Previously, on Make It or Break It: Payson’s back injury flares up again, but lucky for her, a handsome Rock gymnast comes along and deals her some bootlegged cortisone. Chloe calls an old boyfriend for help regarding her financial troubles. Damon peaces out to L.A., taking one of the few bright spots of this show with him. Lauren makes one final bid to break up Kaylie and Carter by arranging for Pa Cruz to “accidentally” find out about them at the Cruzes’ Nationals sendoff party. Lauren’s plan goes off without a hitch, but instead of riding off into the sunset with Carter, he declares that she disgusts him and storms off. Kaylie figures out that Lauren betrayed her and Carter. With no one else to turn to, Lauren turns to Summer.
Before we begin, an announcement: next week’s episode, the season finale, will be my last MIOBI recap. I know… but hey, all good (or so bad they’re good) things must come to an end. I’m running out of ways to make fun of this show, and it’s been eating my blog. I want to get back to the Unicorner’s roots, snarking nostalgic YA lit. I haven’t even gotten to the series that spawned this blog’s title yet! So next week, we bid adieu to playground prodigies, four inches of wood, and whore mothers, but never fear–I’m sure the writers will give them a good sendoff. As for me, I hope you guys had fun reading these! And hey, it might not be the end–I may be back to recap the occasional epic episode. 😉
In the meantime, however, we’re left with an episode that’s, well… a whole lot of nothing. Neither painfully awful nor awesomely epic, “Where’s Kaylie?” just sort of plods along to its expected cheesetastic conclusion. I’m calling off the drinking game because we’d all get wasted before we’re even ten minutes in. This is classic MIOBI–contrived situations, ridiculous plot twists, stilted dialogue, moments of such WTFery you truly wonder how anyone could write, let alone act, them with a straight face. We’ve seen everything on this episode before, which means I’ve mocked it before, which means it’s going to be hard for me to come up with new ways to make fun of it.
But I’ll try.
We open with Emily waking up next to Chloe. The reason for this, we soon find out, is because Chloe’s ex Joe is squatting at Casa Kmetko while on his way to Dallas, and is currently occupying Emily’s bed. Chloe is her usual flaky self, attempting to dislodge the massive stick from her daughter’s arse by nostalgically reminding Emily of how she used to enjoy sleeping with her mama as a child. There’s a really dumb gag about spooning in there but I can’t be arsed to rewatch this scene and recap it. Out in the kitchen, we have a tense Kmetko family scene when Joe cooks breakfast for everyone. Emily is sulky and resentful and glares at Benedict Arnold Brian, who’s happily eating his food. Brian, clearly the sanest one among this lot, says nonchalantly, “I was hungry.” Emily flounces off to the Rock.
And what would a MIOBI episode be without our usual a montage of stunt doubles performing various skills? Yup, we’re at the Rock now, and the four core Rockettes are stretching and warming up. Josie Loren (Kaylie) attempts to impress us with her flexibility but all I can focus on is her ghastly form and apparent inability to point her toes. Lauren’s on all fours next to her which is really doing nothing to dispel her rep as the team slut. Kaylie whinges about how her ‘rents took away her toys and her car after the Carter debacle. I wish she’d said that in front of Emily–oh no, wait, I don’t. I don’t need to hear another BAWWW I’M POOR CANONIZE MY ASS ALREADY speech. Lauren cattily asks Payson about her back, but is shown up when Payson’s stunt double performs a fairly impressive bar routine. Kaylie worries about Carter and anxiously awaits his arrival at practice.
Up in the viewing area, Ma Keeler and Ronnie Cruz rehash the events of the party for those of us who didn’t tune in and ruminate about what’s going to happen now. Guys, can we ditch the “as you know, Bob” dialogue? Isn’t the “previously, on Make It or Break It” segment enough? Some of us watching this are only masochistic, not stupid. Cut to Sasha, who calls Carter to his trailer. Sasha tells Carter that according to an anonymous source, Carter’s had an “inappropriate relationship” with a Rockette. So that’s what they’re calling it these days. Sasha wants to know who it was, but we cut to credits before we hear Carter’s answer.
