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Does Sasha Have A Wife & Kids In Snagov, Jack? Or, Damon Dulls Hearts All Over America With, Yet, Another Ballad...STILL OR! New Women's Gymnastics Event: Up The Pole!

He went out for a borscht and he never came back... 
Welcome to The Day After, MIOBI nation, and don’t we all have a Hungary Heart? This new episode had all the makings of a lighthearted adventure romp – part Raiders of the Lost Ark, part Amazing Race, part Catch Me If You Can – but underneath it all was the gnawing fear of loneliness. Don’t make no difference what nobody says – ain’t nobody like to be alone. And even if we choose to be alone, the universe sometimes has other plans for us. So set down your Russian energy drink and grab your six bags of matching Louis Vuitton luggage, because episode 2015 is a trip. So trip out on this!

Severing ties the old fashioned way, in a letter.
If I remember the lessons I learned about mailing letters from the Little Golden Book Seven Little Postmen correctly, the envelope Payson is eying that is sitting in the out box on Kim’s desk is international mail. Kim has no qualms about leaving letters out addressed to Sasha Belov, former Rock Star gym coach that Payson adored, out in plain sight where her daughter can see them. Seems Sasha has some paperwork he needs to sign to officially sever his ties to The Rock and pass the mantle on to Coach Darbs. Payson takes a quick look back at it before she heads out the door. Looks like she really is ready to move on.

At least, ready to move on to stumble in to Steve and Darby arguing in the lobby. Steve has sources – sources! – that tell him the Rock Girls are on the chopping block for Worlds (now drink one shot) and it’s all up to Darby to make things right. Hey, Steve, aren’t you the one who engineered Sasha’s ousting? Aren’t you the one whose daughter leaked the doctored video of Payson and Sasha kissing? Didn’t you have a hand in bringing your daughter’s good friend on to be the new coach? What’s the big woo? Looks like you’re reaping what you sow. But Darby hears and gets the eye of the tiger, and, looking as fierce as Seymour Krelborn, says there’s a new sheriff in town, and her name is Coach Conrad. You all be cool. Right on.

Good thing the girls are getting out of town, then, in one of the airplanes that are as big as a building cruising the skies above Denver’s airport. Emily and Chloe are running late, most likely because they spent the morning trying to find Emily’s white team jacket with her name on the back and it just didn’t turn up. Good thing Emily has a hugely baggy shirt to wear. What’s with all the baggy shirts, Emily? Big robes, hiding behind laptops, walking behind two men carrying a large board that covers your belly? If I didn’t know any better, I’d think the people behind the cameras on this show were trying to hide something. But I know better. Don’t I?
They don't write em' like that anymore...ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah!
Damon thinks he does, and he arrives at the Kmetko door as they’re trying to go, in violation of the NGO restraining order on human contact for Emily. The NGO should be running Homeland Security or hired to tail Lindsay Lohan. She calls him out on his lovey dovey duet with Kaylie at the Pizza Shack, which Damon denies is anything, but Emily isn’t buying it. “Is she your muse now? We’ve had sex and now you’re on to the next girl in distress?” Ouch! Good call, though, Em, I think you’re on to something. She then makes an extremely grown up move, and tells Damon she can’t have him in her head, screwing with her mind (drink every time this realization is verbalized). It’s the end of Damon and Emily as she dumps him at the door. And the opening credits haven’t even happened yet! 

Speaking of muse Kaylie, she’s back getting help for her anorexia in earnest, with a therapist who can’t even bother to turn his matching chair a little bit so he can face the couch. The guy’s going to have a sore neck at the end of the day if he keeps looking over his shoulder at his patients. But enough about Kaylie, there’s some Amazing Race action happening on the plane as Payson decides she wants to skip the flight to the meet in Hungary and instead take a different flight that will get them to Romania and Sasha. Emily, who feels more alone than ever, says Sasha is the only one who believed in her so she agrees to go, and Lauren, who is just full of herself, decides the two of them will screw it up so she has to go as well. Plus she’s got a $20,000 limit credit card so she can buy the tickets. One loud wipe pan later, the girls are in London, England – not to be confused with London, Alabama – looking to ditch their chaperones.

