Make It or Break It Down: Season 1, Episode 15

The abrupt end to the 2020 NCAA gymnastics season was a shock to everyone, us included. And while we understand and support the measures being taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19, it means that a lot of us are suddenly left with extra time on our hands…

Which is why we’ve decided to embark on an important journey, one that will take us back through one of television’s most important series to date: Make It or Break It. Every Saturday (and a number of other bonus days) from now until the 2021 season, our editors Katherine, Kalley and Claire will be breaking down and recapping each episode of everyone’s favorite gymnastics show.

Want to watch along? You can find MIOBI on Hulu and the Freeform app, all you have to have is a subscription/cable login. You can also buy the DVDs or purchase seasons or single episodes on various platforms, like iTunes. Join us in the cheesiness and the early 2010s TV gymnastics by using the hashtag #MakeItOrBreakItDown on Twitter as you watch.

You can read our S1E1 recap here.

S1E15: Loves Me, Loves Me Not

As Valentine’s Day looms, Emily complains to Chloe that Damon hasn’t called her in three (3) days. Chloe says he’s an “industry A-lister” now so of COURSE he doesn’t have time to call her because he’s busy doing whatever actual A-listers do, of which Damon is certainly not one. Emily, please exit your mother’s fantasy world and be vigilant.

The two pull up to the Rock right as Lauren and Steve do. Lauren makes a rude comment about Chloe’s outfit, which I’d say is justified…

…and Chloe and Steve exchange sweaty looks. Are they going to be a thing? Sasha’s stress that the GYMNASTS are going to hook up and get together is honestly misplaced.

In the gym, Sasha trashes Kaylie’s double tuck as not being powerful enough. Nicky overhears this and invites her to join him for an early morning practice where he’ll mansplain how to…be more powerful. Because plot development, Kaylie agrees.

At school, Ike is ranting about how much he hates the establishment Valentine’s Day to Payson as a means of getting in her pants. So no one’s gonna be safe this episode, huh?

Summer proposes hosting a Valentine’s Day mixer at the gym, which Sasha immediately shoots down.

“Mix” but say it like “use the bathroom” or “break every bone in their body”

I kind of agree, but for different reasons. Isn’t the point of a mixer to meet new people? These kids spend all hours of the day together… Can’t you just drop them off at Hot Topic at the mall?

Then Summer goes way off the rails and reveals the mixer is just a facade to spread her message of abstinence because it’s a “better way to lives their lives.” They get into a truly toxic conversation in which, over the course of two minutes, Summer calls God the most important authority in life, Sasha asks if she “practices what she preaches” (👀) and, in both of their sexual confusion, the mixer is allowed to happen.

Lauren picks Payson up from school as a kind gesture without any ulterior motives.

She takes the opportunity to put a bird in Payson’s ear that Payson should give Kaylie her blessing to date Nicky. You know, to not break the girl code. And to drive Kaylie away from Carter. A meaningless side effect!

At the pizza shop, Razor puts his own bird in Emily’s ear by letting her know that Damon has a tendency to “drift away” when he doesn’t care anymore. Explaining ghosting in 2009 was so quaint. But like Lauren, he obviously has no ulterior motives to tell Emily this, so I’m not sure why I mentioned it.

What he does next is even more horrifying.

I can guarantee that if anyone interrupted my meal with an unprompted song, this would NOT be my response.

Razor mercifully ends his song when he gets a call to leave the pizza shop under shady circumstances. It gets even shadier when we see him duck into the police station…to see DAMON…in Boulder???

He’s apparently there because of some mixup with not letting that girl group (Pinky Promise…I didn’t want to say it) sing his songs, so he tried to take ownership by singing them himself. I didn’t expect a Valentine’s themed episode to contain some Taylor Swift/Scooter Braun commentary. I don’t know why I still let this show surprise me.

Taylor Damon begs Razor not to tell Emily about his little prison stint because there’s no way she can see him “like this.” Understood, because “this” is a truly depressing, abused departure from his usual self:

How will she ever accept the new him?

Summer barges into Sasha’s trailer (braver than me) and interrupts his…uh…stress relief.

The fact that he’s a gamer knocks him further down a peg in my already abysmal view of him.

Summer tells him off for not respecting her opinions, then admits that she’s a ~sexual being~ who wants to encourage abstinence because she knows how hard it is. Sasha can’t stand a woman expressing agency, so to shut her up, he does this:

Let’s see how Kaylie and Nicky are doing with “more power.”

Pretty sure this break’s Dua Lipa’s fourth rule: “And if you’re under him, you ain’t getting over him.”

Payson has the misfortune of seeing this, which Nicky doesn’t realize. There’s a Romeo and Juliet-esque miscommunication and neither ends up admitting they still care about each other. Unlike Romeo and Juliet, no one dies. Yet.

Honestly though, Payson, why get with a well-built future Olympian when you can be with a loser who makes clip art valentines?

