And here we are, the Dance Moms Season 2 finale. Everybody OK? Extra thermoses of Mommy Juice, just in case? Just remember, we still have each other. We’ll be all right. The mommies need time off, too, to see their therapists and shop for dresses and junk like that. We’ll all be fine.
But first we have 90 minutes of cliff-hangin’, nationals-goin’, everybody’s-cryin’ mayhem to get through. So let’s.
After hollering at everyone for being a big bucket of meh at In10sity, Abby informs the Pitt Crew that, nonetheless, we are staying in California. In fact, we are heading for the most famous zip code in the state and possibly the whole entire world.
Oh! Someone knows what that is!
Look at her! I bet she was a Dylan girl and not a Brandon girl! I bet it! I bet Luke Perry posters are still squirreled away in the Gisoni basement!
And look at her!
So not impressed! I bet someone else didn’t watch one single solitary episode of Beverly Hills, 90210. I bet someone still has Tommy Tune posters on the walls at her house!
But that’s not even the biggest news! The biggest news is that we have been summoned to Energy Dance’s national invite-only competition! Quite an honor! So is everyone going or what? Let’s find out! It’s Pyramid time!
Bottom of the bottom is Paige. She’s capable of so much more than what’s she’s been doing with her broken foot and broken spirit and all.
Next is Nia. Abby thought she could have been better. Given that I probably could have choreographed that dance and would have been embarrassed to do so, given what the other girls were given, I salute Nia for doing what she did with it.
Then Chloe. She’s been in the Top Five for most of her life. What’s with the sixth?
Then Kendall. She did everything a great jazz dance needed to have — and managed to pull off having a pair of puffy purple lips for a top, to boot. So what’s she doing in the bottom row?
Row two begins with Brooke. She did great. Top scorer. Abby proud. AND SHE’S LAZY! As per the usual, I’m not really following along with this logic, but it’s the season finale and brain recess awaits so I’ll go with it.
Next is Big Mac. She won her division, but botched her “I’m the cham-peen of playing in the sun” arms. You don’t botch the little stuff and get top position.
That spot belongs to Maddie. Is it better to win, or better to sit in the audience, Maddie?
Time to talk group dance. Ah, the group dance! I think I will miss you and your creepy little incarnations most of all. I’m also guessing Abby’s a fan of those AT&T “last text” commercials, because that’s how we’re going to kill off the kids this time — by letting middle-schoolers drive and fart around while they’re doing it. The girls look completely skeeved out in the way they usually do when Abby announces that they’re goners for the sake of art, but it’s nationals. And invitational nationals, at that. We have to think outside the insane asylum, ladies.
Now that we’ve got that little matter out of the way, Energy Dance will also let us do four other performances and looks like they’re all going to be solos. Big Mac gets the first one. Maddie gets the next. Even though she’s LAZY, Brooke will get the chance to finally perform the Anne Frank solo that got kiboshed by Kelly weeks and weeks ago. And the final solo goes to … no one. Chloe, Nia and Kendall are going to have to fight for it. All three will learn the same choreography and to the victor go the spoils.
And here we are in our faux car. Naturally it’s Paige driving. Abby says that’s because she’s beautiful to look at, so … well, it makes sense to her, anyway. I say the girls stand a better chance if Brooke is driving, since she’s the closest to driving age, but surviving is not what this is about so what say I just hush?
While Nia pretends to do CPR on a prostrate Mac and Abby tells Maddie to shove her away, outside, the mothers are discussing the unfairness of the three girls having to compete for the final solo. All agree that Abby already knows whom she wants to do the dance, and they’re pretty sure it’s Chloe. Jill says that’s BS because Kendall beat Chloe fair and square last week and Abby said that whomever danced best goes to nationals. Well, not really, Jill, but I can see how you got confused. Melissa is worried that between dying in a text-induced car wreck and being forced to go all Dance Katniss on their friends, Nia, Chloe and Kendall won’t be able to focus enough to do any of it well. Christi thinks this is just Abby’s way of determining who really wants it — a la making Maddie sit out three weeks of solos. And she frets that her girl’s too nice to fight.
