Huge, Episode 7: “I could yank the life support on her illusion of allure.”

By | August 10, 2010

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Angst-O-Meter (1-5): 4.5

Previously: We QUESTED. Will and Amber got lost. Will waged a battle with evil dumpster-donut kobolds and emerged victorious. George waged a battle with his inappropriate attraction to Amber and did lose that fight thoroughly. And in the center of it all stood the gravitational axis and emotional center of all this human drama: S’nalt.

It’s morning, and in the laydeez’ cabin, the campers are talking about the impending weigh-in. Ah, well, the good times couldn’t last forever, I suppose. Chloe reminds us: “It’s not about the number, it’s about how you feel.” Forgive me, but if that’s the case, why not skip the weigh-in altogether? A lot of us seem to be all in for a weight-loss-free Fatties-Come-Frolic camp.

Sierra shrieks from the bathroom: there’s a giant bug in the sink. Hey, at least she didn’t start crying. That’s progress. Will sighs exasperatedly and heads to the bathroom with a shoe, ostensibly for bug-smashing purposes. The bug is indeed enormous, like the God of the Cockroaches. It looks a bit like one of those Madagascar hissing cockroaches, which Wikipedia has informed me can be kept as pets, fed on a diet of fresh vegetables and dry dog food. Really? I am both intrigued and revolted.

Will calls them all “pansies” and prepares to bash the Cockroach God good with one of her Chuck Taylors. Becca stops her: she doesn’t want Will to kill it, but rather thinks they should relocate it outside. Chloe wants it dead, and then she wants Will to go find its entire cockroach family and kill them too, and then to mount their tiny cockroach heads on tiny pikes just outside, to underscore the point that bugs don’t want to be coming into this cabin, y’all. This is the zero-tolerance model for dealing with illegal insect immigration.

Will goes with Becca’s more humane relocation plan and uses a cup to escort the bug outside. Will would make such a hot butch. Maybe once she gets to college. Fingers crossed.

Dr. Gina and her Real Hair are leading a meeting of the counselors in the mess hall, and tells them that there will be a weigh-in this week, “but don’t tell your kids.” She doesn’t want them worrying about it. You know, you could just not do it, Dr. Gina! Enter Jillian Michaels: Deep Space Nine, who’s back! Damn, I was hoping she’d eaten a bad Powerbar and would be gone for the duration. Shay’s returning from her family emergency. Her daughter had meningitis. Keep trying, show — a family misfortune is not going to make me sympathize with this character. Everyone but Dr. Gina seems to know that Shay has a daughter, and she has to ask what her kid’s name is. Awkward. (DRINK!)

A few minutes later, Poppy tells George: “I didn’t tell Dr. Rand what happened at Spirit Quest.” In a classic illustration of dramatic irony, George looks momentarily stricken — see, WE know he’s thinking Poppy is referencing his Unscheduled Makeout-Times with Amber, but Poppy actually means Amber and Will getting lost in the first place. Which she proceeds to specify, and George is relieved. Poppy’s worried that Dr. Gina will hear it from somewhere else.

It’s Salsaerobics time! Shay’s instructing. Yell, yell, yell. Chloe flirts with Trent as they dance-workout. Dante tries to get Trent’s attention because he wants to tell him about the dream he had about Shay last night. When Trent ignores him in favor of watching Chloe shake her ladyflesh, Dante goes into HEY GUYS HEY GUYS HEY GUYS GUYS LOOK AT ME LOOK AT ME mode and attempts a rather athletic “interpretive dance” of his dream, getting laughs from some of the other campers. Shay, predictably, loses her shit at him. I get that disrupting the class is a problem, but this still seems a little shortsighted to me, as he was being active, for fuck’s sake. To atone for Dante’s bad behavior, Shay screams at all of them to drop and give her fifty sit-ups. Ah yes, exercise employed as punishment intended to cause the other campers to dislike and isolate Dante. Surely this education will change the lives of these kids for the better!

