The Big Leap – Season 1 Episode 3 Recap & Review

The White Swan Lives!

Episode 3 of The Big Leap begins with the final dress rehearsal of the Black Swan performance. We’re in the past and Monica’s dreams of becoming the White Swan are shattered when she hurts her leg and loses her big shot. This explains Monica’s icy attitude.

Back in the present, Nick directs traffic behind the camera, giving Wayne his lines as he informs the gang that they’re heading to Chicago to perform part of the ballet for the prestigious Chicago Ballet. They’re also going to be competing for a lavish sports car too, just to up the stakes a bit.

Monica is outraged and heads up to confront Nick. Only, he makes sure the rest of them can hear when Monica berates and puts them down in Nick’s office.

However, this only sparks the fire that’s already brewing for many of these characters. They’re all going through a degree of drama, with Justin encouraged to talk about his past, including how his Dad kicked him out when he found out the boy was gay. There’s some deep emotional scars here, and enough for Nick to pry open with both hands.

Nick and the team approach Justin’s dad, learning about his love for all things football. According to him, he’s more annoyed about Justin turning off the big game to announce he’s gay than anything else. Well, Nick encourages him to show up at the ballet… sweetening the deal by mentioning Reggie will be there too.

The ballet goes ahead and all the gang watch the Chicago team pull off a beautiful performance. Unfortunately this has the knock-on effect of making them all self-conscious and worried about their own dancing.

When the performance finishes, all the team head out, talking amongst themselves until Monica and Wayne arrive with grim news. It turns out Claude’s VISA has expired and he’s going to be kicked out the show with immediate effect. Only, with Claude gone then the understudy needs to step up – Gabby! However, Monica decides to give it to Justin instead.

When Gabby leaves, disappointed that she’s been messed about like this, Reggie follows and decides to try and make her feel better. Together, they crash a dentist convention and start dancing, drinking at the open bar. They have a great time and eventually it ends with Reggie pulled back into his hotel room with Brittney and the rest of the girls.

Meanwhile, Julia ends up talking with Raven on the webcam site after Kevin refuses to pick up his phone. It turns out he’s actually been paying for Raven’s tuition too, which completely crushes Julia.

In the morning, the dress rehearsal for the big performance in front of the Chicago Ballet goes ahead. After a night of heavy drinking, Brittney is in no shape to perform, especially after she throws up in her bag. That means Gabby manages to make it in as the White Swan! Unfortunately everything goes awry just after Gabby takes to the stage. Justin’s dad shows up, distracting Justin from his moves. Thankfully though, Gabby nails her role with perfection.

After, with the cameras rolling, Justin and his Dad hash it out, where everything goes to pot. It turns out Justin’s Mum was actually in love with her best friend, Tracy. This explains why Justin has resentment against his Dad, believing that he abandoned her when she needed him most.

However, the truth is Justin has always felt like the odd one out in the shadows of his brothers being so into sports. He jus wants to be accepted by his Dad, and given his interview on-camera after, it’s clear that he’s proud of Justin but doesn’t have the words to say it.

That evening, the gang all get ready, singing and dancing along the corridors. There’s a beautiful one-shot sequence here, eventually crescendoing into them all together in the hallway, ready for the big show. Bravo to the team for filming this, it really is beautifully constructed.

When the gang do finally make it back home, Gabby is the one who wins the car. However, Julia’s money woes continue as she learns that Kevin has been spending more of her money – and he’s currently in Costa Rica.

The Episode Review

The Big Leap returns with another good episode, this time diving into Monica’s past as we start to understand why she’s so involved with the production and her icy demeanor too. It’s clear that there’s a lot going on with her and this episode does a great job bringing that to the foreground.

On a different note, does anyone else think the whole Brittney blowjob scandal is all one big misunderstanding? I mean, it could well be that nothing happened and Gabby has misinterpreted this but we’ll see. The pairing of Reggie and Gabby is a great move though and one that breaks down body stereotypes in an organic way, which is partly why this show works as well as it does.

There’s no forced social commentary here either; everything just flows as elegantly as the dancers for Chicago Ballet. And boy were they good! Hopefully our swans-in-training can follow suit, and with Justin stepping up as the Prince, it could well be that Monica starts to groom him into her protégé.

Either way, The Big Leap has been a big step forward for Fox and a thoroughly enjoyable series. Let’s hope the rest of the season follows suit!

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