Teenagers has been a strong series overall, however, Episode 7 is more in line with my general thoughts on Episode 3. Excluding a major moment of insight into the psyche of the show’s most-notorious character, little will be remembered about this entry in the series. Though the way every thread is left hanging only works with some of the storylines, it’s clear that Teenagers is saving it’s best for last (Episode 8).
While Bree diligently plans out their science project, Gabriel spends the time virtually drooling all over her. His mind is blown at the fact that he never “noticed” Bree until now, despite having been in multiple classes together. He even tells her that she’s cute before upgrading his compliment; “Maybe I mean you’re kinda sexy,” he says before kissing her. A bit flustered, Bree apologizes and walks out on Gabriel. In Episode 6 we’re left with the idea that Bree, a young woman finally discovering her sexuality, isn’t going to let anyone else dictate it for her. At the end of this episode when she calls Ash and tells him that they need to talk, the conversation could go one of multiple ways. Does she feel bad for kissing Gabriel? Is she ending things with Ash?
It’s been somewhat common within Teenagers for us to not really know where a character’s head is in an episode. With Bree, however, we’ve pretty much always known or at least been able to figure out what she’s thinking. While uncertainty works for a character like Ash, because he’s established as someone with an aversion to close relationships and doesn’t know how to express his feelings, it’s almost unsettling for that to happen with someone like Bree here.
“I really like you and…anyways, Jeremy and I are done and I just thought—” *RECEIVES T’s TONGUE DOWN HER THROAT*
For a character that’s very passive, T wasted no time making a move on Olive when the opportunity presented itself. While cold toward Olive in Episode 6, the note she left on his locker clearly warmed his heart.
Olive apologizes to T for the position she put him and confesses her feelings for him. T interrupts her apology by kissing her, an action that sends shock waves throughout surrounding characters. Sara witnesses the kiss, and later we see her break down crying. Her arch has been subtly torturous as she longs for someone she can’t have. Though Olive and T are a wonderful pairing, you can’t help but feel genuinely bad for Sara. Actress Allyson Pratt has nailed every scene involving this story which can’t possibly be over, even with Olive and T finally becoming an item.
Olive and T aren’t concerned about what attention their public displays of affection may bring, cozying up to one another in the hallways at school. T meets Bree for the first time, but lingering in the background is Olive’s ex Jeremy. Seeing Olive and T together upsets him, and he confronts Olive after T walks away. Bree steps in and tells Jeremy to back off.
When Jeremy beat up T in Episode 5, he called T the n-word. In this episode we finally receive Jeremy’s disturbing back story. As he freaks out over the situation with Olive, punching a brick wall, we see flashbacks to a conversation with his father. “You’re so stupid,” his father says. “Just because she’s mixed, it doesn’t mean she ain’t a nigger.”
The natural reaction when encountering someone who’s racist is to just write them off as such, with no desire to understand why they think the way they do. Here, Teenagers brilliantly shows that Jeremy is a character who’s more than just some guy whose racism is a plot device for another character. We witness a tortured soul, caught in between the will of his controlling (and presumably abusive) father, and the love he has for Olive. With the first season of Teenagers winding down, I’m most excited to see further examination of the battle in Jeremy’s head in the future.