12:00pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Awkward' Showrunner Offers 10 Teases for the End of Season 2
With three episodes remaining in Awkward's second season, Jenna Hamilton is almost back to where she was at this time last year: picking between Matty and Jake.
Last week, the two friends came to blows after Jake (Brett Davern) revealed that he was well aware of Jenna's (Ashley Rickards) secret "relationship" with Matty (Beau Mirchoff). Despite her best efforts to explain what her post-dumping smooch with Matty meant, Jake wasn't having it. Instead, Jenna turned to her trusted blog to vent and at the advice of her anonymous commenter, took the whole thing public -- much to Jake's chagrin.
The Hollywood Reporter turned to showrunner Lauren Iungerich to respond to burning questions -- Who will Jenna pick? Who's the mysterious commenter? Is there hope left for Jenna's parents? -- and she happily obliged, offering 10 teases for the final three episodes of the MTV hit's second season.
1. Jenna loves both guys … in different ways. Thursday's episode, "Pick Me, Choose Me, Love Me," will pick up with the aftermath of Jenna's blog going public -- where everyone seemingly offers their two cents when it comes to her love life. "Sometimes her need to do the right thing, to shelter and take care of somebody else's feelings, hurt other people -- including herself," Iungerich says, noting that's why she planted one on Matty. "Jenna got to a place where she's falling for Jake and that's where it gets muddled and complicated -- it's real life caged in a television show that's a fantasy."
2. "You will see a single Jenna this season." The showrunner says there's "something really interesting" about a single Hamilton, noting that "there's something powerful about her getting to a place where it's not about the boys." To that end, Iungerich has a vision for how the entire series ends -- and it has "nothing to do with the boys."
3. Who -- if anyone! -- Jenna picks will be informed by her parents' history. Lacey (Nikki Deloach) and Kevin (Mike Faiola) have spent the bulk of season two separated but Iungerich notes that this week's episode will offer more of their back story -- beyond Ben (Kristoffer Polaha) being her Jake to Kevin's Matty -- that will play a pivotal role in Jenna's love life. "We're going to learn about what life was like for Lacey and Kevin when Jenna was little -- and there's a piece of the equation she doesn't know about," she says. "That's going to change Jenna and her relationship with her mother and give her clarity about the relationship she's made with the boys." Part of that will include Jenna turning to her mom for some much needed advice that she predicts her mother will give her as a way to validate how she feels, only she'll get the opposite, "because at that point, Lacey has evolved. I was chomping at the bit to write Episode 10, and the end is just really powerful and makes a strong statement," she adds. "It doesn't tell us one way or the other [who she picks] but what she's is learning along the way is to trust her gut."
4. There will be fallout from Jenna's now public blog that goes beyond the love triangle. "We're going to see the good and the bad that comes out of that in the next episode," Iungerich says cryptically. "There is some good and some bad and with the bad comes the good." Among the victims: Lacey, whose misdeeds with the now infamous letter on full display for all to, er, read.
5. Speaking of Mama Hamilton, the answer to just why she sent Jenna the letter that has effectively changed her daughter's approach on life will be addressed. "My favorite part of the show is the dynamic between mothers and daughters," she notes. "We still haven't gotten clarity on why her mom wrote the letter and we will get clarity on that. It's going to make a lot of sense." Hint: There's a clue in the Season 1 finale that offers a greater explanation. "Lacey's had her own arrested development because she had to become an adult so soon by having a child and we get to understand why she became who she did though the course of having Jenna and see who Lacey and Kevin were early in their relationship -- it doesn't parallel Matty and Jenna but it does give some interesting context to Jenna about who her mom is."
6. Meanwhile, Jenna's mystery blog commenter will be revealed. Noting that some viewers figured out ahead of last year's finale that Lacey penned the letter, clues to the anonymous reader's identity were a bit more subtle. "There are enough little tidbits that should, once it's revealed -- and it will be revealed -- who the commenter is," she says, pointing out that whomever it is clearly knows Jenna enough to know that she isn't a "home wrecker."
7. Iungerich says Sadie (Molly Tarlov) will face consequences for spilling all of Jenna's beans about her past romps with Matty to Jake. "Karma's a bitch!" she enthuses of the character she dubbed the "smartest kid in the room." "Last season there was amazing retribution that happened with Valerie [Desi Lydic] getting to give it to her, but this season it's more karmic retribution: what goes around comes around." Also set to be further explored: the Mean Girl's love life. "We're going to see the insecure side of her that's coming up in her relationship with Ricky Schwartz [Matthew Fahey]," she adds. You're welcome.
8. The writer-producer teases that "there's hope" for Kevin and Lacey. While Kevin has been MIA so much to the point where Jenna learned form his answering machine that he's seeing someone named Hanna. Asked if viewers had
seen heard the last of her, the chatty Iungerich clammed up. "Maybe. Maybe not, you'll have to see." Color us intrigued.
9. The penultimate Season 2 installment -- slated to air Sept. 13 after Awkward takes a week off for the VMAs -- will be what Iungerich dubs their "Community episode" with a flashback effort revolving (naturally) around Jenna had she and everyone else in her life made different choices. "We broke the mold a little bit; it goes back to moments in the first season and we pay homage to the brilliance of Dan Harmon and that team over there."
10. As for the season finale, Iungerich teased that it wouldn't end with a big cliffhanger like last season. "I was aiming for something that would have to be interpreted by the audience with different interpretations; maybe some people will get it and understand it," she warns. "I took a philosophical take on the finale this season, we're leaving it to the audience to read into it and think about it."
What are you looking forward to seeing? Hit the comments with your thoughts. Awkward airs Thursdays at 10:30 p.m. on MTV. Check back to THR's The Live Feed on Thursday for more Awkward goodness.