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Team Pregnancy! Or, Sasha Cures "The Twisties"....OR STILL! Damon Does Denver...BONUS STILL!! NGO Guy The New Face Of Evil: Bambi Or Baby Killer? You Decide...

Could this be the end of Emily's Olympic Dream?...Or the birth of another in 2028?
Okay, MIOBI nation, who woke up this morning with a case of the “Twisties”? Did we all just see what I think we saw? Is this goodbye – the end – farewell to Emily Kmetko? We’ve seen characters come and go and come back on this show – Marty, Sasha, even Payson’s dad (who surprisingly crops up this episode, lurking around gym camp like Talia Shire in Prophecy); but that montage of scenes from the DVDs of the first three seasons of MIOBI playing behind Emily’s head as she rode the bus to Vegas sure felt final. Was this episode the requiem for Emily’s dream?  And if so, where does that leave her poor mom, Chloe?  I know just the man to comfort her, and believe me, it isn’t a tieless NGO creep.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. We catch up from last week’s bombshell news that Emily is with child to find her getting a sonogram by a grumpy but non-judgmental OBGYN – NICE WORK Andrea Zuckerman! - as weepy Chloe looks on. Emily is about six weeks in. “How could this happen?” she asks. Well, Emily, you see, when a mommy and a daddy love themselves so very much, the daddy puts his Mr. Happy – oh, wait, Doc Blasé is quick to ask if protection was used. Didn’t these kids see The Last American Virgin? I learned just about everything I needed to know about how to avoid teen pregnancy from that movie. There’s a bit to be learned about pizza delivery as well in that flick, just in case she wants to get back to the Pizza Shack. In any event, she is given pamphlets on her options: keep the baby, put it up for adoption, or end the pregnancy. Big decisions need to be made for Emily.

Sasha don't preach because Em's made up her mind and she's keeping her baby!
Meantime, Sasha Fonzarelli cruises into the Arnold’s parking lot as milkshakes are spilled, necking teenagers fall out through their car doors, and Arnold and his wife greet him in his still-available parking space to thank him for coming back so “things can get back to normal.” We all know how normal things are when Sasha is around; for example, there’s a morning news show taking up half of The Rock with their impromptu set. Sasha is not happy about this publicity encroaching on training, especially because he doesn’t think it will be good for Emily, who bounds in at just that moment to start taking questions. Fortunately, Mrs. Potatohead has packed his angry eyes, so he can glare at her answering hard-hitting questions about whether she can go to Worlds (drink) and how she was a flop in Hungary. Sasha pulls her into the office to ask what the ding-dong she’s doing, and Emily, rational as a teenager, says she’ll decide what to do about her pregnancy when she finds out if she’s even going to Worlds (drink again).

As all this transpires, Kaylie again appears at the recording studio door like Muppet Scooter telling Damon how many seconds until curtain whilst Damon has had time to perfect his smolder. He unsubtly remarks the two of them have something hot going on since his flaky record company has gone gaga over Kaylie’s singing voice, and off they go to the blue piano to write a new song for guitar. Kaylie has got lyrics and a melody going lickety split, which she can sing right away, again. She starts to feel like she can find something in life that brings her joy other than gymnastics, another wonderful stepping stone in her road of recovery, which Damon ickily uses to start the full court press on his seduction. “Perfect is boring. That’s not what being an artist is all about…Love shouldn’t have to be so hard. Some people just click.” Kaylie, building a small-scale model of Devil’s Peak out of her mashed potatoes, starts to think something else is going on here, and it makes her uncomfortable. Methinks Damon left LA because Boulder may be the only market in the country for his sap-addled odes to under-age love. How old is Damon anyway? Should NBC’s Chris Hanson be notified?
Please don't bang on the protective glass, it's for you own safety...Or, WTF?!?!
Back at The Rock, Lauren is getting all Children of a Lesser God through the glass partition at Summer and Sasha, and channels Beyoncé to handily convince Steve that proposing to Summer is exactly what he needs to do. They prepare an elaborate string maze, which Summer discovers as she comes home like Clouseau finding Cato’s trap, and she follows the Burma Shave rhyming signs to a closet where both Steve and Lauren are hiding with a sign that reads “Will You Marry Me?” Subtle as one of Damon’s songs, did anyone else pick up on the “strings attached” metaphor at play in Lauren’s – I mean Steve’s – proposal? Lauren really wants a family, but Summer isn’t so sure. Is she still carrying a torch for Sasha? And, how long were Steve and Lauren crammed in that closet anyway?

