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Figuring out where you stand in a relationship can be difficult, and avoiding awkward conversations can lead to even more awkward moments. Cue the intro montage of Zoey and Luca, Jazz and Doug, and Ana and Aaron. The first two? Obviously boo’d up. Ana and Aaron, though? Let’s just say when Ana reaches for Aaron’s hand, he not-so-subtly moves it away.
The crew is hanging out at the regular haunt, Titanium, when Ana walks up to Aaron and asks if he wants to head back to his place. At first, he seems down, but then says he just wants to kick it with the guys tonight. (Yikes!) Ana plays like she’s fine saying, “Oh. Yeah. of course. No, no, very cool. I totally get it. No problem.” Zoey:
Trying to play off the moment as not awkward, Ana and Aaron continue choppin’ it up in the background, and in a rare moment for Zoey, she decides not to be the absolute worst by minding her own business and walking away. There’s been enough drama with her girls lately. Sashaying over to Luca, she asks if he wants to go off and “do something fun and different” together. He nods. “I guess that’s a ‘yes’,” she says, and they leave out.
Meanwhile, Jazz goes over to Doug, who’s sitting at the table with Vivek and Aaron; Ana is nearby, leaning on A’s chair. Jazz asks her boo if he’d like to join her and the girls at the diner for some grub, but he tells her the same thing Aaron told Ana — but with a muuuchhh better delivery. And a kiss. On the lips.
Ana gets Aaron’s cheek. (Yikes, again.) Maybe he redeems himself by asking her to text when she gets home, so he knows she’s safe? Maybe?
Vivek and Doug peep what just went down and are hella confused. Aaron tries to play it off saying he just wants to hang with the fellas and points out that Doug didn’t go with Jazz. True and all, but as Doug says, “You saw me kiss her goodbye. You gave homegirl your cheek like it was your grandma.”
Aaron maintains they are reading way too much into his interaction with Ana. He’s def still feelin’ her; he’s just concerned she’s not on the same page about their relationship status. (Anyone else think Aaron just likes to play too much? Zoey, you dodged a bullet, girl.)
Over at the diner, the girls are also putting their two cents in on Ana and Aaron’s situation. And when Ana reveals she’s tried to hold his hand, Sky exclaims, “Hold his hand?! No. You cannot just be runnin’ up and grabbin’ Black dude’s hands … The last time a Black man trusted someone to take his hand, we all ended up on ships!” She’s not wrong.
Jazz calls B.S. and says Doug holds her hand on rollercoasters, in haunted houses, at the movies, and at altar call, and Sky is like, “Right. Dark, scary, religious places where no one can see.” (Her shade is vicious, tho.) Nomi jumps in to point out that it isn’t just a Black man thing, it’s a man thing because she holds hands with all women all the time. Then, Nomi asks the question that needs to be asked: “Have you and Aaron even talked about being exclusive yet?”
And then Ana spills that she just assumed, after everything they’d been through BTW, they were together together. “Oh girl. Do not assume anything — ever — when it comes to relationships,” Nomi says.
Cut back to the fellas, and Doug let’s Aaron know the real: If he’s not kickin’ it with anyone else, he’s definitely in a relationship. Aaron doesn’t understand why not hooking up with other girls means he’s in a relationship. Vivek doesn’t understand why Aaron wouldn’t be hooking up with other girls. (This dude.) Aaron admits he doesn’t know what he wants. He’s going to have to figure it out soon, though, because another girl approaches like, “What’s up, Aaron?”
Meanwhile, Zoey and Luca are back at her apartment. And that “fun and different” thing they were supposed to do? Yeah, that turned out to be them watching the same video of a cute bear cub they’ve watched all week. Luca, in his altered state, feels the bear cub’s story represents the meaning of life. “You sound like an insane person,” Zoey whispers. Then, she decides if she’s going to get through this, she needs to have what he’s having. Luca gets ready to brew her up a special tea. “Tonight, I am your shaman,” he says.
Back at the diner, Ana is freaking out about not knowing where she and Aaron stand. Trying to explain away his reaction earlier, she says he’s probably one of those guys who’s just afraid of being hurt, so he’s pushing the girl away to protect his heart. Sky suggests that logic must’ve come from the book, Chicken Soup for the Thirsty Soul, and when Ana shoots her the side-eye of death, she apologizes.
