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'Life Unexpected': Slow and steady wins the race

February 15, 2010 | 11:27 pm
Lux (Brittany Robertson) just wants to be liked. After years of not fitting in, Lux offers up Baze's (Kristoffer Polaha) loft for a party in the hopes of winning over her new classmates. The girls still hate her because she lied and call her a foster freak. It's foster care, ladies, not an insane asylum. Brinn, the brunette Lux sold the bong lamp to, has a cool football playing boyfriend who's actually nice to Lux. A jock who's nice to the outcast. Sounds like a mini-Baze. It's no wonder Baze tells Lux that if she gets in with Jones (Austin Butler), the quarterback, she'll be in with the whole school. But the party falls on the same night that Bug (Rafi Gavron) and Tasha (Ksenia Solo) have planned a surprise trip to a drive-in theater. Lux gives them the “I'm not feeling so well” excuse with her party makeup on and they actually fall for it. They even bring her chicken soup, busting Lux during the middle of her party. They accuse her of being ashamed of them even though they've always been there for her, but Bug wasn't so supportive when he belittled Lux by telling her she'd never fit in with these kids or go to college like them because her grades are crap.

Also busting into Lux's party and busting a move: Cate. Lux and Baze have been hanging out a lot, staying up late on school nights. It becomes clear that Cate is not so much worried about Lux being out as she is jealous of Lux and Baze's friendly relationship.

“We had fun,” Lux says when Cate asks her what they did all night.

“Like when we went shopping for handbags?” Cate replies. Lux, you're going to have to work on your poker face. Maybe Cate should take her shopping for beanies and then she'd enjoy it more?

Desperately wanting to be the fun one, Cate partakes in a game of beer pong at Lux's party. If that wasn't cringe-worthy enough, she does the running man in her “slutty” red dress and hooker boots when she wins. It falls on Baze to act like the parent and bust up the party, which apparently means hulking out and turning into his father.

“Don't be stupid. You have a brain. Use it,” he yells at Lux. Baze's dad (Robin Thomas) yelled almost the exact same thing at him when Baze told him about his idea to have turtle races at the bar to bring in more income. It was hard to hear Baze sounding so much like his father, even if he was doing it because he was scared to lose the bar and thus, lose custody of Lux.

But like every good party, the night wouldn't be complete if there weren't cops involved. Bug steals Jones' car with Lux in tow and when Cate and Baze try to explain the situation, the police officer arrests them too. You're never supposed to touch a police officer, Tasha warns. While waiting for someone to post bail for her illustrious parents, Lux explains to Tasha that she wasn't ashamed of her. She was ashamed of herself for wanting to fit in with the popular kids. I'm still having a hard time caring about Tasha and Bug. They're just so harsh and complete downers. They always seem to bring Lux down for wanting good things like parents and friends. Brinn and the blond, nasty one might not be worth trying to impress, but I quite like Jones. He's relaxed and friendly and doesn't seem to care about high school conventions. There's enough bitchy on the other CW shows.

After failing to reach Ryan (Kerr Smith) or Alice (Erin Karpluk), Lux calls Baze's dad. He posts the bail, but initially turns down Baze's offer to press reset on their relationship and come in for a beer. He later shows up at the bar and bets on the victorious three-legged “underdog turtle.” If Baze had a spirit animal, this turtle would be it.

Cate and Baze also had a moment in the bar, during which she reminds him he doesn't have to be his father, just a father, and touches his hand. There's definitely a spark, but Ryan comes in at just the right moment. Earlier in the episode, Ryan said he knew he and Cate had chemistry when “she put her hand on mine and I felt it.” Cate actually changed the subject when he asked when she knew it. I think she just felt it.

Readers, what did you think of Jones? Are you hoping he gives Bug some competition? Did you feel a moment between Cate and Baze or are you still rooting for Ryan, who Kerr Smith told me will start to lose his cool in a couple of weeks?

-- Vlada Gelman (Follow my TV musings on Twitter: @stayingin)


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Photo: Baze (Kristoffer Polaha) and Lux (Brittany Robertson) have fun at a carnival. Credit: Jack Rowand / The CW