It finally happened! We finally learned just what the heck happened between Lacey and Jo after Danny went to juvie. If I had to wait just one more episode, I was going to pull my hair out.
So when Jo and Lacey were in seventh grade, April Cline had a birthday party, and the entire class was invited. All except Jo. And Jo wasn’t invited because Lacey got to April’s ear and told her Jo was a downer who would make everyone miserable. April had no trouble believing her, so she didn’t send an invite to Jo. She later had no problem telling Jo exactly why she wasn’t invited.
The “Let It All Out” scene between Jo and Lacey is my favorite scene of the episode. Maddie Hasson and Kylie Bunbury did an amazing job with the material.
Lacey told April not to invite Jo because Jo was stuck in victim mode (perfectly legit reaction to your best friend killing his aunt). She wanted to talk about Danny’s murder all the time, the fact that he’d left all the time, how that sucked all the time. She probably voiced a lot of what-ifs. Danny killed Tara when he was 11. Two years later, and Lacey felt burdened by having the same conversation (plus dealing with everyone’s stares and questions), so she took a leap and told Amber not to invite Jo.
Lacey was Jo’s rock after Danny killed Tara. She was the only person who knew what it meant for your 11-year-old bff to be a murderer. Lacey was with her when Danny came out with the jump rope. Lacey’s the only one who was there with Jo to get that first hand experience. They were in it together. They probably spent a whole lot of time talking about it (once they could speak and finally figured out how to talk about it). Lacey was probably very into these conversations, but then a shift started, and Lacey began to see/want life after the trauma. Jo didn’t notice, and so when she found out it was Lacey’s idea for her not to be invited, she felt blindsided.
Jo most likely waited for Lacey to come explain herself. I’m sure they saw each other on the next day of school. So Jo was waiting for an explanation, an apology, and Lacey probably knew that Jo was waiting. But she took the opportunity to let the distance fester and grow. No one knew Jo better than Lacey at the time, so I’m positive Lacey knew exactly how Jo was going to react, and she took advantage of it. Meanwhile, Jo never let it go. Jo still doesn’t let stuff go to this day (the fort, clearing Danny’s name, her old life when Danny was around).
I don’t think Lacey’s forgotten what she did, but I think she felt that she and Jo could move past it (she invited her to Regina’s party). She made friends with Sarita, Phoebe, and Regina, and she saw Jo eventually make friends with Rico. Lacey couldn’t remember the color of the jump rope, so she probably figured that it was the same for Jo. She’s probably seen Jo laugh with Rico and so thought that she and Jo were finally on the same page with regards to moving on from Danny.
But Danny being back has changed that. I’ve talked about Jo’s snarky/stanky attitude towards Lacey since it started bothering me in episode 4. Ever since Danny came back, Jo and Lacey have been more in each other’s radar. I don’t think Lacey was going to try inviting Jo anywhere again after Jo shut her down about the party, but then the PSA thing happened, and then the sleepover, and Lacey has been seeing just how eager Jo is to delve back into the mess that is Danny (“Why do you want to help him so bad?” or did she ask why she believes in him so bad? Anyways). And it all led to this episode where Lacey, finally, started snapping back at Jo.
Those lines did my heart good, man.
“You’re just such a victim.”
“Just shut up, okay?”
I love those lines. Lacey did something very harmful to Jo at a time when Jo was emotionally vulnerable. It’s been three years since they were thirteen and while Jo showed that she’s just as unwilling to talk about it as Lacey is, she also has no problem pulling from what happened in order to be short with Lacey. And that….is not cute. Jo misses the way her life was, but I don’t think those wounds are as deep as they were. She doesn’t still feel the same way she did then. She’s more pissed than hurt now. And snarky. And taking every opportunity to be rude to Lacey.
I think the only thing that will allow them to move forward is if/when Jo decides to move on. I think it’s Jo who has to accept how Lacey chose to deal with things (by not wanting to talk about it. Which is reminding me of Sarita not wanting to talk about Regina’s death), that she cut her off, and move on. The way Lacey went about cutting Jo off felt like a punishment to Jo, but I don’t think Lacey did it punish her. She did it to extract herself from the dark quicksand that was constantly rehashing the past. She never tried to punish Jo for how she chose to handle things, or tried to force her to handle it differently. She just took herself out of it. So, like Danny once said, Jo has to decide whether or not she’s ready to let the past be in the past. If she’s ready, great. If she’s not ready, that’s fine too, though I promise that won’t make her wanting to have it both ways (not wanting to move on and snapping at Lacey) any less grating.
The girls seemed to be on okay-ish ground by the end of the episode, though I won’t be surprised if they have some friction left over. Their plan to help Danny was freaking hilarious. I literally laughed out loud. The man who played the security guard was great, too. His facial expressions while he learned about the “affair” were great.
Danny was also a prize in this episode. I loved how much he did to make Jo and Lacey talk to each other and work things out. I thought he was going to drive away and make them walk the rest of the way to the address, lol.
Tess and Karen held down the other half of the Female Relationships fort. Their scenes were amazing, and there was so much chemistry between them in this episode. I know two people who ship them, but I didn’t see it. Well, I saw it in this episode! Seriously, they were laughing so much during the pottery scene, they were sitting so close, compliments were flying, and then they decided to do some drugs. Maaaan. It was very nice to see this side of Tess. I didn’t expect it. She has a little stash that she considers smoking when Jo and Kyle get on her nerves too much. Okay, maybe those weren’t her exact words.
Seriously, I was ready for them to kiss while they were high. And kudos to ABCFamily, because I honestly didn’t know whether they were going to take it there or not. It looked very possible! But then Tess talked too much, and Karen stormed out. Tess and Vikram dated for a couple of months when they were in high school. That was no big deal, because Karen knew. What Karen didn’t know was that Tess and Vikram continued to sleep together after he got with Karen. They even did it at party where Karen was in attendance. Oops!
I love that Tess was so high that she wasn’t quite grasping how pissed Karen was. I was also surprised that Karen came back later and made up with Tess. It was nice. Good job, good job. I look forward to more scenes between them now.
Kyle and Rico? They come in last. They were the weakest link. They didn’t do anything especially bad, but all I need is this paragraph to sum up their scenes. Rico told Kyle that he saw Karen throw something in the water, and it glinted like a necklace. The end. There was nothing funny about it, nothing deep, nothing revealing, nothing particularly well-acted. I do like that Rico’s motivation wasn’t solely jealousy. That jerk Kyle freaked him out a bit with the talk of jail time + Jo getting physically hurt.
Now how many times have I said I don’t believe Vikram is dead? I know I’m not the only one who feels this way, but the dude ain’t dead. And I think the apartment stuff in this episode was preparation for his return. Did he send Regina the letter? Or did someone who knew he was staying in that apartment send her the letter post Vikram’s disappearance and used the address as cover?