TV Review: Awkward. (5×17) “Fireworks”

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The Hamilton house has become the home for wayward college kids–with Lissa and Jake bunking in Jenna’s bedroom, she and Tamara are stuck with the couch in the living room. The girls decide that they need new clothes for the fourth of July, but have no money. They wax poetic about how fellowships pay you in experience, leading Kevin to make a very good point: “Good luck trying to buy stuff at the mall with experience.”

Jake offers the girls shifts at the country club, only they have to start on the holiday in question. Jenna is cold with new coworkers Matty and Sully, which inspires Matty to lie about calling her in last week’s episode. “This isn’t high school, I don’t want any drama,” Jake chastises. Good luck, dude. They continue bitching at each other while Tamara slacks off in an attempt to grab the attention of the cute Princeton guy at the club. I should note that their exchanges included the acronym IPA (“incredibly photogenic ass”).

Matty saves Jenna from an obnoxious customer and admits that calling Jenna was an attempt to thank her for covering for him with her parents. Everyone is in better spirits as they commiserate over having spent their holiday working. Sully suggests a secret party on the golf course with a great view of the fireworks, keeping Jake in the dark so that he doesn’t stop them. Formerly Jenna-obsessed Kyle shows up, who is now a good friend of Matty and Sully. Tamara ends up hooking up with him later in the evening.

Sully and Jenna have a successful heart-to-heart in which Jenna realizes that Matty never bitched about her to his new girlfriend. The conversation is successful, even after Sully tries to kiss Jenna. Luke and Matty have their own drunken heart-to-heart, in which Luke drunkenly confesses that he hated Matty back when he originally dated Jenna because she was still in love with him. Luke then tries to punch Matty, but hugs him in the end.

In the morning, Jenna and Matty apologize to each other. I so dig these two being friends, hanging out and having a good time. The glow of their party wears off when Jake finds them sleeping by the pool, called into work early because they trashed the golf course. He gets fired for his friends’ behavior.

Over in the B plot, Sergio calls Sadie for help, to which she smugly agrees. Convinced they’re going on a date, Sadie dresses up. When she discovers he wants help on the food truck, she’s slightly annoyed. “You’re paying me triple time and I get to keep everything in the tip jar because I look so hot,” she demands. At the end of the night, Sergio explains that the reason he wasn’t at Sadie’s birthday party was because he and his girlfriend got into a huge fight, since she was jealous of his past relationship with Sadie. He takes Sadie to dinner to make up for his absence.

This was the best episode of Awkward. this season; it brought (nearly) the entire gang together again. When they’re separated, they end up whining about the same tired plotlines for lack of anything better to do. When more of them are together, we’re able to see the dynamic and humor that made this show interesting in earlier seasons. More episodes like this, please.

Episode Rating: 8/10.

Bri is a 25-year-old born and raised in the swamps of Jersey. Just kidding, she lives at least twenty minutes from those swamps. She’s a publishing professional that moonlights as a writer. She enjoys going to concerts (anything from Rooney to Springsteen to NKOTBSB), roadtripping, and complaining that she truly belongs in the 1950’s, the 1920′s, or the 1980′s depending on her mood. She definitely owns more books than she should and reads every chance she gets. If you stop hearing from her, it’s because the book piles have fallen over and smothered her to death in the night. You can contact her at Twitter: @bri_lockhart