Emotions at The Rock are running at a fever pitch, and somebody's going to get burned.
After winning gold at the EU meet, the U.S. team sets its sights on China -- the ultimate test to see who deserve to go to the Olympics. Kaylie, Emily and Lauren desperately want to go, but first they've got to prove themselves to Marty and the National Committee.
Sounds simple. But things get complicated real fast.
Kaylie's convinced has it in for her because of his affair with her mom, but she thinks nailing a double Arabian will clinch her ticket to China. Still, the pressure of keeping her mom's secret is getting to her -- especially since her parents have never seemed happier.
It all comes to a head when Kelly Parker overhears Lauren and Emily takling about the affair. Armed with the juicy gossip, Kelly throw it in Kaylie's face just as she's about to show Marty her double Arabian. Kaylie stumbles, and Marty tells her to take the move out of her routine. Kaylie snaps and tells Marty she knows about the affair. She storms out of The Rock, leaving Sasha to wonder what's wrong.
At home, Ronnie apologizes to Kaylie for having asked her to keep her secret, and she promises to tell Alex everything. Whatever happens, Ronnie says it will be her mess to clean up -- not Kaylie's.
Meanwhile, Emily struggles with a lack of confidence and an overload of Drama. What with the stress of competition, Kaylie's secret, and the fact that her mom's dating Lauren's dad, she's having a hard time not exploding. Then, when Lauren insults her mom, Emily erupts. She pushes Lauren. Lauren pushes back... but before it can turn into a catfight, Marty stops them. Still, their behavior isn't exactly U.S. team material.
It's not the end of the fighting, however. When Kelly teases Lauren about having been abandoned by her mother, Lauren throws chalk in her face. And then, after Summer tells Sasha about Marty and Ronnie's affair, Sasha marches across the floor and punches him.
Needless to say, it isn't a banner day for The Rock. But Sasha apologizes to Marty, and Marty promises he won't hold any other girl's -- or Sasha's -- actions against them when it comes time to choose the team for China.
The next day, the girls perform for the National Committee. In a word, they NAIL it. Kaylie sticks a double Arabian. Lauren is amazing on the beam. And Emily breezes through a Yurchenko on the vault. They're stoked, because it's clear they're best.
And yet, only Lauren is choosen to go to China.
Kaylie and Emily are stunned. Sasha's furious. He suspects Marty of going against his word, but Marty swears he hasn't. In reality, it's pure politics: The National Committee thinks The Rock girls are inconsistent and, worse, a "renegade" team. In response, Sasha tells the girls that if the National Committee thinks they're "rogue" now, they haven't seen anything yet.
Meanwhile, after meeting with Dr. Clijster, the Keelers must decide whether Payson should undergo a risky surgery. If it works, Payson could compete again and fulfill her dreams of Olympic gold. Or she could compete again but never attain the greatness she once had. If the surgery fails, she could be paralyzed. Or worse.
Payson and her dad believe in the surgery. Kim doesn't. At first, Payson fights for it, but when she sees how it's tearing her parents apart, she decides against it. Kim's relieved. At first. Then she realizes Payson's only thinking of her. What's more, Payson confesses she can't be brave enough to undergo the surgery if her mom is scared too. With Mark's help, Kim musters the courage to stand by Payson. Together, Payson's parents watch as their daughter is wheeled into surgery.
With everything hanging in the balance -- at The Rock and on the home front -- nobody knows where the pieces will fall.