Jenna and Matty, sitting in a tree, K-I… well, actually, let’s put a halt to that: Jenna and Matty are most definitely star-crossed lovers, but right now they’re trying to pretend they’re not. And—surprise!—it’s not going so well.
Welcome back to the world of Awkward, where high school is full of teenagers more fashionable and witty than seems humanly possible—and where Jenna is trying her best to get through the rest of senior year without too much drama. But because this is Awkward (and because she’s in high school), this won’t be possible, as the series’ first episode back proves.
The season premiere revolves around pranks, the first of which involves streaking through the hallways during the school day. Let’s take a second, though, to really think about this prank: Those hallways are small and full of faculty, meaning running into their grandpa-like chem teacher seems dangerously possible. The reality of this sets in when Jenna, after overhearing Jake and Gabby talking about how they slept together, jumps the gun and exits the closet—sans clothes, of course—before bumping into Val. Of course.
But out of all the faculty to run into, Val seems like the least offensive—even though she doesn’t stop herself from indirectly commenting on Jenna’s personal grooming habits. “Jenna, are you running through the hallway naked?” she says before taking stock of the nude senior before her. “Oh, that reminds me: I need a haircut.” More power to you, Jenna. More power to you.
After Jenna returns to her clothed state, the two return to Val’s office to hash it out. Unsurprisingly, not much gets accomplished: Jenna tries to tell Val about how Gabby cheated on Matty with Jake and she doesn’t know whether or not to spill the beans while Val vents about having to house her cats in her office now that Biggie—who’s inconveniently allergic to cats—has moved in. Even counselors need a counselor, turns out.
But before any advice can be doled out, Val informs Jenna that she’s suspended for the rest of the day. While getting suspended for any amount of time is usually a punishment-worthy offense, Jenna’s mom is weirdly excited about the news: “What are you going to do?” she asks with her trademark cheerleader-style enthusiasm. “Spa day? A movie?”
What Jenna wants to do is mope. She doesn’t know whether or not to tell Matty about Gabby because a) she wants to be a good friend, b) she doesn’t want him to get hurt, c) she still has feelings for him. (Okay, she never said that last one, but I stand by it.) Her mom advises her not to say anything for fear that Matty might think Jenna’s trying to sabotage his relationship so she can get back with him, so Jenna decides to stay quiet. This won’t come back to bite her! (Note: This will definitely come back to bite her.)
NEXT: Jenna tries to embrace her senior status. [pagebreak]
Later on, Jenna and T go on a double-date with their spring break hook-ups, but things are cooling down for one-half: While T and Adam—who she got engaged to after, oh, a few hours of knowing him—take part in a giggle fest peppered in make-outs, Jenna receives a text from Matty about the latest senior prank; she realizes that the spark just isn’t there with Brian anymore (because, cough, she loves Matty).
Jenna basically forces T to head back to school for the prank, and their two Marines awkwardly tag along. Don’t they have better things to do? Like, I don’t know, defend the country?
Apparently not, because Brian takes off his shirt and scales the flagpole—where those crazy seniors are hanging up underwear—to fix a tangle. Matty responds by getting all, You’re attacking my masculinity! and taking off his shirt. Teens!
All the ladies are into Brian after seeing his dogtag-decorated bare chest, but Jenna’s still not feeling it. She breaks it off with him in the parking lot, and seconds later finds out that T and Adam have picked a date for the wedding. Important question: How cheesetastic (and completely ridiculous) would T’s vows be?
Instead of treating herself to some Ben & Jerry’s post-break-up, Jenna finds herself in a hallway filled with bubbles. Yes, bubbles: Theo and Cole, the Statler and Waldrof of Awkward, took it upon themselves to stage a senior prank—and everyone loves it (except for Val’s cats, who are sadly soaked). There’s dancing! There’s rejoicing! Jenna even feels relieved that she didn’t tell Matty the truth about Gabby. And then… there’s punching.
See, Jake blows up at Gabby and tells her that Matty wanted to break up with her over spring break because he’s still into Jenna (duh). Gabby gets pissed, confronts Matty about it, and ends her quick speech with some stinging words: “By the way, I f–ked Jake.” Burn.
At this point, it is too late for Jake to save himself. Matty clocks him in the face, and then stares at Jenna, asking her if she knew. She doesn’t say “yes,” but her shocked-but-guilty expression says it all. Pretty awkward, right? (Sorry.)
Before, this kind of drama was mostly just amusing—but now that they’re all seniors (and that the show is in its final season), friendships breaking apart take on a new sort of sadness and urgency. What if they can’t make up before graduation? What if Jenna and Matty never figure their s–t out? What if Matty and Jake never figure their s–t out? And, perhaps the most scary possibility of all: What if T actually ties the knot with her spring break fling?