BraceFace: S2, E4 “Dear Alden”

I have been waiting to review this episode ever since I decided I wanted to do BraceFace reviews. If any of you are Shalden fans out there, you guys aren’t going to like this episode. This review is quite long because I got rambled a bit, but enough stalling. Let’s start.

Our lovely couple are at Alden’s house (a nice change of scenery) watching what I assume to be Casablanca.


N’aww how adorable.

But Brock the Cock Blocker makes another appearance and ruins their sweet moment. Brock tells Alden that it’s time for practice despite the fact that it’s not for another hour. Brock starts playing the guitar and Alden gets up and plays his, ignoring Sharon. Sharon decides to leave and Alden tells her goodbye and hopes she has fun with her dad. Sharon tells him to have fun at the football game and reminds him to take plenty of pictures. When Sharon leaves, Brock complains to Alden about Alden and Sharon’s PDA. Alden just brushes it off to Brock being jealous, which is right about. Brock denies it and swears he’s likes being single. Alden challenges him to talk to some girls and Brock asks Alden if he’s noticed any other girls. Alden denies it, but his body language is very telling:


Brock mentions a bunch of cheerleaders that have been trying to get their attention and Alden starts getting annoyed. Alden says he doesn’t want to hurt Sharon’s feelings and that she’s a good person. He starts looking for the remote and says that they can hang out with other people, but Brock isn’t buying it. We fast forward to Monday and Maria tells Sharon about the football game, but stops herself. Sharon is curious to know what happened and she hears Alden and Brock laughing. She turns around to see them sitting with some girls.


One of the girls starts showing off her cheerleading moves and Brock and Alden are impressed. Naturally, Sharon starts getting jealous and pressures Maria to tell her what happened at the game.


One of the girls starts touching Alden’s hair and suggests that he get highlights. Brock asks Tess (the girl touching Alden’s hair) if he should get highlights and the other girl suggests that they have a highlight party. That’s when Sharon interrupts them by clearing her throat loudly. Brock gets up and introduces the girls, Tess and Leanne. Sharon says hi to them and an awkward silence comes between them quickly. Alden breaks the awkward silence by asking Sharon about her weekend. Sharon and her dad went to see experimental theatre and saw an actress who could imitate electronic sounds and everyone laughs. Sharon claims that the show was really good and it had a good message, but no one is trying to hear it. The way Sharon described it makes me want to see something like that. Fuck them, Sharon! I’d love to hear about it. Hell, I’d go to one. The bell rings and Alden tells Sharon that he’ll see her later. Maria tells Sharon not to think what she’s thinking and that Alden knows that those girls are lame. Sharon lies and says she has no problem with him expanding his circle of friends.

Later on, Sharon can’t help her jealous feelings and Maria assures Sharon that Alden is only hanging with them to help Brock get female attention. This is true. Sharon starts getting paranoid and thinks about calling Alden. Maria stops her so she doesn’t give Alden the idea that she’s a jealous, insecure girlfriend (which she’s being right now, but understandable). Sharon tells Maria that she’s only calling to let Alden know that he doesn’t owe Brock anything. We cut to Alden in a dark room hanging up photos while on the phone with Brock. Alden isn’t answering the phone and it goes straight to voicemail. Sharon gets angry and Maria tells her to calm down and that he was probably on the phone with someone and didn’t pick up his call waiting (which is exactly the reason). Sharon wonders who he’s on the phone with and starts heading over to Alden’s house. Geez, that’s a bit extreme. She gets to Alden’s house and tells him that she can help with his math homework and he declines. He tells Sharon he’s going to get a snack and she accompanies him. *facepalm* Alden makes himself a sandwich and while Sharon reminds Alden of all of her good qualities and he looks totally out of it.

In the girls’ bathroom, Maria asks Sharon if she talked to Alden about Brock and Sharon tells her that she was too busy reminding Alden about all of her great qualities. Tess pops up, looking in the mirror and asks them if her foundation looks okay and Maria makes a snide remark. God, the shade throwing on this show is awesome. Tess goes on about some makeup stuff that I don’t understand because I don’t wear/hate makeup. She asks them what they think about her makeup and Maria says that it looks good on her. She also asks Tess if she knows she’s a stereotype and Tess says that she loves stereos. Excuse me while I laugh for 2 minutes straight. Maria then asks Tess if she has any other interests besides cheerleading and Tess says no. Tess gets ready to leave the bathroom and tells the girls that pure silk bras give you the right balance and she says that Alden told her this. Oh, shit! Sharon is livid and Maria holds her back.


