Awkward., Season 3, Episode 18: “Old Jenna”
Written by Jamie Dooner and Lauren Iungerich
Directed by David Katzenberg
Airs Tuesdays at 10:30 PM on MTV
While the end of last week’s Awkward. saw Jenna finally begin to offer verbal apologies for her actions, there is still clearly a long way to go before she is back to the position she was prior to her affair with Collin. While her friendships have the possibility of repair, however, it is Valerie’s suspension that is perhaps the most severe side effect of Jenna’s actions. This week adds another layer to the story as Jenna shakily continues down the path of reconciliation, in a solid episode that wisely avoids the easy way out.
Jenna’s friendship with Bailey is a promising development. Despite her verbal apologies for her actions during her dalliance with Collin, there are still two factors at play. One, whether or not Jenna herself has fully recovered from her time with Collin, and two, whether or not her friends will truly be able to forgive her, or pine for the Jenna of old. As a new student and a new friend, however, Bailey comes free from any prior knowledge of what Jenna was like before or during Collin, which makes her the best barometer to assess what Jenna is really like now. It will be interesting to see, with Valerie’s departure, how the friendship between the two develops, especially if Jenna continues to be on probation with her old friends.
Overall, this is another strong episode. Jenna’s relapse, and the probationary status she is on with Tamara and Ming, is an organic development, as the consequences of her actions continue to haunt her. Valerie’s firing, while abrupt, is also somewhat expected, and it will be intriguing to see how she remains in the lives of the Hamilton family, especially since Jenna is also eager to keep in touch with her. It will also be worth watching to see how Lacey reacts to Valerie’s firing, as the two are still friends, and especially how Lacey handle the news that Jenna’s essay led to Valerie’s dismissal. The loss of Valerie also opens up the possibility that either Lacey or Jenna will take up her mantle, and how they handle the role, if either of them take on the responsibility of replacing Valerie, will be fascinating to see. How Jake and Tamara’s relationship continues to develop, as well as how Jenna’s attempts to get back her old life progress, are stories worth keeping an eye on as the season continues.
– Deepayan Sengupta