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Awkward., Ep 3.13: “Taking Sides” explores the aftermath of a breakup

Awkward., Ep 3.13: “Taking Sides” explores the aftermath of a breakup
Beau Mirchoff, Ashley Rickards

Beau Mirchoff, Ashley Rickards

Awkward., Season 3, Episode 13: “Taking Sides”
Written by Erin Ehrlich and Michael J. Cinquemani
Directed by Steve Gainer
Airs Tuesdays at 10:30 PM on MTV

While a breakup is undoubtedly difficult on the couple experiencing it, it can often also leave friends of the former couple in a lurch. Mutual friends often try to reconcile their personal relationships with the two individuals in a way that leaves everyone happy. With Matty and Jenna’s relationship existing in the cocoon of high school, this is even more apparent, and this week’s episode examines how their mutual friends cope and adjust to the change in their lives, in another solid episode that once again lets several characters share the spotlight.

The various reactions this episode, both to the new relationship between Jenna and Collin, and to the perceived brushing off that Jenna shows, put a strong focus on the characters and their viewpoints. It’s perfectly understandable that many of Jenna’s friends feel at odds with her new relationship; after all, Jenna’s pursuit of Matty, and Matty’s subsequent pursuit of Jenna, has been the basis for much of the show, and compared to their courtship, their breakup last week appeared much more abrupt, particularly to those who were unaware of her growing attraction to Collin. In light of these circumstances, having Jenna’s friends require some time to adjust to the situation makes sense.

Jessica Lu, Jillian Rose Reed

Jessica Lu, Jillian Rose Reed

However, Jenna’s reactions to the perceived sudden desertion, while arguably harsh, is also understandable. Jenna herself took a risk when she decided to choose Collin over Matty, and while she expected her friends to require some coaxing, the push-back she appears to receive goes far beyond any expectations. However, putting her foot down works as an interesting insight into how the new Jenna deals with conflicts, and the explorations of her motivations promises to be fascinating. While Jenna claims this is a part of growing up, there’s a strong possibility that her relationship with Collin has her feeling somewhat insecure, of which this is a manifestation, and if this is the case, what is the cause of her insecurity will be worth exploring.

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Overall, however, this is another strong episode that progresses the story with unexpected speed. Matty’s friendship with Sadie was a highlight during the first half of the season, and to see the two of them support each other through difficult times this week does not disappoint. The hints Jake drops about lingering unresolved emotions about how he was treated by Jenna is also interesting, as it was never given a lot of time until now, due to the short wait it took for Jake to find Tamara after being rejected by Jenna. It’s also good to see Fred continue to integrate himself with the group, and how Matty’s new budding relationship affects Jenna going forward, as well as what the fallout is from Jenna’s mass deletions this week, are both worth tuning in for.

– Deepayan Sengupta