How deeply have you fallen in love with this series?
It doesn't get any better than The Big Leap Season 1 Episode 7, which is a perfect example of everything that makes this series great.
This one had it all: laughs, joy, heartache, love, sex, dancing, and genuinely captures the life and the human experience in this unassuming, fun, and addictive way.
The Big Leap excels at making you laugh and smile one minute and cry the next. And this was an emotional rollercoaster of highs and lows. Again, if you aren't watching this series by now, why not? It's pure, unadulterated joy!
Can you think of anything sexier than damn near starting with Gabby and Reggie's smoking hot love-making scene? It was easily one of the best love scenes of the Fall with beautiful shots of Gabby and Reggie, capturing the intimacy of the moment, not just physically but emotionally as well.
Gabby is gorgeous, and you love seeing Reggie worship her like the goddess that she is. The man is head over heels and beyond smitten with Gabby. It's gratification in knowing that Reggie and Gabby's feelings for one another are mutual and equal.
It's not one of those situations where one person is a little more in love with the other person than they are with them.
Their happiness with one another is infectious, and they're in this bubble that you don't want to burst, but you know the possibility of that happening is strong. It wouldn't be a drama if they didn't test them.
It's evident that Reggie loves hard, and there's no limit to what he does for his loved ones. He'll jeopardize everything, including his health, for them.
Nick: First revenge Gabby. Now premeditated murder Gabby. I got goosebumps. This is great. Do me a favor though, if you're actually going to kill her, make sure there's a camera there, huh?
Gabby: I can't tell if you're joking or not.
Nick: Look into my eyes. I have to get my steps in. Come on, tell me your plan.
Reggie's flashbacks were insightful and tell you a lot about who he is now and what drives him. Football is a passion of his, and he loves that game, but he also likes what it can do for his family.
His first order of business when he made money from football was to buy his adorable parents a mansion. And one of the things he goes back to when he speaks about losing out from not playing is how it'll affect his family. He loves taking care of those he cares about, and his pro ball deal affords him that opportunity.
Gabby is someone he loves, and he wasted no time showering her with a beautiful piece of jewelry to commemorate his calling her his girlfriend. She's someone else he doesn't want to let down.
Reggie never took the time to figure out who he is and what he could be outside of football, and it's scary to think that the game will decide that for him if he isn't careful. Did we know about the neck injury from his car accident?
I need to be able to provide for the people in my life.Reggie
It felt as if one minute they were reminding us that it was his behavior that got him removed from the team, and the next, we learned about this career-ending injury that he urged the doctor to ignore.
Nothing good can come from that, and now there's a genuine fear that he'll end up hurt and won't be able to play football or dance. Given the injury angle they threw at us, some Reggie and Monica scenes would've been fantastic. And maybe that's something the show will explore down the road.
While their passions are different, their situations are the same. Monica is still struggling with her inability to dance the way she loves, but she could offer Reggie some support and empathy.
It's concerning that Reggie is keeping how serious and potentially damaging his injury is from others. In his efforts to look after them, he'll hurt them by not considering the risks.
His position was already tenuous. As his coach reminded him, he's not as young anymore. Dance has helped his footwork out tremendously, which was a nice nod to the football/ballet thing, but there's always the risk of him not meeting their expectations and getting rid of him again.
Gabby didn't have much time to focus on those aspects of Reggie's life. When she wasn't in their newly-dating love bubble of sexy, tender sweetness, she was deadset on revenge.
The Gabby and Nick team up was everything one could want and more. They're the perfect chaotic duo, and Nick's Gabby Fangirl status remains intact, even if they ended things on a sour note from her end.
It's precious how much he plays favorites, and his fondness for Gabby was evident since the first day. But the best part about Nick (if you want to call it that) is he doesn't compromise or change who he is or what his intentions are despite that favoritism.
Nick: Gabby, I love a convoluted caper, I do, but you stand to lose everything here.
Gabby Yeah, I don't care. Look, I have to do this. If I don't stand up for myself, I'm going to think about it for the rest of my life, so yeah, I'm putting it all on the line. What she did cannot go unchecked. Not today. Not anymore. Not this bitch.
