Lauren is being interviewed about her awful performance in China. She says she had a stomach flu. Emily’s interview isn’t going as well since they don’t know her name. Payson isn’t up to competition level but she will be supporting her team on the floor and she plans to win Nationals next year.
Kaylie isn’t around yet. MJ is telling her this is the better decision. This is an individual quest for gold, not all of her teammates are supporting her. MJ want her to lay low. She owes no one an explanation.
Kim gives them some information about greeting the Chinese. Where is Kaylie! How rude not to be around to greet them. They look like kids. Gymnastics is all they know. They’re robots.
Kaylie isn’t coming, they are informed by the National Committee. Sasha announces this to everyone. As a result that Rachel Culter will be in her place. Now introducing the Chinese. They’re not happy but Sasha assures them they will still have a good fight. The Chinese will bury the team and then Sasha! (How exactly?)
At the Shack Carter and Damon discuss Emily’s rudeness to Damon. He has to leave tomorrow but he wants to talk to her. He doesn’t want to get in the way of her meet. She might feel differently if she knew he was leaving for half a year. He’ll leave her a note for when she comes to pick up her paycheck.
Lauren and Carter comes to talk to Kaylie and explain what happened. Lauren explains that he was homeless. Kaylie points out that Lauren broke the one condition that she gave. Carter says she shouldn’t use this for the Chinese meet. They need her. This time Kaylie is looking out for herself. Carter begs her to believe him but she shuts him down.
Emily works on her vault but suddenly can no longer make it. She’s working with Leo who is defending Kaylie. Emily points out that what she’s losing is more than what Kaylie would lose. She’s come too far ot be passed over. No one is going to get in her way. She never should have been seeing anyone. Does she need a ride home? He takes her to the Shack where she goes to grab her stuff. Leo meanwhile sees the note Damon left her and hides it. (Like mother like son?)
Ronnie asks Sasha for a favor. Her mistake has ruined her life and she thinks Kaylie is getting bad advice. Can he talk to her? He’s done what he could. Sasha is the only man in her life. Sasha goes to talk to Alex about talking to Kaylie. Stop having a pity party and act like a father. Alex slams the door on him.
Emily is going to go back to her old landing. She can’t go out of her comfort zone. She wishes Payson was competing. Payson says she isn’t ready. She still can’t go on bars. She can’t even touch them. Emily told someone she loved them for the first time. Talk about out of your comfort zone.
The National Committee head wants to talk to them when in comes Alex. She wants to say they all appreciate Kaylie, she’s an asset. Why didn’t they take Kaylie then? She claims it was unwinnable to the idea was to protect her. They want everyone to see her as a winner. Alex seems agreeable enough but the second she leaves he says she’s pompous and he thinks she should compete. You’re a gymnast, none of the reasons she gave was a good one. No one thinks she can win and she thinks they’re right. The second she won everyone was saying it was a fluke and she’s terrified of having to prove I wasn’t. She was born to do this! She can’t run away! Alex tells her to face her fear.
The meet begins and in comes the Chinese walking weird and robotically. I know this is meant to make a point but it is just weird the way they are moving their hands. Then comes the Rock girls. Sasha explains that younger gymnasts have the advantage of being fearless. In comes Kaylie. She gives them a pep talk about how their fear it their passion and though they are family.
The meet begins and the Chinese are killing it. Just to point out, the girl who is “in a league of her own” is only .1 ahead of her teammates. That is not a league of her own. Kaylie’s turn and what the show ignores is the fact that under the new rules the step after a tumbling passing loses points. This time around we get to see a little more of Kaylie’s actually gymnastics and Kaylie comes in second on floor. The Rock needs five medals to top the National team’s performance. Once of the Chinese tells Kaylie she did good considering her old age. Also her routine ending is new so that shows how she’s changed her entire routine.
Emily is up on vault and she’s going to do the blind landing. No more fear, trust, Payson tells her. And of course she lands it perfectly to which the crowd goes while. Emily gets a third on vault. This competition doesn’t make anything.
