Anna Jarzab

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Make It or Break It: “Hungary Heart”
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Okay, ladiez (I assume everyone reading this is a lady–maybe I shouldn’t? Mens, you are welcome too), here we go. You know it’s a Super Important Episode because of the Pun in the Title, although personally I would’ve gone with “Hungary, Hungary Hippos” because IRONY.

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Anyway, previously: Remember how Kaylie and Damon sang together at his gig? Me neither! I had blocked it out entirely, and I sort of wish it had stayed that way, but no. They sang. Emily saw. She was not super excited about it. Kaylie wasn’t super excited about her friend Maeve’s death (legit) and ended up confessing to her new best friend Damon that she (Kaylie) has a real eating disorder and she doesn’t want it to mean the end of her life (versus just the end of her career). The girls were easily the dumbest I’ve ever seen them when they completely blew off trying to practice for a meet with some Iowa team they didn’t think was any good, only to get their asses kicked. Even Payson! Nobody’s thrilled with Darby as a coach, so I figure it’s only a matter of time until she splits and SASHA RETURNS YAY!

Payson’s at the Rock after hours looking for Kim, and she finds out that there’s a “way to get rid of” Darby, and also that Sasha is living in Romania. Steve’s giving Darby a lecture about being a serious coach and Payson and Kim overhear him expressing other people’s doubts about whether or not “the Rock girls” deserve to be on the World team. When Payson asks if that’s really true, Darby rips into her, blaming the Pinewood debacle on them, but as everyone knows, Darby, they are children and you are an adult and if you had not been the worst they might’ve listened to you about taking that meet seriously.

Damon shows up unannounced as Emily’s leaving for the airport. Chloe’s freaked out: “What if someone from the NGO is watching?” Wait, I’m sorry. Do we really think that the NGO has, like, undercover agents sitting outside Emily’s house day and night to make sure she’s not dating anyone? I’m pretty sure they don’t have the staff for that! Chloe has seen way too many Bourne Identity movies. Damon’s pissed because Emily is ignoring his phone calls; he doesn’t even consider that she might be pissed about Kaylie, because he’s sorta thick, Damon is. Emily: “Is she your muse now?” Are we just saying that like it means anything or isn’t totally lame? Damon insists that he loves her and that she needs to trust him, but she says she can’t. Even though he’s basically been totally trustworthy this whole time except for that jail thing in season one? She breaks it off with him for good. UGH EMILY.

The ladies gather at the airport. Chloe is wearing an extremely unflattering denim skirt. Darby gives them the same “I’m not your friend, not your coach, now RESPECT ME DAMMIT” speech, and it looks like Payson’s got a little scheme to get rid of “Coach Conrad” up her sleeve. Good. Don’t ask Lauren for tips on scheming, Payson, just a little friendly advice.

Kaylie’s therapy group. I’m starting to get pretty bored of this storyline, tbh. I don’t mean to be dismissive of Kaylie’s problem, but it’s just so endlessly uninteresting, made worse by the SINGING! And the Damon-befriending! I just want our old Kaylie back, although I do give them props for not abandoning this subplot after two episodes, Gossip Girl style.

Payson’s got an insane plan to get Sasha back–she’s going to get on a flight to Bucharest, Romania (as opposed to Budapest, Hungary, as Lauren points out) when they stop in Heathrow on their way to Worlds. Lol! Riiiiiiight. She’s going to buy the ticket on the gold credit card Steve just gave Lauren. “Look, I know you’re upset about your boyfriend,” Lauren says to Payson, and I seriously need someone to make an animated .gif of Payson’s expression upon hearing that, it’s so hilarious. Emily wants to help Payson because “Sasha’s the only person left who believes in me.” Um, no, I think that’s Damon. I doubt Sasha cares very much about you anymore, Em, and also way to make it all about you. They all–Emily, Payson, Lauren–decide to go to Bucharest. Good plan dummies!

The girls encounter Kelly Parker on their way to the plane to Bucharest; she tells them that the NGO called her in to replace Kaylie if she doesn’t show. Which she’s not going to, right? I mean, she’s in rehab, and she’s just started admitting to herself that she has a problem that needs fixing. So I guess Kelly Parker gets a spot on the World team without qualifying. Life is so cruel.

Summer does an excellent job of putting the smackdown on Darby, who’s ready to call the NGO and rat the girls out. Summer tells her that under no circumstances is she going to do that, and Summer’s going to fix it. Fix it, Summer! Payson does some quick math and figures they’ve only got two hours between planes, trains and, presumably, automobiles, to convince Sasha to come back and coach them at Worlds. That’s assuming he’s home when they knock on his door! He could be working out or grocery shopping or on a holiday in the countryside with his new chickadee or something. You guys, this is why you should call first.

Emily is drinking some Romanian energy drink and Payson ham-fistedly lectures her about energy drinks sometimes having banned substances in them, which is very obviously this episodes red herring. Will Emily get disqualified for doping? you ask yourself. No. She’ll be disqualified because SPOILER ALERT she has a human growing inside of her. END SPOILERS. She tells the girls she broke up with Damon, and Lauren says, “Look on the bright side–at least you didn’t sleep with him.” Payson and Emily exchange meaningful glances that tell Lauren everything she needs to know (learn how to play it cool, guys, honestly). And get this: Lauren TAKES EMILY’S HAND as if to comfort her. What? Lauren, you cannot be for real. Lauren also assures Emily that Kaylie would never, ever steal her boyfriend (unspoken subtext: because she knows what it feels like to have your boyfriend sleep with your best friend cough cough LAUREN), and Emily questions whether or not she’s made a mistake. So many, Em. So, so many.

