‘Bunheads’ recap: Episode 5, ‘Money for Nothing’

The girls swoon over Hunky Oyster Bar Dude. In case you forgot who they are, the girl in the middle is Ginny and the girl on the right is Melanie. We know you know Sasha, because she's the best.

Before we can get started this week, we need to know why not one scene has taken place on the beautiful beach right outside the house yet? We would be living out there, but everyone seems to prefer to spend all of their time indoors on this show. Oh Californians, always taking their beaches for granted.

Next, Michelle is waking up to discover a beautiful little opossum in her bed. Her first thought is to call Fanny for some animal control advice. Fanny advises to give him some cab fare and shoo him out. Michelle assures her it’s not a man, it’s a “thing” that might be a rat. Fanny says to grab a frying pan and bang it on the head, but Michelle is like, “Hello, I don’t cook.” The opossum hisses at Michelle and scares her out of bed. Sorry Sasha, the opossum is our new favorite character on the show.

She runs into the house where Truly is helping Fanny sort her finances, which she does by throwing receipts and scraps of note paper into separate hat and shoe boxes that are meant to represent different factions of her expenses. Oh, her accountant must just love this! Truly also assumes the critter is some kind of man and seems horrified. Michelle replies with a reference to “Fast Times at Ridgemont High.” Truly assures her that she never has any idea what Michelle is talking about.

Apparently, Fanny has a “paying season” that only occurs twice a year where she figures out how much money she has and then she pays the people who need to get paid, who deserve to get paid and who might get paid if there’s money left, all in that order. She insists everyone in Paradise does this, but Truly’s troubled eyes reveal that Fanny’s highly delusional.

Boo’s becoming a waitress under the tutelage of a micromanaging overachiever who’s just been promoted and seems like every fiber of his being has been preparing itself for this very moment since he got his first pair of big boy pants. He also really wants to go to Harvard someday, but not as much as he wants to make Boo jump around in the dumpster, which is what happens next. And then he flirts with her. He possibly got his wooing skills from Hubbell. He might want to try buying Boo some shoes, in that case. Although Sasha just did that last week. Wait, is Sasha trying to date Boo? Now this show is getting interesting. Later, the girls make fun of Boo’s smell; hello again, Ginny and uhhhh … hold on … MELANIE! We thought we might have lost you for good.

Sal from the dance store in town comes to the house because he knows it’s Fanny’s paying season and he wants to make sure he’s in the hat box of purveyors of the highest priority. He hasn’t been paid in a few years, and he needs to get paid this year or he’ll “rip the toe shoes off those little girls.” (It does seem, according to last week’s episode, that the girls have to buy their own toe shoes, though, not Fanny?) Then he talks about Michelle’s ass for a very long time, lecturing her that she needs to “use her tush or lose it.” That’s actually a metaphor for dance, but if you haven’t seen the episode yet you’re welcome to interpret it any way you’d like. We also don’t get to actually see Michelle’s ass at this point, which renders it all a total waste of time.

In Fanny’s house, a malicious breeze has conveniently tossed all of her scraps of paper in all the boxes all over the house. Seriously, guys, if it’s that sunny and breezy out GO TO THE BEACH. Ahem, anyway, Fanny goes off to teach her dance class and says Truly can handle it. Michelle compares the look on Truly’s face to the crazy eyes of the girl who hides chicken under the bed in “Girl, Interrupted.” Michelle chases after Fanny and lectures her about how she chooses to conduct her affairs, saying Gilda at the supermarket won’t sell her a slushee until she finds out what box she’s in. Why does the entire town cater to Fanny’s absurdity? How did Hubbell become a successful businessman if he was raised like this? Will we ever find out if Michelle got her slushee?

Michelle says she’s finding “a real accountant with a desk and a degree who you can’t make cry” and then sets off on her mission to correct Fanny’s life (presumably because this seems easier to do than fixing the mess in her own life).

