Tonight’s episode of Dance Moms begins with another parking lot conference, during which the mothers decide it’s their job to determine whom the competition team will be at the studio that belongs to Abby Lee. Even Holly’s onboard. She says they must stand up for what is right. Like telling a business owner how to run her business.
To put their plan into action, they begin by gliding silently past an incredulous Abby and hiding out in the ladies room. Then they come out of the ladies room. They sit across from Abby and have themselves a silent pout. Atta girls.
Speaking of girls, the little ones are not there. Now neither are the mothers. Abby calls Melissa and tells her if she’s going to jeopardize Maddie and Mack’s future over this nonsense, she has lost her marbles. Then she heads off to rehearse Ally’s solo for Fort Wayne, since that’s all she’s got to work with.
Shelley — man, that woman still reminds me of a Pittsburgh Jacqueline Laurita — is feeling lonesome in the mom loft, so she heads down to find out what is going on. Abby says she has no idea. That Maddie needs her. That the rest of the crew would be just as well off in Girl Scouts. But Maddie needs to dance and she needs to dance for Abby.
Turns out, the mom never left the premises. Instead, they’re staging a semi sit-in, er out, in the parking lot. This must have been one seriously dull day of filming. And I do not understand Jill’s pants at all.
When Abby comes out to confront them, they once again refuse to speak or even make eye contact. Oh fer the … really? If you’re this ticked, ladies, go grab Kelly and find another studio that will adopt the lot of you as a family unit. Because if your kids pulled this crap on you about something they didn’t like, I’m not sure you’d find this type of behavior too amusing. And they’re kids.
Abby calls out Dr. Holly in particular, telling her that she would never be so rude were it just the two of them. Melissa and Jill head for safety in their vehicles, Melissa shielding her face with a box of SweetTarts. Or maybe she’s holding them up in offering in case Abby comes for her. Holly just remains frozen in place.
Incredulous once again, Abby returns to her minions and tells them they have so much work to do, what with having to replace the entirety of the competition team. But the first call she makes is to 911 to report a pack of high-heeled silent trespassers in her parking lot. The minions are amused. Then Abby sets to work calling the best kids from her auditions and summons them to PA, as the cops chase the marauders in luxury vehicles away.
Next day, looks who’s shown up at the Candy Apples.
“You’re out of your radius for shopping for stretch pants, aren’t ya?!” Cathy teases Jill, who has resurrected her caveman vest for the occasion. Her social call does not go well. Cathy calls her a studio-hopper and bids her adieu. But not before insulting her little bitty purse.
Back in Pittsburgh, Ally shows up, followed by the dance scabs. We have Bella, who is 10, and her mother Marcia. And Kaeli and her mother Gloria. Another pair is still flying in.
Meanwhile, the Pitt Crew has assembled at Christi’s for drinks and munchies. Wherever Abby goes, they decide, people are going to be expecting to see their little dance stars and what a disappointment it will be when they don’t. Then they come up with a plan. They’re going to come up with a dance and a place for the girls to perform and advertise it on social media. Ohhhhh. OK. Remember back a few months when the girls were out on meet-and-greets of their own and Abby was having a Twitter-based snit about it? It’s all making sense now, isn’t it?
But who, wonders Holly, will choreograph the rogue performance. Christi knows whom: the girls.
OH. MY. GOD. Abby’s got a sparkly heart stuck to her head. OK, that’s not what I’m really oh-my-God-ing. She’s on the phone with Yuh-vette! Abby’s Ultimate Yuh-vette! Yuh-vette is calling Abby! To tell her that she and Hadley and their studio will be at the self same competition this weekend. Abby can’t quite remember Hadley’s name. Abby makes cuckoo finger while Yvette talks.
Over in Indiana, we find out that Yvette has been really worried about Hadley since she got the boot from AUDC. Yvette opines that when Abby found out she was a dance teacher, her daughter stopped getting a fair shake. Hadley says every time she goes to practice, she hears Abby calling her road kill. This makes Yvette weep. Time for a Yvette-ism: you get what you give. And Abby’s going to get hers some day.
Meanwhile, Abby is informing her new dance team that Sofia is coming and Sofia is an even better dancer than Maddie. Abby says Sofia is a child prodigy who is all over the internet and the television and is a major deal at dance competitions and she will waltz in here and take over the place if they let her. And here she comes through the darkness now! Sofia is ten, toothy, tiny and helium-voiced. Her mother, Jackie, is soft-spoken and blonde. These are our Mommies now, Dance Moms fans.
And Marcia is wearing cow print shoes.
