!

Are you sure? I swear I feel a pubic hair between my two front teeth!

Reagan thinks Amy should enter the pageant and then win and then take down the whole pageant industry by calling them out for sexism, because nobody has EVER called out the pageant industry for sexism and it always works. But Amy’s more concerned about The Mom than The Man.


Back at the Super Straight Gym For Straight Fighter Boys, Shane and Duke are getting it on when Duke’s dad busts in and says Duke’s gotta keep it in his pants to focus on THE BIG FIGHT.

Okay, so if I get the Olivia low-rise jegging and you get the Morgan skinny boot in River Blue, do you wanna just split the cost of the drop-shoulder dream tee in Hibiscus?

Okay, so if I get the Olivia low-rise jegging and you get the Morgan skinny boot in River Blue, do you wanna just split the cost of the drop-shoulder dream tee in Hibiscus?

So, Duke’s Dad knows that Duke is gay! That’s something! He even calls Shane “that Shane you keep talking about”… and then reminds Duke that Shane’s gotta sign that Non-Disclosure Agreement.

Okay when I said I wanted our relationship to have more of an Anastasia Steele/Christian Grey dynamic, I was not referring to wanting more paperwork

Okay when I said I wanted our relationship to have more of an Anastasia Steele/Christian Grey dynamic, I was not referring to wanting more paperwork


Cut to Toddlers and Tiaraville, where Farrah and Lauren and Bruce are surprised to see Amy stroll in with her Number Two, Reagan, and declare that she’s entering a beauty pageant.

Pretend like I just said something really funny

Everybody pretend like I just said something funny

Farrah’s not sure who this hot tamale is on Amy’s arm because apparently Reagan only enters through the backdoor if you know what I mean. Amy introduces Reagan as her “coach,” which prompts Farrah to die inside a little and become a tiny nervous bird.

Farrah: Why are you doing this?
Amy: For World Peace?
Farrah: Right. Not to embarrass me by flaunting your purple-haired friend in everybody’s face? You know I have a reputation to uphold.
Amy: Don’t worry mother, I’m not here to embarrass you, I’m here to win.

...and I;m here for the open bar.

…and I’m here for the open bar.

But is she here to make friends? I’d like to know if she’s here to make friends!


Starsweep to Karma’s Family Home, where Liam’s not sure why Karma’s so nervous about coming out, considering that her family’s super-nurturing, loves kale, and doesn’t want to install computer chips in the hearts and souls of innocent tablet-wielding schoolchildren. Speak of the angels, Molly and Lucas show up and are delighted to see Liam! They love Liam because of that time he dressed up as a plant.

Please, just read at least the first Harry Potter book, okay? For me?

Please, just read at least the first Harry Potter book, okay? For me?

But before Karma can tell them why he’s here, guess who else is here?

IT’S KARMA’S BROTHER ZEN BACK FROM SAVING CHILDREN IN AFRICA!

Ugh Mom stop sticking your finger in my ear every time you see me!

Dad’s sticking two wet fingers in my ear please help

Zen: Is that my little sis? Hester High’s first lesbian homecoming queen? I am so proud.

Liam knows, immediately, that this is gonna be yet another roadblock to Karma telling the truth. I’m getting second-hand reverse anxiety thinking of how frustrating it is to be somebody’s secret and how your heart dies every time a new obstacle to honesty strolls through the door, giving the secret-keeper yet another excuse to delay your happiness. FOILED AGAIN!


Backstage at Cactus Flower Pageant-Off, Reagan’s gone full Subversive Stage Mom. Reagan thinks Amy did great at swimsuit and shouldn’t sweat her low talent score for ambitious lesbian yo-yo’ing AND that she looks super-hot “all dolled up.” Thus Reagan dips in for the makeout, but Amy deflects on account of not wanting to fuck up her lipstick.

Nope nope not right after you ate all those funyuns

Nope nope not right after you ate all those funyuns

Amy watches — with envy? disgust? — as Bruce coaches Lauren. Amy makes a snide remark about Bruce’s stage Daddyness but Lauren says he’s just helping her do a thing that’s important to her. Amy doesn’t buy it:

Amy: I am doing this because I have something to prove, and I can tell you do too. But are you trying to prove it to yourself… or to him?
Lauren: Trying to get in my head? Maybe you’re cut out for pageants after all.

