Ah, prom. That time of year when high school kids rush to find a date, the perfect dress, rent a limo, and plan the “perfect” night. Of course, it’s also that time of year when hearts get broken, dreams get crushed and expectations run too high and most everyone is disappointed by the time the actual prom night arrives. “Awkward” portrayed all of that perfectly in “Karmic Relief” on Tuesday (Dec. 10).
The first hour-long episode ever for the series — not technically two half-hour episodes played in a row but an actual, proper hour-long episode — gave us a good balance of seeing all our characters dealing with their own issues as the big night approached. First up was Jenna, who was putting off worrying about whether Matty was going to ask her to prom by focusing on getting Val her job back.
After discovering Val was working at a liquor store and was generally as pissed off as she could be — let’s be honest here, that “F*** you” to Jenna was totally deserved — Jenna worked on getting Val a hearing in front of the school board. Little did she know the hearing was already planned, and all she had to do was get students to vouch for Val as a guidance counselor who didn’t cross the line. Of course, Val always crossed the line, but lucky for her some students were for the better because of it. Thanks to Jenna pushing Sadie to testify for Val — and some “Save
Vag Val” t-shirts, Val got her job back and all was right between J and V.
Of course, once her Val problems were solved, it was back to obsessing over Matty and a prom invite. All signs were pointing to yes: They were back on good terms with each other, Jenna spied two prom tickets in his pocket, and Jake told Tamara that Matty was asking someone that night. Matty then texted Jenna asking if he could come over and it looked like he was about to ask her …
But we all saw this coming a mile away, especially since Jenna had already dropped more than $700 on a dress when she hadn’t even been asked yet. You never buy the dress before you have a date! Matty was just asking if she would be OK if he asked her new freshman friend Bailey to prom. Oof, like a punch to the gut. But let’s get real: It’s great that Jenna and Matty are friends again, but after all she did to him — like, ahem, cheating on him — she didn’t really expect that they could go back to how things were before?
Tamara was busy living out her high school dream — we all had friends like that who actually had their “perfect” prom night — and after her boyfriend Jake officially asked her and laid out his limo/hotel room plans for the night, T spent her time shopping for the perfect dress.
Ming finally lost control of the Asian Mafia. After a horrifying coup d’etat that involved the mascot’s head shoved graphically into her locker, she negotiated terms with Becca, who had returned to take her rightful place back at the head of the Mafia. It was great to see Ming take matters into her own hands and on her own — she told Tamara and Jenna she had to handle things on her own — and stepped down gracefully, though fought for her freedom to be with Fred Wu. Hopefully these two can finally have some happiness, though how hilarious was it watching them wonder what their relationship will be like without all the drama and intrigue?
Next week’s finale is all about prom, and we’ll see the reemergence of Collin. Let’s hope that Jenna doesn’t go back to Collin after this Matty setback, because she really has made strides to be Old Jenna again. But will we get to see Jenna wear her prom dress?
“Awkward” airs Tuesdays at 10:30 p.m. ET on MTV.