Kaylie is finally returning to the Rock for a National Team practice. She feels like Emily’s departure is her fault because she told Emily she kissed Damon. Her therapist said she acted with integrity and she isn’t responsible for Emily’s choices. Seeing Emily leave made her realize how much she wants it. She’s anxious considering all the training she’s missed–did she grow and gain weight in her absence? She’s feeling better with Sasha as her coach.
Payson is thrilled the rock back in its proper swing. The more Payson talks, the more Lauren stares at Matt and finally runs off to talk to him. Austin approaches and Payson says she is sure Kaylie is ready and she doesn’t need anyone to mess with her confidence.
Kaylie arrives, taking a moment to stare at her National Champion banner before going inside. She gets hugged by her Rock-mates. Payson says they can’t dwell on Emily, they have to move forward. Lauren hands Payson and Kaylie invitations to Summer’s shower. The theme is “Pretty in Pink.”
Summer and Sasha are awkward around each other, mostly because Summer is babbly and nervous. She does not, however, tell him that she is engaged.
Kelly shows up at the Rock with a young “disciple” named Tessa. (Apparently the rumor has been that Kaylie was out with an ACL injury.) Kelly Parker is all rude and cocky but Lauren takes her down a peg by saying that Sasha is not a fan of hers. He does not, however, hesitate to say Kelly has made the team. He also says Kaylie will not be competing at Worlds but he has not decided who will replace her. (Nice going Sasha, you couldn’t even talk to her about that before announcing it to the world?)
Kaylie goes to talk to him. Sasha tells her to focus on the Olympics, regardless of Worlds. If she performs poorly at Worlds that will be worse for her future than not going at all. Payson and Lauren share her outrage but Kaylie says she is going to trust Sasha. She knows that she can’t always be objective about herself.
Kelly tells Sasha they may not love each other but they shouldn’t let that get in their way. She also presumes to be team captain but he says he will be letting the girls vote. She recommends her disciple for the final spot and he says he’ll consider it.
Matt talks to Austin about not understanding Payson. Austin says if he wants Payson, he is going to have to actively persue her since all she sees is him with Lauren.
Sasha announces that the next few days are an audition for who will replace Kaylie. He will choose two girls. One for the spot and one as the alternatives. Sasha says Emily left because she could not do things with the proper discipline. They have to do things his way. He has a list of compulsories that they must manage. Kaylie wants to know what to do and he tells her to build back her strength, No skills until he is sure she is ready.
Kelly says her endurance and flexibility are perfect thanks to help from Carter. She performs a few tumbling passes to prove it.
Kaylie runs outside and Austin tries to give her a pep talk about being patient. she says she doesn’t have time to be. she will be doing things Sasha’s way anyway.
Lauren is all gung-ho about the wedding plans. Summer says they want to take their time. Lauren notices that Summer isn’t wearing the ring and worries that this is a problem. Summer says she wants to tell people in her own time. And Summer really doesn’t want a shower because it is not her thing. So Lauren goes ahead and invites Kim anyway. She moves he shower up ahead of schedule.
Kaylie finds Damon strumming away in the studio. She wants to know why he isn’t with Emily. She hasn’t spoken to him and she ran out without talking to him. She explains that she told Emily about their kiss and that it didn’t mean anything. He catches only the important part: “it didn’t mean anything?”
Payson is running and Matt joins her. She says she knows he is dating Lauren–he’s all over her in the gym and she saw the pictures he took so just leave her out of his game.
Lauren down a vault that Sasha is impressed. He thinks she could win a medal so he has a new vault idea for her. But the smile is gone when he spots Kaylie doing a basic cartwheel on the beam. He yells at her to get down because he didn’t say she could do skills yet. Kaylie says it will never happen again. Payson approaches him afterwards asking if perhaps he is being overly cautious but he says the girls have proven they don’t know their limits so it is his job to set them. (Overcompensating Sasha? That will hurt your girls just as much.)
Kim talks to Summer, expecting news but Summer doesn’t say anything. So Kim says she knows because of Lauren. Summer just wasn’t ready for the big announcement and fuss. She tells her about Lauren’s plans. Is she excited about marrying Steve? If so, why wait to tell people? She’s waiting for the right moment, which doesn’t exist.
Damon knocks on the Kmetko door to talk to Chloe. (PS, Damon is 19 while Emily is 17, making it statutory rape…just FYI.) He says that Emily is a difficult person to love because it is always about her. Emily plans to have the baby with or without him so he has to make his choice. Neither are ready to be parents, but here we are.
Kelly’s protege works the bars and slips, leading Kelly to be disgusted. Kaylie tells her she’s releasing early and with a little work can get it right. SHe tries again with Kaylie helping and gets it right. Payson watches and says Kaylie is not just letting someone else fill her spot but even helping her. Payson says if she tries and isn’t ready fine, but don’t just let it slip away. How can she know her limits if she doesn’t test herself. But before they can talk more, Damon shows up at the gym and she runs over to talk to him.
