On this “Movie Truck” episode of Bunheads, we celebrate Michelle’s birthday, which is fitting, because my birthday is the reason why this recap is so late. Sorry! But let’s back up for a moment: The episode begins when Fanny decides to get proactive about making Michelle teach. She up and leaves for vacation, so Michelle basically has no choice. Clever! Bonus: Fanny ordered a pole for cardio striptease classes, because the people of Paradise aren’t judgmental enough about Michelle already. (When Michelle goes to Fanny’s house to figure out what’s going on, Truly is there with her book club of older women, reading Fifty Shades of Grey. Michelle teases Truly about her choice of friends [and books], and Truly, who is quickly becoming one of the show’s most interesting characters, makes it clear that she doesn’t exactly have a lot of social options in Paradise. “And yes, maybe that means I have to read a terrible terrible simply awful dreadful book, but at the end of that book is cake. And friendship.”)
Michelle gives in, of course, but one of her objections is that her friend Talia is coming to celebrate her birthday and her new teaching responsibilities will mean they have to stay close to Paradise rather than taking a road trip. “Haven’t we passed the age when we acknowledge birthdays?” Fanny asks. “No, we didn’t think so,” Michelle says, and yeah, we didn’t either. As soon as Talia arrives, the friends have an exchange that makes clear just how much Michelle has changed already: “I have custom-made curtains.” “Get out!” “And fresh fruit in my fridge.” “Who ARE you?” Talia, who doesn’t have to stay in Paradise, is charmed by it, and especially by Truly and her store, and Truly sees her chance to get an invitation along for the birthday festivities. (One of Michelle’s past birthdays apparently involved kissing George Clooney. I hope we get more details on that at some point.)
Michelle insists on giving Truly a makeover before they go out, and she’s sincere about it, though Truly finds it hard to believe: “This isn’t a cruel hazing ritual you concocted to humiliate me?” “How did we not think of concocting a cruel hazing ritual to humiliate her? We’re so off our game!” But Truly comes in handy when Michelle and Talia realize everything in Paradise closes early: She sneaks them, and a bottle of liquor, into the Movie Truck. (Yeah, it’s a movie projected in a truck. I don’t know. Go with it.) By the end of the horrible movie (Mountain of Arms), the women are drunk and tired but not quite ready to give up on the night. Truly, again, saves the day by yelling “cupcake ATM!” and revealing that she was only pretending to be drunk (by spitting back into the bottle – ick), so she drives them to the cupcake ATM in LA, and I didn’t realize they were that close to LA, but . . . my grasp of California geography is incredibly weak, so whatever. So Truly, who started out as Michelle’s romantic rival, has now saved her birthday twice, and it looks like, as I’d hoped, they will eventually become BFFs. Michelle’s birthday ends with cupcakes in Fanny’s outdoor seating area, and as Truly dozes, Talia and Michelle finally really talk, and Michelle gets a little teary about Hubbell and the loss of the future she had, if only briefly, imagined for herself.
The younger girls, too, are in for a mix of movie shenanigans and serious personal issues this week. Sasha’s parents are supposed to be away at a work event, so the girls plan to have a sleepover at Sasha’s house and sneak out to the Movie Truck. But when the girls arrive at Sasha’s house, her parents are arguing – worse than usual – and Sasha refuses to talk about it, telling them to just come in without saying a word. (Boo, bless her, politely says hello to Sasha’s parents anyway.) Rumor has it that Sasha’s father’s not-so-secret boyfriend is moving away. Ginny’s boyfriend Josh shows up with adorable sleepover kits for the girls, and refuses to come along to the movie, because it’s girls’ night: “I’m either going to go hit a strip club or do some trig homework. I’m still debating.” I love him. More of him, please!
Sasha insists on sneaking out to the movie even though her parents haven’t gone out, and they are so late that there are no seats left together. Sasha concocts a plan for making people move, mostly involving flirting and trickery, although the last move occurs when one of the other girls politely asks someone to move so they can be together. That option never occurred to Sasha. Hah. Mel’s brother Charlie is there, and Boo gets to sit next to him for a little while, and is even more thrilled when he writes something on her hand – but it turns out it’s the number of another girl he’s met. The girls run home to try to get back in before the alarm goes on, but don’t make it, and as they sleep on Sasha’s mom’s car, Sasha has another moment of human decency as she tries to talk Boo out of her crush: “Forget him, Boo. You’ll meet someone just as dumb driving just as crappy a car any day now.” And then Sasha admits to Boo that she got her official Joffrey letter, but it’s clear that’s the last thing on her mind at this point: when she finally makes it into her house in the morning, her father is just sitting in the living room, staring at nothing.
More favorite quotes:
“Did someone see the Virgin Mary in the rosin box again?”
“With snark like that, you’ll wind up with your own dirty girl sitcom on NBC.”
“Sorry to interrupt the end of literature as we know it.”
“Enjoy your birthday! Don’t take pictures.”
“I thought it was really poetic how the killer cut off his own arms to finish the mountain, but then there was no way of getting them to the top.”
(Photo courtesy of ABC Family.)