Donate to the Transgender Law Center

SKAM Austin recap: With friends like these...

The longest episode yet gave us back-stabbing, slut-shaming, and a boatload of romantic tension.

June 12, 2018

I swear I’ll stop saying this if it ever stops being true: SKAM Austin just keeps getting better. Last week, the whole school found out that Megan and Penetrator Jo kissed at the spring dance. Punches were thrown. Hair was yanked. Reputations were dragged. Week 7, which clocked in at an unusually meaty 50 minutes, was all about the aftermath.

ADVERTISEMENT

It starts with Megan desperately trying to get Marlon to talk to her. Since he won’t answer her calls, she tries to ambush him while he’s hanging out with Tyler and Shay. When the boys run inside, Shay stays to comfort Megan, encouraging her to give Marlon some time to cool off. “If I have to sit and listen to you justifying why you destroyed us I’ll say something I’ll regret,” Marlon tells Megan via text, which is somehow both reasonable and frustrating.

At school on Monday, Megan is inundated with dirty looks from every direction. It makes me think of that Mean Girls moment when Lindsay Lohan is like, “Have you ever walked up to people and realized they were just talking about you? Have you ever had it happen 60 times in a row?” It’s worth mentioning the actor who plays Megan does some of her best work this week, capturing the complicated blur of shame and misery that comes with being involved in a school-wide scandal. The way she cowers, like she’s using every bone in her body to try to make herself invisible, is particularly noteworthy.

Same. Overheard in the courtyard.

A post shared by Bouldin High (@overheardbouldin) on

After school, Shay attempts to cheer up Megan, who’s borderline catatonic at this point. For a few adorable seconds, her and Shay hold hands and lay in bed quietly. There’s a spark that feels maybe more than platonic, but above all it’s just a nice example of the way a friend can fill your heart with comfort and hope without saying anything at all. The moment is interrupted by Megan’s mom, who shouts for her from the kitchen. “I’ll use the window,” Shay says.

Megan’s parent berate her for getting in a fight and for slacking on her schoolwork. She argues back, finally confessing that she quit the dance team three months ago. “I tried to tell you but you’re too busy yelling at dad all the time, and all you care about is having a perfect husband and a perfect daughter.” I’m very here for Megan finally speaking up for herself, even though it doesn’t actually help resolve anything — not yet, anyway.

Back at school, Grace tries to cheer up Megan too. After they both get a message from Kelsey about another VERY IMPORTANT dance team meeting the next day, Megan says she can’t imagine Grace actually dancing, which leads to a spontaneous solo routine in the school’s courtyard. Megan can’t help but smile, especially when Grace is spotted mid-dance by Daniel, who, in the long-tradition of high school heartthrob cliches, asks her to help him study so that he doesn’t get booted off the football team. Grace shuts him down and hilariously calls him “Donald,” to which he responds, “You can call me whatever you want.” Hate to say it, but there’s some honest-to-god romantic tension here. Megan’s confused side-eye suggests she thinks so, too.

At the dance team meeting, Kelsey stresses that “behavior like Megan’s” reflects badly on the whole group. She says she learned that Abby is an admin on the “Overheard Bouldin” Instagram account, and that she was the one who actually broke the news about Megan and Penetrator Jo hooking up. Kelsey also reveals that she found out the real reason Abby and Megan aren’t friends anymore: Abby used to date Marlon, before he secretly started a relationship with her BFF Megan. Messy!

Zoya suggests shit-talking the Kittens in retaliation, to which Kelsey responds, “Some of us weren’t raised in the Muslim mafia.” At that, a fed-up Grace storms off, and Zoya reveals that the real reason she threw salsa at the football party was because Abby had called Kelsey a slut for going outside with Daniel. “Because in our little Muslim mafia, we actually protect our friends no matter what,” Zoya says before leaving. A stunned Kelsey leaves in a huff. As always, Jo remains a stabilizing presence in a friend group gone haywire. At the end of the clip, she offers Megan some of her muffin. “I even took the little paper off for you,” she says. “Now she’s naked.”

Stripes and fries. Thought they would make me feel better...

A post shared by Megan Flores (@meglovessmoothies) on

ADVERTISEMENT


In the next scene, a desperate Megan drives to Marlon’s house, where she finds him working on his truck like a Good American Boy. A sad Norwegian pop song plays while they exchange loaded glances. They eventually talk though some of their issues, which turns out are a little bit deeper than the recent secrets. “The problem is that I just don’t get you,” Marlon says. “It’s like you don’t have your own opinions. You’re just following everyone else. But what do you want? Who are you?” It’s a big question for a 16-year-old, and the rest of the episode finds Megan hell-bent on figuring out her answer. This includes a much-needed heart-to-heart with her mom, who reminds Megan that her love is unconditional and that she’s trying her best. Remember everyone, grown-ups are still figuring shit out, too!

At school the next day, Megan is the victim of a cruel, diet-Carrie prank in which some faceless bully calls her a slut and dumps a purple smoothie onto her head. She cleans herself up in the bathroom, where she overhears Kelsey puking her guts out (whether it’s hinting at an eating disorder, a possible pregnancy, both, or neither — remains to be seen). Kelsey says she’s not part of the dance team anymore because she thinks everyone hates her, and then Megan tells her that she’s not the type of person who goes after other people’s boyfriends. “Then what kind of person are you, Megan?” Kelsey asks. Notice a theme?

Next, a seemingly empowered Megan confronts Abby, apologizes sternly and sincerely for how things went down with Marlon, and begs for her to stop torturing her and spying on her. Both of them cry, and Abby promises to stop shit-talking and name-calling. “But I never spied on you,” she says, admitting that while she did make the IG post about Megan and Penetrator Jo's hookup, she wasn’t the one who actually saw them kiss. “We got a tip — sent to us by Shay.” WHAT!

Did Shay spill the beans because she has a crush on Megan and wanted to break her and Marlon up? Was she jealous that her BFF Marlon was spending a lot of time with his girlfriend? Or is she just a messy teen who lives for drama? My vote is the first one, but only time will tell.

Extra Thoughts

- Jo is only in one scene this week, which is not nearly enough.
- After being exposed for cheating, Megan wears a shirt with a big red “A” on it. Later we learn that she never turned in her Scarlet Letter essay in English class, so the coincidence is most likely lost on her. Dramatic irony, folks!
-Grace does her cheer-up-Megan dance to a Famous Dex song, which is troubling, considering the rapper was caught on video assaulting his girlfriend in 2016. Knowing Grace, I really can’t imagine she would still listen to his music if she knew this. Someone DM her, thanks.

More from FADER Video
SKAM Austin recap: With friends like these...