After class, Trent rolls up on my boy Ian and wants to know when they can “jam” again. Musically, I mean. Ian begs off saying he’s been working on “solo stuff”. Trent’s all “whenevs” and gives Ian a friendly thump on the chest as he leaves. I don’t get why guys do that; even if you don’t have tits, it has to hurt.

Punch = love?

Amber rolls up on George when the room is almost empty — empty save for Becca, who is awesomely wearing leggings as pants. George, in a dull panic, gets Becca to stay and unwittingly chaperone by babbling incoherently about the book on Native American spirituality she loaned him. Amber feigns interest in the subject as well, but once George goes back to collecting the yoga mats, she totally zones out as Becca tries to talk to her about it.

In the garden, Dr. Gina comes upon Salty Dad, who asks, “When is that loud girl you don’t like coming back?” meaning Shay. Dr. Gina is upset that she didn’t know that Shay had a daughter. Even Salty Dad knew! I’d be a little freaked too, considering they’ve worked together for five years. Dr. Gina asks Salty Dad: “Am I that hard to talk to?” Salty Dad responds by complaining about the heat and taking off his shirt. Dr. Gina notices a tattoo on his arm that says “Joyce”; Salty Dad, oblivious, tells her not to take things so personally. Dr. Gina’s face would seem to indicate that “Joyce” is not her mother’s name. “There are just some things that people want to keep to themselves,” Salty Dad tells her, the idea unintentionally apt. Dr. Gina leaves without another word.

Sharing circle time! Ian talks about the pressure he feels, given that his parents have spent so much money sending him here: “It’s like they’re really expecting me to come back different.” Dr. Gina says high expectations can be destructive, and that all they can do is try their best. I know at this age, this is what these kids need to hear, but the embittered harpy that lives in my head is sighing really loudly and rolling her eyes. Dr. Gina says she sees them all trying as hard as they can. Eye contact with Will. Dr. Gina smiles at her warmly; Will, her expression dour and her eyes dark, looks away.

Post-circle, Amber walks up to Ian and tells him she like tooootally relates to what he said, but she’s always afraid to raise her hand. Amber is such a liar, y’all. She lies all the time. When she’s not breaking stuff. I know it comes from a place of insecurity and I am trying to be sympathetic but really, honeylamb: at least stop going out of your way to volunteer lies. Like being able to relate to the pressure of parents having spent money on this, when you paid for it yourself. Ian seems utterly bewildered that she is talking to him of her own accord.

Walking back to the cabins, Becca is super-happy and sunshine and puppydogs and unicorns pooping rainbows in the sky. She feels like she’s getting in shape! Even walking is easier! “I feel great. I’m definitely going to share next time.” Will ain’t hearing it, though. Like at all. She is ragey: “I just want to scream, every time we’re in that circle. No pressure, as long as you’re trying as hard as you can to shrink to an acceptable size.” All the wind is sucked from Becca’s sails; she quietly tells Will that her shoe is untied. Will deftly props her foot on the top railing of the bridge they’re on, which is about chest-height on her; girlfriend is flexible, damn.

Can you not be on top of me?

Here comes a sweaty, out-of-breath Ian running over, overwhelmed with amazement, to tell them both that Amber just talked to him “for no reason,” OMG. He leans over Will and asks: “In your cabin, does she ever talk… about anyone… she might like?” Will, with her leg still hefted on the railing: “Can you not be on top of me?” Ahem. Let’s pretend I just had a coughing fit here and didn’t make any double-entendres about that. Becca tells him that Amber doesn’t really talk about anyone. Ian asks if his name should come up, whether they could assess how she “reacts”. Will inadvertently volunteers to check it out. Poor Will.

It’s a rainy evening and the campers are assembled in the common room, engaged in their diversions of choice. Becca reads; Alistair practices magic; Sierra seems to be making a popsicle-stick house; Trent and Chloe and company are sacked out in front of the TV. Trent watches as Ian and Will sit together, goofing around; Will is pretending to play Ian’s guitar, and Ian swipes her hat and puts it on. Trent seems thoughtful, maybe a little left out. But no time for that: Love Handles is on! Our pseudo-Luke is about to make his selections: “There are nine onion rings in this basket.” Onion. Rings. At this point I choked to death and died. The end.

