Leah Is The Final Girl Of The Teen Mom 2 Finale

It's easy to look sane when Jenelle is playing a game of emotional Yahtzee.

Although Teen Mom 2 followed the Teen Mom OG route of breaking the fourth wall and including the producers in the show this season, the move hasn't really paid off. The OG producers feel like cast members in their own right, but on TM2 they've just popped up every once in a while to move the plot along by asking leading questions. (No court in the land uses the term "co-parent" as much as this show does.) But it looks like the producers have been hanging on to their trump card all season just to use it here in the finale, and in a confusing episode about taping the reunion special we are about to watch next week, Jenelle and her boyfriend David "See You On Dateline" Eason stomp off the set with Jace in tow, setting off a series of reactions that includes tears, pleading, tantrums, and a visit from the LAPD.

Adding meta-ness to the show has made the timeline even more wonky and confusing, which I hadn’t thought was possible. We watch everyone prep for the reunion, then see a teaser clip from the reunion, then watch the reaction to the reunion, and...then the reunion airs. I feel like I'm in a Doctor Who episode, but with less continuity.

Teen Mom 2-y Element Present?
Crying Jenelle returns backstage from filming her individual segment and cries all over the place while telling some nonsensical story about a time when shle was a little kid and asked Barb to play Yahtzee with her and then...she did? But not for long enough? Whatever, Jenelle. This is all setup for yet another mother/daughter fight, and Jenelle is not letting go of her insistence that Barb is only keeping Jace for the opportunity to be on TV, and that MTV should give in to Jenelle's demands that they not film her mom. And her controlling boyfriend is all too happy literally to stand between Jenelle and the crew.
Fighting with ex or current boyfriend/husband Last week's episode ended with a "will he or won't he?" clip of Javi walking up the front steps of his Kail's house to confront her. The result is that, yes, he does go in, but the resulting fight is less explosive than in previous weeks. They mumble about trying to get along and co-parent (drink!) Lincoln, there are a lot of references to "it" not being "right," but what exactly is "it"? Their divorce? Her pregnancy? Give me some answers, people! It's the finale! They could have just played the chorus of "It's Not Right, But It's Okay" and saved everyone a lot of time.
Obligatory cute kid The only kid who gets much screen time this week is Jace, and...well, the less said about that the better. Is there a GoFundMe therapy account I can chip in for?
Crimes against the English language Barb thinks Leah is going to meet a "rich doctor man with a cupla yachts" in college. Jenelle keeps referring to Jace as "my son" instead of by his name, which is a charming habit I'm sure she picked up from her hyper-controlling Siamese twin of a boyfriend. The very executive Morgan (not that one) Freeman himself shows up to check on Jenelle and admits "there's a lot of feelings going on."
Style disasters The girls (or, rather, the MTV stylists and makeup artists who swoop in for the reunion episodes) bring their A-game this week, even though Chelsea sort of looks like a pregnant redheaded Amy Winehouse. That means it's up to the rest of the cast to bring their C-games, and boy do they. Dave's weird backpack is, I think, supposed to look like a dragon?


And Shit-Stirring Producer Kristen evidently shares fashion tips with Michael Abraham's girlfriend...


...because they both shop at the House O' Unflattering Tops.

"Shocking Reveal" we already knew about from Us Weekly/the internet I don't know how MTV managed to keep this all under wraps, but the big Jenelle meltdown is, in fact, a pretty shocking reveal. Following her big teary diva moment backstage at the reunion, she switches from being sad to being furious that MTV isn't caving to her demands to boot Barb from the show. It's a weird circle of non-logic where Jenelle says she always feels excluded from filming, yet she's the one leaving of her own free will and refusing to tape anything else, thus excluding herself from filming. The producers all go outside to beg slash reason with "Jenelley," who gets into an UberBlack with Jace and Dave. "If you don't move, I am gonna git outta this car and move you my damn self," yells Creepy Dave before getting out and waving his arms around threateningly. As the SUV pulls away, Larry calls the police because Jenelle doesn't have the right to take Jace with her, and Barb has to go to Jenelle's hotel to pick him up. The producers drive Barb over as Barb alternates between freaking out about Jace's safety and screaming that she hates Dave and wants him to go to jail for kidnapping. Eventually, Dave brings Jace -- without his suitcase or stuff -- down to the lobby and wordlessly hands him back. Soon afterward, Jenelle sticks her head out the hotel window and starts screaming at Kristen that she is leaving L.A. immediately and that Kristen has betrayed her by filming Barb and Nathan instead of her. Applying the Real Housewives theorem here, whoever is screaming the most about other people causing drama is usually the one actually causing the drama.
Tertiary character as voice of reason The producers do a good job of acting like they're poor, put-upon bystanders who just happened to be caught up in a wave of crazy, but they're just as responsible for the crazy shit that happens on this show. They don't give a shit how Jenelle feels (to be fair, no one should); they're just protecting their show. Live by the sword, die by the temper tantrum.
Meta Moment This entire episode is one huge meta moment, but I did enjoy how Kail demands to touch both Jenelle and Chelsea's bellies while announcing that she has a case of baby fever. OH DO YOU NOW, KAIL? TELL US MORE.
Mom whose segments are totally worth skipping Poor Leah and Kail end up doing the heavy lifting of filming after Hurricane Jenelle leaves the building and a sick Chelsea is sent home by the production team. (In case it wasn't clear how much everyone hates Jenelle, her scenes are contrasted with everyone gathering around Chelsea to hug her and make sure she feels okay.)
Misogyny Dave, whose arm is surgically attached to Jenelle, says that Nathan and Barb are fame-hungry for appearing on the reunion. I'd suggest he look in a mirror, but it would probably break.
7 / 10
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