Awkward., Season 4, Episode 14: “Welcome to Hell”
Written by Ryan O’Connell
Directed by Chris Alberghini
Airs Tuesdays at 10pm EST on MTV
With college admissions coming to a head in the midseason premiere, acceptances and rejections were not too far behind. With Jenna’s panic over her standing kicking off the season, where she ended up was a particularly interesting idea going into this week’s episode, especially as it woud determine the show’s future as well. The show thus makes a bold move in this week’s episode with regards to admissions, promising a potential shakeup for the show while delving into tricky storylines elsewhere.
Jenna’s rejection from SCU is a promising idea, especially since it opens up the potential for a shakeup at the end of the season. While Jenna had the potential of old and new friends at college, the rejection forces her out of her comfort zone, one way or another, particularly coupled with Tamara’s acceptance. With Luke also being at SCU, this opens up two real possibilities for what Jenna can do after high school. Either she chooses not to pursue a post-secondary education, or she goes to a school further away, both of which are bound to have a fundamental impact on the character. It will also be interesting to see how Jenna feels about high school in the wake of this rejection. The potential for alienation from her peers, along with her growing affection for Owen, may mean Jenna will grow fonder of high school as her time at it comes to an end, which is likely to impact her future as well.
It’s nice to see Matty fully recovered from both the news of his adoption, and from his time with Eva, though the resolution of both stories, combined with the lack of his post-secondary plans or concern for them, continues to make his character’s direction somewhat aimless. Hopefully he gets a storyline of his own soon, rather than being a secondary player in others’ plots. The Lissa-Tyler storyline continues to be an odd one, especially due to the silence of both Tyler and Sadie. Jake’s budding relationship with Natalie is also a curious storyline. Much of Jake’s storylines this season have revolved around Tamara, with his cluelessness about Matty’s problems being a particularly odd writing choice. Thus, it’s good to see Jake get his own storyline. However, the plot itself is a tricky one, and one the writers will have to handle deftly if they don’t want it to go in the wrong direction. The age gap is already a potentially thorny issue, and hopefully the writers had something in mind before they decided to tackle this particular storyline, especially with relation to Jake. What they decide to do with it, as well as how Jenna deals with the rejection in the long term, will be worth watching for as the season continues.
– Deepayan Sengupta