Okay, I’m not really dead.

Will + Ian 4Ever

Salty Dad enters with rain ponchos, I guess in case anyone wants to leave this craaaaazy party. He spies Alistair sloppily shuffling some playing cards and sits down to educate. On the couch, Trent and Chloe canoodle while Dante looks on, a little sad and clearly left out. Oh Dante, if I were still a teenager, I would totally date you. Not at my age, though. Today I would eat you alive. Seriously, there’d be nothing left.

Before long, Salty Dad has got them playing poker with elbow macaroni as chips. Dante deals. Alistair attempts to bluff but is unmasked by Sierra, who tells him his voice goes up when he lies. This leads to an exchanged look between Alistair and his secret sibling, Chloe. Becca is killing them all. It looks like a good time, until Shay comes in and incredulously demands to know: “What are you doing? Are you gambling with these kids?” The players scatter faster than teens at a keg party when the cops show up. Salty Dad explains, “It’s elbow macaroni.”

In the boys’ cabin, everyone is fully dressed and a pillowfight does not seem to be in the offing. Damn this show. Trent thinks he’s lost at least ten pounds. He flops onto the top bunk heavily, while Dante sits on the bottom bunk. Dante: “Hey, watch it, fatass!” Hee. Outside, Amber appears, wearing a hoodie in the rain. The boys are predictably disgusting. But George cockblocks them all saying, “Stay here guys, I’ll handle this.”

Outside, Amber pretends to be there to borrow that book about whatever from George. Dante yells from inside: “Amber, have my baby!” George somewhat coldly tells her it’s after the evening bell, so she has to be in her cabin. Amber hesitates, and then leaves.

The next day, George catches up with Dr. Gina — and her Real Hair, dare we hope it’s here to stay? — and comes clean about Will and Amber’s going missing during the Questing. Dr. Gina guesses that one of them was Will. She then tells George: “I see it.” George prepares to tell the tale of how she put her hand on his knee and he put his foot on the gas, but Dr. Gina is actually referring to his positive influence on the kids. Oh. Well, that’s good, I guess.

The campers are on a run with Jillian Michaels 2: Electric Boogaloo. Ian wants to know if Will has had a chance to grill Amber for him yet. She has not. Further back in the pack of joggers, Dante begins lurching around and demanding brains. Shay makes them all stop, and says, “Apparently we’re not on a run here. We’ve got ourselves a comedy act.” She demands to know whether anyone is laughing. Well not now, you fucking ogre, now everyone’s waiting to see how you plan on humiliating this kid. Shay shouts in Dante’s face, accusing him of “goofing around, and not doing any of the work”, and demanding to know why. Oh, oh, let me guess: I propose that Dante is both insecure and unhappy to be there, not to mention feeling socially isolated given Trent’s romance with Chloe, and is compensating by trying to be funny. Furthermore, while I’m giving out free fucking advice: although he may be disruptive, you will probably have better luck getting through to him by acknowledging this and talking to him like an actual human being, instead of treating him like an errant and dull-witted child by yelling in his face, embarrassing him in front of his peers, and literally making him cry. Shay wants to know: “Do you think you’re better than me? Is that it?” Whaaaaaaat. What the fuck is going on. When Shay asks Dante if he “wants” to be there it’s obvious there’s only one answer she will hear, and so the teary Dante says he wants to be there. It’s a lucky thing for everyone involved that Dante isn’t me, because at seventeen I had a lot of unresolved anger over having spent my life since eight years of age trying and failing to be thin, and no real means of managing said anger, which may well have resulted in my punching Shay in the face in this same scenario.


Damn, that scene made me angry.