Then the dancers burst in — or out, I guess, since it looks like the moms are outside — with frantic news of the group dance and Paige’s unfortunate role in it. The moms encourage her to go talk to Abby about wanting more to do than drive fatally and her pals rally behind her and come along for the chat. It goes about as far as the faux car in the dance.
Clearly, the pressure of earning the final solo is getting to more than just the dancers, because here’s Christi running the choreography with Chloe … and a pretty hefty attitude. She tells her beleaguered child that she’s not supposed to be dancing like she’s pecking at something. Or pooping. (Oh just give Abby a couple more seasons — she probably will be. But I digress.) I think we’re supposed to think that this is just a mother trying to build a backbone in her kind and gentle daughter. But it mostly, and unfortunately, comes off as Chloe keeping her mother from the husband/father and sister I am virtually certain they are both missing equally badly. I think everyone needs a nap.
Next day, oh my Gwaaaaaa-DAH!, we blessedly get ourselves a villain that everyone can love to hate when Cathy tweets Abby her plan to beat some ALDC ass at the invite and Gianna passes it around for all to see. The mothers lament the fact that Candy Cathy and her dancers have no doubt been practicing their routines for weeks, while their girls have been overextended. I wouldn’t worry too much — the girls mostly look amused at another chance to have at them Apples.
Speaking of which, it couldn’t have too much of a surprise to Abby that Cathy is headed West, young ladies, because Big Mac is doing her solo to Vivi’s long-ago Honey Bee music. Only Mac is a Killer Bee. Enh! Get it? And if Vivi gets stung, oh well!
Wait, what? The caption says the group dance is a jazz routine?
Jazz? These are jazz hands trying to pound life back into your chest, Big Mac? Also, Abby has gold and tangerine nails to match her necklace. How did I not notice that before?
In any case, the mothers watch somberly while the girls practice the group dance and Kelly says she can’t even look at poor Paige just sitting there with her arms locked in at 3 and 9. Then Abby launches in on Brooke about needing to dance with her face as well as she dances with the rest of her, for if she does, she will be unstoppable. Keep that frozen smile on your mug — totally stoppable. Especially, I guess, since Anne Frank really didn’t have too much to smile about. Study the last 80 bazillion Maddie solos, Brooke. Girl does anguish like no one, except maybe Streep in Sophie’s Choice.
Speaking of which, here Maddie is, practicing her solo, which is called Telling Myself. It’s about her telling herself that she’s back in the game and she wants to win, and also telling the judges that she’s too good for them and they don’t deserve her. That’s a great idea, since they have the power to Tell Herself to sod off and give the crown to, well, whichever teammate she will be dancing against. Or, say, Justice. Which would surely cause the world to end.
Over on the sidelines, Kelly is pointing thisout to Melissa, which Abby decides is a personal affront to Maddie. When Kelly tries to set her straight about the crux of the conversation, Abby goes off on a tirade about how Paige screwed up her dance last week — first time that’s ever happened to an Abby Lee dancer [*cough* Maddiemidseasonfinale *cough*] — and how Kelly might want to take her back to the pediatrician to have her head examined, instead of her foot. Atta girl, Abby. Stay classy.
Atta girl, Kelly!! Leave class-y. She pulls Paige and Brooke, too. The other moms are worried that this time Kelly really won’t return, and they find her outside the studio slumped against the wall in tears. They close rank around her and tell her not to let her abuser win with only three days left in the season. She says she’ll let the girls do this competition, but she’ll promise nothing after that.
Oh oh. Last season finale, it was Maddie and Mackie not coming back. This season, Brookie and Paigey.
When we come back from commercial, we find out that once upon a time that I don’t remember but everyone was really excited about some agency wanted Paige to do a photo shoot. So, since Abby has no real use for her, she and Kel decide to go give it a go. After all, Abby DID say she’s beautiful to look at. “Photographer” wants Paige to look like an “old Hollywood diva from the ’40s or something.” She makes a splendid young one and is clearly enjoying herself — and that is worth the price of admission right there, I’ll tell you what.
Back at the studio, it’s Jill’s turn to go raggy on Kendall, who would really like her mother to just shut up. And tells her as much. But Jill needs her daughter to realize how important it is to Jill that Kendall wins the solo. Never mind whether or not it’s important to Kendall. It’s very important to Jill.
