Monday, September 14, 2015

REVIEW: 'Faking It' - Amy, Shane and Lauren Have to Figure Out What They Want for Their Futures in 'Future Tense'

MTV's Faking It - Episode 2.13 "Future Tense"

Amy questions her future after visiting a college fair. Liam believes he has located his real father.

Relationships are difficult as everyone is finding out on Faking It right now. The only couple who stay the same at the end of the episode are Karma and Liam. That's only because they don't really interact. They do make plans for another S&M sex date. But that is a low priority for "Future Tense." This episode examines what everyone in the other three relationships want out of it. Understanding the other person is so critical in maintaining a relationship. One needs to understand what they want but also what their partner wants. It's a delicate balance that Amy, Shane and Lauren are just now realizing. They have to be honest and vulnerable with someone else. That's hard for all of them. They have been hurt in the past. They don't want that to happen again. And yet, the need to be honest and genuine outweighs everything else.

Amy and Karma know the other so well. They are so close as friends. They are willing to fight for that friendship and the dreams each other aspires to have. The two are starting to think about their futures. As fun as Hester High is, they won't be there for that much longer. They need to start figuring out what they want their lives to be. They are happy with what their relationships with Liam and Reagan are. But they are so much than just that personal happiness. They want to go to college together. They want to study documentary filmmaking. Ever since they were little, they have been planning this future together. They are determined to make their dreams of living together for the rest of their lives a reality. It's much more difficult than they previously imagined though.

Karma and Amy's friendship has strengthened once again. They are so supportive now. They may not have completely re-established the amount of trust they had. But they know each other so well, that it's hard for them not to care when the other strays from their planned path. Amy doesn't want to hurt Reagan anymore than she has to. She knows she needs to be honest about her uncertainty regarding her sexuality. She needs to admit that she doesn't have it all figured out like Reagan thinks. Reagan already knows that and has been quietly stewing to herself about it. But it's something they needed to talk about in order to make their relationship something real. They've enjoyed the bubble of their love and the simplicity of being together. But they haven't opened themselves up to each other in ways that can be filled with pain. Honesty is crucial and even that's not enough to make this relationship work. It is devastating to Amy when she learns how Reagan feels about all of this. She hasn't been attracted to a guy in a long time - despite Karma's insistence that Amy likes Felix. But that doesn't mean she is completely certain about being a lesbian. Amy needs to figure some of that out before she can feel confident in a relationship again. It hurts so much that she and Reagan are parting ways. They are just in two different places right now in time. Things may be right for them in the future. But now, they both need to figure themselves out first.

That's a painful reality that both Amy and Reagan have to accept. Karma has a fantastic line of reasoning for Amy: "You can't lose yourself to keep her." That is such phenomenal advice. It's something she needed to hear. Amy was ready to hit the road with Reagan on tour. She wanted to drop everything just to make Reagan and her relationship happy. She's completely disregarding what she wants in life. She is entitled to feelings and dreams. They don't have to match with Reagan's. That's the simple truth. Karma is there for her as a friend. She prioritizes Amy's feelings ahead of her own. That's the best definition of a relationship. Karma chooses to stay and comfort Amy even when she could leave to have more sex with Liam. She was a great friend to her.

Amy's journey of realization isn't the only story that happens in "Future Tense." It's amazing that this episode features about four stories and is able to still be so emotionally relevant and commendable. Shane and Lauren have to figure out what they want in a relationship as well. Lauren is just as determined to get into college as Karma and Amy are. And yet, she's actually trying to win over the representative in person. She wants to make a memorable impression. Unfortunately, the representative only wants to admit her to the program because of her being an out intersex person. Everyone knowing that secret has had some perks. She was elected class president and the representative knows who she is. And yet, she hates being defined by that one thing. She is so much more than intersex. She wants the rest of the world to respect that. She hates that being the one thing that sets her apart from the rest of the field. That then has a nice effect on her relationship with Theo. She knows he wants her back. But she needs to know why. Is he just interested in her for surface reasons? Or does he actually love her personality and respect her dreams? He proves himself to her. Sure, this relationship could still be so destructive to them in the future. He has already been demoted because of his love for her. But they also are just really into each other. And now, with no more secrets, they have the potential to have something even better than before.

Shane's relationship with Duke is also getting more serious because they can openly love each other. But both are afraid to voice their own opinions. Shane doesn't like monogamous relationships. He thinks they are just for straight couples. And yet, Duke makes him feel things he has never felt before. This relationship is more real than anything he has ever experienced. He never would agree to be with just one guy if it weren't for how amazing Duke is. And yet, he is incredibly afraid of saying how he truly feels because he knows he caused Duke's worst day in his life. He may create so much happiness for Duke but he still knows the truth and is holding back his true emotions. Shane and Duke want to be exclusive with each other. But Shane still has that pained and concerned look on his face. He never wants Duke to find out that he was the one who outed him. But things are only getting more serious and real between them. Things are bound to come out eventually. The longer that takes the more painful the breakup will becoming. That's so devastating to think about as the two of them really are a fantastic couple.

The Liam story is the only thing about this episode that didn't completely work. His family drama does have a place on this show. He and Karma are stable in what their relationship has become. But since that wasn't the focus of this episode, he needed something to do. That meant his potential art mentor, Jackson, returns to try and win him back for the art program. Liam then goes off on a weird tangent where he fully believes Jackson is his biological father doing his best to connect with him. That leads to some comedic misunderstanding. Jackson just wants to suck up to Liam because of his family's connections not for any genuine interest in Liam's work. That will probably force Liam ever deeper into the family business. But the show wouldn't introduce the idea of Liam meeting his real father if it didn't pay off by the end of the year. That could be interesting. It's a story that just seems a tad too awkward in "Future Tense."

Some more thoughts:
  • "Future Tense" was written by Wendy Goldman and directed by Erin Ehrlich.
  • Lauren's flaming baton twirling act was very amusing - though it's not so surprising that it ends with a fire extinguisher being used. And Lauren being Lauren, she wants to start it all over again.
  • Of course, gym at Hester High is the students doing Tai Chi.
  • It's somewhat awkward that Karma and Amy go to Felix to get an unbiased opinion on their college video submission. He doesn't know them well enough to care about their feelings. But he still feels like a character being forced into the narrative.
  • On the other hand, that college video submission was hilarious to watch. Karma was over-eager while Amy was awkward in front of the camera.
  • Karma: "At least you have straight A's, I got a B- in yarn arts."
  • Karma: "What am I doing with my life?" Lauren: "Chasing boys and the approval of others."
  • Shane: "I am just helping because I need a distraction from the fact that Duke is suppose to be training but instead he's logged onto Stubble."
  • Amy: "I don't want to lose her." Karma: "Well, you can't lose yourself to keep her."
  • Amy: "Can I have one last kiss." Such a heartbreaking line.