Later, Will, Becca, Ian (wearing Will’s hat again), and Alistair are chilling out in the sunshine and talking about how awful the Shay/Dante throwdown was. Two camp employees walk by with a scale, a reminder of the impending weigh-in. Ian thinks Will has lost weight; Will is dubious. Alistair reminds Will of her stated intention to gain weight, and Will asserts that she said that to mess with people: “I’m not an idiot. You’re exercising this much, you’re gonna lose something besides your mind.” Ian wants to bet Will’s hat. Will: “It’s my hat.” Ian explains, if she has lost more weight than him, he gets to keep it; otherwise she gets it back. Will makes a grab for the hat and Ian, being like two feet taller, easily keeps it away from her, and the two play-fight while Alistair tries to pick a burr out of Will’s hair. Finally Becca reminds them all, exactly as Chloe did earlier: “It’s not about the number, it’s about how you feel.” Then why bother with the fucking weigh-in? UGH.

FINALLY, we get to the Seventeen-sponsored segment of tonight’s program. Chloe and Amber sit on the cabin steps, and when Chloe points to a skirt that she thinks would look cute on Amber, Amber says: “I couldn’t wear that. I’d look pregnant.” Given Amber’s more apple-ish shape, this is a really apropos comment, as one of the blights of the apples is the fear of looking pregnant. Unless you’re like me and you just don’t give a crap. Amber is freaking out about the weigh-in and Chloe tells her that she needs to see the Body Peace Treaty. Amber reads some of it aloud, and signs, as does Chloe. Though I maintain that Seventeen’s refusal to walk the talk is irresponsible, this is a thoughtful and sensitive little moment for these characters. Poppy appears to tell Amber that Dr. Gina wants to see her in her office.

Sign here for flat abs -- now!

Will and Amber both sit outside Dr. Gina’s cabin, looking like they’re waiting outside the principal’s office. Neither knows why they’re there. Amber asks about Will’s food stash, and Will says it’s buried, and that she hasn’t been near it since the first week anyway. After a pause, Will says, “So, you know Ian?” Amber looks distracted, almost annoyed: “Your boyfriend, or the short guy?” Apparently she doesn’t know either Ian’s or Alistair’s names. I know, I know they’re teens traveling in narrow little cliques, but this still strikes me as kind of shitty. I’d be willing to bet Will knows Dante’s and Trent’s names.

Of course, Will is in no condition to think about this, as she’s too shocked to hear Amber refer to Ian as her “boyfriend”. Will: “What? No, no no no no, we’re not together. Like, at all.” Amber: “Sorry, I just thought — you’re always together, so…” Will: “Yeah, we’re friends.” It makes sense, though, doesn’t it? To a casual observer, Will and Ian go together. They look like a couple, and if they were any age beyond their teens they probably would be a couple, in one sense or another. On the other hand, seeing platonic friendships between straight boys and girls defended is also a wonderful thing, as not every interaction has to be sexualized. Will seems almost traumatized by the suggestion, however, and quietly goes back to trying to untangle the burr still stuck in her hair, as Dr. Gina steps out to ask Amber inside.

Dr. Gina begins by telling Amber she knows how hard she has worked to be there, and it finally comes out that Amber paid for camp herself. After shuffling around the topic for a moment, she asks Amber if she and Will left the Quest campsite on purpose. Innocent head-shake from Amber. “Is there anything else about that day that you want to tell me?” Another innocent head-shake.

Amber steps outside, and it’s Will’s turn. Dr. Gina explains that given Will’s prior escape attempt, she had to be sure their getting lost was an accident, and that she believes it was. Great. Then Dr. Gina says: “I see the change in you, Will.” Can you point it out to the rest of us? Will seems as cranky as ever. I mean, aside from possibly liking basketball. Will asserts, “I haven’t changed.” But no, Dr. Gina says Will has “opened herself” to this experience. In a matter of speaking. Having Ian around to crush on probably helps. Will says, “Whatever,” and goes back to picking at the burr in her hair. Dr. Gina sees and offers to help, while Will asserts: “I like it like this.” Hesitantly, awkwardly (DRINK!), Dr. Gina picks the sticky burr from Will’s hair.

