My Life As Liz

General reality TV rule: I don’t like watching people go about their daily life (or even less daily life in the case of some shows). I’ve found an exception though. MTV’s My Life As Liz. I’m not sure how much of it is scripted and how much of it is luck, but the show manages to be deep and thoughtful even while following a bunch of teenagers. (NYC Prep for example failed at any semblance of anything.)

This show is exactly what it sounds like, it follows a teenager named Liz who is something of an outcast as she maneuvers through High School. Once part of the popular crowd, Liz finds herself bullied by the popular Cori, her once-best friend. It’s like Mean Girls but true. (Or true-ish anyway since who knows how truthful the show is?) According to MTV it is part scripted, part reality–generally following people going about their life with the occasional scripted bit added in. It makes sense once you see the show.

In episode one, before the year has started, Liz is assigned to do a story on Taylor, one of the girls from the “Legion of Doom” aka the Plastics. This is the last thing she wants to do but in the process they seem to have a bonding moment. But when school starts and Liz goes over to say hi, Taylor ignores her. So much for that. Or so it seems. There’s more to that relationship and it’s interesting to see just how far people will go to retain friendships and what the point of no return is.

There’s also the issue of her crush on Bryson, who has a girlfriend, and one of her best guy friends (she only has guy friends) having a crush on her.

The charm of the show comes from Liz’s humor (read: sarcasm) and the unbelievable things coming out of Cori’s mouth (“I just hope you die”) as well as the touching moments between Liz and those around her. The emotion of the show is what other reality shows strive for. It helps that the actors can articulate their thoughts and don’t solely think about partying (not that they don’t enjoy a party now and then).

It sort of amazes me that Cori would agree to be on the show because she comes off so horribly, but I suppose she doesn’t even realize how awful she is (or she thinks she’s not awful). Maybe in hindsight she’ll realize it. Or it’ll come back to haunt her. I only hope the show doesn’t end just because Liz graduates. It might be interesting to see Taylor next year.

Caprica

I was hesitant to try this series, largely because I haven’t seen any of Battlestar Galactica and although this series is able to stand on its own, I know there are things I am missing, small details and hints from the show. That’s part of the fun of prequels, seeing how the things we already know came about. That being said, I decided to try this series anyway, because I’ve seen so much about it and I got curious. (It helps that part 1 of the first episode was free on iTunes.) Plus, there are so few sci-fi series staying on TV that I’m on the lookout for new ones.

I’ve seen the first four episodes of the show so far and I’m a little torn. On the one hand, there’s a lot of interesting ideas getting thrown around, which is a staple of sci-fi shows and part of what is so fascinating about those shows. They enable you to examine things that are relevant to today’s times but in a different light. The questions that Caprica brings up about religion, revenge, artificial intelligence, culture, and mourning are worth examining and the show does a good job of it. At the same time, the characters need a little more depth. It would have been nice to get to know the real Zoe a little better before she was replaced by her Avatar as it would have been nice to get to know the other characters before seeing them all go through grief. We don’t know what’s been lost so the sympathy for them is more generic “it’s sad to lose a family member” than it is caring for them specifically. I feel sorrier for Tamra, lost in the virtual world than I do for some of the “real” characters. Of course, the question of reality and what it means to be a live are part of the point of the series so maybe that’s how it should be in some ways.

I still feel like I’m missing something. I know that there are characters who are descendants of the ones we are watching and I don’t know which ones they are or who they become, but I haven’t found a good way to watch Battlestar (without having to rent the billions of episodes in the series) and I don’t really want to read a summary of the show either. I guess I will have to keep looking but for now I think Caprica is worth the time to watch.

It’s early in the show still so now is the time to catch up. Caprica’s ratings have pretty much sucked so far but there’s been no word of cancellation yet so maybe they’ll bring it back for another season.

America’s Best Dance Crew: Week 2

This week the theme is music videos. They have to take big moments (signature dance sequence) in popular videos to recreate within their dance. The actual video will be playing at the same time which is kind of silly.

This week, the bottom two crews will fight for their lives. Two top voted crews will be guaranteed to next week. The two crews that are on top and are guaranteed to next week are Poreotix and Jungle Boogie.

Poreotix is first doing Umbrella by Rhianna. I don’t know if I’d consider that iconic but okay. The dance sequence does look cooler with a group instead of just Rhianna alone. There wasn’t as much of their signature moves and a lot of Rhianna. They’re good and talented but I don’t know that choreography is their strength, it’s more like they’re just a bunch of good dancers. JC says they’re funny with great reveals. They weren’t completely in sync on the umbrella parts. Fun but not super complicated. Lil Mama made it fun, they’re charismatic. Good but could be better. Omarion said he wanted something different, bring it to life more maybe.