This cost $0.07 in printing fees

Sasha announces plans for the gym mixer and, since it’s an emotional topic, it goes about as eloquently as you’d expect.

Then Summer has to step in and haha it’s funny because they’re talking about sex when they came sooo close to just doing that last night in the office!

Big plot twist now: Ike didn’t actually send Payson that rose. She calls him out on being emotionally unavailable, which he somehow twists into being about her because being a high level gymnasts means she’s just the same. To which she says:

Okay fine, maybe that was my question.

It’s the night of the mixer, and Summer is going true 700 Club on these kids. The “Philippians 4:13 💕🦋” Instagram bio contingent is shaking at this one. Chloe is more my vibe here, which is something I never thought I’d say.

Kaylie says she understands quite clearly, the thought of Carter spurning her not at all in the front of her mind. Emily’s just like, “Sex? I don’t even have the prison visitation hours schedule yet.”

Now that a hot girl summer is off the table, Kaylie tells Nicky that nothing can happen between them while still acknowledging he gave her butterflies. Nicky recognizes that this is what the friend zone is and announces he’s going to train at Denver.

Speaking of “never gonna happen between us uh uh no way,” Sasha admits he thought the mixer was a good idea because if he could “lose control” the way he did with Summer, the gymnasts could too. If he thinks kissing someone is “losing control” then Sasha is definitely showing himself to be a little hothouse flower. Maybe these two would be a better match than I thought.

At the pizza place, Carter and Emily commiserate about their relationship woes. Nothing constructive comes out of it, which is honestly shocking given these two and their acumen with picking mates.

Emily decides to make one more attempt at tracking Damon down. Alexa play “Locked Away” by Maroon 5.

Across town, who would have thought that her mother would be the one dating above her station?

So apparently they are a thing. Steve taking Chloe out to a wine tasting is really giving me “Pretty Woman” vibes. They decide to take the party elsewhere when Steve admits he’s above that sort of thing. Sorry, but Summer gets a Tiffany necklace and Chloe gets boxed wine at home?

The jig is up when Emily pulls up to the police station as Razor is bailing out Damon. Not the best look. Emily breaks it off right then and there. Razor’s raised eyebrow definitely says “guess who DOESN’T have a criminal record tho?”

Not the time.

Carter’s in the attic when Steve and Chloe storm up there in a wine drunk stupor. He has to hide and it’s basically like the scene in Parasite when the couple comes down and sleeps on the couch. Carter, I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy…except maybe you. LOL, on second thought, I don’t feel bad.

Payson invites her indigent friend from school over, who, for the record, she only gave a second look when Ike lost his luster. Just keep that in mind.

The girls from the gym join, and they all kiki together and celebrate Galentine’s Day. This ending was a little too happy and resolved for me, so luckily we break it with Mrs. Keeler getting a call from a mysterious surgeon who might be able to fix Payson’s back. O___O

Balance Check

Every week we will break down the little moments that stood out as being extremely on point and those that wobbled a bit too much. Shout out to Vulture and its Gossip Girl Reality Index for providing the template for our version.

Faker Than Chloe’s Ability to Conceal Her Situationship with Steve

  • Damon has a personalized voicemail message set up when Emily calls. I feel like men wouldn’t bother to set up a personalized voice message. Minus 5.
  • A white boy being in prison for some pithy offense like music copyright infringement…they don’t even get white MEN for that! Minus 7.
  • Like Sasha ACTUALLY plays Guitar Hero for fun and doesn’t spend his spare time screaming at people in different countries on first person shooter games. Minus 3.
  • The school security officer busting Ike and his friends for drinking. My school’s “security officers” did nothing related to actual security and crime prevention…they’re just there for aesthetics. Minus 4.
  • High schoolers wanting to watch “Sleepless in Seattle” together. Not in 2009, not in 2019, just no. Minus 6.

Total: -25

Realer Than 40+ Moms Not Having Valentine’s Day Plans

  • The awkwardness of Valentine’s being passed around and waiting to see if you got one or not…truly one of the most underrated yet intense moments of high school. Plus 4.
  • Ike pretending to be woke then revealing a problematic opinion like climate change not being real tracks as some dumb boi behavior! Plus 6.
  • Sadly, the abstinence talk was something all too many of us (especially girls) have experienced. Wish we could see a 10-year retrospective of these gymnasts to see just how much it had the opposite effect. Plus 10.
  • Payson being unable to recognize a true friend until the fake ones cancels themselves for her. We’ve all been there. Plus 5.

Total: 25

MIOBI evened out this week with a whopping zero, which is also the total number of relationships formed this week that I expect to successfully pan out.


1: The Feeling After You Find Out NCAAs Is Cancelled (Too Soon?)

2: The NCAA Banning Chalk Blowing Choreography

3: Brandie Jay’s Accidental DTY

4: Kelly Garrison Squeal After a Stuck Oklahoma Vault

5: It was beautiful, it was lovely, we went out there and ENJOYED THIS

Recap by Katherine Weaver

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