In the boys’ cabin, Trent, Ian, and Alistair are brushing their teeth in preparation for bed. WHY IS EVERYONE WEARING SO MANY CLOTHES? This is California, yes? Nobody needs to sleep in a shirt and pants in California. Hell, I live in Boston and I wear less to bed in the dead of winter. Trent says he’ll be okay with the weigh-in so long as he’s lost more than one pound. Alistair agrees, and Trent tells him: “Don’t sweat it, Athena,” calling him by the name he chose during Spirit Quest. AWWW. After Trent’s gone, Ian whispers that he hates “guys like that”. Alistair wants to know what he means. Ian: “How he keeps calling you Athena?” Alistair: “He doesn’t mean it like that. He’s just trying to be cute, or whatever.” Ian: “Seriously, does it bother you? Because I’ll talk to him.” DOUBLE AWWW. If you were, at this point in the recap, to picture me, chin propped on hand, starry-eyed smiling, a bouquet of plump cartoon hearts encircling my head, you would not be far from the truth.

Alistair insists that it’s fine, and tells Ian that he and Trent sort-of bonded during Spirit Quest, and that Trent is actually a really nice guy. Alistair, gently: “Have you considered maybe you’re like, jealous?” Ian: “Of course I’m jealous. I’m jealous of everyone who’s better looking than me.” I know it’s just my opinion, but for fuck’s sake: there is no one here better looking than you. The only possible competition is Will, and I think y’all are evenly matched. So shut up, you stupid boy.

Later that night, the counselors are drinkin’ beers on the bridge across the camp’s pond. I think we can safely assume that George is at least 21 on this basis, as I sincerely doubt Dr. Gina would allow underage counselors to imbibe on camp property. Shay is telling him, “I love these kids, that’s why I yell. It’s the only thing that gets them to wake up.” Nope, I ain’t buying it. Not a bit. Shay may well have personal issues that prevent her from expressing her “love” in a non-aggressive or abusive way, but that still doesn’t make it acceptable to me.

Poppy spies Dr. Gina and calls her over. Dr. Gina says, haltingly: “I never… drink beer,” in much the same way she said, “I never eat after dinner,” prior to the Muffin Horror. Shay agrees, “Neither do I,” as she takes a swig. Dr. Gina and Shay have a stilted conversation in which Dr. Gina tells a surprised Shay that she never mentioned having a kid to her, followed by Shay pointing out that Dr. Gina never mentioned that Salty Dad was her father. Uh, five years > a few weeks. But WHATEVS, Shay. She then goes on to tell Dr. Gina about discovering Salty Dad’s impromptu poker game the other day. Dr. Gina’s expression changes subtly, but noticeably at this, and her reaction seems out of proportion with the event. After this, the both of them seem to look for the first opportunity to end the conversation and go their separate ways.

Dr. Gina slams her way into her office, startling the sleeping Salty Dad. She accuses him of gambling with the kids, and says, “I am responsible, do you even understand what that means? What am I saying, of course you don’t.” Dad tells her she’s being unfair, that it was “just for fun”. Dr. Gina explodes: “What’s not fair is being thrown out of your home when you’re eleven years old, because your father gambled away the rent.” Dad says that’s the past. Dr. Gina: “It’s not the past. I live with what you did. You left us with nothing, and I live with that.” She brings up the name on the tattoo “that you’ve been hiding,” and demands to know — plaintively — who she is. Instead, he leaves the office.

The following morning, Dr. Gina is stunned to find Salty Dad cooking breakfast in the kitchen. When she observes that he’s still there, he replies, “I work here. I’m not going to walk out on these kids just because I’m mad at you.”

