“Bunheads” 1.07 ‘What’s Your Damage Heather?’ – Recap and Comments

Share

“Bunheads” 1.07 ‘What’s Your Damage Heather?’ – Recap and Comments

Airdate: 30 July 2012

one eyed zack

Michelle is covering the hectic schedule of dance classes and relieved that Fanny is due back tomorrow, until Boo tells her that Fanny has Facebooked – she won’t be back until next week.

The quartet are short of Sasha after their class – there’s been no sign of her since she stayed out all night and tore through her mum’s car roof, the same night her mum outed her dad. Ginny has big plans to celebrate her 8th anniversary with Josh that evening but Josh calls to say he’s helping build Ginny’s mum’s entertainment centre so instead her mum will be taking them to a sushi restaurant – even though Ginny doesn’t eat fish. She’s visibly bummed.

Michelle endures a tap dance class, helped by Sam into a chair at the end,only to be leaked on by a mysterious drip coming from the ceiling of the changing room.  She has a great bit with Fanny’s voicemail, then calls Truly, then calls a one-eyed plumber named Davis, who nobody in town trusts except to ‘keep an eye on things’.

With the changing room out of order, all the girls from the dance class get changed in Michelle’s place and start going through her stuff.

Matisse scouring Michelle’s iPod: “Boy she’s sure got a lot of junk on here. Who’s Rod Stewart?”

Sasha turns up, apparently unscathed and unpunished – indeed, with a credit card. The class performs a short, postured, slightly scrappy ballet, set to Mates of State’s ‘Desire’.

desire

Truly is keeping an eye on Davis while he works but there’s an open animosity between them. He has stopped the leak though, and leaves. Truly warns Michelle about mildew in the wet carpet and the quartet join Michelle blow drying the carpet. Charlie is still serving chauffeur duty punishment from his parents and comes by to pick her up. Boo still has a crush on him.

mildew

With the floor eventually dry, Michelle treats the quartet to fried shapes at the Oyster Bar and learns that Miss Fanny has strict rules for everything including no high heels, direct sunlight or walking on sand.

Josh (Ginny’s only ever boyfriend) stops by, still impossibly nice and leaves to wait to drive Ginny home. Michelle can’t believe they’ve been together since the second grade and tells them about when she was sixteen, dating different boys on different nights, sometimes in shifts. Later that night, Michelle finds Truly and Davis making out in the changing room. Davis rushes out first, then Truly follows ashamedly in tears, right before the ceiling starts dripping again. Michelle sets up a bucket and falls asleep on the floor.

Truly: “I don’t hate Davis. I just hate his plumbing.”
Michelle: “Didn’t look like that from where I was standing.”

The morning after, it’s Saturday and Michelle returns to find a few of the girls, including Sasha, have been hanging out in her house, drinking her soda and discovering the jar of peanut butter by the bed. She sends them out.

pb

Melanie’s doing her homework in the Oyster Bar. Michelle’s stories have had an effect on Ginny and she gives Josh the cold shoulder, then they take the fight into the ladies’ room.

Michelle finds Truly gardening, to apologise about her lack of tact when she discovered her with Davis. Truly doesn’t want to talk about it but Michelle helps her realise that it’s time to let go of her love for Hubbell and get out there, grab a little something.

Michelle: “I once slept with a guy with peg leg. He was in Treasure Island, I thought it was a prop. It was not a prop.”

Michelle’s struggling with keys to get into the studio when Sasha walks by, wearing Michelle’s t-shirt (which she stole). Sasha lies to her face,  Michelle makes her give it back – Sasha doesn’t seem to care. Then she’s brazenly 15 minutes late for the ballet class and Michelle takes her aside, unleashing a lecture on respect. Sasha clearly has issues but Michelle doesn’t give her a chance to open up.

Michelle: “You made me wag my finger. I’m not a disciplinarian, I’m not a grown up. Well, I don’t wanna be. I’m not here to teach you anything. Except ballet, I am here to teach you ballet so you have two minutes to get your hair in a bun and get your butt back to the bar or don’t bother coming back to class. Period. [Michelle walks out] Made me say ‘period’, punk ass kid.”

Charlie and Melanie have their regular sibling spat when he comes to pick her up. Ginny’s mum Claire (the estate agent) is furious about Ginny breaking up with Josh and she blames Michelle, berates her in front of the class and their parents. Claire is a single mum and Josh had been helping round the house since Ginny’s dad walked out.

Nanette comforts a distraught Michelle with magic cookies and grape juice. Michelle doesn’t feel like she can be a friend to the girls at the same time as being their teacher and confesses that her relationship with her mother was not great.

Nanette: “Ever since the first night you came here something happened to Boo. She just walks a little taller. Certainly wasn’t because of me. You’re having a much bigger influence on these girls than you think.”
Michelle: “Forgot how good grape juice was.”

Charlie pulls Boo aside, asking her to talk him up to newly single Jenny because he thinks Jenny is hot (Melanie has already told us he likes boobs). Boo loyally tells Jenny, who’s flattered and although she knows Boo likes Charlie, Jenny can’t help thinking about Charlie and dating boys.

charlie

Poor Boo leaves, Nanette follows, giving Michelle the rest of the magic cookies and Michelle does her sad shuffle back into her house. Fade to black.

