August 15, 2013 | 10:07 am
Posted by Zan Romanoff
Several weeks ago a masked figure stood outside of Danny's window filming him and Lacey making out on a living room couch. It was just after the disastrous party Danny had thrown, which was interrupted by a crowd of boys wearing masks with his face on them, re-enacting the murder of his aunt just where it had happened five years earlier. At the time it seemed like just another part of whatever sinister plot has been tightening its noose around Danny's neck since the season began, framing him for Regina's murder and the poisoning of his soccer teammate, Cole.
It turns out, though, that this incident was unrelated: the mysterious videographer was a dork from the Mathletes who, in his own words, can't help being a creep. It's a boring fakeout based on offensive, lazy stereotyping, and the whole plotline fails to address the real seriousness of the incident, the deep violation of Lacey and Danny's privacy that occurs. Twisted plays it for laughs-- Rico saying that the sex tape "violates the mathlete code of ethics"-- and then for maximum dramatic effect, as a way of revealing Lacey and Danny's affair to poor unsuspecting Jo. Never once does it gesture at how deeply wrong the filming of it is, instead seeming to suggest that taping your classmates in an intimate moment and then distributing the resulting footage is just a normal teenage impulse, a mean but ultimately harmless thing to do, rather than being deeply sociopathic in its own right.
The rest of the episode's plot is equally messy and unlikely: Danny's alleged poisoning of a soccer teammate, Cole, has resurfaced for no real reason. The coach who kept it quiet has been fired, and Danny is being threatened with expulsion from school. The only way to save him is through a school board hearing where members of the community can attest to the quality-- or lack thereof-- of his character. This is both an improbably and obviously terrible idea. Pretty much everyone in Green Grove hates Danny at this point. Danny and Jo convince Cole to speak on his behalf, and Jo basically admits to being in love with him on the stand (while the adults sit there calmly encouraging her to keep talking, like, I willing to suspend a lot of dibelief but what, what planet is this on, real grown ups would be like "this is going nowhere, thank you and goodbye. Next!") It doesn't work. Danny is expelled.
This episode was basically useless: it didn't advance the main plot, and it didn't significantly alter any relationships between characters except in the final minutes, with the big reveal. It was, instead, lazy and offensive, content to coast on stereotyping and cheap humor as a means of filling out air time. Twisted unknotted itself significantly last week, and I was hoping that would mean making steadier progress, but if it keeps going on like this I don't know that I'll want to keep up with it after all.
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