We open with some across the room flirtation between Kaylie and Carter. He leaves a message for her in the chalk bucket but she isn’t quick enough to get there before someone else erases the message, leaving Carter all alone in the cold. They meet at the cooler and conclude that they need a better way to communicate. (He gives her a hard time as though it’s her fault.) Kaylie’s dad pushes her, acting as coach himself, which clearly pisses he off. They bring up Houston asking for Payson and she says she doesn’t want to go. Kaylie awkwardly excludes Emily who stands between them. And we find out that without a star coach the club won’t be looked at the same way. Not really sure what that means practically…
Jump to Steve Tanner pulling up to some place in the middle of nowhere (aka Cambria). We find Sasha Beloff, the mysterious gymnast, out back playing with a fishing rod. Sasha hasn’t been returning Steve’s calls. Steve kind of seems nervous here…We get the gist of the conversation–Sasha a little crabby, Steve wants him to coach, Sasha isn’t interested. Sasha claims to be uninterested in the sport but then says Lauren’s losing points because she’s piking her layouts. He proceeds to say that splitting up the Triple Threat lost him his lure (even though Lauren was no longer part of the lure because Emily replaced her) and he would be interested only in training at the rock.
Kayley totally flips out at her father “this is not a toothpaste commercial.” In comes Steve who not only has power but can apparently can control the time space continuum and has managed to arrive at the gym in that very moment offering everyone’s dreams: Sasha Beloff. On the condition that Lauren be allowed back. (Payson and Kaylie are none-too-pleased to see her. “If someone doesn’t hold me back she’s gonna ger my heel upside her bleach blond head” Payson says to which Kaylie says she’s not holding her back. Not that Lauren’s actually a bleach blond at all.) But they see Sasha and go all googly eyed.
The parents fight because they don’t want Lauren back. If Lauren throws a fit will they lose another coach? Payson couldn’t care less. “What’s there to discuss? It’s Sasha Belov!” Lauren tries to make them jealous by talking to something other girls. It’s like flirting but with friends. Sasha is sick of the arguing and walks away. Payson runs after him and everyone follows. She says he can’t leave and he turns around. “You’re Payson Keeler,” he says and she immediately turns into a teenage girl “you know who I am?” (People say this is another moment of Payson and a coach inappropriateness, but we already know he follows gymnastics, she’s pretty famous, and HE’S THE ONLY PERSON TO EVER BEAT MARTY so of course she idolizes him. I don’t think ABC Family is up for the coach-gymnast relationship, but maybe…) She of course talks him into staying because what would be the point of bringing him in otherwise?
He kicks the parents off the floor (from my understanding gyms don’t let parents on the floor so I guess it’s more realistic now). And now for a motivational speech. Sasha gives the girls a motivational speech about working hard, being special, and needing each other. Payson sits with her eyes glued on him as he speaks, reluctantly tearing them away even as he says “look at each other.” He expects them to “live breath eat sleep bleed gymnastics.” Payson actually nods when he says they are to say goodbye to their lives as they know it and smiles at the 5 am practice time. Kaylie is not so happy. She’s more concerned that he will kill her.
Lauren invites some girls to go to Spruce Juice which was the Triple Threat’s place so Kaylie invites Emily along. Payson’s too excited about Sasha to really think of anything else. Emily things he’ll “be on them like bad spray tan.” It’s also Lauren’s birthday! Kaylie needs a vacation and immediately they get invited to a party. I like the moment of
Kaylie: Let’s go
Payson: We just ordered
Kaylie: to the kegger Payson!
She’s completely in her own world and has no interest. “What’s fun about a party?” She’s willing to wait until the Olympic Village. Emily’s been to parties before. (Reminder of the Stick It moment “You know boys?” “They’re called friends, you should try it sometime.”) Payson is afraid of getting caught so Kaylie says she’ll go by herself…or she can go with Emily, who is so experienced and all. Kaylie is very bad at this talking to new people thing. Payson finally agrees to go, as babysitter, and they toast the chance to, as Kaylie says, “party like Rock stars. Get it? Rock. Stars.” The line is super corny but said in a way that’s totally real. I have friends who love those jokes. Emily and Lauren have a stare down over their spruce juices but we don’t get to see who wins.
Payson’s parents worry about Belov being a slave driver like Bela Karolyi telling Keri Strug to perform on a broken (in reality sprained) ankle. They sometimes wish Payson was a normal teenager. So of course she comes in at that very moment and asks for permission to go to the party. Her parents are thrilled (even high fiving when she leaves the room) and tell her to have fun. “I doubt it.” Meanwhile Kaylie gets clothing advice from Leo and they have a little heart to heart about how she and Carter are not having sex. She puts on a headband in a spot that’s weird and doesn’t really fit. She doesn’t tell her boyfriend about the party though.
