Make It or Break It Down: Season 3, Episode 6

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.

Season 3, Episode 6: Listen to the Universe

The girls are still reeling from the “shocking” revelation that Wendy, not Jordan, was the mole. Payson “feels icky” for misjudging Jordan, but Kaylie insists it’s fine because, “We never accused her…to her face.” 

Payson says that since Jordan may very well be part of the “London Five” (catchy), they need to make things right with her. Kaylie reluctantly agrees. 

“OK, fiiiiine. We’ll apologize…”

Their (OK, Payson’s) well-intentioned apology doesn’t go over super well. Jordan is thoroughly unconcerned about what anyone thought or thinks of her; she’s too busy kicking ass and, you know, TRAINING FOR THE RAPIDLY APPROACHING OLYMPICS

Um, as Kaylie and Payson walked away, the music got really foreboding and the camera panned to Wendy striking THIS pose: 

Meanwhile, Lauren is still in the hospital and wearing Uggs.

Of course she is.

Steve Tanner and Coach Mac are also there to hear her MD deliver the diagnosis: Supraventricular Tachycardia (SVT). Doctor says she needs immediate open heart surgery and several months of recovery, which is hilarious on so many levels. 

Lauren is obviously crushed and asks if there are any safer alternative treatments. Steve says there aren’t [there totally are]. Lauren says that if her dream is dead, she doesn’t care about getting well, so there’s that. 

Wendy and Jordan are in their dorm playing with Jordan’s rabbit. Wendy is talking rapidly (shocking!) and mentions that Kaylie has it out for Jordan. Jordan responds by saying she and the bunny are going out for some air. Wendy asks, “Can I come with?!” to which Jordan yells emphatically, “NOOO.” As soon as Jordan’s gone, Wendy climbs a chair and lights a candle under the smoke detector. 

“Accio arson convinction!”

Austin’s telling Kaylie about his Olympic prospects: The men’s final elimination is in two days; his rings are solid but his floor is iffy, so he’ll just fake it or whatever. They arrive at the gym and the fire department is there talking to Coach Mac. Wendy and Jordan’s dorm is all water damaged, so they’re going to have to move in with Payson and Kaylie, respectively. 

Steve Tanner is packing up Lauren’s stuff and all but blames Payson for destroying her Olympic dreams. When Payson starts crying, he thanks her for saving Lauren’s life. 

He tells Payson that there actually is an alternative non-invasive procedure but the only doctor who performs it, Dr. Kevin Walker, is unwilling to perform it on a professional athlete because the stress of competitive sports makes her heart “different.”

Kaylie confronts Jordan and says they can’t live together without speaking. Jordan’s like, “We hate each other, and I’m comfortable with things the way they are.” Kaylie notices the rabbit and asks, “Are you bringing a rodent into my room?” 

“It’s a rabbit, Cruella…”

Steve Tanner has brought Lauren a sock monkey to try and cheer her up (it does not). Turns out the monkey is just a decoy for Summer. She tells Lauren she knows something that will help. Lauren yells, “I DON’T FEEL LIKE PRAYING, SUMMER!” 

Payson and Kaylie are hiding from their new roommates in the common area. They’re conspiring to track down Dr. Walker and convince him to do the [super commonplace and low-risk] procedure on Lauren. Kaylie learns he’s at a meditation retreat in Santa Fe. Payson decides she will go to Santa Fe and find him. 

Coach Mac has a one-on-one chat with Jordan. He says that while she’s excelling gymnastically (?), the team psychologist thinks her social development is stunted. Coach Mac tells her, “Lone wolves don’t win team gold medals. It’s time to join the pack.”

Austin refused to take an iron cross out of his routine and ended up falling and screwing up his shoulder. “That move [that has been in every rings routine since 1984] is pure Tucker flash. I’m not losing it. When you’re the oldest guy on the team, you can’t look weak.”  

You can almost hear John Roethlisberger screaming, “YOU’RE 20!”

