Awkward., Ep 4.19 & 4.20: “Over The Hump” and “Sprang Break: Part 1” sees the season recover from missteps

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Ashley Rickards

Ashley Rickards

Awkward., Season 4, Episode 19: “Over The Hump”
Written by Allison M. Gibson
Directed by Uta Briesewitz

Awkward., Season 4, Episode 20: “Sprang Break: Part 1”
Written by Mike Chessler and Chris Alberghini
Directed by Peter Lauer
Airs Tuesdays at 10pm EST on MTV

Matty turning 18 opened a major door for the character, in legally allowing him to find his birth parents. While the possibility of meeting them turned him away from Gabby and back in Jenna’s direction, the latter’s growing fondness for the former caused Jenna to put a stop to it. The past two weeks, however, have seen Matty and Jenna both struggle between what should be done and what they’d like to do. This has led to a strong pair of episodes that have allowed for a degree of character growth, pointing towards an intriguing finish for the season.

It’s nice to see Jenna continue down the path of maturity that last week’s episode set her on. Coming to the realization that Matty and Lacey are both reaching out to her is a strong step forward for the character, particularly in light of theself-centred nature she has displayed sporadically throughout the second half of this season. With Jenna’s relationship with her mother now.on the mend, and Matty closing the door on her, it will be interesting to see how she reacts to events going forward. Given her move towards maturity and considering the world outside herself, the final days of high school will prove to be the real test of whether her way of thinking has truly changed or not. Especially with her acceptance into college, Jenna will no longer have any lingering concerns about herself and her future.

Sadie’s arc over the last two episodes is also proving to be an intriguing watch. With high school drawing to a close, fewer people are still intimidated by Sadie, and this is beginning to reflect in the way people are treating her. However, both Jake and Sergio’s words have not been hurtful, and both their pleas to her humanity appear to have had an effect of some sort. Coupled with her unexpected bonding with Tamara, it’s clear now that Sadie is at a crossroads, and what path she chooses promises to be a fascinating watch. With an acceptance to her college of choice, complete with scholarship, now in hand, Sadie has an opportunity to either begin trying to change her attitude, or further entrench herself in old habits. Which option she chooses will be very telling in.what kind of person she really is, and how much she’s willing to change, especially if she fears a repeat of her high school life in university, a place where she really wants to be.

Overall, despite some stumbles, these two episodes are a nice return to form for the series, which seemed to have lost its way earlier in the season. Matty’s search for his father has been a nice return to the issue that has clearly dominated his mind, and iy will be interesting to see how his interactions with Daniel Durand affect him, particularly in how he views his own life. Lissa’s storyline this week also manages to be less baffling, as it removes the religious and faux-incestuous elements. This marks an improvement, as the story of Lissa trying to reconcile her viewpoint with the larger world is much more compelling, and less baffling, than the story of Lissa coming into conflict with a system of religious extremism only she appeared to follow. The Tamara-Jake storyline this week, however, feels like a forced reunion, and it’s good to see the characters quickly realise why they moved on from each other. How the season finale plays out, especially with all concerns about college admissions now complete, promises to be interesting to watch, particularly as the characters realise the oncoming finality.

– Deepayan Sengupta

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