Lauren Cooper’s up first in her strange Barbie Christmas Edition evening wear situation and promptly trips all over herself, it’s just like Top Model!

And now I will do an interpretive dance based on my impression of drunk A-Campers at the last night dance

And now I will do an interpretive dance representing drunk A-Campers at the last night dance

Then it’s Amy’s turn, and obviously Farrah is super nervous but she need not be because Amy is beautiful and perfect and nails it. The judges love her! Farrah’s suddenly proud, nudging others in the audience about how that’s her daughter up there!

Oh my lord this thong is literally ripping my asshole skin to shreds

Oh my lord this thong is literally ripping my asshole skin to shreds

This is gonna be an episode about people saying they’re gonna do one thing but then doing something else because of their moms.

Veneers: the gift that keeps on giving

And my sash still smells like Plumeria!


Back at the Sanctuary of Karmazen, Zen’s discussing everything he endured in Africa and how he wants to start an orphanage like Oprah! Karma is super-bored and over it and Liam is totally into it.

Then the orphans broke into a rousing rendition of Michael Jackson's "Heal the World" and I could feel the power of his departed spirit in our hands and hearts

Then the orphans broke into a rousing rendition of Michael Jackson’s “Heal the World” and I could feel the power of his departed spirit in our hands and hearts

Zen: What about you, Liam, what journey led you to our family table?

Liam smiles and says he’s sure that Karma would love to share that story with the whole team… at which point Karma begins telling a story about being knocked unconscious in gym class, and waking up to find Liam had become her study buddy. NOPE.

Karma was not satisfied by her parents assurance that she could watch Scandal on Hulu tomorrow. She wanted to watch Scandal on Hulu NOW, with the rest of the world.

Karma was not satisfied by her parents assurance that she could watch Scandal on Hulu tomorrow. She wanted to watch Scandal on TELEVISION, now, with the rest of the world.


Back at Muscle Man Meathouse, Shane’s reluctantly signing the Non-Disclosure agreement while wondering if this is how Katie Holmes felt. Then Dad pops in to say he found Duke his first sponsor, Cluck-and-Go! Obviously this is basically Chick-Fil-A.

Shane: Are you sure about this? I mean Cluck-and-Go is a super conservative Christian company. They practically grill their chicken over hellfire.
Duke: They’re also my best shot at going pro, and they taste delicious.

WERE GOING TO SIX FLAGS? NOW? RIGHT NOW DAD? CAN WE BRING A FRIEND?

WERE GOING TO SIX FLAGS!!!?? NOW??!! OMG!!!


Liam’s livid that Karma managed to once again not reveal her straightness, and wants to know if she REALLY wants to be with him, since there’s always SOMETHING in the way of her being honest about it.

Why did you spend the entire day reading Karmy fan fic if you really intended to come clean with your parents tonight?

Why did you spend the entire day reading Karmy fan fic if you really intended to come clean with your parents tonight?

Molly needs help with wheat germ, so Liam comes to her aid and Zen emerges from behind the candleabra!

Zen: Wow, what a bind. Tell our parents you’re a fake lesbian or lose your boyfriend. Mom and Dad are gonna be so disappointed to learn that Lezbeerry Blast was just a flavor of the month.

This is a still from Zen and Karmas cover of "Total Eclipse of the Heart"

This is a still from Zen and Karma’s cover of “Total Eclipse of the Heart”


We snap drop and roll over to the beauty pageant, where Amy’s made it to the next round! Her esteemed pageant coach runs over their politically progressive plan one more time — Amy starts her speech, Reagan begins magically projecting images of emaciated models onto some kind of screen that will also be summoned from a magic lamp, and then —

Reagan: Then you’ll say “as an out and proud lesbian,” you could “care less what men think.”
Amy: Uh, we did not talk about that last part?
Reagan: I know! I just added it! Genius, right?

and then we have oral sex, right?

and then we have oral sex, right?

