Sunday, August 31, 2008

TSLOTAT: Episode 5: "What Have You Done to Me?"

Hi, extensive fanbase, we're home early. Today on the Jawsome Olde Tyme Revue, we'll be revuing The Secret Life of the American Teenager, episode five: "What Have You Done to Me?" This episode is brought to you by the dynamic pairing of writer Brenda Hampton and director Ron Underwood, of "Falling in Love" and "I Feel Sick" fame, and it first aired July 29, 2008.

Ben and Amy are having a picnic of chicken wings, as promised at the end of the previous episode. Ben sees Amy moaning in ecstasy while chowing down on the wings and declares, "I love you, Amy Juergens." She replies, "Thanks. Me too." Awk-ward! But Ben is unfazed. He sees a couple pushing a baby around in a stroller and also a couple of old people. Inspired, he asks Amy to marry him.

When we return from the opening titles, Amy is in tears, the stroller baby is wailing, and the old couple are getting into a shoving match and hitting each other with their walkers. Amy has intuited that the marriage proposal means that Ben knows she's pregnant. She whines that Ben is such a nice person and she's such a whore, and Ben replies, "Well... you're my whore." (Really! But he's joking.) They decide they can just pretend that the Ben is the real baby-daddy, and Amy can be the Sausage Princess.

Ricky is at Grace's house talking to Tom about how he doesn't like football. Grace's parents still don't like him even though he went to church with them, because they're mad about Grace's ruse of pretending to date him in order to see Jack. Now she wants to date him for real, but they won't let her do that either.

Amy's dad is still leaving, having been kicked out of the house, and Ashley doesn't like it, so she bitches him out as he goes, saying "How could you leave us, especially now!" Molly Ringwald walks in at that moment and is like, "Especially now?" Cue the mysterious music.

At Adrian's place, she's helping Jack write a report on Buffalo Soldier, the book based on the hit Bob Marley song. In a shocking role reversal, Adrian lectures Jack about how he should have listened to the sermon about personal responsibility, but Jack is all cynical about it, saying that the sermon was an attempt by the church to pander to Grace's parents to get money. It turns out that Jack's stepdad is someone named Reverend Stone, and Jack's dating Grace was actually his idea.

Adrian's mom tells her that her new boyfriend, Amy's dad, is going to be staying with them for a few weeks, so Adrian should probably get a padlock for her underwear drawer.

Amy comes home and completely fails to understand when Ashley tells her that their dad is having an affair. Amy is all stressed out and decides that a baby is the last thing she needs, so she wants to abort it. Could it be? Will this ABC Family show from the creator of 7th Heaven actually go where The N fears to tread?

Of course not. We know all along that there's never any chance that she's actually going to abort this thing, which kind of takes the wind out of the sails of most of the rest of the episode. But we've got to muddle through anyway.

For some reason, Ben is opposed to the abortion idea. He's damn opposed, damn damn damn opposed! I guess he knows that a baby is the only way he can "lock down" this relationship with a girl who's way out of his league. While he's trying to talk her out of it, Adrian walks up in a halter top and says she needs to talk to Amy after school. Madison and Lauren show up and then immediately leave, and Ben suggests that they are responsible for everyone knowing that Ricky knocked up Amy. Then the Asians come up to Ben and he gives them $20 to leave him alone.

Grace is talking to some random girl we've never seen before about how (a) Amy is pregnant, and (b) Jack told everybody that he got oral from Adrian, further confusing the issue that I thought was resolved last episode, of whether they had intercourse. Grace freaks out and runs into Ricky's open arms. They get into a philosophical discussion worthy of Heidegger about the essence of truth as it applies to Adrian giving Jack head. Then Ricky says, "If your parents would let me come over tonight, I'd love to hear your personal testimony." Oh yeah, he's gonna be hearing her personal testimony all night long.

Amy asks Madison and Lauren for help getting an abortion, but they're not much use; they just tell her to tell her mom. Meanwhile, even counselor Mark Molina knows that Amy's preggers, so he asks her to see him in his office during study hall. That goes nowhere, but he does tell Ben to lay off and stop trying to convince Amy to abort it. And Amy gets a call from her dad that depresses them both, but fortunately Adrian's mom is there to cheer him up with her vagina. Amy gets another call from Dr. Hightower and pretends she already aborted the foetus. She's a bundle of emotions!

Grace finally tracks down Jack and Adrian with the intention of kicking Jack's butt, but he creates a distraction by revealing that Amy is pregnant with Ricky's kid. Adrian is pissed at Ricky and storms off. Then Jack tells Grace that he only went out with her because his stepdad asked him to, and as a grim finale, he drowns a caged baby and takes a dump on the American flag. Grace starts weeping as a rockin' guitar lick plays.

That night, Amy's at home staring at the moon. Ben calls, but she screens it because she really wants to concentrate on the moon-staring. He leaves a message saying, "Come on! Marry me!"

That's all for this episode, but don't worry, I'll be back for the next one, spending hours painstakingly taking screenshots and writing up sarcastic descriptions of everything that happens in the episode. Oh, TSLOTAT, what have you done to me?

Final thoughts: After the brilliance of "Caught!", this episode was bound to be a letdown, and in that respect it didn't disappoint, by which I mean that it was indeed disappointing. Ben soared to new heights of obnoxiousness with his constant declarations of love for Amy, and Amy's crying wore pretty thin too. They must have ordered Visine in bulk for this one. But it wasn't all bad. I like that Jack is becoming more of an asshole; I guess Adrian is rubbing off on him, and influencing him, too. Speaking of Adrian, her slow slide toward being less of a one-dimensional evil slut character continued, unfortunately, but she did show flashes of her true form while making fun of Grace.

On the next TSLOTAT: The secret's out! Amy tells Molly Ringwald that she's preggers, resulting in a shocking revelation -- unless you saw the promos for the episode, where they told you a week ahead of time what that revelation was going to be. Also, the abortion cliffhanger is sort of resolved. Please don't reveal the secret ending to your friends!

Quotes
  • "Who would want to have sex with Dad if they didn't have to? Ha ha! Ha ha ha!" -- Amy
  • Madison: "Divorce, abortion, what's next?!"
    Lauren: "I don't know... but what I do know is that this is not what I wanted my high school experience to be."
  • "[The moon] seemed like the perfect place to run away to. A place where I could eat freeze-dried ice cream and drink Tang... bounce around all day." -- Molly Ringwald

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