Kelly takes the opportunity to get in Austin’s head about the Kaylie-Damon relationship. Damon says he is going to be there for Emily and Kaylie says he had better fight for his dreams. He makes a deal, he’ll fight if she will. They hug and Austin punches him in the gut. Kaylie says she doesn’t need him to save her. How can she know what she is capable of if no one gives her a chance. She deserves a chance. She comes in and tells Payson she is ready to fight.
Lauren and Payson talk her through the compulsories. How do they go about preparing? Lauren has made a copy of the gym keys so they say can go practice when he’s gone. They only have two days to practice. So let’s start now. (Because two days is ever enough time to get ready.) They spot a picture of Payson titled “The Real Deal” that Max took and had put up. Cute.
in the gym they begin working on the skills and workouts. Kaylie falls off the beam and lands on her back a number of times but she slowly gets better. I suppose if we ignore the danger element of doing gymnastics without spotters in the dark, then this is good practice. And more than anyone else will get.
Max asks if Payson stopped at the Spruce Juice but Payson awkwardly says no. Of course, Lauren tells him otherwise.
Payson and Kaylie talk about joint soreness (Payson mentions her knee hurting and I hope this is not foreshadowing) when Austin comes over to apologize. His sister isn’t as strong as Kaylie and he will be supportive. Payson asks him to work as a spotter that night. Of course, evil Tessa overhears and rather than thank Kaylie for her help, she tells Kelly who tells Sasha.
That night Kaylie does the moves flawlessly. Max asks why Payson lied about the picture but she’s too busy to focus on that. Naturally, Sasha comes in and is furious. Kaylie says he has to give her a chance to show him her skills and to earn her spot. If he thinks she’s not ready, fine, but at least let her try. He tells her the decision is no longer in her grasp. Austin and Max step in and insist Sasha give her a chance. He agrees to see one apparatus. Payson and Lauren tell her to trust herself and own it. She performs the bars, with Payson and Lauren watching anxiously. She has a moment of hesitation but she remembers her therapist’s advice to trust herself and finishes strong. Sasha admits it was her sharpest performance on bars that he’s ever seen. She offers to show him her other skills but he says no. The problem is he wasn’t sure if she was emotionally ready for Worlds, not just physically. He doesn’t want to pressure her. So his decision is final because this stunt shows she is clearly not ready.
Payson and her mother talk about the situation with Kaylie. Payson says she needs her friends’ support and she feels like she’s slowly losing her entire team. Kim ensures her that she will find her way. But meanwhile, she say the picture of Payson. Payson said she felt stupid, embarrassed, or kind of good. Kim can’t stop beaming. It’s nice to see her act like a normal teenage girl. She’s not a normal teen though and after what happened with Emily…Kim says she can admire a boy without her world falling apart. She isn’t Emily.
Lauren is looking at wedding dresses when Summer comes in to talk. Lauren has been thinking that she’d like Summer to legally adopt her. Summer says she’s “moved” by it. But they should discuss it with her father. Lauren is thrilled that she is going to have a mother.
Sasha talks to Kaylie’s therapist who says no one wins a medal without being pushed. He thinks she is ready to compete at worlds. The therapist says teenagers keep secrets. It is his call but he should consider if he is protecting Kaylie or if he’s punishing her for his inability to protect her and do the impossible. She can still strive for greatness, even if she will always be in recovery. Sasha stills gets touchy.
Kaylie tells the girls about Sasha’s session. Kelly comes to be rude and we learn that she wants Tessa on the team so she can be voted captain. Sasha interrupts to call the girls together. He’s made his decision. (I do feel the need to interject here that I am pretty sure Tessa would not be old enough to compete at Worlds yet. I am 95% sure you have to be 16 to be a Senior Elite.) Tessa Grande and Annie something and Kaylie Cruz. KP is not happy but the Rock girls are.
Payson apologizes to Max about lying. She was embarrassed. It’s a beautiful picture, she just doesn’t know what he wants. He says he’s interested in her, not Lauren. she can’t risk screwing up her gymnastics because she got all wrapped up in someone else. He offers to be a supportive friend instead. Payson’s happy with that though Max seems sad. And as he heads to his car, Lauren kisses him and he doesn’t stop her. (Jerk!)
Sasha is working out, sans shirt, when Summer comes to say she’s leaving for the night. She has something to tell him. So just out with it, she’s engaged to Steve. No one to blame but yourself Sash. Summer gets home and forces a smile then remembers to put on her engagement ring. Good thing too, since it is time for the shower, which she pretends to be surprised for. She seems less the excitable bride than she should be.
Let’s be honest. I was not sorry in the least for Emily’s absence. I’m only sorry to know that she returns at some point. (Probably next week.)