In the parking lot at Devils Arena, Sloane runs into Pete, who assures her that he’s not going to leave her side now that he knows about what she’s been up to lately. After hearing about everything from Raquel, he’s determined to bring Oscar down, too. The following morning, Jude gets a visit from Detective Harris, who questions him about where he was at 10:26 the night of Olivia’s murder; he tells him that he snuck onto the arena’s floor to get some time to think before rushing Harris out the door so he can get ready for work. At the arena, Ahsha and German run into one another after their hookup and he tells her that he would be willing to give things another shot, provided she commit herself 100% to the idea of being with him. If it’s not what she wants, he’s more than okay with that – he just can’t go through another breakup with her.
Over at the Playground, Jelena gets questioned by Detective Harris and she claims that she was asleep at the time of Olivia’s murder. However, she, too, rushes away from Harris, making herself look more guilty than she previously did. She ends up hightailing it to rehearsal and, once the music stops, has a confrontation with Ahsha over the latter refining her dance skills and coming for Jelena’s spot. After coming home from a heavy day at the office and still with thoughts of the police visit on his mind, Jude gets a delivery – a wedding invitation from his father and Lionel, who are getting hitched in the immediate future. When they find out, Sloane and Pete are aghast at the thought, though the latter understands how Lionel is spotlight hungry enough to do something like this. Sloane thinks that Oscar only got strong-armed into this due to Lionel possessing the financial evidence and tape that Kyle recorded, so she decided to head to the wedding in hopes of procuring the evidence and turning it over to the proper authorities.
At the wedding, Jude gets annoyed when Zero flirts with a girl working the door, while Derek comes to Oscar about his concerns over Kyle, who he says tried to give him coke the other night. The reason for this? Kyle will get fired from her position as Oscar’s new #1 girl, thus allowing her to leave Los Angeles without having to look over her shoulder from here on out. The last bit of business that she takes care of has to do with being Derek’s alibi, which he also is for her, and Kyle Hart is one game away from leaving the city for good. Back in Oscar’s house, Pete finds Lionel in her black wedding dress and tries to talk some sense into her, all the while Sloane sneaks through Lionel’s bags looking for the tape. She finds it just before Lionel heads over to the aisle and begins marching toward Oscar. Jude eventually joins her and walks her down the aisle, though he’s more concerned about what the heck this woman is doing marrying his father than anything else. While the ceremony goes off without a hitch, Sloane rushes to the police to deliver the tape to an investigator. However, she’s spotted by corrupt Detective Harris, still on Oscar’s payroll, thus putting herself in danger.
The following day, the seventh and deciding game of the finals tips off and the Devils end up down by 2 at the half thanks to a last second shot from Zero. After the Devil Girls perform their final routine of the season, the second half gets underway and the game remains close throughout. With Los Angeles up 1, Boston hits a 3, giving them the 2-point lead; with four seconds to go, Terrence makes a lay-up to tie the game and lands awkwardly on his injured leg, shattering his fibula and taking himself out of the running for OT. Once he tells Jelena to stay at the arena and tell him how the game ends, Terrence gets carted off. The OT period finds Boston and Los Angeles as close as ever, with Boston up three following a dunk with less than 30 seconds left. Los Angeles closes the gap and with time expiring, Derek opts to take the final shot himself, bouncing the ball of the backboard before slamming it home and putting the Devils up by 1. Confetti rains down; Sloane and Pete affectionately celebrate; Derek gets a chance to impress his mother; and Zero is noticeably deflated, having called for the ball in the closing seconds.
Unfortunately, the celebration is short-lived, as police swarm the arena and arrest Oscar for Mia’s murder. An apologetic Harris tells him that it was Sloane who brought the damning evidence and as he’s restrained after charging at her, Oscar warns her that she doesn’t know what she just did. While Kyle and Raquel agree to get married in order to keep the latter in the country, their friendship rekindled at the Playground following Oscar’s arrest, Sloane gets summoned to Oscar’s office by Lionel. With a swarming group of paparazzi at her back, she makes it safely there, only to find that Lionel is now the team co-owner, everything that led to finding the tape was pre-orchestrated, and Jelena was the one behind the idea in the first place. The kicker is that Sloane has now been trapped in the Devils organization; if she quits, she leaves herself open to retaliation, but if she stays, Lionel promises that nothing will happen to her, despite the fact that she wants nothing more than to rip the Devil Girl director’s throat out.
