dance moms season 2 episode 3 “brooke’s turning point”

PREVIOUSLY Cathy’s dancers have real apples abs, not bejeweled drawn-on ones. Some big ol’ lady tried to beat Brooke, but was too big and old to win. Cathy thinks Christi’s name is ‘Nose.’ Christi thinks Cathy is an evil witch but, unfortunately, has no water to test her theory. And, if I remember correctly, Abby said the word ‘apple’ 862 times.

PYRAMID OF SHAME Abby brings the girls and Dance Moms in for Pyramid/Chalkboard/ Weekly Ritual of Degradation and Shame. Right off the bat, she makes yet another play-on-‘apple,’ which basically recaps the entire episode last week, so I don’t have to. Abby congratulates the girls on their victory, but then immediately tells them to get over it.

This week, the group will be heading to New Jersey, and, in preparation, Abby breaks out the Pyramid. Just in case anyone was riding on their high horse from last week. Stop. Being. Happy.

Nia is on the bottom of the Pyramid because of an error in the choreography that was apparently quite important, but not important enough to be included in last week’s episode. Nia acts as though she has lost all hope at ever achieving greatness, aka The Pinnacle of the Pyramid.

Kendall is next because she doesn’t know anything about music, and is therefore still on probation. She’s gotta quit that sucking habit of hers. But sobriety just won’t take.

Next comes Paige, who apparently did a nice job, so, of course, she’s on the bottom. Mackenzie rounds out the bottom tier, and Abby informs her that she will not do the group number but will have a solo. You go, girl.

In a shocking—for a moment—turn of events, Maddie is not at The Pinnacle of the Pyramid. Not because she didn’t win, or because she isn’t the best. No, just because Abby feels like someone else can be on top for a week. And then no one else will ever be up there again. So don’t get any ideas, people. Melissa is confident that Maddie’s lower position on the Pyramid [in a dance class] had nothing to do with Maddie’s dancing. What a relief.

Chloe is also on the second tier. Because she has too many music video groupies and not enough Abby Lee Dance Company groupies. As if you can choose your groupies. Christi is glad that Chloe is finally ahead of Maddie on the Pyramid of Shame and wants to buy everyone ice cream. Girrrl, I don’t know about that. I doubt you can afford dance lessons AND Abby’s ice cream habit.

Brooke makes it to The Pinnacle of the Pyramid, and because of both that achievement and her age, Abby tells Brooke that Brooke is expected to be a role model. Well, she’s probably one of the better role models in that room. At least she isn’t telling the other kids that their parents don’t love them because said parents are gainfully employed.

Abby announces that, in addition the Mackenzie’s solo, Maddie will be doing a jazz solo, and Chloe will be doing a lyrical solo. And it’s time for a Chloe-Maddie Showdown! Abby salivates. But probably only because she heard Christi talking about ice cream.

The discussion then turns to the group number. And it’s a doozy. It is called “Born to Dance,” which sounds fine at the outset, until you find out that it is a dance actually depicting birth. As Abby is describing the dance, she says that it is “mysterious.” So everyone is mysteriously born? That sounds like an episode of I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant. I wonder if one of their props will be a toilet. Christi isn’t thrilled with this lesson in vaginal birth, but Abby and her vagina art can’t be stopped. She’s like the Georgia O’Keeffe of dance.

And in addition to being a role model, Abby informs Brooke that she is going to be the “glue” holding the number together. Now, I’ve never given birth before, but I think if glue is involved, then something’s not going great. But I’m no expert.

REHEARSAL After Abby banishes the moms to the Momservatory, she starts going into even more detail about the group number, describing it as “provocative, yet beautiful,” which is exactly how I would describe giving birth, again, having never done it myself. In addition, Abby wants the costumes to “appear as though they’re just being born.” So…like blood and placenta? Provocative. Yet beautiful.

Side note: Do not search ‘placenta’ on Google images. You will not be pleased with what you find. Case in point: placenta panini. Excuse me, panino.

As they are watching their children pretend to be born, the moms’ conversation jumps from placentas to pyramids, with Christi confronting Melissa about Melissa’s feelings toward Maddie’s sudden secondary position on the Pyramid. As per usual, Melissa avoids any sort of extreme position on the matter, saying that she is “a little perturbed” but then basically implying that Maddie is doing everyone else a favor. Or something. Christi is clearly reveling in the whole scenario.

Brooke is glad to be on top this week, but would likely give it up if Abby would stop being such a colossal bitch. Unfortunately, she can’t do anything about the colossal part. Or the bitch part, really. So…bummer, dude. Brooke then talks about how she would rather be doing something else. You mean, something other than being yelled at and demeaned? But why?

After rehearsal that night, Brooke goes to her high school’s football game and says that Abby always tells her to forget about all of the fun things she is missing out on by being in dance. Abby better go easy on robbing her students of their childhoods, or she is going to turn them into the Jackson kids. And no one wants that.

Presumably the next day or thereabouts, Brooke talks to Kelly about going to cheerleading tryouts instead of the dance competition that weekend. Kelly is worried about what Abby will say, but ultimately lets Brooke decide what she wants to do, even if it does mean that Brooke will be kicked out of the studio. Because Abby don’ give a fuck.

Later on, the moms, except for Holly, are off somewhere getting their day drink on, which I respect. And Kelly decides to tell the others what Brooke is going through. She better hope that those two over-gifters don’t bring Abby a nice surprise of “Brooke quit the dance team because she is going to be a slutty cheerleader just like her mother!” wrapped in a Tiffany box. When Kelly breaks the news, Jill looks somewhat pleased, although maybe that’s just how her face is, i.e. immobile and bitch-ridden. Melissa interviews that she would never let Maddie quit…during a competition season…[or ever].

TWO DAYS BEFORE THE COMPETITION After what appears to be several minutes of group rehearsal, Abby starts to wonder where Brooke is. Paige’s expression during Abby’s moment of confusion is basically, “Fuuuuck…”

To remedy the situation, Abby just starts screaming Brooke’s name, as if she’s a lost dog that will just come running back home to Abby.

Side note: Can we all just appreciate for a moment how much Abby and her dog Broadway Baby look alike?

Anyway, Abby confronts Kelly about the Brooke situation, and Kelly tells Abby that Brooke is not going to be at the competition because she will be doing Something At School Which Kelly Doesn’t Actually Want Abby To Know About. Abby is PISSED and subsequently dismisses Kendall, Nia, and Paige, who don’t have solos this week. Because Abby is canceling the group number. The other moms aren’t thrilled.

Holly comes down to try to clear the matter up with Abby, but Abby ain’t havin’ none of that reasonin’. Then Christi tells Abby that she and Melissa won’t be having their girls do their solos either, if the group number is canceled. Solidarity. Abby thinks solidarity is for assholes. And that solidarity will cause you to go to community college instead of Harvard. Because…? Really, Abby thinks Christi is just using Brooke’s absence to further Chloe’s Pyramid-related ambitions, aka to become the Star of Everything Ever.

Abby all but kicks everyone out of her studio, although I guess she realizes that it’s easier to just kick herself out, for this week. So Abby tells the moms that they can go as an independent team, e.g. Abby’s name will not be anywhere near the group number.

ONE DAY BEFORE THE COMPETITION Unlike Abby, and maybe Melissa, the girls don’t seem to feel as though Brooke’s absence has hurt the team in any way. The girls are more upset that Abby has lost all faith in them. The moms, on the other hand, seem relieved that Abby and her raspy ol’ voice aren’t raspin’ up the ride to Jersey. Except…Abby decides to come after all. With her fur coat and her scowl on. And when she gets on the bus, she tells everyone that she had to come with them because they “have no idea what it’s going to be like in New Jersey.” Was there some sort of government overthrow and now the streets have descended into chaos and anarchy? Let’s hope so. Although the ‘roided up guidos would probably take over.

And right after Abby gets on the bus, we also find out that Kelly is not going to the competition. Naturally, because Abby is so maternal, she says to Paige, “You really know when a person’s important in your house, don’t ya?” Helpful.

On their bus ride, Melissa gets a call from Cathy, and Abby is not so much pleased. Melissa better buy a truckload of ugly-ass rings for Abby to make it up to her. Or a husband. The rings will be way easier, though. And probably less expensive.

Cathy tells Melissa that they are also going to be at the competition in New Jersey with her geriatric dance students, that ginger boy, and Vivi The Hostage.

Abby’s main concern, aside from Cathy’s “unethical” phone call in the first place, is that Cathy will find out that Brooke is not around, and then presumably play psychotic mind games with ten-year-olds. Because she’s classy crazy like that. Abby tells the girls that if Cathy’s dancers beat them, then Abby will skin Brooke and hang the hide in her studio. I’m assuming she already has a special room for that.

COMPETITION DAY Abby tells the girls “to remember that Brooke never existed,” which seems like a mental impossibility. How can she not exist if they have to remember her, and how can they remember her if she never existed? Think about it.

In the Candy Apple’s dressing room, Cathy tells her dancers that they have their “nemis” there again, showing that her other “nemis” is a dictionary. Or sanity. Or both. She subsequently teaches her dancers a valuable lesson in sportsmanship by booing Abby’s dancers and telling her own to avoid the “nemis” like the Plague.

Back in the Abby Lee dressing room, Christi refers to Cathy as a “low blower.” Which…ha.

SOLOS First up is Mackenzie. Abby tells her that if she screws up, she should basically never show her face again. Because Abby will chop off her head. That’s some Queen of Hearts shit right there.

Luckily for Mackenzie’s head, she does a good job. As does Chloe, whose routine is shown next. Even Abby thinks that Chloe did well…except for her mistakes. Because…of course. Maddie’s solo is shown third, and it appears as though she does a good job, but when she comes off stage, she says that the whole thing felt off. She blames it on her hatred for jazz.

Back in Pennsylvania, we find Brooke at cheerleading try-outs. Brooke’s moves seem to measure up, although she is very quiet with her chanting, to the dismay of those who are conducting the try-outs. So will she make the team?! The drama. The suspense. The build-up. Luckily, Brooke does still make the team. Apparently no one cares if she can talk or not. Kelly sees the moment as a bittersweet one.

Back at the competition, the solo awards are being handed out. Mackenzie gets first place in her age division, which is great. Because she is adorable, and I love her “I just wanna eat chips” attitude. Then, Chloe and Maddie’s age division is announced. And Maddie. Gets. Third. Melissa blames the judging. Chloe gets first. According to Abby, however, Chloe messed up a bunch, and Maddie danced better. So, why then, did Maddie not win? Apparently Maddie was too “professional” to win against a bunch of “amateurs.” Or maybe Chloe danced better? Oh, it’s not possible for someone else to ever be better than Maddie? I forgot.

GROUP NUMBERS Right before the girls go on stage, Abby has to remind them all how close she was to not even coming, and then tell them how worthless Brooke is. I thought they were supposed to remember Brooke never existed?! Now they have to try to do that all over again.

Cathy’s dancers actually go ahead of Abby’s, and this week’s routine doesn’t worry Abby like last week’s did. Abby is annoyed that Vivi The Hostage simply ran around a couple of times and was mostly not utilized in the routine. She was only used to bring the average age down. Weak sauce.

The Abby Lee dancers go on stage, and, I have to say, to the uninitiated eyes that are in my head, their dance looked more interesting than Cathy’s. The judges agree, although probably for more specific and complicated reasons. And in the end, Candy Apple’s Dance Studio places eighth. Ouch. The girls from Abby Lee, on the other hand, win the whole thing. Cathy looks like she is about to vomit.

Abby can’t resist gloating, and therefore makes the girls and the moms go with her and “congratulate” Cathy and her dancers. But, of course, it can’t be that easy. Abby also wants to know what Cathy did with Abby’s bee costume, which Vivi The Hostage wore last year. Cathy claims to have donated it to Goodwill. What? How is that the logical option when dealing with property you don’t own? Oh, that’s right, we’re talking about Cathy. Melissa says that the costume cost $300, which is ridiculous, but whatever. I don’t know how much that shit costs. Cathy’s all, “Bill me.” She acts as though she has money trees in her backyard. Or maybe she does. Or her dance studio is a front for a massive counterfeiting operation. The Secret Service should look into that.

Then, before the girls, moms, and Abby leave the dressing room, Cathy and Christi have to get into it. Christi makes a comment about the bee costume and Cathy’s dismissal of its importance, and Cathy calls Christi “disco ball” and gives her the ‘quiet-down’ gesture. Then, predictably, Cathy makes fun of Christi’s nose. Also, all the children from both studios are standing right there. And so is some old lady who isn’t Cathy. There is some A-quality finger wagging and some mild cursing. Then Cathy tells Christi that, “The dog pound is calling,” which makes no sense unless Christi is missing a dog.

Good luck with that puppy, Vivi. Too bad you can’t adopt a new mother instead.

NEXT WEEK Peyton, the too-tall, too-old girl is back. And so is her mentally unsound mother. Chloe is upset. Peyton thinks she’s hot shit, and her costume and makeup remind me of an episode of Are You Afraid of the Dark? involving a dollhouse which turns people into porcelain dolls. And I don’t like it.

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