Dance Dance Revolution
We begin episode 4 of Tiny Pretty Things with June awakening with a start after a particularly troubling dream. Meanwhile, Nabil and Neveah continue to hold hands and make goo-goo eyes at one another. That is, until the latter discusses the hooded figure the night of Cassie’s fall.
When the hospital ring, Nabil and Neveah race there as they see Cassie go into septic shock. They don’t know how bad her injuries are but Nabil blames himself, telling Neveah he should be protecting not punishing her.
Back at the studio, Bette asks her Mother for more medication but she refuses. Instead, she simple walks away and visits Dubois’s office, immediately shutting down June’s emancipation and throwing her weight around. Defeated. June heads to the rooftop where Nabil happens to be looking over the edge. He immediately pleads with June to tell him what she knows. Sighing, she eventually opens up and admits that whoever was wearing that hoody, they left down the fire escape.
Back downstairs, Neveah and Shane comment on the costuming for the upcoming performance. Ramon winds up taking the lead role alongside Bette, showing the rest of the class exactly how she needs to be lifted – and dropped – to the ground. Oren, knowing about Bette’s foot, jumps in and stops her landing so harshly to the ground.
On the back of this, Neveah pushes back against Ramon’s vision and method of teaching for Jack the Ripper. She lays into him about the hardships he’s putting the girls through. After he smashes the mirror, he tells them to earn his respect and walks away.
On the back of this action, the class are split and eventually rally behind Queen B Bette, who wants to keep things as they are.
Neveah tries to rally the girls to sign a petition to change things at the academy. Predictably, none of them sign so she ends up going door to door as a last resort. Among those is Nabil, who’s unable to deal with his feelings regarding Neveah and Cassie.
Delia heads home to find Ramon drinking and also struggling, this time surrounding critiques for his show. As a distraction, he has Delia dance for him. Meanwhile, the hearing between June and her Mother go ahead but it seems like her Mother has the upper hand with her impassioned story.
Caleb winds up in a sordid affair with Monique, showing that corruption goes all the way up the chain of command. Elsewhere, a desperate Bette shows up at Matteo’s concert and wants his help on finding painkillers. Out in his truck, he does just that and hands over some pills…which happen to be breath mints. Matteo berates Bette for thinking she could score drugs off him just because he’s poor and leaves her alone outside.
Back at practice, Ramon continues to pound the girls until Bette decides to team up with Neveah and take their instructor down a peg. It turns out Ramon has been romantically involved with a girl in the past – Cassie no less. They take this photo back to Delia but she has absolutely no intention of betraying him.
On the back of this, the kids finally team up together and discuss the abuse they’ve all been suffering at his hands. It’s an empowering moment and one that sees the girls brainstorm ideas on how to change things. Their idea comes in the form of a protest where they stand silently, not moving while standing straight as Ramon struggles to control the class.
Ramon eventually heads onto Monique’s office and the quartet of those at the top – Monique, Alan, Topher and Ramon – discuss the ballet and what to do about the girls. They’re at a stalemate for now but it’s clear that things need to change.
Meanwhile, Nabil finds the grey hoody up on the rooftop and grabs it, taking it before June and asking if this is what she saw that night. Not long after, she receives an answer of her own from her Mother – she’s willing to settle rather than following through with this in court. Put simply, June is allowed to stay at the academy.
Bette heads back to see Matteo and apologizes for pigeon-holing him as a musician on drugs. He refuses to accept her apology initially before eventually caving and handing over Vicodin to help her injury.
At ballet the next day, Ramon returns and decides to collaborate with the dancers for a brand new spin on this tale. This time though, Ramon comes armed with the infamous grey hoody and tells them all that he’ll make sure it fits them.
The Episode Review
Does Ramon know what happened to Cassie? It seems to hint at that from the way the ending has been set up but whether this is a red herring or not remains to be seen.
The powerful symbology of fighting back against abuse is a good one and backs up that empowerment angle Tiny Pretty Things has done well with so far. Ramon’s abuse is obvious but then corruption goes all the way up the chain of command too from the looks of it so instigating change could be easier said than done.
Ballet in general is notorious for this sort of thing and it’s good that Tiny Pretty Things is bringing this to light. Aside from a couple of wonky scenes and a crowbarred romance between Neveah and Nabil, this show has been a pretty good watch; a good balance of positive and negative points. It’s not perfect, and it’s certainly a little rough around the edges, but the messaging has so far been pretty good and that alone is keeping this show watchable.