Monday, September 21, 2015

REVIEW: 'Faking It' - Karma, Shane, Liam and Zita Fly to Los Angeles for Duke's First Big Fight in 'Saturday Fight Live'

MTV's Faking It - Episode 2.14 "Saturday Fight Live"

Lauren and Amy believe that one of their parents is having an affair. Karma and Shane feel insecure in their relationships.

Everyone on Faking It has been struggling with what they want this season. The pursuit of personal happiness has created conflict for all of the various relationships. The show really has become a great character study with a great ensemble. Every character is defined with a relationship. But they are also so much more than just those relationships. Being intimate with another person has forced all of these characters to develop and figure out what it is they want from life. Sometimes that has been emotionally heartbreaking - like last week's breakup of Amy and Reagan. Those moments are very prevalent in "Saturday Fight Live" as all of the characters are undergoing a bit of change as information and true feelings are exposed.

Karma has redeveloped a close relationship with Amy. And yet, she is still taken aback when she realizes how close they have become once again. She is more than happy to be with Amy as she deals with her breakup from Reagan. But she is shocked to discover that she is comfortable wrapping her arm around Amy while they sleep. Karma still has trust issues with both Amy and Liam. They are both a part of her life again. It's a confusing time for her. She wants to be close with both of them. But she doesn't want to open herself up to get hurt again. She's in this weird limbo state. She's trying to protect herself. And yet, she still gets hurt. She and Liam have been having fun. They are more than friends with benefits. They are openly together in public. But they aren't completely back together. Neither one of them knows exactly what they are. That's still because Karma doesn't know if she can fully forgive Liam for sleeping with Amy. It's a weird emotional state she's in. She doesn't allow Liam to get too close to her. But she is surprised and hurt when Zita knows things about Liam that she doesn't. Important things about his life that she thinks she should know about. But Liam is right to be confused over what's right to do in their relationship. Karma returns home heartbroken and alone. Those aren't the qualities she wants to be feeling. And then, Liam's dad shows up - probably to stir up even more trouble due to Karma's financial and vulnerable state.

Liam's dad exerts his influence a little bit here. He doesn't completely understand Liam a whole lot. But he still treats him like a son. Liam is angry that his "dad" just doesn't get who he is and what he is trying to be. Liam was able to rise up and carry the family company through an important presentation. That has given Liam a certainly amount of fame. But that also comes with a great personal cost. He is flung into a universe that is expected of him but he's not sure if he wants it. He loves walking down the press line with Zita at Duke's event. And yet, he wants to be there with Karma. She's not happy with him. That could create an opening for Liam and Zita to get together. The two of them have gotten closer as friends through their internships - and Zita actually kisses him at the end of this episode. Liam's dad also approves of Zita much more than Karma because there isn't the fear that she's just using him for the money. The audience knows that that's not Karma. But it's easy for Liam's dad to think so considering how disengaged he is with his son's life. He probably thinks he can just pay Karma off so that Liam can continue on the trajectory he has planned for him.

Meanwhile, Shane is having intimacy issues as well. He is so happy to be exclusive and openly loving with Duke. This is the happiest he has ever been. When Zita brings up the idea of traveling to Los Angeles for Duke's first big fight, he is more than ready to go be supportive of his boyfriend. But the event doesn't go how he expected. Things are good between the two of them but Shane is still holding onto the secret of being the one who outed Duke. That pain is still coming. It finally hits after Shane learns that Duke's publicist, Joanna, wants him in the back room and not front in center cheering Duke on. Shane has never been someone who wants to be hidden. He only thinks relationships can be real if they are completely open and proud of each other. He's furious that Duke would agree to this. And yet, he's mad without ever asking Duke how he responded to Joanna's request. Joanna put words in Duke's mouth and that made Shane angry enough to blurt out the truth to Duke. They fight right before the big match. The audience doesn't learn how things go for Duke out in the ring. But Shane is in the background emotionally exposed and devastated for potentially ruining something that was good and strong. That's totally on him too. He wants to be taken seriously as a mature person. And yet, this still proves that he is just a high school student who can make irrational mistakes.

Amy and Lauren are the only ones who don't board Zita's private jet to go to Los Angeles. They are too busy back home - wallowing in a recent breakup and enjoying the start of something new, respectively. Amy fixates on the idea that one of their parents is having an affair when she finds the note Theo left for Lauren. The story tells the audience early that this story is a foolish effort. It's just something that gets Amy excited in the aftermath of her breakup. But then, a fantastic twist occurs. Lauren didn't take this investigation seriously because she knew the truth. However, Amy finds some evidence which demands the two of them work together to uncover what's really going on. They are both determined that their respective parent is the one cheating. Both apparently have a pattern of cheating. It's humorous that two people like that found each other and got married to create this new family unit. Amy and Lauren also admit that the whole half-sister thing wasn't as horrible as they once thought. But finding one of them cheating would make them so angry. What they discover certainly is tantalizing. Amy's mother is cheating on Lauren's father with Amy's father. That was a scandalous moment. Amy's reaction is only glimpsed at. But it were certainly upset what this family has become over the past two seasons. 

Some more thoughts:
  • "Saturday Fight Live" was written by Dan Steele and directed by Erin Ehrlich.
  • It wasn't that surprising that Zita kissed Liam but it could create an interesting situation where Karma and Amy are both single again just trying to figure things out in a very important time in their lives as well as continue to mend their friendship.
  • Shane also mentions that prom is coming up. That should make a fun episode later this season - especially if everyone is single.
  • It's interesting that Joanna is against Duke and Shane being a couple in the public spotlight because she's just against that concept with her clients - unless they are dating another client of hers. Wouldn't a more logical reason be that Shane is technical underage and that could become scandalous?
  • What is Theo's real name again? I, like Lauren, just enjoy calling him Theo.
  • Karma: "Looks like we fell asleep marathoning Sherlock." Amy: "That explains my dream. Cumberbatch was making me eggs benedict."
  • Lauren: "Remember the croquembouche?"
  • Amy: "Go get the toilet paper cause sh-- just got real."
  • Amy: "Have you not seen any stakeout movies? Snacks are essential. We might be here awhile."
  • Shane: "Watching my boyfriend get beat to a bloody pulp is not my idea of foreplay. I don't think."