‘Bunheads’ recap: Episode 9, ‘No One Takes Khaleesi’s Dragons’

You can wear all the cute shirts you want, Michelle, but you can't fight city hall.

We’re a little late this week, so we’re gonna do this one fast and dirty:

Michelle has discovered a new pretentious coffee shop to habit, Bash, although the locals assure her it’s only new to her because she’s not in the know. She also gets dissed for not being a reader, which adds to the other week’s writer-insert snobbery about the ignobility of “Fifty Shades” (we agree with that sentiment, but still). Then the — KIRK! Oh goodness, now our “Gilmore Girls” fantasies are really coming true. This is a full-on alternate coast alternate reality for Stars Hollow. Here, Kirk is a barista! A crazy, quirky barista. We can only imagine he also has 12 other jobs around town. He doesn’t let customers choose their own orders, he diagnoses them. Also, he has two dads. But who cares: KIRK.

Fanny’s rehearsing “The Nutcracker” in class. She’s driving them hard, to the point that RayRay falls down and thus actually gets a speaking line. Michelle has to demonstrate a jete (spelled that right on the first try, WINNING). She fails to please Fanny, which is akin to boring Nina (DON’T DO IT). Michelle has lost her phone; as they search for it, she explains that her choreographer friend Richard has gotten his big break on a touring “Follies,” and they made a pact to help each other out if they ever got big. But she doesn’t want to call him first and beg for work. Fanny, dryly: “That’s how every great performer made it, by waiting quietly.” Amen.

Fanny says Richard can’t find Michelle to look her up because she’s not on Facebook “like a normal person.” And even if he had her number, she never knows where her phone is. Sutton Foster knocks it out of the park with her message to Richard because she has that strained fake-happy-casual tone we’ve alllll done on awkward phone calls.

Walking out of the studio, Michelle spots Melanie and Ginny hiding in a bush. They don’t want to be picked as Sasha’s replacement for Clara, so they’re waiting for rehearsal to be over. Male!Mel comes to pick them up, but Ginny feels bad about catching a ride with him and is generally acting awkward since she learned he liked her. (Charlie calls Melanie “ugly,” which is funny since they consider themselves identical LOOKING.)

Boo said she couldn’t drive Ginny because she was going straight to work. But then they all meet at Oyster Bar anyway, so what was the point? They talk about how Sasha quit dance for cheerleading. (JUST LIKE BROOKE ON “DANCE MOMS”! We all know how that turned out. Meanwhile, all the dancers in “Bring It On: The Musical” wind up quitting for cheer, and they’re still socially acceptable. Pop culture has to get its stereotypes straight, or else how will we ever pretend to know things about experiences outside of our own?) Sasha shows up, brags about her new great life without dance, especially because she has more idle time, and then excitedly leaves for a “surprise” from her “secret sister” on the soccer field. Yo, we’ve all seen this movie and know how this will turn out: hazing. But apparently despite all of Sasha’s newfound Internet-browsing and TV-watching, she still hasn’t caught this particular daytime movie on TNT or Lifetime. (Unless “secret sister” is code for something else entirely, in which case Boo is probably about to get super jealous.)

Michelle heads back to her new coffee place and is frantically calling Richard for the umpteenth time. She’s really messing up Kirk’s “art” with his foam and beans. Fanny explains that she’s just discovered brunch, which is mostly for people with kids and gay couples in her assessment, but it has unlimited mimosas, which Fanny considers “a personal challenge.”

Oh look, Truly’s in this episode. Michelle whines about how long and slow the line is at Bast, but Truly just asks her to stop yelling while she spruces up the studio with pumpkin spice and fresh flowers. Boo is excited there’s going to be a new grocery store that sells stamps. They must be in the most remote part of California in existence, with no coffee shops or grocery stores. But they do have a dance studio and dance supply store. Michelle inserts herself on a Fred and Ginger rehearsal, but Boo wants her to leave because she wants alone time with her new crush, Carl. Unlike last episode, Carl’s acting like a tool — apparently just to create conflict for this episode. Obnoxious.

Later, Fanny whines about how hard casting Clara is — then Jordan (previous Fred to Sasha’s Ginger) strolls by and Fanny casts him: “Matthew Bourne did ‘Swan Lake’ with all boys.” (AND WE SAW IT. IT WAS SO GOOD.) But why isn’t Jordan already playing the Nutcracker or Rat King?

