Oh man and here I was thinking I would never recap this show again. But Season 3 is off to a glorious start and I am sucked right back into the rabbit hole. No, really. This episode had a BUNNY! WOOK AT THE BUNNY!
As always, this show is completely ridiculous and lacking in all realism or credibility, but that’s OK, because let’s be honest–we are not here for that.
Make It or Break It 3×01 “Smells Like Winner”
I… have no idea what this title is supposed to be. Is it a play on the Nirvana song or something? (And if it is, it has to be one of the most poorly-executed puns I’ve ever seen). I don’t even. It tried it.
Come to think of it, that sentiment is very applicable to the show in general.
MIOBI seems to have undergone a major makeover this season. ABC Family has sprung for a new set and we’ve finally left the Rock for the USA Training Center in Colorado Springs (OK, well, we didn’t leave the Rock that far behind). I especially like the red, white, and blue lettering of the caption. Nice and patriotic.
The Terrible Threesome have arrived for training, and there’s no trace of Emily anywhere. No one ever mentions her. They even re-did the credits to remove her. Instead of the old stunt montage we see the silhouettes of three gymnasts standing on a podium with the American flag in the background–undoubtedly to cash in on imminent Olympic mania (and also to showcase the show’s clearly increased budget). They even changed the music to be more orchestral and dramatic-sounding. I’m surprised they didn’t spring for John Tesh narration, but I guess the budget isn’t that big.
I was completely unsurprised by how much I don’t miss Emily. Granted shading Emily is one of my favorite pastimes, and I will miss the delightful MILF Chloe, but the watchability of the show has skyrocketed with her gone. I was hoping with her gone they’d make Kelly Parker a regular, but we don’t see hide nor hair of her in this episode, either–which doesn’t make sense seeing as she was one of the Rockettes’ chief rivals so it stands to reason she’d be at training camp. I guess the actress moved on to bigger and better things (which, let’s be real, isn’t hard). Of course, I don’t see why the show couldn’t explain it away with an injury or something (or maybe it did; I can’t be arsed to recall last season). Anyway, the show can’t go for long without a character whose backstory is packed with staggering improbability, so enter Jordan.
She first appears hitching a ride in a big rig driven by a gruff middle-aged woman sporting a cowboy hot. Well, hell, why not just name her Bertha and have her regale Jordan with the story of the rose tattoo on her ass that she acquired during her time at Prison for Bitches? Say hi to Gaga for me, Bertha! So Jordan is knitting something blue and white and stripey, sporting a hat that was left over after she finished providing the dwarves’ wardrobe in Once Upon a Time (hey, she had to pay for this trip somehow!). It turns out she’s on her way to the training center. Damn, does her gym have a budget on par with SM Entertainment’s or what?
Meanwhile, the Rockettes joyfully reunite (were they ever apart?) and take Instagram-filtered pictures in front of the training center. Naturally the first thing the girls think of upon arriving is partying and boys. Gotta love priorities! Lauren, in particular, is on the prowl and douses herself in her own special perfume named “Winner.” I suspect she and Tom Haverford would get along. All seems well with Kaylie and Austin for now, and while Max was off starring on Revenge he and Payson have been exchanging letters. Look out, Payson, you don’t want to get on Emily’s bad side! (Revenge Emily, that is… too damn many Emilys).
The Rockettes learn about a superstition centered around a statue of Otis Murphy, an official who is now ded from javelin. The statue brings luck to the athletes, who take part in frat boy-esque hijinks stealing it from each other. Nice to see these kids taking their Olympic training seriously. Lauren meets a wrestler (the greco-roman variety, not WWE, although that wouldn’t be too absurd for this show) named Jake who uses her as part of a distraction while his teammates steal Otis. Throughout the show they keep running into each other, exchanging barbs and banter, so you totally know they’re going to hook up.
The coach at the training center is supposed to be super hardass and takes no crap, so basically he’s Sasha 2.0. He also turns out to be a complete pushover when it comes to obstinate athletes. Definitely Sasha 2.o. He’s married to a nutritionist played by Stacey of the Babysitter’s Club movie. Stacey doesn’t do much in this episode, aside from have a concerned talk with Lauren after she faints during practice. So is she DJ Tanner 2.o, minus the Christian propaganda? Thank Heathus for small favors. The Rockettes also become acquainted with a psychotic younger gymnast who reminds me a bit of Stalker Sarah hopped up on uppers washed down with a six-pack of Red Bull. I don’t remember her name nor do I particularly care so she’s just Stalker Sarah Junior, or SSJ.
Meanwhile, Jordan is still skulking around, squatting in a tent with her pet bunny (how very k-drama of them!) trying to browbeat the coach into letting her train, even though she hasn’t taken part in a serious competition in two years. This begs the question–how is Jordan staying in shape, anyway? Granted this is MIOBIland where Emily trains on a playground and debilitating back injuries are resolved with miracle surgical procedures, but without any real coaching (that we know of) or a competitive schedule, Jordan is conveniently in good enough form to train with athletes who are at the top of their game? K then. Girl barges into practice one day and is about to throw an Amanar before the coach literally blocks her and is like, I DON’T THINK SO RIGHT NOW. Maybe he should’ve let her go for it. It’d be a hell of a lawsuit but at least she’d be out of his hands, now that she’s paraplegic.