When we return, Sasha gathers his 34132414 elites ’round and proceeds to drop a bombshell: Carter’s been suspended through Nationals because he was getting it on with an unnamed Rockette. Cue the badly-dubbed gasps and murmurs of shock, while the four core Rockettes anxiously discuss this turn of events. Kaylie is openly displeased, which draws Sasha’s attention. She gives him her most defiant “Sir” but he doesn’t do anything aside from give her a warning glare. I love how Sasha’s only effective when it suits the plot. Otherwise, he’s just as incompetent as his predecessor, Marty.
Meanwhile, Payson is upset because she’s been ranked second to Lauren on beam. She complains to Sasha about it, but all she gets from him is a lecture on her lack of support for her teammates. He says that maybe she’s not up to the job of team captain, and she huffs out of his office. I find it a little ridiculous that she’s flipping out over being ranked second in one event. I assume she’s an all-arounder, and many all-arounders have a slightly weaker event. Hasn’t she ever heard of event specialists? Furthermore, in team competitions, the standard practice is to put the weakest gymnast first and the strongest last–this is to maximize scores with hopes that the judges will fall into a pattern of successively scoring each gymnast higher. And furthermore, Nationals doesn’t have a team competition. It’s an individual competition, and club affiliation has no (official) impact on the results. And why am I even bothering with these details when it’s clear that they have nothing to do with the show’s ‘verse and how it all works there and I should really just stop now and go back to mocking.
Summer shows up at the Rock, joining Steve in the viewing area. Lauren waves to Summer and Steve is puzzled, wondering what brought on this sudden bout of female bonding. Summer informs him that she told Lauren she’d broken off their engagement. Cue heartwarming music as Summer tells Steve that Lauren needs closure with her mother, and that Summer’s taken the liberty of locating Ma Tanner via Google. Wow, it’s like Liz Wakefield and Veronica Mars produced a mildly mentally challenged offspring. Lauren, of course, walks in just at the right moment to hear this.
Back at Casa Cruz, Ronnie approaches Kaylie, who’s paging her inner Emily and being sulky and belligerent. Ronnie attempts to pacify Kaylie by telling her she’s arranged for her to see Carter during practice tomorrow. Kaylie’s overjoyed and gives her Mom a big hug, and suddenly they’re BFF again. Kaylie asks if Ronnie’s ever going to tell Pa Cruz about Marty, and suggests that maybe it’s better if Pa Cruz never knows. You know, if Kaylie and Carter are the Liz and Todd of this show, Alex and Ronnie Cruz are totally Nalice.
Over at Casa Kmetko, Brian plays video games with Joe and continues to prove he’s the only one of that lot with a lick of sense. He remarks casually that he doesn’t expect anything from Joe, so he doesn’t care when Joe inevitably leaves again. I like this kid. Emily, meanwhile, throws a fit to Chloe because Joe is still squatting there. I am not recapping this bit in great detail b/c I just don’t have it in me to re-watch another Emily-lectures-Chloe-and-Chloe-is-chastised scene, but… yeah.
We now depart to a less annoying destination, Casa Tanner. Lauren is sitting on her bed flipping wistfully through an album full of old family photos. Given her current plotline, I find it odd that her mother is conspicuously absent from the photos. We see little Lauren with Steve, a bunch of people we don’t know, and a couple that I assume is Steve and Lauren’s mother. Steve comes in and in his usual clumsy manner, attempts to bond with his daughter. I kind of miss sociopathic Steve from the pilot. Now, he just strikes me more as a somewhat inept absentee father who’s trying but falling short. Taking Summer’s advice to heart, Steve gives Lauren her Mom’s number. An angsty pop ballad swells in the background and Lauren dials her Mom’s number, then begins an emotionally-charged conversation with Ma Tanner. I have to give Steve and Lauren credit. They have the most believable parent-child chemistry on the show, and actingwise, at least they’re trying.
