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Finding Carter “Pilot” and “The Birds” 

Photo Credit: MTV
Photo Credit: MTV

Tonight’s two-hour series premiere was a doozy. Finding Carter takes teen angst and rebellion to a whole new level and I’ve got to say I’m enjoying the ride so far. I would imagine this is a tough subject to tackle. We’ve got a sixteen year-old girl who thought she had it pretty good. It was just Carter and her mom (who I will now refer to as “not-mom”). Carter felt loved. But she breaks into an amusement park ride, gets high and gets arrested. If she’s so well-adjusted with her not-mom, why is Carter acting out? Or is it just normal teenage defiance? Either way, things are about to change in the most unimaginable way. Carter is told her not-mom kidnapped her when she was 3 and that it’s time to go live with her real family.

Admittedly, it’s a lot to take in. I can’t imagine finding out my whole life is a fabrication and the one person who was supposed to love and protect me is a liar . The only person Carter (not Linden, never Linden) seems to remember is her Grandpa, who she calls, Papa. Being in his embrace brings back a memory and Carter allows herself to relax for a brief moment. But everyone else is a stranger to her, especially her brother Grant who wasn’t even born when she was taken. And all is not well with her “new” family. Elizabeth is having an affair with her co-worked Kyle. She was going to leave David to be with him, but now that she’s got her family back Elizabeth isn’t going anywhere. Taylor has been scared to try anything new, so she’s grown up as the do good, responsible child. She doesn’t really break rules and when she does, she’s pays the price. Grant is used to being overlooked; it’s like his parents don’t even realize he’s there. And even though David promised he wouldn’t write a book about Carter’s return, his literary agent is shopping around a sample chapter. He’s $500K in the hole, so maybe he feels like he needs this story to sell big.

I’ve never met a dysfunctional family I didn’t like and this brood clearly has all kinds of problems. Carter continues to constantly push boundaries – she steals the keys to her bio-mom’s car, she takes her sister out to a party and gets Taylor drunk and she and her friends pull a really cruel prank on Elizabeth because they know Carter’s phone is being monitored. I’m just not sure how Carter and her bio-mom are going to get past this tension and distrust. Carter is resentful of her bio-mom because she knows Elizabeth is doing everything in her power to catch and arrest her not-mom. But the only place she wants to be is with Lori. So even if Carter’s entire biological family is making an effort, it only works if Carter wants to be there. Right now, she doesn’t.

Things sort of come to a head when Carter ODs and ends up in a coma. Of course Elizabeth is there when she wakes up. She tells Carter she won’t stay, but gives her a stuffed elephant and makes it trumpet. It was such a sweet moment. It would be nice if Carter could see past her anger and hurt and recognize that Elizabeth is trying. Maybe Elizabeth isn’t humorless and stiff and a control freak like Carter thinks. Maybe if Carter gives her bio-mom a chance she’ll actually start to get to know her and maybe even like her. After all, Carter doesn’t even realize how curious her bio-mom is about her until Max tells her Elizabeth’s “interrogation” was actually just an excuse for Elizabeth to ask him questions about Carter.

I hope family therapy turns out to actually be productive for the Wilsons. This broken family needs to work through their issues so they can heal. I’d like to see Carter and Elizabeth find a way to talk to each other that isn’t so combative. I’m sure it’ll take time, but maybe having Carter back will help Elizabeth feel more alive inside. Maybe Carter’s the spark that brings this entire family back to life. And what about Lori? She says there are things Carter doesn’t know. She has some serious explaining to do and I’m really curious about what she has to say.

Finding Carter airs Tuesdays at 10/9c on MTV.

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1 Comment

  1. darci

    This really is a nice twist on the finding your identity/coming of age drama story – it’ s not just another Life Unexpected or The Lying Game (I enjoyed both shows, but their premises were pretty cliche). When I heard of the show I was interested, but I always wait a few weeks until I hear more and can then binge watch 4+ episodes to get into a new series, especially since pilots are always different than the rest of the show since they’re produced so much earlier. That said, so far so good, I really like Kathryn Prescott as Carter, and despite being a little all over the place, I like how the first two episodes set up tons of potential subplots.

    Also really like the music so far – I love that Of Verona Song “Better With You” that they played over the preview of the next episode, and also really liked how they used “Ever Love” by Beginners when Carter and Gabe walk through the halls of their high school after Carter fakes a panic attack to get the day off and he tries to spend the day with Carter, but she objects.

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