Reagan dashes out to cue up the slideshow on her laptop, leaving Amy and her hair to think about her life and her choices. But before she can think too hard, Farrah shows up. She’s suddenly smitten with her uber-femme daughter!

Farrah: Honey, when you entered I thought you were doing it just to mock me, like you usually do — but I was wrong. I’m sorry I misjudged you. You know, when I found out I was having a little girl I was so excited, I couldn’t wait to dress you in pink and go shopping and share clothes, but you were never that girl, and I had a hard time letting that go. I’ve wanted to connect with you for so long! Seeing you up on that stage, it means the world to me. Thank you. And your girlfriend Reagan seems like a lovely young woman. You should invite her over some time for dinner so we can get to know her better.

Welp, game over. Amy’s still a daughter who wants her mother to love her and be proud of her — and how can she screw up something so important to her Mom when Mom just invited her purple-haired girlfriend over for dinner?

Now I know its not "cool" for you hippie lesbians but I really love the way you look in a bra!

And now I know its not “cool” for you hippie lesbians but I really love the way you look in a bra!

Meanwhile, Dad’s prepping Lauren for her big moment by running over important info for the GRE round, like how every foreign policy decision could be solved with drones. He’s clearly still stressed out about the mishap with the shoes on the stage, but Lauren’s had it — and is finally coming to terms with what’s been behind his enthusiasm overall.

Lauren: Why is it so important to you that I win this stupid pageant?
Bruce: What? Because it’s important to you.
Lauren: Only because you’ve been signing me up for pageants since I was five. The same year that you found out I was intersex.
Bruce: Hush, let’s not talk about that here.

caption

I can’t believe that bitch stole my granola bar

Lauren now believes that what she thought was her father’s pride was really her father’s shame. There’s so much going on with gender norms and parents this episode!


Snap to Zen marveling at the feast before him which he says could feed his whole village! Molly says adding baked goods has really changed their fortunes at the juice truck and also she wishes Zen could’ve been there to see Karma and Amy crowned homecoming queens. Zen, suggestively holding his wine glass, leans over to Liam and Karma and asks where Amy is this fine evening.

Karma: Uh, well you see, it’s a good story.
Liam: …and hopefully accurate.

stop kicking me Liam GOD

stop kicking me Liam GOD

Awkward pause. Karma puts down her fork, sighs, and comes out with it:

Karma: I’m straight and Liam is my boyfriend.

Liam is thrilled. The parents are pissed. Molly presses her hands together and summons Gaia.

No sir you will drink boxed wine and you will like it

Well I’m sorry but I consider not voting in the midterm elections to be unconscionable and no I can’t let it go

But Molly and Lucas are too full of love to let this admission of disloyalty darken their inner light:

Karma: Because you’ve never been as proud of me as you were the day I came out and I liked how it felt for you to be proud of me.
Molly: Lucas, what have we done?
Lucas: We’ve dimmed her inner flame. Come here honey, family cuddle.

What if every time you told your parents that you told a massive lie because you wanted them to like you more they were like, “okay you’re right, how can we be better parents to you?” These parents are magical, like Bruce and Phyllis. Karma goes in for the family hug and Liam looks with pride.

Why YES that is a beautiful light fixture!

Why YES that is a beautiful light fixture!

Zen gets jealous real quick that Karma’s getting a Big Family Hug Cuddle Group Love Time and wants to know why they’re not more furious at Karma for mocking the whole entire gay rights movement!

Hey how about a little love for a lonely metrosexual?

Just because I don’t get my period doesn’t mean I don’t need a hug once a month, too

Itchy all over from his resentment of her time to shine, Zen laps forth from his chair and confesses that he dropped out of the Peace Corps to be an assistant manager at Suburban Suppliers.

Zen: I just couldn’t handle living with near-constant diarrhea and no AC!

Molly and Lucas have a little more love to give and pull Zen in. Alas. I mean it’s not every day somebody quits the Peace Corps due to temperature complaints!

caption

Who’s the man?

FI20800230

You’re The Man.


Cut to Superman Hee-haw Gym, where Duke’s once again shirtless and is biting into a chicken sandwich that an MMA fighter would never actually consume in real life. Shane can’t take it!