Back at Casa Kmetko, Chloe has read all the brochures and is rattling off statistics to Emily, trying desperately to help, even though she doesn’t raise a finger to assist folding the laundry. Emily is disgusted and disappointed – she has ended up just like her mother, pregnant as a teenager. There is a touching and rather deep conversation between the two of them about when life actually begins, when the soul enters a body, and if there even is such a thing as a soul. For a moment it looks like Emily has made her decision, that there is nothing wrong with terminating her pregnancy. What’s the holdup?  She hasn’t told Damon. How many times do I have to tell her to watch The Last American Virgin? Twice, apparently. Still won’t listen, that Emily.

Gene Genie grants Kaylie one wish...then turns all glittery in the  sunlight.
Kaylie’s therapist is listening, though, and she’s on a first name basis with him. Gene can go from a sitting in to standing behind a chair quick as Edward Cullen, and for a moment I thought Kaylie was having another nightmare, but really she was delving more acutely into her own self awareness. Gene closes the book on her case, saying she can get back to training at the gym if she so chooses. Kaylie’s eyes dart around, lost in thought.  Is this what she wants?  Or does she want to be Tennille to Damon’s Saptain?

Lauren’s angst about Summer’s rebuttal of Daddy is manifesting itself in a case of “The Twisties”, which Sasha says is your body adding a twist against your will, which, in case you missed the sound of that enormous bell ringing, is the metaphor for the entire series. I thought “The Twisties” had something to do with black-lit rooms, lava lamps, and Pink Floyd - who knew? He says he’ll train Lauren privately in the morning, assuring her that she is safe with him and that nothing inappropriate happened between Payson and him. Simultaneously, Summer is segregating Sharpies, a peculiar pastime that doesn’t get past the watchful eye of Kim, who keys in that maybe Summer might still have feelings for Sasha. Even though Summer’s purse is already in her outbox, she decides to stay and see if Sasha’s morality compass points towards her magnetic pole. Unfortunately, it’s at just this moment when Sasha decides to confide in her about Emily’s bun oven, news that Summer takes surprisingly in stride, until Sasha reveals he wants Emily to terminate the pregnancy and realize her hard fought dream of getting to the Olympics.  This is nonnegotiable sacred turf for Summer, being devoutly Christian, and she instantly heads to Steve to accept his marriage proposal without bothering to ask what his stance on early term abortion is. God has called Summer, like Father Damien Karras from the Exorcist, to drive the Devil out of Lauren. Another healthy relationship blooms in Boulder.

Hey, anybody miss Darby?
The "New" Clive Davis signs Kaylie Cruz to his Jive Records...Or, so you wanna be a Sap -n- Roll star?
Back in the Cruz mansion, Damon is now a master engineer, twiddling knobs as he records Kaylie singing her lead vocal track to a doubled track and her harmonies that already exist on the music track. He also is such a master that he has rigged the studio so that she can hear the playback in the isolated vocal booth by taking her headphones off. He stares at her like Chachi stares at Joanie, swooping into the booth, mouthing the song, and in another feat of vampiric swiftness, pulls her towards him and kisses her. She kisses back, at first, but then pulls away.  It’s not fair to Emily, she says. Oh, Kaylie, it’s so good to have you back. Now kick him in the goolies, would you? 

