Kayley has gained three pounds, isn’t that wonderful? Well, the eating disorders clinic think so, but Kayley and her anorexic friend don’t think so. They think their dreams are being destroyed. Kayley is told she needed to work on her dialogue (meaning, on the things she makes up to please the therapists in order to be released earlier). Kayley’s willing to do whatever to get back to training.
Meanwhile back at the gym Payson is coaching the girls, which makes me wonder only why she isn’t doing anything as well. Some cute little girl comes to ask her to help with a roundoff so while she leaves, Lauren confides in Emily that there’s a new coach. Of course, as Kim points out, Darby may be an Olympian but she’s only twenty-six. Steve knows Lauren is excited but Kim knows Payson won’t be so happy. Payson thinks she’s too young and her relationship with Darby makes this ridiculous (they were inseparable in gymnastics camp). In walks Darby acting like a teenager (she’s not acting twenty-six, she’s acting twelve, even if she was homeschooled and thus socially stunted. Darby’s announcement to the Rock: “Yay! But she’s not imposing rules of pretty much any kind.” Payson claps reluctantly at this though the others seem more enthusiastic. Emily looks a bit shocked but not altogether opposed. (Funny note about Lauren: my dad saw a few minutes of this without hearing any of the conversations or sounds and new instantly that Lauren is the Mean Girl of the bunch. Her body language is that strong.)
Darby gets the grand tour in which DJ Tanner thinks the girls should have structure. Darby thinks they are “young women” who should set their own bar. Drby thinks a dedicated gymnast should set her own bar and that as coach she is just helping them get to their goal. Lauren is glad for a coach that won’t baby them and a girl coach who won’t catch Payson’s interest. Lauren then makes Emily nervous by saying Damon does everything for Emily but gets nothing in return and he’s never going to wait until after the Olympics to sleep with her.
Darby interrupts girl bonding to do some and Lauren announces that she is team captain (who died and thought that was a good idea?) with some important thoughts: a private dressing room for the best gymnast at the Rock that has to be her since Kaylie is gone. And pink uniforms. Darby supports Emily in her crimes. Emily suggests Payson be captain who suggests that they compete for it. Darby, put in the position to make a decision, chooses to have the gym as a whole decide if she should decide or if a competition should be held. Naturally they choose competition which will involve everything but floor. Darby will be in tomorrow at seven and she’ll see them whenever. Payson says she won’t let Lauren and her father take total control of the Rock and I’m noticing that the two of them are really friendly lately. Emily learns that Damon is coming to town and she won’t be breaking any rules by seeing him. Meanwhile Darby does a bar routine that gets everyone clapping but Payson looking concerned.
Kayley’s meeting with her parents happens. She says she knows she is sick and is determined to be healthy and love herself, etc. The therapist says no irreparable damage has happened to her heart and organs et and for now she can go home but she should do an outpatient program six days a week and won’t train. It’s essential to her health, maybe her life. She should use this time to develop other interests, but she is not happy. (Remember when this renewed obsession only came as moping for losing a boy.) Her mom suggests music, but she hates singing so she agrees on art therapy. Alex is trying to push for part time training but her mom is having none of it anymore. No more sitting by and letting her hurt herself.
Damon and Emily meet at what might be Spruice Juice (which was totally Lauren, Payson, and Kayley’s thing back in the day). Damon explains that he’s gone through his recording advance and the record label wants to know why his songs aren’t as good as the first few. He’s just glad to be in the same city as her, even if she can’t see him. But actually, she can see him. Her probation officer lifted her restrictions (which were that she couldn’t have a boyfriend?). No pressure, but Damon really needs her right now so that’s good. (Gag couple, why does no one here gross me out?)
Darby is staying at the Tanners’ for now which Lauren uses as an opportunity to smack talk Payson. Even with all the bad words from Lauren, Darby is sure Payson will come around. Meanwhile, Payson thinks she could make a better coach and she has to beat Lauren so as to make sure the Rock doesn’t completely fall apart.
Summer asks if Steve bought Darby to buy Lauren’s love. He smack talks Sasha and she points out that she isn’t sure he really didn’t leak the tape of Sasha and Payson to Ellen Beals. Didn’t they have something special? He almost didn’t hire her back in the day because he thought he could marry her and was afraid that if she got to know him she would run. She says he’s charming. He knows he can be worthy of her, he’s different. (So you’re totally over Chloe then? That was fast.) He has to promise never to lie again no matter what. How long will that last? Anyway, he needs Summer for Lauren and swears he won’t hurt either one again. The moment she agrees he calls Lauren in who is excited that they are “getting married!” She figures it will obviously happen soon (which tells me this relationship is NOT going to last).
