‘Bunheads’ recap: Episode 8, ‘Blank Up, It’s Time’

Note: This is the face of a woman who's getting laid.

Ginny and Melanie are checking their phones and realizing that between ballet and school, they have virtually no free time anymore. Boo joins; she has a bouquet for Fanny’s welcome-back class, but the other girls tell her it sucks so she chucks it. Everybody stop telling Boo she’s not good enough! Some new girl tries to have a speaking role but she’s shut down pretty fast. Go away, new girl.

Michelle walks into Fanny’s kitchen and discovers a strange man making eggs in a robe. Turns out it’s Michael (Richard Gant), but we don’t fully know who he is or what he’s doing there before Michelle awkwardly extracts herself following some chatter about kinky breakfasts.

The girls are watching Ginger Rogers; Boo comments that old-timey talkies used to have the actors speak fast because everything is funny when it’s faster. Thanks for the meta, Amy Sherman-Palladino. The new girl keeps trying to interject lines, she needs to quit!

Fanny summons them down into the studio. Sasha and some boy (Jordan, apparently) partner for some warm-ups. Yay, more dancing! Dancing with chairs. There’s even more black and boy ballerinas than usual, they are really branching out on this show. We learn that it’s show season, with lots of fairs and festivals to perform at, so Fanny wants the girls to be prepared. She notices that Sasha has tan lines, which is forbidden. When she canes herself over to Sasha to yell at her about breaking the sunshine allotment rules, Sasha is positively emanating one of Maggie Gyllenhaal’s patented ‘yes master, I’ve been bad’ faces from “Secretary.” Seriously, someone go make sure Maggie still has her face! But Sasha winds up losing the Ginger Rogers dance she does every year with Jordan, and Boo gets it instead. She looks surprised and hurt she’s actually getting punished, even though it seemed like that was exactly what she wanted.

Back at the Flowers House proper, Fanny is gardening and inviting Michelle to a show called, “Blank Up, It’s Time.” Apparently they also don’t know what the title’s supposed to mean. Michelle thinks Fanny should be taking her new male friend. Fanny says she was not hiding Michael from Michelle anymore than that time she bought marshmallow vodka and Michelle managed to find that just fine. Hee. Anyway, Fanny assures Michelle that Michael does not like straight plays, just musicals. Which is fitting, because he’s a pianist. And a casual f buddy who swings through town sometimes.

At school, Ginny and Melanie warn Boo that Sasha is probably about to go “Black Swan” on her because of the Ginger Rogers thing. Boo thinks it’s nonsense, but does look a little worried.

At the theater, Michelle comments that matinee crowds are older and crankier (WORD), but they paid $21 for the double wine in the reusable plastic cup, so it’s OK. All right, well it probably cost less way out on the West Coast, but that’s legit what they expect you to pay here. They talk about how Sasha’s been acting out, too, and her punishment.

At Oyster Bar, Boo brings Sasha a special brownie, but not that kind of special brownie, because that would be way too awesome. Probably Godot has some of those in the back, though. But where has Godot been, anyway? Anyway, Boo’s clearly kissing butt so that Sasha doesn’t try to stab her with a shard of mirror. She also mentions that Sasha usually hates being out in the sun, so it was weird she had tan lines. Sasha says she changed.

Despite her best efforts, Michelle doesn’t manage to use the restroom and get back to her seat before intermission. (Pro tip, Michelle: The real intermission trick is getting in and out first, fast. For old people crowds, you want to actually sprint up the aisle while they’re still gathering their canes and giant purses and hard candy wrappers. You can be first in line if you’re on the aisle, but fourth or fifth if you need to slide out of a row. Screw Ortega, you have the Murphy Method now!) She winds up standing in back to watch the second act and bumps into the director, who’s very displeased with what’s happening onstage. They bond. He admits he doesn’t know what the show is about, either.

At the studio later, Michael wants to tune Fanny’s piano, and that’s not even a euphemism. But that, too. Boo learns that Jordan won’t be her Fred Astaire in the Ginger Rogers dance because of family matters. But he probably really quit out of solidarity to Sasha. Fanny explains that the replacement Fred, Carl, makes up for his height in enthusiasm.

Later Boo is whining about Carl to Ginny and Melanie. She wishes she’d been consulted about the swap. They all make fun of poor Carl’s height deficiency.

Michelle sees Michael hanging out with Fanny later that night, they’re watching baseball and Michelle gives them an ‘old people are so cute’ look

Adding to Carl’s shortcomings (HEE), he also calls Boo “Bettina,” which she really abhors. He tries to earn her attention and affection with a laudable fervor and dedication. His big draw is apparently his Stewie Griffin impersonation, so it had damn well better be a good one! As good as our little sister’s, at least.

Skipping to the next day, Michelle comes upon Michael and Fanny having breakfast again. They rehash “kinky breakfasts.” Fanny met him at a “dirty jazz club.” Michelle wants to know why it’s not a more permanent arrangement. Fanny says they talked about marriage once, but Hubbell has a fit so they dropped it.

Carl and Boo rehearse; they work their way into some adorable banter after he delivers the requisite courtship presents, which in this case happens to be celery tonic. OK, it’s not exactly conventional. He calls them the everyman Fred & Ginger.

Connor, the director, calls Michelle to chat about some changes for the play. He wants her to see it again, so she does. But it still sucks. Hey, where’s Grant? Just wondering. We skip without much ado to the bedroom, where they’re pillow talking even though there’s no believable trace of after-glow or bed-head about them. Maybe they’re just holding hands and being chaste? Michelle’s shirtless but that doesn’t necessarily mean much, maybe she just didn’t want her shirt to get wrinkled in bed. Suddenly Michelle is crying even though she doesn’t know why. But she realizes it’s because the last person she was with was Hubbell. In a less tactful meta moment, Connor says that this moment is what great writers try to write. All right, well, not quite this scene, but OK. In the midst of her crying, though, Michelle does start coming up with real writing tips that might help “Blank Up.” A new title, by the way, might also work.

Fanny and Michael are flirting in the kitchen as they clean up. Apparently all they do together is eat. She invites him to stick around longer this time than usual. He consents.

It’s dress rehearsal for the ballerinas. The girls diss Boo even though they neglect to notice that her attitude has changed toward Carl. Michelle comes by to watch and mentions that she was thinking of Hubbell. Michael teases Michelle about “kinky breakfast.” We see peeks of more dancing! It never stops being exciting, rare as it is. Then Carl invites Boo to dinner and she really wants to go, but Melanie and Ginny step up to try and “save” their friend, not knowing she doesn’t need saving. Suddenly, Sasha shows up and she’s decided to be goth, so she’s dressed in all black … except her hair, which is now blue. And she’s wearing tons of makeup. And threatening to join cheerleading and quit dance. So Fanny kicks her out. Boo and Carl try to dance, but now it’s all off-kilter. That would have been a much better closing note than the slow zoom-in on Fanny’s concerned, angry mug.


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