Awkward., Ep 4.09: “My Personal Statement” focuses on the Jenna-Tamara relationship

Ashley Rickards, Jillian Rose Reed

Ashley Rickards, Jillian Rose Reed

Awkward., Season 4, Episode 9: “My Personal Statement”
Written by Allison M. Gibson
Directed by Peter Lauer
Airs Tuesdays at 10pm EST on MTV

While the beginning of senior year led to the departure of Ming, it also coincided with the arrival of Eva, a new senior whom Jenna soon befriended, with Eva sticking up for Jenna against the sophomores, and Jenna in turn setting Eva up with her ex. However, the last few weeks have indicated that there’s more to Eva than meets the eye, and it’s this facet of hers that comes to the fore this week, in an enjoyable episode that puts the focus on Jenna and Tamara’s friendship.

Jenna discovering Eva’s antagonism and deception is an intriguing turn of events. Much of the interactions between the two to date have been on friendly terms, which is part of the reason Jenna was comfortable with setting Matty up with Eva. However, the reveal of Eva’s new side now puts Jenna at a crossroads. On one hand, ever since her college visit, Jenna has expressed an interest in leaving high school behind and embarking on a new chapter of her life, an enthusiasm that comes up again with regards to college applications this week as well. However, while Jenna may not be concerned with Eva’s deceptiveness, she will have to decide whether she wants to interfere in Matty’s life to bring awareness to him on this issue. Which path Jenna chooses will say a lot about how mature she truly has become in her senior year.

It’s also good to see Jenna and Tamara spend some time together. Over the course of the season, the two friends have been slowly but steadily drifting apart due to circumstances, with the college stay providing the sharpest notice of that to date. However, the duo have also been friends for a long time, and the idea that they would let their friendship go so easily also seemed out of character for both. With the two avoiding the question of what happens to their friendship after high school this week, how each of them deals with the issue promises to be fascinating. Tamara in particular has had a very specific plan of how the next year would go, and going to a different school from Jenna would be a major blow to that plan, and how she deals with it will be worth watching out for.

Overall, this is another entertaining outing. It’s interesting to see Lissa and Jake bond over their shared experiences. In many ways, the two have been the smaller half to overbearing individuals, and Lissa finally getting the courage to talk back to Sadie represents a big step forward in her independence from her best friend’s domination. It will be worth watching the two of them to see if a friendship re-develops there, as it would serve to shake up the dynamics of the current group to have Lissa more involved, especially with Ming and Fred’s departure. Watching Val assert herself at her high school reunion is also a delight. Despite often ending up on the wrong side of jokes, it’s clear that Val has a genuine concern for the people she considers friends, and a passion for her job, because it allows her to help others. Thus, it’s good to see Val get her own moment to shine, and be able to effectively seize it. How Jenna deals with the situation with Eva, and whether it leads to Jenna and Sadie working together for Matty’s sake, will be worth keeping an eye on as the first half of the season draws to a close.

– Deepayan Sengupta




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