Jungle Boogie is second getting Shakira’s Give It Up To Me, also not something I’d consider iconic but I do love step. I’m not sure. I was impressed by some parts but there wasn’t enough of their style either. (I’m surprised Shakira can step.) Rocky looked slightly awkward with the step. Lil Mama says she’s strong and powerful. She liked their appreciation of art and dance. Omarion wants to rock with Rocky. He’s surprised about the added “sexy-game.” JC thought OK but there were some off moments. He notes that some of the step moves were done tentatively (not something you can do, it has to be all out).

Static Noyze is assigned Little Boots’s “New in Town.” They use shopping carts as props. This group managed to add a lot of flare to their routine despite having to include so much of the video. Omarion says they looked like they have fun. He wished they were more creative with the carts. JC says they made them feel like they were watching the video. One of the girls “came out of it” a little. Lil Mama thought they took the challenge to the next level. Brilliant utilization of the prop in the beginning. They’re very in unison.

Saltare gets “Skake It” by Metro Station. I wonder how they will do this one with the jump ropes or if they will incorporate the jump ropes into the moves. Their rehearsal looks a mess. After the beginning where they seemed to have totally messed up, they do a pretty good job. I don’t think the beat for this song was so great in general. JC says they messed up in the start but they pushed through and made the rest work. This is the risk of using the jump ropes. Omarion is surprised. Don’t let it happen again. Lil Mama wants to see them prevail. The jump ropes add an extra challenge every week. (I will say it seems like a strategical mistake to have the girls doing that particular move when it likely would have made more sense to have a guy flipping the girl, which is how that move is typically done.)

Heavy Impact gets Colby Odonis’s “What You Got” which has popping (something that is particularly hard on a bigger body). I sort of feel like they did a good job but it didn’t look like popping it just looked like dancing. Omarion says “aight,” he most enjoys their grooving and vibing. They made more faces than popping. Lil Mama says they stepped it up from last week. They dominated. She loved it. JC says the mood was good but he didn’t love the popping but he did like the locking. It was ok.

Hype 5-0, the last safe crew, is given “Three” by Britney Spears. Again, if I were to think iconic video and Britney, that isn’t the one I would pick. It looked like they were going faster than the video (but in tune with the music, which is confusing). I think this was great. Lil Mama says the competition is just getting started. They got the hair and the drama of Britney. JC likes the use of the stage. Work on their levels more. (JC seems to be the unpopular judge.) The dismount was sloppy in one move. Omarion disagrees with JC. It was sexy but he felt it. He liked the girl on girl kiss. (I didn’t even notice it.)

Now for the battle for safety. Royal Flush first with “Evacuate the Dance Floor” by Cascada. The girl is having a difficult time with the break dance section. But come performance time she’s got it. They’re personal stuff is eh but their video portion is done well.

Blue Print Cru gets Omarion’s “I Get It In.” This seems unfair. Though I’m not sure if it’s an advantage or disadvantage. They’re off on a few sections but considering the difficulty of some moves it was pretty impressive.

Lil Mama thinks Royal Flush had a good performance and were tight. They played off the music well. The made the floor work work. Omarion thinks Blue Print Cru did really well. He was impressed (even with their couple issues). JC says Royal Flush had a hot open (battle faces on) but it died in the middle. Blue Print Cru is always tight and precise. Two great performances from two strong crews that are underappreciated. Underappreciated of not, the judges will have to choose someone to send home.

Do we really need a recap of the judge’s critique when we saw it two minutes ago. The crew going on through is…Blue Print Cru. No surprise even with the mistakes, they aren’t gimmicky like Royal Flush. We get it, you have cards but get over it.

(I don’t like how much less critique the bottom two get when theoretically they need it most. I also don’t like how much of the music video’s choreography that they had to incorporate.)

American Idol Top 24

Well, having watched this week (I wanted to recap but just haven’t had the time) I have to say I was less than impressed. The judges kept saying that this year’s pool of talent is the best yet, but I just didn’t see it. I know, they have to say that. So You Think You Can Dance says the same thing every year. But whereas I would agree with SYTYCD it’s generally true that the talent is even better, I didn’t see it here. There were only a handful of performances that I thought were any good, which was surprising to me. I expected to enjoy the vast majority. So if people were talking about Simon’s unusual harshness, consider that there was simply more to critique this week.

