This week’s episode of Bunheads, “Money for Nothing,” got off to a rather skin-crawling start when Michelle awoke to find a possum on her bed. I’ll admit I’d have probably been even more freaked out than Michelle was, so I’m impressed that she didn’t just call 911 or something. Instead, she called Fanny, who was less than helpful, prompting Michelle’s retort: “Okay, have you ever worked at a crisis hotline before? Cause you’ve got mad people skills.” Heh.
The possum opening leads us into this week’s main plot: Fanny is in what she calls “the Paying Season,” which Michelle realizes means that Fanny organizes her bills in hatboxes and only pays a small percentage of them, and them only twice a year. It’s made clear that things are completely out of control, but it’s completely preposterous that she has managed to survive using this “system” for so long. I’m not sure if we’re supposed to just accept this as a crazy Paradise thing or whether Hubbell was actually doing things behind the scenes to make it all work. In any case, Michelle realizes that the situation is not sustainable now that they don’t have Hubbell’s income, and drags Fanny to an accountant, where the truth comes out: Only nine of the 75 dance students actually pay for classes. Fanny scoffs at Michelle’s suggestion of asking the students to pay, but is willing to consider adding new types of classes (and, presumably, requiring payment for those) – except she doesn’t have time to teach them. We all know where this is headed. Michelle deflects and, without Fanny’s permission, shows up at a rehearsal to tell the parents they need to start paying for their kids’ classes. This is one of those times when Michelle is obviously doing the correct thing by normal standards, but it turns out that Paradise is crazy, and Fanny intuitively understands it in a way Michelle doesn’t. The parents are so upset that they all pull their kids from classes and Michelle has to apologize and beg them to come back.
Meanwhile, Boo needs money too – so she has a new job at a restaurant with a slightly crazy wannabe manager who makes her do things like jump in the dumpster to compact the trash. The other girls tease her until they realize that the restaurant owner’s hot son has returned to Paradise and has taken to wandering around with no shirt. The show named this character Godot, presumably so Michelle could make this one joke: “His name’s Godot.” “Oh, so you’re all waiting for Godot?” Oh, show, you’re delightful. But yes, as Michelle suggested, the girls end up hanging around the restaurant in fancy clothes, trying to get Godot’s attention. But when Sasha’s flirtation attempt fails spectacularly, she turns negative – especially when she discovers that Boo has become friends with Godot without even trying. The dynamics between the girls are one of my favorite parts of this show, and I loved seeing more of their non-dance life here. I’d also really like to know more about Josh, this boyfriend Ginny has apparently had since second grade!
The episode culminates in Paradise’s annual Flower Festival, and yes, this is yet another show with constant Big Town Events, but at least the ballet school provides a vaguely coherent reason for it all, so I’ll give it a pass. Fanny’s masterpiece this week is a ballet about the destruction of nature called Paper or Plastic – and the hero is a canvas tote. It’s hilarious and awesome and Michelle is genuinely impressed, both by Fanny’s imagination and by what she evokes from her students. Fanny sees her chance and tries again to get Michelle to teach: “You know, just because you teach doesn’t mean it’s over.” By the end of the episode, Michelle still hasn’t agreed, but it surely won’t be long now.
Some more favorite quotes:
Truly, to Michelle: “I never know what you’re talking about.” Fanny: “Neither does she.”
“Every day in your house is like a Kristen Wiig film festival.”
“So what if I found my soulmate in the second grade? It’s romantic. And convenient.”
“Bad cop.” “What?” “Chiklis.”
(Image courtesy of ABC Family.)