We’ve come to the penultimate episode of Season One, and like George Pelecanos-scripted episodes of The Wire, somebody is about to be swimming with the fishes. Literally, and figuratively? Whoa, Hit The Floor! Way to get very, very dark just when I need you most.
In the middle of a heated Sloane and Olivia conversation that’s long overdue–you don’t always whip out a phrase like “snake-in-the-grass”–Pete rushed in with news that a Devil Girl has been found floating under the Vincent Thomas Bridge. Nearly everyone was leaving somewhere in a hurry by episode’s end, but we can’t imagine whose potential death would make us cry more. Although, after Terrence did some unintentional snooping of his own, sending Jelena to a basketball court in the sky would only be letting her off the hook for what she did. More on that later.
Let’s rewind a bit. Olivia recognized the stiff competition Ahsha was facing just in her Devil Girl teammate, let alone dancers around the country, with the All-Star Game voting. While Jelena has had years to make herself known to fans around the world, Ahsha is a fresh face whom many outside city limits wouldn’t give a double-take. But even the non-basketball or non-Devil Girl fans love gossip! And Olivia understands that dropping a hint to a tabloid or two that Ahsha is former Devils player Pete Davenport would certainly up her Q Score. “You, me, and Pete: we did our damage a long time ago, but if this can help her now–and it will–why shouldn’t she use it?” Olivia asked, pointing out that Sloane’s baby girl is going to be a star.
Olivia might have been bred for this kind of slime, but Ahsha is still pure. She’s has been avoiding communication with Pete in public–especially whenever he tries to get all fatherly with her–so it’s hard to believe she’d want to leak the information to get ahead. While dancing has always been her dream, she seems to value her privacy and personal relationships a lot more than the fleeting love a few hundred thousand strangers could give her with the All-Star vote. Then again, she’s tired of her lack of control and frustrated with everyone making decisions for her. Is this the dawn of the New Ahsha?
Yes, Ahsha has transformed over the course of nine episodes, running in a much faster, high-stakes circle that poor little puppy dog German no longer feels he can keep up with. It’s not just that she’s receiving the (un)wanted attentions of a major player (or let him kiss her), it’s her entire lifestyle. I take it that manipulation and black mail were only something Ahsha and German had watched play out in movies during study breaks, so the idea that his girlfriend could soon start using people, too, is too much for the G-man to bear. He wants to try to maintain some semblance of dignity, and break up with his superstar girlfriend before she has the chance to do him wrong is his way of doing it. And if he makes it into a gallery of old celebrity significant others, so be it.
Here are two ways of thinking about the break-up scene:
1. German has long been the punchline to many jokes in the world of Derek Roman and other Famous People Who Don’t Give A F–k. He’s so sweet and so earnest, that he needed someone like Kyle to put things in perspective before he allowed himself to be walked all over. Nice people don’t have to change to suit the evil that surrounds them, they just have to try that much harder to maintain a strong sense of self lest someone threatens to dim their shine. Recognizing that Ahsha is moving away from being the good, honest person she once was, and cutting ties with that, is his way of staying true to himself.
2. German is acting as if Ahsha is the only one that could or would stray from their loving relationship, or change over time. Yes, he works with high schoolers while she works with pro athletes, but temptation is always out there, and if he really loves Ahsha he’d know she would never purposefully try to hurt him. (Or would she?) One person doesn’t necessarily have to be the “star” in a relationship, and his continued tendency to freak out every time his girl gets some high-profile recognition only shows he might not be down with dating a powerful woman. His loss.
Which side are you on?
Of course Ahsha is also dealing with the fact that her mother and the father she never knew she had are sleeping together again, and sneaking around and not telling her about it. Isn’t lying and hiding things from your own flesh and blood what got you in trouble the first time, Sloane? “Pete Davenport? The guy who isn’t good enough for me to know existed is good enough for you to have sex with?” Ahsha says (she has a point). Cue drug metaphors that would make Justin Timberlake proud, and you may start to understand why “Carebear” would change her mind about putting personal business out into the world for all to see. These “responsible adults” clearly don’t have a concern for how their reckless actions with affect their child, so why should she?
Throughout the dramatic unveiling of the Hayes family’s dirty laundry, Kyle was taking a chance with a seemingly harmless dork slash internet billionaire who really felt a connection with her from Seat 1D. Her or her sex tape? Something’s not right here, which is why Kyle booked it for the door, but that creepy note that followed makes me wonder whether we have another Mia situation on our hands. Meanwhile, Mia stormed right into Oscar’s office to show him the shiny piece of intel she’d chased down so desperately. She did what she did (see: hotel rooms and opposing players) for the good of the team, but when she was in trouble, Oscar and the suits didn’t have her back. Enter Operation Blackmail, which could have a lot of people talking about Mr. Devil and where those funds for his fancy new stadium are coming from. “Now, now I really am a problem, because this, this would ruin your life,” she said. But instead of following through and giving the shrivel of a man the comeuppance he deserves, she handed over the tape and waxed about a new life in a distant place. Is this the last we’ll see of her?
Jelena made sure her man would stay in Los Angeles for another season, but from Terrence’s attempted proposal we see exactly how she got it done. Is screwing with your boyfriend’s drug test an act of love or craziness? Up for debate! And what about Raquel’s Jelena-assisted revenge mission with Jesse? The prospect of money makes people do a lot of things…
Will catching him with his trousers down really keep him away from Raquel and Miguel for good?
Catch the season finale of Hit The Floor on Monday at 9/8 C. And for all things Devil World, head to The Locker Room.