Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Bunheads Recap! (season 2, episode 5)(S1, E15)



When last we were in Paradise, Boo was becoming a mother hen to her siblings and classmates, and together with Carl was well on her way to old married couple. Melanie joined the Derby Dolls, using the nickname CleoSmacktra -- given to her by Cozette and Frankie. But all that time in roller derby left Ginnie out on her own. Michelle was robbed of a passionate night with Godot when her brother Scotty turned up on her doorstep. His presence in Paradise started to give us a little insight into Michelle’s upbringing, and it doesn’t sound like a happy one. Maybe we’ll learn more…

This week… Ginnie’s nose is still out of joint over Melanie keeping secrets from her and lets the whole dance class know it -- much to Miss Fanny’s displeasure. We get a taste of her tough side as she presents a roundabout threat that those talking in class will be cut from the performance. Construction on The Millicent Stone Performing Arts Center is getting under way, with some discussion about how big the stage should be. Miss Fanny is strangely okay with Millie’s involvement, and has become expert at turning the tables on Millie so that Millie agrees to foot bigger bills without question...or so we thought. The news that Millie expects a backer’s rehearsal is a bit…shocking to Fanny and Michelle. But more on that later...

Scotty and Michelle prep for a trip to the desert, to attend an event akin to Burning Man. During the packing, Michelle bursts Scotty’s bubble about their childhood road trips... that never happened. Turns out their mom only made them think they happened. While Michelle worries there will be no bathroom in the desert, Fanny shares her memories of Woodstock - pictures of which may have scarred Michelle as much as her childhood.

Sasha is having a housewarming party at her new apartment and has invited all the girls in class to attend, but Ginnie refuses to go if Cozette goes, and Mel won’t go if Ginnie doesn’t go. Instead of inviting Cozette to the party, Sasha invites her to lunch -- problem solved (booooring). But while she’s managing to keep things with the girls in balance, Roman is feeling ignored (and looking strange with all that eyeliner in the sunshine - or is the balance off on my television? seems goofy in the sunshine instead of dramatic and intriguing. ah, well).

At the backer’s rehearsal, Millie drags a chair center "stage" as the cast performs Tchaikovsky's Sleeping Beauty. Millie takes notes on each (hello, where is Jordan? shouldn’t he be front and center somewhere?) Following rehearsal, Millie presents her notes to the dancers, infuriating Fanny and prompting her to toss Millie out of the studio. Millie insists if she doesn’t get to give notes, she'll pull out of the project and take back her money. Fanny reminds her the money is already spent. Millie threatens to sue; Fanny counters by warning Millie her reputation will be ruined. Yeah, cos the threat of being the Wicked Queen of Paradise is something that would stop Millie.

Michelle and Scotty attend Sasha’s housewarming party and both are overwhelmed by the apartment.  (Sasha has a fainting couch! I want a fainting couch!) Sasha appears to have decided Michelle is her role model and has had a barre installed in her bedroom because this is something one of the Joffrey dancers did plus she feels this is something Michelle would do. Roman arrives after the party is over, confronts Sasha about their relationship or lack thereof. The two argue their way to a Friday night date - but not before we've gotten a glimpse of how tough it's been for Sasha to suddenly become independent.

After the party, Michelle and Scotty depart for the mysterious adventure in the desert. Millie invites Fanny to dinner and apologizes for overreacting during rehearsal, explaining she is unaccustomed to sharing her creative role. Fanny lays it on the line about how much people dislike Millie, but Millie is still convinced people  don’t like her just because she’s rich. Accurately sensing Millie wants to be perceived as someone who cares deeply about the arts rather than actually putting in the work to become that person, Fanny agrees to tell everyone that Millie is an artistic genius in exchange for Millie giving Fanny complete creative control. Millie agrees.

On the way to the desert, Scotty stops at a diner in Sacramento while Michelle is sleeping. She follows him inside, where she spies Mom. Scotty wants Michelle to go back to the car and he's not alone. Mom is seriously ticked off that Scotty brought Michelle. But we do learn Scotty is Mom’s guardian (because she declared herself incompetent in order to get out of a debt) and now he must sign all her financial agreements. A big, ugly family hissing cat match ensues and we see how deeply Mom and Michelle dislike one another.

And then. And THEN Michelle comes home to find Sasha asleep on her couch. I may win that bet yet!

And now, without further ado, your primer on the pop culture references from last night’s episode:

Oliver! - musical based on Charles Dickens’s novel Oliver Twist

• “take the vicuna” - episode title - reference to vicuna wool, some of the finest, softest and, no surprise, most expensive wool in the world. Vicuna are native to South America and look sorta like a llama, only not as hairy (it’s that 'not as hairy' that adds to the value of the wool).

• Bananarama - awesome 80s girl band from the UK. Now I can’t stop humming “He Was Really Sayin’ Something”

• Drag Queen Bingo - I've never been but I hear it's a blast!

• “she Gaslighted us, dude” - reference to the 1944 film Gaslight starring Ingrid Bergman (remember her?), Charles Boyer and Joseph Cotton. The film depicts a husband convincing her wife she is going insane by doing things like moving in their home and when she comments on it, insists nothing has changed. Actually, Wikipedia has a great definition: The term "gaslighting" has been used colloquially since at least the late 1970s to describe efforts to manipulate someone's sense of reality.

• Don McLean - singer/songwriter best known for the classic “American Pie” (also? starting to get depressing how many of these I know off the top of my head.)

• “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” - short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald, telling the tale of Benjamin who appears to age backwards. Most recently a film starring Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett, directed by David Fincher.

• Kim & Khloe - needs no explanation

• Burning Man - a month-long celebration of art, community, and self expression taking place annually in the Nevada desert

• “Eternal Sunshine my mind” - reference to the Jim Carey, Kate Winslet film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind in which painful memories were erased

• Scott Rudin - Hollywood producer of a long list of films including perennial favorite of the YA author crowd, Clueless

• Mary Richards - Michelle’s reference to Sasha turning into Mary Richards by not having enough food at her party comes from The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970-1977) which in one episode main character Mary Richards throws a disaster of a party

• Downton Abbey - needs no explanation (and wouldn't it be nice if the Kardashians did?)

• boombox and Peter Gabriel - this is another one of those references. If you don’t already know what this means, set aside a day to marathon the films of Cameron Crowe. Thank me later.

• Shania Twain - country western singer from Canada, eh?

And that's all for this week's Bunheads!

~Jen

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