Jude finds Zero moping in the locker room. Despite having two rings, Zero wanted to be The Man for Los Angeles, rather than just some guy who happened to be on a championship-winning team. He blames Jude for his loss of status, while Jude points out that the loss of endorsement opportunity came because Zero couldn’t keep it in his pants, which also points to Jude’s jealousy over the flirting incident at the wedding. But Jude explains that he’s angry at himself for allowing this type of treatment to persist; angry at Zero for continuing with this “no relationships” bullshit when they both know he only means “no relationships with guys”; angry that Zero refuses to be real with anyone; angry that he needs something from Zero that he feels like he’s never going to get. Jude tries to quit as Zero’s agent, claiming that he’s tired of getting percentages from people, only for Zero to confess his actual first name – Gideon – as a way of showing that he’s willing to open up. Before leaving, Jude tells Zero that he’d really like to take Gideon out for a date sometime and if that’s a possibility, for him to call him.
Ahsha meets Sloane in the Devil Girls practice area and tells her mother that she’s beyond proud of what she just did and that she understands why she came to work there in the first place. Sloane then has to drop a bomb on Ahsha – due to the influence of Jelena and Lionel, she has to fire her daughter from the team. While Jelena heads to the hospital to tell Terrence that the Devils won, Sloane receives a phone call from the officer she gave the tape to; he informs her that the LAPD is going after Oscar in connection to Olivia’s murder, though she doesn’t think that he would do something like that. Derek and his mother head to a restaurant for what he thinks is a quiet dinner with just the two of them. It turns out, though, that she brought several businessmen to the dinner with the intention of getting Derek to sign endorsement contracts now that he’s a champion. Feeling hurt, Derek pulls her aside and lashes out at the deception, saying that all his mother cares about is money, that he only gave her stuff to keep her around, that she never loved him to begin with, and that he’s going to go after the one woman who did love him – Ahsha. But when he makes it to the Hayes residence, he finds that Ahsha’s not home and he ends up leaving Sloane with the knowledge that he’s going to try to win her daughter back.
A montage then plays showing where everybody was the night that Olivia died –
Jude was on the court, as he told Detective Harris.
Kyle was in her apartment.
Derek was in a bathroom with a bag of coke.
Raquel was at the arena and checked her phone to find that Olivia called her a bunch of times.
Jelena was in a car outside the arena.
German. He had an envelope with Ahsha’s name on it, presumably his motivation in pushing Olivia to the ground.
Additional thoughts and observations:
-“Messengers have a habit of getting shot.”
-“Everyone retires eventually.”
-“So, this is what blood money looks like.” “Blood money and a good decorator.”
-“He has crabs. Excuse me.”
-“This is an awfully short aisle.”
-“I promise to cheat on you…a lot.”
-Holy shit, you guys. I was not ready for the reveal that German (!!!) was the one responsible for Olivia’s death – and that it was no accident on his part. If you had asked me to rank the characters in order of likelihood of killing Olivia, I would have had German either at the very bottom or within a couple spots of the bottom, since I thought he was off-limits for something like this. While I do adore the decision to have someone like him do it, as the show’s central mystery/pre-finale cliffhanger was a bit more predictable and I think it gives Jonathan McDaniel some interesting options regarding how to play German next season, I can’t help but wonder if this is the show’s way of making Derek/Ahsha happen again. I’m all for big twists like this and turning character perceptions on their head, but I hope this isn’t a shipper pandering plot device and that this reveal will have some emotional weight during season three, that this is a soap with some depth behind the theatrics.