Nick: Ohh, that was hot. You gotta say that on camera!
The two of them teaming up to exact revenge on Brittney didn't mean Nick was changing or his self-interest wasn't above Gabby's. He still has a show to run and ulterior motives, no holds bar.
There's something oddly commendable about that. Nick is nothing if not consistent, even during those moments when you want to give him more credit than he deserves. At the risk of redundancy, Scott Foley is sublime in this role and impresses with each installment.
He manages to show signs of personal growth while also staying true to himself and walking that same line of mischievous and chaotic.
As close as Gabby and Nick got during their covert revenge mission, there was no way it would lead to some shift in their overall dynamic as long as they're on the show together. Nick is still the producer who will do what's best for the show above all else, and Gabby is still someone with a version of integrity that can't fully respect that.
He was interested in the drama, but he wasn't willing to do too much to ensure the plan played out a certain way. He warned her to cheat, but she wasn't having it. Beyond that, he sat back and watched the drama unfold.
A lifetime supply of shrimp as a prize was a headscratcher, for example. And even though Gabby got her win, our girl was asking for too much when she thought Nick would send Brittney packing.
Gabby: Look in my eyes, what do you see?
Nick: Warmth, compassion, commitment to social justice, and three kittens curled up in a basket.
Gabby: No, you see murder, murder in myeyes. I'm not cheating. I don't have to, and that's final.
Nick: You have to. You have to cheat to win.
As awful as Brittney's actions were, it's the time of thing that made her a classic reality show villain.
You don't get rid of that person who everyone loves to hate. They generate drama and friction, and that's half the reason people tune in at all. If they were making Gabby out as the sweet underdog everyone roots for, they needed a nemesis to balance that out.
Gabby's expectations were unrealistic for many reasons, but once Justin was out of the competition, they needed Brittney around and couldn't afford to lose any more principal dancers. No amount of her betrayal and hurt feelings would change that.
And it wasn't as if Brittney didn't get punished. The other dancers weren't Brittney fans after the incident and iced her out because of her actions. She got ostracized, and it affected her deeply.
She also lost her spot as the Swan. Brittney didn't escape the after-show unscathed.
The competition for the challenge prize was hilarious, especially when Miriam broke out into the most creative routine that incorporated shrimp for the award. Miriam is such a damn underrated character and dancer. She earned every bit of that win.
It was one of the top performances only bested by the dance battle that felt like something ripped from a dance movie. Without a doubt, when you think of this series, it's scenes like that which describe it best.
From the second Brittney snatched the coin out of the hair mid toss and Ludacris' "Move Bitch" started to play to the hair whips and Brittney kicking Simon in the face, it was an experience. The water added to the overall performance, and Simon and Justin competing against each other just barely was hilarious.
Monica: Justin, stay for a minute. Your soul is so special.
Justin: Thank you.
Monica: I never thought I'd have a protege. I have so much to teach you, and you have so much to teach me. It flows both ways. You're my favorite. Don't tell the others.
Comfort's character, Aja, and one of her friends, Travell, going up against one another was epic! And if it wasn't engrossing already, thanks to Monica's mushroom-fueled haze, the hip-hop morphed into a contemporary dance session with the instrumental version of the song, and this is the type of creativity that makes this series stand out.
Where else can you find a series that effortlessly incorporates routines like this and pulls it off? The more they lean into those, the better. I watched the entire dance sequence half a dozen times, and it'll be on heavy rotation with the hotel hallway dance routine.
Monica's entire arc of her high AF as the solution to her creative block was hysterical. I laughed so hard I practically cried. No one knew what to do with this more emotional Monica, who spilled all the tea about her sexcapades with Nick and told Justin how much he was her favorite.
The glimpses into Monica's softer, vulnerable sides are what make her harder moments bearable and even endearing. We see all sides of her, and you get that she's this genuinely lovely person with a rugged exterior. Mallory Jansen is a gift in this role.
For Monica, her love for Justin comes through harshly. She's tough on him because of how much she cares and is impressed by him. He didn't even know how to handle the rare moment where she acknowledged that he's her protege and she cares about him.
But thanks to that moment of raw honesty, he could leave the competition knowing that despite Monica lashing out in hurt, she cares about him. Her response to him going to take care of his family business was projection and hurt.