Meanwhile, outside, the other mothers are discussing Kelly’s absence, and whether or not they think she will actually pull her girls from the ALDC. Christi says that she and Kelly are a package deal, so if Kel goes, she goes, too. Still she worries, because Abby has apparently already told her that if she and Chloe leave the studio. Abby will make sure that they are blackballed in the dance world. Does Abby actually have that much power. And besides, there’s always the Joffrey …
Not to worry, at least for today, though, because here’s the Hylands, refreshed from Paige’s fun day with the photog. That lasts about 43 seconds before Abby wanders out and wonders why Kelly keeps coming back. Well for starters, because your texting dance is going to be a big bunch of stinky minus two children, Abby. Plus, that Anne Frank solo has yet to see the light of day. Er, stage. Kelly says her kids want to be there or otherwise she’d be long gone, then refuses to engage Ms. Miller further.
But Abby’s shenanigans are oh so far from over. She summons the mothers into the studio, where, she says, Holly, Christi and Jill will judge who gets the final solo. Yes, really. I think they should all vote Paige, just to twist Abby’s panties, but Jill votes Kendall. Christi votes Chloe. Holly votes Nia. Abby says this means Melissa will choose who gets the dance, because it will prove the ultimate lesson in not ass-kissing her pals. I’m sure none of you saw this coming, but Melissa chooses Nia. She says she’s doing it for altruistic reasons, because Nia is SUCH a hard worker and all, not because she also stands zero chance of beating Maddie. Whoopsie! This is not the answer Abby was after. Is this the dancer you think will, like, get us the most points, she prods. Chloe gets the solo. Jill and Holly start to yell at Abby and the air and each other. Kendall starts to cry and says everyone’s against her. See? I told you they should have picked Paige.
Chloe says she will work extra hard to make Kendall and Nia proud of her, but the pressure is clearly getting to her. Especially since Abby keeps piling it on, then blaming her mother.
With mutiny imminent, what we really need is that Tweet-happy common cause against which to unite — and here she is! And even better news, Pitt Crew! She has her loss-assuring-but-ever-so-smiley choreographer Mitchell A. Finke in tow! Victory’s in the bag!
But first Cathy has a little business to attend to. Seems that Abby’s been claiming that Cathy’s moms are calling Abby to find out who’s teaching her dance camp. Cathy orders them to demand to see the proof on Abby’s phone. Abby smirks and brushes it off, but when the Apples return to their own orchard, she decides to go in for the kill. She pops in long enough to tell Cathy that, yes, she’s right. The mothers have not been calling. Just one mother has. Justice’s. Oooooooh! Busted! Tanya says, well, um, yes, Justice adores and respects Abby and so does she … but … uh …
Game, set, match, Abby
OH boy! Reunion show ad! There’s going to be a reunion show! A two-parter! Andy Cohen, is that your gray shoulder, oh please, oh please?
And then it’s competition day. Is it me, or is Abby weirdly dressed down, given her snazzy get-ups of late? I do like the ring-tastic necklace, though. Good for fidgeting. Or teething babies. Abby tells Maddie and Chloe to hurry up and get ready so they can get back stage and freak out Justice.
Cathy — who’s looking mega-glam in her asides, but 12 at the actual competition — doesn’t sound terribly convinced of her Mitchell-Finke-crafted, “heartfelt” routine’s ability to beat the ALDC. To buck up her little dancers, she has them congregate outside the door of the ALDC dressing room and do a little clapping Yay Apples chant, that Maddie serenely mocks.
Then Maddie and Chloe are dispatched to mentally torture Justice, who’s warming up, shirtless and covered in faux injuries that make him look like he’s been run over by a hay baler. Cathy attempts to coach him in how to respond to anything the Pitt Crew might say. “Good luck?” he beams sweetly.
Love you, Justice! Mean it!
Then Maddie takes the stage, slaps on her patented look of torment and does what our Maddie does. Kills it. You don’t deserve her, you judges. Chloe beams from the sidelines, then does the requisite turn in front of a perplexed-looking Justice who thought they were supposed to say something, not do something. Oh well. His turn to dance.