So the Rockettes go to a party because all they do at training camp is go to parties and take part in prank wars. At the party, Lauren just so happens to run into Jake and a cro-magnon-esque teammate of his. They share one of my favorite exchanges of the episode while talking about stealing Otis:
JAKE: Why? You Barbies never get it.
LAUREN: Oh, I get plenty.
Lauren tries to coax the location of Otis from Jake and his teammate. Meanwhile, some guy flirts with Payson and she blows him off because of Max. There was also some stuff with Kaylie and Austin but it was boring and I didn’t pay attention.
Finally, our boy drama kicks up yet another notch when Lauren, brimming with curiosity and probably hoping for some poorly-written porn, reads Max’s latest letter to Payson–before Payson does. Sadly, he did not talk about feeling her up ninth-grade style. Instead, he wrote her a Dear John letter. Naturally Lauren spills the beans to Kaylie, and the two of them almost let on to Payson but Kaylie quickly covers for them. Payson is off her game at practice and confesses by the chalk bin that Max broke up with her. So much drama at the chalk bin, yo.
Back at the apartment, the gang talks about Max and Austin spills that Max is playing for both teams, if you get what I mean. I was really annoyed at Austin for doing that, since iirc Max isn’t out yet (can’t be arsed to check), and it isn’t Austin’s place to out him. Payson and Lauren are totally shocked, because all bisexuals clearly go around with neon signs on our foreheads flashing “MUFF MUNCHER” and “COCK CRUNCHER” at rotating intervals. Payson goes on at length about it, expressing disbelief over the way Max kissed her. Um, Payson? Max is not gay. He is attracted to women. Furthermore how is sexuality expressed via kissing technique? Is there some special bisexual kissing method I don’t know about? Anyway, it is revealed that Max made out with Austin, Lauren, and Payson. Because bisexual people are clearly ready to jump to anything that moves. OK, anything attractive that moves.
Moving on, Lauren suggests a little G.N.O. involving a scheme to steal Otis from the wrestling team. Supposedly she successfully wrangled Otis’s location from Jake and his teammate. The Rockettes slip out that night and Lauren Nikitas her way onto the roof of the building and it’s all very eyeroll-inducing (Nikita, I am so sorry you had to be in this recap. Please forgive me and please don’t get cancelled, thank you). While on the roof, Lauren has another fainting spell. It occurs to me to wonder if this is related to her casual bulimia in the pilot, since she brought up skipping breakfast to the nutritionist. Continuity??? In my show??? Surely you jest! (No, seriously. It’s got to be purely coincidental).
I was half-expecting one of the other characters to dramatically stumble upon Lauren up there, but she just revives herself offscreen and returns to the Rockettes. Of course, Jake and his teammates totally pranked them–they left a Barbie doll with a note essentially saying “Gotcha!” Also, while Lauren was gone, SSJ saw the other Rockettes. SSJ narcs to the coach, who calls the Rockettes for an emergency meeting outside in front of a bonfire. Just when I think this guy couldn’t get any weirder, apparently he has a sudden craving for either roasted marshmallows or a satanic ritual. Or perhaps a satanic ritual involving marshmallows. Again, still not too absurd for this show.
He lectures the Rockettes, calling for a new start at training camp, beginning with the symbolic act of tossing their Rock jackets into the fire. I’m torn between making a joke about how fug those jackets are and how it’s a waste of a perfectly good jacket (hey, some of us are on limited budgets. Like hale I’d burn a perfectly decent albeit ugly jacket). The girls gasp as though this is a fate of such unimaginable horror as watching a Shawn Johnson dance routine. But it’s that or give up their Olympic dreams, so into the fire the ugly jackets go.
To add insult to injury, the coach trots out Jordan, who is invited to this meeting as well. It turns out that the coach and his wife found a practice video of Jordan doing a triple-back dismount on bars, so they’re willing to damn the liability and take her on. This entire plot twist makes no sense to me.
First, if this girl were capable of a triple (and this video were on youtube or somewhere the coach and his wife had access to), wouldn’t the gymnastics world be all up on that? Nobody can keep a secret like that in this sport. ETA: lol nvm jk. Although I still believe something this big would be difficult to keep secret. Second, either this video is two years old (the last time Jordan was in competitive shape) or the writers are seriously trying to tell us Jordan was recently training an insanely difficult skill when she’s not even competing.
Oh, fuck it, IT’S MAGIC.
The coach tells the Rockettes that Jordan is their new teammate. Um, what? The Olympic team has not been chosen yet so none of the gymnasts at the training center are actual teammates. Unless he’s referring to Jordan training at the Rock sometime in the past, but she’s not there anymore, so still not their teammate.
OK enough of this already, I need to go to bed.
So that’s a wrap for 3×01. Man, I missed this show. So glad it’s back in my life again. Till next time, nerds!