That night, the entire outcast-as-in-crowd shows up to Shane’s soiree, which features far fewer gravity bongs and vomit than the high school parties I remember. Well except for Karma, who throws up right on Liam when they bump into each other (quirky!). Even Lauren and her beefcake boyfriend make an appearance as part of their campaign for homecoming queen and king. Shane scoffs at the idea that anyone at their school gives a fuck about that “outdated, patriarchal tradition” but his eyes betray a fear that maybe they do.
With that in mind, he scoots over to make friends with Amy, who is clearly wishing she were anywhere else. Shane gushes over how happy he is to meet Amy and Karma (everyone is calling them Karmy but I refuse) since he has been “craving lesbian energy.” Amy protests that she is straight, but the more she insists, the more firmly Shane is convinced that she is just closeted and afraid. And since he has been riding high on a wave of acceptance since fourth grade (or so his confident exterior would have us believe) he simply cannot let that stand.
Meanwhile, Karma and Liam finally have a sit-down, in which we learn that Liam is all about open relationships because of course he is. Karma fires back at him with some talk about how women are genetically wired to be clingy and Liam bats his eyelashes, like “are all lesbians as wise and alluring as you?” Karma doesn’t even have time to correct his impression before Shane stands up in front of the entire party to forcefully eject Karma and Amy from the imaginary closet and nominate them as co-homecoming queens.
There are three things going on in this scene:
- Shane’s very clever attempt to consolidate power by running his own alt-candidate against Lauren’s family values ticket.
- Shane pulling a Finn Hudson and outing people without their permission.
- A very pointed satire both on both the conservative old guard and its liberal replacement. Is homecoming court any less of an “outmoded, patriarchal institution” now, the show slyly asks. Is high school any less cliquey or cruel when you simply change who constitutes the in-crowd?
The next, day Amy is all for clearing up this little mix-up.
YOU ARE WEARING A DONUT SHIRT. I WILL DEFEND YOU WITH MY LIFE.
Amy: We’ll just hire a skywriter to write that we’re both straight and go back to you and me and our private sleepovers.
Karma: Or opposite of your plan.
Amy: But isn’t the whole point of your schemes to get Liam? How is he ever going to go after you if he thinks you’re with me?
Karma: Are you kidding? My unavailability just made me ten times hotter to him. I got that when he flirted with me last night.
Amy: He…flirted with you? That’s…bothering me in a new and uncomfortable way.
And then Amy makes a face like this:
Which made the whole internet do this:
IT’S OK, GUYS, SHE’S A COLLEGE GRADUATE.
Karma, meanwhile, goes full steam ahead with the charade, using it to score points with the Teen Mom crowd (“Congratulations on the twins!”) and Liam. She approaches him in Unsupervised Welding 101 and speculates that his sculpture reveals his deep inner torment.
KARMA, DO NOT ANALYZE THE BOY’S ART. YOU HAVE A FAKE GIRLFRIEND NOW.
Of course, the shop talk leads to smooches, which Amy happens to catch a glimpse of. And the heartbroken look on her face when she sees them kissing lets us know she’s in trouble even before she does.