Last week’s bombshell, that recently deceased Hubbell willed everything — his house, land and dance studio — to his bride of 48 hours, Michelle (Sutton Foster), left Hubbell’s mother Fanny (Kelly Bishop) pretty much beside herself. Without legal rights to her house or her dance studio, she’s pretty much at the mercy of Michelle’s whims. Luckily, Michelle’s got a good head on her shoulders — no surprise that Hubbell fell for her so hard!
One House, Divided
With Fanny’s home and livelihood and son suddenly taken away from her, she’s basically on the verge of a major meltdown. And sure enough — she begins muttering about whether or not she’s allowed to have some of Michelle’s water to make herself tea or if she should just use the rusty water leftover in the kettle from before Hubbell died. By the end of her rant, she’s unjustly accusing Michelle of not even being willing to share a tea mug with her. Woman, please — pull it together!
Most disturbing about Fanny’s cattiness is that Michelle doesn’t deserve any of this passive aggression at all. She’s just as much in the middle of this mess as Fanny. As a dancer, Michelle has always been a rootless, free spirit, but now she has a house, a dance school and a loony-tune ex-mother-in-law to figure out. We feel for her, big time. She pours Fanny a drink, and Fanny just walks away. No matter — Michelle just drinks the second one. What a champ.
Mean Girls Get Jealous Too
Meanwhile, at Paradise Dance Studio, Boo’s (Kaitlyn Jenkins) got a crush on Charlie, the older brother of another dancer. He makes Boo adorably nervous — one minute she wants to put a bag over her head and the next she wants to stand in the front of the studio so that he will notice her. As soon as she does get the nerve to get in his line of sight, uber-brat Sasha (Julia Goldani Telles) calls Boo out on her crush right in front of him. In addition to being mean, Sasha’s also thin and beautiful — isn’t that always the way.
Between rival dancers, there’s also an ugliest-feet competition going down. Bunions, split toes nails, and all are gnarly to look at, but they don’t come close the ugliness hiding inside Sasha. When the other girls tell Boo that she shouldn’t take Sasha’s harassment, Boo defends her, citing that Sasha has a lot going on in her home life (parents separated, neglectful mother). Boo’s compassion and forgiveness is inspiring. But when Sasha overhears and chastises Boo for “psychoanalyzing” her, it really only proves that Boo’s theory was spot-on. Oh, and that Sasha is a terrible person who’s hurting inside.
Once we see Boo’s relaxed relationship with her Mother — how open and caring and loving they are with one another — it’s clear why Boo is so willing to forgive. She and her mother have such a solid, strong bond that Boo doesn’t feel threatened or insecure. When Sasha walks over to Boo’s car, perhaps wanting to apologize, and sees Boo and her mother laughing together, all she can do is walk away. It’s truly heartbreaking, especially when you see what a Real Housewife Sasha’s mother is! We feel for you Sasha, but you need to work on those people skills, honey.
Private Roads, Public Problems
Back at Hubbell’s Michelle’s house, an unscrupulous real estate agent named Claire arrives with an entree called “Taco in a Bag” (Side note: Barf City) and a frighteningly long list of problems with Hubbell’s property. Michelle’s too shell-shocked to see what a despicable predator this woman is, and proceeds to believe everything she says, ending with Michelle feeling so overwhelmed by the responsibility of home ownership, she gets in Hubbell’s old car (sweet ride, btw) and breaks down on a country road.
To Michelle’s surprised, it’s a private country road, and as such the tow truck will not move it without the owner’s permission, and when the sheriff arrives he arrests her for trespassing. Did we mention that there was no “Private Road” sign and that everyone in Paradise is completely bonkers? If we were Michelle, we’d probably just start hitchhiking until we saw signs of civilization — like actual road signs.
Pour Me Another
Once Michelle gets bailed out of her mess, she still has to get permission from the landowner to have her car moved. And — hubba, hubba — the land is owned by Grant, an extremely wealthy, extremely good-looking and extremely easy-to-be around Silicon Valley tycoon. He’s the kind of guy who actually makes conversation with a woman, and takes his time slowly pouring a good bottle of red into a glass decanter. We like him — and so does Michelle. Or at least she would, if she weren’t recently widowed with a lunatic ex-mother-in-law.
But talking with Grant has given Michelle enough perspective that she feels ready to tackle the largest problems at hand: Fanny. She will keep ownership of the house, land and dance studio, but she’ll live in the guest house, giving Fanny the main house and full run of the school. Her decision not only makes sense, but it’s a generous thing to do, considering what a whack job Fanny has been towards her. Just like every episode of Bunheads so far this one ends with the two ladies sharing a drink — one that Michelle pours every so slowly into a glass decanter.
Aha — we predict we haven’t seen the last of Grant!