Damon and Emily flirt gag-worthily over stars. She already has her wish and needs no starlight. She’s free and with Damon. She’s inspiring him already because she’s “finally free” which will make a great song title. Eh. But she’ll him tomorrow. Or will she? As soon as she gets home, Simon Tam (NGO Rep) tells her that to stay on the team she must agree to certain conditions. Specifically, she must agree not to work, to maintain an A average and to go nowhere but the rock and home. No boyfriend, no social activities, no life. Whether or not she’s going to Worlds has yet to be determined.
Darby begins practice with some yoga which Payson is not having. I’m surprised everyone is there and no one runs in late. Lauren meanwhile is so into it. How are Emily and Payson talking without being heard. Emily whines about the contract, which Payson doesn’t understand why she doesn’t like. Payson doesn’t understand why she’s complaining about signing a contract that says she’ll follow the rules that most of them will follow anyway.” (Burn.) Anyway, time for competition. Lauren takes this opportunity to talk about Payson’s lack of skill as compared to days of old with a girl we have never seen before. Payson apologizes for being harsh to Emily who just wants Payson to beat Lauren. Payson has never been more motivated to win anything.
The Cruzes find a room to set up Kayley’s art studio which is where the mom’s awards are. When her mom leaves the room Kayley tries to get her dad to side with her and when he doesn’t she breaks one of her mother’s trophies.
Payson’s is up on vault where she first imagines herself do a good vault (which makes you think she will fall) and then does the real one perfectly. Lauren does a higher scoring vault but takes a big step on the landing and nearly loses her balance. Emily thinks Lauren will mess up because she is showing off for Darby. On bars Lauren well, making Payson even more concerned–she doesn’t even take a step on the landing. Payson intends to do a move she hasn’t doesn’t since she broke her back in order to up her difficulty level. (I want to take this moment to point out how much thinner Ayla Kell has gotten since the first season.) When Lauren starts bragging that she’s won, Payson makes up a move she’s not really doing to scare her. Lauren then decide to do a more difficult move that even Darby thinks is too dangerous. Emily shows a little concern and Payson immediately tells her she doesn’t have the move and doesn’t have to do it. Emily tells the coach she doesn’t have to let her but Darby doesn’t know how to stop her. It’s her job to support her. Payson goes as far as conceding to get her to stop but Lauren doesn’t accept. She ends up doing the move flawlessly and her victory seems assured, but of course, her showboating leads to a major error where she falls off on her dismount. (Let’s be honest if her mount and other moves are so good, even this fall wouldn’t kill her shot of winning.) Emily tells her Payson just needs to be clean to win. She manages it and when the moment arrives to announce the winner…Darby announces a tie and decides to keep both girls as co-captains. (Along with some bizarre speech about the Olympics, women warriors, and achievement.) Lauren storms off in anger.
Emily tells Kayley about the scene at the Rock and then they discuss when she can return to training. Can she do it without killing herself? She’s sure she can. Emily is worried about losing Damon if she signs the contract. (In my lawyerly mind I’m wondering what the contract actually says. If it says she must go only to the Rock and home, technically she can still see Damon, it just has to be at those two places. You’d think she’d be more concerned with how they will pay their bills if she isn’t working.)
Lauren demands her father have Darby make her the only captain and when he doesn’t jump to her side, she tells him that if he doesn’t finally do something for her she will tell everyone that she sent the picture to Ellen Beals. The only reason he got Summer and the Rock while he robbed her of her mother. So when she asks for something, he will do it. (Where is Darby, the houseguest, during this conversation.)
At Emily’s request, Kayley brings Damon home to offer him to use her mother’s recording studio for free. (Do I sense a Kayley-Damon romance in the works?) kayley says she might have to do some “singing” with Damon as her outside interests. She talks to her bad friend from the eating disorders place who has still not managed to get out because it is harder for repeat offenders.
EMily goes to Damon to tell him that she’s ready! This is something she can give him. She wants to be there for him but she’s not ready to give up on her dream and that’s what he wants for her too. He is willing to wait. (I hate that this is supposed to be romantic when really it is just peer pressure from Lauren. Think she’ll end up pregnant? ABC Family is rarely for the sex without consequences plots.)