Who's chaperoning these two? HunGary HunRoss we need the Sasha leads!
Paging Summer with a white courtesy phone call gets her out of the way, but the old “I have to use the restroom” trick doesn’t work on Coach Conrad, because as everyone knows, girls go to the bathroom in roaming gangs. Fortunately, though, Darbs has an intensely personal and focused toilet routine, because she fails to notice all three girls standing on the tanks and mouthing to each other up above, nor does she notice them sliding underneath the stall doors to get out. Oh, by the way, EWWWWWWW!! The girls almost make it to the gate when they suddenly run in to the evil Kelly Parker, who has a perfectly good reason to be in the wrong concourse heading away from gates with flights to other countries. Giving up all sense of stealth, the girls run past her and on to their flight, miraculously able to get three seats together both in the center of the plane and by the window that Payson can stare out of. 

Their ruse has not gone unnoticed by the Keystone Kops that are Summer and Darby – “I thought they were with you!” “But I thought they were with you!” – and Kelly Parker is updating her Twitter feed from behind them. No matter, as our Rock girls are on their way, under the gentle care of a sleeping African. Emily buys some strange drink in what looks like an aerosol spray can that Lauren tells her could be filled with banned substances that will show up in Emily’s drug test, but Em quickly deflects this line of Lauren abuse by saying she’s broken up with Damon because of the whole Kaylie thing. Both Lauren and Payson say that Kaylie would never steal another girl’s boyfriend and suddenly Emily thinks she’s made a terrible mistake. AGAIN!

Not so fast, Emily. It may not be Kaylie that you have to worry about. Damon, advertising his needs with a shirt that reads SAVE ME, comes across Kaylie, who is hiding from her mom in the room in the house set aside for everything that worships her mom’s career. So does Damon live there now, or what? Does he stay at home and then come to the studio to write? Is he recording anything? Save yourself, Damon. It’s what Kaylie is doing, working on her I Ching symbols and being a girl of a hundred lists as she tries to pin down the inciting incident for her eating disorder. “Maybe it’s not the sport,” she says, taking ownership of her own actions. Damon takes this as an indication that maybe all girls are screwed up, not just gymnastics girls, and maybe that’s what’s crawled up Emily’s butt. 

Sasha's Angels ditch Bosely to harvest beets in rustic studio lot...Or, babooshkas on bikes are sexy!
No time to ponder this, though, as another loud wipe pan brings us to Knott’s Berry Farm’s Ghost Town – whoops, I mean, Snagov, Romania, where the cabs are black and yellow instead of yellow and black and have just a bit of distressing on them to give that old world look.  Speaking of old world, here’s a babushka lady in a cardigan on a bike with a vegetable crate, just the sort of kindly old woman who can give you a monkey’s paw, see into your soul, and switch your soul with the body of your parent so you can see what it’s like to be a 30 year old. She knows everyone in this one hay cart town, but she has never heard of Sasha Belov. This whole trip was a waste, it seems, but the cab has sped away so there’s nothing to do but learn about borscht varieties at the bar.

The bar called…Olimpia?  I may not be Jessica Fletcher, but there’s something familiar about that bar name. I can’t quite put my finger on it. I know – it’s the water! No, wait, that’s not it. It will come to me. In the meantime, I can see the big twist with the old babushka lady in a dark alley: “You told me Sasha didn’t live here!” She cackles and her eyes turn wide. “But he doesn’t.  He only…works here! Ah ha ha ha ha ha ha!” Then she vanishes in a puff of green smoke, leaving only a little puddle of gross old woman stuff on the ground. 

Yes, there’s our boy, Sasha as Marion Ravenwood, wiping off glasses and lugging empty kegs, in the remotest section of Frontierland where he can still learn the outcomes of gymnastic meets in Colorado. One by one the girls leave their corner of the bar and walk to the single section of it where Sasha seems impervious to walking away. There is a magical, secret vortex, just past the glazed over staring black haired guy, where Sasha has to stand and listen to Emily, to Payson, to Summer. Each time, though, he says no, he is not coming back to the Rock. Does anyone believe him? Even the chickens outside are mocking him. 