Continuing with her freak out, Ana says she just wants to know what’s going on. Does he like her? They tell her they can’t answer her questions for her and try to calm her down to keep her from confronting Aaron. Nomi warns: “Asking a man about his feelings is like setting yourself on fire.” They lose the battle, though, and Ana dips in search of Aaron and the truth.
Sitting with New Girl, Aaron is choppin’ it up about what he’s been doing, e.g. running Hawkins dorm, saving the world, you know, the usual. And when she says she thought he may have gotten “boo’d up or something” since she hadn’t seen him around in awhile, he says he’s “super solo.” (For, shame, Aaron! For. Shame.) She asks him what he’s doing later that night, and he says, “I guess I’m hangin’ with you tonight.”
Not too long after, in walks Ana. She heads over to the table where Doug and Vivek are, but Aaron’s already left. Vivek makes up a (very bad) lie about Aaron being in the bathroom, and Doug follows that up saying Aaron had the bubble guts and had to go home. (Really, tho?)
Speaking of lies, in the next scene, Nomi shows up at Paige’s (AKA her former professor’s) house to find her living room full of colleagues from the university. They were supposed to be gone by now, but clearly that isn’t the case. Thinking quick on her feet, Paige welcomes Nomi in, telling the group she’s just there to get a copy of a feminist documentary.
Checking back in with Luca and Zoey, we learn she felt nothing after her first cup of special tea, so she snuck a second one. Let’s just say that did the trick. Instead of feeling real chill, though, Zoey starts looking too deeply into everything around her, including her relationship with Luca. (Tbh, though, isn’t she always questioning something about their relationship?) Luca reminds her to “ride the tea, don’t let the tea ride you.” Doesn’t work. Zoey runs out of the room before her meltdown reaches peak levels.
Meanwhile, Aaron is, well, “kickin’ it” with the new girl, who we soon find out is named Rochelle. (Will this be relevant later?) Little does he know, Ana is looking for him. We see her knock on his door, put her ear up to the door, and then turn the knob. Oh no. This is not going to be good … and then, whew! The room is empty. Turns out, Aaron’s at Rochelle’s crib, but there’s also knocking on her door — her roomies want to know if she’s up for some pizza. Aaron’s conscience kicks in, and he takes the interruptions as a sign it’s time for him to go. He can’t go through with this — and he doesn’t. Aren’t you proud of him?
We’re back at Paige’s house and her colleagues are finally leaving. Paige texts Nomi, and within seconds, Nomi’s at the door — she’d hidden behind a car across the street until the coast was clear. They commence their own romantic evening, admitting that pulling off their earlier charade was exciting.
Over at the girls’ spot, Ana walks into the bathroom to find Zoey sitting in the shower stall — turns out that’s where she went when she dipped on Luca. She had to feel the cold tile against her skin to bring herself back to reality with a quickness, she explains. Sensing something’s wrong with Ana, Zo asks if she wants to talk about it. Reluctantly, Ana shares what’s on her mind saying she wishes she knew what Aaron wanted. To that, Zoey says:
“What do you want?” she asks Ana. Ana admits she wants to be with him, and Zoey advises her to lay it all out on the table for him. No more confusion. Tell him what she wants, how she feels.
Later the next morning, Zoey’s making breakfast as Nomi walks in. Zoey asks about her night and if she’d been with Paige, but Nomi isn’t into it. “Why? Do you want to judge me again?” Zoey tells her no, passes her a plate, and apologizes for being out of line before, and they’re all good again.
After that talk, Zoey cuddles up with Luca in her room and lets him know she doesn’t actually worry too much about their relationship. She says she knows no one can promise forever, but wants them to agree to relish every moment they have.
And now, we’re back with Ana and Aaron. (But, hold up. Wasn’t it just morning? How is it night again already?) She invited him over to discuss the night before and OMG! We are so happy our girl is about to live in her truth. But out on the balcony, when she lets him know what she wants — to be with him — he responds with his own truth. He isn’t ready to be in a relationship. The shock and disappointment is all over her face, and we can’t help but feel our hearts sink right along with hers. Aaron tries to remedy the situation by telling her how dope he thinks she is, but fighting back tears, Ana asks Aaron to leave.
We end things on a good note, though. Doug and Jazz are seen strolling through campus holding hands. As they walk by her twin, Jazz shouts, “Broad daylight, baby!” She and Doug are real, for real.
Catch up on the episodes you’ve missed here.