Payson tells Coach Mac that she’s got a Healthy Bar promotional thing. Really though, she and Rigo are heading to Santa Fe on his motorcycle. Um… I can think of a few ways this can go badly wrong, least of which is riding on the back of a sports bike for more than 15 minutes is excruciating

Back at the dorms, Jordan tells Kaylie she’s right: They can’t live together without speaking, “So I guess we’ve gotta have this out.” Kaylie’s all, “Don’t mind if I do!” 


She accuses Jordan—who she thought was her best camp friend—of getting cozy with the coach and “kicking me to the curb.” Jordan’s like, “Oh, no no no! YOU abandoned ME because Coach and I got ice cream without you ONE time. You didn’t even congratulate me after I won junior nationals!”

There is definitely an implied, “BITCH!” at the end of that rant.

Kaylie admits that she should’ve realized Jordan wasn’t the mole because that’s not Jordan’s style. Jordan tells Kaylie she can trust her, so Kaylie immediately tells her everything about her and Payson’s secret plan. Whatever beef existed between them mere seconds ago, Jordan likes the idea of sticking it to Wendy and tells her she can’t go in the dorm because Payson is “toootally sick.” She then coerces Wendy into leaving so “Pay-Pay can rest before her big Healthy Bar meeting.”

Summer is refusing to leave Lauren’s hospital bedside despite Lauren’s refusal to pray. I get it; Lauren looks like she’s about to die. 

You know it’s serious when she takes off her Bump It and Ugg boots.

Yet again, Summer tries to convince Lauren to take a walk to the chapel and have a little chat with the Big Guy. Lauren reiterates that she’s “done praying and getting no answer.” Summer actually says with her human mouth to this teenaged elite athlete whose Olympic dreams are about to be shattered by emergency open-heart surgery, “It doesn’t work that way. God’s not Santa Claus… ‘No,’ is an answer, too.” 

Austin and Kaylie are revamping his FX to be easier on his shoulder. He wants to change his RO BHS whip to 2.5 twist to a RO 1.5 punch full, which sounds good to Kaylie. 

I like how his hairline magically recedes mid-pass. 

Payson and Rigo are camping overnight on the side of the highway about an hour away from the retreat. 

Since it’s literally freezing outside, he suggests they zip their sleeping bags up together (which is actually what you’re supposed to do when camping in such conditions). Payson says, “Whoa, whoa, whoa. This is not a pleasure trip, it’s a mission of mercy.” She then admits that she’s a virgin and made a pledge to herself to wait. You, like Rigo, might assume the end of that sentence is, “…until we—I mean YOU—get married?” 

“Oh, Rigo, honey… No.”

Payson promised herself she wouldn’t have sex until she won Olympic gold.

Rigo finds that amazing (which it is) and offers to sleep outside the tent. Payson’s like, “Hell no, it’s cold! You’re sharing a sleeping bag with me.” 

Jordan slept in Payson’s room to fool Wendy, and stays under the covers through the next morning. Unfortunately, she gets an earful of Wendy talking shit about how “Jordan’s just a charity case and a total whack job.” 

Austin’s final elimination went really well, and he’s stoked because, “They didn’t even ask to see my rings!” Is that foreshadowing? That feels like foreshadowing. 

Lauren wakes up to find Jake the wrestler sitting in her hospital room watching her (which isn’t creepy at all). He’s even brought her a present: 

He and the wrestlers agreed to let her rub Otis’s head once, which she happily does. 

Payson and Rigo arrive at the ashram inside which Dr. Walker is presumably silently meditating in a yurt. A little weirdo is guarding the entrance and refuses to let them in, explaining that even if he could, it’d be pointless because all of the guests have taken a vow of silence. He also confirms that indeed, “There are no rooms here, everyone has a personal yurt.” 

At Summer’s urging, Steve Tanner tries to convince Lauren that he’ll still love her even if she never becomes an Olympian, and it’s not going great. Parents, this is why you don’t wait until your child has a major medical crisis to tell them you love them. 

