THE SECRET LIFE OF THE AMERICAN TEENAGER “When One Door Opens” Season 4 Episode 1 – Last week season three ended, this week season four began. I’m not even going to start moaning about how crazy the schedule of this show is.

Last season ended with Adrian and Ben losing the baby. This week started off two months after the tragedy occurred. Amy and Ricky are canoodling and having a grand ole’ time and they’re all set to move in together. When they’re not having a grand ole’ time, they’re feeling guilty about having a grand ole’ time thanks to Adrian and Ben’s crisis.

The episode put a lot of energy into the loss of Adrian and Ben’s child and their reactions to it, it a way which frankly surprised me. Ben has tried to get on with his life but Adrian is still lying around in the house. She’s decided to finish high school via a GED. She refuses to leave the house. She orders in. Therapy has not helped her. She refuses to contemplate pills. She cannot get over the death of her daughter. Ben and Adrian are both walking around like zombies and their state of depression are both different: Ben wants to get on with life, Adrian wants to dwell in her misery. Both were handled admirably for this show.

As was Ben’s realization that he did not want to be married. Perhaps realization is not the right term to use, because it’s not a discovery: Ben has clearly been thinking about this for a long time. For eight weeks. But in a surprisingly gloomy scene between Ben and his father the script actually gave these characters some real depth. When Ben says “I don’t want to be married” his father does not patronize him and try to tell him that things will get better. Instead he says, “Me neither.” There’s a twist that makes complete sense and I did not see coming.

The rest of the episode was at the bottom of a swamp, floundering around the usual dire quality of the show as Tom’s mother confronts the woman Tom wants to marry. Of course the term “limitations” is used instead of “Down’s syndrome” and of course the woman had a husband who beat her up and now all she’s looking for is someone with a heart. Puke.

But aside from the Tom storyline, the rest of the episode was surprising in its maturity and, dare I say it, depth.

What did you think of this episode? Sound off in the comments below.

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  • WaterEarthFireAir

    This is one of the very few episodes (since “Unto Us A Child Is Born”) that I truly liked. I didn’t really mind Tom’s storyline as, ironically, it was the Ricky/Amy storyline that I did. I feel that the show has always glamourized teen pregnancy when it comes to Amy and Ricky (I will give them credit for Heather and Cindy) but seem to want to “weigh it out” with the horrible/tragic storylines that (I read) will follow Ben and Adrian. This is esp. apparent with what (unrealistic events) happens with Amy and Ricky in the mid-season finale and/or the episodes that follow. I mean afterall the couple was put together to mostly please fans and ensure ratings (no matter the bad messages it sends out) and the other two were put together to simply “get them out the way”. I guess I wouldn’t mind all of the this too much if they had written each couple better, more detailed, and more realistically from season 2 onwards, as you could see both coming a mile away.