That being said, there were a few comments by him that made me think, I know it’s sad that Simon is leaving but I think it’s time. If you notice, the one comment he said over and over again was “I’ve seen it before” to which I kept wanting to say, “of course you’ve seen it before, you’ve been judging the show for how many years and have seen how many auditions and performances? What are the odds that you wouldn’t have seen it before!” Because if we’re being honest with ourselves, rarely does American Idol churn out someone particularly unique, they just discover people who are talented and charismatic. I got the feeling that Simon is over American Idol, it was boring to him now, and if that’s how he’s feeling then maybe it’s better to have someone new and excited about being on the show. (I wouldn’t be opposed to replacing Randy as well. There are more things to music than “pitchy!”)

As far as Ellen goes, I was very skeptical about her coming on the show. Part of the value of the judges is that they have the ear and experience to know what does and doesn’t work. Their opinion holds a lot of sway and while at times America doesn’t take their advice, I think there are a number of times where their commentary is the reason someone gets sent home. (Probably in particular about contestants that they are on the edge about.) But, I was surprisingly pleased with Ellen. She hasn’t been particularly funny (minus the occasional odd remark) but it’s nice to hear a representation of “America’s opinion” among the judges. It’s always strange to hear something, think it’s great, and then find out that the judges hated it.

Allison Iraheta’s performance on the results show was so-so. I think she’s incredibly talented but all the songs she’s been given as an actual recording artist don’t show off her voice and are a little too childish. My friend and I were listening to her album once and noticed that virtually every song talked about texting and the web. It’s a shame for her songs to be so weak when she’s so strong.

Kris Allen on the other hand had a great performance. I love the song “Let It Be” so unless it’s poorly sung, I’m easy to please.

I don’t know why they feel the need to slightly adjust the format every year. It doesn’t make it any more exciting. I dislike this year’s format of cutting four people a week. I’d prefer a Top 20 with eliminating one guy and one girl per week than a Top 24 and cutting 4 people for the first few weeks. It’s so early on in the show that we haven’t had a chance to learn about the contestants, get to know them. Some have gotten a lot of air time during auditions and gained a fan base, others are relatively unknown. It would be nice for them to do what SYTYCD this past season of having a performance night that does not involve an elimination so we can just hear each person and get to know about them.

A last note, I was shocked that Tim Urban made it through to the next round. I agree with Simon about the assessment that he shouldn’t be in the Top 24. I guess he’s cute so that may have gotten him votes but really, he was awful.

Well, the first week is always difficult so I’m hoping that next week is a little better.

Lost: Lighthouse

AW Jack comes home and is getting cleaned up. He finds a scar he doesn’t recognize. His phone rings and it is his mom asking about his dad’s body. It hadn’t been found yet. They’re also missing his dad’s will. He asks when his appendix was taken out. When he was 7 or 8. He doesn’t remember. He has to go though. He drives to St. Mary’s Academy and finds his son waiting for him at school.

Regular Jack is staring at the water and in walks the Master. He was afraid Jack has left. Is that even an option? Jin, Kate, and Sawyer are likely not coming back. Hugo and Miles play tic tac toe meanwhile and then decide to get food. There’s a guy sitting at the pool. It’s Jacob. Isn’t he dead? He tells Hugo he needs him to do stuff and should write them down. Someone is coming to the island and he needs Hurley to help them find it.

AW Jack’s son is too busy with his headphones to listen to his dad. His son is reading Alice. Jack tries to bond with David over that but his son walks out. What is David listening to anyway? He just wants to get through their once a month together. Jack’s phone rings and it’s his mom. Jack needs to go over but David doesn’t want to come.

Sayid comes up to Jack wondering why everyone is staring at him. Sayid wonders why Jack disappeared after telling him not to take the pill. They say that whatever happened to Sayid happened to someone else…

Claire checks that the guyd are dead and then helps Jin out of the trap. She’s been out in the woods for three years, since they all left. She wants to get him somewhere safe but he faints.

Hugo is following Jacob’s instructions down a strange hieroglyphic covered corridor. The master catches him and tells him to leave. Jacob tells Hurley to say that he’s a candidate and can go where he wants. The master wants to know who told him but he leaves. Jacob tells Hugo he has to bring Jack. How?

Hugo goes to Jack and tells him to act natural. He does a cloak and dagger about leaving. Jacob told him to tell Jack that he has what it takes. Jack would know what that means. Where is Jacob? Kind of dead, he shows up whenever he wants but if you want to talk to him he’ll be where they’re going.

Jin wakes up on an old mattress. His leg doesn’t look good. He calls for Claire. There are many things around: a baby basket, explosives, a paddle. Claire brought one of them men who tried to kill Jin. Claire hadn’t killed him. Claire wants to know where her son is. They need to clean Jin’s wound. Has she been alone all this time alone? She says she’s not alone. She leaves and the man who tried to kill Jin says they need to go. He says Claire is going to kill them both if they don’t escape.

