Blaine feels terrible that he stole Kurt’s thunder, and while Kurt says he’s a little jealous, he’s not resentful. Although a lot of that good sportsmanship seems to be riding on the idea that she’ll open doors for both of them. With the assurance that he looks like pre-accident Montgomery Clift, Blaine heads to the event. June immediately drags him onstage with her to sing her guests into donation submission. (Oddly, Eric Roberts delivers the news that people aren’t being so generous, then never returns to the screen again.) June needs some fat donations, "and not just chubby like your first wife," so the two perform "Piece of My Heart." MacLaine looks like the most fabulous 80-year-old (80 years old!) you’ve ever seen in her full-sequin black suit, but it’s an interesting match for both of their voices -- they’re not exactly rockers. But they are charmers; they keep the energy high and ultimately make it rain cash money all of up in that place. B
Rachel, against the advisement of Kurt and ignoring all human logic, her heart, and probably her horoscope, tells Sydney she’s gotten the flu and heads to L.A. for her audition. When she gets to the audition, she storms in and starts right in on "The Rose," which reminds me a lot of Lea Michele’s audition for Glee, -- continuing the weird little meta parallel track they’re building here between Rachel and pre-Glee Lea. The juxtaposition of Rachel looking and sounding beautiful as she sings, and all of the Fox execs continually trying to stop her performance is pretty great. Jim Rash’s poor hovering hand made this the only time I've ever not cried during that song. It turns out they didn’t really need her to sing in the audition. Rachel hadn’t received a script, but SONG of Solomon had made her assume more musical, less "Guardians of the Galaxy meets Game of Thrones…with a strong Grey’s Anatomy element." They seem MOST excited about the Grey’s Anatomy element. A-
Once Rachel gets the script, she tries valiantly and hilariously to play opposite their dreamy Solomon, who makes out with her still, closed-mouth face. But she can’t quite get lines like "I will not risk my life on a flute that will never avenge the destruction of my planet!" (I really think this is already a show.) It’s the worst audition of her life, which is just the push she needs to realize that Broadway is still the place for her, and calls Sydney to tell him that she’s ready to get herself better and get back to work. Good thing too, because her understudy fell off the stage and he needs her back that night. Unfortunately, she’s in an L.A. traffic jam with a taxi driver who plays "a john" on The Client List.
Another main character interested in personally sinking her career before it starts: Mercedes is still insistent on making her breakout single a duet with Santana. Santana seems uncharacteristically cool with just tacking herself onto this (unheard) song, when we’ve never known her to be big on depending on other people before. Mercedes’ producer tells her he’s happy to get her a more famous duet partner for her second album, but for now, she needs to stick with her solo calling card for her single. Unless she wants to permanently be a duo with Santana, that is very solid advice...which she does not take. Santana tells Mercedes she should listen to her producer, but she comes to the diner with a contract in hand for Santana -- I guess in defiance of her producer, or after having worn him down. It’s not explained; it's just the first sign that Santana's behavior thus far isn't a fluke. She's ready to have friends and be a friend.
Meanwhile, Rachel has called Kurt for help in her bi-coastal conundrum. He storms into the diner to run his potential plans by Santana and Mercedes: a bomb threat, a bed bug scare, "or maybe I run into the lobby and I’m like 'Heyyy, Barbra's in the park and she's doing a concert for free!" I think that last one sounds pretty good, but Santana has a better idea. The next thing we see is her acting as Rachel’s understudy, a job that Sydney reminds her she formerly quit when he hears what’s going on. Rachel gets back to thank Santana profusely and tell her she was great in final scenes that she got to see. She assumes that Santana will want something in return, because Santana, but apparently she just wants to be a good friend -- simply because she realized the world is even colder than she is.
NEXT: Broadway giveth and Broadway can taketh away...