Bunheads: Take the Vicuna

On this week’s episode of Bunheads, “Take the Vicuna,” the new theater – excuse me, the Millicent Stone Performance Center – is almost ready and everyone’s getting excited, but Fanny soon learns that Milly’s seemingly unlimited bankroll comes with some strings. At one point, Milly remarks “I live in a perfect world,” and that seems to be her motto; it means she’ll pay for anything Fanny mentions, but it also means that she expects everything to go perfectly her way. She demands a backers’ rehearsal of the Sleeping Beauty dance Fanny’s planning for the first performance at the theater, and Michelle talks Fanny into letting Milly stay, but when Milly wants to give notes to the dancers and Fanny herself, Fanny is furious. For a while it looks like the whole partnership will break down, but Fanny finally realizes that Milly wants people to think she’s knowledgeable about the arts. She doesn’t actually need to be knowledgeable. So they make a deal that Fanny will tell everyone that Milly is very involved and Milly will basically leave Fanny alone. Kelly Bishop and Liza Weil are really delightful together, so I hope Milly sticks around.

Meanwhile, Scotty’s visit with Michelle is drawing to a close, and he claims that he’s taking her to some sort of sketchy-sounding event in the desert on his last night in town. (“When we get there, will there be a bathroom?” “Define bathroom.”) While discussing this, Michelle breaks it to Scotty that their mother used to take them on fake trips, just driving around in the dark and then convincing them they’d had great experiences that never actually happened. Michelle: “She gaslighted us, dude.” Scotty: “That was my second-favorite childhood memory.” Michelle: “Don McLean didn’t play your fifth birthday party. I’ll give you some space.” Aww.

This time, though, Scotty is the one pulling something: on their way to the desert, he makes a “detour” to a diner in Sacramento, where he tries to get Michelle to stay in the car. She follows him in, of course, and discovers that he is there to meet their mother; Michelle sits in the next booth, “pretending” not to be there, but commenting. It turns out that the mother wants a new condo and needs Scotty to sign the paperwork – because, unbeknownst to Michelle, he’s her financial guardian. (The mother also has a new musician boyfriend named Rufus, so obviously I concluded that she’s dating Rufus Humphrey.) Michelle is furious, both because of her own experiences with her mother and out of genuine care for Scotty: “She will get you into trouble, because that’s what she does. She drags everyone into her hole of destruction and then somehow she climbs out and leaves you there.” Michelle and her mother do have a moment, though, as her mother calls Michelle’s name as Michelle and Scotty are leaving the diner. “I just wanted to see your face.” Aw. The siblings go home, and by the time Scotty leaves, they’re back on decent terms again. Michelle: “Give me some warning before you get married again.” Scotty: “There’s usually not that much time.” Oh, Simms siblings, you have many issues.

Last week, we heard that Sasha had found an apartment, and this week she indeed fixes it up and has a housewarming party. Let’s get the big question out of the way: How on earth is she affording all this? The apartment is gorgeous (Scotty: “This is a 16-year-old’s apartment?” Michelle: “Or Oz. It could be Oz.”), and while Sasha is stressed out by the mechanics of setting up utilities, ripping up carpets (!), getting a barre installed in her room (!!), etc., she doesn’t actually seem to be worried about paying for it all. All I can think is that her parents feel so guilty that they’re giving her a basically unlimited budget, which would mean that the abandonment she refers to is emotional and geographical but not financial. (I’ll allow it. Teenagers are melodramatic sometimes.)

Sasha’s party is a great success – and much fancier than Michelle expects – but when it’s over, Roman shows up, annoyed that Sasha has been blowing him off for weeks and that he in fact did not even know that she moved. “You got an apartment and never told me. A whole apartment.” She tries to tell him that she’s just been busy, but it turns out that, understandably, she’s nervous about having him over to her apartment and what he might think a private apartment implied about her sexual availability. She confesses this and they scream at each other for a while, but finally make a date for Friday night. Yay! Sasha’s really not quite comfortable with the apartment concept in general yet: when Michelle gets home at the end of the episode, Sasha’s asleep on her couch. “I’ll sleep at my place tomorrow.” Aw, poor baby.

The other girls are mostly in the background this week. The social machinations and jealousies involving Cozette bubble along, and Ginny has an amusing run-in with one of Sasha’s cheerleader “friends,” but they’re mainly there to support the other stories. I actually prefer this rotation among characters, because things just get too disjointed when the show tries to get to every character in one episode.

Other favorite lines:
Sasha: “Wow, I’ve never actually gone inside a bank before.”
Sasha: “But my friends over there are reenacting Benjamin Button and will soon turn four.”
Milly: “We’re doing Sleeping Beauty. There are supposed to be dwarves.”
Fanny: “You are not Scott Rudin and this is not a Johnny Depp movie.”
Fanny: “There’s no diplomatic way to step on people.”
Michelle’s mom: “I thought I’d try country and western, because I look good in hats.”

(Image courtesy of ABC Family.)

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