In Tuesday's episode (11/10c, MTV), which Rickards calls an homage to The Hangover, viewers will see Jenna dolled up for a party. But that won't be the only change.
"You get to see Jenna really out of control and then picking up the pieces immediately afterwards," she says. "Normally she's got this old soul personality where she's able to figure things out and handle them ... but this time she is incapable. She does something I don't think anybody would expect her to do and it ends up costing her."
Could that something involve her secret hookup with Matty (Beau Mirchoff), who continues to keep their relationship quiet to Jenna's chagrin? Or perhaps the fact that Jenna was recently kissed by Jake (Brett Davern) setting up a quasi love triangle? "Jenna and Matty's relationship is filled with ups and downs," she says. "We use the word DTR [define the relationship] a lot and that's something they need to do."
For now at least, Rickards is content being torn between the two guys.
"I'm team Switzerland," she says of who she wants Jenna to end up with. "If you were to put a hybrid of the two of those together, it would be the perfect relationship."
However, Rickards, who previously appeared on One Tree Hill, promises that Jenna will choose between the two by the end of the season. What else is in store before the show's recently ordered Season 2 begins? Viewers will learn who wrote the "care-frontation" letter and "a few bridges are burned between Jenna and characters you wouldn't expect," Rickards says.
Rickards, who graduated two years early, doesn't necessarily relate to her character's high school experience, but she says MTV's surprise hit owes its success to more than the shared experience of awkward adolescence.
"It's about identification and that's something that people of all ages and walks of life can relate to," she says. "Looking at what Jenna has to go through I'm definitely glad I got out of high school when I did!"
Watch a preview for Tuesday's episode: