Some characters may have bottomed out this week on MAKE IT OR BREAK IT, but it wasn’t for lack of aspiration on Payson’s part and, like all good bad girls, Lauren proved she is never without a plan.
Lauren (Cassie Scerbo) was beyond furious at dad Steve (Anthony Starke). So was Emily (Chelsea Hobbs), who brought him a big chunk of change and vowed to pay back every penny of the rest. Meanwhile, Chloe (Susan Ward) told Lauren she will not keep her and Carter having sex a secret, so either Lauren comes clean, or Chloe will. Cornered, Lauren turned to Carter (Zachary Burr Abel), who resolved to tell her father together. But Lauren always has something up her sleeve: She told Summer (Candice Cameron Bure) that she needs to marry Steve and be her stepmother. Thanks to her determination to pay back Steve, Emily was literally searching the couch cushions for change to pay for the bus. Which was kind of the last straw for her. She railed about carrying the family on her back, and demanded that her mother get another job. Chloe managed to get a word in edgewise to announce that she already secured one. (But we don’t know what it is… hmmm.)
Way back in 1973, the theme from The Poseidon Adventure, “The Morning After,” won an Oscar as best original song, and the latest episode of MAKE IT OR BREAK IT should probably have used that tune for its closing theme, since much of the key action took place around dawn.
The episode began with Lauren (Cassie Scerbo) catching Chloe (Susan Ward) sneaking out of the house “like a common slut” after spending the night with Steve (Anthony Starke). Lauren then promptly lied to her father about being a virgin herself. When Chloe got home, she attempted to convince her kids, Emily (Chelsea Hobbs) and her brother Brian, that she actually came home last night, but the kids knew better; they gave mom “the talk” about using protection, much to her humiliation.
As the second season of MAKE IT OR BREAK IT began, Kaylie, Emily and Lauren were being marketed as the “rebel” faces of the Rock, Payson was back to practicing with her old fire, and Kim was once again managing (well, co-managing) the Rock with Summer. The girls of the “rebel Rock” were training the French invitationals, but the real hurdle to going to France was Eleanor Beals, from the NGO — who suspended them from the national team for competing against the Chinese in last season’s finale.
The soapy content was sky-high, as Kaylie (Josie Loren) and Carter (Zachary Burr Abel) were not talking; because he has been creeping around with Lauren (Cassie Scerbo), unknown to the national champion. “Kaylie doesn’t always get everything,” Lauren sniffed. “I picked you because you were there for me.” Carter told Lauren. And even though he appreciated that she took him in, fed him and did his laundry, he noted, “You’re more competitive off the mats than on them.” When Kaylie confronted him at the Pizza Shack, he broke it off with her. Lauren worried about losing her best friend, but Carter noted, “She’s not your best friend if you’re lying to her! We both know that secrets hurt more than truth.” So Carter gave her a choice: her friendship with Kaylie, or her relationship with him.
Lauren, Emily, Payson and Kaylie
MAKE IT OR BREAK IT is getting more and more soapy as it goes along. The-powers-that-be realized it is not a sports series, and thus ramped up the drama, and now, following the winter hiatus they are really upping the soap opera factor. While reigning national gymnastics champion Kaylie (Josie Loren) tries to balance the demands of new fame and jealous peers — not to mention her surly relationship with men’s champion Nicky (Cody Longo) – my favorite storyline is Payson’s struggle with career-ending injury.
Payson (Ayla Kell) has been coming into her own as a coach-like mentor while steadfastly refusing to embrace the role, because that would mean she had officially given up on making an athletic comeback. This has led to her becoming more and more detached from reality – to the point where she is planning to win the national title next year. Even Summer began to wonder if some kind of miracle cure might allow Payson to rebound from a broken back and return to the mats. Now, if this were a daytime soap, we viewers could be certain that she would find that magic cure. But MIOBI is a nighttime soap, and thus it eschews the facile, “inspirational” path. Payson’s admirer Nicky weaseled her an appointment with the best spine expert in the country, and the table was set for her Lourdes-like rebirth. Well, it didn’t happen. The top back man in the world assured Payson that her spinal damage is inoperable. Payson was so worked up with hope, and then so crushed. Kell did a wonderful job depicting Payson’s bubbling, cheerfully positive mania in the run-up to her consult, but was subtle with Payson’s grief. Kudos to Peri Gilpin for her moving portrayal of Kim’s pain, embarrassment and helplessness in the face of her daughter’s injury. “I let myself hope,” Kim sobbed.