Huge Review: "Birthdays"
After last week’s successful weigh-in, Rand cautioned the campers about the dangers of self-sabotage last night.
While making progress towards a goal may seem like an uplifting experience, she says: “There may be a self-destructive part of us that doesn’t want us to get better, that’s more comfortable with pain.” This week’s episode of Huge, “Birthdays," displayed various examples of self-sabotage, and the damage it inflicts on not only yourself, but also on those around you.
The siblings share a birthday at camp, but Chloe still wants to keep her familial connection a secret. She enjoys a surprise birthday celebration in the cabin and plans a party in the woods, complete with alcohol. It doesn’t occur to her that her twin brother is getting zero recognition on his birthday, or at least she doesn’t seem to care.
But Trent does, and he makes a point to not only help Alistair’s birthday celebration, but to get Chloe to acknowledge her brother. Once she realizes Trent knows, Chloe still keeps the secret from everyone else. It isn’t until her birthday dare to Piznarski goes awry that she even acknowledges Alistair in any real way.
Piznarski must kiss a boy to fulfill his dare, but the other party-goers, drunk from Poppy’s pilfered booze, suggest he find and kiss Alistair. Piznarski kisses Alistair who responds by saying he likes someone else, but the joke is revealed when Alistair sees the snickering group with his sister among them. His tear-filed gaze at her is heart-breaking, and Chloe feels guilty that he was inadvertently caught up in her game.
[Photo: ABC Family]
For her part, Chloe’s selfish-denial of her brother boils down to an aversion to haring with her brother because this camp was always “her thing.” Additionally, her desperate need to be popular makes her cut out all undesirables from her life, as we saw with Becca. This self-sabotaging drive may get Chloe the popularity she desires, but it does serious damage to her personal relationships and to herself.
She seems cruel and selfish, maybe even to Trent. Alistair does forgive Trent, mostly because he has a crush on him, but he doesn’t mention his sister. By the end of the episode, it’s clear that more time should be devoted to further unraveling these polar opposite twins.
The George-Amber relationship may be over before it starts. The opening sequence showed the two making out heavily in the woods, planning their next rendezvous. The relationship seems mostly physical at this point, but Amber has genuine feelings for George. When she returns drunkenly vomiting to the cabin after Chloe’s party, Will confesses that she saw the two in the woods.
Amber vehemently defends George, but Will makes some good points about the two. Surprisingly, Will speaks mostly out concern for Amber. She points out that George is much older than Amber, and she doesn’t want her fellow camper to get hurt. But Amber has her heart set on George, and excitedly gets up to meet him in the morning.
George is not as sure as Amber, but his ambivalence is mostly due to concern about her welfare (she is only 16). His decision rests on a clandestine meeting with Dr. Rand. Now, Rand’s relationship with Wayne is going well, and she seems at peace with herself.
Yet, her speech about self-sabotage was not just for the kids; her continued contact with Jonathon, the married Lake Knolls camp director, shows that she has the potential to sabotage herself, which she does. After a particularly heart-warming date with Wayne, Rand sleeps with Jonathon, and then admits how much she hates herself for it.
Returning from her tryst, she runs into George who is waiting for his clandestine meeting with Amber. When he asks how to help the campers, and indirectly himself, from self-sabotaging, she claims that the best way is “by being a good example.” But, she cautions that sometimes we can’t help what other people choose to do because sometimes being a mess “is who we choose to be.”
The advice pushes George to return to camp and cut off romantic ties with Amber. Rand’s hypocrisy while not surprising, is disappointing. Like the episode, Rand’s has some genuine moments of self-discovery that are comforting and instructional, but ultimately depressing.
Speaking of depressing, the best line of the episode came from Alistair as he remembered his past birthday presents. He was always jealous of Chloe’s Sky Dancer dolls and remarks, “Ever try to make G.I. Joe dance in the sky? It’s depressing.”