Felicia's occasionally hard-to-watch tale reminds us that Hollywood endings rarely happen in real life
Felicia 16 Pregnant

“We’ll always have Paris.” “You complete me.” “I remember the first time Jasmine showed me you on MySpace…” The last of those quotations may not ever crack the top 100 (or even 1 million) most romantic lines ever uttered in front of a camera, but in case you forgot what kind of show you were watching, there was Felicia, teenage mom-to-be, reminiscing about finding her future boyfriend in cyberspace. Ah, youth. Felicia and Alex may or may not be the poster children for online dating, but after being together for two years — and using approximately two condoms — they found themselves with a baby on the way.

This week’s episode was a classic example of a nice, “goody-goody” girl blinded by her love for an undeserving and disrespectful boyfriend. While Felicia took the initiative to enroll in night classes prior to senior year in order to stay on track for graduation, her boyfriend — who works part-time at a barber shop, and spends the rest of his time dancing in a crew (sorry guys, ABDC you are not) — became increasingly distant. Alex showed total disregard for Felicia’s mother Reina — The woman’s name is Spanish for queen! Show some respect! — and the ability to cast a spell over Felicia, convincing her that moving out would be a better option. Felicia claimed she would have nothing, or more specifically be financially “dead” without Alex, to which her friend Pearl (wise beyond her years) replied, “It’s crazy that he has that much power.”

Despite being Reina’s favored child (and her last hope to graduate high school), and receiving her support every step of the way (from purchasing a pregnancy test to driving her to doctor’s appointments), Felicia went along with Alex’s idea to fly the family coop. He repeatedly claimed “[your mom’s] been tripping lately for reals!” and concluded that Reina’s home, which had been opened up to him, was killing the buzz in his buzz cut. Alex taking the lead may have seemed like he had a plan of action and was thinking of a future with Felicia (“Our relationship’s going to be better now”), but that clearly wouldn’t always be the case.

And so our protagonists fled into the night while Reina was at work — Harsh! Thankfully we didn’t have to witness her reaction — and sought shelter like some sad-sack version of Mary and Joseph, except with a much less immaculate conception. Alex continued to stay out late into the night, and Felicia continued to grow more and more pregnant, getting to four days past her due date. “There’s something wrong with you. Why is the baby taking so long?” Alex asked, style officially cramped.

But leave it to a draining nine hours of labor to make a girl start seeing things clearly. As Felicia was struggling with the pain and intensity of GIVING BIRTH, Alex just shrugged and asked her why she was crying. “I’m going to throw up,” he said, a disgusted look on his face. Too late! Girlfriend beat him to it (and did it again, and again…). You would think when little baby Genesis finally made it into the world, Alex wouldn’t have felt the need to immediately bounce to go hang with his bros…but no, he did exactly that. His excuse? “I smell.” To quote Jersey Shore‘s generally awful Angelina: “Umm, hello!”

NEXT: That grand gesture of a tattoo we were all hoping for? Don’t hold your breath.

What makes 16 and Pregnant difficult to watch is when our hopes and desires for a happy ending come crashing down, with little sign of resolution. I kept waiting for something to finally flip a switch in Alex’s head: The sonogram photo, a room full of baby supplies, or maybe the act of holding tiny Genesis. But sadly, daddy dearest was more concerned with adding tattoos to his already heavily inked-up back, cultivating his sneaker collection, and passing on unfortunate fades to unsuspecting barbershop customers.

And sadly, 16 and Pregnant is a grimly realistic reality show, not the kind of scripted, romantic dramedy that we get conditioned to watching on screen, and then begin expecting to see replicated in the real world. The optimist inside me was expecting Alex’s new tattoo design to be “Felicia + Alex + Genesis” on a bed of roses, or something equally nauseating. But instead of using his latest ink to reflect his commitment to his family, there was no sweeping gesture, no adorable affirmation of his feelings. It was just a bro being a bro, an immature, self-absorbed kid getting yet another generic, indistinguishable tattoo.

While Felicia gave Alex the benefit of the doubt a little longer than I would have liked, I can understand how the idea of breaking up with him mid-pregnancy probably felt like another stress she just couldn’t bear. So it took returning to school, and learning that she would be able to graduate (!) in a matter of weeks — as long as she made up her missed assignments — to clue her in to that fact that life might be better without a dubious dad in the picture. Finally, FINALLY (perhaps this was the feel-good ending I was hoping for?) she let him have it: “I know I used to bug [you] about you not being with me all the time, but now that I have Genesis, I could care less if you’re with me.” Okay, so high school didn’t teach her it should be “couldn’t care less.” But Felicia is still young. And she’s still learning — about a lot of things. Cue the applause. And Alex, don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

What did you think about Felicia and Alex’s story? Felicia seemed to finally be getting her priorities straight, but do you think this mean that Alex is gone for good? Should she have kicked him out earlier in her pregnancy? Did you love her group of friends? And were you happy Felicia went back to live with Reina and her step-dad? Sound off below!

DO YOU AUDIBLY GASP WHEN YOU MEET SOMEONE AT A COCKTAIL PARTY WHO CLAIMS NOT TO OWN A TELEVISION? (WE’RE GASPING JUST THINKING ABOUT IT.) Then don’t miss this week’s TV Insiders podcast! Annie Barrett, Dalton Ross, Michael Ausiello, Michael Slezak, and Clark Collis talk about their favorite Halloween episodes, plus the creepy new series Dead Set and The Walking Dead. Plus, our EW couch potatoes dish the latest happenings on Survivor and Dancing With the Stars. Click here to download the TV Insiders podcast to your MP3 player, or listen to an embedded version below!

Episode Recaps

16 and Pregnant
An unflinching docu-series following the trials and tribulations of pregnant high-school girls
  • TV Show
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