At one point in the series, Carter finds out that her mother Elizabeth is tracking her phone and reading her text messages. Her friends begin to send fake texts from burner phones (there is a high school student who just has a seemingly endless supply of these burners) “from” Lori, arranging to meet up with Carter in the food court. A worried Elizabeth shows up at the mall only to be confronted by a large group of students who all wave around giant foam middle fingers. It is one of the dumbest (and most heartless) things I’ve ever seen on TV. It’s unclear what the point of this is. Should we laugh at Elizabeth or feel sorry for her? Should we root for Carter to keep treating her mother like shit and run back to her kidnapper or should we loathe this terribly selfish teenager? Or should we just be confused that this entire scene is scored to “Cocaine” by FIDLAR?
There is awful, confusing stuff happening throughout all four episodes. Max, Carter’s ex, is invited to live with the family because Elizabeth wants him to date Carter again, I guess, but instead he falls for her sister. They exchange sad goodbyes when he goes back home, but then he returns about 15 minutes later, saying his mother gave him permission to just fuck off and live wherever he wants. In that same episode, a classmate paints a portrait of Carter as a bloody two-face, reminiscent of Gus Fring’s death, for no apparent reason. When Carter protests, the entire high school is suddenly covered with flyers of the painting. It’s crazy drama that comes out of nowhere, but by the end of the episode, they are best friends.
There is nothing in Finding Carter that makes any sense, unless the point is that we’re watching an entire family full of sociopaths. Carter is awful to everyone in her family, especially her twin sister and her mother, because she’s too attached to her kidnapper. Her mother is just as bad, following her every move, plotting revenge, and manipulating her kids’ personal lives (and sleeping with a fellow cop). Lori is stalking the family, planning how to get Carter back, and approaching her friends. At first, her father seems like the only normal person, but we soon learn that he’s planning to write a tell-all book about his daughter (even after she explicitly tells him not to) and has been secretly recording their family therapy sessions.
In short: Everyone on Finding Carter is an unlikable asshole. Every plot is patently absurd and every line of dialogue is straight out of an outdated teen-slang dictionary. There is nothing redeeming about the show, but it’s such a television trainwreck that I can’t stop watching it or tweeting about it or laughing about it. I hate it so much that I never want it to end.