Justice does a dramatic, Rambo Jr., last-soldier-on-the-battlefield dealie. Gotta bloody ‘em to win, ain’t that right, Abby? He’s a great little dancer and I’d be the first to admit that I’d love it if he and his glamazon mom joined up with the Pitt Crew next season. Can’t you just imagine him and Maddie dancing a duet? I vote yes, people in charge of this sort of thing.
So far so good!
Then Brooke — at long last — does her Anne Frank dance. It was worth the wait; I hold my breath through the entire thing. Kelly admits that watching her daughter perform so beautifully makes the decision to pull her children from the studio even tougher.
After all this Sturm und Drang, it’s time for a welcome little Mac Break. She’s got a sparkly little stinger on her tush and an adorable, confident grin on her mug — and the mere sound of her music gives Cathy the hives. Mission accomplished, killer bee.
Then it’s a periwinkle-and-duct-tape-clad Chloe’s turn to go out and perform the solo of many conflicts, which is actually called Silence. Holly gives a super-classy aside giving the girl kudos for working so hard through the storms that rage around — and often at — her. And she truly does a beautiful job. And speaking of beautiful, this is what happens backstage.
Learn. From. These. Children. People. This, more than anything that will happen onstage, is grace.
Speaking of storms, for Nationals, Mitchell A. Finke has crafted a group dance named after one that entails umbrellas and Vivi being afraid and Justice mostly given the job of dragging her around the stage by the hand. The Pitt Crew is in stitches.
Backstage, Kelly shows off Paige’s modeling shot and this ensues: Abby says Paige is always perfect when she’s sitting on her butt, but maybe that’s why she’s too distracted to remember her dance. Kelly retorts that the photographers said Paige was right on the money. Abby says that’s because she trained her, but pretty can go away real quick, right Kelly? Kelly rolls her eyes and lets her have the last word. Which are getting louder by the minute.
And then it’s time for The Last Text. I just do not know what I think of this dance. I get that the message is important and the girls perform it in duly beautiful and haunting fashion. I get that creepy goes over huge with the judges. But I really think I’m over the girls having to die to win. Especially watching each girl “die” slowly, one by one.
Cathy says that despite the fact that crappy-looking car seat looks like it came off of Christi’s porch, Abby’s dance was absolutely brilliant. The mothers are in tears. Abby is jubilant.
The awards announcer, who has her Sarah Palin goin’ on, requests a round of applause for the t-shirt throwers, then gets down to business. Miss Mackie wins her petition division and Miss Energy and accepts her title, crown and sash, grinning … and covered in a Walking Dead episode’s worth of fake blood. She makes it look precious, in a Tim Burton sort of way.
Then Brooke wins the whole shebang for her division, too, and Kelly points out that she did it largely without the help of her teacher.
Then comes the hotly contested Junior division awards. Justice gets third and looks confused. Just a fifth of a point separates first and second.
Chloe for the win. In the audience, Melissa beams and Christi cries. Onstage, Maddie beams she and Chloe hug some more. There you go! Roll them credits! No? We have to find out how the group dance did? OK.
It wins, too. Cathy’s doesn’t place. Victories all around. Let’s end the episode now! No? We have to hear from Cathy first? Aw geez.
Hey! Cathy is gracious. She says wants to keep reliving Abby’s last text number. The whole Apple crew congratulates the Pitt moms. Yay! Credits! No? Here comes Abby … and the end of Cathy’s gracious-loser act. Abby doesn’t let her rival get to her. Or maybe she does.
Backstage, Kelly is in tears, wondering if she has watched her daughters compete for the last time. Abby uses her inside voice to tell her she doesn’t want to argue, but if she were Kelly, she’d thank her lucky stars for the opportunity her children were just given. Kelly doesn’t look thankful. She looks bereft. Abby switches to her outside voice until the girls burst in. She doles out the congrats to her students and leaves on a high note. But no one feels like celebrating if The Last Text was truly Paige and Brooke’s Last Dance. <sniffle>
So what say you, Dance Moms nation? Are Kelly, Brooke and Paige out the door at the ALDC or do they just need some down time? Perhaps we’ll find out …
… next week on part one of the first-ever Dance Moms reunion show at 9/8CT on Lifetime.
Dance Moms Finale recap Images/video: Lifetime