“Let me at her, let me at her”.

Maria tells her to ignore it and that she’s trying to get to her. Sharon tells her that Tess is getting to her. Maria advises Sharon to make sure that she doesn’t see Alden without her. Yeah, this isn’t one of Maria’s smartest ideas. You can see when she went to Alden’s house that he’s getting annoyed with her. Sharon decides to skip her volunteer work at the vet’s to go to Alden’s band practice. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. I’d never ditch school, work, etc. for a guy. Brock tells Sharon that Alden had to go help out at his parents’ restaurant because one of the cooks got sick. Sharon starts to head out to the restaurant and changes her mind. She reminds herself that she’s in a committed relationship and she shouldn’t put her life on hold. Great idea, Sharon. Later, she heads down to the restaurant and finds Alden…with Tess.


Dum dum dum…

Sharon walks in and tells them that the music is too loud. Alden explains that Tess has been keeping him busy while he cleans up. Sharon asks if there’s anything she can do and Tess says everything’s done. Sharon gives her a “Bitch, did I ask you?” look:


Alden tells Sharon that he’ll stay around and do homework and get a ride with his mom when she closes up. Sharon suggests that Tess can take the bus with her, but Tess plans on doing homework with Alden because “he’s so good at math and I’m horrible at it”. Alden says that Sharon can stay if she wants, but she declines. Sharon is on her computer looking at a picture of Tess on the school website. She complains about how fake Tess is and wonders what Alden sees in her. Josh, who was in Sharon’s room getting a CD without her noticing, tells her to ask him herself. A light bulb goes off in her head and Sharon decides to type Alden a letter. While Sharon is typing the letter that she’ll never sent to Alden, Moishe (one of the cats) starts playing with the computer cord in the socket.


This won’t end well.

Electricity starts coming from the cord, goes up to the computer, and into Sharon’s braces. She ends up hitting her head on the keyboard posting the letter on the school website. Her computer also ends up crashing. I’mma let you finish, but this episode had the best second-hand embarrassment moment of all time. On their way to school, Sharon tries to convince herself that nobody will read the letter because no one goes on the school website. Maria also helps, but they both know they’re lying to themselves. They reach school and someone has vandalized Sharon’s locker. Gee, I wonder who could it be…


The message says, “Surrender Spitz, you’re way out of your league”. But why is it not legible for the readers?

Sharon opens up her locker and boxes of tissue fly out. Tess and Leanne coincidentally shows up (the criminal always returns to the scene of the crime) and mocks Sharon. Sharon considers being fake sick so she can go home (if you go through with it, take lessons from the previous episode), but Maria convinces her to stay. She also suggests that they go to the library to see if they can take the letter off of the website. Yeah, it’s a little too late for that and I would think that whoever runs the website would have taken it down. Connor, because no one pays him any mind, is confused as to what’s going on. We cut to Brock and Alden and some girls walk by laughing at Brock aka “Mr. Desperate”. Brock complains about the things she called Brock and Alden (there was some truth in what she said) in the letter and Alden swears he wasn’t doing anything with Tess and he couldn’t help it that she showed up to the restaurant. No, you couldn’t help it but I think you could have told her to piss off if you had any sense. Brock asks him why it matters since Alden told him that he and Sharon weren’t exclusive. Oh, yeah I forgot to mention that in an earlier scene. Alden lied and told Brock they weren’t exclusive. Alden agrees and says that he’s not exclusive with Tess either. As they talk, they walk right pass Sharon and Co. trying to get to the library. Unfortunately, the library is closed. Sharon notices the guys walking by and she says hi to them. They turn around and the expressions they give Sharon are just hilarious!