Michelle shows up at Bast and there’s no line, but that’s because Kirk has lost the will to brew. He still says it would take 15 minutes and she spazzes and puts down everything he’s worked so hard for and it’s very mean and sad! Trivia: He calls one of his two dads “mom” so it’s not confusing. That’s sort of insulting and weird, yeah? Michelle breaks up with Kirk. Aw, she’s just taking out Richard rejection frustration on him — and goes so far as to promise to start going to Starbucks. Don’t sell out, Michelle!

Later, Michelle’s teaching a tap class — WORK IT, SUTTON. The girls show up for class and they’re in bandages, casts and crutches to get out of playing Clara. Michelle informs them Fanny isn’t coming, so they’re all magically healed. Boo and Michelle learn their new grocery store isn’t opening, and thus the opening performance, Fred and Ginger, would be canceled. Oh guess what, this grocery store is apparently Khaleesi’s Dragons. Well, that’s a bit of a metaphorical stretch. Stop taking everything we cherish in “Game of Thrones” and making it pedestrian! This is your first and final warning, “Bunheads.”

The girls go to watch Sasha cheer. Carl is there flirting with some other girl. Charlie’s also there and sits next to Ginny, who becomes stiff as a board. This is where everyone in Paradise goes on a Friday night when the movie truck isn’t in town? Sasha looks constipated as her true temperament struggles against the necessity to smile on the court. Then she starts actually choking and her cheer is ruined. DID HER SECRET SISTER POISON HER? Ginny falls down the bleachers on her way to the bathrooms because she’s so shaky around Charlie. Boo goes to chat with Carl and he says he’s dropping out of dance to
focus on school; she’s super disappointed and he shoos her away. Finally Sasha snaps and tells the cheerleaders why sports are dumb. Now Sasha is smiling and all the cheerleaders are glum. Favorite!

GODOT IS BACK. WE WERE WAITING. THIS JOKE NEVER GETS OLD. She needs him to help her rally to get the supermarket back. She also needs to make an awkward “Footloose” joke about rallying behind the town council’s back.

Ginny is sleeping over Melanie’s, so we get to see her house. She calls out Ginny for acting bizarre around Charlie, and Ginny spews about how freaked out she is about her crush. Melanie yells that Ginny can’t date him because Boo likes him and that’s against the “brah code” — unless and until Boo goes lesbian or nun. (Or lesbian nun? No, wait, that was a scene from TinyRhino last Monday.) We also need to note that Ginny borrowed her mom’s honeymoon lingerie for this sleepover occasion and that makes us throw up a little bit. Right?

Next is the town meeting. Like 10 people show up, and Michelle says she’s not feeling very Kevin Bacon. She fights with the council and tells them they have a problem with progress. They’re just a one-mustard town and hate change. Apparently the store, though, is going to pollute the river and uses child labor to stock its supplies. Michelle didn’t know that when she started this half-cocked rally.

Boo randomly sneaks off to the studio to meet Carl. She tries to confront him about him acting weird. He says his feelings are hurt because her friends were mean to him last week. She says she does like him. They kiss. Then Melanie and Ginny show up. Ginny’s like, “See! Now I can date Charlie.” Boo gets very upset, though, because she’s “always” liked Charlie. Carl sees Boo crying over Charlie and leaves. Gosh, we started this episode hating his character development and now he’s plucking our poor little heartstrings (they’re tenuous and stringy at best to start with)! When he leaves, Boo realizes she’s been a jerk and runs out after him.

Next, Godot and Michelle are cleaning up the failed town council meeting. She says she’s going to miss coffee. He teases her about being old. Guys, they are totally flirting right now! What happened to director boyfriend? He was a one and done? Godot says he’s going to take Michelle surfing so she can surrender to the ocean. She says it’s a total line that won’t work on her like it does on other girls. She says it’s never going to happen between them; in TV land this means it totally definitely will.

Michelle later goes to check on Sasha at cheerleading and they make fun of how cheerleaders can’t kick. Dancer-brand bitching! She tries to give Sasha a pep talk, saying she “respects her commitment to the sulk.” But one bad mistake when you’re young can make your life miserable, and quitting ballet now is a stupid mistake. They make fun of the cheerleaders more and Sasha looks happy again.

Michelle finds a present of a fancy coffee machine on her porch when she gets home. She hugs it and beams like a kid on Christmas. Point one for Godot.


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