Cause You Always Want What You’re Running From: Twisted “We Need To Talk About Danny” Review
If you thought you’d already seen all the best tension Twisted could offer, episode 7 probably came as an emotional shock (and overload). “We Need To Talk About Danny” really worked the teen drama aspect of the series, but still managed to expertly keep all of its relationships equally front and center. Not only did this add an extra layer to each storyline, but it dramatically amped up the stakes for everyone.
The episode begins with a scene some may not have realized was a dream sequence until Jo popped up out of bed to remind us she’s definitely a hormonal teenager. This dream effects all of Jo’s decisions during the episode, and we watch her struggle with a desire to be closer to Danny romantically and still maintain her own identity. Rico is of course there by her side offering his own version of reality. Regardless of where his intentions lie, Rico’s words possess a certain level of truth one can’t ignore. His reasoning with Jo effectually snaps her out of that Danny tunnel vision and we get to see the pressing and independent thinker we remember from the pilot.
This Jo rears her head first when she meets up with Lacey in their old tree house. As Jo declares that it’s time for answers, Lacey is back to her Danny Desai game of emotional tug-o-war. Lacey is clearly protective of the world she built for herself after Danny went to juvie, but her want to reconcile with him keeps pulling at her heart strings. It was nice to see Lacey finally put her foot down in a meaningful way with Archie when she scolded him about his constant verbal attacks against Danny. However, it seems to have made Danny a larger target. Her meet-ups with Jo have a similar effect, but here she’s put the target on her own back.
At the end of the cemetery party, Sarita confesses to the Queen Bee that she knows who she’s been sneaking off to see. Before she stalks off, she leaves Lacey with an ultimatum. It’s either her popular friends or Jo and Danny, but Lacey can’t have both. It is this scene that’s been in the back of our minds; a scene from which Lacey’s largest storyline right now emerges. Which is more important: Who Lacey was or who she has become? And what is she willing to risk or give up to have either? Apparently a lot as in the next few minutes we find her at Danny’s side in the cemetery standing over Tara’s grave. It’s here that we finally hear out loud what Danny has been struggling with since day one: how is he supposed to be exist in a place where everyone would rather he didn’t? This hits Lacey hard and is the final blow to her wall. Lacey finally gives into her desire.
While Danny may be winning both ladies over in real life and their dreams, he loses his battle to be on the soccer team. After one of his teammates mysteriously gets food poisoning, the team turns on him. In response, the coach “politely” removes Danny from the school sport. This sends him (understandably) into down spiral, bringing out a dark sadness we have yet to see form the boy with a flashy smile. Salt is only rubbed into the wound when Jo drags him around the cemetery party, where he has to hang out with some of the very same people who got him kicked off the team. This decision to attend, however, was dramatically vital.
During a meet-up away from the party, Jo and Lacey interrogate Danny about why he won’t tell them about what happened to Aunt Tara. He does his usual run around (with a strong John Bender vibe), eventually twisting it so far that the conversation lands on what the girls failed to tell Danny in last week’s episode. Why Danny was so upset that they had kept that tidbit from him as he continues to hide secrets from and between them might be a bit of a head scratch-er.
Still it upset him and he stomped off with Jo chasing after. This is where we learn that Danny seemingly didn’t kill Aunt Tara for giggles. He was protecting his family. This reveal could change our entire perception of Danny’s decision as we search for rhymes and reasons for what would have justified a murder to protect your own life. Especially when it risked the happiness of everyone you claim to be trying to protect.
Danny’s storyline was probably the most dynamic of the episode, in a way it really hasn’t been… ever. This has a lot to do with how exposed the soccer storyline left him. It was a side of Danny we knew was there, but weren’t expecting to hit us quite as hard as it did. Avan Jogia truly is a supreme talent and has fully encapsulated the complexity of Danny. In addition, the love triangle reared it’s (not so) ugly head, but hopefully changed some perceptions about its role in the trio’s development.
While Danny and Lacey’s relationship may feel a bit rushed, it would seem that Danny’s reintroduction – like it was for Jo – is the actual spark of Lacey’s larger development. Finally, Danny totally aside, it was nice to see Lacey and Jo working as a team – making it that much harder to watch Jo’s reaction once she discovers Danny and Lacey are now seeing each other. Can girl power still win out? Or has Danny Desai got us all so wrapped around his finger that this is nothing but his story to puppeteer?