Push Comes To Shove
Bette’s threatening calling card matches her handwriting, which is why she was arrested. Episode 10 of Tiny Pretty Things begins with Katrina showing up at the interview room, telling Bette she needs to come up with a good story to get out of this situation.
As her Mother leaves, Matteo arrives and introduces himself to her. It’s a frosty reception, to say the least, but one that sees Matteo bring his own Mother into the fold to fight for Bette. When Bette’s released from custody, they decide to let her stay with them.
Meanwhile, Oren remains worried about Bette but Neveah does absolutely nothing to help matters. As the ballet ends for the night, the kids head back to the dorms drinking alcohol and partying. Wait, what happened to the rules thrown in by Torri at the start of the series?
Anyway, those rules are finally enforced when Oren and Neveah are caught in bed together. Torri catches them red-handed and this is cause enough to get them kicked out. While they both protest, Monique is determined to follow through with this.
June takes advantage of the Bette situation and tells Nabil that she’s on the verge of something great. Nabil tells her that he wants her to stay, as this weird romance between them continues.
Speaking of weird, Neveah heads back to the hospital and introduces herself to Cassie properly. Cassie happens to have remembered everything told to her while asleep and uses Cassie to get back at Monique.
As Neveah talks to Bette and Matteo about how horrible Cassie is (something she was told since day 1), June arrives with big news of her own. Delia has been cast in the ballet and worse, her wearing the grey hoody brought back repressed memories from the night of Cassie’s fall. Delia was the one wearing the hoody.
Back at the studio, Delia rocks back up alongside Ramon as it seems these two are back together again. The wackiness continues though as Cruz and Torri drink wine in the studio together. The latter winds up dancing in front of the mirror while Cruz worries she arrested the wrong person.
The ballet goes ahead as planned but Neveah’s timing is off. Instead of taking responsibility for it, she once again blames someone else. This time it’s Oren.
Bette learns that Katrina was covering for Delia this whole time as she shows up at Matteo’s house. Cassie was never meant to be pushed over the roof but Delia confronted her to warn Cassie away from Ramon. Bette is paying for this and she’s being used to depose Monique and allow her Mother to “achieve great things.” Well, she’s already the Chairwoman, where next?
Anyway, up on the rooftop of the academy, Delia admits that she was jealous of Cassie and wanted her out the picture. While Cassie throws Bette under the bus, partly thanks to Ramon’s influence, Bette decides to sacrifice herself to the police and give up.
Meanwhile, Oren learns his prospects of getting a big dance gig are completely shot thanks to their poor performance. He confronts Neveah about this and she apologizes for sabotaging his chances. However, she resents him for telling him he loves her. This messed her up as we see, once again, Neveah blaming everyone around her rather than taking responsibility for her own mistakes.
Afterwards, the kids heads out on stage and dance again in unity. This time, they have the audio recording incriminating Monique as the song of choice. The kids receive rapturous applause at the end as Monique is taken away by police.
On the back of this, Cassie shows up at the big party that evening while Dev changes his mind and decides to embrace Shane and get involved with him after all. Bette meanwhile, rocks up to greet the others where Oren talks to her. Only, this causes Neveah to become jealous.
Bette takes time aside with Cassie and warns that this isn’t the end. And it’s most certainly not either. The final shot of the season shows Ramon dead on the dance studio floor. God damnit, another Netflix cliffhanger.
The Episode Review
Despite some well-choreographed dances, Tiny Pretty Things ends its rather unremarkable 10 episode run with a poor finale and an incredulous reveal that makes absolutely no sense.
All season long we’ve had themes about empowerment, feminism and embracing one’s own identity and standing up to yourself. These are all important and strong themes worth celebrating. So why was Cassie pushed over the edge? Because Bette’s sister (who’s had hardly any screen-time) is romantically involved with Ramon and was jealous that another girl was getting near him.
The entire conflict revolves around two girls fighting over a man and none of the above themes in sight. That’s before mentioning Bette taking the blame for everything and seemingly being okay with that, despite spending the whole season doing everything she can to remain at the top.
Why wasn’t the handwriting on the calling card actually examined by a calligrapher either? Why has it taken 9 episodes for Officer Cruz to look into this?
That’s before mentioning the characters themselves which range from caricatures that never grow to those who flit between relationships without any just cause. Oren, for example, had a really good arc around his body image that was just dropped by the end, forced into a contrived romance with Neveah that has no chemistry at all.
And Neveah herself is arguably the worst character of the bunch. She comes across as arrogant and self-centered, never taking responsibility for what’s happened and blaming this on everyone else. She begun the season pretty poorly and this only became worse as the season progressed. By the end, her character is easily one of the weakest of the bunch.
In fact, outside the disappointing Cassie-push reveal, there’s very little here to applaud. Bette’s stress fracture and drug addiction amounted to absolutely nothing. June’s arc has been unrewarding, especially as she’s recast at the end by Ramon, while the other girls just seem to hover around the peripheral lens of the camera without ever coming forward in a meaningful way.
With Ramon now murdered and a list of potential suspects, the real question here is simple: Will people actually care enough to stick around for season 2?
Tiny Pretty Things is certainly not pretty. It is, however, a tiny show requiring a big time investment with very little to show for it. Unfortunately these 10 hours result in an unrewarding and unmotivated finale that ends with a poorly choregraphed dance of squandered potential.