When we last saw Rachel Berry, she was basking in the glow of her triumphant New York Times review. She’s been a roll ever since. She’s being treated like a real star, with adoring fans waiting by the standing by the stage door, her face plastered on busses and benches, and there are even whispers of a Tony nomination. It’s everything Rachel has ever wanted. You know, what she’s been dreaming of since we met her four years ago. All we eeeeeever heard about. Well, today is a new day. She signs with the ICA talent agency, but the agent, who doesn’t think she’s got the look for television or film, quickly douses her ego. Brace yourselves; you are about to enter, The Meta Zone.
Kurt and Blaine are walking the mean street of Chelsea or something, while Kurt gives his fiancé the lowdown on one Ms. June Dalloway, socialite extraordinaire and NYADA patron. Kurt’s been chosen to perform at an event honoring her at a new studio built in her name. Like the doting boyfriend he is, Kurt asks Blaine to join him in a rousing rendition of a One Direction song.
Mercedes and Santana, who have not spent nearly enough time on screen together, are finally having a little one on one time. Mercedes is frustrated because her producer D’Shon doesn’t think she’s got a stand out single on her album. Santana is unusually selfless, listening to her friend and offering advice. Santana assures Mercedes that having even a mediocre album is better than singing “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” night after night to tourists while serving them cheesecake. Mercedes needs a little magic to make her album stand out, and she knows right were to get it. Santana Lopez. She asks Santana to help rescue her album from a slow, boring death.
Rachel, her ego bruised, sits at her makeup table prepping for Funny Girl. Through a soulful and slowed down version of Avici’s “Wake Me Up” she imagines night after night of unsatisfying Broadway performances. What misery that must be, Berry. (Sorry, I have to reel my inner Santana in for this week’s recap) Only Rachel could be miserable being a Broadway superstar, starring in her own version of Groundhog’s Day: The Musical. After that evening’s performance, a gentleman shows up at her dressing room door. His name is Lee Paublett and he is (wait for it, wait for it) a producer from the Fox Network. Yes. He’s got a pilot that he thinks Rachel is perfect for and insists that she fly out to LA on a Tuesday and audition for it. She is of course, delighted. She has a sit down with Funny Girl’s producer Sidney, and tries to butter him up for her inevitable “sick day.” Sidney, not realizing he’s being duped, is determined to keep her well even if that means vitamin drips and prednisone injections. You guys saw what happened to Ivy on Smash. That shit is no good. Short of an alien invasion on Manhattan, Rachel is not to miss a performance.
In the recording studio, Mercedes is feeling stifled even with Santana by her side. Santana suggests getting out of the element to let the NYC vibes flow free, and D’Shon is actually on board. The women whip out a sick version of Lauren Hill’s “Doo Wop (That Thing)” as they try out their sound all over the building; bathrooms, elevators, even the basement. Their flow is to die for and the acoustics in the basement are perfect for the sound Mercedes is going for.
Rachel, needing a little back up herself, turns to Kurt for reassurance about going to LA. You can almost hear his eyes roll. He can’t quite believe she’s sick of Broadway after a month either, but if the tables were turned, he’d be tempted to do the same.
That evening is the unveiling of the Dalloway Dance Lab, and June (Shirley MacLaine) makes her fabulous entrance. Kurt and Blaine totally clamor for her glamour. Not looking too shabby themselves, the men are a vision in coordinating red and blue. Kurt, who’s been utilizing that fantastic lower register of his, starts off “The Story of My Life” and is joined by Blaine for the second verse. Would have loved a little gender flip on the pronoun for this ditty, but we take what we can get sometimes. Blaine catches June’s eye from the moment he opens his mouth. Once he kisses her hand, she’s sprung on his talent and masterful bow tie wearing skills. After the performance, she approaches them both, but she overtly favors Blaine. When she mentions needing a date for an exclusive charity event, Kurt is over the moon. Unfortunately, June admits she only has eyes for Blaine.
Back at Kurt’s, Blaine is feeling guilty. He considers ditching the event to watch Scandal, but Kurt is too much of a White Hat to allow that to happen. He tells Blaine that of course he’s a little jealous, but more than anything, he supports Blaine’s shooting star.