And when it's over, Mercedes's teachers and peers in the audience respond with a most deserved standing ovation. She basks in the adulation for a bit, then hobbles off into the wings -- I told you that dress was too tight -- to cede the stage to Rachel for the closing number. "Are you kidding me?" Rachel replies in that unnaturally intense and overly earnest way of hers. "Nobody could follow that!" "That was the closing number!" she insists, finally giving Mercedes a smile. Mercedes beams back at her, and the two hug, so I guess they're best friends again. Until some contrivance conspires to drive a wedge between them next week, of course.
Hall. Will meets up with Precious Precious Gwynnie to process through recent events, and she proceeds to dump his ass. She just accepted a four-month assignment in Cleveland to teach French, you see, and she...what's that? You don't give a shit about any of this crap anymore? Excellent, 'cause neither do I. NEXT!
Will reenters the music room to find Sandy standing there in front of the children, who are positively giddy with delight over the fact that he's decided to fund the Brainiacs' trip to Detroit in full. So the power of Aretha can be seen. The children start in with the celebrations long before Sandy has slouched out of the room, and their chants of "Deee-TROIT! Deee-TROIT! Deee-TROIT!" gradually increase in volume until...
...the camera cuts back to Sue's office, because we're still not done with this Legion Of Evil bullshit tonight. "This is a disaster!" Sue sneers, peering at her errant underlings with a sort of vigorous distaste that I can't help but find impressive, especially considering how lame this subplot's been since its inception. "Pink Dagger!" she calls out, and a sorely abashed Sandy can barely meet her eyes as she continues, "Not only did you fail to disrupt the Night Of Neglect, you funded it in full!" Yes, we know that, Sue. Could you please keep this moving? I mean, there are still forty-eight seconds left in this godforsaken wreck of an episode, and we haven't even hit the pointless Smarty Pants finals yet.
"Aretha is my Kryptonite," Sandy mournfully admits, but Sue's already moved on to Sergeant Handsome, from whom she orders an explanation for his pathetic failures this evening. "Hey, I did get them to break up," he protests. "Who knew it was gonna be amicable, and sort of have nothing to do with me?" "I pulled Ongina out of the benefit," he adds. "Don't I get credit for that?" "No," Sue duuuuuhs, and so we are thus left with The Honey Badger. "In my hour of need," Sue croons, "I turn to you -- your time has come!" Batshit Terri's eyes light up -- crazily! -- and we are left wondering if this episode would have been any better had they actually given Jessalyn Gilsig something to do tonight. And then we remember Precious Precious Gwynnie's monstrously self-serving speech to the hecklers, and we start pointing and laughing at ourselves because oh, my holy hell, nothing could have saved this shit.