Another week has passed, which means another hour spent watching three young actresses struggle mightily to pretend to be real gymnasts.
I feel as though I've seen the competition version of Lauren's leotard before. Oh wait, I have.
Inneresting. But let's get to the good stuff.
We join Kaylie and Googly-Eyed Therapist mid-session. In the first of many shots that focus on various extremities, we see Kaylie anxiously wringing her hands. Aside from being nervous about returning to the Rock, she confides in Googly that she feels as though Emily's being a huge brat and getting knocked up was somehow her fault. He tells her that Emily's being a teenage dirtbag has nothing to do with her, and that she needs to focus on herself. Would you disagree with this face?
It's Press Day (again?) at the Rock, and Lauren and Payson are soaking it all in. Sasha is the man in charge, so the Rock girls have it made in the shade. Payson tries to preach about being a team, but Lauren is distracted by the New Guy (Max? I guess that's his name) so she blows Pay off and trots slowly over to the New Guy and the chunky male extra.
Austin, who apparently is back from his 3 episode vacation or whatever, marches up to Payson, and asks if Emily is really knocked up. She tells him to forget about that dumb bitch Emily, and to focus on Kaylie's return. She reminds him that Kaylie will need everyone's support, which naturally means Austin will in no way support her return.
Upon her entrance, Payson and Lauren stop staring at the New Guy for five seconds so that they can run over to Kaylie and welcome her home.
The girls celebrate Kaylie's return for exactly one second, before Lauren busts out some pink invitations for Summer's surprise wedding shower. She hands each girl the wrong invitation, as they swap envelopes for whatever reason. Both girls are kind of surprised, as they both still thought Sasha might have returned to boning Summer now that he's back in town.
Speaking of really forced sexual tension, Summer runs up to Sasha's office, and makes a bonehead of herself rambling on about needing him, I mean the girls needing him, and being so very happy for the girls/herself that he's back at the Rock. No offense to Candace, but how is it possible that she was capable of showing more sexual tension when she played teenage DJ Tanner than she is now? She reminds me of when my dad tries to be hip and cool. It just doesn't work.
Arriving fashionably late is that scag Kelly Parker, and her newest little cohort. We'll call her Junior. Why? Because she's supposedly only 14, which we all know would make you a junior in elite competition. At the Rock, however, I suppose it means you are eligible for the World team.
Kelly Parker always reminds me of one of those adult babies. Princess Leia buns, sticky buns, devil horns, whatever you want to call them only look cute in two instances: actually being Princess Leia, and being a baby. The fact that Kelly Parker makes sexually suggestive comments all day long, and then prances around in little girl hair really creeps me out. Additionally, I know for a fact that this hairstyle hurts like hell, and is not conducive to tumbling or gymnastics. How do I know this, you ask? Because I was an idiot and wore my hair like this for some time, and I regret every minute of it. All the same, it is really hard to take someone who looks like Minnie Mouse seriously as the villain of a TV show.
Adult baby Kelly Parker immediately marches over to the Rock girls to start some trouble. She asks Kaylie how rehab was... on her ACL tear. Ooh, a coverup. Scandalous. Lauren tries to shut her down by reminding her that she's not even on the World team, but Sasha chooses that exact moment to announce that Emily's replacement will be none other than Kelly Parker. He also announces that current National Champion Kaylie Cruz however, will not be making the team this year. Cue sad Kaylie face and some dramatic music.
Sasha does Kaylie a favor, and continues this embarrassing announcement away from the reporters. He tells her that she is not ready to compete, and doing so might jeopardize her chances at being chosen for the Olympics. Wait, so how does this whole making-the-team thing even work? They have trials, and those girls instantly make the team. But as the National Team/World Team coach, Sasha can just choose whoever he wants from wherever to make the training squad? Whatever.
Kelly Parker tries to sway Sasha into making her team captain, and into choosing Junior as the remaining team member. He tells her to shut her face, but the adult baby takes a lesson from the Lauren Book of Manipulating Adults and reminds Sasha about Emily getting prego. I am going to be super pissed if Sasha becomes yet another adult on the list of those easily manipulated by snotty teens.