Jack and Hurley are sweat-filled and hiking when they find Kate. Who pulls a gun on them until she realizes it’s him. She’s looking for Claire. Something has happened to Claire. Kate is determined to find her. Jack suggests she come but Hugo says it can only be the two of them. She hopes he finds what he’s looking for and heads her own way, always a good idea on the island.

AW Jack arrives at his mom’s house and they look for the will. She offers him a drink but he turns it down. Good for him. How’s David? He was really upset at the funeral. (Did Jack always have a son?) David doesn’t communicate well, just like Jack at his age. But he was afraid of his dad. Maybe David is afraid of him. They find the will. Jack, there’s a Claire Littleton in the will!

Claire is doing some strange things like sharpening her ax. The would be killer wants Jin to release him. Claire comes in and apologizes for hurting Jin and she helps clean the wound. She’s been hiding from the Others. She wants him to tell him where Aaron is. He says they’ve never taken him. She’s sure they did. Multiple people have told her that they’ve taken Aaron. Her father and her friend. What friend? Jin are you still her friend? Of course. She is not the Claire we all knew and loved. Now it’s the Other’s turn.

Jack and Hurley are hiking and Hurley apologizes for “wrecking his game with Kate.” Whatever happened with them anyway? Hurley thinks Jack would make a great dad. Jack finds an asthma inhaler. Shannon’s. They remember the bodies that were in those caves. (I don’t.) What if they time traveled to dinosaur times and died and were buried there. Could the skeletons be them? Jack sees something and they talk about how they found the place. Jack was chasing his father’s ghost. The coffin is what he’s looking at.

AW Jack brings home pizza and soda. He calls for David but the place is empty. Jack waits up for David, calls his cell. He apologizes on the voicemail. He goes to his ex-wife’s to look for him (he still knows where the key is) but it looks like this house is empty as well. He discovers that his son is studying Chopin. And that he has pictures of the two of them up. He listens to the answering machine and there’s a message from a Conservatory confirming David’s appointment for an audition.

Hurley and Jack are still hiking. Old school. Hugo has a question. Why did he come back to the island? Why did Hurley? Because Jacob popped into his cab and told him to. Jack came back because…he was broken and thought the island could fix him. Hugo apologizes and Jack wants to know how much further. Not far. There it is in fact. A lighthouse. How have they never seen it before? They weren’t looking for it.

Claire asks where her son is. She’s holding the ax. She doesn’t believe him. They branded her and tortured her. Jin explains that Kate took Aaron with her off the island. Aaron is 3 now. The Other says he had nothing to do with it. He won’t tell anyone that he saw her. She starts crying and kills him anyway. Jin watches in shock.

The lighthouse looms. Jack and Hurley try to get inside but it’s jammed. Jack kicks it in.

AW Jack shows up to the conservatory audition where David is conveniently already auditioning. He’s very good. Jack watches him play and nearly starts crying. Some boy tells him that David is very good. It’s the master’s son? They discuss how their children are too young to have such pressure. How long has David been playing? Jack doesn’t know.

Jack and Hurley reach the top of the house. Now to turn it on. (It’s a mirror because there was no electricity when it was made.) Jacob isn’t around yet. There are crossed out names on the lighthouse thing. Jack sees his reflection and then something else flashes across. Jack notices the names and moves the arrow to his name. There’s an image of his childhood home in the mirror. Jack realizes that Jacob has been watching everyone all along. Where is Jacob? He doesn’t know. Why was he watching? Ask Jacob now. But he’s not here. Jack takes the telescope and smashes the mirror when he doesn’t get his answers.

In Aw, David is outside getting his bike when Jack comes to tell him he’s great. He says he missed a little but Jack says he sounded perfect. He was scared when he didn’t see him. David thought he could get home before Jack returned. He didn’t want Jack to know he played because he always made such a big deal about it. He didn’t want to fail in front of Jack. Jack talks about how his dad told him he didn’t have what it takes. He doesn’t want David to feel that way. He just wants to be part of his life. They go home for pizza.

Jack stares off at the water. They’re beside the lighthouse now. Jacob arrives to see how it went. Jack wouldn’t have been able to seen Jacob anyway. Jacob says whoever needed to come to the island will find another way. (Aka, they accomplished what they wanted, which Hugo realizes.) It was the only way for him to realize how important he is. He has to find what he has to do himself. Hurley wants to know everything up front. He had to get them away from the temple because someone bad is going to erupt. It’s too late to warn them.