Shane: Cluck-and-Go is a horrible corporation that has fired gay employees and given million of dollars to anti-gay causes!
Mr. Duke: They also give money to MMA fighters. So less talking, more eating!
Shane: Look if you wanna be a role model, I get it, but it’s a whole ‘nother level to be the spokesman of a company that’s actively fighting against us!

I mean come on that huge gold plate hes wearing

I mean come on that huge gold plate he’s wearing is SO ’90s, can’t we get a stylist in here?

It’s a face-off — Shane wants Duke to put down the sandwich and walk away from this campaign. Dad wants Duke to eat the sandwich. Shane tells Duke he cannot eat his “homophobic sandwich.” Dad wants Duke to eat the sandwich. I want everybody to start signing and dancing, like on Glee. I love music!

Duke eats the sandwich.

Mmmmm tastes like homeless queer youth

Mmmmm tastes like oppression


Starsweep to the Cactus Queen Empire Glitter Contest, where a contestant is excreting word salad like Miss Teen South Carolina 2007. Then Amy’s up and she gets asked to comment on the detractors who say pageants are fucked up, which is convenient! Reagan lowers the slide-show screen and gives Amy a thumbs up. Amy’s nervous. Farrah is wearing a lot of blush.

caption

That’s a tough one. I’d have to say April 25th. Because it’s not too hot, not too cold, all you need is a light jacket.

Amy finally teeters to the microphone and begins saying that she can see both sides — much to Reagan’s despair — when Lauren rips the mike out of Amy’s hand.

Imma let you finish but LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE HAD THE BEST BEAUTY PAGEANT SCENE OF ALL TIME

Imma let you finish but LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE HAD THE BEST BEAUTY PAGEANT SCENE OF ALL TIME

Lauren: I’d say the detractors are right. Who wears stilletos with a bathing suit? Who tapes underwear to their butt? Is this what ‘real girls’ do? And is this how we should be judged? By how pretty or girly we are? Well I’ve been judged enough, and I’m done.

Lauren ends this triumphant speech by yanking the falsies out of her top and thrusting them into the hungry audience.

golaurengo

(gif by Intern Raquel)


Back in Lauren’s Lair, she’s packing up her pageant stuff to donate to a homeless poodle as Theo looks on, entertained, saying he never pegged her for a pageant girl.

Okay, this is all of it then: two harnesses, one glass dildo, one pocket rocket, a we-vibe, two butt plugs, a flogger, a paddle and a really nice pair of nipple clamps. Goodbye forever, Tommy.

Okay, this is all of it then: two harnesses, one glass dildo, one pocket rocket, a we-vibe, two butt plugs, a flogger, a paddle and a really nice pair of nipple clamps. Goodbye forever, Tommy.

Lauren points out that there’s LOTS about her that he maybe doesn’t know, and if they’re gonna have a real relationship she’s gotta come clean. She goes, “see, I’m not your average girl..” …and then it cuts! I WAS ALREDY WETTING MY EYES IN ANTICIPATION WHAT IS THIS MADNESS


Meanwhile in Amy’s room, Reagan’s pissed that Amy missed her opportunity to expose the patriarchy. Standard lesbian quarrel. Amy says she couldn’t let her Mom down, but Reagan’s convinced it was the “out lesbian” part that made Amy uneasy. But Amy’s onto her — there’s something else going on, yeah? There is. Reagan admits that her ex-girlfriend left her for her ex-boyfriend. DAMN GIRL. I think Reagan’s ex is Jessie J.

And she

And that’s why I slept with a staff member at A-Camp.

Amy tells Reagan “I’m not your ex.” Oh, this conversation! So real. So familiar.

“She told me I was a phase,” Reagan says. “I can’t go through that again.”

“You’re not a phase to me,” Amy says. AND SEALS IT WITH A KISS.

wheeeeee

wheeeeee

So they talk with their lips and mouths and tongues for a little bit, and then Reagan goes “are you ready?” and Amy nods. I think she means ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL, but maybe she means sex or “to watch the next episode of Salem.” Unfortunately we’re left to wonder as we cut to…


Liam and Karma collapsing into Karma’s bed. He’s so proud of her for being honest with her parents! She says he was right about lying being the worst, and not only is Liam “insanely hot” but he makes her a better person!

