Episode Report Card
Sara Brady: B | Grade It Now!
Prelude to a Flop

Church. Tom, Sam, Ivy and Sam's parents are chatting outside and Sam's mom, Vanessa, explains that Sam is going to sing today, which: YAY. Ronald and Vanessa go inside and the other dancers arrive. Jessica asks if it's okay to be hungover in church. "You wouldn't be the first," Sam assures her. No ma'am, you would not. Karen and Dev are also there, because God hates us. Karen says to Sam, "I'm so glad you organized this. I love church." Just substitute the word "lamp" there and you have the approximate IQ level Karen is functioning on.

Sam reminds everyone that they have to sing. I'm going to guess this means Sam is the fun kind of Baptist. The lugubrious Houston family arrives. Julia pointedly ignores Tom, but Shrek greets him. Sam thanks Shrek for convincing her to come. Tom asks Sam if anyone else is coming and says, "Tell me you didn't invite Derek," then something about Derek bursting into flames. See, I think it would be funny if Ivy threw holy water on him.

The minister is delivering a rip-roaring sermon, with the crowd agreeing, all except for the Houston family, who remind me of my own people. There is a reason Presbyterians are called the Frozen Chosen: When we go to church, we sit still and listen. We are Calvinists at heart. Jessica, on the other hand, is really enjoying this. She may still be drunk.

Sam approaches the microphone and gestures for Karen to join him. He begins singing Donnie McClurkin's "Stand," and good Lord, Leslie Odom Jr. has a glorious voice. (I hear he's doing nice work on Broadway these days, playing a preacher in Leap of Faith.) Karen joins in and we get shots of various and sundry characters reflecting on the lyrics. Julia is crying, although I'm surprised she didn't burst into flames as soon as she walked into church. I'd like to point out that Karen is now totally bogarting Sam's song and it's a bit unseemly that the white lady has walked into the black church and stolen their native son's big moment. Because it's not like we haven't had enough exposure to Katharine McPhee's reedy little voice these past fourteen episodes.

Sam's parents say they are coming to see Bombshell next weekend and ask if Rebecca will be back. Tom assures them she will be and then he and Sam see Julia lingering in the last pew. Sam says, "Go talk to her." Tom observes, "You must be pretty pleased with yourself" and Sam modestly replies, "It's all God's doing." But then he admits that yeah, he is awesome. I agree.

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