“Faking It” (2.5) recap: Bittersweet 16


Previously on Faking It, Karma finally reached inside herself and found the courage to come out as a heterosexual. (Actually, I’d say the jury is still out on that, but she did admit that she was pretending to be in a relationship with Amy).

This week, Karma pays the price for her honesty and is on the receiving end of a great many cold looks and a special announcement from the principal saying that even though Karma is a deceitful social climber who has probably set gay rights back by a decade, they should all wish her a happy 16th birthday. That’s right; Karma is turning an age that is really only a milestone if your parents allow you to drive. (Mine did not, and I have always borne a grudge against 16 for that reason.) Don’t ask me why, but no one seems to be asking the fairly obvious question that if Karma was faking it, does that mean Amy was faking it, too? And if not, does that mean she has been holding a torturous crush for her best friend this whole time? And if so, would she like some cuddles and some cocoa and a girlfriend? No, these vital questions have occurred to no one.

At any rate, Amy calls Karma and pretends to be sick, which at first I thought was Amy’s way of avoiding the tide of fake lesbian ire currently rolling their way. But I was forgetting that Amy has no sense of self-preservation where Karma is concerned, and is pretend strep throat is just an elaborate ruse to throw Karma the greatest birthday surprise of her life. But before she can unveil this gesture of love, Karma finds a note from Liam Booker and Amy spies the two of them eye-humping from across the courtyard.


(A note on this note: I know some of you are going to comment about how the wax seal is douchey, but I can’t agree with you because when I was in high school I bought my best friend and I matching wax seals because we lived in different towns and sent each other letters all the time. She was also the first girl I clearly remember wanting to kiss, and straining to justify that as a normal, straight girl impulse.)

Despite witnessing the chemistry between Ms. Scarlet Letter and her Dimmesdale, Amy goes forward with her plans for a birthday scavenger hunt, reenacting the greatest moments in Karmy friendship history. She also steals the note from Liam and pretends not to understand its significance until Karma can admit it herself. Now, a great deal of this episode hinges on the idea that Amy is dragging Karma through the past because she, Amy, cannot let go of it, and Karma finds this extremely trying. And maybe in theory that idea makes sense. But you cannot make me believe that someone with Rita Volk’s face could plan a special day all about how special you are, and how you have been listened to and loved all your life, and anyone with half a heart could not love every second of it. If I really try, I can understand how I would be upset if someone were standing between me and a note from Kristen Stewart, but Liam is still going to be there after today, you know? Whatever.

Liam, I guess is blue that he is too crippled by guilt to be with Karma, so Theo suggests an MMA class might cheer him up (MMA fighting, for the uninitiated, is where adults try to kill each other to death in hopes of forgetting whatever bad things happened in their childhoods). Shane thinks that Liam needs a grilled cheese and a heart-to-heart. I think that Paige McCullers perfected grief coping by eating the Chinese food and then kicking over trashcans until she felt better. Liam, of course, decides to try Theo’s route, which makes Shane insecure about losing his best friend so a straight guy. Luckily, she spies Lauren eavesdropping on the whole conversation and decides that the best way to distract Theo from Liam is to set him up with the most high maintenance girl in Texas.


They all go to MMA class together, which means that every single main character is skipping school. Maybe I’m just getting old, but I always worry about how characters in high school shows are going to get into good colleges if they’re always off finding themselves.

Speaking of finding things, Amy has hidden Karma’s next scavenger hunt clue in a giant ball pit she made in a room.


While they hunt, Karma tries to steal back the note from Liam, but Amy catches her at it and swipes the note right back. Karma lies and says the not is from Irma the lunch lady, and this dishonesty greatly disappoints Amy. But why, really? Karma is free to date whomever she wants and I hate to break it to you Amy, but watching your friends date dudes who don’t deserve them is an integral part of the queer experience.

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