'Awkward': Nikki DeLoach Previews Summer Finale

"We've seen [Jenna] push away a little bit," DeLoach tells THR, "and it leaves us in a place in the finale of not knowing where Jenna will go."
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Nikki DeLoach

Where will Jenna Hamilton end up?

It's been a rocky road for the Palos Hills High School junior, with her romance with Matty (Beau Mirchoff) on shaky ground.

"What Mr. Hart (Anthony Michael Hall) and Collin (Nolan Funk) have specifically done to Jenna -- with the theme of 'who do I want to be?' -- have really challenged her to question that," Nikki DeLoach tells The Hollywood Reporter. "I think we've seen from episode one that Jenna progressively questions that in her own life, and if the people around her -- whether that be Matty, her friends or her parents -- fulfill this new desire that she has to explore who she is."

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As DeLoach hints, the answers won't be immediately apparent. "We've seen her push away a little bit and question those relationships, and it leaves us in a place in the finale of not knowing where Jenna will go with these questions," she says.

From Lacey's perspective, the Jenna-Matty-Collin triangle is a complicated subject to delve into. "Lacey wants her daughter to explore those questions in life because Lacey never got a chance to," DeLoach says, who says Jenna's parents take a "hands-off approach." "There were no questions about Lacey's future. She felt her future was determined by the fact that now she had a kid and that that was her job in life."

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However, "the way in which Jenna goes about" figuring out her future with either Matty or Collin "is very important to Lacey because she doesn't want her to be a cheater or make the wrong decision," DeLoach says. "It's a very delicate balance between supporting her daughter's quest to find out who she is and also helping her to make those right choices along the way."

As of right now, "there is no reason for panic in the Hamilton home," DeLoach teases, "yet."

Answers won't be plentiful in Tuesday's midseason closer. "The season finale will set us up for the back-10 episodes," she says. "It's going to leave the audience not knowing what Jenna is going to do as far as her life choices go: Where does that leave her with Matty? Where does that leave her with her friends? If she decides to pursue other avenues, she's already shown there's an interest with Collin -- and he is not letting go; he consistently pursues her."

Awkward wraps up the first half of season three at 10 p.m. Tuesday on MTV.

E-mail: Philiana.Ng@thr.com