Awkward., Ep 4.08: “Prison Breaks” gives numerous characters new revelations

Matty's night in jail results in a new perspective on his adoption, while Jenna sees the darker side of college life and Tamara has a sexual awakening in an enjoyable outing.
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Jillian Rose Reed, Jeanine Mason

Jillian Rose Reed, Jeanine Mason

Awkward., Season 4, Episode 8: “Prison Breaks”
Written by Todd Waldman
Directed by Ryan Shiraki
Airs Tuesdays at 10pm EST on MTV

Over the past few weeks, a new relationship combined with continuing senior year woes have left Jenna eager to leave high school behind and go to college. This desire was further elevated last week as Jenna had a less-than-pleasant time with Matty and the rest of the group. This week’s episode sees Jenna get a glimpse of the unglamorous side of college, in a fun outing that potentially starts Matty down a new path.

Matty’s journey towards coping with his adoption continues to be a fascinating aspect of the season. To date, the only people he has been open and honest with about his adoption have been Jenna and Sadie, both of whom have been more concerned with being a friend. Opening up to his cellmate, however, gives Matty a perspective he previously hadn’t considered. Most of Matty’s pain to date has revolved around the fact that this news was kept secret from him. This revelation has the potential of sending Matty down a new path, one that sees him trying to hunt down his birth parents. It will be intriguing to see how this potential new leaf affects Matty and his relationships with others. It’s possible Matty’s parents may disapprove of this avenue, leading to further anger, and it’s also possible that this goal may dissipate his anger. Which way his character turns is likely to be compelling.

It’s also intriguing to see Jenna get her first look behind the curtain of college life. Jenna’s view of college to date, from the overnight stay to her time with Luke, has been somewhat rosy, leading to a level of eagerness to get out of high school. This week’s events, however, give Jenna a glimpse at the stress that comes with exams, and the associated pressures individuals such as Luke face. While Jenna is able to overcome the hurdle for now, it will be worth keeping an eye on her to see how her outlook towards college changes as she sees more of the true experience. Since Jenna’s high school experience has not been much fun for her, it would take a lot for college to seem like a worse option, and whether or not she reaches that point, and what tips the scales if she does, will be worth keeping an eye on.

Overall, this is an enjoyable episode. Tamara’s budding bisexuality is an intriguing turn for the character, and it will be worth keeping an eye on the show to see what they do with this development. While it could be eventually played off by Tamara as a moment of weakness caused by pining over Jake, the fact that Tamara had an orgasm indicates that this will not be brushed under the rug, which is encouraging. It’s nice to see Sadie track down Matty in jail, in an understated touch that adds to their friendship. With Eva and Sadie no longer disguising their contempt for each other, and Jenna officially stepping out of Matty’s life, it will be worth keeping an eye to see if Sadie steps in to try and influence Matty against Eva, and how Matty reacts to this. In addition, how Matty’s relationship with Eva is affected by his search for his birth parents will be worth watching for as the season continues.

– Deepayan Sengupta

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