A Finale That’s Actually Mostly Really Good: “Faking It” 1×8 – “Burnt Toast”

They fell down after they danced. I don't know.

They fell down after they danced. I don’t know.

The season finale of “Faking It” opens after Karma and Liam have apparently had sex, but Karma lets Liam know that they have to keep their relationship a secret for a while: “If people at school think I left Amy for you, they’ll hate us more than oil companies.” Liam asks about 82 more times if Amy is okay with what’s happening, and Karma continues to lie to both Liam and Amy. Old news.

So Amy’s preparing a speech for her mom’s wedding and it’s not going well. Karma tells her to speak from her heart, because that can never go wrong. That’s both a paraphrased quote and a sarcastic observation. Then Amy’s mom barges in all worried that Amy’s grandma is going to catch them in the act of, like, talking, and Amy quips, “Thank god she didn’t barge in five minutes ago when we were sixty-nining!” I love Amy. While this bit was funny, I do wish we’d get to see more of Amy’s mom so we could have a more consistent feel for her treatment of Amy now. During the wedding she worries about Nana finding out and her new husband is like, “Your mother couldn’t pick out a lesbian at a Melissa Etheridge concert.” Yes.

Too gay for Amy's mom.

Too gay for Amy’s mom.

Liam and Shane decide to crash the wedding because that dude Pablo who Shane turned down a few episodes ago will be there. Whatever. Liam and Shane are dressed up like waiters, and Liam starts making out with Karma while hiding slightly behind a plant. Whatever. Lauren and Pablo are being cute, though, as he calls her out on pretending not to be sad after her boyfriend dumped her. She says he broke up with her because Shane told him about those mysterious pills we still don’t have an explanation for. For the first time ever, Shane is actually called out for his bad behavior. Yay!

Shane eavesdropping as Lauren shittalks him.

Shane eavesdropping as Lauren shittalks him.

Some song comes on and Karma ditches Liam because it’s her and Amy’s song, and they does this whole choreographed dance. I don’t know if I’m willing to buy Amy dancing like this in front of people and it’s a little wooden but it’s still pretty cute. And then her mom grounds her for two weeks for being too gay. Karma tells her not to do anything mean to her mom during her speech, and then they have a gross sappy moment where Amy says Karma knows her better than she knows herself.

Liam is still not sure that Karma broke up with Amy because they “looked like a couple” when they were dancing. It’s annoying to have Liam harass Karma about this all the time, but as I said last week, it’s the show’s way of keeping Liam from being a bad guy, because he cares about not doing anything awful. At what point, though, do you give up and just break up with a girl who you consistently can’t trust? Liam’s insecurity isn’t charming, even if they try to make it a result of his family. Instead it’s a symptom of the show trying to keep him an innocent, good guy.

Karma reassures Liam that she and Amy are “faking it big time.” It’s interesting how “faking it” has transitioned through the season from pretending to be gay to pretending not to be gay in a variety of ways. It’s Amy lying to Karma, to her mom, to her nana, because she’s gayer than anticipated. It’s Karma lying to her parents, to Liam, to herself, because she needs to uphold so many different stories and is starting to question her own reality but doesn’t want to acknowledge that. The original usage of “faking it” has been inverted. The showrunners have talked in interviews about how they wanted every character to be faking it in some ways, and a lot of characters are lying about plenty of things, but this original usage is still the most important, and I’m willing to say that it’s been almost entirely subverted at this point. I don’t think I would excuse the show’s queerbaiting for publicity entirely, because you need to watch eight episodes for the payoff, but I think they did a fairly good job of knowing what they were getting themselves into when they employed the trope.

Amy winds up improvising her speech: “You’re lucky. You’ve fallen in love with your best friend.” She goes on about the benefits, and says that she “would kill to spend the rest of [her] life with that person.” She tries to cover it up with a “wouldn’t we all,” but then she spots Liam, and things get dangerous. I don’t know if the next scene is the best in the whole show, but it’s certainly the most emotional, and it actually kind of made me mad that the show has spent so much time on pointless scenes when it could be giving me more scenes like this one.

Karma finally catches on during Amy's speech.

Karma finally catches on during Amy’s speech.

Karma flat-out asks Amy if she has feelings for her, and says she can tell when Amy is lying. Amy responds, “Oh really? Because I’ve been lying ever since we kissed at the homecoming assembly.” Karma’s hurt and shocked that this has been a secret for weeks, and says Amy could never lose her: “Look, this is no big deal. Right now you’re just confused –” But Amy argues that there’s a spark between them, and that she was confused and scared at first too, and that Karma should just try it with her, and that Amy loves her. Karma replies that their kiss was hot and nothing more, and she doesn’t love Amy in the same way, and then tells her that she slept with Liam. It’s hard to explain how devastating the scene is to watch, but Amy’s desperation is raw, and Karma shifts from shock to sympathy to fear. The different types of panic they each experience are clear and painful to watch. This is the truest the show has felt, as the girls are confused in different ways, and all of the MTV comedy bullshit is stripped away from the show for a few minutes to make the characters the most relatable they’ve been so far.

Amy confesses her love for Karma.

Amy confesses her love for Karma.

Things continue to fall apart after this. Shane finds out that Liam still has a thing with Karma, and winds up telling Liam what he knows about Karma and Amy. Once again, Karma is learning a lesson for what she’s done wrong, and Liam remains a good guy. Meanwhile, Lauren, who eavesdropped, brings Amy a piece of cake and they bond over being broken up with, in their own special way: “Would you shut the fuck up? I’m trying to empathize.” I love her. Shane whines about how he thinks he’s a good person until he does awful things and then he makes out with Pablo, confirming (falsely) that he doesn’t care that Pablo is celibate. That will end well. And after a shot of Karma crying on her mom’s lap – maybe she should tell her mom she’s not gay – the grand finale is a shot of Amy and Liam drunk and half naked and making out on Amy’s bed. GREAAAAAAAAAT.

The good news is that season two has been confirmed. The bad news is waiting to resolve all of these weird cliffhangers. The bad news is also that I’m still sad about that scene between Amy and Karma. I’m very curious as to where this will go next season. We can only hope that this will spurn Karma to question her own sexuality rather than flatly denying that there might be something else happening there. There’s a lot that will probably happen in season two, but I think right now, this is the main thing to hope for.

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