Things are starting to look fair to unfair Emily, as Phil Dunphy’s cousin from the NGO has found Emily’s missing jacket and, for no good reason whatsoever, says she’s back on the Worlds team (drink). Emily bolts, and fortunately, someone has moved that bench from Maeve’s church and stuck it outside The Rock so she can sit and collect herself. She shares with unsympathetic Payson her predicament, and Pay rightfully calls her out on all her bull: how many opportunities she’s had that she’s squandered, how many times she’s eaten her cake, how many second and third chances she’s had. Emily says she just needs a friend, which is not what she’s saying at all. She just wants someone to feel sorry for her. She doesn’t feel like she’s as good as everyone says she is. Emily, I’m telling you right now – your hair is terrific. I missed it earlier this season, but this episode, it’s back in its shiny glory. Accept your good. 
Rock Star 101: Father child. CHECK! Or, I smell an albums worth of sap coming on strong.
Word spreads fast, and cousin Dunphy from the NGO arrives in casual dress without his tie to the Kmetko’s house to offer assistance. Seems the NGO runs a shadow organization where pregnancies can be terminated swiftly and silently, but Emily, running on hormones, decries him and everyone around her telling her what to do with her body. She says the only person who loves her is Damon, and goodbye gray skies, hello blue, so her cycle hums, ready to race to him.  She arrives at his apartment – oh, there’s the NGO guy’s tie, on the wall clock – telling him she’s pregnant, she’s moving in, these happy days are yours and mine. Now it’s Damon’s turn to have his eyes dart around, feeling the Malachi crunch.

This morning also finds Lauren getting rid of “The Twisties”, thanks to Sasha’s attention and his ability to carry around his flatware, plateware, cereal, and folding chairs on his motorcycle. They both learn a little bit about each other as coach and gymnast, and Lauren decides that the full video of Sasha and Payson in the gym has been secretly hidden long enough in the top shelf of the drawer right as you walk in her room, so she ships it off in a padded envelope to the NGO, no return address. Hope those two forever stamps are enough postage. What ring of Dante’s Inferno does coaching The Rock girls fall under?

Recovery is SOOOO Much FUN!!! What Evs Maeve!
Kaylie is taking her recovery to the extreme by taking Step 8 literally and exacting instant amends, as she walks in on Emily packing (or unpacking?) to tell her that she and Damon kissed. Emily has nothing to say to this, and Kaylie has nothing to say as she leaves, while Emily sinks to the ground in front of her hair spray and brush. So that’s how she gets her hair so great looking. She snaps the case shut, presumably to head over Mr. C’s garage to move in with Damon. As she does so, Payson reads the last surviving issue of TV Guide, disgusted by how every single television show seems to have teen pregnancy in it…um…I mean…well, she’s upset at the glorification of teen pregnancy, yeah, that’s it – anyway, mom tells her she’s not being very much like a team leader, so she turns on the spotlight shining the Rock Symbol into the sky and Team Rock head over to Emily’s place to be there for her. 

But, as the Zombies sang so eloquently, she’s not there. Chloe is a wreck, and I know someone who can comfort her, but she shuts the door on the girls after telling them Emily has gone to Las Vegas to be with her godmother – a former “showgirl” who goes by the name Nomi Malone, now working as a cardsharp and three-card Monte dealer just outside of Henderson. She has chosen to have the baby. The girls don’t know what to do, so they drive up to NGO camp and start a fire, which Payson irresponsibly wants to just leave burning so they can go home. Payson forgot Smokey’s Golden Rule, “only gymnasts can prevent forest fires.” They discover the initials they had carved in the log years before – the three of them, and Emily’s added initials when they bonded here more recently. Kaylie makes her decision right then and there – she wants to return to training, and the girls all embrace. With that, all the parents – except Kaylie’s dad, who’s probably sitting in his bachelor apartment drinking beer and watching old videos of his baseball days while listening to Springsteen’s “Glory Days”– emerge from the forest as if Bambi had just been born, sharing the news that for no good reason, Sasha is now the coach for the Worlds team! These happy days are yours and mine, happy days.
"A Star Is Born" for the iGeneratrion! "New Kristofferson & Streisand" minus the beards, chest hair, jumpsuits, kinky hair, and "Twisties"...
Are they? For there goes Emily, riding away by herself, full of child, whether it has a soul or not.  And the memories of all she has strived for, all the success she had, all the friendships she made, float through her memory like a Poison video. She has made her decision, and is leaving Damon, The Rock, her mom, even her brother for whom she went to the pokey caring for but didn’t even get a goodbye. Do we get one? How many “Twisties” does it take to get to the center of a MIOBI episode? Is this it for Emily Kmetko? Do we only have three Rock girls now, the three we started with, gold, silver, and bronze? Say it ain’t so, Emily. Say it ain’t so.

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