Revisiting last week’s show for a minute, I think it’s really precious the way Amy asks her mother for permission to marry Ben. The whole barter approach: like, if I do this thing (let’s say, my laundry) will you let me do this thing I want (get a dog)? Except in this case, Amy’s chore is having a baby and her reward — eek! ah! no! — is marrying Ben. For as many eye rolls this episode garnered, it got some serious laughs, and even had a few believably “American teen” moments. My roommate, who was watching for the first time, noted how selfish all of the characters are (and therefore how obviously “high school”) — Adrian wants Amy to not have the baby so she can stay together with Ricky, Ben wants her to keep it so they can live happily ever after, Grace wants her to keep it in the name of the Lord. And Amy? The first “A” word (abortion) was so last episode, and in its place is the new “A” word, adoption.

Ugh, so, Mr. Juergens is back and even his warm embraces and squinty-eyed cries can’t win over this gal. Surprisingly, it’s charming his youngest daughter, Ashley, who again delivered the best line(s) of the night. My favorite, when her mother told her she was going to be late for school: “At least I’m not late for my period.” Indeed, little one! Our favorite Juergens is experiencing some raging growing pains and starting to resent Amy and all of the attention she’s been getting. I also wondered, with her mentions of condoms and the mystery of who drove her home, that Ashley might be finding that attention elsewhere — say, an older man?

addCredit(“Secret Life of the American Teen: Craig Sjodin”)

When Mrs. Juergens tries to explain who the father of Amy’s baby isto her soon-to-be ex-husband, she simply says, “Ricky, he’s in theband.” The spotlight’s on the drummer boy this week as we finally getto see what he wants to do about the baby… sort of. Ricky’s fosterparents are encouraging him to take responsibilities while Adrian isurging him to shirk them. Ricky proves that “daddy issues” are morethan just a girl thing and we really start believing his plight. Or dowe? As much as I’d rather fawn over actor Daren Kagasoff and hisdreamboat eyes, I think his overacting confuses the audience. I stillcan’t discern when he’s being genuine and when he’s lying to get whathe wants.

Ben continues to cross the line from adorably awkward teen to creepydesperate boy. The writers are putting him too far over the edge withall of that “love” talk — if they had lightened up on that all seasonwe would be much more on his side. Even Amy tells him he’s freaking herout. This week, the sausage king and prince are concerned over Amy’spossible departure, although I’m pretty sure she’ll stick around. WhenBen’s dad delivers his weekly dose of phallic symbolism, his words aresurprisingly poignant: “sausage is complicated.” That’s saying amouthful.

The second “ugh” of the episode (and by second, I really mean atleast the 25th or so) goes to Grace. Not to even mention the rest ofher family. I apologize for not covering too much of them in my recapsbut it pains me to watch them. Any ideas, PWers, why Adrian stopped offat the Bible-y Bowmans’ house? Do you think her intentions are true orslimy? How long will it be until Ben’s friends actually do it? Whenwill Mrs. Juergens find out about her husband’s affair? And of course,is Amy leaving? Will she put the baby up for adoption?

The Secret Life Of The American Teenager
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