Durrrrrrrrrrrrr

Durrrrrrrrrrrrr

Suddenly Liam remembers that he had sex with Amy, and pulls away and says he’s gotta confess something, as Karma has just deemed him Captain Truthiness.

Liam: The night we broke up, I slept with somebody. It didn’t mean anything obviously, I was hurt and upset and angry.
Karma: Well this isn’t fun to hear, but we weren’t together when you did it so I can’t exactly hold it against you. I mean it’s not like it was with someone I know?

uhhhhhh

uhhhhhh

erm?

erm?

Karma: It’s not like it was with Amy?

Okay, it really blows when you’re trying to reveal a really selective truth and the person you’re talking to asks the one direct question that you cannot possibly evade because you can’t lie to this person and now they will know what you have known all along which is that you are THE WORST. Being the worst is the worst. But also it’s that way for a reason, we all must repent for our sins, obvs.

I don't know how to be in a relationship with somebody who doesn't understand why Grey Gardens is such a good movie

I don’t know how to be in a relationship with somebody who doesn’t like “Grey Gardens”

We then experience a longer, more awkward pause, as Karma’s entire worldview starts dissolving, and the edges of her heart implode and crumple up into a tiny sad things. She shoves Liam’s hands away from her hands. Liam’s face hurts. Karma says GET OUT. Liam says, “wait.” Karma says GET OUT.

I can't stand being in this house. In the first place, it makes me terribly nervous. I'm scared to death of doors, locks, people roaming around in the background, under the trees, in the bushes, I'm absolutely terrified.

I can’t stand being in this house. In the first place, it makes me terribly nervous. I’m scared to death of doors, locks, people roaming around in the background, under the trees, in the bushes, I’m absolutely terrified.

He does.


Then we cut to Amy and Reagan hooking up with their bras on!

C'mon just let me stick the tip of my tongue into your ear I promise you'll like it

C’mon just let me stick the tip of my tongue into your ear I promise you’ll like it

But Amy’s phone is buzzing on her nightstand with an important text from Liam…

what you did last summer!

what you did last summer!

Well, that’s the episode!


Next week on Faking It, Karma is really fucking pissed!

http://youtu.be/PQsQ3dUzZ9w

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Riese

Riese is the 39-year-old Co-Founder and CEO of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, blogger, fictionist, copywriter, video-maker and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and then headed West. Her work has appeared in nine books including "The Bigger the Better The Tighter The Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image & Other Hazards Of Being Female," magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

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37 Comments

  1. I feel like these last episodes have given me so much anxiety because they both seemed like the episode that Reagan gives up in frustration and dumps Amy…and then I can’t talk about how hot she is during commercial breaks anymore.

  2. Theory: Karma just realized she has feelings for Amy, and in the preview where it looks like she’s going to punch Amy she actually kisses her. I’m not rooting for these crazy kids (anymore!), but I do think this mess is going to be what gets between Amy and Reagan (again..) because MTV can’t just let us (or Karmiam or Amygan) live and be happy!

  3. I hate to be the kill joy Reagan, but I don’t think most people actually admit their “phase” until they’re through enjoying it. Just saying…

    I’m loving Shane and Duke. I wonder how far they’ll let Duke push Shane before Shane is done with him or if this episode was it?

    Lauren is slowly growing on me as not the worse person of all time.

    Karma, is well Karma. Of course, she’ll have no room for forgiveness for anyone, despite being the most selfish person on the show.

  4. Parents are humans . They are flawed, imperfect, and insecure about themselves and their offspring. This episode examines how the insecurities and priorities of their parents affect the teenagers of Faking It.

    Lauren, tonight’s MVP, gets the most character development as she realizes that her insecurities about her femininity are passed down from her father who has been signing her up for beauty pageants since he found out she was intersex at age five. Lauren confronts her father and has a beautiful meltdown at the microphone as she takes the pageant industry to task for for being an organization dedicated to judging girls based on how they look in swimsuits and high heels. She is done being a “prancing show pony”, and angrily tosses her falsies at the judges. Lauren, my love for you is an eternal flame, even if your reply to foreign policy questions is “Drones, drones, the answer is always drones, I’m not a fucking idiot!”. Lauren decides to take another step to self acceptance, as she packs her pageant gear away starts to tell Theo she is intersex. We don’t get to see his response, but I can only hope it is positive.

