'Awkward' Season Finale Sees Matty Let Jenna Go, But Was It the Right Decision?

Though there was no way to reach the fever pitch of last season's finale, Awkward 's "Spring Break, Part 2" saw its fair share of epiphanies and revelations. Tamara's engaged (?!), Jake slept with Matty's girlfriend, Lacey's pregnant with her second child, and Jenna got into college. And perhaps most poignantly of all — at least in terms of this show's particular pathos — is that Matty both realized that he still loves Jenna and made the decision to let her go.

Trying to be a good guy, Matty's been making an effort these past few episodes to be a good boyfriend to Gabby — last episode, that manifested in him taking her instead of Jenna to go meet his bio-dad with him, leaving Jenna in the lurch after she'd helped track him down. This episode saw Matty really confront that his bond with Jenna will always trump his bond with Gabby. It also, with a little help from Lacey, saw him realize that he's been unconsciously breaking Jenna's heart throughout all of this.

This season finale saw two big moments of growth for Matty and Jenna: Jenna realized that she can't depend on Matty for her happiness and needs to be willing to move forward with her life if she wants to grow up in the ways she dreams of — and Matty realized that just because he's realized his feelings for Jenna doesn't mean acting on them is necessarily the best thing for her.

And so here we are: Left with a cliffhanger as we wait for Awkward's final season. I'm left surer than ever of what this season's been drilling into my head: If Matty and Jenna do get back together it will be very well-earned (read: character growth). If they don't, though, they'll be fine. What's more, I feel like what we've seen here is the development of the type of bond that thoroughly transcends everything their dynamic started out as. This isn't just a high school hookup; it's not even just a high school first love. Growing up and moving on from high school almost always means shedding a lot of your high school friends. But there are some who stick — I feel like, no matter their romantic future, Matty and Jenna have proven that they've got the kind of friendship that can last them a lifetime if they let it. The biggest thing they've gotta learn next is how to talk to each other.

Image: MTV