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Pen15: “Home” Review

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Synopsis:

After finding themselves very far away from where they began, all Anna and Maya want is to go back home.


Wow… We’ve finally come to the end of Pen15, and I was very satisfied with the ending. It was one of the best episodes I’ve seen in a while. Maya and Anna matured exponentially and their story ended on a positive note.

The beginning of the episode had me cringing all over the place and it made me feel bad for the girls because they were kind of put in a peer pressure situation, that made me want to drag them out of Derrick’s house so badly. They were alone with the boys and of course, things were getting a little hot and heavy. We saw that Steve wanted to go to the next level with Anna, which she wasn’t comfortable with, and Maya felt obligated to give Derrick a blowjob. That scene made me gag because we’re used to seeing sex scenes being erotic, but in this case, it was two awkward teenagers that had no connection with each other and one that wanted to have their first kiss but ended up doing a more extreme act. It was gross and traumatizing and I’m sure, messed up Maya’s feelings about having a boyfriend. Thank god they ended up calling Shuji and getting out of there.

The girls return home and I’m sure they were relieved. Anna talked with her parents about her hamster dying and that she was in love with Steve, but also felt like he wasn’t respecting her. It was nice to see the family back together again, even if it wasn’t in the same room. It was some normalcy for Anna for once. But at Maya’s house, she lay in her room crying about what happened with Derrick.

The next day, Maya is talking on the phone with Derrick, which already angered me because if she was already traumatized about the night before, why would she even think to talk to him again? And to make matters worse, he called her to break up with her. He told her to turn on the radio, which was playing Smooth by Rob Thomas and Santana, and told her that whenever she listened to this song, to think about how he broke up with her. What a jerk.

We finally got to go back to school and see everyone, and it was nice seeing Maya and Anna sitting with Sam and his friends again. Sam was concerned about Maya and makes her happy by asking if she wants to go egg Derrick’s house. Also, I have to add that I was glad that Sam’s friends advised Anna too about Steve being a loser. They agree to egg Derrick’s house and it was another great scene to watch. All our favorite characters coming together to get back at Derrick. I thought it was cute too that Shuji decided to tag along. Instead of eggs, Maya brought baby squid, and it was awesome seeing them get thrown at the house. It was a nice little twist. They get caught and end up running away, and Anna and Shuji hide behind a house. Weirdly, there’s some chemistry going on between them, and when Shuji asks Anna if she wants to see something, he shows her his break dancing. Instantly, Anna falls in love, which I think was a callback to the beginning of the show, because Anna had said she had a crush on Shuji from the start. That would be sweet if they got together. We also see that Maya and Sam hide behind a bush and the moment I’ve been waiting for FINALLY arrived! Sam compliments Maya and says that instead of thinking of Derrick when she listens to Smooth, to envision him kissing her. It finally happened! Maya had her first kiss with Sam and it was perfect. She finally got kissed by someone who had feelings for her and truly cares about her. It was so innocent and perfect.

The ending was very relatable because the girls look at old photos together, which I do all the time with one of my old friends and they reminisce about the future. They wonder if they’ll drift apart or if they’ll stay together forever. Of course, it’s the latter, and they talk about how they’re going to do everything together till they’re old. It was touching and to add a bow on top, the show ended with them watching the moment that they first met each other. At a dance recital.

Pen15 was a funny and touching coming-of-age story that had so many relatable moments. It was set during the same time that I was growing up, and it was like I was reliving my teen years sometimes. Even though the show only had two seasons, I think it ran for the perfect amount of time. Maya and Anna learned a lot and matured in several ways. I’m glad it ended the way it did and I hope it gets more recognition.

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