Jin stares at the dead guy and Claire says he would have killed her. She hands him some water and he says he lied about Kate raising Aaron. He says the Others have Aaron at the temple. He saw him. (Why Jin?) How do you get in? There’s a secret way. She thanks him. If Kate had really raised Aaron, she’d kill her. In comes fake Locke. Claire knows it isn’t John, it’s her friend.

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Greek: Love, Actually, Probably, Maybe…or Not

The Valentine’s Day episode. A professor gives them a speech about how Valentine’s Day began. (It’s actually interesting to hear that it began because of a letter that St. Valentine wrote.) She’s clearly having some issues though as she digresses about cheap boyfriends. Rusty and Ashleigh discuss whether or not they will be celebrating with friends. All of his friends have dates. Rusty has one friend left: Ashleigh. Actually, she has the Omega Chai Day Dance. Rusty’s surfe he’ll have the best VD.

Casey and Cappie play archery. They discuss how awful freshman year VD was. Cappie says he will get her the best gift ever. He thinks she thinks he’s the worst boyfriend ever because he doesn’t do chocolates. He plans to get her the most romantic VD gift ever.

Calvin finds the door locked and walks in to find Grant giving himself a makeover. That’s so uncomfortable, even for Calvin.

Pan Helenic meeting. Katherine discusses wanting to sell VD bears. She invites everyone else to a single ladies event but there are no takers. Casey offers to sell the bears herself but Katherine turns her down.

Lots of flowers in the ZBZ house. In comes Casey to fill Ashleigh in on the meeting. (Dale still has a crush on Casey.) Katherine is spending VD all alone so Casey wants to get her a date. Maybe she’d appreciate it and they can be friends again. Ashleigh suggests Rusty, they’re awkward, Greek, and nerdy. Evan brings a bear for Rebecca but she is not a fan of VD. They can make fun of people at the party. That will be fun right?

Calvin and RUsty discuss how seeing so much of his bf is a little much. Rusty is still looking for a girl. Calvin says the expectation is the worst part. Rusty spots a girl and goes up to ask her out but it bombs. (Awkwardly.)

Ashleigh with her new guy when Omega Chai president, Natalie interrupts. She’s upset that he’s taking Ashleigh. She says he’s a cheater and he’s upset. (Even though he said they should see other people.) So is Ashleigh. And here she thought he had no Fischer-like qualities. (It sounds like Natalie set this up knowing Ashleigh’s issues.)

KTT is trying to help Rusty get people’s numbers but nothing comes of it. Cappie worries about getting Casey a gift. Rusty says he’s over it until Casey comes in with Katherine as an option. He’s in!

KTT prepares for their party. Rusty wants to know what Katherine is like. Katherine wants to set up a pre-date. Cappie worries about pleasing Casey. Rusty says it comes from the heart.

Ashleigh and Casey shop for the party. Rebecca is there too, picking out something for Evan’s party. Casey says to ignore Natalie about Pete. She’s evil. Ashleigh agrees to give Pete a second chance. They spot Cappie in the lingerie section and she points out that lingerie is more of a gift for him than her. He says it’s for Beaver. Cappie challenges her to finding the most romantic gift. She agrees. GAME ON!

Calvin comes in to Evan’s room where he catches Evan shopping. He’s trying to convince Rebecca that he cares for her. She’s the first person to get him and not to treat him like a bad guy. She deserves something special. Calvin wants to hide his gift for Calvin in Evan’s room. Calvin is concerned about the others being upset with him being out.

Date time. Katherine has a notebook, of course. It’s awkward! She’s staring at her notebook. He tries to make some bad joke about politics being poli sci. Katherine is not making it easy, she doesn’t say anything more than one word answers. It’s so uncomfortable.

Casey is upset at how badly the date went. Too bad Ashleigh and Casey will be in different places. Katherine shows up to discuss this Rusty incident. How could you imagine they would get along? They did! Her’s so smart and handsome. She wants the “dets” about him. She’s so thrilled to have a friend like Casey. She has to go prepare her wardrobe! Casey is probably wondering if they were at the same date.

Casey visits Rusty as he prepares for VD alone. Dale got a card for Casey. Rusty is surprised about Katherine. He’d rather have no memories than one-word answer girl. Casey begs him to do it and he agrees. With free access to her car. She agrees. Pretend to like Katherine please.

Natalie finds Ashleigh to apologize about Pete. Natalie wants them to be friends. Pete’s called her every day for the last few weeks. (Which house is number one now?)