Weigh-in day has arrived! The only good thing about this is seeing everyone in swimsuits again. The weighings happen in little private cabanas, and for a split second I’m hoping it will turn out that the campers who enter will not be weighed after all, but maybe patted on the head, told they’re awesome, and possibly given a cupcake. I vote for Secret Cupcake Distribution over Weigh-Ins, but quietly subversive as this show is, I suppose that would be too radical. I will be satisfied if we don’t get hassled by numbers here; the potential for it to be triggery and mind-destroying is too great.

The weigh-in is captured in a montage of campers’ reactions: some are gleeful, some perplexed, some disappointed. They leave their weighings with a card in hand, I assume on which their net loss (or lack thereof) is written. Dante lost eight pounds. And according to Shay he wasn’t doing any of the “work.” NEW FITNESS CRAZE: lurching around like a zombie. I am copyrighting that so none of you steal it. Sierra runs out of the weigh-in tent crying. Maybe Dr. Gina told her Robert Pattinson is gay. Becca, in line with Will and Amber, tries to catch Will’s eye, but Will is stubbornly staring into the distance and listening to her headphones. Will can be SO anti-social! It stuns me how similar we are. Instead, Becca makes eye contact with Amber, who mouths “good luck” to her. Oh, the toothpick is back. Maybe the toothpick should get a credit.

Ian’s up, and he heads in to be weighed by George. Ian gets on the scale backwards, and I have another of those moments in which I am so grateful that this show exists. Yes, kids, you can get on the scale backwards if the numbers do bad things to your brain. This is a perfectly valid option. George explains that he is going to write down Ian’s new weight under his original weight, and then Ian can read it off the card. Interesting. He tells Ian to hop down and tells him he’s doing really great. Ian takes the card without looking at it and hastily rushes out of the tent.

Outside again, Ian finds Alistair sitting alone under a tree. He walks directly to him and hands over the weight card. Ian: “Take this. Destroy it.” Alistair wants to know if it’s “bad.” Ian: “I haven’t even seen it. I don’t want to know. I don’t want to let a number decide my whole view of myself.” I love this. I love this so much. Alistair agrees that this is a smart way of going about it. Ian realizes that Alistair seems to be upset and sits down with him. Alistair says he lost “a little”, and that George said he was doing great, but he doesn’t know why he feels so sad. Ian: “Because it’s so freaking hard. And you still have so much left to go.” If I may add to this: and because the odds of you successfully maintaining a significant weight loss even once you get there are so painfully poor. Alistair agrees with Ian, who reassuringly pats his arm and then rests his head on Alistair’s shoulder. If this scene does not cause you to melt, you are a stronger person than I.

Alistair + Ian 4Ever

I love these characters so fucking much.

Back at the weigh-in line, Becca emerges all smiles. It’s Will’s turn. As she enters, Dr. Gina asks how she’s feeling today. Will just wants to get this shit done. She stomps onto the scale as Dr. Gina tells her to be careful — I died. Careful not to break the apparatus specifically designed to measure your weight by standing on it! Dr. Gina writes down her weight and hands Will the card, smiling, saying, “I’m really proud of you.” Will pauses, and then, giving Dr. Gina a steely-eyed glare, tears the card into pieces and throws them on the ground. Hey, now I’m proud of Will too! Everybody wins.

Will stomps out, followed by Becca, who was evidently waiting for her. Poor Becca, man. She deserves better. Amber’s up for scaletimes. She asks Dr. Gina to hold her toothpick when she steps on the scale and oh, how I laughed. Turns out Amber has lost one solitary lonesome pound. Ouch. She looks stricken. Dr. Gina is encouraging, telling her the superfats have it easier because the first pounds come off quicker. Uh. Okay. Poor Amber for being not so fat!

Amber goes to meet Chloe and lies, again, telling her she lost six pounds. Oh Amber. The truth will set you free.

In the girls’ cabin that evening, the laydeez are having a little dance party. Amber is distant and distracted. Chloe is kind of adorable when she’s in a good mood. Amber gets up and goes into the bathroom, the music still loud in the main room, and in the dark she looks at herself in the full length mirror. Her expression as she surveys her body is nothing less than heartbreaking, pure despair. She turns sideways and pulls at the chub under her arms and silently cries. I wish she could tell someone, could go to someone who’ll hug her and stroke her hair and tell her she’s just fine, and everything is fine. But there’s no one, because no one knows. No one knows.

