Well, we found Carter. We lost Carter. We found Carter again. And now, we’re finding/meeting Carter’s newest brother, Ben. (To be fair, he’s also Taylor’s brother.) And if you thought that keeping secrets was hereditary … well, you’re right. Because this hour reintroduced us to the tangled web of familial relationships that we love so much. (And this time, one of the family members wears a beanie.)
The second half of season 2 picks up right where we left off: at the courthouse. After Ben’s big reveal — that Lori is his mother and David is his father — Lori was found not guilty on federal kidnapping charges and released. (Because holding your daughter at gunpoint is so not kidnapping.)
Meanwhile, Carter will stay in the custody of the Wilson family. As for Ben? Well, he’s going with Lori. But considering that Lori is staying in town, that’s not saying much.
With the focus of this season being “the teenage world,” we’re going to break things down between the teen and adult realms.
The Teenage World
From the courtroom to the classroom, we head straight to high school, where Taylor learns that Damon has surpassed her as number 1 in their class — you can imagine her reaction — and Carter is desperately trying to connect with Ben on a sibling level.
Ben, however, is more interested in connecting with Bird on the exact opposite of a sibling level … until he needs a ride home from school. Then he decides he has time for Carter.
And cue the backstory: Ben’s foster care experience consisted of living with five families over the course of 13 years before living in a group home. And it messed him up just enough for him to ask Carter to pull the car over while he goes and steals from some stranger. What’s he stealing? Well, Carter thinks it’s dirty laundry — yes, because all people keep laundry in a shed in their backyard — but really, it’s stolen credit cards, a fake ID, and $10,000 in cash. Last year, Crash got Carter into trouble, and now it’s looking like Ben will.
Speaking of Crash, he just got back to town and is not happy when Carter’s late to meet him at Bird’s party, mostly because he knows what just went down with Ben. All of this naturally leads to a painfully awkward first meeting, in which Crash is all “not cool” to Ben, and Ben walks away. Aren’t teenage boys fun?
Elsewhere at the party, Gabe is spending all of his money on smart watches and cars as he drinks his sorrows away while Taylor gets her first interaction with her brother. Of course, she offers him advice on which classes to take.
After Ben, Carter, and Bird leave the party behind, Taylor gets wrapped up in a drinking competition with Damon — a competition that results in a fight between Taylor and Gabe and a passed-out Damon. Thankfully, Taylor and Gabe quickly reconcile. And yes, he recognizes that he’s spiraling in the wake of his father’s death.
NEXT: The adults are adulting
Back at Carter’s house, Ben makes Carter and Bird fake IDs — because why not? — and then finds himself face-to-face with David. Carter gives the pair a second to chat, which goes surprisingly well. Sitting in the kitchen, David tells his son that if he’d known about him, he would’ve found him and Ben would’ve been a part of the family. Ben seems to believe it, at which point Grant enters and discusses video games with his bro.
Only then is it time for the trio to put their fake IDs to the test. Spoiler: They work, and Carter finds herself flirting with a hunky bartender played by Jackson Rathbone, whom she lies to about being in college and then later asks for a job. Fun fact: He enjoys the word “bae.”
The next day, Carter and Crash make up after he agrees that she doesn’t need him to look out for her. (But we all know this isn’t over.)
The Adult World
First to visit Lori is David, who wants to know why Lori took Carter if she had Ben. Long story short: She didn’t have Ben. She was mentally ill, and Ben was taken from him. So again, she had no one.
David informs her that he’d like to know his son, which Lori has no problem with. All she’s trying to do is provide for Ben.
And how is she trying to do that? By writing a book! (Because it’s so easy, right?!)
However, after one threatening visit from Elizabeth, Lori drops that idea. Essentially, Elizabeth tells her that writing this book will mean she has no chance of a relationship with Carter. And also, that Elizabeth with make it her personal mission to destroy her if she chooses to stay in town. Typical adult conversation stuff.
But Lori isn’t leaving just yet. By episode’s end, Elizabeth watches as her husband returns to Lori’s doorstep, this time with a $10,000 check in hand. The money’s for Ben, of course, but we’ll see how that goes.
Final bit of news: Ofe is in rehab!
So to sum things up: Everything is more complicated than ever, Ben clearly has some sort of plan, and I miss Ofe.