16 & Pregnant: Alex and Matt


If I had realized this episode was going to be an hour and a half long -- before 56 minutes into the episode -- you wouldn't be getting this review right now.  I'm old and "staying up late" just to finish the recap of a regular hour long episode is hard enough. 
Up this week is Alex from a Pennsylvania where, apparently, it's always raining.  She was raised by her single mom to be responsible and independent.  She pretty much kicks ass on the responsible front.  In addition to going in to her senior year in high school, Homegirl works two jobs!  Way to go, Alex! 

This is a show about teen pregnancy so, obvs, there's another half the equation.  Matt is her boyfriend of two years (two years!) and he's smart, sweet, funny, and different from other guys (in a good way, of course).  Well, if never being "super responsible" and staying in trouble is a good kind of different . . .

Alex tells us that nothing has been easy about her pregnancy (when is pregnancy easy?  I have three under my belt and of all the adjectives I could use to describe them easy is not one) and I'm hoping we're going to get some sort of fun type of not easy.  Remember Markai and her Pringles can for the excessive saliva?  Alas, by "not easy" Alex means she has a big decision to make: keep the baby or put her up for adoption.

Alex's mom put her on birth control as soon as Big Al started doing the dirty.  Moms was furious when Alex got pregnant and gave her an ultimatum: either put the baby up for adoption or keep it and find somewhere else to live.  Gee. What a way to make yourself seem like a complete assface to all of America.  :/

She and Matt have the Adoption Talk.  She doesn't think she can give the baby up but is scared of trying to raise her on her own.  Matt is, like, totes going to "try his best" to be there as much as he can to help, you know?  Dude?  Of course, Al voices over about how he disappears a lot, parties too much, and has been on probation.  Dad of the Year material!

We're treated to a very-staged-by-MTV scene of 8.5 pregnant Alex in her dance class.  Seriously, the only reason this girl is at this class is because MTV wants to be able to do the round table discussion on how she got pregnant after she's finished standing there and moving her arms around.  Anyway.  Since we're all on the edges of our seats wondering how she got knocked up, she explains to her dance friends (and one of these girls totally has a poof that would do Snooki proud!) that they used protection and she was on birth control but there was an "oopsie."  They thought about Plan B but it was $50.  *Snort*  If $50 was too much, wait till you see that hospital bill after have the baby . . .

It's two weeks until Alex's due date and her mom is losing patience re: the Adoption Decision.  Her mom tells her point blank, "there will be no babies in this house."  She says she is not going to raise a baby and her responsibility ended when she put Alex on birth control.  And, thing is, I kinda agree with her.  I mean, she shouldn't have to raise another child because her daughter got knocked up.  And she did do the "right" thing to try to keep her kid from getting sperminated.  Alex does need to be a kid.  But . . . come on, Mom!  That's your kid.  Show a little compassion and don't try to shove a decision that she could live to regret down her throat.  It's like she's just trying to set herself up to be resented.  Ya know?

It's time for an ultrasound!  Matt shows up - sweating - and looks pissed off through the entire thing.  Alex mentions she's thinking of naming the baby Arabella.  Excuse me?  Is she giving birth to a 90-year-old?

Al and her friend Brianna are eating at a restaurant when Bri Bri oh-so-casually drops the bombshell that her mom wants to adopt the baby.  Ai yi yi.  "Just something if you want to consider it" as she takes another bite of her din-din. 

She goes to meet with Brianna's parents - sans Matt because she can't get a hold of him.  It's pretty obvious that Bri's mom is foaming at the mouth to adopt this baby.  Her dad is the most compassionate adult we've seen yet this episode.  They let Alex know that they would give her time with the baby before stepping into adopt and that they would allow her to stay in the baby's life.  They also let her know they have a neighbor looking for a roomie (remember: Al can't stay at her mom's house if she decides to keep the baby).  They meet the neighbor and agree on rent, utilities, and all that.

Alex and Matt get together to discuss this whole "OMG WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DOOOOOO" thing again.  Matt is, of course, sweating again.  Excessively this time.  Gross.  He thinks it's a good idea for Brianna's parents to adopt the baby.  He tells Alex she has to put the baby before herself and that this is an act that requires "uber maturity."  Lol, Matt, el oh el.  I can't believe the word "maturity" is even in this dude's vocabulary. He tells her she can't financially afford baby.  She knows she can't on her own but stresses that they can do it together if they both put in 150%.  Matt disagrees.  Possibly because he's never in his life put 150% into anything other than smoking pot.

She takes Matt to talk to Brianna's parents.  Ya'll.  I'll be honest: I don't know much about drug use at all but I'm assuming this disgusting sweating is probably attributed to some sort of drug use?  Regardless, it's pretty gross.  And it's sad because this is a kid who is only 17 and, not only that, but he can't put down the pipe long enough to focus on the fact that a life he went halves on is about to brought into the world.  Through the course of the meeting, Alex says she realizes that adoption is the best bet.  Bri's mom starts to cry.  Her dad steps in and says to wait until after the baby comes to make a decision, that actually meeting their baby could change their minds.

Even though she is leaning toward the adoption, Alex decides to move in to to the neighbor's house anyway.  She doesn't get everything moved in so she stays the night at Bri's house.  She wakes up the next morning in labor.  She texts Matt and four hours later he still hasn't responded.

She decides she wants to "go down there" and have a face to face conversation with him.  They find him and I'm not sure exactly what happens but Alex is writhing in pain and Matt's sweaty ass finds himself parked in the backseat of the car.

