Y’all know I love Faking It, right? (Of course you do; I have sacrificed the better part of my sanity defending it.) So it’s kind of tough for me to say that this episode does not work. Much like last year’s break-up episode, it leans way too hard on its own conceit (not to mention the fourth wall) and ends up falling on its face. It pushes the plot, despite the fact that there isn’t a lot of plot to go around (here’s your recap: Amy and Karma try to establish boundaries and Liam makes a new friend) when this would have been a great time to establish some baselines for characters’ relationships. Specifically, Amy and Karma’s friendship, which is sort of like a boggart in that I have no idea what it looks like in its natural state. We met Karmy about five minutes before Amy experienced the earth-shattering kiss that changed everything, and all their interactions since then have focused on their romantic tension. So while we often hear about how they’re the best friends since Daria and Jane, we don’t actually see much of it. Kind of like how you can tell me until you’re blue in the face that Liam is a kind, sensitive American adolescent, but it’s not going to make me believe it.
Anyway, the episode begins when Karma once more enters the sacred confines of Liam’s art fortress. Her (flimsy) excuse is the return of one of Liam’s shirts, and the hope that they will have flustered eye contact and unintentional hand touching. She gets her wish, but scurries away when she sees that the piece Liam is working on is a heart with nails in it, each nail representing a girl who lied about her lesbianism merely to give him the fleeting sense of having conquered her.
THAT’S A PRETTY RAD OVARY IN THE CORNER, THOUGH.
In an effort to forget about one another, Karma and Liam plan a girls’ and boys’ night out, respectively. Karma and Amy are anxious to normalize their relationship with a sleepover, complete with snuggles, binge eating, and partial nudity. But when Karma starts to strip down to change into her comfy clothes. Amy’s eyes do that thing where you’re like “I’M SORRY FOR BETRAYING OUR FRIENDSHIP AND ALL OF FEMINISM, BUT I PHYSICALLY CANNOT DRAG MY EYES AWAY FROM YOUR BOOBS.”
GIRL, ARE YOUR BOOBS THE DEATH STAR TRACTOR BEAM BECAUSE THEY ARE PULLING ME IN AND I AM TERRIFIED.
Amy flees to the bathroom, where she encounters Lauren and begs her to join the slumber party. Amy says the reason is so they can engage in some sisterly bonding, but really it’s so she can have something else to stare at besides the forbidden chest of her best friend. The saddest thing of all is that Lauren is genuinely, albeit secretly, touched that her stepsister included her.
At school (why are you at school while everyone else is having a sleepover, Liam? HOW MANY MORE NAILS DOES YOUR HEART SCULPTURE NEED) Liam meets Theo, the only other heterosexual male in Austin.
ACTUALLY, I’M LABEL-FREE.
Theo initiates the conversation by revealing that his dad is a mortician doing time for sleeping with his patients (Sidebar: are they still patients if they’re dead? I mean, I guess they’re the most patient patients of all.) Well, this show is nothing if not an advocate for radical honesty. Reassured by Theo’s firm handshake and masculine belt buckle, Liam invites him to derail Shane’s plans for a costumed Frozen screening. Missing out on that scene is second only to that OTHER moment for cruelest fakeout of the evening. We are, however, treated to a vision of Shane dressed as Kristoff, which is brilliant, because you would assume that Liam would be Hans (charming but devious) but Shane casts him much better as Sven (hairy and silent).
Back at Amy’s, Lauren is humiliated when she overhears Amy and Karma saying that they only invited her to their slumber party because they pity her for being intersex. She’s smart enough to know that isn’t Amy’s real reason, but she doesn’t want to be used by either of them; Lauren wants people to want her presence for her glittering personality and the improving effects of her insults. So she decides to mess with them. The three of them are curled up watching Twilight (a moment of divine agony ensues when their hands accidentally brush in the popcorn bowl and Karma jerks away) when Lauren starts to compare the relative merits of Jacob and Edward. There are two things wrong with this scene.
The only bright spot is Amy’s continued commitment to her double-triangle necklace.
THAT NECKLACE IS SCISSORING ITSELF.