Okay, so after a little recap of the events from Episode 7, Make It or Break It, August 17th airing of Rock Bottom, Season 2 Episode 8 starts with Lauren and Steve Tanner having it out over his sponsoring Emily Kmetko. Steve essentially tells Lauren he kept it secret because he didn’t want to deal with her reaction, that he donates to charities all the time it doesn’t mean he loves them more than her. Lauren points out that Emily is her competition. They continue to argue and Steve tries to help Lauren understand that the Kmetko’s were barely getting by. Lauren points out that the money Steve was giving to Emily helped Emily to steal the best choreographer right out from under Lauren, who then storms off as the doorbell rings.
Steve Tanner opens the door to find the very person they were arguing about on his door step. Lauren struts back on to the scene and takes a couple of digs at Emily about working at the Pizza Shack. Emily calmly hands Steve $1,243.00 and tells Steve that she’ll pay back the rest of the money as soon as she can. Who knew slinging pizza got such good tips? Steve tries to tell Emily she doesn’t have to do that. Steve asks Emily how her mom feels about all this and Emily replies that she agrees completely, that he lied to them and there is no going back from that.
The scene moves to Payson waking up and smiling dreamily over Sasha’s gold medal and her put it on. Kim is in the kitchen trying to drum up support for the president of the Rocks Parents board. Her husband is not too happy that Kim is getting involved in the politics of the gym. Payson comes happily into the kitchen and her dad notes she’s wearing Sasha’s medal.
Kaylie arrives at the gym and is helped by Austin when she almost passes out getting out of the car. Austin notes that her hands are freezing. He is another person taking notice of Kaylies unhealthy weight loss. Kaylie makes a point of telling Austin that the kiss they shared didn’t mean anything to her.
Chloe confronts Lauren and tells her that if she doesn’t tell Steve she was sleeping with Carter, then she will. After stating she didn’t know that Steve was funding the endowment and that secrets have a way of coming out, Chloe tells Lauren she can not keep the secret about Lauren and Carter having sex. Lauren accuses Chloe shes’ doing this because the money is no longer coming in. Chloe tells Lauren its about doing the right thing and that she has a choice, either she tells her father that she and Carter are sexually active or she will.
Sasha continues to help Payson work on her artistic Gymnastics. He tries to tell her that while she is perfecting the techniques, he wants to see the emotions behind the movements. Kim’s husband Mark’s comments that getting politically involved in the gym is not a good idea and Kim tells Summer she doesn’t think she should run. Summer tries to tell Kim that if Steve wins, he and the other board members could try to get rid of Sasha. Kim points out that Summer might be a bit biased since she is dating Sasha. Summer counters winning the board presidency is more about Sasha being a good coach than anything else and that he is the right coach for the girls and that he needs to be protected.
Kaylie and Emily discuss how much a fool Emily feels after finding out that Steve was backing her. She says the funding made her feel like she was something real and that someone believed she had a chance of winning the Olympics. Kaylie assures Emily she is real – that she is worthy of the Olympic Dream.
Austin helps Kaylie after she asks him to share the training cam. He offers to help shoot her vault run. While filming Kaylie doing her vault, we see Austin’s concern with Kaylies weight and how thin she is getting. Not to mention that she could hardly keep from passing out after her vault.
Steve and Chloe meet up to discuss the money/endowment issue. Chloe forgives Steve for trying to do something nice for her and Emily. She mentions that Emily is proud and asks Steve to respect her wishes from now on.
Lauren plots to continue to cause problems for Chloe after telling Carter that Chloe threatened to tell Steve about them having sex. Carter tries to man up and tells Lauren that she and Carter need to tell her dad first. That they will assure her dad that they are being safe and that they care about each other. Summer walks by just as Carter walks away and asks if Lauren wants to talk about the money issue. Lauren continues to push Summer to come back and date her dad. Lauren really wants Summer and Steve to get back together.
Sasha tries another training method with Payson to help her feel her artistic dancing and have her movements show more as fluid, flowing lines to the audience. He tells her to close her eyes and think of something that made her happy, angry, joyous or sad. He asks her if she has the feeling and when she says yes, he tells her to dance while painting. Payson creates a colorful canvas with her graceful dancing.
We next see Emily and her mom fighting while Emily tries to find money for the bus to get to work. During the fight, Emily finds out that Chloe has forgiven Steve for the money. Emily angrily complains that her mom has continually made bad choices in the men she dates and why doesn’t her mom help out and get another job. Chloe tells Emily that she starts her new job tomorrow night as Emily storms out to catch the bus.
