Vocal Adrenaline rehearsal. V.A. is actually rehearsing a number they plan to perform at Regionals. What kind of coach is Shelby Corcoran, anyway? How can the kids learn important life lessons if they're constantly preparing for Regionals instead of completing assignments she pulls out of her ass each week? It's like she doesn't know what Show Choir is even about. V.A. is rehearsing in costumes that kind of resemble this number, except with red lace bodysuits instead of a dress, and no visible underwear. Also, at this moment I have to give a huge shout-out to forum posters braggtastic and smrou and some guy named Demian for pointing me in the direction of pictures of many of these outfits. And an extra-large shout-out to poster EmmaFrost, whose single-minded dedication to tracking down pictures of every single look was awe-inspiring. And, to be honest, just a touch frightening. Anyway, without their help, all you'd get from me is "the clothes look weird, but purty." Shelby is counting the kids through their dance routine. And then in the upper balcony, Mercedes, Quinn and Rachel sneak in to spy on the rehearsal. Quinn's worried about going to jail for spying, but Rachel tells her that "stealing their ideas isn't a crime." No, just a serious ethical lapse. Just as Rachel tells the other two girls that V.A. looks amazing, Shelby cuts off the rehearsal to tell them how much they suck. They apparently fail to grasp the basic concept of theatricality. So she demonstrates to them that being theatrical isn't about wearing flashy costumes but is instead about baring deep your soul, and she does that by singing "Funny Girl." Rachel is in love with Shelby here, mostly because her coaching of V.A. is pretty much the kind of nagging that Rachel must deliver to New Directions in every single rehearsal. Also, the song is amazing. And it takes Rachel about two seconds to realize that she recognizes this voice. Almost in a trance, she gets up from her seat in the balcony and drifts down the stairs to the orchestra pit. And just as the song is finishing, she tells Shelby, "Ms. Corcoran? I'm Rachel Berry. I'm your daughter." Well, we know what all the gossip is going to be about at Carmel High tomorrow. Commercials.
Rachel and Shelby are sitting in a now-empty auditorium, having one of those long-lost mother/daughter chats that we've all had. They're sitting in the middle of the auditorium, and Shelby is one row behind and several seats over from Rachel. Key points of the conversation: Shelby has had regrets about giving up her daughter; she decided to contact Rachel after seeing her perform at Sectionals; the failure to achieve the stardom she dreamed of as a girl is like an open wound. At one point, Rachel notes that being a drama queen must be genetic, because "even the way we're sitting right now is so dramatic and yet we feel so comfortable with it." Shelby asks Rachel how she feels, and her response is "thirsty." By way of explanation, she tells Shelby (and us), "When I was little and I used to get sad, my dads would bring me a glass of water. It got so I couldn't tell if I was sad, or just thirsty." Two points here. First, I'm going to just assume that the glass of water was just a prelude to Rachel's dads talking with her about why she was sad, because otherwise they are turning out to be really crappy parents. Second, if Rachel ever visits the desert she is going to fall into a deep depression. Shelby has suddenly realized that it was perhaps a huge mistake to thrust herself into this young woman's life so abruptly. She apologizes for having contacted Rachel, because the meeting is not resulting in the warm and happy feelings she expected. Rachel would like to at least get dinner to get over the initial shock, but Shelby just apologizes and runs away. Man, nobody does wounded and vulnerable like Lea Michele.