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Season 3 "Make It Or Break It" Recap: The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of...Or, Sasha Belov, A Good And Honorable Pugilist?

'Make It or Break It" is back with new challenges, new villains, and a new hunk who can see the light.

Welcome, Rockers - let's get ready to Tummmmbbllllle! The new season of MIOBI has finally started, and we here at “What Duvet Said…” plan on following it closely from start to finish each and every week both here and on the podcast. So let's get started with episode 2011, shall we?

The “New Normal” in Boulder seems a lot like the Old Normal as we find the Rock Girls - dedicated Payson, slippery Lauren, underdog Emily, and princess Kaylie - walking in four abreast to the Rocky Mountain Gymnastics Center for another demanding practice. Barely fifteen seconds into the show and Kaylie is already crossing her arms, pointing out the sacrifices these elite gymnasts need to make to get Olympic gold. But not all is as it seems this dark night, as suddenly the boys reveal themselves to be vampires, taking Payson down first and then taking a bite out of Lauren. Kaylie makes a dash for it, only to be blocked by her towering object of affection, Tucker Carlson - who also turns out to be a vampire, with an equally fanged Emily by his side. Fortunately, Sasha comes screaming up in one of those shiny expensive cars everyone on this show gets to drive, and they're off to be safe; that is, until Kaylie reveals herself to be a red eyed vampire herself!

Fortunately, it's all a dream (And it was all seen on the MIOBI YouTube Channel this past week). Unfortunately, it's not the dream that Kaylie has been living her whole life to fulfill. What makes a dream and what makes reality is the theme that runs through this first episode, as each of the girls have to grapple with their fantasy, idealized lives that seem so out of reach. Kaylie is not back at The Rock at all; she is sequestered away in the Willow Glen Eating Disorder Rehab (the charming stone announcing the locale is featured prominently enough in this episode to lead me to believe we'll be seeing much more of this establishing shot in episodes to come). And she is actually getting good help - if she'd only listen. The leader of her group therapy - rightfully so - points out that in dreams, every other person in the dream is really just an aspect of self. This line of analysis is quickly - and incorrectly - interrupted by Kaylie's new bunkmate, who asks about Kaylie's dream attack on Sasha as if he were a real person. I'm thinking that this girl isn't really paying attention and may not be the best pal for Kaylie.

Drama? What drama?
But we are off to the dream that is Boulder, Colorado, and each aspect of the Team Self that is the individuals, getting out of their respective cars in the exact same way, reminding us of where we left them off last season: Emily, free from her jail stint, now has to report to a probation officer (played by veteran voiceover artist and friend of the “What Duvet Said…” Podcast Marsha Clark); Payson is pouting about her loss of Sasha, as her mother Kim soothes with the soothingest voice on television; and Lauren, who can't forgive her father for letting her mother die, has been living with Summer, where we can only guess she's not knocking boots with Carter. All gaze longingly at the amazingly poor upkeep the grounds crew at the Rock seem to do, as they are quick to raise signs when gymnasts arrive, but can't be bothered to take down reserved parking signs when someone leaves. "Tell you what, boys, let's just lay down some green plastic across the parking spaces and hope no one notices." "Good plan; I've got to get to the Pizza Shack, after all."

There's a new face to the National Gymastics Organization, a sort of caffeine free Don Draper wannabe who wants to keep a sharp eye on Emily to make sure she's - well, I'm not entirely sure; to pass judgement on Mrs. Kmetko, apparently, by showing up at 9pm at the Kmetko residence to shame Chloe for going to work at 9pm. Hey, pot - meet kettle! He may be on to something, though, as part of Emily's probation requires her to wear an ankle monitoring bracelet if she leaves Boulder. I may not be a fashion expert, but in my day, we called those anklets. I'm just saying. Don Draper Lite has got his finger on the pulse of the Kmetkos, since Emily blames her mother for the whole arrest thing anyway. I expect more from a girl who keeps stuffed animals on her bed right there in the living room where anyone can see them. And wouldn't you know it, there's a big exhibition going on in Denver, so Emily is shackled, in full view of the whole gym.

Fresh Max.
So off to Denver we go, where Hunky is what's for dinner. We immediately meet the new “Hot Boy In Town” - since I guess Nick has been unceremoniously thrown out with the trash. This new boy is Max, and is he ever. He's an aspiring shutterbug with just the sexiest amount of Peeping Tom Stalker going on with him. We also see the return of Kelly Parker, who is so much more appealing when she doesn't have her hair up in her devil horn pigtails. Turns out Carter, Kaylie's ex and Lauren's former “meditation roommate”, has left The Rock entirely and is now swinging on Kelly Parker's rings. Guess the girls of the Denver Elite didn't get Summer's abstinence speech.

