“Bunheads” minicap (1.09) “No One Takes Khaleesi’s Dragons”


Can you believe that this week is Bunheads‘ penultimate episode? (Can you also believe that I never heard the world “penultimate” until I started writing about television?) The season ends next week — with no word yet on whether the show will be back — and I feel like we’ve barely gotten started. Yet, I also feel like I’ve known the peculiar people of Paradise for years — as if they existed long before we ever heard of Bunheads, with other names, living in another town across the country in, let’s say, Connecticut.

The déjà vu force was strong in this week’s cold open, as Michelle waits in line for coffee at the reopened shop of award-winning barista Sebastian (Sean Gunn).

Kirk has two daddies!

The Sasha/Fanny feud continues this week, with Fanny working her dancers in a way that would be called abusive outside the ASP universe. She needs a Claire for Nutcracker and no one lives up to Sasha’s Claire-ity.

I guess we’re being set up for Sasha to come back and save the Nutcracker in the last episode, but frankly, I’d rather see her and Fanny fight it out like Dean and Jess. The age difference would mean nothing since Sasha is so thin that Fanny could break her in two with one well-placed cane strike.

Melanie and Ginny are avoiding tryouts by hiding in the bushes together. I don’t think Melanie’s distress at being seen has anything to do with ballet. Make your move, girl.

Michelle, meanwhile, tries to get a part in tour of Follies being choreographed by a former colleague who seemingly isn’t anxious to cast a difficult and overbearing dancer. I know we were supposed to feel some kind of empathy with yet another blow to Michelle’s ego, but I am beyond caring about her former career. She supposedly married Hubbell because she knew she was no longer star material — do we really have to be beat over the head with proof week after week? All it does is make her less likable than she already is – which is almost impossible.

Cheerleader tryouts went well for Sasha and now she is officially a smiling, perky, Paradise Pirates fan with a secret sister who sends anonymous texts to meet her at the soccer field for a “surprise.” Great fan fiction scenario, but otherwise just a way for Sasha to pretend she made the right decision to quit ballet.

Of course, Sasha actually hates cheerleading — almost as much as she hates herself — and has to make the other cheerleaders feel like idiots for cheering for such a horrible team. Sasha needs to check into the possibility of a Mortuary Club, since other people’s misery seems to make her happy.

In other news, Ginny acts like an idiot every time Charlie’s around, including when she’s spending the night with his sister. After Melanie notices that Ginny is putting on makeup during what she calls “the taking off portion of the evening” (yes!), Ginny admits the attraction. Melanie’s “bra code” speech is kind of amazing, especially considering how little personality we’ve seen from her so far.

Boo has decided she likes Carl and has just started making out with him when Melanie and Ginny walk in. Naturally, the friends are more interested in each other than in Carl, and while they are claiming their male territory, he leaves. Michelle and Godot have some serious flirt time, which I’m sure will lead to a “Waiting for Michelle” joke at some point, but is otherwise just weird. I don’t claim to understand how straight women lose their minds around men, but it seems especially out of place on this show.

Michelle’s one redeeming moment comes at the end of the episode, when she finds Sasha watching the other cheerleaders.

I wish we could see this Michelle more and the annoying one less. Sutton Foster is great, and when she is allowed to be a real person rather than a caricature, she is totally engaging. The same is true of Fanny. When she’s a slightly arrogant eccentric, I love her. But the complete lack of regard for her students we saw tonight is not consistent — and is very unlikable.

Random ASP moments:

“Oh please, vibrate still makes that annoying buzzing sound everyone hears even though we’re supposed to pretend we can’t hear it.”

“Sure, tell everyone the Jewish girl is in the attic.”

“They have bottomless mimosas here, which frankly I just see as a challenge.”

“We’re not Gyllenhaals.”

“This is the Nutcracker, not Dumbo.”

“She giggle texted. She’s one high ponytail away from needing an intervention.”

“Here’s my philosophy: I believe in controlling everything and putting cheese on stuff.”

“You’re acting 50 shades of cray-cray.”

“I know his snort lady, trust me; Bright Lights, Big City was his favorite book.”

“Teach a man to dance and he eats fish for a lifetime.”

What did you think of this Bunheads episode? Do you want another season? What do you expect for the finale?

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