Emily’s mom buys her a skanky dress because she has a little bit of money from the job Ronny Cruz got her. We learn that her mom always loses her jobs though so Em demands she returns everything. So her mom returns everything but the gifts for her kids because she wants to be able to buy her kids things. Emily feels bad so she wears the dress, which is really off for the type of party they are going to. She should know better, she’s the experienced one! Emily’s mother and brother discuss whether or not she’s gotten her period, which is both embarassing and weird.
They get to a party and stand around looking sufficiently uncomfortable. Payson asks “so what do we do now? We just stand here?” She is wearing her rock sweatshirt, saying she had nothing else even though we’ve seen her in other things. She could have just taken off the sweatshirt since she’s wearing a tank top underneath. While waiting for beer Emily runs into Razor and his band buddies. She’s super awk, covering her dress with a weird black shawl. In this scene we learn that her mother dates washed up musicians with a penchant for rock and roll trivia. Damon, Razor’s bud, clearly has a crush on Emily too but plays it cool. Emily, being socially inept (I thought she was the only socialized one of the group, so much for her experience), tells Razor she’s not at the party alone, meaning she came with a couple friends. He was clearly asking if she was there with a boyfriend! Maybe she was tying to convince him that she isn’t a lame loner. She also tells him not to tell her friends that she works at the Pizza Shack and he thinks she’s embarrassed by him and leaves. (There’s a theory going around that maybe Emily is a lesbian and that’s the reason she seems relatively unexcited about all the guys crushing on her, but considering that she spent the end of the previous episode staring at her calluses, I’m going to say I doubt it.)
Lauren’s birthday dinner with her dad isn’t going well. He invited Summer along. Apparently Lauren thinks she can’t be Christian because she wears Dolce & Gabana. Somewhere out there a devout Christian is very offended. It goes downhill as her father reveals that the charms he buys her every year were Summer’s idea. Upset that her father didn’t come up with the gift himself, Lauren tells Summer off and then storms out, giving her bracelet to the busboy. Her dad comes back with a cake and finds her gone. You almost feel bad for him. Almost.
The girls find each other at the party and Kaylie is way drunk, but she doesn’t want to leave before she hears the band. I thought Payson was making sure she didn’t drink so much so why is Kaylie smashed? Damon gives Emily a shout out on stage (attributing it to Razor) and they lose Kaylie again, who goes to impress some random guys by doing handstands on a bucket of ice. But while they are all cheering her on out steps Carter, pissed that he can never spend time with her and she’s at a party hanging with other guys. Kaylie needed some fun for a change. Ouch for Carter. Kaylie’s whole life is on everyone else’s terms, even on the coach who hasn’t coached her yet. He storms off leaving Kaylie all sad. They get Leo to drive them home since Kaylie can’t drive. Razor sees and gives him a jealous stare as they leave–or so Leo says even though we don’t see anything of the sort. Razor is skipping town for some reason and wants Damon to fend off other boys so he can have Emily to himself. Drunken Kaylie won’t listen to them say she wasn’t thinking.
Lauren shows up at the party, sees Carter all mopey, and the two of them discuss Kaylie’s spoiled selfishness. Kaylie maybe not be super considerate to Emily, may not put her gymnastics career first, but so far we haven’t seen her be spoiled or “all about herself.” Incredibly, Lauren says she’s not spoiled. And she says Kaylie is the one who always needs someone chasing after her. They kiss and while everyone watching has said “OMG Lauren is such a bitch!” technically, Lauren doesn’t know they are together. Kaylie insisted more than once that they were not, so the blame should lie squarely on Carter.
Leo drops Payson off so he can flirt with Emily while Kaylie is passed out in the back. Emily’s mother makes a lame excuse to come out and meet him and she’s once again the sleazy mom who says “you know if you don’t marry him I will.” Leo brings Kaylie home and tucks her in, making sure their dad won’t find out. Kaylie, all upset about her fight with Carter texts him saying she’s sorry and she loves him.
Back to Lauren and Carter. Or more specifically, Carter standing up, putting back on his shirt, and buttoning up his pants. What house are they in? He gives her an awkward kiss on the forehead and leaves. A phone starts ringing and Lauren realizes it’s not her phone. It’s Carter’s forgotten phone. Lauren sees the text from Kaylie and looks all depressed. Because she betrayed Kaylie or because she loves Carter?