Cappie made Casey three presents now. A plant, a god’s eye with ZBZ colors, and a macaroni necklace (he cooked the macaroni). Nothing doing. The party’s in an hour.

Calvin and Grant are getting dressed. It’s been tough between them, Grant wants to spice things up. (Evan mentioned the conversation.) He wants to surprise him.

At ZBZ the guys arrive. Ashleigh wants to see Pete’s cell and he says he’s called Natalie a bunch of times to get his textbook back. Evan gives Rebecca her gift. It looks like a big deal. I can’t tell if she actually likes it or not at first but I think she realized he spent what little moeny he had one her. All’s well with Ashleigh and Pete. Casey seems nervous. Cappie arrives and she asks about exchanging gifts but he says they should wait until the end of the day. Rusty wants to get the date over when in comes Katherine looking amazing. She tells Rusty he looks dapper himself. Moving on. Cappie is staring a little too much.

At the KTTs, Katherine is nervous. Casey is surprised. They’re offered jello shots. One of the guys is dating an old woman. Everyone is making otu, what are Rusty and Katherine to do? Shoot some arrows of course. Rusty was surprised that Katherine wanted to come to a KT party, it doesn’t seem like her. She says it’s intimidating. She was being one-worded because the quickest way to get to know someone is to let them do all the talking. Interesting. Rusty misses his first shot. Katherine gets a bull eyes. She made the Olympic trials at 11. She demonstrates how to shoot ( gender role reversal) and he gets a bull’s eye.

Calvin sees Ashleigh for the first time in a while at the party. In comes Grant, looking hot. Well, so says Ashleigh, not my thing at all. It’s like a purple velvet suit. When he walks ago they discuss it’s awfulness. Natalie flirts with Pete and Ashleigh gets nervous.

A pledge stole a gift for Cappie to give to Casey. Time to give the gift then. A bottle of vodka. She’s not happy. So he pretends it was a gag gift. They are both clearly stalling for time.

Natalie finds Pete again to apologize about earlier. She says the worst time ever was VD when she was nine. She says her dad died. Ashleigh interrupts to point out that the story is from the Gremlins. But Pete seems to have fallen for it and goes to get her some water.

Rusty admits to Katherine that its his first VD and Katherine admits its hers too. She rarely dates or goes to parties. She got into law school and she’s terrified. She wants to fit the entire college experience into one semester. Rusty understands exactly. Casey worries the other way, did she wait too long to find things beyond ZBZ. Katherine says she’s doing fine. They all have regrets but she doesn’t think she’ll regret this. Until he let’s slip that he wasn’t going to take the second date. Casey says she wants to be her friend, she respects her. Katherine wants one reason why she should forgive her and then gets shot by an arrow.

In the hospital they all wait for Katherine. Rusty it upset because he likes her. Dale is there because his date had a retainer accident. Katherine is on strong painkillers and a little loopy but the arrow was blunt edge so she’s okay. She says Casey went to so much trouble to be her friend, no one has ever done that before. Rusty offers to walk her home.

Rebecca sees Calvin moping. Grant’s missing. Rebecca tells him not to be upset that he’s experimenting with the gay lifestyle. Rebecca likes the necklace and Calvin tells her what Evan said. Finding out that Evan sees a future with her is more commitment than she’s ready for.

Ashleigh interrupts Pete and Natalie talking. Natalie tries to make Ashleigh look bad but Pete doesn’t believe her and it makes Natalie look like an idiot in the end. (He doesn’t believe that she burned the Gamma Psi house down,) He was upset about the cheater thing. How about they promise not to hurt each other. They kiss.

Calvin finds the door locked again and comes in to find their room decked out in rose petals. Calvin wants to be as brave as Grant as a gay. Well, relationship troubles over. Evan interrupts in search of Rebecca.

Rusty walks Katherine to her room. (Her roommate is a weirdo.) She says she’s sometimes socially awkward. She’s sorry for being a bad Valentine but they both agree it was their best VD ever. They want to kiss but her arm in a sling is in the way so she runs back into her room.

Rebecca is getting drunk outside at the KT party. Rebecca suggests going to Beaver’s room.

Casey and Cappie decide to exchange gifts. She bought lingerie just for him. She admits how hard a gift is. He took her to the quickie mart that they went to when they were freshman. It was the moment when he fell for her. He’s loved her every day since. That’s his gift. She says it’s perfect. Cappie so won.

