Credit: Lifetime

“Finally!” says Abby Lee Miller, and we couldn’t agree more. Dance Moms returns for another week, only this time, with more cheating and lies and treachery and monstrosities and profanity than ever. Welcome!

The tiny dancers won 1st place for their overall group in last week’s competition, so Abby’s in a grand mood. But, typically, the Pyramid of Doom quickly ruins any bon amie among the moms and their fearless leader.

Pyramid of Doom

Brooke and Paige are put on probation because their mother, Kelly, would not allow them to perform their solos. Kelly claims she didn’t let them dance “because of unfair treatment,” and normally we would say she’s full of it, but these new cheating allegations are making us doubt our Abby.

Also on the bottom is Chloe who dared to go to the doctor one day, and the movies with her mom Christi afterwards. Abby deems this sort of scandalous behavior “ridiculous.” Last week’s duet winners, Nia and Mackenzie, round out the middle, and superstar Maddie is back at the top where she will always belong, like the angel atop the Christmas tree.

“You Will Be Deaf. You Will Be Blind. You Will Be Mute.”

Kelly pulls out Chekhov’s gun by saying, “Everyone knows that when your music stops, you win.” That statement hangs there like a rip in a leotard. We know that sooner or later it will tear everything to shreds, but for now, we ignore it.

We learn that this week, the group dance is called Silver Spoon, which Abby says is about “silver, meaning the finest quality flatware, the luxuries of life, the country club, the finest schools.” Also there will be a giant spoon that everyone will pass around.

Mackenzie, Nia, and Maddie all get solos, and Maddie’s is called Helen Keller. “You will be deaf. You will be blind. You will be mute,” Abby tells her. “I wish Justin Bieber was one of the judges,” says adorable little doll Mackenzie. “He’s cute.” Kid, if we were 8 years old, we might agree with you.

Credit: Lifetime

Up in the moms’ viewing box, where insults float around like second-hand smoke, Melissa admits that she told Abby about Chloe going to the movies. Melissa had a big, huge, fat problem with that, let her tell you. Then, Holly asks a question we tend to ask at every family reunion: “Do we need to talk about all the other lies?”

Basically, the moms say that they heard Maddie had practiced last week’s routine to the broken CD, and was instructed to keep on dancing when it broke down. Melissa feigns innocence, which she is terrible at, and ignorance, which she is brilliant at.

Let the accusations begin!

Naturally, Melissa decides to make a big hissy right in the middle of Chloe and Maddie’s duet rehearsal. “I know Maddie’s mad at me, but I really don’t care,” she says. Guess what, Melissa? We believe you!

“Did you cheat for my daughter?” asks Melissa. “Absolutely not!” shouts Abby. But really, she’s just laughing as Melissa gets more and more shrill. Christi’s eyes roll so far that we get scared for a moment that they’ve rolled right out of her head.

The spoon! “The prop is fabulous!” insists Abby. “But the girls cannot even dance with it, they can’t get it off the floor.” So, maybe it’s not so fabulous? She switches it out for a trophy, and then Nia starts rehearsing for a “very different,” “more mature” solo. Everyone is impressed.

Maddie’s solo involves a ratty doll. “Maddie needs to know where the doll is at all times.” Is this like on The Bachelorette when one of the guys carried an egg throughout his (brief) run on the show? Nope. Nothing is that weird. Next: boozy brunches between moms with problems.

Holly and Melissa pretend that the scratched CD is “like World War III erupted.” They discuss trust, and Melissa stares into her drink, and we’re feeling her. We’d like to dive right into that cup too, Melis. Nose-first.

“Cute Can Only Get You So Far.”

“It sort of just looks like a wand,” says Christi about the new, medium-sized spoon being tossed around. She points out that none of the girls really know the group number, and Kelly, being Kelly, calls it a “disaster.” Well, after we see the costumes, we kind of know what she means. Nia is wearing ropes, just ropes, nothin’ else really ‘cept some ropes. Holly loves it anyway. Mackenzie is wearing a yellow swimsuit with a felt daisy glue-gunned on the chest. “Cute can only get you so far,” says the suddenly wise Melissa.

Abby hates the Silver Spoon costumes. You see, there are two blue costumes, two pink costumes, and only one green costume. Paige, who we love but never gets the chance to stand out mainly because we’re always scared she is going to break, or one of her limbs will suddenly go flying out the window if she dances too hard, is in the green costume, which Christi aptly points out will make whoever wears it stand out. Still with us? Bless your heart.

Spoiler alert! Chloe gets the green dress, and basically everyone is upset. “The costumes are ugly, the spoon is too small, the dance is doomed,” says Kelly. Oh, and there are apparently two teams who are “coming to beat us.” And they do NOT include Candy Apples, which makes us sad. Is Candy Apple Cathy okay? How is her joint beef jerky store/ballet studio synergistic strip mall idea designed to save a marriage…doing?

Credit: Scott Gries/Lifetime Television © 2011

First up is Maddie and Chloe’s duet. They wear grey sparklies, and since there isn’t any threatening production music, we know they’ll be as perfect as usual. They’re the two strongest dancers, both graceful and professional, and perfectly in sync. It’s strange to see them side by side, because we might have to wonder out loud, if Chloe is actually the superstar.

Everyone is overjoyed backstage, and everyone preps for the group dance. Paige’s dress is too big, and Chloe’s is too small, and Melissa just can’t take it. Why can’t her daughter (who is on probation) get the special green dress?

Sloppy Babies!

The group number is upbeat and beautiful, and Abby even tied a white ribbon around the cooking spoon to give it a Tiffany’s touch. We love it! Abby calls it “a breath of fresh air.”

Chloe and Maddie get 2nd place for their duet, and Chloe says that “Abby’s substandard choreography is setting us up to fail.” Why can’t these moms relax? Don’t they know that first is the worst, second is the best, and third is the one with the hairy chest? The group number gets 2nd place too, and Abby is livid. “This is so sloppy!” she yells.

Christi dares to mention the scratched CD, so Melissa goes running out of the room to cry, and Kelly flips out because Abby helps Maddie with her solo makeup. Seriously? We thought all suburban moms were chillin’ at home these days with their Pinot and their 50 Shades of Grey. Why can’t these moms take that same awesome medicine?

Maddie’s Helen Keller performance is breathtaking. We reserve the right to use that word in the middle of a Dance Moms recap,  because we like to joke and kid, but our heart is with these girls. They are wildly talented little tiny dancers!

Nia does an excellent Britney Spears-in-Slave-4-U imitation, and she gets in some great neck dancing. Plus she gets to act, which we know Nia loves to do. Abby says her solo was “good, but not great. I don’t think she’s even going to make the top five.” When Nia walks in, all the girls race over to her and hug her and squeal with joy. Holly, the only sensible mom around, congratulates her daughter on improving so much and gives her a big wet lipstick-red kiss.

Mackenzie is nervous backstage, and then out she comes. Trippin’ daisies. She shakes imaginary cleavage, and makes a kissy face throughout, and makes her mother cry.

Solo awards! Adorable Mackenzie gets 1st place in her age division, and she “got her first crown,” as Melissa points out. We wish we could hug her too. In the next age group, Nia gets 9th place, and Holly loves it. Maddie’s Helen Keller routine gets 4th place.

Kelly utters the phrase we most despise on this show: “I need to give Abby a piece of my mind.” No, actually, you don’t have to give a piece of your mind to anyone. Talk to someone? Sure. Have a discussion? Go for it! But please stop with the retro, 50s sitcom phrases.

Abby puts her fur coat on, vaguely threatens to stuff a CD inside of the next person who questions her judgment, and swivels out of the room. Next week: Peyton and Leslie’s return!

Dance Moms airs on Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Lifetime.  

Molly Friedman is an editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter @MollyFriedman.

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