March 9th, 2010 by thetvchick
Sadly, last night was the season finale of Make It Or Break It. Thankfully, it will be back in the summer with all new episodes. This finale was not without surprises and drama. The episode, titled “Are We Family?” centered around China’s unstoppable team coming to the US to compete against a “rogue” Rock team that Sasha Belov put together of his best girls. When the Chinese team arrives at The Rock for a press conference, Kaylie is nowhere to be found. Sasha announces that an alternate will take her place, and the Chinese coach isn’t pleased about this at all. All of the girls get interviewed during the press conference: Payson says she’s not up to competition level yet but she will be on the floor supporting her teammates, Emily gets embarassed by reporters who don’t really know who she is, and Lauren claims she had the stomach flu in Beijing. Meanwhile, Damon is at the Pizza Shack and Carter encourages him to leave a note for Emily. A lot more on this storyline later.
Lauren and Carter then show up at Kaylie’s place after she fails to show up for practice, and she doesn’t want to hear it. Carter explains that Lauren was only being a friend, and he was staying at her house after he got kicked out of his own house. Kaylie reminds Lauren that she promised she would stay away from Carter, but Carter defends her. Carter tells Kaylie she shouldn’t use this to pull out of the China meet. Lauren tells her they need her to compete, but Kaylie scoffs that they only need her because the team will do better with her than without her. She declares that this time she is looking out for herself. Lauren leaves, and Carter tries to defend himself. Kaylie closes the door in his face.
In the last round of training before the competition, Emily is still struggling to land her Yurchenko one and a half with a blind landing. Leo (Kaylie’s brother) is helping her, but she still can’t get over her fear. Kaylie’s mom (Ronnie) comes to The Rock to ask Sasha to go talk to Kaylie and convince her to compete. Ronnie tells Sasha he’s the only man in Kaylie’s life right now, and she needs him. Sasha, quite intelligently I might add, goes to talk to Kaylie’s dad and asks him to step up and be there for her daughter. Emily returns to the Pizza Shack to pick up her check and Leo sees the note Damon left for her and takes it before Emily can see it. Emily had previously talked about how she didn’t want any distractions and Leo obviously likes her and thinks he’s doing this for her own benefit.
The next morning, a crowd is ready for The Rock vs China meet. Emily is scared to do her new vault and tells Payson she might go back to her old one. Payson admits she still hasn’t been able to get on the bars since her injury. Emily tells Payson she and Damon said I love you to each other, and Payson explains that if she can do that, then the vault shouldn’t be a problem. I really like this new found Emily and Payson friendship. They both balance each other out quite well. Emily needs help trusting, and so does Payson, and I like that they have been able to help each other overcome their fears.
Meanwhile, the National Committee head meets with Kaylie and her mom and surprisingly her dad shows up. Kaylie is told that she wasn’t sent to China because the US stood no chance at winning, and the National Committee wanted to protect Kaylie from this. When the Committee head leaves, Kaylie’s dad angrily declares that no one is going to come into his house and tell him that his daughter isn’t good enough. He finally comes through for his daughter, and Kaylie decides to compete. Back at The Rock, the Chinese team enter the gym quite robotically. I understand that gymnasts have to walk in a very specific way when entering the arena, or moving from one event to another, but the way these Chinese gymnasts walk was a bit over the top. Perhaps it was the angle that it was shot at, but this was the only gymnastics part of the show in its season run where I haven’t quite agreed with the way it was done. That said, they did a great job casting these Chinese gymnasts and choreographing their routines. Jengi Cho (the declared leader of the Chinese team), really resembled a member of the Chinese Olympic team from 2008. Even her cutesy floor routine was very similar to one I saw in the Olympics. Kudos to the gymnastics coordinators for really doing their research about these Chinese gymnasts. Shortly after the US team arrives, Kaylie comes in with her family and asks Sasha if she can compete. The National Team Committee head tells her she thought they had a deal, and Kaylie’s dad quips back that she doesn’t make deals with the devil.