 

Discussion

Sasha’s parents are split(ting) up, Ginny’s dad left, Boo’s dad seems to be out of the picture (unless he’s strangely absent like Mr. Kim). Are there any male role models here? Perhaps Josh counts – helping round the house like Dean used to changed out Lorelai’s water cooler or Jess clearing the gutters. I recall hearing that in Gilmore, Luke was originally written as a woman but changed to a man only because there weren’t any men. Do we care where the men are?

The top two comments for Mate of State’s ‘Desire’ on Youtube say that Bunheads brought them to the video. I had the same thing for ‘Picture in a Frame’, had to seek it out. Gilmore never did that for me with music, but it did with books – on Rory’s recommendation, I read and loved The FountainheadHave Gilmore Girls or Bunheads introduced you to anything new or am I just a weak-minded devotee? Any Prius-driving, Mallomar-munching, Sylvia Plath-readers out there?

Some noticeable social commentary in this episode, with the various references to social media and on girls playing the field. You could say these are related – with more and more of our private lives in other people’s control e.g. friends posting photos and rumours, some might be dissuaded from living the kind of life Michelle evidently did. Has social media made us less social? If so, for the better or worse?

An initially unrecogniseable Todd Lowe as Davis spars wonderfully with Truly. Like Gregg Henry (Rico/Mitchum Huntzberger in GG) before him, his character is wildly and refreshingly different from his character in Gilmore. I wonder which character he’s closer to in real life. Amy Sherman-Palladino can sure pick some great character actors. Rose Abdoo also present here, tapping to her own rhythm and one Jackson Douglas directing. Roll on Kirk…

 All images from abc family

Share

Rich

Rich originally began contributing to GIlmore News as 'Dairyman' in 2013, a reference to the character Dairyman Dick in Tess of the D'Urbervilles, (call me Rich). Here in the UK we were late to the Gilmore party and I don't remember what made me watch my first episode - the one where Lorelai picks Rory up from the police station after she and Logan steal a yacht - but I remember watching it again immediately. And then again. Thankfully, the next show was on the next day and I watched that one three times too. And then the boat one again. I couldn't believe the dialogue was so quick and so funny and I pretended to myself that I was only watching it so I could figure out who I was more keen on - the mom or the daughter. I swore that Aaron Sorkin must have been involved but I couldn't find his name attached anywhere, even on the internet. So I watched and loved and laughed and cried and the day after the series finale, they ran the entire show from the beginning again and Rory turned into a baby so then I was all about Lorelai. Lauren Graham is astonishing ("Mother: Breathtaking") and the show was - and is - lightning in a bottle. It's a treasure for those who watch and get swept up in it, like I did and like the readers of Gilmore News. It's heartbreak and chicken soup, family dysfunction and blind optimism, lighthearted romanticism and balls-out brilliant. Thanks to Arieanna and gilmorenews.com for letting me squat and allowing my inner Gilmore Geek out for air. I worry how it would otherwise manifest.

6 thoughts on ““Bunheads” 1.07 ‘What’s Your Damage Heather?’ – Recap and Comments

  • October 20, 2012 at 10:33 pm
    Permalink

    @dairyman-

    Another fine write-up for our enjoyment, thanks. A very busy and fun episode loaded with lots of little GG flashbacks, some critical plot points, as well as the over-the-top special appearance by Todd Lowe.

    As to GG parallels: Too numerous to count little goodies like the further manipulation of Michelle by Fanny, Michelle spiking Boo’s salad with fast food much like Michel’s yogurt being spiked with additional calories, the quartet’s snarky remarks about Michelle’s Las Vegas wardrobe similar to Louise and Madeline discussing the vintage items in Lorelai’s charity rummage sale, Ginny’s mom wigging out over Michelle’s ideas about her daughter’s dating pattern as compared to the hostile crowd of moms looking for Lorelai after the inadvertent high-school discussion of Lorelai’s early pregnancy, and Michelle’s ‘punny’ jokes about Davis echoing so many similar remarks from Lorelai and Rory on different situations over the full course of GG.

    More important was the “bra-code” discussion by Boo, Ginny, and Melanie that sets the stage nicely for further interpersonal fireworks among the quartet and begs the question: Is Boo really that good-natured or too inexperienced to handle confrontation when her perceived interests are slighted [kind of like early Rory??]. Finally there was Nanette’s friendly advice to Michelle supplemented by cookies and grape juice [can you say wallow??].

    Of course the biggest and most significant parallel, particularly as it will drive a significant plot point, would seem to be Sasha’s blatantly arrogant rebellion so reminiscent of the worst of Tristan or Jess. How this plays out and is resolved will be critical over the course of the show.

    As to the discussion points: Good to see Truly continue to break out and Todd’s eccentric character seems like the perfect near-term complement for her. Recognized his voice before I saw the face!!

