Haunted by dreams of her own failed auditions, Michelle is inundated with things from her apartment back in Vegas -- but that pales in comparison to Fanny's whirlwind of crazy, when the Joffrey Ballet threatens to move their auditions to Ojai due to the state of the studio's floors. After several abortive attempts to seduce various handymen, contractors and the like, an old fella is retrieved from Oxnard and the Flowers Studio flooring is rescued just in time. Along the way, we spend more time with those horrible surfer burnouts and make extensive use of the one ballet dancer of color in the company, but also learn more about Truly's shocking level of competence in everything besides being Truly.
Meanwhile, Boo's dealing with two fairly fraught relationships: The fairly fucked up, food-oriented one with her mom, and her stutter-stopping romance with mean old Sasha. (Ginny and the other one aren't in the episode at all, making it even harder to know what they are all about.) Sasha steals from her mom's purse to replace Boo's toe shoes secretly, and in return Boo decides to overlook how horrible Sasha is. But the meat of the episode lies in Michelle and Fanny's easygoing, fairly brilliant and nonjudgmental conversation about Boo's body type and what it means to the rest of the world -- how sometimes being "seen" is less a matter of big bones and more, apparently, about putting on various wigs and auditioning over and over.
A somewhat slapsticky entry, right in line with the way this show defines itself by its sort of aimless (not to say nonexistent ) structure -- I swear there are at least ten minutes of shtick in this episode on curtain rods alone -- and not one but two fantasy musical sequences of Sutton Foster dancin' and singin'. As we continue to peel off layers of Michelle and Fanny's various disappointments and insecurities, it seems like the stakes are rising, but that could just be an illusion. Either way it's fun, the leads are great, and being this far along in a show and still having no clear idea of what the show is supposed to be about continues to be something of a vertiginous thrill.
Next week: Michelle learns that Fanny's got her far outstripped in the "unrealistically bohemian" department, at least financially speaking, and Boo meets herself a hottie -- in this case, a sort of Ventimiglia by way of Jasper Cullen who works at a restaurant or something, and sends those Bunheads swooning.
Joffrey's School of Ballet auditions for their summer program have been an ongoing threat since Michelle arrived in town; that day has finally come. Boo is excited about tryouts, has a complicated relationship with her mother and food, and is currently fighting with Sasha. The other two aren't even in this episode, but Boo gives you plenty to work with.
A moving truck arrives from Vegas, with not only all of Michelle's belongings but also, it would seem, double that amount of other things. A familiar feeling, when you're moving -- especially into a smaller place, like the guesthouse -- which is why I always try to get rid of half of my stuff whenever I move. The moving guys aren't interested in Michelle's mess -- kind of a theme in this episode, actually -- but that doesn't stop her from talking, talking, talking.
Michelle: "You want a little backstory?"
Dude: "To tell you the truth, I really don't?"
Michelle: "See, I had to leave Vegas in a hurry. I wasn't running from the law or anything. I just bolted really quickly and left all my stuff in my apartment, so I made a deal with the landlord to ship it. Only he threw in stuff that isn't even mine..."
It goes on like this for a while. There's a buffet and a grandfather clock and a chesterfield and a credenza and a big old sombrero and whatever. Baggage? Little lady's got baggage.
Into this mess comes Fanny Flowers, who is all abuzz about the grounds: All about planting flowers and things. Nothing to stick around forever, just long enough for the auditions. To be looked at; to be seen.
Fanny: "...And what's going on here?"
Michelle: "I'm being robbed! In reverse!"
The men and Michelle follow Fanny into the studio, where the barres are loose and the speakers are staticky, and the new mirror needs to go up, and "get all that stuff out of there," she says, offhand, in such a way that Michelle doesn't realize she's even talking to her.
Michelle: "Yes, but..."
Fanny: "No buts. Was it on the manifest?"
Michelle: "...Yes, but it's not even mine! The grandfather clock has an actual cutout in the back, like Clemenza used it to stash a gun for Michael to shoot the police chief with..."
Fanny: "Hold up, what?"
Michelle: "Like in The Godfather?"
Fanny: "Oh my God, how long did I tune you out, that you went all the way there?"