"Jenna Hamilton, personal statement: When I started high school I was invisible. It was easier that way, not to be noticed. When I was noticed, it wasn't for the things I wanted to be noticed for; it felt like my destiny wasn't my own. But that girl's about to graduate. She's found her voice, and is ready to use it." That's what Jenna told us at the end of Awkward's "My Personal Statement" episode Tuesday. It's also probably a little slice of the essay she sent out with her college eps that same episode, and it's definitely the thesis of this season of Awkward . So let's hope she's learned how to use her voice right.
I was pretty pissed at Jenna after last week's episode: She'd opted to not bail Matty out of jail, and I took it as a sign that Jenna's friendship skills weren't up to snuff. This week I've cooled down a bit: Girl ain't perfect, she never was, but this season it's clear she's trying to be her best self — even when the people around her are pointedly not.
This week the person in the latter camp is Eva. I wrote before about how she came off as this glorious, sophisticated, girl power girl who'd have Jenna's back and was more interested in finding good friends at her new school than she was pulling the bullshit drama these people usually find themselves bogged down in. Turns out that perception's just a front, and in fact the inverse is true: Eva's main trait is manipulation, and the next one down is jealousy. And this week those both came trotting out and lashing out at the slightest provocation — to the point where they became actively harmful, like when she deleted the message containing Matty's college application so she could frame Jenna as a crappy friend and ex-girlfriend.
Eva, girl. Honey. Child. I know you're intimidated by the Archives Of the History Of Matty & Jenna's Intimacy, and I get it: They were super complicated and super enmeshed with each other. Let's look at what you did to try to combat that: You framed Jenna for not sending the essay and endangering Matty's college chances (aka in real life endangering Matty's college chances). This led to Matty yelling at Jenna in public, and the rift between them growing bigger, so hurray for you, I guess? You also tried to get Matty to have sex in Jenna's bed, and when he wouldn't (because the dude's not actually a skeez) you left your panties in her bed anyway so that she'd think you and Matty had sex in her bed. Good job?
Eva. Honey. Maybe this would have worked two years ago. In fact, it definitely would have worked two years ago: Jenna woulda discovered those panties and dissolved into an insecure mess of a human, questioning if Matty ever loved her or if anyone could really love her, probably culminating in a tear-y, yell-y, inadvisable confrontation wherein Jenna makes an ultimatum that even she's not ready to live up to.
Alas, hun. This ain't season one anymore. This is senior Jenna, college app Jenna, the Jenna who knows both Matty and herself in a way only one or two other people on the planet do. Matty and Jenna may not be in a good place right now, but that history they have? That's secure. That feeling of evolution Jenna has in herself? That's secure. And it's pretty clear, Eva darling, that you're the one stewing in her own insecurity.
There are very few moments in this show's history that I've been as proud of Jenna Hamilton as I was in the final moments of Tuesday's episode when she verbally smacked down Eva by saying pretty much all of the above. And it looks like her ensemble — even Sadie! Maybe especially Sadie! — approved as well:
I don't know what the hell is gonna happen with Matty and Jenna by the end of this season. Or Jenna and Luke, or Jenna and Tamara, or Jenna and college. I don't really care right now, you know? Cause I kinda feel like Jenna Hamilton's gonna be OK regardless. I kinda feel like she's got this.