After commercial break, we’re at the Rock again. The core Rockettes stretch and warm up up, which is pretty much all we ever see them do at practice aside from secret meetings at the Chalk Bin or Water Station of Ill Repute. Ayla Kell (Payson) shows off her former dance training with some impressive flexibility. Emily acts sulky and mysterious, despite Kaylie’s attempts to get her to open up. Lauren eagerly informs her teammates that her mother is returning “from Darfur” to attend Nationals. I feel really sorry for Lauren because you know it’s totally going to blow up in her face. That’s another thing about Lauren. One minute she’s scheming and evil and the next you can’t help but sympathize with her because she’s clearly got issues. I don’t know if I like this YA trend of making the requisite bitch have layers (usually crippling insecurity). I miss my good ole fashioned sociopathic HBICs like Jessica Wakefield and Cordelia Chase. Man, Cordy would eat all these Rock brats for breakfast and use the bones to pick her teeth.
When Sasha’s back is turned, Ronnie signals Kaylie. Kaylie sneaks outside, where she meets with Carter at his truck. Kaylie begs Carter to run away together, screw Nationals. Nice priorities, Kay. Carter attempts to look anguished (although given this dude’s acting, he could just have a severe case of indigestion) and tries to get Kaylie not to throw away her future for his ass. Wow, I actually agree with this douchebucket on something. I think the apocalypse is nigh. Carter then pulls the last card he has left and tells Kaylie he boinked another girl at the party (hey, the characters never use slang… I might as well do it). Kaylie, overcome by a fit of bad acting, pushes him away and takes off running down the street. Kaylie, don’t even try. Emily’s got you owned on the angry running.
The Kmetko saga continues when Emily comes home early and finds Chloe in a Victoria’s Secret sale kimono, having clearly just gotten some mattress gymnastics with Joe. Emily throws another fit, although this time she is somewhat justified. Emily flounces off, leaving Chloe with Joe. Chloe says she’s not letting Joe string her along anymore and kicks his ass out of the house. Joe, whose suitcase was already conveniently packed and ready to go, takes off. Yay, another subplot down!
Next we see Lauren standing at a bus stop, eagerly awaiting her mother’s arrival. But her excitement turns to crushing disappointment as one by one, passengers disembark the bus and her mother is nowhere to be seen. As cheesy and predictable as this plot twist is, it’s actually a pretty effective scene. Man, not only do they get the best stunt double for the chick we’re supposed to hate, but they get the best actress, too. Good job, show.
Commercial break, and then we return to find that Ma Keeler has called a meeting of the Rockettes at Casa Keeler. The subject of said meeting is Kaylie’s disappearance. Payson is annoyed because they leave for Nationals tomorrow and she hasn’t got tiiiiime for this Mickey Mouse bullshit. You and me both, Pay. Lauren, of course, is hiding something. When Ma Keeler leaves to pick up Becca, Lauren tells Payson and Emily that Kaylie called her and plays the phone message for them. The Rockettes get their Veronica Mars on and figure out that Kaylie must’ve called from the store where they used to stock up on candy at gymnastics camp. Lauren wants to go get Kaylie, but Payson objects on grounds that if Kaylie wants to screw herself over because of some boy, let her. Emily sides with Lauren, so Payson gets roped into coming along anyway. Some might find Payson heartless, but her reaction is actually the most believable. Like Kerri Strug would go get Kim Zmeskal’s ass if she pulled a stunt like this. She’d probably do a little fist pump when everyone else’s back was turned.
