Episode 5 of Spinning Out starts with flashbacks to Serena’s past, involving her father watching her jumping on a trampoline, bringing us back to the present where Serena listens to music and ignores her Mother, who takes Mitch aside and apologises for what happened between them. Only, he doesn’t take offence to it and things seem to be okay between them.
Justin’s parents take the figure skating duo out and buy them a costume each, until Carol arrives and sees Mandy take her usual role of picking out a costume. Her anxiety causes her to pick at her fingernails and she hurries off, ignoring Kat’s pleas for her to come back.
Meanwhile, Marcus flirts with the new girl who arrives at the lodge, Alana, while Jenn invites Marcus along to a party which excites Gabe who takes off with her to discuss their plan in more detail. While they do, Marcus confronts Kat about her skating with Justin the previous night and expresses his jealousy. She brushes off his concerns though, admitting that nothing is going on between them.
Back home, Justin finds out that Mandy is pregnant thanks to his brothers, prompting him to immediately confront his Father over not telling him. As he does, Kat learns she has no money left as Carol has completely withdrawn all their funds. Those funds, as it happens, have now gone toward Serena picking out a brand new dress. Kat confronts Carol over her actions but her erratic behaviour throws question marks over her mental stability.
Kat manages to borrow some money from Jenn though in order to sort her dress issues out and while she heads out to Marcus’ party, Jenn heads off with Justin. Only, before Kat can leave Serena asks for Kat’s help but her car breaks down en-route to her sister. Not to worry though, Serena decides to go and head home with Justin’s brothers instead, leaving Kat stranded. After phoning the breakdown recovery team and learning she has 2 hours to wait, her phone loses battery just as she’s about to message Marcus.
Marcus meanwhile decides to head off with Alana when he doesn’t hear from Kat. Our protagonist however, eventually arrives back at the lodge where she learns Marcus left around an hour before-hand. Before she can phone him however, Carol breaks her promise, sitting with a $1000 bottle of champagne and berating her daughter for spending time with Mandy. As it turns out, Carol has decided not to take her medication and tells Kat she’ll never be a champion.
Jenn hooks up with Justin at the party but makes him promise not to tell anyone what happened between them. As she leaves, he stews over what happened before driving away. Kat arrives at the party soon after and Jenn helps her try and make money by selling drugs at the party. Justin’s Dad confronts his son after he drives under the influence and we learn through some nicely placed dialogue that his Mother died in this exact way. James gives him one more chance to sort himself out and if he doesn’t get his act together, he’ll disown him.
Back home we learn that the man from the flashbacks is actually Kat and Serena’s Father. Carol phones Dr Kessler and checks herself in, finally admitting that she needs help where we leave things hanging in the balance.
At times, this episode felt like a continuous stream of unfortunate events. While I understand the series is doubling down on its melodrama, it all feels a little too much and loses sight of where things really matter – the ice skating. This episode there’s literally nothing related to the ice and while I do appreciate the series showing some of Carol’s mental health problems, I do have an issue with this episode not channeling that into the skating.
The teen drama/romance angle is a little cliched too, relying heavily on misunderstandings and convenient road-blocks for its love triangle and this holds the episode back from being more enjoyable. Having said that though, the final reveal surrounding Kat and Serena’s Father is actually a good one and certainly sets things up nicely going forward, saving this during the final scenes.
Hopefully we get back to more skating action next episode as for now, Spinning Out feels like its skating over thin ice.
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