Will reaches a breaking point, and Colette makes a sacrifice to keep him for going over the edge. Also, the aftermath of Riri’s injury is explored.

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Will reaches a breaking point, and Colette makes a sacrifice to keep him for going over the edge. Also, the aftermath of Riri’s injury is explored.

Directed By Josephine Decker
Written By Danielle Henderson
Aired (USA Network) 2/9/2020

Episode Recap

There Is More Than One Kind Of Predator: Michael, Will, Kurtz

Michael getting into the marines is seemingly a bigger deal than you’d think. Be it because Will and company need to get a certain number of kids, or for an entirely different reason. Either way, as Will goes over all he lost due to his time in the military, it leads to him advising Michael not to sign up. Leading to Kurtz wondering what is going on and Will getting into a fight with him. All over the idea of them being predators. Will when it comes to getting kids in the military and Kurtz when it comes to girls like Beth.

Who Is Truly The Other Man?: Will, Matt, Colette

What triggered Will’s regrets and scaring off Michael? Well, seeing Colette with Madison and Matt. In examining those two together, he realizes not only what he lost, but questions what does he have? Is he just some thing to manipulate and have fun with or are he and Colette serious? Do they have something or is he just a mistress?

Which one could also say is Matt’s problem. For while he isn’t aware of the affair, as Colette doesn’t show up for an important meeting, one in which he has to defend his wife, it pushes him to question what is going on? After all, he already feels second to her work and the girls, so what else is there which is pushing him down on her priority list?

The Trauma Runs Deep: Beth, Kurtz, Addy

Beth is still experiencing nightmares about what Kurtz did. But, with her relationship with Addy still in a weird place for her, she doesn’t confide in her. However, she does enjoy her company more than usual.

Moving Past What Happened To Riri: J.J., Colette, Tacy, Addy, Riri

Riri after Tacy knocked her teeth out.

Tacy kicking the mess out of Riri has led to both opportunity and drama. In terms of drama, it has made Colette’s life hell since J.J., Riri’s mom, wholly blames Colette and being that Colette can’t throw Tacy under the bus, due to her dad being her husband’s boss, she takes that on. Also, there is the drama Tacy experiences for taking out one of the most popular girls on the squad – which includes her purse being filled with used sanitary napkins.

But, amongst all this drama comes opportunity. The same kind that came about when Colette became coach – meaning, the chance to change position and be seen. Now, of course, Addy is given the best opportunity to shine, but the other girls, who remain nameless, do show they are ready to be vultures, as Colette calls them, to move up or ahead.

And as all this happens, Riri watches on – silent. She watches as she is replaced, told not to be something allowed to get into the girls’ heads, and perhaps is realizing how replaceable she is.

Review/ Commentary


Addy Being Pushed To Realize Colette Isn’t Her Friend And Might Be Manipulating Her

What is constantly pushed here is that Colette knows what the best way to get what she needs out of these girls is. However, often we see it is beyond the mat. With Addy, for example, you can see, like when she touches Addy’s knee and lingers long enough for Addy to touch her hand, that she knows what she is doing. That, beyond the camaraderie that comes with cheer, there is something deeper there.

Colette's hand on Addy's bare knee and Addy gently touching it with her thumb.

I mean, let’s take into consideration, Colette isn’t building relationships like this with anyone else. Yes, she may have formerly hosted many group events, but in terms of the intimacy she shows Addy, that is singular. Hell, I’d even submit she is more intimate with Addy than she is Will or Matt.

But, that is part of Colette’s manipulation. She has three people being used to give her what she needs. Will gives her this sense of being desirable and lusted over in ways Matt may not be doing anymore. And as for what Matt gives? Honestly, I think Matt’s place is more financial, and perhaps for the sake of Madison than anything to do with Colette, at this point. When it comes to Matt, I’d say she just wants Madison to grow up with both of her parents active in her life.

Now, as for Addy? Well, I think there is some desire to live vicariously through her, absorb all this attention and adoration, but also use her for all she is worth. Be it her talent, her willingness to enable the worst of Colette, and also her being able to turn a blind eye. Hence her touching and investing in Addy as she does. For just as much as Kurtz and Will are predatory on Michael, Colette is on Addy. But the only different here is Kurtz/Will are looking at a quota and it seems more work-based than personal, for Colette it is the opposite.

Beth’s Struggles With Her Trauma

While Beth’s situation is a bit downplayed, in terms of her not being as front and center anymore, it is nonetheless a prominent storyline. One that chips away at the initial feelings we had towards Beth and makes her more human, more flawed, more vulnerable. It reminds you that, as much as she is strong and powerful, both within cheer and out, she can’t maintain that every single day. And it is in seeing her step back and watch others come at Tacy, while she sits alone, not smirking but in her own world, that she is far beyond power-hungry. Beth, at this point, is mentally and emotionally wounded and while strong enough to press on, it is with an internal limp.

In a nightmare, Kurtz looking up at Beth.

On The Fence

The Awkwardness of Riri Witnessing People Fighting For Her Spot And Hearing Being Told To, Basically, Move On

It’s weird to watch Riri, in silence, see people take her spot and hear the coach tell people to ignore what happened, if not put it out of her mind. Especially since Riri was popular and close to most of the girls. So for us to see none of them engage her or check on her, it seems weird. Almost like, if you aren’t of use to the squad, you’re nothing. And with not getting how Riri feels about not being able to compete, and how her mom goes after Colette, it seems like an entire voice is missing from what’s going on.

Matt, Will, and Michael

The men on this show, including Burt, are so thin and shallow that it makes the idea of someone dying next week seem like a treat. At least if one of these guys are picked off since it seems there isn’t any real investment in them. Heck, even with Michael, while he has a life, and Addy comments on it, his place on this show is weird.

Think about it, he barely, if ever, hangs out with Addy in a brother or potential boyfriend scenario. Also, with no male cheerleaders, it isn’t like he is the one dude on the squad, thus their connection and him getting time focused on. He is a football player, someone Will is trying to recruit, and he doesn’t do for Will what Addy does for Colette, even if you take away any sense of homoeroticism. Michael just exists.

Which could also be said for Matt. He has a title, and struggles, but does anyone care his wife is cheating on him? Granted, him defending his wife seemed like the kind of showboating that should make you care, but with Will having his breakdown and low-key guilting Colette into having sex with him, Matt seems back at square one.

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And with mention of Will’s breakdown, are we supposed to feel sorry for him? Be it the writing or acting, his tears didn’t inspire much. Note, Will does seem messed up, and it is hinted he is likely dealing with a serious case of PTSD, but ultimately he rarely feels like he is more than a living sex doll for Colette. With, at this point, it seeming unlikely he may evolve beyond what he currently is. A statement that applies to nearly all the men on this show, and not just the ones mentioned in this topic.

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