August 25th, 2009 by thetvchick
The Nationals were finally upon us, as was the chance for the gymnasts of The Rock to live out their dreams. I was looking forward to more drama, and more gymnastics and last night’s season finale did not fall short in any way. The girls get to Boston, and have to deal with the media frenzy as well as try to focus on their gymnastics. Each girl has to face different challenges. Emily is an underdog, and has to fight just to get onto the National team. Lauren is dealing with family issues (her mom never shows up), and trying to overcome the fact that everyone knows she slept with Carter. Kaylie has to decide what she wants out of life, and how to fit in her dad and Carter and her own dreams. Payson has a lingering back injury, and the pressure of beating the reigning champion Kelly Parker. Oh Kelly Parker, why must you be such a total, how shall we say it…jerk (I’m being nice here).
The first day of competition is rough for the Rock girls, as each one sort of succumbs to the pressure. Before Day 2, each gymnast is forced to deal with what is holding them back. My favorite storyline here is Kaylie’s. Everyone was telling her she’s not a champion, she doesn’t have the heart of a champion but she proved them wrong. She gave Carter back her necklace and told him that she has to do something for herself for once, and it’s over. She gave back her necklace that her dad had given her (with his world series ring diamonds in it) and told him that this dream is about her, and not anyone else. She then proceeded to kick some Nationals ass. Lauren realized that she has a lot of people who care for her, and that Summer stuck around even after leaving her dad. Once she comes to this realization, she is able to show some joy behind her gymnastics and comes in 4th place overall. As for Emily, Damon shows up with her brother, and she finally has the support system she needs to succeed. Also, Sasha gives her the freedom to do well by allowing her to use her old floor music to compete (he had changed it on her just a week before). Payson is the tragic story of the season finale. Right before her bar routine, she is about to give herself a cortisone shot when she spots Kelly Parker doing the same. She wants to be honorable and true to her word, so she throws the cortisone shot in the trash. Unfortunately, she suffers a terrible fall off bars and has to be taken away on a stretcher. We later find out that this is a career-ending injury for Payson. It was so hard to watch, because Payson has worked at this for her entire life and now has to give it up. I think she will heal–something will give–because Payson is one of the main characters and she has to be in the gym. Another thought that crossed my mind was that she could coach, but I doubt that will be the case. In Payson’s absence, Kaylie steps it up and wins the gold in the all around. Emily ends up making the National Team in the last spot. The last scene is all the girls around Payson’s hospital bed, holding her hand. Now if you haven’t cried yet (you have no heart), this scene will really get you…it was very touching.
I was really happy to see all 4 girls with very distinct storylines, even if Payson’s was really sad. I thought they wrapped up this first season very well. This has been one of my absolute favorite summer shows, and I can’t wait to see the next 10 episodes. I’m just sad we have to wait until January.Tweet