It's all a ploy, though, as Carter still has the hots for Lauren and she for him, which they express demonstratively by dirty dancing with Kelly and Max, respectively. Turns out Max is a gymnast, too, and he's trying to decide whether to go train in Denver or train in Boulder at The Rock. Anyone taking a look at his digital camera would get a pretty good idea of where his beam is balanced.

At the very least he should stick with his separated-at-birth friend Tucker, who is the wisest Sage in all gymnasticdom. First he rightfully gives Emily perspective on her panicky pill-stealing crime, shifting the blame on Emily's shoulders instead of her externalizing it to her mother, which she quickly dismisses and storms off; then, when he finally goes to visit Kaylie in her rehab, he sticks to Recovery 101 by saying they cannot have a relationship until she's on the mend. Where did this guy get all his smarts, anyway? I sure hope he and Kaylie get together; he's a good egg. Even better, let Emily drop the Damon fantasy and get her with Tucker, he's way into her. Come on, ABC Family website, where's my poll for that!

Kelly Parker must have spent a good three minutes forgetting she was supposed to be screwing with The Rock Girls' heads so she needles Payson just enough to spill out the information that Sasha is in Denver. Payson instantly runs to get him, though she is soothed by those soothing smooth sounds of mom again. Just in time, too, as Max can find her and start taking even more pictures of her, since obviously the internet video he has instantly available on his cell phone isn't enough for him. By the way, who DID post that video on the internet? Could it be...

Sasha before the bruising...
...Rocky Belov?! There's our boy Sasha, taking his lumps in a boxing ring, supposedly just waiting out his time until his visa comes through. His dreams are shattered, too, like so many Romanian Bella Swans; he didn't expect his girls to end up in an ambulance and in jail. And this is where we leave him - reflected, reversed in a mirror as he says his goodbye to Payson's mother. The dream is over, just like Payson's dream as she walked away without him, just like Emily's dream as she wears the anklet, just like Kaylie's dream is being thwarted locked away in sunny rehab. Lauren, uhhh...she seems to sleep just fine, actually, although she dreams up ways to shift the blame of the leaked Sasha / Payson kiss video.

Finally, though, we arrive to what we always love on MIOBI - a big gymnastics challenge, pitting the scandalous, distracted, emotionally flawed Rock Girls against the overly confident, sparkly shiny Denver Elite, led by the evil Kelly Parker and her horny head, in a sunny Denver courtyard where they're so keen on courting the 2018 Olympics back to America that they've moved Century City all the way to Colorado. Wise Old Tucker has come up with a satisfying plan to conceal Emily's anklet - leg warmers - for all! Which is just the perfect idea until it turns out, oh, leg warmers only work right side up. Emily does a handstand and, caught by the camera eye of Max (who I guess was trying to shoot Payson through Emily's leg), her monitoring device is revealed for all to see. Cut the music!

Cue the music! It's time for Max to drop his camera, his shirt, and his wishy-washiness about where he's going to train, because look at him go! He's out there flipping and jumping and showing the crowd just what a great gym the Rock is, even without a lime green leo. It's enough to get applause, but it's not enough for Emily, who, ever the heroine, and boy do we love our Emily, she takes the mic right out of the emcee's hand mid sentence to declare to the crowd she stole, but she is more of a Jean Valjean kind-of -thief than a James Caan kind-of-Thief. And yeah, she loves her mother. So much so that Lauren thinks she should love her only parent, too.

Something wicked this way comes to Boulder.
A floating camera song montage gives us closure to last season's cliffhangers - Emily, out of jail but not out of the woods, gets her own room now; Lauren moves back in with her father, who has taken over at The Rock and has flip-flopped once again in his weaselly Steve way to be Mr. Sasha Belov supporter; Payson tucks Sasha's medal away in a drawer as she is ready to move on to Maximum Hunkydrive; and Kaylie, beautiful, underfed, misguided Kaylie is ready to get out of rehab and get back to her dreams. Looks like her doe eyed roommate is just the snake to get her out of there. That dastardly runway model has tricked her way out of three rehab facilities already!

Is Kaylie falling further down the rabbit hole? Will she get the help she needs? Doesn't she watch Josie Loren's public service announcements? Is anyone other than Damon going to find out about Emily's mother's cleavage-baring night job? Will Steve hire a new coach? Why not Sasha's father, anyway? Who will get Sasha's old parking space? How long is Emily's probation and will the NGO dismiss her because she doesn't have a big fancy house? Will Lauren get outed as the perpetrator of getting out the Sasha video, and if so, will her dad throw her out of The Rock as threatened? Why is Emily's hair black this season and not that golden brown it was last season? Will Payson finally start paying attention to boys - this one boy, in particular? Will these dreams go on when I close my eyes? What do YOU think? Hit us up, let us know, and tune in next week to find out more! Also listen to our crack analysis on this week's “The Tank” podcast. Rock on, Duvetians!

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