Previously on Faking It, Shane was maybe not down with being on the downlow with Duke:
Plus Amy got together with new girl Reagan. Karma’s feeling neglected but Amy rebuffs her suggestion of a girls’ night in favor of a different kind of girls’ night, dinner with Reagan at Communal, the trendy new restaurant where everybody shares everything. The choice of restaurant surprises Karma since Amy is not known for sharing. Amy’s sharing antipathy extends to sharing her night at Communal with Karma and Liam. It’s only been two weeks and Amy claims she and Reagan aren’t at a “meet the friends” stage yet.
Which is a total lie since she goes bowling with Reagan and her friends that very night before having Reagan sneak into her bedroom for a makeout session.
Reagan’s friends loved Amy but Reagan has not only not met any of Amy’s friends she hasn’t even acknowledged their existence. Amy wants to keep Reagan to herself, which never ever does not sound super creepy.
The next morning Shane joins Duke for an early “training session” at the gym before Shane’s first period meditation class.
Duke suggests playing hooky but Shane insists he needs the sunlight to ward off the vitamin D deficiency he’s developed from dwelling in Duke’s closet. Duke explains again that he won’t endanger his burgeoning MMA career by coming out. Shane says he understands but wheedles Duke into agreeing to a group hang for Saturday night.
You see where this is heading, yes?
His wheedling of Liam is less successful as he has plans with Karma. Shane suggests smashing all those dates together but with Reagan off-limits even to Karma it can’t happen. Karma joins them and Shane is shocked that she and Reagan haven’t met yet. She claims to be cool with that although there are lingering organ-harvesting fears. Liam conveniently departs and Shane goes to work on Karma, warning her that lesbians are territorial and that Reagan may be burrowed too deep into Amy’s “love nest” which I am trying desperately and failing not to turn into a euphemism for her lady-business. Shane convinces Karma to invade Amy’s dating space and generously volunteers to tag along with his “trainer”. Oh the shade of it all!
Speaking of shady, Theo is being 100% shady on a mysterious phone call to an unknown party, insisting that he’s trying but he needs more time. Let’s put a pin in that because Lauren joins him as he hangs up. She wants to DTR. He says he’s not looking for anything serious. She concurs, noting she doesn’t even know if he’s boyfriend material. To determine that he will take her to dinner somewhere nice on Saturday. “You’ll lose points if it’s a chain restaurant.” Damn right you will.
Date night at Communal finds Amy and Reagan being jackholes to their cute waiter for absolutely no reason.
People who are rude to servers should all die in a fire
Shane and Duke arrive next, followed shortly by Liam and Karma. Since Reagan has not been briefed on Amy’s web of lies she immediately blows that Amy has met her friends. Karma introduces herself; Reagan’s never heard of her. Theo and Lauren are the last to arrive and it’s not clear whether that really was a coincidence or if Shane somehow looped them in.
Karma drags Amy off to the bathroom and calls her on her nonsense. Amy explains that their fake relationship backstory is too complicated to explain this early which, plausible to a degree but not to the point of complete radio silence. They agree to start over.
At the table Reagan and Liam try to figure out how they know each other. They eliminate going to the same school and also lesbian karaoke, which is just like regular karaoke except everyone sings P!nk. Theo meanwhile gets a B+ for the menu but bucks for an A- even though it doesn’t matter since he’s absolutely not looking to be boyfriend material. Next up, Theo’s medical history. Shane “subtly” encourages Duke to come out to the table but Duke reminds him that for tonight he’s just Shane’s trainer and to stop eating the bread. Reagan twigs that she met Liam and the secret Fauxgle engagement party for his sistermom but since both Fauxgle and his sistermom are secrets Liam and a returned Amy clumsily head off her trying to say so. This transitions into awkward stories about field trips to the Alamo and Amy’s obsessive love of shrimp and how strange it is that Amy’s never mentioned Karma to Reagan once.
The food arrives to break the tension only for more tension to immediately generate when Victor the waiter assumes Shane and Duke are a couple. Duke brusquely announces that he’s just Shane’s trainer and Shane offers Victor a peek at the results of his training.
Duke’s miffed but Shane points out that since they are simply trainer and client they’re free to flirt with whomever they choose. Duke agrees and immediately starts the hot and heavies with Lauren. Who is not at all opposed.
We rejoin Karma finishing a boring story about nothing and then asking Reagan how she and Amy met. Since this veers us back to the forbidden party Amy tries to vamp out of it with mushrooms, another food Amy loves. Reagan suggests the kale and the mushrooms=Karma/kale=Reagan battle is joined by all except Duke, who is Team Kale but only for its nutritional value. Amy tries the kale and clearly hates it like any sane person would but suddenly goes into anaphylactic shock because the kale has been sauteed in peanut oil. Amidst general panic Karma pulls an EpiPen® out of her purse and sticks Amy with it.
OK, I call bullshit on this for two reasons. One, I don’t believe that if Amy had a food allergy that severe she wouldn’t have an EpiPen in her own purse and two there is no damn way that a hipster douchebag communal dining experience restaurant in Austin would not have allergy warnings on the menu and every available flat surface.
Reagan has had enough. She lights into Amy and Karma, accusing Karma of acting like a jealous ex. Lauren points out that they kind of are which leads to the fake relationship Amy lurves Karma drama being unspooled. Reagan, sensibly, bails.
Karma tries to comfort Amy with the thought of homemade doughnuts but Liam Booker, Voice of Reason, tells her to shut it about Amy’s favorite foods and tells Amy that she can fix this if she fights for it. Amy leaves and Karma tries to follow her out but Liam explains that this is not about her. This may literally be the first time that concept has entered Karma’s head. She ignores him and heads for the parking lot.
Victor brings Shane a delicious-looking butterscotch dessert and Shane promises him a big tip. This prompts Duke to suggest to Lauren that they leave but Theo is all oh hell naw. They chest thump at each other a bit until Lauren breaks it up, deeming Theo worthy of being her boyfriend.
Theo wonders about Duke but Lauren points out that he’s obviously gay and on a date with Shane. Duke bolts and Theo and Lauren depart, leaving Liam glaring at Shane and sarcastically congratulating him on the success of his group hang.
Amy catches Reagan in the parking lot and tries to explain. Reagan’s not having it as long as Karma is hanging out in the background, because Karma is literally hanging out in the background. She approaches and opens her yap but Amy forcefully explains that she is not helping and sends her away. Amy advises Reagan that she understands she messed up by not telling her about Karma but while Karma is the past Amy wants a future with Reagan. But Karma will always be a part of her life. Reagan accepts this and they kiss and make up.
Shane finds Duke at the gym.
He apologizes for pushing but Duke lashes back that Shane knew from the jump that Duke wasn’t ready to come out. Shane attributes Duke’s reluctance to shame. Duke insists that he is not ashamed of being gay. He’s known he’s gay since he was 11 but he’s also known since pre-school that he was put on the Earth to be an MMA fighter. He’s so close to achieving his dream that he can’t endanger it by coming out. He also can’t promise that once he’s secured sponsorship he’ll come out but for Shane he wants to.
Liam drops Karma off at home. Well, near home since she hasn’t told her parents she isn’t with Amy. She tries to apologize and Liam clues her in that Shane manipulated her into the situation so he could be with Duke. He continues that he is having trouble believing that she really wants to be with him because of her not having told her parents about him. He wonders if she really wouldn’t rather be with Amy. She mounts a feeble protest but he’s not having it. He wishes her good night and she exits his car.
Karma. Is. The. Worst. She is every character trait of every terrible ex ever and I cannot stand her. I want a hastily-scrawled intertitle that tells us she died on the way back to her home planet. Faking It would work a lot better if she were out of the picture and the show was about the other characters. I’m fully invested in everyone else (except Liam, but he’s pretty, so he can stay) but Karma, again, is the worst.
Shane is also kind of the worst but not Karma levels of worst. He’s decided somehow that he’s this Machiavellian master manipulator and he really is not. I forgive him, though, because he reminds me a little bit of me when I was a few years older than he is. Militancy dialed up to maximum and damn the consequences. I like that he’s seeming to come to understand that everyone’s coming out narrative is not his coming out narrative and that he’s begun to accept that he has no business trying to set anyone else’s timetable.