Damon and Kaylie chat idly about how Emily is crazypants and thinks something’s going on between him and Kaylie. This is actually a halfway decent conversation. Damon correctly identifies what is infuriating about Emily’s personality, then Kaylie tells him that yes, gymnastics is that intense and dangerous, and it can make you nuts. But, Damon asks, would Emily always be pushing him away even if there was no gymnastics, and the answer is YES DAMON. She doesn’t trust anyone and she likes being the victim of other people’s lousy choices so she makes them into villains. Your heart will go on. Kaylie, though, gets a burst of inspiration: Maybe it’s not the sport, she writes in her notebook.

Payson, Lauren and Emily arrive at Sasha’s supposed home only to find out from a rather zaftig middle-aged lady that nobody by the name of Sasha Belov lives in the village. But he does work in the bar where the girls go to while away the hours until the next train to Budapest. FANCY THAT. Of course he yells at them, and tells them he’s not coming back. But he is keeping up with all their massive failures. The girls each try to get Sasha to come back, and when Emily and Lauren strike out (not a huge surprise, their respective strategies being to whine about how they might not be “good enough” and to tell Sasha that Summer doesn’t care about him anymore) Payson tells them to go on ahead to Budapest because she’s staying behind.

Damon is reading Kaylie’s thoughts about why she might’ve become anorexic in the first place and starting to get a new appreciation for how effed up gymnastics can make you. Kaylie explains, in a really succinct way, how everyone always expected her to be happy and confident because she was rich and pretty and a good gymnast, but she didn’t know who she was, so she focused on winning, until she did win and didn’t feel any differently about herself. That’s when she stopped eating. Yikes. Poor Kayls. Damon decides that he has to let Emily go, because she is who she is with or without gymnastics and she’ll never trust him enough to be normal.

Summer shows up at Sasha’s bar looking for the girls, but only finds Payson chowing down on some gulash. Summer begs Payson to get real about Sasha–he’s not coming back. Payson gives Sasha an impassioned speech about what a quitter and disappointment he is and gives back his gold medal before flouncing out of the bar. Summer also gives him an impassioned speech about how you do the best with what you have and how he’s not at his best unless he’s coaching the girls. Because she’s awesome, she doesn’t make it about her at all. Kim and Steve have a nice moment where they cooperate and are friends.

Payson and Summer arrive at the Hungary meet but Sasha’s not with them. Sad faces all around. Damon wrote Kaylie a song. BLECCCHHHHHHH. But behind all the extreme grossness of this encounter is a real truth: that when you want something for so long, and you work so hard, almost single-mindedly to achieve it, and you do achieve it, and it doesn’t change your life or who you are, doesn’t make you happier or make people love you more, the disappointment is crushing. They don’t kiss, thank God, but Kaylie is crying. Yikes.

Sasha shows up at the girls’ room in Budapest! He yells at them, of course, and says that if they want him to come back to coaching them they have to show him that they’re worth coaching by kicking ass at the meet. Then there’s this weird sequence where the teams participating in the meet are announced, with a weird flashback to…right before this meet? When Sasha tells them that he let them down and abandoned them, but they let each other down and abandoned his teachings, so they’re all going to be cool and get with the program. I’m confused. Anyway, the US team is announced in the arena and they stride out, smiling with their heads held high.

As Steve and Kim booze it up at home watching the meet, the girls perform. Where’s Darby? She didn’t even come into the arena with the team. We meet another gymnast who might be a problem for the Rock girls at Worlds, Ivanka Kerlenko (Russian, with the bangs to prove it). Lauren does well on beam, but Ivanka’s routine is a higher degree of difficulty. Emily falls on uneven bars. UGH EMILY WHAT NOW? Josh Whats-His-Name who may or may not be the Worlds coach tells Sasha he’s bumping Emily off the roster and adding Kelly Parker instead. Can he even do that? Kelly didn’t qualify, as we’ve heard a million times! Sasha tells him, “Emily can do this, she just needs to know you believe in her.” “That’s the problem,” Josh says. “I don’t.” Josh puts Kelly in. Can he do that in the middle of a meet? Kelly nails her vault.

It comes down to Ivanka and Payson on floor. Ivanka does a sort of witchy routine that gets wild applause. Payson does her ballet-y floor routine, which tbh doesn’t seem better than Ivanka’s, but the crowd seems to disagree. Still, the Russian team gets the gold, with US getting silver and Romania getting bronze. That team really is falling apart without Sasha.

Kaylie reads aloud from her notebook in therapy group. She deserves to be happy. Fair enough, Kaylie.

The chairman of the Hungarian National Committee (of gymnastics, I assume) wants to talk to Emily; Sasha comes with her. Something was weird with her urine sample. She starts babbling about not knowing that the energy drink had anything banned in it, and he’s all, girl, chillax, get upset about something REAL because you’re PREGGERS YO.

Next week! Nobody understands Emily (so just like every other episode). Chloe cries. Payson yells at Emily for screwing up. And my DVR cut off.

Originally published at AnnaJarzab.com

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