In this week's episode of Twisted,
Charlie shows his true colors by becoming the great manipulator and crazy person everyone knew him to be, except Jo. Oh, poor Jo Po.
Let me give a little history lesson in teen dramas with the mother load of beautiful teen dramas. No, not Beverly Hills 90210, but the true Millennial teen drama, The O.C. (Especially since this whole storyline aired around the same time 10 years ago.)
Once upon a time, when people watched network TV live, people liked shows about rich Californian family outcasts who live in the coveted Orange County. There was once a troubled teen named Ryan Atwood, who fell in love with damaged It Girl Marissa Cooper. But she had a problem for befriending troubled teens and a tendency to push others away for the wrong guy. Enter Oliver Trask.
Oliver Trask is the character you bring in to cause trouble. The character is a cliche-ridden plot device. Seemingly normal on the outside, lonely and desperate on the inside. Does any of this sound familiar? Okay, then. Charlie is Oliver Trask. Danny is Ryan Atwood. Which makes Jo the substitute for Marissa Cooper because this is who Danny is in love with this week.
The crazy love interest obsessed with his "friend" is a popular trope on teen soaps. Let's talk about why Twisted's version of this is problematic.
One, because it's not executed nearly as well as The O.C.'s execution, and that was the worst bit of the show. Two, because Twisted is not just the Jo and Danny show. (Remember when Lacey was a good character who was involved in things? Me either, it's been that long.) Three, because it's completely predictable. Four, because there is more showing than telling.
Didn't I say, didn't I say, didn't I say that Charlie was a character created just to cause trouble and threaten Danny? To have Charlie be dork-ish and somewhat likable is one thing. For him to have been secretly biding his time so he can take over Danny's life and manipulate everyone around him is another. Danny mentions that Charlie has always been so good at twisting people, but no. He hasn't. Jo and Lacey have just been acting very dumb and started believing him.
I mentioned last week how amazing it is that these characters always put their trust in the wrong people. Even more than that, I should add how often I put my trust in the team behind Twisted and am disappointed.
How Will He Twist Danny This Week?
Charlie's big plan this week is to frame Jack for Vikram's murder, but Danny will be so obsessed with guilt he'll confess anyway. Charlie will remain the hero who gets to fall asleep with Jo on couches. I should note that I kind of like the actor who plays Charlie because he's made some consistency with the character: I believe it's versions of one guy, at least.
Elsewhere, Jo and Danny fight some more. And I'm very much over their weird little friendship of showing up at each other's houses to yell at one another until the other goes away. There are more interesting ways to have the same fight over and over again. Also, I just cannot believe Danny is in love with Jo and vice versa. Not after the traumatic stuff they have been through.
Danny has hired the top lawyer to defend Jack as he unfolds this current mystery. That's probably the biggest problem with the show and the mystery right now: I do not care about it at all. I do not care if Danny kills his father in self defense and spends the rest of the season moaning about it. I do not care who did the cover-up. I do care about Danny, Lacey and Jo.
Danny believes that someone has framed Jack. That someone is Charlie, naturally, because Danny too is realizing that the boxes around his head and abs are in fact a television screen. "He's good at twisting people like that." Meta!
Look, the rest of this predictable. Danny and Charlie have yet another fight and confrontation with one another, though this time Charlie wins and shows some of his evil. Danny even goes to his old prison mentor to confirm Charlie's crazy, which we see because he injures himself to gain sympathy. And eventually, Charlie pushes Jo too far (by asking her to go against Danny) that she runs away from him.
Charlie doesn't even have to be that good at manipulating people to manipulate Jo (no one does), but at least Jo would never do that to Danny. Almost simultaneously, Danny confesses to Kyle about the murder. Finally. Jo does the same to Tess. Phew. Thanks for eating up the whole season with that storyline.
Staple Bi-Curious Arc
Okay, I really was prepared to hate this B plot, but I can't hate the resolution of this storyline. Whitney and Lacey kissed last week, which has made Lacey rather bi-curious. After all, her dad is gay. Maybe she is gay as well. Yada yada yada. I shouldn't sound so blase, but years of teen drama cynicism have taught me otherwise.
Whitney is super into girls, and due to her father being arrested she stays with her crush Lacey. Lacey admits to thinking she may have liked the kiss, so after a series of mishaps they kiss again. And guess what? Lacey is not gay or bi-curious with Whitney. She's just missing Danny.
And that's okay.
Usually, storylines like this would bug me because I would not buy into the Lacey and Whitney romance after about two weeks of preparation. I am pleasantly surprised to see that even though there is nothing there romantically, the two are friends now. Friends who will eat ice cream together. The way it's resolved, like it is not a big deal at all, is really refreshing. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that it would be treated the same way if she was into Whitney.
Marissa Cooper also had this storyline, and she was also not in love with and in love with Ryan at the time. Unfortunately for Lacey, she still loves Danny. There are many times when I want to make like Pleasantville and hop into my TV screen and change the course of the world. This is definitely one of them.
I would also like to petition for Lacey to have better storylines from now on. Do you think Change.org will accept this petition?
Tess has stalked her daughter and the adopted mother into agreeing to meet one another. Isn't this super illegal or bad? Is her daughter older than 18? I'm just curious. Kyle expresses my concerns at least.
Tess tells Jo about her super secret baby she gave up for adoption named #SurpriseSister, if ABC Family is any indication. What an odd name for your child. Jo wants to support her mother, but the adopted mother lays some bad news on everyone: Tess' adopted daughter died as an infant in a playground accident. The mother is probably lying, but at least she has photos that look like Jo.
Tess notices something is off in these photos, mainly that the baby was born at a hospital instead of a farm like the one she gave birth to, but she can't put her finger on what is wrong. I swear to god, Tess probably fried her brain from overusing her curling iron. But what is important here, folks, is that she hasn't found her adopted daughter just yet. (Also, funnily enough: a simlar storyline occurred with Kirsten's character, but she had an abortion instead.)
-- My expectations for Twisted are so low after this past half season. I really hope the season finale next week fixes that.
-- Rico, where did you go?
-- Jo's hair bothers me every episode. If you recall the pilot, it was just messy and a mane of untame hair. Now it looks professionally styled all the time. It just bothers me.
-- I honestly want Whitney to stick around. She's a ton of fun.
What did you think of this week's Twisted? Are you not a fan of this Charlie storyline? Do you love The O.C. too? Are you sick of the trio being separated from one another? What are your expectations for Twisted? Sound off below!
(Image courtesy of ABC Family)