When Mary does finally arrive, she's played by Kristen Schaal of everything-funny fame, which feels like assurance of the comedic direction of the episode. Her bottle cap glasses and prom dress in the daytime might be a little much, but the unfurling of her child-size Garfield sleeping bag when she and Rachel get down to work really got me going. She immediately reveals herself to be capital-C Crazy, beyond just the sleeping bag, refusing to learn anyone's name because of her narcissism disorder and talking pretty extensively about Chinese food giving her the "Lady Di's." Rachel's eyes get wider and wider as she tries to tell Mary about herself for the show and is met with, "Two gay dads…amazing! Do they work for NASA? They work for NASA."
After a sentence-long mention in the first few minutes of the episode, Mercedes has apparently released her record and launched into her nation-wide mall tour, beginning in New York. She convinced her record label to make Brittany her lead backup dancer, and they're going to meet up with Santana in Reno (yeah, OK, Ryan Murphy), just like Charlie's Angels. Brittany will be the one that can shoot lasers out of her eyes. They launch into a performance of a Mercedes original, "Shaking My Head," in front of a bustling crowd, and if I know anything about popular music, this song will be re-branded as #SMH in 5, 4, 3, 2...Amongst the things that have Mercedes shaking her head: "How come Jesus looks just like a white guy when he's from Palestine?" and, "Like, how come I drink Diet Coke and I keep gaining weight?" B
Blaine meets back up with his sugar mama, June Dolloway (Shirley MacLaine), to put the finishing touches on his
debutante ball showcase. When she arrives, he's measuring the paces of the stage so he won't fall off if he wants to "freestyle" during his performance. He's got enough to worry about, considering he's still trying to get June to put Kurt in the showcase -- because he's still telling the lie he told Kurt weeks ago, even though June was never going to let Kurt be in the showcase. And even though Blaine is about the least convincing person in the world, especially when he's making sad, puppy dog eyes about a problem that he caused himself. June tells him as much, exits stage right, and he bolts to the piano to sing his feelings through John Legend's "All of Me." It's lovely, if a little overly-pained for the lyrical content -- but I'll always take Blaine singing at the piano, trying not to cry. B+
Kurt arrives mid-song in a pair of pants that have risen to truly Joaquin-Phoenix-in-Her heights. Kurt can tell something is up immediately, and the moment Blaine sings his last note, he sensitively blurts out, "June doesn't want you in the showcase. And she never did." Kurt is reasonably upset, as they've had long conversations about this showcase, have been planning it for weeks, and Blaine was lying to him the whole time. He doesn't know how he can believe anything he says anymore. You will think Blaine will find some way to make this up to Kurt and they will get through this. You will only be half correct.
Sam goes to a casting call for Treasure Trailz, one of the biggest brands in manscaping. The brand's sexy photographer, Charlie Darling, tells the models to make her want to get in their pants. She's brought in some sexy ladies to aid them in their audition, as you do. The thing is, Sam is feeling extra sexually frustrated because he and Mercedes aren't having sex until they get married. He's got a rubber band that he snaps on his wrist when he starts getting URGES, but that's not really cutting it when everyone breaks out into "Girls on Film" in full 80s garb. There are women in leotards grinding all over his junk, and a lot of straddling, and thigh-rubbing...and it gives Sam just the sex buzz Charlie is looking for, so she gives him the part. B+
About that time, the girls-plus-Kurt sit Mercedes down to tell her she has to break up with Sam, and the boys do the same with Sam. Nobody really says why they think they need to break it off specifically, just that "it's the gentlemanly thing to do," and guys are going to be throwing themselves at Mercedes. So, you know, she'll want to be available to not have sex with them.
I respect this waiting until marriage storyline, and I think it's an interesting viewpoint to try out on a show like Glee...but perhaps they should have consulted Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey for a slightly more realistic approach of a pop star and her boyfriend staying abstinent. Their logic on the matter seems frequently skewed.
NEXT: Baked goods + Bathtubs = Hit TV