Make It Or Break It: The Great Wall

Emily finds Damon at the Shack. Razor apparently has gotten another Roadie gig. (Does that mean the actor has found yet another TV show?) Damon needs the money to pay off the cost of the stolen equipment. They debate how much of a loser he is (let me resolve it for you, very much so). His charges were dropped though. In walks Leo (you know a character is coming back when they’re in the “previously on” despite not being in the show for weeks). He just got home for break, he was supposed to go to Africa but his parents need him because Alex moved out. I do feel the need to point out that he’s supposed to be coaching at the Rock now. Wasn’t that what the half-season finale said?

Kaylie stares longingly at a family picture when her mom walks in. Ronnie is trying to be really nice but Kaylie doesn’t want her to. Ronnie thinks they just need some time but it’s been a month. Kaylie thinks Alex hates her but Ronnie assures her that he doesn’t and that nothing is her fault. Does Ronnie still love Alex? Yes. Does he still love Ronnie? I hope so… Kaylie points out that even love doesn’t mean he can forgive her.

Leo came by for pizza and a hello with Emily. Emily assures him that they’re not dating. A lot has happened since Nationals. Leo says they’re robbed. Sasha says not going to China ends their Olympic hopes. (Right. Cause that’s how the sport works–or any sport. An international event years before the Olympics determines the Olympic team. Dude, half the people who will be competing aren’t even eligible to compete in this event yet due to age. Think on that.) The conversation turns to Payson’s surgery. Will Payson ever be able to compete again?

Sasha is pushing the group Kaylie and then Emily are the fastest but they’re not good enough so he tells them enough. So he points out how Payson never complained. And here she comes running to join them. She’s dropped a minute and she can do better, she’s going again. She’s back. (As Sasha points out, that’s the attitude of a champion.) Why is he working them so hard? Because they didn’t go to China? No. China is coming to the Rock for an in-house competition.

Carter and Kaylie discuss China. Shock! If the Chinese win they don’t beat the best if Kaylie isn’t there. When they beat them at the Rock, the committee won’t be ab;e to play politics. Carter also assures her that he’s moved on but he’s around if she needs.

Emily is doing a vault. And falls on her back. What happened to getting over the fear of the vault? Remind me when we actually did that? He gives her rough words about letting the whole team down and Payson reassures her that she’ll be fine. Easy to say when she’s not competing. She wishes she could! About a month probably until she can train again. Better to be safe than sorry yet. Payson just can’t stand wondering if she can do everything. She plans to do better.

Kim talks to a realtor about selling. Payson’s surgery was expensive (insurance didn’t cover it because it wasn’t expensive). The market is bad now, can you wait?

The moms discuss 2-3 weeks of fundraising for bringing the Chinese. They need to raise $30,000 for everything. (Food, lodging, transportation.) Chloe sounds like an idiot, so nothing unusual. Kim comes in late and is upset about the continued discussion about money. Bringing the Chinese is necessary. Kim is concerned about alienating the community. Payson’s career isn’t in jeopardy. They discuss Ronnie’s affair with Marty. So, fundraising ideas.

Kim talks to Mark about the money. Physical therapy is expensive. What if things don’t work out. Payson is at the therapist. Payson says she feels great. When can she start training? She can start…tomorrow. If she takes it easy. She won’t be the gymnast she was at first so she needs to measure her expectations. But when her mom asks when she can start she says she was told she’s not ready yet. (Is that fear?)

Sasha is working out when Summer comes in to suggest Bingo. They flirt a little. She’s excited about it. Sasha hasn’t even invited China yet. He’s sure they’ll come. He knows them. They’ll feel obligated to defend their victory. Summer is upset because they trust him. Sasha is sure the girls going to China can’t beat the Chinese. Summer points out that Sasha’s reputation as well as the Rock’s is on the line, not just the girl’s careers.

Emily whines about her ineptitude with Damon because she can’t do her vault. She for one doesn’t want to let her team down. Damon takes that as a personal slight. In comes the Cruz family. Chloe suggests the Shack for Bingo. Ronnie doesn’t like it. Sasha will find out that Emily has a job, Sure enough, in comes Summer. Leo offers Emily his sweatshirt. (Ronnie might notice that.) What if the moms tell? Summer is apparently the gossip in the group. Ronnie’s mean to her about it. She’s the one who told Sasha about Ronnie and Marty.

Emily is shocked that Leo has a scholarship. What Emily, you think you’re the only one who can get one of those? Leo is apparently a genius. He got a perfect Sat score. Damon is not thrilled to serve them. Carter is also working there. They ask about when Payson can start. She says she doesn’t know. She’s clearly avoiding. (Afraid!) Payson gets up to “check out the jukebox.” Kaylie is jealous of Carter as he flirts with other girls. Damon and Emily talk about Damon’s jerkiness. Damon can’t feel good about being with Emily if he’s not proud of himself.

