Credit: Lifetime

Welcome to another whirlwind episode of Dance Moms (Season 2, Episode 19), where mean women cry and children fall down.

Last week, Abby Lee Miller “knocked the apple tree down” by defeating Cathy and her Candy Apples. So what and who could possibly get in the way this week?

First, the Pyramid of Doom. At the bottom is Paige because her mom Kelly changed Abby’s choreography and that is just nonsense. Next is Mackenzie (“You have to pull your weight”) and then Brooke, who is off of probation. Again, Kelly did something ridiculous, putting her other child on probation. Sadness all around.

In the middle are Nia, because she cried once a year ago or something, and Maddie. Yes, Maddie is in the middle, which means our darling Chloe is at the top of the Pyramid! When can this girl get an agent and get out of Pittsburgh?

The girls are going to Starbound in Atlanta this week. Chloe gets a solo called Trouble, and she needs to “jump higher than you’ve ever jumped.” Maddie also gets a solo called “Mom, It Will Never Be the Same.” The trio (oy, the “nightmares” that are trios) is made up of Paige, Nia, and itty bitty Mackenzie, and it’s called “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us.” The group number is called “All Kids Go,” and “we’re talking about our childhoods going away.”

But poor Mackenz is left out, because the group dance moves are going to be racy, so Abby needs “someone who looks like a teenager,” which turns out to be the bitterly remembered Peyton and her horrifying mother Leslie.

Credit: Lifetime

Yes, Abby says the girls will audition for a spot on Drop Dead Diva, and yes, we know that Abby Lee appears on the show later on in its season, and the moms obediently chat up the Lifetime show in the Moms’ box. Remind us to tell you this thing we heard about “synergy.”

So there’s Peyton, with her Mona Lisa face and her daunting height, and naturally the Moms are not pleased. Even though we secretly are, because more Leslie means more Screams, tears, and Christy one-liners (which, aside from Mackenzie and the talented tiny dancers, are our favorite part of Dance Moms).

Leslie makes her big, waltzy, schmaltzy entrance to the Moms’ box, chirping in with, “Well maybe she’ll give Peyton a solo!” Everyone rolls their eyes, and frankly, so do we, because we don’t care much for Leslie unless she’s in a full-on state of trademark Dance Moms-copywritten Screams.

Speaking of wacky sounds, a cow moos and we know we’re near the Candy Apples studio. And, what’s this? Jill got her daughter Kendall kicked off of another dance team? When will that woman learn? When will her Screams stop?! Allow us to join hands and say a quick prayer for poor Kendall, who didn’t deserve any of that, and should have probably been encouraged to do gymnastics instead of the dance.

Cathy trains her dance team for the Drop Dead Diva auditions, and we’re treated to the unfortunate news that Cathy’s daughter Vivi-Anne cannot read nor pronounce the word “choreography.”

The Moms go for drinks and we learn that Christy has a signature drink. It’s “Mommy juice”! We love that, just because. Kelly is throwing a party for her birthday, and they start chatting about how Leslie sucks, and she shouldn’t be invited. And then we get our first Christy one-liner of the night: “Leslie is the ultimate stage mother. She will knock you down and steal your teeth if it means that her kid will get a part over yours.”

Which leads to the first dramatic fight. Christy makes the choice to send Chloe on a school field trip overnight, which means Chloe will miss dance rehearsal. Abby Lee, upon discovering this, calls Christy “a snake and a liar,” says Chloe is “dumb,” and Screams for a bit. Leslie, somewhat intelligently, takes the opportunity to ask Abby if Peyton can have the solo instead, and she gets it.

Speaking of the trio dance, Abby says, “They need energy, and these three slugs don’t have it.” We just enjoyed that.

Once Chloe returns, and proves to Abby that she remembered her solo despite going on the field trip, Chloe mentions the word “pressure,” and we really start to worry about these girls. We like to complain about our busy, busy lives, but does our day really compare to one day in the life of Chloe? The poor, brave things.

So Kelly throws her 45th birthday party, and her only friends appear to be the Moms, and Leslie. Yay for reality, everyone! Leslie walks in and keeps trying to shove a forkful of big, whipped-cream covered sugary cake into her mouth, but she keeps interrupting herself to call Christy a “drunk” and telling the birthday girl to shut up. Yay for class, ladies!

Credit: Scott Gries/Lifetime Television © 2011

Christy tells Leslie that all she does is show up at dance competitions with “your beer bottle and your cigarette,” and then Leslie throws a glass or a small animal across the room and mutters something incomprehensible and suddenly we’re treated to Christy saying, “You know what? Leslie’s a bitch,” as we wander slowly away from the Real Housewives of Pittsburgh auditions.

On to the competition! Christy is hysterical(ly funny) and shouts at Leslie, “Careful someone doesn’t drop a house on you!” Yay for … Oz references?

Chloe’s solo is up first, and she is wearing blue sparklies. She’s also as perfect as ever, so graceful, and the kid better be far away in New York putting on toe shoes soon, because she’s just the best. And sweet! We adore. Abby takes this moment to credit her “years and years of training.”

Maddie’s solo is next, and she’s wearing a yellow sparkly-free dress. Her emotions are totally on target, and she looks weightless as she throws her body across the stage. Love her too, but she’s less of a ballerina and more of a future contestant on So You Think You Can Dance. A finalist, for sure! Abby’s very pleased with her girls.

The trio is next and Nia is very nervous about doing her front aerial. Mackenzie bops out first, and their spacing and timing is off, and then Nia has a bad landing on (you guessed it!) her front aerial. “They did not do a good job,” says Abby. They debate in the wings about who will get yelled at the most.

Peyton’s solo is up next, and she’s wearing red sparklies. Peyton still looks to us like a showgirl in training, but maybe it’s just because she’s so much taller than everyone else. Or maybe it’s because of those seductive faces she keeps making. Leslie complains backstage that she didn’t get enough practice with Abby. Leslie starts crying, and Abby tells her to stop, and Leslie whines, “I’m an adult!” and Abby rightfully points out that she is the one “boo-hoo’ing” over here. Eek.

The group number is gorgeous even though Peyton is way too tall. Brooke even got to dance on her neck!

For the solo awards, Chloe gets 4th place, and Maddie gets 1st place! In the teen category, Peyton won 2nd place. The trio gets 5th place in their category. And the group dance wins 1st place! Abby conquers Starbound, and Leslie’s here to stay.

Catch an all-new Dance Moms on Tuesday, July 24 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Lifetime.

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

For the latest from Wetpaint Entertainment, Like us on our Facebook page at facebook.com/Wetpaint, or Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/WetpaintTV.