Charlie does half-naked push-ups to Jo's photo when Sheriff Kyle arrives. Luckily for Charlie, the sheriff does not see this, he just escorts him to the crime scene where Danny killed his dad that one time and Jo watched. Let me just state that as a serious writer, I approve of this opening sequence of half-nakedness.
"We think Charlie has everything to do with it," Jo says. (Little did I know, this statement is actually true on many levels.) Oh? Charlie is suddenly believed to be the antichrist this episode by everybody. Jo believes Charlie is cray. Lacey believes her friends because she is perfect. Danny believes Charlie witnessed the self-defense and covered up the murder. Charlie even tries to manipulate Kyle by pulling the Jo card: aka, that Jo was there, but failed. Kyle is on Team Charlie Is Evil. Jo is equally unfooled.
I feel like everyone has done a bit of a switch from the pilot in terms of characterization. Like, early characterizations and developments have been thrown out or at least reduced. (In fact, Lacey and Jo have switched roles.) However, when Kyle and Tess have it out about Jo's involvement in the investigation, they are two very different parents and characters who have remained consistent since the beginning of the show.
I appreciate that Kyle remains conflicted yet ethical in his duty to the public, regardless of Jo's involvement, while Tess (with hair that is abnormally too-well-done for Tess) screams to protect their kid no matter what. What I'm trying to say is that these two won't last, which is something I picked up on in the pilot. But consistent characterization, everyone! For Tess, nonetheless.
Anyway, Danny is in jail, then out of jail. Kyle warns Danny to lay low, stay away from Jo and accessorize his ankle monitor. Look how simple that would have been. That even could have happened, say, five episodes ago.
The Triangle Should Die a Painful Death
Let me explain: the part I didn't like about this half of the season? Sidelining Lacey in favor of the "epic" love of Danny and Jo for the sake of the triangle. This was the Jo and Danny will-they-should-they-won't-they show, and it didn't always work. Their friendship was always more than that because this is a show about the three of them. Ahem.
But finally, finally Jo believes Danny. She's putting her trust in the right person. Yet Jo is still acting like a moron for antagonizing crazy, crazy Charlie by saying things like stay away from me. At least she has the common sense to come clean to Rico about everything. Because the only person she wants to talk to is Rico.
Speaking of Jo's other stalker, Danny sneaks into her room through the window. Danny confesses something, that "It's always been you, Jo." Really? It's always been her, even when you were really into Lacey a few weeks ago? The writers are just fan servicing the social media wars between shippers. But I digress. Jo acts maturely by asking for some time to think and then talk, but my cynicism is more because the show just needed a delay for more stuff to happen.
Like Charlie kidnapping Jo. Danny tracks this nonsense down with the help of the sheriff, Lacey, a smartphone app and some hair product. Because everyone has good hair on this show.
We Need to Talk About Charlie
It is now time for the villain to talk, talk, talk. Charlie does not disappoint because he takes Jo to his childhood home where his mother was murdered by Vikram Desai. Who was Danny's mom? Aunt Tara. Wait a minute. That is both ingenious and so stupid. I love it. More on that in a bit because I do not want to interrupt a good evil monologue.
According to Charlie, he was always told to stay away from Green Grove and to stay away from Vikram Desai. So when his mother died when he was 13, he was sent to foster care. It wasn't an accident that Charlie was put in juvie with Danny: he planned it by stealing a car. All so he could kill his mother's killer. But once there, he believed Danny did not do it. In fact, he admired Danny's life and friends so much he moved to Green Grove to meet them.
This is the part where it transitions from sad-crazy to weird-crazy. Charlie says how much he loves Jo; he didn't expect to fall in love with her. I know this is a bit of a weird story, but I feel for Charlie. I know he doesn't really love Jo -- he probably isn't capable of it -- but I still sympathize for the poor dude.
The Other Teens
Whitney, Lacey, Rico and Andie hang out at the diner. I approve of these people hanging out and for the teens acting like teens. If anything from the back half, I enjoyed Whitney and her fun personality. She added to the show a lot. But more important, Whitney's mom is the other woman in The Parent Trap! Did your mind equally explode? Are you going to watch that movie 1,000 times in a row? Again?
Her mom shows up to force Whitney back to the Big Apple, even though her mom's boyfriend hit on Whitney. According to the mother, Whitney is a habitual liar. That is very messed up. Jack is out on bail, in immediate protective mode. Whitney is here to stay. Yay.
But the BFF relationship between Lacey and Whitney is under pressure. Lacey cannot handle any more people lying to her. Whitney accepts this, and is hopeful to gain back Lacey's trust. Rico overhears this. Lacey and Rico have had a lot of scenes this season, probably because the writers have no idea what to do with either of them. I do feel, however, that Lacey and Rico could be good friends.
Tess and Karen are pissed because Vikram ruined everyone's lives all those times. Really, Vikram is the worst. I would love to find out that Vikram did everything for more nuanced reasons, but I like pushing all the blame onto Vikram. He's a fun scapegoat. We should blame him for climate change or for the penny debate.
Karen takes a sledgehammer to Vikram's desk and I am pretty sure the thing weighs more than her. Also, she has held the sledgehammer incorrectly and this is my biggest pet peeve when I watch anything. Your hand is supposed be near the blade and move toward the end of the pole as you swing downward. It upsets me every time when actors mess this up.
But guess what? They find something in the desk! A MacGuffin? Nope. Just a bunch of documents leading to Tess' real baby. I could not care less about Tess looking for her lost kid. I sympathize for that kid, whoever it may be. According to the doc Tess tracks down, there was a reason Vikram kept that knowledge from her. I don't care. Tess is the worst.
With Jack out on bail, he heads over to Karen's for a little confession and sexin'. He admits he moved the body and staged the accident, but also that he knew nothing about the $10 million.
Except, in the middle of the night, Whitney and Jack put their smirks on to discuss how successful they are in their plan to worm themselves into the Desais' lives. Jack's all good with Karen. But Whitney has some work to do with Lacey, who does not trust her. "Smart girl," Jack smirks. (Inside, I light up that Lacey is the only one who rejects known liars.) What about Charlie? Whitney asks. He went rogue. Oh.
I smell a conspiracy that smells Twisted. Aka: I am super excited at this development. The next one, however...
Everyone arrives to save Jo from Charlie, who is yielding a very tiny but lethal knife. It's nearly comical about who shows up and when. First are Danny and Lacey, there to help but without any real skills or weapons. Then Kyle, with a gun but some reluctance to shoot at someone so close to his daughter. And finally, Tess barges in to drop an A-Bomb on Twisted.
Charlie is Tess' son.
What. The. Actual. What.
Brilliant. What a finale. It dropped liars, manipulators, baby mama drama, crazy Oliver Trask look-alikes and incest into the finale. Boo-yah. Twisted is finally living up to its name.
-- Can I say how Twisted the incest development would be? If Charlie was Tess' son and Jo was Tess' daughter. Charlie just lamented his love for Jo. His would be half-sister. Brilliant. Honestly, it is just so twisted. I love it. I hope it is a real thing that stays.
-- I've stated how much I hate the title card, right? Okay, I still hate it because it is so silly.
-- I will always hate Tess. There is no other way around it.
-- Rico and Andie are taking the next step in their relationship: meeting the parents. But Rico runs late by meeting with Jo, so Andie's uptight parents are disappointed in him.