    Lauren is my favorite current depiction of a “bitch” on television. In high school television shows/movies there are generally two types of “bitchy” female characters. The hyper intelligent, snarky loser who reveals her secret soft side to her newly discovered boyfriend, e.g. Kate from 10 Things I hate About You, and the popular mean girl who lives only to rule the school’s social scene and bully the poor every woman main character who is secretly in love with her boyfriend, e.g. the villain of every teenage movie, ever. Lauren is both and neither of those things. She is very intelligent, her desire for conquest is not limited to a mere high school cafeteria but is instead aimed at the United States government, getting a boyfriend has only given her a constant, appreciative audience for her barbs, and she prefers to expend her energy on looking like a flawless leader of the Young Republican’s club rather than waste it on something as trivial as empathy or seeming like a nice person. I think the thing I appreciate most about Lauren, is that she’s real. I know girls like Lauren, some of my best friends are girls like Lauren. Girls who are too busy running student counsel, pulling straight A’s, and dating whomever they desire to have any sympathy toward their acquaintance’s general incompetence. After all, you don’t pull a flawless American Carnival together in two days unless you are ready to steamroll a few people. I think it’s fascinating that Lauren’s insecurities about being intersex resulted in her developing a hyper feminine appearance, but didn’t make her develop a more stereotypically feminine personality, instead she’s a confident, aggressive, articulate sixteen year old who hides any self doubt under perfectly applied concealer and a driving need to win.

    Karma, whose dreams do include ruling the school cafeteria, finally tells her parents that she is straight. I’m slightly confused as to why Karma, who openly admits that telling the truth “Isn’t how my brain works” doesn’t just tell her parents she is bisexual and dating a man now. Mostly I’m sad that the count of time’s I’ve heard the word bisexual on television this year is still on one hand, despite the fact that multiple shows I watch have characters who are attracted to both men and women. Karma’s parents realize their aggressive pro acceptance attitude has caused their children to feel like they need to be special little snowflakes to make their parents proud of them. We also learn that much of Karma’s insecurities and constant need for validation and love comes from the fact that her adopted older brother always outshone her, and continues to do so, even in confessions, as he admits that he faked being the peace corps and is actually in middle management in Dallas. Karma’s best work this episode comes when Liam tells her that he slept with someone else, and she realizes it was Amy. Her “Get. Out.” sent chills down my spine. Karma is the character that is the least secure in herself. She has an idea of the person that she wants to be and strives to be the popular, cute girl, sometimes at the cost of her personality. Karma is Lauren’s antithesis, always wanting to be liked and accepted, which makes her moments when her cutesy demeanor is stripped away and she shows raw anger that much more powerful. Oftentimes, the people who don’t get angry easily, are the one’s least able to forgive once that far line is finally crossed.

    Amy’s relationship with both her mother and Reagan deepen this episode, as her mother opens up about how much she wants to connect with Amy, but struggles with finding anything they both care about. She also takes a major leap towards being comfortable with Amy’s sexuality as she tells Amy to bring her new girlfriend over for dinner, despite Amy introducing Reagan as her pageant couch. Amy, for her part, decides to not make a statement about the inherent evils of beauty pageants as planned, but merely says, “I can see both sides,” when asked how she would respond to beauty pageant detractors. Amy, throughout the series, has struggled with the fact she isn’t girly enough for her mother. She lives in the uncomfortable, but common place, where she has no value for the things her mother loves, yes desperately wants her mother to be proud of her. She enters the pageant to prove to her mother that she is capable of being a beauty queen, even if she chooses not to be one, after her mother states that with Lauren she has daughter who can finally win. By the end of the episode, it becomes a little clearer that Farrah says these things because she is insecure in the fact she has nothing in common with her daughter, and the fact that Amy always mocks the things that Farrah feels define her, after all, pageant competitions paid for her education.
    Reagan is insecure about the fact that Amy hasn’t explicitly said that she is a lesbian, and is worried that Amy will leave her for a man, and call her “ a phase” as a former girlfriend did. Amy assures her that this isn’t a phase and she is genuinely into her, romantically and sexually. They then decide to take their relationship to the next level. I’m curious to see if the fact that Amy is attracted to men becomes a sticking point between her and Reagan, because it appears Amy has not mentioned that little factoid. This is also the second time this episode where people discuss being attracted to both genders without using the word bisexual.

