BraceFace: S1, E14 “Take That”

Remember in my review of “Driving Miss Sharon” when Sharon gave Maria a recap of all of the times her braces went haywire (and they were all previous episodes) and I pointed out that one of them was an episode that hadn’t aired yet? Well, this is the episode. Like I stated in the aforementioned review, it was probably a production order error or something but we’ve finally reached this episode.

Can’t tell that there’s an error? Reminder that it’s been winter since Episode 10. In this episode, it’s clearly Fall.  Just look on the leaves on the tree.

It's Fall

Sharon and Maria are riding their bikes to Life Cycles while Sharon wishes for a change in her life. They arrive at Life Cycles and see that there’s no one there except for a woman doing her laundry. They leave and eat popsicles outside of the store that they bought them (I assume). Maria is fed up and comes up with an idea. They’re so bored that they’ve resorted to swinging on the swings in the park like children.

13 year old girls on swings

“Once, I was 7 years old…”

They realize how ridiculous this is and decide to head to Sharon’s house and watch TV. The girls are watching TV3 (an obvious parody of MTV when they used to show music videos) and learn about a contest to get on TV and go to Hawaii. And now every kid in Elkford is putting their talent to the test to become famous. Alden and his band are going to play. You know it just occurred to me that Sharon’s dad is in a band and so is her boyfriend. I guess it’s true when they say that you end up dating someone like your father. Nina is practicing her cheerleading moves and Connor is playing the accordion. So what’s Sharon and Maria going to do, you ask? Maria believes that they could win by teaming up with a girl who break dances and two guys who use trash cans as drums. Maria tells Sharon that the girl’s name is Amber and she saw her at Boardfest. I do like the callback from “The Makeover”. After Amber and her friends finish playing, Maria and Sharon try to get their attention to prove that they’re “worthy” of joining them. Sharon dances like an idiot to music, while Maria does skateboarding tricks around her.

Maria skateboards while Sharon awkwardly dances

The crew notices them and you can tell already that these guys are going to be those older kids who are dicks towards younger kids. After their performance, they walk over and compliment them. One of the guys gets an idea to add Maria at the end of Amber’s routine and ditch Sharon. I have to agree with him. Sharon is useless. Amber refuses to share the spotlight with a “baby” and storms off. Something else just occurred to me. How do they know that they’re in middle school? You can’t just look at someone and know whether or not they’re in middle or high school. I’m 24, petite and I have a baby face so I often get mistaken for being in middle school or high school. I assume that they live in a small town and they only have one high school that’s probably really small where they know everybody. At Life Cycles, Sharon reassures Maria that Amber is probably jealous of her.

At the Spinning Disk (Remember? It was the teen hangout for like one episode), Sharon and Maria are going crazy over this singer named Leena. Amber and Zack (one of the guys that were with Amber) are there and he notices that Maria is holding the new Leena CD. He tells her to get it, but Maria tells him that she can’t afford it. Amber suggests that Maria shoplifts it or as they call it “five finger discount”.

Five Finger Discount yet you have 4 fingers

“Five Finger Discount” says a person with four fingers.

Sharon tries to talk Maria out of it, but Amber starts taunting them and Maria goes through with it and succeeds. I have to say that the guy at the desk is really terrible at his job. He’s not too far from where they are so how could he not hear them talking about stealing. Someone fire him and let me have his job.  After they run from the store (that makes you look quite guilty), Maria decides to give the CD to Amber. Maria thinks that this will win Amber over, but to no avail. Maria is pissed that she can’t get in with Amber’s crew and decides that she and Sharon should come up with their own routine. Why didn’t they do that in the first place? While I do think they should just do their own thing and stop worrying about Amber’s bitch ass, we all know it’s not going to go well. Sharon, you’re the weakest link. Goodbye. Sharon rightfully refuses to do this because of humiliation. Maria tries to convince Sharon that they’ll be great and Sharon tells Maria that she’ll consider it.

Sharon skeptical about the talent show

During dinner, Sharon can’t stop thinking about Maria shoplifting and fears that she might become a kleptomaniac. Considering that Maria said she felt a rush after committing the crime, I’d be worried too. Helen notices that Sharon is really quiet at dinner and Sharon tells her that she’s not hungry. Adam comes in and announces that he got a job working for TV3 and he’ll be involved in the Talent Search Contest.  I have to say that I kind of like this shot of Alden, Brock, Sharon, Maria, Nina and Allyson here. Too bad Connor isn’t anywhere in sight. (sighs) Poor dude is always getting left behind:

Nice shot of everyone sans Connor

At school, Maria is showing Sharon some dance moves but Sharon can’t focus because she’s still rightfully pissed at her for shoplifting. Maria acts like it’s no big deal and asks Sharon to dance with her for the Talent contest and promises that she’ll never shoplift again. Sharon, under the impression that everyone will be famous or successful, agrees to go through with it. Oh Sharon, fame isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.  It’s the day of the audition and the girls are ready to go. Sharon asks Maria where she got the sunglasses she’s wearing and Maria tells her she got it from the five finger discount store.

Five Finger discount sunglasses

It should be the four finger discount instead.

Sharon is pissed at Maria for shoplifting again and breaking her promise. Like before, Maria acts nonchalant about it. Sharon complains about how plain she’ll look next to Maria and Maria suggests she find something of Helen’s to wear. They go into Helen’s bedroom and Maria goes through her jewelry box searching for something that’ll look good on Sharon. She finds a nice pair of earrings, which were a gift from David. Hmm…Nice earrings aren’t going to work. Perhaps a change of outfits? Sharon isn’t a bit skeptical about wearing her mom’s earrings, but Maria does the ol’ “It’s not stealing, it’s borrowing” bullshit and Sharon decides to go through with it. (sighs) “Borrowing” someone’s belongings without their permission IS stealing.

Those earrings look good on Sharon

Those earrings look nice on her.

Sharon and Maria are in a line, which is outside of the TV station. Somebody dressed in a mascot outfit comes up to them and it’s revealed to be Adam. Apparently, his job is to be dressed as the station’s mascot. How disappointing. He made it seem as if he had some really important job. Pfft. The girls get a nice little crack at Adam’s job. After he leaves, Sharon asks if she looks okay and decides to brush her hair and I’m pretty sure you can guess what happens next. Some shit out of Looney Tunes happen and one of the earrings falls into the drain.

Earrings fall into the drain

Sharon tries to get the earring out of the drain using a stick, string, and a hanger. Maria rushes Sharon because the line is moving. Sharon isn’t worried about because she recalls who they were standing behind, but panics when she doesn’t seem him. They try to get back in line, but Nina refuses to let them get in front of her. Maria drags Sharon to the back of the line, but Sharon tells Maria that they need to find a replacement for the earring. They go a jewelry store and are able to find the exact pair of earrings, but unfortunately they cost $$$. The phone rings and the jeweler answers it, leaving the girls to ponder. Sharon doesn’t know what to do in this dilemma since she can’t afford the earrings, but doesn’t want to tell her mom that she borrowed them without permission and lost them. Maria suggests that she steals them and all she has to do is take the price tag off since that’s what triggers the alarm. Sharon does what Maria said and they both start running making them look guilty as hell.

Running only makes you look guilty

Sharon’s braces end up tripping off the alarm and they’ve been busted! First time Sharon’s braces actually did some good. The police officer asks for their names. If I were them, I would have given Nina and Amber’s names. They try to apologize, but the officer lets them know that an apology isn’t going to cut it and scares them with the possibility of them going to jail. Mr. Ling, the jeweler hands them a phone to call their parents. Helen picks up Sharon from the store and gives Sharon the whole “I’m very disappointed in you and instead of yelling at you, I’m going to give you the silent treatment, which is worse”. I don’t get why that’s such a bad thing. Growing up, I would kill for my mom to give me the silent treatment instead of yelling at me or whopping me. Sharon starts crying because her mom is so ashamed of her and she starts to gain a newfound respect for Adam because he’s actually working for what he wants instead of stealing it. This would make more sense if all of this was coming from Maria. It turns out that Amber and Co. (that’s the name of their act) won the auditions and made it on TV. And Sharon and Maria’s punishment for shoplifting is to clean up the TV station.

Have to say that I thought this episode was just okay. It wasn’t a bad episode, but it wasn’t a great one either. I did like that we see Maria being the one trying to fit in instead of Sharon. Episodes like this and other episodes in the future remind us that even though Maria may seem like a “perfect” character, she does have flaws. I just wish this episode would have touched on it more. When Sharon spoke about respecting Adam and stealing is wrong, Maria should have been the one to say all of this. Maria was the one who was shoplifting throughout this episode. Yeah, I know Maria isn’t the star of the show but it would have made more sense if all of this was coming from her. Regardless, I do appreciate the character development from Maria in this. In addition, I also loved how Sharon seemed the reasonable one in this episode (despite her attempt at shoplifting in this episode). It was just nice to see the girls switch roles for a change and I love that we get episodes like this in the future.

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About rosecoloredglassesreviewer

Just a 20-something year old who loves writing and critiquing 90s/early-2000s TV shows. NOTE: I don't hate the shows I review. I enjoyed them as a child and I still enjoy them as an adult. My issue is with people who are blinded by nostalgia and believe that the shows they grew up are the best of all time and who believe today's shows suck.
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