Abby cannot abide Sophia’s “Minnie Mouse” voice. Before she can dance for Abby she’s going to have to get some muscle in that thing. Sofia looks worried. She thought she came her to dance, not take voice lessons. Speaking of worried, mama drama is already beginning with The Scabs. Jackie asks the others if they’ve brought their solo costumes, and they inform her they have no need. No solos for their girls.
Before things can get too out of hand, the Queen of Hearts and Stars shows up to inform the group they are going to Dance Xpressions in Fort Wayne and they had better maintain her reputation for winning or else.
Sophia’s insta-solo is called “My New Reality” and it’s about Abby’s new reality, what with her new dancers and all. Marcia has had enough. She doesn’t know why she brought her kid here, if some other kid is going to come in and be the star. Gloria says she’s happy to be here, whatever the case.
The group dance, “Cry,” is lyrical and elegant and is about saying goodbye to the old things and welcoming in new experiences.
Speaking of the old things, it’s Kelly’s turn to host the Pitt Crew Support Group and tell the girls about their secret plan to make Abby realize how much she needs them. While they rejoice about dancing at the mall, Melissa gets a text from Shelley — what?! Melissa has an intruder’s digits?! — informing her that Sofia and the Scabs are ready to take on Fort Wayne. The mothers do one of these, then head off to see how their little choreographers are faring.
Looks like Yvette is the new Cathy, at least momentarily. Abby tells the Scabs that they have to beat Yvette’s Thrive! Dance Company team and erase the memory of the Pitt Crew. Meanwhile, it’s time for the big performance at the Century III mall, which appears deserted. I’m going to guess this leads to a scene in which we realize the halls are empty, because the lobby is filled to the brink with screaming fans.
Competition time for Abby. She greets Hadley and Yvette and when Yvette inquires about the unfamiliar faces trailing behind her, she smiles serenely and says, “Sometimes you’ve got to take out the trash.”
Back at the mall, the Dance of Autonomy is not exactly going gangbusters, despite the fact that the mothers are all wearing matching t-shirts to encourage it.
Meanwhile, Gloria decides it might be a good idea to sneak a solo for Kaeli past Abby, for the purpose of impressing of her. Oh lady. No.
Time for the Ally, Sofia, Hadley solo showdown, in place of the Maddie, Chloe, Kendall solo showdown. This is just too weird. Ally shall be the Chloe — her solo is beautiful and balletic and graceful. Hadley shall be the Kendall — her solo is sassy, but more showy than technical. Sofia — whose voice has magically dropped a couple of notches, making her sound oddly like Maddie — says she becomes a bit of a head case before her solos, but before her performance is over, Yvette already appears to be wiping away tears of defeat.
Downstairs, Gloria is fibbing that she is entering Kaeli’s solo on behalf of Abby, who is just to busy to do it — but upstairs, Marcia rats her out. Abby says if Gloria does that, she and her child are off the team. Huh. Seems Marcia and Gloria were friends. Were. They begin to have at it, and Abby realizes she’s just assembled more of the same.
The Thrive group’s performance is called Criminal and it seems to amuse Abby more than concern her. Mostly because her group dance is seems much more technical and skillfully performed. Let’s find out, because it’s Awards time. Ally gets second in the teen division and Abby’s livid at the slight.
Hadley gets second place in the junior solo division. Sofia gets first. Meet your new Maddie and Chloe. Abby says Hadley was the road to Sofia’s kill.
But the group awards are a scandal. Abby’s group gets second. Thrive gets first. Abby gets mortified. I think it’s a dab of hooey, too. But she doesn’t let Yvette see her sweat.
Meanwhile, back in Pittsburgh, the mall is now packed with screaming fans. The girls thank them for coming, then do their dance. Even without Abby at the helm, Maddie is the star of the show. And without Abby, the mothers have to face that the dance was only mediocre. Back to her senses, Holly says it proves that the girls need discipline. They need a dance teacher.
Their dance teacher, meantime, is expressing her displeasure at her new dancers, and Shelley grabs Ally and makes a break for it. All the way back the Big Easy, it turns out, as we find out in the teaser for next week episodes. Looks like the others are in the wind, too, even Big Deal Sofia. So that can only mean … the mamas and the Hylands return.
What say you, Dance Moms fans? Did you enjoy getting a peek at another group of talented dancers or was this a waste of chance to see Maddie, Mac, Chloe, Nia and Kendall compete? Are you hoping we haven’t seen the last of Yvette? Are you hoping we have? And is it time to get back to the pyramid, the original Pitt Crew and all the things that make Dance Moms your favorite show? Tell me in the comments section below.
New episodes of Dance Moms air Tuesday nights at 9pm on Lifetime.