Kim and Mark weigh the pros and cons of Kim running for the Rock Parents Board President back at their home. Payson walks in while they are discussing the cons and what would happen if Steve Tanner wins instead of Kim. That Steve probably wouldn’t keep Kim as office manager and what would happen if Steve sent Sasha packing. Payson says then they’ll follow him – that he is the only coach that would train her right now. Her parents tell her that they can’t follow Sasha around the country. Payson points out that is exactly why Kim needs to run for president of the Rocks Parent Board. Payson leaves to secretly take a dinner to Sasha, she feels he needs to have someone feed him since he has cereal for dinner. Payson unwittingly interrupts Sasha and Summer having dinner. Payson awkwardly covers up her true feelings and reasons behind bringing the dinner to Sasha. Summer points out that Payson is very fond of Sasha after Payson leaves.
We next see Sasha watching Payson do another floor routine. He again attempts to get her to tell a story with her routine. He foolishly walks her through an example of using her favorite story Romeo and Juliet to help her tell her story, deepening her crush for Sasha.
Austin convinces Kaylie to go on a picnic with him. He reveals the tragic story of his sisters eating disorder brought on by her competitive need to be better at gymnastics and how it destroyed his sister’s life. Kaylie listens but even this sad story and Austins obvious concern regarding Kaylies weight do not deter Kaylie from continuing to lose weight.
After Carter tries to confirm they he and Lauren will confess to her dad that night. Lauren gets all suspicious that Carters more concerned about getting kicked out of the Rock. Lauren turns to Summer and confesses all and lies about Chloe Kmetko knowing about it and encouraging it. Lauren tells Summer this to try to drive a deeper wedge between Chloe and her dad. Summer tries to tell Lauren she needs to tell her dad about all of it. Lauren asks Summer to tell her dad for her, says she can leave out the part about Chloe knowing it. Summer says she can’t promise that.
Chloe goes to visit Steve. She finds Steve looking shocked and asked if he is okay. Steve tells Chloe that he found out that Carter and Lauren were having sex and Chloe knew about it and didn’t tell him. Chloe asks if Lauren told him that Chloe told Lauren to tell him about it and if she didn’t, Chloe would. Steve reveals it was Summer who told him. Steve tells her he can’t trust Chloe with Laurens’ well-being and that he doesn’t think he trusts her at all. Chloe tearfully asks for Steve’s forgiveness and he says he doesn’t think he can forgive her. Chloe gives Steve back the key to his house and runs out in tears.
Emily comes home to the lights being out, the a/c being shut off and the bills not being paid. On top of that , her brother is showing seizure symptoms and his meds are not refilled. Emily helps her brother to the floor and gets someone to watch him while she runs to the pharmacy. At the pharmacy, Emily find out the meds are $220.00 and that her insurance doesn’t cover the meds. The pharmacist tells her to wait until tomorrow to contact her insurance to verify coverage. She argues she can’t wait until tomorrow and asks how much 2 pills will cost. The pharmacist tells he can’t sell her 2 meds, he’d lose his job. Emily begs him to check again and while he does that, she snatches the medicine and leaves the $15 copay she expected to originally pay.
Carter shows up to tell Laurens dad about the sex. Lauren reveals Summer already told her dad about them. Carter is upset because he could get kicked out of the Rock if Summer tells Sasha about it. Lauren angrily accuses Carter of only caring about the Rock and not really loving her. That she isn’t stupid. She asks how long it took him to fall in love with Kaylie. That he only told her he loved her until his place at the Rock was threatened.
Mark and Kim are still going over whether or not Kim should run for the Parents Board President. They discuss Paysons’ changing hormones and how losing Sasha as coach would affect Payson. We cut to Sasha using the training cam to record Payson performing a truly graceful floor routine. With the camera still running after Payson’s routine, Sasha enthusiastically hugs Payson and twirls her around. He steps back after the congratulatory hug and tells Payson she finally told a story and that the performance was truly inspired. Payson breathlessly tells Sasha with her eyes shining with all her feelings – its him, that he inspires her. Then Payson rushes up on her toes and kisses Sasha.
He does not return her kiss but, shocked by it, he tries to disengage himself from her embrace by pushing her away.
Payson is embarrassed and runs out of the gym.
Emily comes home and gives her brother his medicine. Their neighbors gave them some light. Emily asks where her mother is working. Her brother doesn’t know and ask why she wants to know. She says because she hopes it pays really well since they need $220.00. There is a knock at the door. Emily goes to answer it and it is the police. The police have come to arrest Emily for the theft of the medicine.
The episode ends with Kaylie noting calories in her journal, debating if she should work off the calories of the food she just ate or not. She starts to leave the room, and losing the battle to not work out, Kaylie climbs back on the treadmill.
This is a truly griping and powerful episode that shows how much Emily is struggling just to honestly make it as an Olympian. It is amazing how much MIOBI can fit into one episode. The dynamics are compelling. Young crushes, youthful indiscretions, unhealthy decisions and the battles these girls are going through. Definitely a must see!