Last season, a big part of exploring Anika’s present was about exploring her past. We did so through her lens, literally only getting a peak into past events through her own narrative. Anika’s past was all about the stories she chose to tell Sean and Harrison, and the way she chose to tell them. It’s only fair that this time around, we get to see the past of the people on the other side of the story, Aiden, Jen, and Max. 

Max, to me, is just as vulnerable as Anika. Their powers are almost mirroring each other, but Anika’s are extremely external, while Max’s feel much more internal. Their biggest similarity is one that almost every teenager has growing up: they don’t realize or accept the extent of how powerful they truly are and can be. 

They’re also on opposite sides of the same story — at the same age, they find out they have super powers, connected to something about themselves that they can’t control. So what makes them react in such different ways? How does Anika become regarded as a villain, and Max a hero? To me, it’s circumstance, it’s environment. It’s the people around you. Anika’s best bet and support system is Bailey, someone who loves her deeply and is well intentioned, but is still a teenager herself. The main difference between Anika and Max’s journey is the number of adults in Max’s life. While they’re not all perfect (good lord, are they not perfect) they still provide a sense of security for her. Which is why I really wanted to dive into how Max, a seventeen-year-old kid, ends up with her closest friends as Aiden and Jen. 

Meeting Jen for the first time through Max’s eyes made Jen feel larger than life, in a sense, and living what feels like an unattainable lifestyle. Where Max’s family is trying so hard to keep it together, Jen’s working somewhere that her heels click against perfectly polished floors, and she can take time in the middle of the day to go to Central Park for some ice cream with a random teenager. But, the big moment (in my opinion) for the two of them is the moment that Jen tells Max she’s just how she’s supposed to be. Alexandra and Danielle nailed that moment — the pure, amazed joy from Max, and the genuine shock and excitement from Jen. Regardless of how everything goes down, this feels like the moment that both of them, for the first time, feel truly seen by another person.