“Dance Moms” begins with a slice of gritty reality, when an officer of the court pops into Abby’s studio and serves her with legal papers related to Paige Hyland’s lawsuit. Abby is appalled and upset, but carries on with business as usual. The dwindling bunch of moms are cheering her on, with head cheerleader Holly, leading the charge. The girls gather for pyramid, and Kalani is late, much to the delight of the ALDC cheer squad. Holly almost blows a gasket wanting justice for Nia, who always slays in punctuality technique. Holly believes that Kira lives for preferential treatment, and Abby is going to kill herself to oblige. Mackenzie is on the bottom of the pyramid for not acting weird enough, and Kalani is on top for winning, and for tolerating Abby enough to return.
This week’s competition is Energy Dance in Detroit, where the meek, but sure to be seeking REVENGE, Ava performs…cue the dramatic foreshadowing music! We are reminded that Ava’s mom is crazy Jeanette, who is the mom who had to be pried off Abby’s chunky ankles to get her out of the ALDC studio. Kalani and Maddie score dueling solos, and battle lines are drawn. Abby decides to cash in on her new quasi-criminal status and poetically makes the group dance about leaping inmates. Jill is concerned that by the girls jumping around in prison jumpsuits, Abby is sending an overly flippant message about breaking the law…but oh well. Holly jumps all over Kira because Abby chose to cut her slack, and Nia’s gift of timeliness is being brushed aside like it’s nothing. Holly has jumped the shark, and is officially acting like a jealous nut.
The next day is head shot day, and although 15 minutes is designated for each girl, Mackenzie, Maddie and Kalani are favored with longer sessions. Abby is overheard (with bonus subtitles) telling the photographer that those three are the priorities due to their marketability. Nia is left in the dust, and Holly believes that Abby is JUST showing her true colors. Excuse me? Holly resents that sticking by the chronically awful Abby isn’t paying off for stardom opportunities for Nia. During class, Holly receives a phone call from Jeanette and the conversation, along with the pounding background drums work hard to heighten the suspense. Kira spills that Jeanette was seen on social media with Christi, clearly with a dastardly motive of revenge, and Holly entertains the notion of throwing time to the wind, and defecting from the ALDC.
The girls arrive in Detroit, Jeanette and her dancers welcome them and are ignored by Abby and the crew. The snub instigates a room visit, which escalates into a silly screaming match with Kira screeching that Jeanette is a stalker, and Abby bleating fashion advice, which seems strange considering the giant bedazzled sunburst that is crawling down her side.
The event is delayed, and Abby complains by braying across stage in the general direction of Ava, which Ava misunderstood as a direct communication. Ava performs, and aside from her lanky build being a distraction, she did a nice job. Kalani is exquisite on stage, and Maddie’s portrayal of Abby’s legal heartbreak is lovely, other than the pained, constipated expression that she paints on every time she hits the stage. Jeanette is peeved when she hears about the backstage brouhaha, and files a complaint with the director of the event, claiming that Abby threw off Ava’s performance.
Abby defends herself by screeching at the top of her lungs backstage that she LOVES ALL KIDS, and would never do such a thing. Holly believes that the dance world is out to get the ALDC, but that the girls are brave soldiers, and Nia will always battle fearlessly to show up on time.
The group dance is funky and cool, even though their costumes remind me of pirates, not prisoners. The group dance wins first, Kalani wins fourth, Ava wins third, and Maddie gets second.
Abby calls the contest rigged, and Holly finally drops the supportive butt kisser persona, and tells Abby that she looks like an idiot. Holly nails Abby on the remark she made to the photographer, and Abby denies it while Lifetime replays the shady comment. Abby tries to prove her point by shoving Kendall through an embarrassing exercise, and calls Jill a bad mother for allowing such an utter failure. Kendall and Nia try and respectfully communicate their feelings of embarrassment, which Abby ignores. Holly and Abby screech at other, and Holly pulls out the big guns by threatening to show up 10 min late next week. Abby likes Nia’s face but is sick of defending Nia’s pathetic feet, and the two storm off in a flouncy huff.
Tune in next week when Abby breaks the news to Holly that she just doesn’t want to talk to her. GASP! Who would say that to her head cheerleader?