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October 30, 2014

'Life Unexpected' - 'Truth Unrevealed' Recap

by Hemal Jhaveri, posted Feb 23rd 2010 11:31AM
Life Unexpected(S01E05) Nothing ruins a good episode like fifteen minutes of maudlin weeping. After a brisk 45 minutes of 'Three's Company'-style hijinks, wherein Baze invades Cate & Ryan's perfect life, the tension between Ryan/Cate/Baze comes to a grinding halt when everyone starts exploring their feelings.

Not to sound too cynical, but why should every episode end with a very touching moment, complete with soft singer/songwriter acoustic guitar music in the background?

There's nothing compelling, interesting or even vaguely original about that. And as a viewer, all these cues let you know one thing: there's some serious scenery chewing coming up.

The first two acts of this episode were great -- lots of conflict that was handled with humor and insight. It was good to see Cate challenged by another strong female on the show, but there needs to be a line between strong and "bitchy." The two aren't the same. Cate's boss? She's bitchy. Ryan shows a bit of a spine when he demands that Baze back-off. It may have sounded heartless to others, but I considered it a fair request. Ryan has been more than understanding about all the complications in Cate's life, he's earned the right to make some demands.

And then the third act... well... there has just got to be a better way to do self-introspection that isn't so stagnant.

Not every episode has to have a heart-to-heart talk at the end. The writers are really starting to slip into a formulaic trap with their reliance on this convention. It worked last week when Baze and his father shared a drink -- some sentiment overlaid with humor -- but doing it week after week deadens the impact.

I could have done without the Cate and Lux chat on her bed. We needed the emotion for Cate and Ryan's conversation about their future, but these scenes back-to-back were grating. And neither worked as well as the simple shot of Baze lying alone in his apartmant, listening to Cate and Ryan on-air. Special memo to writers: more scenes that don't hit us over the head with emotion, please.

Also, why get rid of Bug just as he's becoming interesting? For any show to be successful, the characters need have depth. They've done well to show that despite his sad story, Bug isn't always a good guy. His untoward behavior toward Lux is just one example, but he's also not a total jerk. He's immature and he cares about Lux, but doesn't' always make good decisions. He's a lot like almost any one of us.

And Jones, despite the trappings of a rich kid jock, isn't just callous and vapid. I totally felt a stab of embarrassment as he tried to give Lux a necklace and she just walked away from him. Similarly, Lux isn't above getting her heart broken despite how strong she appears to be. High school romance plot lines aren't my favorite, but I enjoyed the twists and turns of the Bug/Lux/Jones triangle way more than I thought I would.

Lux, who is still young enough to believe that doing the right thing is best winds up in tears over Bug's departure. And Cate, who is old enough to know better, lies, lies, lies straight to Ryan's face multiple times about sleeping with Baze. Ouch. It's painful to watch the poor guy go through this. Whether Cate has real feelings for Baze or just a leftover crush, there is no way that this isn't coming back to haunt her. My guess is that it will probably happen around May sweeps. Oh Cate. You know better.

Is Cate eventually going to come clean to Ryan? Are you rooting for Lux to hook up with Jones? Holding out hope for an eventual Baze and Cate relationship? Me, all I want for next week is a dose of Math. He was missed this time around.

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Georgia

Cate needs to stoppp with the lies, they're going to come back and slap her in the face. I kind of love the Jones/Lux thing going on but I am a teenage girl and I tend to love these types of things. My heart went out for him when he tried to give her the necklace. I think Bugs will be back tho

February 23 2010 at 6:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Wofgang

Wasn't "Turtle Undefeated" the title of last weeks episode. You know the one with the turtle races?

February 23 2010 at 4:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Wofgang's comment
Joel Keller

Yep, you're right. It's been fixed.

February 23 2010 at 4:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Gerry Brown

Like a lot of the CW shows, this series started out being poignant and is now dipping into soap opera.

February 23 2010 at 12:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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