We couldn't have happy Justin and Simon for too long, eh? It was weird that Justin insisted on them keeping their relationship under wraps when they've already flirted and kissed in public on the lot multiple times. Everyone and their mom know about these two lovebirds.
He insisted that was more of a privacy thing than shame or whatever else he's battled with his journey toward self-love and acceptance. But it's hard to say that it was convincing.
And now that he left the competition to help at his father's business, it places his new romance with Simon in this uncomfortable limbo.
I don't fully understand why his father's injured foot requires him to drop everything and help run the family business, but it's the type of conflict that will place him back with his dad, so maybe they'll have a shot at making peace with one another. Hopefully, his family will also encourage him to pursue his dreams.
After their rough patch, it's safe to say that Mike and Paula are all-in with one another, and it can't come at the best possible time.
Interestingly, Mike hasn't even realized how much this show and Paula have improved his life. As someone who battled some heavy depression, the lifestyle change the show brought to him has been influential.
Mike's experiences make him a better candidate than many to understand what Paula may be facing and stick by her through it all despite the short time they've known each other.
He knows what it's like for someone to bail on you because of their inability to help you through the dark times. It's what happened with Paige.
And that's why you understood why Paula pushed him away, but it hurt that she did. If anyone would support Paula through this cancer scare or return of it that she's facing, Mike is the guy.
Paula is used to people bailing on her too. She learned the hard way how little her job cared about her based on how they behaved the last time she had cancer.
I talked to Julia, and she told me everything. And listen, if you don't want me here because you actually don't like me then I will go, but if you are pushing me away because you think this is too deep for me, then you do not know how deep I go. I'm in love with you. And I know it's fast, but screwe it, we're adults, and I know when it's real And what's real is I'm not afraid of you rejecting me, but I am not even scared of you rejecting me, but I am absolutely terrified that you are going to go through this alone. Let me be there for you.Mike
As a result, she was determined to push all of these new people who cared about her away. Julia, a dark horse favorite of the series, wouldn't allow it, though, and this friendship between Paula and Julia continues to be a highlight of the series.
Julia's bar dance (which was a great nod at Perabo's Coyote Ugly gig) was both cute as hell and cringe AF. in a post-COVID world; it's hard to wrap your head around a random woman prancing on top of a bar and pouring drinks with her foot to deliver to a stranger on the other side of the bar.
But the concept was cute, and Teri Polo is adorable. She's also the ultimate Girl Crush.
Julia is a character who has probably had the best and most consistent growth in this series. She's evolved from this age-obsessed, out-of-touch housewife to this complex, beautiful woman, dancer, mom, and friend.
Her intuition into other people is one of her most exemplary traits, and she realized something was off about Paula early on and refused to let up.
Julia's background as a woman who lost friends during the HIV epidemic coincided nicely with her approach with Paula, and no other character would've been able to handle the situation with Paula as well and delicately. She knew when to push, how to let up, and what Paula needed most.
Under normal circumstances, it would've been a breach of trust that she told Mike about what was going on with Paula, but it was in her best interest.
It was Piper Perabo's best yet. When Paula cries, we all freaking cry!
Paula's fear of knowing whether or not she was sick again was visceral, and when it hit her that she wanted to live and therefore needed to learn the truth, it made you want to reach through the screen and hug her.
Fortunately, Mike showed up with his sweet gesture that was so quintessentially him and climbed into her bed with her.
We didn't get official confirmation about what was going on with Paula. There's a comfort in knowing that this pairing could get through it all together.
It was the perfect type of installment. You can't ask for better.
Over to you, Big Leap Fanatics! What was your favorite part? How do you feel about the pairings? Sound off below!
You can watch The Big Leap online here via TV Fanatic.
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. She is an insomniac who spends late nights and early mornings binge-watching way too many shows and binge-drinking way too much tea. Her eclectic taste makes her an unpredictable viewer with an appreciation for complex characters, diverse representation, dynamic duos, compelling stories, and guilty pleasures. You'll definitely find her obsessively live-tweeting, waxing poetic, and chatting up fellow Fanatics and readers. Follow her on X.