Becca is still excited about her weight loss, and Sierra tells her “It shows, you look great.” Will intercedes: “What are you saying she looked like before?” This pisses everyone off, and Chloe asks, “How much did you lose, Will?” Will: “Eat me.” LOLZ. Becca comes over to Will for a private moment, saying she gets it if Will thinks she’s an idiot for coming to Camp Victory willingly, but: “I can’t help it, I want to lose weight.” Will counters, “Is this really what you want? If this was the sixteenth century and everyone thought that this was beautiful and being thin was ugly, would this still be what you wanted?” Though the appeal to historical precedent is not a sound debate technique, Will’s greater point — that the cultural pressure to be thin is ubiquitous and inescapable — stands. Will is emphatic; she truly believes what she is saying, even though she knows she is largely alone here. Becca wants to know why Will can’t just be happy for her, and Will, as she stomps outside, says, “Because I don’t want to get infected by this crap!” It is an infection, a way of thinking that can be so easily inhaled, absorbed, accepted, and avoiding it takes constant vigilance. If you’ve worked in an office of dieters, lived in a dorm hosting a cluster of eating disorders, surrounded yourself with people and media that remind you of your failure to be perfect, to be “disciplined”, to be beautiful — then you may know how it can be caught. Will has set a boundary, and she is going to defend it. Though Becca’s disappointment in Will is understandable, friends also respect boundaries.

It’s dark outside, and must be close to lights out, when George sees Amber walk by alone. He catches up to her, to apologize. It wasn’t fair to her. If she was older… but he has to be responsible. George knows he fucked up — and then he fucks up again, and kisses her. He pulls away, saying, “I can’t do this,” and Amber looks away, “…here.”

Moments later, Will is tromping angrily through the grounds when she hears voices and stumbles upon George and Amber making out against a giant rock. They don’t see her, enmeshed in makeout as they are, and she scurries away, confused and a little shocked.

In the common room, Alistair finds the copy of Seventeen and signs the Body Peace Treaty as well.

Outside, Dante sees Shay on the phone, ostensibly talking to her mom about her kid. She says not to wake her, and when she hangs up the phone, she leans against the wall and rubs her face, sad, missing her family. She still gets no sympathy from me, though Dante’s expression as he watches her from a distance is unexpectedly sensitive and thoughtful.


Will finds Ian sitting beside an outdoor fireplace, alone. PERFECT makeout opportunity. But NO, Stupid Ian wants to know if Will’s had a chance to find out if Amber likes him yet. Will says she hasn’t been able to get any info. Ian steals her hat again and they playfully fight over it. YOU GUYS ARE SO CLOSE TO KISSING FOR FUCK’S SAKE JUST DO IT.

The next morning, the girls are discussing the next weigh-in, and Chloe offers a pointer: “Pee first.” She learned it from Love Handles! We also learn that she and Trent told each other how much they actually weigh, and honestly? That’s completely awesome.

Next time: Amber and George may get busted! In the teaser, Amber pleads with Will: “I’m begging you, please don’t tell anyone!” to which my husband shouted: “Tell everyone!”

Much of the music I’ve chosen for these recaps comes from my teenage era, though the downside to having stubbornly obscure music tastes is that most of it does not exist on the internet today. I was very grateful to find this track on YouTube, as it was such an important song to me at the age of the kids on Huge. Liquorice’s Listening Cap was a one-off 4AD side project led by Jenny Toomey, who at the time was mostly known for her work with Tsunami. The song I’ve chosen here, “Cheap Cuts”, was a near-perfect description of a particular dalliance of my own, around that age: “I could make the diagnosis / I could conjure up a cure / I could yank the life support / on her illusion of allure.” It’s also available on iTunes, amazingly enough.

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