Leo and Kaylie talk about how she’s being hard on Ronnie. She’s like Alex, tough on those with weakness because they hate their own weaknesses. Leo thinks people make mistakes. The people who love you most need your forgiveness, if you can’t you’ll end up alone.

Emily and Damon discuss Damon’s choice about not selling his songs. He points out that following his dream and selling his songs to the highest bidder aren’t the same thing. (Ok, point well taken.) He also points out that just like she’s doing her gymnastics her own way (job, boyfriend, etc), he needs to work for his dream his own way. Basically, she’s a hypocrite.

Sasha says good morning to Summer but she ignores him. She’s not in the mood. She’s not okay lying to the mothers. She can’t do this? The job or what’s happening to them? She thinks she should move on after the invitational. Kim probably will move on. Sasha insists the US will lose. The mete is on now and the US is winning. (We do see a 13 year old leading the Chinese team.) Did China win? Sasha apologizes to them about leading them to believe that China would come. China won! They will come. Time to really pick up the training. Kaylie recorded the event so they can watch. They can watch the Olympics and Emily finally thinks she can manage. Payson says they’ll all make it. How’d Lauren do? Payson is sure China will come.

Sasha makes a public statement “apologizing” to China and invites them to invite them to the Rock. Kim is surprised Summer went along with Sasha’s deception.

Chloe offers centerpieces but Ronnie is too particular. Damon is nicer to Leo. Emily apologizes for being mean. She can’t be around someone who will suddenly drop out. He says she can trust him. She says she ran after him. She “opened her heart which is really hard for her to do.” He asks her not to give up on her. Kaylie overhears and asks if Damon and her are over. Stop pushing each other away. What’s that about? You tell me, you and Carter. Does trying to be perfect screw up relationships?

Payson wants to know why there’s a for sale sign in front of the house. Payson needs a job so she asks Emily about getting a job. Kaylie offers her endorsement but she turns it down. (If only her parents had let her take the sponsorship money.) Chloe suggests rigging the lottery for them.

Summer asks Sasha to come to the fundraiser. The Chinese have not responded yet. He begins to wonder if he was wrong. Will they still believe in him? Of course because he believes in them most. She tells him not to lose faith. Maybe he should pray? He asks her to say one. For the girls. She already has. For the girls and her.

Bingo night has arrived. It’s packed but she hopes it isn’t all for nothing. Kim apologizes for being so hard on Summer. She’s been stressed. Summer says she won’t betray her values again. Kim asks if anything is happening between them. Summer says they don’t share the same beliefs. Summer says it would be weird for Lauren. Now time for the big jackpot. It’s over $20,000. Half to the winner, half to Rock. Kim doesn’t want to play but Kaylie insists. Kaylie acts strangely. Everyone is happy to help the Keelers win. Kim is sure she won’t win but the woman beside her says maybe tonight.

Sasha sits nervously in his office when he gets a call from China. The national committee calls and they are furious. They say they won’t let the Chinese come. They spoke to the coach who doesn’t want to mess up relations with the US. And there will be consequences to the stunt. He gets another call as he’s about to leave.

Kim is getting excited but Chloe’s ruined the napkin with the numbers on it. Ronnie checks in and they pass the number around as Chloe stalls. But telephone is never the best way to pass information. But they do manage and Kim is thrilled. Good thing the evidence was destroyed.

Summer comes to Sasha’s trailer and knocks on the door. News? The fundraiser made $10,000 for the Rock and $10,000 to the Keelers. And China has accepted their invitation. He wants to kiss her, she says she can’t, but they do anyway. Of course. Screw Lauren.

Ronnie is cleaning up when in walks Kaylie to say the decorations looked nice. It was a good night. And Ronnie has something to show her: the Seventeen shoot. Kaylie says she’s far from perfect. That’s their reconciliation moment.

Leo talks to Emily about the move she can’t get. The landing scares her because she can’t see her landing. You can’t always see where you’re landing. He can help her with the move if she wants. She hugs him as a thank you and Damon walks in with his guitar. Carter tells him not to assume it’s something. Damon is upset because Leo has everything. Damon goes to the recording studio.

Carter teases Kaylie about washing the dishes so she throws soap at him. Flirting with dish soap. Kaylie kisses him. (Sorry Sarah, you can forget that dream of Carter going.)

Kim is thrilled about the money. The physical therapist calls to wonder how Payson is. She’s had the go-ahead to train for a week now.

So obviously, Payson is in the gym, in the dark (because if you’re worried about safety, clearly training in the dark is the way to go), about to go and thinking about her fall. She steps aware from the bars and walks away.