It’s a brand new day in Casa Perry, so Linda hauls Hunter Valentine into a private meeting to suss out why there is so much drama in the band. She calls each one of them out on their issues. It’s not just Aimee; Kiyomi and Lauren are responsible as well for the band’s stagnation. “Quit dicking off,” Linda tells them before leaving them to deal with it on their own.
Anjuli is first up to work with Linda, and she’s feeling ready for the challenge. Linda makes no bones that Anjuli is talented but Linda wants her to try something light, which is a real departure from what she’s used to. For the first time, Anjuli struggles to capture Linda’s vision. She gets agitated with Linda’s pushing, and the two butt heads. Anjuli shuts right down, and can’t hide her frustration.
House manager Laura sits down with Anjuli later that evening, and the truth starts pouring out. Anjuli was very impacted by some of the more negative things that Linda said during their exchange, and that’s why she just put it all on ice. Anjuli feels that Linda has the power to make to make you feel like you are on top of the world, but also make you come crashing right back down.
Candice and Will have a heart to heart about her coming out and how her parents don’t know about it yet. Before she left to do the show, her mother advised her, “don’t show them anything you don’t want them to see.” Mothers always know. The great work that she’s doing with the band and Linda, make her feel like she’s experiencing tremendous growth though.
Linda decides that she could use a little change in perspective so naturally she decides to bring Courtney Love to meet the musicians. This is going to be fun. Everyone looks like you’d expect people to look after seeing Courtney Love: Confused, excited, terrified, amazed. Linda wants Courtney to school the gang on the highs and lows of the music industry. (The lowest? Opening for Limp Bizkit.) Above all, Courtney emphasizes authenticity. Hunter Valentine is first, and Courtney hates the name, so they are off to a good start. They play a snippet, but Courtney is unsure of what to think of the band. She tells Kiyomi that she’s not into her style, but loves Aimee’s preppy lumberjack thing. Laura accepts the criticism, and for her it just reconfirms what Linda has been harping on them from the beginning.
Gabriel plays one of his originals, and Courtney likes it but thinks something is missing. Anjuli comes next, and does the rap/sing fusion she does so well, but Linda worries that an entire album of that sound will get old real fast. Courtney loves the fact that Anjuli looked her right in the eyes as she performed. When Linda opens the floor for questions, Aimee asks Courtney if she’d ever been in a position where she been stuck doing something she didn’t want. “You play to satisfy yourself,” is Courtney’s honest response. Kiyomi and Lauren look as if they’ve been hit by a truck. As the session draws to a close, Linda tells everyone to step up or risk getting stepped on.
Kiyomi and Lauren grab a beer and try and deal with the big old question now looming over their heads. Does Aimee want out after all? When they ask her to clarify her feelings, she brings up wanting to write her own music, which Kiyomi supports. However, she and Lauren need to know where the band stands. Aimee whips out some serious passive aggressive speak, turning her unhappiness around on to her bandmates. Kiyomi walks away, pissed off and hurt.
Linda knows that performing in front of a famous performer can be intimidating, but she’s unhappy with how Gabriel handled his chance to shine. Gabriel explains that he pulled it all in rather than letting it all hang out. Linda doesn’t think that Gabriel’s “good” is good enough. He breaks down and finds Ivana, who offers him a little comfort and support.
When Linda and Anjuli meet, Linda reinforces the fact that Anjuli is great but the same sound over and over is getting stale. Linda also was put off by the fact that Anjuli became so closed off in their session Linda suspects that she said something that upset Anjuli, and Anjuli confirms that suspicion. When Linda said, “You are looking at me like you don’t know what the fuck I’m talking about,” Anjuli was hurt and insulted. Anjuli explains that she needs time to open up to people, but Linda isn’t about to sit around and wait for that to happen.
Laura and Aimee decide to blow off some steam and practice together, but Kiyomi loses it when she hears. She storms into the room, and tells them to stop playing until she decides what to do with the song. Kiyomi tells Aimee that she’s not sure that she wants to play music anymore. “You’re the odd man out,” Kiyomi tells Aimee. Aimee shoots right back, “I’m the new man in!”
In the clear light of day, house manager Laura comes in to tell the band that they are first up in the studio. Linda is thoroughly frustrated with the bad, but still believes in the band. Linda has the band play a new song, but when they start, she stops them after a few bars. It sounds too much like their other songs. They play a softer song called Stay and Linda loves its simplicity. Aimee pipes up that it’s not the kind of song she wants to play. Linda asks Aime what does she wants to play and asks for an example, so Aimee busts out on of her solo pieces. Admittedly, it’s pretty great. When the band plays together again, it’s an ‘ah ha’ moment for Linda. She gets why Aimee is pulling away. She craves a different sound. Linda stops them and sits them all down for a talk.
Linda calls Aimee out about wanting to be the lead singer of her own band, while simultaneously putting that frustration into Hunter Valentine. “Laura, how do you manage? No wonder you drink so much,” Linda says. She turns to Aimee and asks if she’s in or out. Aimee starts to cry, and admits that she thinks she’s just adding to the discord of the band.
“Let’s be honest, ever since Hunter Valentine walked through those doors, they’ve been on the verge of a breakup,” Linda tells the camera. Linda and the band ask Aimee for an answer. Aimee finally decides that being in Hunter Valentine isn’t the right choice for anyone. Aimee feels terrible for disappointing the band, but Laura and Kiyomi aren’t in the mood to offer her any comfort. Linda recalls when she decided to leave 4 Non Blondes two decades ago, and admits that she feels for Aimee. However, now she has to decide what to do with the remaining members of Hunter Valentine.
Next time on Make or Break: The Linda Perry Project, will Linda invite Aimee to join the house as a solo artist, much to Hunter Valentine’s dismay?