January 5, 2010By Joe Diliberto Posted: Jan 5, 2010
MAKE IT OR BREAK IT, one of the most entertaining (and unexpected) nighttime soaps, returned to ABC Family last night, and befitting where the series left off at hiatus, the series was in championship form.
Following the triumph and tragedy of the national team finals, Kaylie (Josie Loren) learned that it is very crowded but oh, so lonely at the top, while Payson (Ayla Kell) struggled to control her emotions after learning that her back injury will prevent her from ever competing again. Haunted by the fear that she wouldn't have won if Payson hadn't been injured, Kaylie found a target painted on her back — both from the media who want to interview the reigning national champion as well as her local rival Lauren (Cassie Scerbo), who took their competition over Carter (Zachary Burr Abel) to extremes both on and off the mats. Their rivalry illustrates what makes MAKE IT OR BREAK IT more soap than sports show. The girls are just as focused on affairs of the heart as they are on honing their gymnastic skills, but the emotional turmoil has to be kept simmering beneath the surface because they are forbidden from having romantic relationships while training. Lauren delighted in twisting the knife in Kaylie's back by getting her cheating boyfriend Carter reinstated from suspension — and right back in Kaylie's face.
Lauren also stuck her nose into Payson's newly-shattered life by uncovering the secret that Nicky illegally supplied Payson with cortisone for nationals — which could land Nicky in jail. Payson was trying to deal with her injury by avoiding the gym and shutting down emotionally. Her father praised her ability to compartmentalize her emotions during competition, but pointed out that in real life she should express her feelings. Which she finally uncorked with a cathartic wrecking of her trophy case. You don't see releases like that on ESPN. Payson also confronted her anger at Kaylie, admitting, "I am filled with rage and bitterness and jealousy," because her friend took the crown. But Payson also encouraged Kaylie never to be ashamed of winning — hinting that perhaps Payson has a future as a coach.
Meanwhile, Emily (Chelsea Hobbs) could use a romantic coach. No sooner had Damon set up "the world's most romantic date" than her old flame, Razor, strolled through the door. How (in)convenient that Damon is leaving for Los Angeles now, with Razor back in town. Will Emily be able to resist temptation? Tune in next week...