Over by the parellel bars, we see New Guy spotting Austin, since there seem to be no real coaches or spotters at the Rock.
Mmmmmm, arm muscles. Mommy likey. But alas, my fantasy is quickly ruined when we see a nice shot of the New Guy feeling up Austin. And by ruined I mean fueled. I'm on the fence.
The boys take a break from groping each other so that they can stare at Payson's butt shelf on beam.
Sasha calls a quick meeting, and informs the girls that he will be choosing an additional two girls to participate in the training squad, and from there he will choose the remaining team member. He then gives the girls a list of compulsories (!!!!!!) that the girls are to learn as part of their selection. Obviously, as a gymnastics fan, I am obligated to love and adore compulsories, so I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a tiny bit excited by this. But of course, the show completely steamrolled my excitement by clearly not knowing what compulsory skills are.
According to Sasha, Kaylie is too stupid to even participate in the workout for compulsories, so she stomps out of the gym. Meanwhile, Lauren bitches about having to do some conditioning. Kelly Parker immediately chimes in, crediting Carter (he who dated Kaylie, stuck it in Lauren, and who is now boning Kelly Parker) for helping her keep up her endurance and flexibility. Now, this normally would have made me laugh, because it should be funny, but coming from the adult baby, it is just plain creepy. She then "warms up" for her "compulsories" by tumbling a piked double back and a 2.5.
Kaylie is, where else, at the BENCH. I wonder if this bench gets paid royalties.
Austin finds her at the dramatic conversation bench, and listens to her whine about potentially missing the Olympics.
Inside the gym, Lauren gets all freaky with Summer about planning the wedding. Girl, get some friends your own age, yikes. Summer tries to tell Lauren that she wants to take things slow, but of course Lauren flips out, and wants to know where "her" ring is.
Summer also tells her that she under no circumstances wants a bridal shower, which of course Lauren promptly ignores. That just makes her want to plan the shower even HARDER. In fact, she decides to bump up the date by a week.
At Casa de Cruz, Demon is in the recording studio, completely ignoring his familial duties with Emily. As would I. But Kaylie's not cool with it, and asks him WTF?
He gives the short story, which is Emily came over, raved crazy about being teen parents, went home to pack, and then never came back. Kaylie lets him know that Emily peaced out to Vegas to stay with her Godmother. Well fuck, now Demon is obligated to go find her, instead of pretending he doesn't know any better.
Over by what appears to be the conservatory, Payson is taking a jog through the park. It also kind of looks like that one park by the lake over by Coldwater. Hard to say. Regardless, it ain't in Boulder. Nevertheless, the New Guy shows up to jog with her. She more or less ignores him, only taking off her headphones to tell him to fuck off, and go be with Lauren if that's what he wants.
In her itty bitty leotard, Lauren is taking a run up to vault.
Rag on her as I might, she seems to be the only one who knows how to actually sprint in real life. Good for her. She/her double does a perfectly acceptable FTY, which pleases Sasha greatly. He lets Lauren know that he might have a new, gold medal winning vault in store for her. Whatever will it be? A DTY, perhaps??
Kaylie is trying to participate in the workout, and does a very daring back handspring on beam. She's all proud, until Sasha barks at her to get down, IMMEDIATELY. Is that what I sound like when my cats are on the counter? Payson comes to Kaylie's defense, but Sasha reminds her that they're all of bunch of punk ass teens who make terrible decisions.
Up in the office, Payson's mom lets Summer know that everyone knows she's engaged. She then ruins the surprise by telling Summer about Lauren's plans for the shower. The hell? What a bitchy thing to do.
Sigh, next we have our one and only scene with the talented and beautiful Bitchface Chloe.
It's almost depressing to see her, because I already miss her so much. Too bad stupid Demon has to be in the scene too. He comes over, and is immediately defensive and rude to Bitchface Chloe. I can see why he and Emily were together. We FINALLY learn the ages of these young jerks! Turns out Demon is 19, and Emily is 17. So, what's the legality of this? Is Colorado one of those states where it's ok for one partner to be over 18, as long as the other is within two years, or something messed up like that? All the same, Bitchface is totally right, in that a 19 year old, and really, the 17 year old too, should know better and use a rubber when boning. Demon continues to be a total ass by focusing on HIS dreams, as if he was ever going to make something of himself anyway. I mean, who knows, maybe he would, but he's too caught up in getting busy with every underage athlete that passes his way.