Ginny has some kind of boyfriend named Josh that she met in the second grade, and she’s not allowed to make her own plans without checking in with him. Run girl, run now. She and Melanie and Sasha sit down at Boo’s restaurant, The Oyster Bar, to be supportive in theory and to get free stuff in reality. They also learn that the restaurant owner’s son, whose name we don’t know because Sasha swallows her vowels, is back from Costa Rica and hunkier than he was last year. He also likes to carry heavy things while not wearing a shirt. All the girls swoon, even Ginny. What would Josh think (aside from that he wants to be touching more than the 20% of Ginny she purportedly allows him to touch, poor Josh)?

The accountant, Eric Sinclair CPA, basically lectures them that they’ll both (Michelle and Fanny, not Fanny and Eric) need sustainable income because Hubbell’s savings won’t last forever. Michelle learns that only nine out of 75 kids at the ballet school aren’t “on scholarship.” Which means only nine kids in the “must pay” hat box. Michelle starts shouting at Fanny: “Nine? Nine! Nine?? NINE.” Fanny: “You sound like you’re German.” On the way home from the office, Fanny plugs iPod ear buds in her ears to avoid talking to Michelle, but Michelle learns she wasn’t even playing any music. Hee. Back home, the fight continues. Fanny insists she’s an artist and can’t be bothered about money; Michelle insists that as a teacher, she should be paid. They realize they need to add more classes in order to generate money, and Fanny says she’s doing as much as she can at 30 classes per week so if they need to add more classes, then Michelle will have to teach them. Michelle shuts that idea down and then scurries away, listening to fake music.

The girls put on skimpy sundresses and wait around for the surfer dude who carries stuff to come through The Oyster Bar. Hopefully Sasha brought money stolen from her mom’s purse so they can actually buy food this time and tip Boo. As the girls scheme how to get the hunky guy’s attention, Michelle happens to come in because Fanny drives her to eat junk food. (Poor Boo, she’s trying to eat well and she’s surrounded by onion rings and fried calamari.) She asks why the girls are all dressed for a quinceanera, hee! She pries for details and we learn that the guy’s name is Godot (Michelle: “So you’re waiting for Godot?” Girls: Blank stare.) and he’s the son of Rico and Nina. The girls are so embarrassed by Michelle that they kick her out of their table, and then Sasha gets the girls to dare her to get a free drink from Godot. She does a laudable job of it, but he outright ignores her while she makes a fool of herself. Finally he asks what she wants and she gets shy and asks for a cup of cherries. Meanwhile, he goes outside for a break and sees Boo jumping in the trash. He laughs at her and tells her that is not her job. In fact, Jeff (micromanaging overachiever) gave himself seniority over Boo; Godot’s parents don’t actually believe in labels like “manager.” Godot calls Jeff a douchebag, and now we like him and hope he sleeps with Boo. Oh, we meant to say Michelle. But, no, we meant to say Boo. Boo needs some love. Instead, she gets Godot’s shirt because hers is filthy; she smells it (um?) and says he smells like coconut snickerdoodle. You see why Boo needs a boyfriend?  (Plus don’t you want to ship a couple on TV called Boodot?)

At the studio, the kids are getting ready for some kind of recital and Michelle steps in to tell the parents it’s time for them to start paying for training and costumes and what-all. Apparently children began crying at this point; we cut to Michelle on the phone apologizing to numerous parents. Plus, the nine that were paying learned that not everyone was paying, so they asked for price cuts. So apparently she’ll need to start teaching after all, how convenient! And we’re just going to hand-wave all subsequent talk of money on this show.

The girls go to pick up Boo from work and they see her chatting with Godot. He gives her a CD he burned for her (those still exist?). Sasha: “CD? That’s current.” THIS IS WHY SHE’S THE BEST ONE. Brain twins!

Finally it’s time for the dance recital, “Paper or Plastic.” It’s about the corruption of consumerism, and it’s fairly hilarious. And we get to see more actual dancing! There should be a number every episode, really. But we can’t even get all four girls every episode, so we won’t let our expectations get too high. Boo and Sasha have the main parts and do some nice pairing work, and that’s not even a euphemism (for now). In the end, nature dies and it’s a happy ending because everyone learns a valuable lesson. The lesson is that Fanny’s devious. This is reaffirmed when we learn that instead of paying Sal, they just advertised for him during the show. Michelle asks if he knows he’s never getting paid. Fanny: “Nope, and he never will.” Happy ending, indeed.


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