As the team left to board the bus (without their personal coach), one had to question why a bus was even needed. There were only four gymnasts going to the airport, yet other random girls got aboard as well. They must be fans. Right.
Mrs. Kmetko, the novice gym mom, encouraged Emily to get in touch with Damon while in France. Emily's scholarship accounts for half of the family's income. Parents are aware of the strict rules. Going to France ranked #3 is the biggest opportunity in Emily's career. It is a wonder why Chloe always appears to be struggling financially. To her credit, Emily vowed to be going to France during last week's episode. By the time she boarded the bus, Emily was already wondering why she couldn't have gymnastics and love. Lord knows it is only a matter of time before she stops loving gymnastics.
Back at the Rock, Mr. Tanner is using each and every parent in order to become President of the Board. The man pays homage to Terri Phillips by adorning his gas-guzzling SUV with the mural of a gymnast on balance beam. It is unclear whether or not his interest in Mrs. Kmetko is sincere. Lauren, who hated Emily from day one, is also taking an interest in the family from the other side of the tracks. Since she is now advertising that she's sleeping with Carter again, Lauren is encouraging Emily to go after love and break the rules to see Damon. The girls were subjected to numerous comments from Lauren about how much her boyfriend loves her.
I was waiting for Kaylie to steal a line from Weeds and say:
"She doesn't love you; he stuck his penis in you. There's a difference."
Here's where Emily's stupidity was on full display. Emily is supposed to be the girl with street smarts, yet she doesn't even question why the alternate who habitually insults her, is being so gung-ho about her going to Paris to see her lost lover. Then again, Emily didn't even send Damon an email in all the time she's been fretting about losing her opportunity to say goodbye.
Lauren did display some 'amazing' French skills with her ability to pronounce cognates and bought a 'round-trip' ticket for Emily, except that she kept the return ticket for herself. Kaylie, clearly home schooled, didn't check the ticket. This is a girl who has slept with her boyfriend, harbored him in her home, stolen him from her and been a conniving manipulative bitch to everyone. In Kaylie's defense, she has done her best to take the high road and simply ignore the verbal diarrhea emerging from Lauren's mouth (and we all know where that's been.)
Payson was absent from the drama, as she only cares about herself, and the girls don't seem to notice when she's missing. Payson was unimpressed when she met the men's Olympic Champion because he doesn't take the sport seriously enough and lacks her social ineptitude. Sasha didn't think Payson was ready to petition onto the National Team, but she ignored him. If anyone did that to Bela or Valeri, they'd be shown the door. They're the one who makes the decisions. Bela yanked Nadia out of the hospital to help beat the Russians, yet he had the sense to keep Dianne Durham off the damn bars at Olympic Trials when he knew she couldn't get through her optional exercise.
Nastia Liukin said hello to the girls in France and displayed acting skills on par with her bar dismount. If you weren't already cringing enough, Nastia went on to tell them the importance of eating right...which is why she eats subway. The All-Around champion has to be self conscious as it is. Her own father tells her she is out of shape, yet the girl went on TV as large and in charge as ever, and told the girls to go eat at Subway. Emily knew all about that diet.
Nastia did her entire commentator routine where she pretends to be the sweet, supportive person. As my former NBC colleague told me last week, "Skating and gymnastics are all about being as superior and bitchy as possible. Nastia would've been fine in either." Nastia just couldn't believe that Kaylie, the National Champion, was leading the all-around. I know that one threw me for a loop as well. I haven't been that surprised since Ms. Liukin became a World Silver Medalist on floor exercise. (And I was admittedly drinking the Kool Aid.)
Lauren got her wish and Emily went off to Paris. Emily said goodbye over an impromptu picnic and soon found herself stranded at the train station. In distress, Emily flipped for cash. This is a family show. We know that it took more than a full-twisting back tuck to convince someone to buy her a train ticket. Ellen Biels, tipped off by Lauren, caught Emily out past curfew and benched her for the meet.
Kaylie wasn't buying Lauren's innocent routine when they were chalking up, but she seemed to just ignore her transparent manipulation the day before. Lauren was hurt that Kaylie would think so low of her and vowed to kicked her ass. Kaylie told her to bring it on. Kaylie is taking her gymnastics quite seriously and has been for some time. Ellen Biels patted her stomach and told her to drop a few pounds, and Kaylie instantly appeared ready to comply. Sadly for Lauren and the rest, Ellen didn't care enough about them or their future prospects to tell them to develop much-needed eating disorders. TV Guide says body image will be quite the issue this season.
At the end of the day, the US lost to Romania by a small margin. The competition footage didn't show anyone performing on Uneven Bars, which is all the evidence we need to conclude that it was a three event meet. Ellen Biels, who trashes Kmetko left and right, told Emily that they could've won gold had she not gone off to Paris to be a whore. She hasn't had someone that rebellious since Jamie and Jeanette snuck out dancing with the guys at '99 Worlds.
Lauren made sure to inform Kaylie that "I was really better today."
Except that Kaylie was atop the podium and Lauren was third.
How does bronze feel bitch?!
Oh yeah, Payson's petition didn't go through. I must admit that she has never looked better than she did in the scene where she was crying. The makeup artists finally went to work.
Kaylie told Lauren that she's happy for every shitty thing that she's ever done to her, because it has only made her that much stronger. Then she put on her assless chaps belted some Xtina.