It took the entire second half of Season 3, but Jenna finally became the best version of herself in the “Awkward” season finale on Tuesday (Dec. 17). Actually, it could be argued that it took three full seasons for her to reach this point, since her journey to becoming a good friend — and a better person — all began with The Letter.
It was great to see a callback to the incident that started it all way back in the pilot, when Jenna received the carefrontation letter from an anonymous source. When she later found out the cruel letter came from her mother, that kickstarted the rebuilding of Jenna’s relationship with her mother that culminated in the Season 3b finale. Jenna and Lacey had been working on their mother/daughter bond ever since Jenna asked her about The Letter, and though Jenna’s recent “sanity sabbatical” halted all they had achieved, they both forgave each other’s actions in a tearful heart-to-heart before Jenna headed off to prom … by herself.
Jenna had realized during her conversation with her mother that like Lacey’s cruel letter, Jenna had been acting cruel to her friends. That didn’t come from a place of hatred toward her friends but rather how she felt about herself — not only during her downward spiral but for the entire series. Once she realized that, she was able to let go of all her insecurities and baggage, put on her dress, and go to prom alone. She didn’t need a date or a guy to define her. She could dance on her own and be happy about it.
This is a far cry from the Jenna Hamilton we met in the pilot, the girl who needed to be with Matty even though he was embarrassed to be seen with her. Back then, she didn’t care how awful the guy made her feel as long as she was with a guy. But now, she’s strong enough to be on her own.
But what about Matty? After the back and forth of whether or not he was going to go to prom with Bailey, Jenna put her own feelings aside and told both of them that they should go together. She was cool with it, even though deep down she wanted to go with Matty. She let them move on, and they had a great time together.
Of course, Bailey proved she was the coolest and not only was she loyal to new friend Jenna (she turned Matty down at first since she didn’t want to hurt Jenna), but she also told Matty and Jenna to share a dance. This allowed the two of them to finally have a heart-to-heart where Jenna confessed all the terrible things she had to Matty was because she didn’t love herself enough to let him love her. She apologized for everything, and the two friends were finally back on the same page … but just as friends. And that’s OK. We’re excited to see a confident and happily single Jenna in “Awkward” Season 4.
Ming and Tamara both had the perfect night with their respective boyfriends, but their perfect nights were nowhere near the cliche “perfect prom night.” Ming threw all expectations to the wind and refused to lose her virginity to Fred even though he got a hotel room. She wasn’t ready, and when she finally confessed her feelings to Fred he told her he only got the room so they could watch movies all night and maybe make out a little (so sweet). Meanwhile, Tamara learned to give up control sometimes when Jake tested her by wearing a surprise leopard print tux. Wearing the animal print gave him confidence on the dance floor and they had a great time breaking it down, regardless of how they looked.
And as for Sadie? She’s in love! Who would have thought any guy would be able to crack that tough exterior and expose her mushy side? Who knew she even had a mushy side? Either way, Austin is proving to be the perfect guy for her, as they exchanged “I love yous” with smiles on their faces.
So what did you think of the “Awkward” Season 3b finale?