The mess you made when you went away...Alanis Morissette 2.0
There’s no chickens in Colorado, though, as brave Kaylie shares her writings with Damon over blue and green Spruce Juice. She says she has discovered that she was trying to live up to the image others created for her, and when she thought she had achieved it, she still felt nothing.  Ever attentive Damon again takes this as an opportunity to make it all about himself, and he writes a song about his own feelings inspired by what Kaylie has to say. Kaylie again proves she is the most natural and intuitive singer on the planet by picking up an enormous piece of paper with lyrics on it and, as Damon plays a song he just wrote for the very first time, Kaylie knows exactly how it goes and sings it along with his accompaniment. This is possible because all of Damon’s songs are the same exact song. Damon likes how Kaylie is “working out her feelings with these words that you wrote.” A poet to the end, that Damon.  Me like juice and wires that vibrate on wooden thingie to make music.

Emily and Lauren skedaddle out of Romania to get to the Hungary meet, and Summer arrives to get Payson, who has one last guilt trip to lay on Sasha before she leaves. She returns his gold medal, saying it used to remind her of success but now it reminds her of quitting. And she’s off to her jammies, to sleep and prepare for the meet, only to be awoken at 3:04 like George Lutz by Sasha. He’s here. He’ll train the girls, but only if they listen. Emily and Payson literally jump for joy at the prospect of being awake in 5 hours.

Of course I've seen Josh Randall's "Withstand One Night", Steve!
And so the meet begins, as the teams from around the world march in, intercut with Vaseline lensed flashbacks to the morning’s truth telling time pep talk with Sasha. When the US team marches in, Darby is inexplicably sitting in the stands, having cluelessly missed any time with the girls this morning, and there, behind Jan Brady’s swinging pony tail, is Sasha, bringing up the rear. The announcers are abuzz, and Darby, filled with piss and vinegar and a whole new attitude, stays right where she is and doesn’t do a damn thing. 

Probably for the best, because the team is under the watchful eye of Josh Randall (played by friend of the What Duvet Said podcast, Joel West – I’m beginning to think every week we’re going to see a friend of WDS on MIOBI. Did all of you check out Joel’s short film called Withstand One Night? You may look at Coach Randall with a bit of a smirk after that).  Randall is there to settle once and for all who is the spotlight stars for Worlds (drink again). A lot of pressure on Emily, especially.  But that’s not the only snag; there’s a Russian powerhouse named Ivanka, with a harsh red haircut and an Ivan Drago “I will break you” attitude, who comes in and beats Apollo Creed to death as “Living in America” plays.

The US team is down in points so it’s up to Emily and her uneven bar routine, so she gets pumped by Sasha and, charged with independence, fire, and success in bringing back Sasha, screws up and fails. Ouch! Didn’t see that coming. Randall pulls Emily from the rest of the competition, substituting devil horned Kelly Parker instead. But it’s not enough, as Ivanka charms the Hungarian judges by doing her floor routine to Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody #2, a clear home favorite as opposed to Payson’s Russian Tchaikovsky selection.  The US team gets silver, the Russians take the gold, and Emily is off the team.  How could this get any worse?

Of course you look sexy in that sweatshirt! What did the Hungarian National Committee say, Em? 
How about a scary shadow from the chairman of the Hungarian National Committee, who wants to speak with Emily? Sasha says he has no idea why, and as Boris Badenov turns to tell Emily there was something unusual in her blood test, Emily immediately begins to protest, explaining that it was just an energy drink. No, it’s not drugs, she’s told. Emily – you’re pregnant. Bam!  Who saw that coming? Oh, wait, I know, my podcast partner did, and he’s been telling me for three weeks now. Darn it! What does this mean, gang? Will Emily go to term with the pregnancy? Will she go back with Damon? Is she out of the gymnastics game completely? I mean, Payson was on her back for a little while and her mom started pointing out her breasts, what will this do for the Kmetko body? Are we really only down to two Rock girls in competition? Is Damon falling for Kaylie and does he have a new muse? Are Steve and Kim buddies now in their wine drinking meet watching? And how is it possible for it to be daytime in Boulder, Snagov, Hungary, and London all at the same time? Give us more – next week!

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