So, it’s a pretty accepted fact that Amy has feelings for Karma but Karma doesn’t have have feelings for Amy (yet). I disagree with this. I think Karma has had feelings for Amy not since the threesome kiss, not since the homecoming assembly kiss, but even before they started “faking” being lesbians.
I first suspected something when Karma sang the song she wrote in front of the whole school.
Listen closely to the lyrics:
I’ve got a secret inside
It gets so easy to be someone else
"But that’s about Liam. The secret is she’s sneaking around with him while the whole school thinks she’s dating Amy."
When I’m with you I don’t have to hide
When I’m with you I can be myself
It doesn’t make sense that it starts off about Liam. When she’s with Liam, she is constantly lying. She can’t be herself with Liam, in fact, she has to do the complete opposite. She feels like she has to “make Liam fall in love with her” instead of just being herself.
Amy, on the other hand, has seen Karma at her best and her worst. She knows Karma better than Karma knows herself. When Karma is with Amy, she doesn’t have to hide. She can be herself. Her secret is that she’s in love with Amy, but Amy doesn’t know it. It gets so easy to be someone else because she’s been hiding it from Amy for a long time.
So, why does the song switch over to Liam halfway through? As Shane said in episode 4:
Interesting what the episode in which Karma sings her song is titled:
Overcompensation: the process of overly concealing or offsetting a psychological difficulty by developing in another direction. Karma, like Amy, is scared of these feelings for her best friend. Instead of confronting her feelings, she is attempting to make herself believe these feelings are for Liam, although, deep down, she knows she’s in love with her best friend. Subconsciously, that comes out through the first few lines in her song. She wants to be with Amy, but she thinks she can’t be, so she tries to create the same relationship dynamic with Liam.
When she’s in the quad sitting with Amy and writing her song, there’s no doubt she is putting a lot of emotion into it
Funny how the only time that Karma kisses Amy first (not counting dream sequences) is the time that she’s supposedly writing a song for “Liam”
"But then she takes a picture for instagram. That’s why she kissed her!"
She kisses Amy for a good few seconds before she takes the picture. Do you really need to kiss someone that intensely for an instagram picture? Of course Karma needed an excuse to kiss her. She didn’t want to arise any suspicion from Amy, the girl she thinks is straight as an arrow.
"But it’s so obvious Amy’s in love with her. How could she not know?"
And this was just from one scene. Amy is constantly covering up the fact that she is in love with Karma while she is around Karma. Remember, we mostly see the show from Amy’s perspective. If we only saw Amy when she interacted with Karma, we wouldn’t know she has feelings for Karma either.
Notice in the beginning of the season, Karma seems excited to be in a “fake” relationship with Amy. She says it’s because she wants to be popular, but after seeing all the little hints that she actually has feelings for Amy, it looks like she’s excited because she just wants to be with Amy.
Alternatively, in the beginning, Amy is very hesitant to be in a relationship with Karma. She clearly has feelings for Karma, but is too terrified of these feelings to show them.
Amy deals with her feelings for Karma by talking them out with Shane. By acknowledging her feelings, she is being honest with herself and allowing her feelings to grow instead of repressing them. Amy goes from this:
Karma deals with her feelings for Amy by trying to ignore them and romanticizing Liam. By repressing her feelings, she is lying to herself and although the feelings are still there, she becomes ashamed of them, and they become more and more subconscious as the show goes on. Karma goes from this:
In episode 6, Karma suggests the threesome, and again, Shane is adamant on Karma’s feelings for Amy
Karma says the reason she suggested the threesome with Liam was because Liam didn’t feel comfortable sneaking around behind Amy’s back. But at this point, Liam was already developing feelings for Karma, so why didn’t Karma just suggest to break up with Amy?
How does Shane always seem to be the only one to know what’s going on? He’s been openly gay since the 4th grade. He’s been through the same thing Karma and Amy are going through and he can see the signs more clearly than they can, having already experienced it.
Karma then suggests that her and Amy practice for the threesome, yet another subconscious cry to be with Amy.
"If she actually wanted to practice with Amy, why did she put her hand over her mouth when she kissed her?"
Amy wasn’t the only one looking for a sign that the feelings were mutual. Karma wanted to practice to test the waters. When she pulled off Amy’s trench coat to reveal this:
she assumed Amy wasn’t committed to the threesome, and that she was only doing a favor for Karma. Karma then, for the first time, brings up the fact that Amy won’t be staying for the threesome. Notice how she only brings this up after she (thinks she) finds out that Amy isn’t into the threesome.
At this point, Karma’s feelings for Amy are shoved down pretty far, but not far enough. At the actual threesome, when Amy takes off her trench coat to reveal this:
it’s pretty clear that Karma is attracted to her
The episode after they kiss, Amy is talking to Shane and says, “When we came up for air, [Karma and I] saw each other, really saw each other, maybe for the first time.” This is because, in that moment, Karma finally felt like Amy had feelings for her, and Amy finally felt like Karma had feelings for her. It was a moment of brief unspoken honesty.
So, why didn’t they decide to be together right then and there? Before either of them got a chance to do anything, this happened:
Karma immediately decided that Amy was only at the threesome because she was into Liam:
Which is why she looked so very hurt after Liam and Amy kissed.
This wasn’t a look of betrayal, this was a look of heartbreak. For a moment, she thought the girl she’s in love with felt the same way for her, only to have that reality ripped from her in a matter of seconds.
This is why she feels the need to breakup with Amy in episode 7. She is ashamed of her feelings for her best friend, and she wants to end them as soon as possible. By wanting to end her relationship with Amy, she is acknowledging the fact that her attempt to be with Amy has failed, filling her with more shame about these feelings than ever. This allows her to completely cut the conscious tie to her feelings for Amy and allows herself to move on and finally sleep with Liam.
Then comes the wedding. At this point, Liam and Karma had been seeing each other for a while now, and Karma has distanced herself from her feelings for Amy enough to act normal around her again.
When Amy and Karma’s song comes on and they perform their little dance routine, Liam says:
to which Karma looks like a deer in the headlights
Karma reacts defensively to this because she does not want to believe there is something between her and Amy. She still feels an incredible amount of shame for her feelings. At this point, she is denying her feelings for Amy to herself. So by the time the confession rolls around:
Karma doesn’t want to hear it
So when Amy tells Karma how she really feels
her reaction is this
The writers said when they created a show like Faking It, that they created an accepting environment so they could focus on the internal struggles of gay/bisexual youth. When they said this, it was assumed they were talking about Amy, but Amy came to terms with her feelings fairly quickly with little to no shame. Karma, on the other hand, was dealing with her feelings in a far more destructive way that created so much shame and self-denial that when Amy had finally told Karma she loved her, Karma wasn’t ready to deal with it.
Karma faces a challenge that many young lesbian/bisexual women face: self-acceptance. Karma is a far more complex character than the first season gives her credit for, and I believe that as the show goes on, this will be revealed.
Thanks to mcwithaminthetardis for inspiring me to write out this theory. I would really love to hear what everyone thinks about this theory!