Next day, Maria's bedroom. Maria stands in front of the full-length mirror; Liz sits like a lump on the bed, listening to Maria vamp, "This so does not mean that we're back together." She terms the whole thing thusly: "It's a boy/girl friendship with a twist." Liz terms that "so romantic," and she says it sarcastically because apparently she's never had one. Maria keeps talking, but Liz goes through some ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-changes (I thought I'd front-load the amount of "ch's" and balance out the average) and drifts her into her Land Of The Bar Mitzvah Video Special Effects and gets all hallucinated again. She comes back into focus and tells Maria, "I have to tell you something." But no! Because Maria is way too caught up in her own narrative, callously speeching at Liz, "It is not a coincidence that my life has started around the time Michael and I broke up. You have no idea how liberating it is to just be free of all this alien chaos." Liz quietly agrees, "Yeah." God, rock stars can be so thoughtless. And I'll confirm that theory for you in the unlikely event that we actually find one somewhere on this show. One who isn't John Doe, of course.
And we're singing. Maria sits in a recording studio, strumming her acoustic guitar, being deep and message-y while Clive Davis's Castoff stands to the side nodding her head. And this is the first honest depiction of the entertainment industry we've had. People perform, and everyone else not performing nods their heads. And holds cell phones. And sends angry faxes. Ladies and gentlemen, the industry in action. No need to come to L.A. now. You've just been given the tour. Anyway, Maria sings a forlorn ballad that would only be deepened emotionally should she have to spend a few years living with her mom in a van before she finally reached the big time. The song goes a bit like this:
You're like an angel with the sweetest smile
But when you use it you're one evil child
And that's what brings me back again
We get along but only half the time
The other half you ain't no friend of mine
That's what brings me back again
And then there's a bit more tone-deafness to endure, but Lazar has some more angry faxes to send, so she waits patiently for the song's conclusion and turns the topic to Maria's personal life. "So, Maria, do you drink?" No. "Drugs?" No way. She asks how old Maria is, and Maria retorts, "I just turned eighteen." Lazar shoots back, "Oh, great. That's what you're going to be telling people for the next three years." Hard-boiled! And just then, Michael saunters out of nowhere (hey, doesn't he need a drive-on or something?) to muck things up just as Lazar asks Maria when she can travel. Ooh, to where? "New York. If my people love what we did here, then we'll record the demo over there." Because of how well this show did that city the first time around. Michael asks how long she'll be gone, and Lazar laughs a laugh of provincial hatred, snorting, "Best case scenario? Forever. She can buzz back through this town when the mayor's gonna cut a ribbon for something." Eh?