Back at the Rock, Junior is working on her jaegers. She keeps belly flopping, which causes Kelly Parker to have an adult baby meltdown. Since she has nothing better to do, Kaylie comes over and helps Junior by offering to spot her. WHERE ARE THE COACHES?? Of course, under Kaylie's tutelage and spotting, Junior gets her release immediately. Payson has beef with this, since she believes Kaylie is just helping fill her now-vacant team spot.
Props must be given to the actress who plays Junior, as she can do a proper pullover. This makes her the best gymnast on the show.
Ugh, Demon and his shit-brown jacket and stupid hipster boots show up at the Rock.
Is he trying to look like Captain Jack Sparrow? Kaylie walks with him outside, where they have this really corny, contrived moment where they talk about each other being so great, and tell each other to reach for the stars! All that crap. Oh, he also immediately came around, completely changed his mind, and is going out to Vegas to be with Emily and live happily ever after. I'm sure all baby daddies are as easily convinced. Before he goes though, Demon gets socked in the stomach/balls by Austin.
Mmmmm, testosterone. Even though it's super fakey, and he's pretty much just hugging Demon in this picture, I still appreciate a man punching another man. Demon is a total wiener though, and doesn't fight back. He just says bye to Kaylie, and takes off. Good riddance. Kaylie yells at Austin, and tells him that she's not his sister, and that she deserves a chance. She then marches into the gym, and tells Payson that she is ready to fight. Not punch, unfortunately, but fight for her spot on the team.
At Moose-Moose, the girls are having some juice, and discussing Sasha's compulsories. Payson devises a brilliant plan, where the girls break into the gym at night so that Kaylie can work out. Hasn't this been a plot line already? I feel like coming to the gym after-hours has been a common theme. On the way out, Lauren sees a picture on the wall, that just happens to be a photo of Payson at the gym. Who took such a lovely shot? Turns out it was the New Guy. Payson sees it, and is all embarrassed. Lauren doesn't seem to understand what this means, and just stares on like a crazy bitch.
The girls run into the gym, insurance policies be damned, and begin their workout. They do some conditioning circuits, and run some sprints on the runway. Kaylie works on some BHS LOSOs on the gigantic Big Betty beam, underneath what appears to be the camera crane. Oops.
The montage shows Kaylie slowly getting better and better. Some of the stuff is pretty good, by Make It or Break It standards. Other stuff shows Kaylie landing her passes like this.
Um, no wonder you fell. It's really hard to stick a skill when you're looking at the ceiling. We get snippits of Lauren on beam, and Payson on UB, which seems to have a camera attached to it. I suppose one could believe that the girls have it there for training purposes, but given the earlier crane incident, I'm going to go ahead and say that this is another editing gaffe.
Kaylie finally wraps up her training session after she is able to stick her LOSO all Galieva-styley.
The girls finish the night by shoving their feet in an ice bucket in the middle of the gym.
The next day, the New Guy catches up with Payson, and asks if she'd seen her picture at the Faboose Juice yet. She lies, and said she hadn't. Lauren saunters up immediately, and tells the New Guy that Payson had in fact seen the picture. I can't tell if Lauren is supposed to be bitchy, crazy, or stupid. Like, does she get that he likes Payson, so that's why she keeps going after him? Or is she supposed be genuinely stupid? This is unclear to me.
Kaylie and Payson whine about being sore, when Austin comes over and tells Kaylie that he does believe in her, and that he supports her comeback. He understands that she's not his sister, which is good, because that would be creepy since they're about to hook up and all. Payson chimes in, inappropriately perhaps, suggesting that Austin come to their secret workout that night so that they could have some extra spotters. What, is Payson not going to spot? Or maybe Kaylie can spot herself.
Uh oh, turns out Junior was eavesdropping all along. She kind of looks like Mustafina, doesn't she? But so help me, if Musty ever showed up in adult baby hair, I would despise Mother Russia more than I already do. Junior immediately tells Kelly Parker, who in turn immediately tells Sasha about the secret midnight rendezvous.