Because Payson is awesome and has superhero skills, she front handsprings over the 8-foot stone wall surrounding the compound. Because it’s MIOBI, she finds Dr. Walker in approximately 30 seconds. He’s so blissed out on peyote in such a deep meditative state that it’s unclear if he realizes Payson is corporeal and not just some hallucination. 

He gives Payson the same old spiel about how athletes’ hearts are “too muscular” to operate on. Right, versus the “super-healthy” hearts of the geriatric patients that make up the bulk of cardiac procedures?

Payson asks, “Are you that concerned about ruining your surgery average? That doesn’t sound very doctorly…” Clearly, Payson hasn’t spent much time around surgeons. She calls him a coward right before getting thrown out of the yurt. Such a boss move. 

Summer finally wears Lauren down, and she prays that God will help her accept her fate. Then the clouds part and the music gets happy, so obviously everything is going to be fine. 

Kaylie and Payson are pissed that their grand Dr. Walker scheme fizzled out. Rigo thinks they just need to trust the Universe to do its thing, which is totally something a BMX biker would say.  After Rigo leaves, the girls talk about how wonderful he is, and Payson admits something happened in the tent… 


Payson’s, uh, “promise” is still intact but she did realize she loves Rigo. Also, she kind of wishes they had “done the deed.” Kaylie says, “Hey, he’s still got the tent…” Bless her. 

There’s a knock on the door and Steve Tanner invites Payson to go to the hospital. Apparently, Lauren really wants to see her.

Kaylie goes to meet Austin after the MAG Olympic team announcement. She’s all, “So tell me what happened!” 

OMG, Kaylie, read the room…

Poor Austin got cut, and he blames Kaylie for ruining his life, his gymnastics and his endorsement prospects. 

Real Mature Com GIFs | Tenor

Wendy was creeping in the background during this very public scene and immediately runs back to the dorm to tell Jordan. Jordan UNLOOOADS on her, calling her a little punk who needs to quit talking shit about everybody behind their backs. 

Drag her.

Payson visits Lauren, whose hair and makeup have miraculously been restored through the power of prayer. She apologizes for taking her anger and frustrations out on Payson, and Payson tells her she’s got her back no matter what—and Lauren likes that. “No matter what.” 

Heey, look who just walked in the hospital room with Steve Tanner and Summer: 

I guess Payson calling him a coward lit a fire under his ass, so he’s agreed to examine Lauren and maybe try and help her (but no promises). 

Kaylie takes a cupcake to Austin’s dorm (which, unless it’s laced with laxatives, is a hell of a lot more than he deserves) but finds it’s been cleaned out. There’s nothing left except a shoebox filled with every memento from their relationship. What a dick move. 

I’ve lost count of how many episodes have ended this way.

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 Wendy’s Perpetual Cheerfulness

  • Lauren’s medical team bypassing beta blockers, catheter ablation or any of the other relatively safe but boring things actually used to treat SVT and jumping straight to OPEN HEART SURGERY. Minus 10. 
  • You’re telling me two elite athletes at their peak couldn’t handle this doofus? Minus 2.
  • Payson using Rigo as a springboard to vault over the ashram wall. I don’t even care how ridiculous and unrealistic this is, it was awesome and I refuse to dock points. Minus 0 

Total: -12 

Realer Than Teenaged Girls Calling Sex “Doing the Deed”

  • Wendy being an absolute sociopath. Plus 4
  • Lauren screaming, “I DON’T FEEL LIKE PRAYING, SUMMER,” and Summer resolutely ignoring her is a whole damn mood. Plus 10.
  • Payson saving herself for a gold medal. Plus 10. 

Total: 24 

Rating: “Listen to the Universe” snagged 12 points, which is also roughly the number of times Jordan crossed her arms and scowled at someone in this episode. 

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 Claire Billman

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