    We also meet Duke’s father who is perfectly aware of Duke’s homosexuality, but is only concerned that any and all of his boyfriends sign the non-disclosure agreement. Duke also gets his first sponsor, the in-universe version of Chick-fil-A, who contribute significant amounts of money to hinder gay rights and are famous for firing gay employees. Shane attempts to get Duke to stop, arguing that while Duke doesn’t have to be a role model, he shouldn’t be the face for a company that actively works against them. Duke’s father points out that they need the sponsorship money. Duke does the photoshoot, and Shane storms away.

    This episode, while less laugh out loud funny, continues the high quality of last week. For better or for worse, who we are is shaped by our parents, whether by becoming their carbon copies, their exact opposites, or something in between, how we act, how we think, how we value ourselves is often a direct result of how we are raised. The relationship between a child and his/her parents is often the most important relationship people have. This episode delves into how these teenage characters balance making their parents proud of them and being themselves, something many people struggle with well into adulthood. Lauren, Karma, Amy, and Duke are all faced with a choice between being honest or making their parent(s) happy. However, Faking It puts no moral about which is the better choice. Amy chooses to not lambast the pageant, and instead let’s her mother have her moment of pride. Karma tells the truth and her family grows closer. Lauren does a mike drop speech at the pageant and which makes her comfortable with herself. Duke, the show definitely implies he is in the wrong, but Shane is more concerned that Duke and his father are supporting a company that “grills their chicken over hellfire” than he is about Duke staying comfortably half in the closet.

    Episode Grade: A-

    • In their defense, the ex Regan is talking about didn’t identify herself as bisexual; it’s not unusual for teen girls to have experimental sexual relationships with other girls and then decide it was a phase. Many queer girls, bisexuals included, get their hearts broken that way.

  5. @Sophie
    “I’m still trying to work out how that statistic you dropped in an earlier recap, about most queer women on TV being bisexual, works when ALL THESE TV SHOWS ARE ALLERGIC TO THE WORD ‘BISEXUAL’.”

    First of all, that GLAAD report only cared about how the characters have been named as. And even that showed that bisexual female characters who have been called as such are only slightly smaller in numbers than lesbian identified characters.

    Second of all, they counted as lesbians characters that underwent “lesbian having sex with a man and enjoying it” treatment. And it happened a lot in TV shows last year.

  6. I absolutely loved Lauren in this episode! That speech in the Q&A was A+++! And I thought she was going to come out to Theo already, I actually said out loud “come on just say it!” and was disappointed that the scene had to cut.
    And I really like Amy + Reagan together. And Reagan’s hair. Yeah I like Reagan.
    Personally, I think that Karma is just being selfish (especially last episode) and in this episode I felt like she’s doing things to get her parents’ attention. I don’t think she has other feelings for Amy. Sadly, but the Karmy ship isn’t sailing in my ocean.
    Awesome recap as always! :)

  7. I’m just sorry they skipped those first awkward and cute get-to-know-you-dates that Reagan and Amy must’ve had. It’s part of the best parts of it all!

    I mean, this episode ended with them ready to do the nasty! It must’ve been a cute trippy walk towards there :)

    • Ditto. I kind of think Liam and Reagan would good friends too. They seem like bro material.

      I’m a lesbian with a lot of dude friends and I’d really like to see that relationship explored more on TV, especially when the “lesbian” doesn’t have be secretly sexually attracted to her friend or uber butch for it to happen. That ship has sailed for Amy, but it could happen for Reagan.

  8. I’m oddly excited for the next episode? I am all about strong emotions that are atypical for the character expressing them. For all that Karma is, she’s really not an angry person.

    (At least in my opinion she isn’t. Though I really should watch the show instead of just reading these recaps. *sheepish grin*)

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