-I will say, though, that I loved the way it was revealed – some could call it overwrought, but the epilogue-like feel, with the monologue, the blue, and the flashes to what everybody was doing when Olivia died, was so well-executed and left things in such an interesting place for season three that I don’t even care if it was. It was entertaining and it made for a strong coda to a season that I firmly enjoyed.
-Another fun choice was the quick shots of every suspect in Olivia’s murder when the police came into the arena. I love a good stylized soap and between that and the red letters, Hit the Floor killed it this season in terms of style, individuation, and commitment to being a quality soap.
-Question: Does Oscar know that it was German who did it? Could that have been what he meant when he said that Sloane didn’t know what she was getting herself into?
-During the game, there was a weird time cut that I had to rewind – it might be my fault for not paying close enough attention while I was taking notes, but in OT, having it go from Boston up three to up 1 without showing the seconds in between confused me for a second. The second time I saw the scene, I caught the amount of time on the clock, but I wonder if that was maybe one cut too many, since there was only 20-ish seconds left. Though that can be an eternity in basketball time, I think the show could have framed that a little differently and made the scene smoother.
-Even though I knew Jelena couldn’t have done it, I thought she looked extraordinarily guilty during her meeting with Detective Harris. But did Harris know that Jelena was also working for Oscar, hence him letting her go to rehearsal and out of talking to him?
-I like how the rehearsal song and the routine song were completely different, despite Jelena stressing that they had to do the routine perfectly. I did like the routine, though – the operatic music that totally set the mood for the rest of the episode, the corset-y tops, the pyramid they formed while laying on the floor. The choreography on Hit the Floor is always a highlight and this week was no exception.
-Lionel wearing black to her wedding was also perfect. And let’s talk about how beautiful Jodi Lynn O’Keefe looked there, because that dress fit like a glove.
-I’m going to need Kyle not to leave Los Angeles. I’m happy that she wriggled free from Oscar and that she didn’t end up as the show’s third dead blonde in two seasons, but both the character and Kat Bailess’s performance bring such life to this show that I can’t imagine it without her. So, like, if you guys see a pretty Southern blonde who comes running when you open your wallet, direct her back to the Devils arena. Thanks.
-Terrence’s injury was terrifying. For this being a fluffy basic cable soap, that was gruesome and surprisingly emotional. The show did good by building Terrence’s arc this season around his hunger for a title and the uncertainty surrounding his leg; him being such a good man and such a hard worker made the injury all the more devastating, especially since it happened so late in the game anyway. You thought that he might be able to make it out of this season without injury and then there you are, choked up at him telling Jelena that he wants to know how the game ends. Well played, show.
-Ray Wise! Ray Wise is in everything, you guys. I’m surprised someone as recognizable as Ray Wise took a bit part like this, but it was good to see him, as always.
-I love that Lionel isn’t written as a prototypically stupid actress. She’s cunning and though she might be a bit too over her head in her partnership with Jelena, it was a cool dynamic twist seeing her on the Devils throne and hearing about the catch-22 she caught Sloane in.
-Everything between Jude and Zero this season has been total heart eyes for me and this week was no different. Just as the show humanized Jelena through her love for Terrence, it’s dethawed Zero’s heart by showing that he does care about Jude and that he might be willing to be himself for the first time since he landed in Los Angeles. It’s a little bit of sweetness on a show that went darker this season and I hope that we get to see their relationship develop further next season. Also, Adam Senn in the blue shirt and white pants he wore in the locker room? Jesus.
-Also also, is Jude the most rootable character we have right now? Because out of everybody, he’s the one who I most hope finds happiness, especially given how emotionally satisfying his dressing down of Zero was.
-So, what do you think Ahsha’s envelope says? My predictions: it either says that she was adopted by Sloane or (wait for it) Oscar, rather than Pete, is her biological father. Bookmark me.
-Thanks to any and all of you who’ve followed my Hit the Floor coverage this season. Unfortunately, it was interrupted as I fell behind on the show, but I got it together just in time to witness a heck of an ending to a pretty strong season. Let’s hope that the show continues this momentum into its third season and that it gets to explore every corner of darkness that lies within the halls of Devils Arena.