Disaster (almost) strikes Paradise in the penultimate episode of the winter season of Bunheads, “It’s Not a Mint.” But before the main event, we get a sort of mini preview disaster, as Sasha returns home to find her apartment door open. This alarms her, of course, and after she’s basically ignored by the police and can’t reach any of the other girls, Roman comes over to help her. Aww. There’s no burglar – Sasha must have accidentally left the door open herself – and Roman realizes that Sasha has weapons (crowbar, baseball bat, etc.) stashed all over the place. Good girl. Shortly afterward, Boo’s parents come rushing in with her and insist on checking everything themselves, and I must say: they’ve become some of my favorite TV parents right now.
The actual disaster arrives in the form of a forest fire in the area, and Michelle is surprised to learn that the studio is a designated shelter and she and Bash (always nice to see Sean Gunn!) are co-captains in charge. (Fanny is “away” this week, which I suppose is convenient for the plot, since if she’d been there she’d have had everything organized and planned perfectly with no room for hijinks.) There is, of course, tons of comedy in Bash and Michelle’s attempts to work together, and it’s always nice to have an excuse to pen everyone up in one place for an episode, especially when nothing bad actually happens. (Spoiler: The fire never reaches Paradise.)
The girls are excited to be camping out in the studio with boys (and without parents), though of course this leads to a bit of drama. Carl and Jeff bond over their similar taste in movies but wind up fighting over Boo, while Dez surprises Melanie with his knowledge of photography. He even sort of manages to talk her into dating him: “If you can’t think of a reason why, can you think of a reason why not?” “Not offhand.” “Then why not?” Meanwhile, Ginny continues to moon over Frankie until Cozette finally gets fed up and intervenes, telling Frankie that Ginny wants him to give her art lessons. And when Michelle finds a condom in the changing room and fears it belongs to one of the girls, she sparks an adorable and realistically awkward conversation about birth control. This includes the revelation that Boo’s mother put her on the pill as soon as she started dating Carl, so Boo’s mom is really my favorite this week. Boo: “Why does everyone hear I’m on the Pill and automatically think I’m having sex?” Aww. (She’s planning to wait until the night before senior prom.) Sasha: “Because you’re on the Pill but not having sex. That’s like having a superpower and not using it.”
There’s an added layer of complication to the fire situation because Talia is in town for her wedding to Rick, which is supposed to take place on the beach. Truly talks her way into being maid of honor and generally drives Michelle crazy by making everything all about herself instead of the bride, but she does get to have a nice bonding moment with her sister, for once. Talia wants to go ahead with the wedding regardless of the fire, but Michelle can’t hide her feelings: that a delay would give Talia time to reconsider. But Talia finally convinces her that she really, truly wants to marry Rick – and reveals that the reason why she’s going to give up her dancing is not because Rick doesn’t want her to work, but because she’s pregnant. Rick can’t get to Paradise because of the fire, but a mysterious benefactor (later revealed to be Milly) sends a helicopter for him – and then he breaks his ankle. Oh, Rick.
Next episode is the season finale, and at the end of this episode we got one interesting tease about what may come: When the firefighters arrive to be applauded by the people sheltering at the studio, Godot is among them.
Michelle: “It’s a big open room. What could they do?” Bash: “Orgy.”
Sasha: “Really, what decade do you live in?”
Bash: “You’re dancers. You have toned thighs and no excuse.”
Dez: “My mom says because is a word, not a reason.”
(Image courtesy of ABC Family.)