Bars and beam now. Chinese wondergirl is first. She knows how good she is (receiving a 16.9) and skips of. Kaylie and bars and Lauren on beam now. They both need to medal to make Sasha’s strategy pay off. Umm…sure. Both stick their landings though Lauren hurt herself on the dismount. Kaylie didn’t break the top three on bars but Lauren comes in first on beam. Lauren collapses as she gets off the mat. Can Lauren do her bars routine? (She can still do bars you only need your foot for dismount which people have done well before. Chelsie Memmel anyone?) Sasha calls Payson on for Bars. This makes zero sense but I expected no less. She can’t possibly do a competitive routine without having done it at all since her come back. Can she even do her normal difficulty level on the other ones? They did say no fears so I guess Payson will have to face hers now. (I would like to point out that Payson’s injury has little-to-nothing to do with her bars so the fear of bars is a little silly. Gymnastics as a whole is what hurt her as is evident by the times we saw her in pain on floor and vault as well.)
Payson isn’t ready. But it will inspire her team. She can’t, she’s afraid. Her teammates support her. Payson looks like she’s going to cry but she unzips her jacket. She’s about to cry as she puts on her grips and chalks up but it’s Payson. History in the making (not exactly) with Payson competing since her injurt. Payson is scared but with Emily and Sasha she gets on. Alls well now. She does a whole two moves and finishes, receiving the applause of the crowd and hugs of her teammates. Even Kelly Parker and the national team committee head applaud. They say Payson’s never looked better. The Rock is fired up. Will this rattle China? No. Why would it? Lauren comes in second in beam now.
Emily gets up on bars now. Four will tie the national team in Beijing. Kelly is sure Emily can’t do it. Trust. Trust. She’s fine of course, her inexperience does not show. The graphics for this part were pretty cool actually. Lauren is even saying it was awesome. Emily made it into second. This is as good as Kelly Parker did in Beijing. Proof that Sasha was right.
Kaylie has beam. If she medals here the Rock wins. Sasha tells her to add a triple twist. This is for her. Going for the gold. Now. He thinks she can win it. (Even though this isn’t her event.) If she doesn’t land it, they made not get their fifth but if she does she’s proven her skill in the worldwide level. Who knew you could please the crowd on beam! She seems very confident as she goes through it. She lands the triple twist flawlessly. Shock from all sides and gets the gold giving the Rock five medals plus a gold, both things that the US team in Beijing did not manage. Kaylie is the first to ever beat the Chinese girl who starts crying. Someone at the national team has a lot of explaining to do.
Kaylie says she isn’t defending her title anymore. Emily felt free for the first time. The national committee head still doesn’t like Sasha and it’s not over. Far from it.
Emily tells Leo he helped her do so well. He gives her Damon’s note which he took to protect her. He didn’t want anything to mess with her focus. Was that his call? Maybe not but he was was trying to help. She goes into the other room and reads it.
Lauren is icing her foot and Kaylie approaches. Lauren compliments Kaylie’s beam. She says Kaylie should trust Carter even if she doesn’t trust Lauren. If someone loved her that much she’d forgive him. Emily has Carter turn on the radio. Damon is on the radio. He’s talking about Emily inspiring him and his music. She’s pursuing her own dreams and kicking ass. He’s about to end his phobia of singing in front of strangers because of Emily. He told someone I love you for the first time. He’s never let anyone in. (This is so not the image of a Rock Star.) He loves her and it’s made him free. He thought she’d come to say goodbye but she’s really letting him go and he’ll never forget her. Fear over this time. (Do we think it’s really him singing?) Emily wants to go say goodbye. Kaylie will drive. Emily tells her mom to love whoever she wants. He’s still playing so it must be close. Kaylie calls Carter to say she loves him. Let’s put everything behind us, I’ll wait for you in my room. (Will he show up though?) But by the time Emily arrives the booth is empty. The show is pre-recorded. He left an hour ago.
Payson is arranging her trophies and has a place holder for first place 2010. (So that’s the answer to how much time there is between now and the Olympics.)
Emily sleeps with her medals.
Kaylie is prettying herself up and waiting for Carter who doesn’t seem to have showed.
Carter comes in to where Lauren is and he stares at her and then comes over and kisses her. Now that was unexpected. Well. Sort of. Maybe in this particular moment.