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Who Are You, Really?: Twisted “Grief Is A Five-Letter Word” Review

By on June 19, 2013
Pictured: Denise Richards, Avan Jogia — Photo: Eric McCandless/ABC Family

Pictured: Denise Richards, Avan Jogia — Photo: Eric McCandless/ABC Family

For an episode with grief written right in the title, Twisted‘s second showing didn’t quite pull at our heartstrings. It was, however, dead set on forcing characters to reveal their hand in a game we didn’t know they were playing.

Despite some pretty fierce warnings from her father, Jo continues to spend time with Danny. Rico tags along, providing awkwardly comedic input to their efforts of clearing Danny’s name. Lacey is dealing with her grief over Regina’s death; grief that no one else seems to genuinely share in. When Archie is sentenced to attend the counseling group after school, he asks her to come with. Lacey’s initially reluctant, but shows up last minute. It becomes too much though when Regina’s former friend Phoebe (guest star Brittany Curran) tries to milk Regina’s death for attention.

The teens’ parents were on their own missions. Karen Desai set out to clear her son’s name, revealing how far she has been willing to go (yes, even the creepy assistant principal) in the process. Tess Masterson is caught in the hard middle ground when Karen comes to her about her husband. On the other Kyle Masterson is trying to compile enough evidence to put Danny away. Eventually their pent up emotions explode at a dinner orchestrated by the teens where the Masterson’s and Karen reveal how they really feel about what happened five years ago.

Tension between Jo and Lacey lingers in the air even when they don’t share a scene. Jo in particular seems intent on ensuring that wall between them doesn’t come down too soon. At Regina’s funeral, the two exchange a deja vu glance when Lacey mentions Regina as her best friend. Then when Danny argues Lacey couldn’t have killed her friend at a diner meetup, Jo is quick to raise an eyebrow. One has to wonder how Regina and Lacey became friends, and if Jo was used as a stepping stone to bridge that relationship.

As for Danny, his interactions ran an intense emotional gamut, including a deliberately detached relationship with his mother, passively antagonistic encounters with Chief Masterson, and a glaringly coveted connection with Lacey. How different each one of his relationships are from the others leaves very little room for filler scenes. Every moment reveals a clue about who Danny is and proves how vital each of the show’s other characters are to unraveling the major mystery.

Danny makes his biggest boom in the lunch hall confrontation with Archie, adeptly dodging a swing and following it up swiftly with a punch to the ribs. It looks like Danny learned a little something about self defense while he was locked up. This puts him on the rocks with Jo, but hurt feelings are easily mended. From the diner scene to their swingset conversation near episode’s end, their connection is pure. Jo may not be Danny’s fearless soapbox advocate, but she does want to bring him some sort of redemption.

On the flipside, Lacey and Danny’s connection is like a storm. He is drawn to her, even protects her by refusing to use her as an alibi. Lacey senses something between them as well, but she’s wary of Danny’s enigmatic and addictive aura. She doesn’t want to be the one to defend him, but it’s not because she lacks the courage. During the grief group Lacey calls out each and every person who (very comically) talks about what Regina meant to them. No, her hesitancy to allow the charming teen back lies in the fact that Danny is still a murderer and now a suspect in another homocide case. Right now any cloudiness about his character isn’t enough to justify trusting him.

The episode’s biggest surprise developmentally came from the heated tension between the adults. We were lead to believe Kyle Masterson’s beef was largely with the young Desai, but that’s clearly not the case. When Karen goes to speak with Tess about how her husband is handling the murder case – and her son in particular – the two bump horns. Tess offering herself up as someone to talk to, after she defends her husband’s witch hunt, leaves us scoffing and Karen with a second chip on her shoulder.

Pictured: Denise Richards as Karen Desai, Avan Jogia as Danny Desai — Photo: Eric McCandless/ABC Family — © 2013 ABC

Photo: Eric McCandless/ABC Family — © 2013 ABC Family

At the dinner, even more is revealed about underlying hostilities when Karen uncloaks the elephant in the room. While she hasn’t let go of the Masterson’s not allowing their daughter to testify as a character witness for Danny, Kyle obviously has no regrets about it, shouting that Danny got off too easy. In a situation like this, it should be easy to sympathize on some level with every character as they reflect various aspects of human reaction. Chief Masterson, however, represents the worst side of people in these situations. Sympathizing with his viewpoint might be easier if his version of treating people fairly didn’t involve illegally searching someone’s room or ignoring evidence of their potential alibi.

Thank goodness Rico was there to close the scene with a little humor. He threw back that spaghetti at the Desai’s table like it was his first and last meal. In fact, Ashton Moio pumped perfectly delivered comic relief intot the entire episode, breaking tension when needed and stopping the show from taking itself too seriously. Is it too early to start a petition for more Rico scenes?

Below are the clues and facts (as well as a theory!) that I gathered from this week’s episode. If you think I’m missing something, share yours in the comments below.

Twists: 1.) Karen Desai is sleeping with the school principal, 2.) Regina came into possession of the necklace around the same time Danny’s father mysteriously died in a boating incident

Turns: 1.) Regina had plenty of enemies, even amongst those she would have called friends, 2.) The Masterson’s refused to let Jo serve as a character witness in Danny’s case 5 years ago

Theory: Who Killed Regina?

If it wasn’t Danny, it could have been Sarita. In this episode she reveals how very little she liked Regina. Her boyfriend Scott was very forthcoming about offering to sleep with Regina, which means he’s probably done it before. She was at the lunch table with Lacey and Regina when Danny asked about the necklace, cluing her in that it might be important – and a means of implicating Danny. We never saw her leave the party, but she was close enough with Regina that she could have gotten a hold of her phone and used it to lure Danny. Did Sarita already know about Scott’s come on and confront the proven man stealer about it? Perhaps they got into an argument and Sarita got angry. Danny’s mustache jab from earlier in the night might have been enough to convince Sarita to use “Dr. Lecter’s spawn” as the fall guy…

Twisted airs Tuesdays at 9:00 – 10:00 p.m. ET/PT on ABC Family.