During the meet, The Rock team seems to be proving their merit. Emily overcomes her fear of the blind landing and sticks her vault to win a bronze medal. She also takes home a silver on bars. While competing on beam, Lauren injures herself on the landing. She claims she’s fine to compete but the team trainer says no. With not many options left, Sasha tells Payson she is going to compete on bars. Payson tells him she won’t medal, but Sasha says neither would the alternate, but if she competes, she is inspiring her whole team. Payson doesn’t know what to do but in the end, she overcomes her fear. Her routine was easy and simple but she did it. The entire team is impressed. The Rock team has one last chance to medal (and beat the previous US medal record against the Chinese) when Kaylie goes up on the beam. Sasha tells her to do her triple twist dismount because he’s seen her land it in practice. She is nervous, but decides to trust her coach. Sasha tells Kaylie that if she lands the dismount, she will medal and the team will medal. However, he is looking out for her best interest as National Champion and she needs to do this skill for her. Kaylie ends up nailing her routine and her dismount and edges out the Chinese to win a gold medal (and beat Lauren). The Rock team ends up with 5 medals, and beats the record the “other” US National team had set against them in China (4 medals). What I loved about this part of the episode was not only the incredible gymnastics we saw, but also that The Rock didn’t win every gold medal. I understand that on an ABC Family show, generally things will turn out well (although not always, let’s be honest), but they didn’t make it super cheesy and predictable and have The Rock gymnasts beat the Chinese at every event and take home every gold medal. I liked that it came down to the wire, and The Rock ended up triumphant.
After the meet, The Rock gymnasts go to the Pizza Shack to celebrate and Leo gives Emily the note Damon left for her. She turns on the radio to hear Damon being interviewed about his songs and his muse (Emily). After hearing Damon sing his song on the radio, she decides she needs to go say goodbye. Kaylie offers to drive her and on the way out, Emily tells her mom to love whoever she wants (Chloe then looks over at Steve). Emily gets to the radio station but is told that the interview was pre-recorded and Damon has already left for the airport. This was another thing I loved about the season finale. Nothing was wrapped up in a bow, and this heartbreaking cliffhanger was a great one. While Emily was trying to find Damon, Kaylie calls Carter and leaves a message for him telling him that she loves him. However, Carter has different plans. He goes to Lauren’s room and kisses her, and that’s how the episode ends. I was a bit surprised by this, but Lauren has actually been an incredibly good friend to Carter so I can understand the attraction there. I will be interested to see how the whole Lauren/Carter/Kaylie love triangle turns out. And The National Team Committee is certainly going to give Sasha and his rogue team hell after what he pulled off. I want to know if Kaylie will lose her sponsorships or her title. Will Emily lose her scholarship and/or her job? Will Damon return? (I am pretty sure he will). What’s next for The Rock girls? I think Payson’s on the road to greatness again. I”m wondering what big meet season 2 will center around. I would love to see more international gymnasts and I always love when the girls are in the gym.
I think this entire first season has been fantastic, and I can’t wait to see what happens when it returns in the summer. I was so excited when I learned this show was first coming out because it combines my two great loves in life–television and gymnastics. I am still equally as excited about the success that this show has had as well as the fact that it has continued to keep my attention week after week. I genuinely like the characters, and I am interested in their lives. I loved the curve ball they threw with Summer and Sasha getting involved. I thought the return of Kellie Parker and Marty was great. And even Lauren has had her moments to shine where she showed she was vulnerable and can be very loyal and caring. I also can’t wait to see if Chloe Kmetko and Steve Tanner start dating again. There are so many things to look forward to in season 2. I will have a lot of coverage when we get closer to the premiere date.
Make It Or Break It airs Monday nights on ABC Family and will be returning in June for season 2.
The China team arrives first, looking a bit like robotsTweet