After 18 hours of labor (finally!  A labor that lasts longer than five or six hours!), Arabella Elizabeth is born.  Matt stays by Alex's side and she's feeling all warm and fuzzy and in love with him and their baybay.  After two days with the babes, she can't imagine giving her to someone else.  She goes home from the hospital to Matt's house so they can talk.  So much talking in this episode!  She tells him she just wants him to be committed to the baby and for him to stay as smittten as he is in that moment.  Oh, Alex.  Honey.  You have watched this show before, haven't you? 

It's time to tell her mom and Brianna's parents that she wants to keep the baby.  Brianna's mom cries (and I feel for her) and Alex's mom apologizes to her.  Her mom starts harping on her about expenses and just . . . I don't know.  I don't like her mom and I can't believe she's treating her teenage daughter, who is just days post-partum, to a lecture.  Let's just leave my opinion at that.

Alex has to prove she can do it on her own.  Only problem is . . . she can't.  She doesn't have enough cash in her account to cover rent.  She needs Matt's help.  When she tells him this, he tells her he'll "probably" get a job at, like, a factory maybe, like, sometime this week.  Homeslice is totally stoned out of his mind as he tells her that he'll do his best.  Mmkay.

It's been a week since she asked for money and she hasn't seen a dime.  I know!  You're all fainting in shoc!.  Since she can't afford rent, she tells her mom she wants to move back home.  Her mom says she can live there but then launches into a lecture about how her lack of planning is not being a responsible parent.  I don't know what more she wants from a teen mom -- the kid is taking care of her baby and working.  But at least she lets her move back in.

So she moves back in with her mom and doesn't pay her rent for the next month as it would only leave her with $40 to get by on.  And since Alex is a 17-year-old girl she texts her former landlord to tell her this.  Alex, Alex, Alex.
We didn't get a baby shower with this one but we do get a "Welcome Party!"  Annnnd, during the Welcome Party, she gets a text from the former roomie letting her know that she has to get there RIGHT THEN to pick up her stuff or it will all be thrown to the curb.

Stiffing the Landlord on Rent 101: do not leave your shit in their house if you don't plan on paying rent!  Geez-o-petes.

She leaves the shower to go rescue her things and when she gets there all her stuff is already on the curb.  Her mom comes to help her out and ya'll already know - Lecturey McLectureson launches into yet another lecture.

Get this!  Alex's Grandpaps GIVES her a car!  Must be nice.

It's almost time for school to start so Al has to start looking into daycare for Baby Arabella.  She calls around and finds rates are crazy expensive.  She makes the decision to switch to cyber school for her senior year.  When she tells her friends, they start rattling off everything she's going to miss.  Ouch!  Salt -- meet open wound.  They tell her it's not fair that she has to sacrafice her senior year while Matt has to sacrafice . . . absolutely nothing.  He still gets to go school and see all his friends!  This makes me laugh because, let's be real peeps, Matt probably hasn't seen the interior of a classroom since fourth grade.

It's the first day of school and, OMG, Matt actually DOES go to school!  In fact, he overslept (because he was out the night before - where are this child's parents?) and missed the bus.  And calls Alex to give him a ride to school.  Of course, she goes and picks him up.  Sigh.

Her boss at the dance studio lets her bring the baby to work with her.  It seems like this'll be a pretty sweet gig (until the baby projectile vomits all over the floor during class) and, BONUS, she scares some of the girls into keeping their legs closed by telling them all what a Big Fat Losah Matt is.

She asks Matt to come over and watch the baby while she goes to work at her fast food job.  He agrees but then never shows.  And never answers when Alex calls.  Her mom is peeved that she doesn't have a back up plan and Alex ends up not being able to go to work.

Matt shows up three days later and they get into it.  This douchenozzle . . . ya'll.  He has the nerve to tell her, "one thing about babies is they pick up on yelling."  Oh, Matt.  He defends his not stepping by telling her that everyone knew where he stood.  He wanted the baby put up for adoption.  He feels Alex didn't truly examine all the variables.  I hate to give say this but, on this one, he's right.  Giving the baby up for adoption probably would have been the best thing.  Especially given the lack of support from Al's mom and the fact that her babydaddy is a drugged out toolbag.  But you know what?  It was her choice.  I can't imagine carrying a baby for nine months, holding and snuggling her, and then giving her up for adoption.  And, as far as that goes, just because he voiced his opinion on the matter and wanted to put the baby up for adoption doesn't mean that Matt is relieved of his fatherhood responsibilities.  Sorry, dudes, but when it comes to makin' and havin' the babies then your "choice" is whether or not to wrap that thing up.  You know that every time you do the deed, there's a chance that a baby will be the result and if you're not ready to step up to the plate and BE A FREAKIN' DAD then you don't need to be having sex.  Period, end of story.

Woah.  Tangent.  *Climbing off soapbox*

Anyhow, Alex tells him he has to make the decision if he wants to be involved.  To that he says he's doing his best.  (Please).  She tells him he's a headache and he answers with, "see if you ever see me again."  She tells him all he's ever going to be is a check in the mail and he says he won't even be that.  He walks off and Alex follows him, screaming at him about how he's a deadbeat dad and is nothing.  He walks away without saying anything.

In the wrap up, Alex says she doesn't want to be a single mom but now she has to.  She loves Matt but he's not the person she fell in love with two years ago.  She feels adoption is amazing but she just couldn't let go.  Her family ha sstepped up and helps her out but she pays for everything the baby needs.

This was easily one of the  most heartbreaking episodes yet.  Matt goes in the Hall of Fame of Horrible Babydaddies.  Alex was just about as responsible as we can expect a 17-year-old to be.  And while I definitely don't think her mom should be obligated to "raise" the baby, a little bit of help from her (i.e. watching the baby sometimes [not every time!] while Alex works) could go a long way.
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