    Then there is ASP’s minimalist approach to the presence of male role models. Do we actually care? For me, I hardly notice it until it is pointed out. After all, in her Rosanne days, a successful working pattern was set with only one man [Dan Conner] needed and all the other guys often playing out as alternating bully/buffoon caricatures. Then ASP comfortably carried that pattern over to GG with either Richard or Luke [but seldom both at the same time] as the primary male anchor and all the other guys [with the possible exception of Jackson] alternating between being good guy and total loser/jerk/flake. This pattern has so far been carried to the next logical extension in BH where the only male true role model is deceased although recallable in flashback when needed for the plot. The younger guys are simply not yet up to the task though that could change over the course of the next few seasons. As long as the writing and story are interesting, the absence of guys would not appear to me to be a problem.

    Reply
  • October 23, 2012 at 2:36 am
    Permalink

    Wallow!

    I’d say naivete is Boo’s defining characteristic and I’m hopeful that she’ll keep that as life deals her knocks. I remember looking forward to seeing the politics of Charlie liking Ginny playing out.

    Tristan and Sasha, this really struck me. You’re spot on, they could be peas in a pod.

    I guess what I’m thinking is I would have expected a show aimed primarily at girls to revolve around a romantic core – as opposed to Grey’s Anatomy or most family-based sitcoms, which go the other way. The vitality and individualism of Michelle, Fanny, the girls and most of the supporting cast is independent of reliance on guys, which can only be a good thing. Well, unless you need your floor fixed or your car towed.

    Reply
  • November 16, 2012 at 2:31 am
    Permalink

    Ah, but the romantic core is there. Look at the whole love story for Fanny – years and years of love, but the guy is an adorable commitment phobe. Look at Boo’s infatuation with Charlie – but the guy is an ignorant ass. Look at how Michelle was sweet-talked (drunk-talked) into marriage and then swept up in H’s romantic gestures and words – but the guy is dead!

    The romance, the love plotlines are still there. With GG I was all about Rory and Jess and that was the love story I really wanted to be resolved. And look at Lorelai and Luke, that’s the constant love story through the whole show. But ASP drags them out, leaves you unfulfilled a lot of the time which is interesting, and also she makes the men pretty damn awful sometimes. I wonder if she is perhaps commenting on how unreliable men can be (and actually how often they screw up girls/women’s lives) and opposed to that how strong women are? Makes me think about her, what her life might have been like, to inspire that kind of writing.

    It’s interesting that Ginny lives with her single mom – is that why she had such a long term relationship at such an early age? Not just that the mom was relying on him to do guy stuff (no strong woman role model there!) but Ginny was relying on him to be a constant, safe source of affection because she doesn’t have her dad. Yes, I wonder about Boo’s dad too. Is everyone from a broken home?

    Reply
  • November 18, 2012 at 9:10 am
    Permalink

    But it’s not like Dawson’s Creek or Felicity, which when they finally finished flogging them to death just became about which guy the girl was going to favour that week… ugh, just thinking about those final series makes me nauseous. I’d agree, there’s romantic stuff going on in Bunheads and GG, but it wasn’t the principal driving factor of either show, nor should it be.

    Girls, particularly those from broken families, need decent role models – independently spirited girls and women who aren’t afraid to be themselves and make their own space. That’s what you get from ASP.

    Reply
  • November 20, 2012 at 3:03 am
    Permalink

    Ugh – Felicity drove me crazy. She should never have cut her hair. And she chose the wrong guy (over and over and over…) I was all about Noel. And don’t even get me started on the let’s all go to college together nonsense in the Creek!

    Do you know what drove me crazy about Felicity choosing Ben? He was stupid. She was waaaay too smart for him. I don’t think relationships work well when there’s an imbalance in intelligence, even if you don’t notice at first because yeah the guy is cute and yeah he has a floppy smile but at some point, being a whole lot smarter than your partner is going to be a serious issue. Well, I think anyway. So that was never going to work and she OBVIOUSLY should’ve gone for Noel. Even if he did have a complete freakout breakdown.

    I always thought that about Dean too. Rory was way to smart for Dean and they were obviously doomed. Jess was a much better match because even if he was flunking school it wasn’t because he was stupid. And Logan too, although Logan was…well…Logan.

    Yeah, decent role models is right. Although I’m not sure Michelle is a good role model. It’s funny when she’s talking about how many guys she dated, multiple dates on the same night, and you like her for her candidness and for how it makes her seem a bit cool, but there’s no way I’d want my daughter to grow up like that, or even to be being influenced by a grown up like that.

    Reply
  • November 25, 2012 at 8:33 am
    Permalink

    Oh, Ben and his floppy smile :O) Was anybody really in Camp Ben? Hm, I wonder if Felicity would have had the patience for Jess… hmm, difficult age difference. Yes, Rory was too smart for Dean but remember he didn’t start out that way – in the pilot he was more equal but that left no room for Jess, who was imperfect in his own ways. I’m with you on Jess, I think he’d visit again after graduation, with all those super powers he picked up in Heroes. Man, there’s another show that went on too long!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *