If you’ve never watched Finding Carter before, here’s what you’ve missed so far: the plot of The Face on the Milk Carton.
JK, JK (kind of). Finding Carter is about a teenage girl who finds out she was kidnapped as a toddler, but unlike The Face on the Milk Carton, Carter ends up staying with her biological family. She now lives with her parents, Wesley Wyndam-Pryce (sans British accent) and Libby from Lost (but not dead). She also has a twin sister, Taylor, who is, oddly enough, not played by actress Kathryn Prescott’s real-life identical twin, Megan. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
There’s also a little brother, Grant, (but no one really cares about him), some wacky and wealthy grandparents, Carter’s best friend Max (who has dated both twins), and a gaggle of other teenage friends. Oh and Lori, the kidnapper, is actually the twins’ biological mother (she was an egg donor). Also, there was a terrible dude named Crash (who shot Max last season), but he’s gone now to Army with Buster Bluth. Those are the most important characters, so let’s move on to last night’s episode (written by out lesbian Jen Braeden).
It’s Elizabeth’s birthday! Happy birthday, Elizabeth! (But let’s all pour one out for poor Libby from Lost, who will never see another birthday again. THANKS MICHAEL.) Elizabeth wants to have a family dinner, and everyone is hoping that it will make Grant see what he’s missing out on and come home. (Oh yeah, Grant lives with their grandparents at the moment because Elizabeth and David aka Wesley are separated and everything is crazy.) Carter is down for a family dinner, on account of the fact that she’s grounded for getting into a car accident. (FYI, the accident was Taylor’s fault, but Carter is taking the blame.) The doorbell rings and Carter opens the door to find an old friend from her previous/kidnapped life, Madison.
Carter isn’t too happy to see Madison, because that B has not called/texted/emailed/snapchatted /whatever-the-kids-are-doing-these-days even one time since Carter found out that her mom is actually her kidnapper. Madison tries to apologize and explains that her parents wouldn’t let her anywhere near Carter, but Carter is still pissed. Elizabeth, David, and Taylor open the door, and Carter begrudgingly introduces them to her “friend.”
After promising to have zero fun together, Elizabeth and David allow Madison to come inside even though Carter is grounded. Once they’re alone again in Carter’s room, Madison tells Carter the whole story—her parents kicked her out. She used to always run to Carter and Lori when that happened before, so here she is now. Carter forgives her and they hug it out.
Downstairs, there’s another wayward youth at the door. This time it’s Max. Max, by the way, is really, really adorable. (And I’m also pretty envious of his flowing locks.) Max and Taylor sit down and process some feels—they have quite a history together. (They dated and broke up and kind of got back together, but are now broken up again.) Max apologizes for talking to Carter about Taylor behind her back, but they were both worried because Taylor has been making her way into Jessie Spano territory. (She’s so excited! She’s so… so… scared!)
Taylor assures him that she’s doing okay now, and she will let him know if she decides to take any more pills. She also tells him that maybe she’s been going a little crazy lately because she found out that crazy Lori is her bio-mom. Max is very sweet and reassuring and, generally, a dreamboat. Taylor invites Max to family dinner just before Carter and Madison come downstairs, and Madison plants a kiss right on Max’s lips (much to Taylor’s dismay).
Max explains to Taylor that he and Madison grew up together, and Madison takes that opportunity to also point out that they used to fool around. She jokes that Max “turned her gay,” but Carter’s like, “Yeah, that’s not how that works.” Both of Madison’s old friends seem very used to her flippant attitude. Max is like, “Welp, this is getting awkward so I’m going to work okay bye!”
Madison makes herself at home and gushes some more about how great Max is. And it’s true, Max is lovely, but Madison is saying it just so she can make Taylor jealous. Madison also mentions that Max has been through a lot, like oh, say, watching his mom get attacked when he was little, for instance. Taylor has never heard that story, and Madison feigns surprise that anyone who knows Max well wouldn’t know that story. I want to like Madison, because I want to like all queer characters, but so far, she kind of sucks.
Grant is in the car with his grandmother (played by out actress Meredith Baxter), complaining about having to go to family dinner. This kid whines a lot. He was less annoying when the show started out, but lately it’s getting kind of painful. His grandma is like, “Listen Kid, I really want to get you out of the house so your Pop Pop and I can do some of kinky roleplaying. You understand.” Grant does not understand, so he broods and glares out the window.
Back at the house, David and Elizabeth argue about Carter’s punishment. David thinks she should get her phone back, but Elizabeth would be perfectly happy if Carter never left the house and/or communicated with anyone outside of the family again. David’s like, “Listen, I totally get why you’re scared because our daughter was kidnapped twice, which is pretty remarkable. Maybe we could let her see the light of day again soon, though?”
In Carter’s room, Madison fills Carter in about what’s been happening in their old town, but Carter wants to get the scoop about Madison’s parents. Madison explains that her parents heard a rumor that she had some big lesbian crushes, and they confronted her. They told Madison that she couldn’t live under their roof if she was going to be that way. Carter tells Madison that she’s sorry, and Madison tries to blow it off like it’s no big deal, but she’s obviously hurt.
Madison doesn’t want to dwell on her feelings, so she tells Carter that they should go out and have some fun. Carter reminds Madison that she’s grounded, and Madison laughs about how Lori didn’t even know the meaning of the word “grounded.” Madison is also way too interested in Lori, asking to see the letters Carter has gotten from her (but not opened).