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.
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!
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!
This is gonna be an episode about people saying they’re gonna do one thing but then doing something else because of their moms.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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?
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.
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.
Then we cut to Amy and Reagan hooking up with their bras on!
But Amy’s phone is buzzing on her nightstand with an important text from Liam…
Well, that’s the episode!
Next week on Faking It, Karma is really fucking pissed!