Range Of Motion
Episode 2 of Tiny Pretty Things begins with new Ballet about to start, which causes conflicts to grow between Monique DuBois and Ramon. Ramon pitches the idea of pushing these girls and boys to the limit and eventually she succumbs to his idea. This begins with Topher grilling the class and making them practice harder.
Meanwhile, Bette ices herself up as Shane approaches and apologizes for her fall. With both of them on different wavelengths, Shane refuses to indulge her and help with the dancing but notices something is up. Alan checks out Bette’s foot and feels like something is broken but for now, she decides to press on and work through the pain.
June worries that she’ll be cut from the team and sent back home. Neveah arrives and talks to her about what she’s going through and tries to offer words of encouragement.
Only, this is cut short hen June notices Neveah rock up with a white rose and a note reading “Your turn to fly”. This, of course, is a threat given what happened to Cassie but she doesn’t see it that way.
Neveah brushes this aside and takes June’s advice, heading to the studio in a bid to learn the dance moves needed for this upcoming rehearsal.
Officer Cruz is relocated away from the ballet gig by the Sergeant. Given no one is dead, he sees no need in her pursuing a lost cause.
Bette learns her Mother is going for Board Chair at the Ballet and things take a further turn for the worst when her sister, Delia, shows up. She’s clearly the golden child of the family, prompting Bette to beg her Mother for pain medication to see her through the upcoming rehearsals. Eventually she succumbs and hands them over.
The auditions continue and Ramon shows, informing them all that long-term partnerships and established orders will be broken. When Bette is cut, she lashes out at June causing the girl to bolt from the room. Later that day though, Bette heads out to apologize and tries to turn June to her cause. She claims that Neveah is to blame as she’s just trying to take a shortcut to the top.
The issues with Bette continue as she tries hard to gain her Mother’s affection. Unfortunately Katrina is pretty terrible at that and simply tells her daughter she needs to put her own air mask on.
Meanwhile, Neveah blames her stumbles in rehearsals on her stolen ballerina trinket and squares that blame on June – the one person who shines in rehearsal. Given she’s the only one who knew that, June remains quiet and this silence speaks volumes.
Needing to loosen up, Oren takes Neveah out for the night where the rest of the dancers are. There, they wind up fighting against a group of thugs who confront them. When Officer Cruz shows, she asks Neveah who sent the flowers and the calling card (cue obscure Persona 5 reference with the Phantom Thieves.)
Caleb and Nabil continue to fall out over their differences, with the former showing his bigoted views toward Nabil’s religion. At the same time, Neveah grabs June by the hair and pulls her into the room, eventually finding the mini ballerina she lost hidden in the vinyl player.
Neveah looks set to explode into rage until she’s called into DuBois’ office, learning that the papers love her and she looks set for a big role in the ballet.
Ramon continues to receive messages from the unknown number while sleeping with Delia. Back at the studio, Neveah continues to have nightmares about Cassie. Topher shows though and warns Neveah that not everyone can waltz in and grab the top spot. “No? Just watch me.” She says, leaving him standing and speechless.
Officer Cruz finds out that June wasn’t actually in her room the night of Cassie’s fall. June actually saw someone wearing a hoody that night but she’s not sure who it was.
Neveah shows up to Cassie’s hospital room but Cruz arrives and warns her to watch her back; the calling card she has could well be a warning and she’s next.
Up on the rooftop, June greets Nilad and they watch the sunset together. They’re determined to do well with their audition but unfortunately the door locks behind them and they’re stuck up there for the time being.
Just before Ramon briefs the team, Katrina speaks up in front of everyone and tells them they need to change leadership at the top. This sees her become the new Chairwoman of the committee.
Eventually Nabil and Jun make it back but they’re just in time to see Shane and Bette dancing together and grabbing the top spot. June takes her anger out on Neveah later that day, deciding to work against her with Bette. Bette’s wry smile as she leaves seems to hint that she’s the one who hid the mini ballerina.
As June hasn’t made principal role, her Mum shows up at the school and starts packing her daughter’s things, telling June she needs to head back home. At the same time, Bette learns that she’s got a stress fracture in her foot and Alan knows that this could spell disaster.
The Episode Review
There’s a fine line between confidence and arrogance. The former is something admirable while the latter is something loath some. Unfortunately Neveah’s character tight-walks its way across the dance floor on a thin line between the two.
There’s some serious tumbles and falls though, as Neveah leans into arrogance. This isn’t a great look for her and while I appreciate she is talented, there’s moments here where it’s difficult to root for her as the main protagonist.
The overacting continues here too, this time with June’s call to 911 and the ensuing stand-off with the guys outside the nightclub. This entire segment feels incredibly cheesy and over the top – and while that in itself would be fine, it jars nastily against some of the heavier and darker themes on offer here.
The well-choreographed dances are just about enough to keep this one watchable. Whether that audience is big enough to sustain 10 hours however, remains to be seen.