An awkward silence comes between them and Alden says hi. That doesn’t fit the mood. Just a few seconds ago, he was giving her a nasty look now he’s saying hi to her like nothing happened. Brock chastises Alden for talking to her. Sharon apologizes to them, but they’re not trying to hear it. Alden curses Sharon out for writing the letter, having a low opinion of him and Brock, and for talking shit about Tess and Leanne because they’re perfect angels who bullied Sharon for no damn reason.



I don’t mean to take away from this moment, but Alden is kind of cute when he’s mad.

Sharon asks Alden if they can talk in private, but Brock cuts in and asks why. Then, Maria jumps in to defend Sharon. The bell rings and Alden heads off to class with Brock following him.


Sharon goes home and decides to hop on her computer to rectify the situation. The next day, we find out that Sharon posted a hate letter about herself on the school website. So, anyone can just post on the school website, huh? Sharon tells her friends that she wrote the letter about herself. Maria thinks that Alden might forgive her after doing this. No, I don’t think so. We cut to Sharon and Alden in the band room. Alden doesn’t want to talk about the situation anymore and that he’s just needs some breathing room. Sharon asks Alden if he’s breaking up with her. He doesn’t say anything, but his face says it all. I have to screenshot this moment.


Sharon asks him if she’s going to start dating Tess and Alden denies it saying that they’re just friends. Alden says he just wants to be by himself for a while and walks out of the room, leaving Sharon in tears. Sharon says that she had a feeling it was coming, but it still hurts. Damn, I felt that.


R.I.P. Shalden

At Sharon’s house, Maria does what every best friend does when their friend is going through a break-up: snap them out of their depressive mood. She brings some clean laundry because Sharon loves the smell of it, but it’s not working. While this is going on, some music from Alden’s band is playing is the background. Maria insults the band’s music and Sharon chimes in. Sharon asks Maria if there’s a chance her and Alden will get back together. Maria tells her that she doesn’t know and they probably won’t. I love her honesty. She tells Sharon to give her a list of reasons why the break-up was a good thing. Sharon pretty much lists their differences, him being into airheads, and that change is good. Then, Sharon and Maria have a play fight best friend moment.

Wow, this was an interesting episode. Shalden’s breakup shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. Since “Stormy Weather”, their relationship has been on the rocks and I love that the writers build on it instead of pulling it out of their asses like some shows do. I think that Brock’s jealously played a hand in their relationship. He was butthurt that Alden got more attention than he did. This might be a reach, but I think that he intentionally gave Alden horrible relationship advice (ex. Giving Sharon a shitty gift for her birthday). The communication was also a big problem with their relationship. Alden knows nothing about being in a relationship and like I mentioned before, listened to Brock (who doesn’t know shit about relationships and is jealous of Alden) giving him shitty advice. I could go on and on about the problems in their relationship, but I’ve already mentioned them in episodes where they had problems.

Now on to the episode, Sharon and Alden were both wrong. Sharon let her insecurities get the best of her. I know what it’s like to get insecure over girls who are more attractive than you are esp. when they’re around your significant other or crush. And I could see how she could feel that way. Remember how Evvie was all over Alden in “The Social Fabric”? Not to mention, they’ve hardly spent time together since they’ve entered high school. However, this doesn’t justify her stalking Alden which you can see was annoying him. As for the letter, she messed up by doing it on the computer. Can you imagine this episode taking place in 2016? Everyone would have seen and shared Sharon’s Tumblr rant, which would probably make in her internet famous. When I do rants, I open up Word, Note, or my old-fashioned diary. I get the concept of writing an angry letter. I do it all of the time, but next time Sharon be careful. Now on to Alden, I get why he’s trying to put on a show for Brock and say that he and Sharon aren’t exclusive. You guys know how male ego is, but that’s no excuse for it. And I can’t believe how much Alden was kissing Tess and Leanne’s asses when he went off on Sharon for the letter. “You don’t even know them.” Apparently you don’t either, you shithead. I can’t believe he had the nerve to say then, when just a few seconds ago he said that Tess destroying Sharon’s locker was too extreme. I’m even more pissed off at him for not realizing that Tess was clearly trying to get his attention to make Sharon jealous. Even Stevie Wonder could see through her bullshit. And does he even though about the comments Tess made to Sharon? Then again, this is the same guy who let his girlfriend get bullied and blamed it on her, instead of taking up for his girlfriend.




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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