Awkward., Season 4, Episode 02: “Listen to This”
Written by Christy Stratton
Directed by Ashley Rickards
Airs Tuesdays at 10 PM on MTV
With the pressures of senior year beginning to weigh down on many characters in last week’s season premiere, it was only a matter of time before the strain started to manifest itself in the characters’ actions. None of this, of course, accounted for any out-of-school issues that could be equally as difficult to cope with, and could further complicate matters. This week’s episode sees two relationships get pushed to a breaking point as another character tries to cope with a new personal revelation, in an enjoyable outing that points to a potential career path for Jenna.
Jenna’s imposed silence, and how others react to it, is a very revealing aspect of this week’s episode. A lot of people around Jenna are often going through their own issues, issues that Jenna has rarely engaged in. This was particularly evident during her time with Collin last season, when she disengaged from even her close friends. However, her silence following her dental surgery allows many individuals to open up and seek solace with her, and Jenna understanding this will be an important part of facilitating her maturity in her senior year. Despite her quirks, Valerie is someone who fills that role quite well, and whether or not Jenna decides to join her in that capacity, and how Valerie reacts to this, promises to be engaging.
Sadie and Lissa’s issues this week is also fascinating to watch. While the season premiere hinted at a change in the relationship dynamic between the two, their interactions this week firmly prove that Lissa is now in a position of power over Sadie. Sadie’s discomfort with this new paradigm is obvious, yet there are hints of genuine concern about her friendship with Lissa in her actions. It will be interesting to see, going forward, how Sadie adapts to her new position in relation to Lissa. With the public reveal of her job this week, the only place Sadie can hope to achieve any power is by becoming Cheer Captain, a position Lissa is unwilling to give up. Whether Sadie decides her pursuit for power or her friendship with Lissa is more important will say a lot about Sadie and her maturity during senior year.
Overall, this is a fun episode that does a good job in highlighting the emotional obstacles that stand in the way of the characters in their senior year. It will be interesting to see how Tamara handles her breakup with Jake. In many ways, it was clear that the former was staying in the relationship less out of passion than to check off another item on her list. However, this breakup is likely to throw off much of Tamara’s senior year plans, and how she adjusts to this change is likely to have an effect on the character. The reveal of Matty’s adoption is also bound to have ramifications for both him and how he relates to people, and how this news affects his relationships will be worth keeping an eye on as the season continues.
– Deepayan Sengupta