The remaining Rockettes arrive in Lauren’s Hummer at a bucolic little store in the middle of Bumfuck, Nowhere. They locate Kaylie sitting on a log beside a picturesque little pond. Kaylie informs them all of what Carter told her, which eventually leads to a tearful confession from Lauren that she’s the skank Carter hit and quit. Kaylie calls Lauren a two-faced slut and runs off. Payson follows her, trying to talk some sense into her, but sense and Kaylie are clearly unmixy things. Emily speaks up, giving an impassioned speech during which she says she refuses to let Kaylie screw Emily out of the only team she’s ever been on. Nice to see it’s still all about you, Emily. Just a hint, this might have something to do with you’re never being on a real team before. Emily proceeds to throw Kaylie’s keys into the pond. Rather than beating the crap out of Emily’s scrawny ass, though, the other girls just stand around bickering until Lauren throws her own keys into the pond. Payson left her phone at home and Lauren’s battery died, so it appears that they’re stranded. Um… why can’t they just use the pay phone Kaylie used to call Lauren? (Emily had deduced earlier that Kaylie’s message came from a pay phone).
Meanwhile, the Rockette Moms plus Summer have met up at Casa Keeler. Ronnie informs the other Moms that Lauren called right before her battery died, letting Ronnie know where the girls are. And, like any thinking parents would do, the Moms drove out to get their daughters. And if you believed that, I truly envy you. It must be nice not to be so cynical. Instead, the mothers sit around at Casa Keeler in a contrived bonding situation clearly meant to mirror the one involving their daughters. And, as it always happens in such situations, the truth comes out. Summer confesses that she narced on Carter. Ronnie–through the aid of wine–confesses to the affair with Marty. I’m waiting to see which Rock Mom becomes an alkie. Come on, it’s not a teen soap without an alkie. I’m betting on Ronnie.
Intercut with these scenes are scenes of the Rockettes, who have somehow built a bonfire despite the fact that none of them smokes (and thus wouldn’t be carrying matches or a lighter) or has shown any proficiency in outdoorsy matters. Ehh, Emily’s a Mary Sue; I wouldn’t rule madd outdoor skillz out from her list of abilities. She probably had to cook food over an open fire when Chloe forgot to pay the electric bill. And hey, she can already tell what kind of phone someone’s calling from just from hearing a voice mail message. Predictably, the girls’ secrets come out–Lauren’s Mom’s a druggie, Payson is herself a druggie, Kaylie’s Mom was banging Marty, and Emily killed a man. Oh wait, scratch that last one–I was thinking of the campfire scene in the Lost episode “Outlaws;” my bad. The Rockettes tearfully make up, promising never to let anything get in the way of their friendship until the next episode. So warm and honest is the atmoshpere that Lauren and Emily confess that they were bluffing before–Emily really threw her house keys in the pond and Lauren has a spare key under the bumper. The original three Rockettes make an effort to include Emily by adding her initials to a historical tree stump of BFFery, where the original three Rockettes etched their initials at gymnastics camp years before.
The final scene takes place with the bus leaving for Nationals. I’m going to assume the bus is taking them to the airport because I can’t believe they’d drive all the way from Boulder to Boston. The parents plus Sasha anxiously gather around the door of the bus, wondering when and if their daughters are going to show. And in classic MIOBI fashion, what happens next is so cheestastically awful it’s awesome. Who should come walking down the street in dramatic slo-mo but the Rockettes, in a scene that can best be described as
Oh, and lest we forget how special Emily is, the Rockettes elect her team captain for her heroism in throwing her own house keys into the pond. I can’t wait till a serial killer finds Emily’s house keys and breaks into the Kmetko residence. Finally, we are awarded with an image of Carter doing what he does best–skulking around, watching as the Rockettes and Rock-dudes leave without him. Kaylie and Lauren are the last to board, and he shares significant looks with the two of them before slurming off into the sunset. I wish I could say it’s the last I’ll ever recap of him, but he shows up in promo pics for the next ep, so it sucks to be me.
And that’s it for this week’s MIOBI. However, I’m sure there is much epicness in store for us next week. Stay tuned, and see you at Nationals, whores!