During that night's secret training, Payson, Lauren, Austin and the New Guy are all watching Kaylie on beam. They walk her through her "compulsory" skills, which are more or less exactly what all the other girls do all of the time. She does her BHS LOSO, then a decent split leap. They tell her to do a punch front, but really she does one of those Izbasa kickovers. She ends with a whoosh-whoosh double full. Which is the same dismount everyone always does.
As expected, Sasha shows up to this little workout. They try to explain to him, seemingly for like the billionth time, that Kaylie earned her spot at Worlds, and should at least be able to show Sasha her routines. He says no, but then the boys block him on the way out. For whatever reason, this convinces Sasha to give Kaylie a shot. But only on ONE apparatus. She chooses the bars.
Payson tries to pump Kaylie up by telling her to trust herself, and know who she is. Know who you are?? Did Nastia win in Beijing because she "knew who she was?" No. Lauren and Payson anxiously hold hands, while we listen to a clock ticking. Kaylie mounts the bars, and jumps to the HB. She kips to handstand, and then stays in the handstand for ONE BILLION seconds. They cut between shots of Kaylie in this eternal handstand, and shots of the girls holding hands and making worry faces.
Kaylie FINALLY gets on with the routine, which the girls act out with her. As Kaylie does her toe-on transition to the HB, Lauren tries to grab the bar with her.
Kaylie does a perfectly nice routine, and a NCAA worthy double layout dismount. Everyone cheers. Even Sasha is impressed. But not enough to take her to Worlds. If anything, this stunt proves to him that Kaylie is as mental as ever, and not ready to compete with the team.
Back at home, Payson has a lovely little chat with her mother. Her mom has to convince her that just because she likes a boy doesn't mean that she'll be stupid and get knocked up right away. Like Emily Kmetko/Tatiana Nabieva.
Lauren is also at home, paging through the only bridal magazine I have ever seen that has a plus-size model on its cover.
Summer comes in, and tries once again to tell Lauren to take it slow. Lauren, using her manipulative spidey-senses, figures this is the right time for a little adult manipulation, so she asks Summer if she wants to legally adopt her. Isn't she supposed to be like seventeen? What, is she going to be your legal mother for another six months? What a fucking weirdo.
Somehow, Kaylie got Sasha to come see the Googly-Eyed therapist for some one-on-one time. Googly counsels Sasha, telling him that he regrets not knowing about Kaylie's illness before it became a problem. Sasha is too macho for this bullshit, and takes off.
The girls are at the gym, where Kelly Parker announces her plans to be elected World team captain, since the majority of the girls on the squad will be from her gym. So let me get this straight. Half of the girls are from the Rock, and the other half are from Denver? Is Colorado the only state that has gymnasts? I mean, really, what are the odds?
Sasha calls the girls over to announce the training squad. The additional two girls are Junior, some random extra.... and Kaylie! Oooh, Kelly Parker's PISSED.
Sasha pulls a Martha, changes the rules last second, and invites whoever he wants.
Out in the parking lot, Payson chats with the New Guy. He tells her that he's interested in her, and not Lauren. Payson's cool with that and all, but she's here for the gymnastics, not to get her mack on with some guy. (Do the kids still call it macking?) So the New Guy walks to the other side of the car, and makes out with Lauren instead.
Inside the gym, Summer is closing up shop, when she happens upon a shirtless Sasha.
HOWDY DO MR. SASHA. Yowza. Summer likes it too, but like a little bitch chooses that moment to tell the him that she's marrying Daddy Tanner. Sasha pretends like it doesn't bother him, and that in turn bothers Summer. So she leaves, knowing that she'll come home to her surprise bridal shower.
She puts on her ring, and her fake smile, and heads home. Of course, the stupid bitch Lauren has a pink party waiting for her, so Summer just sucks it up and pretends to be happy.
RELATIVE to past episodes, this wasn't that horrible. Is that because there was no Emily? Possibly. And while I am still thrilled about her absence, I am torn without enough Bitchface Chloe. She needs to get together with Sasha. Now THAT would be a show!
Until next week, friends. May your beams be fat, and your handstands lengthy!