Justice was only partially served Monday night in"Drag Race"land, squirrelfriends.
Sure, RuPaul crowned her queen of queens, and that queen was appropriately (spoiler for those who don't understand how recaps work) Sharon Needles, but we were cheated a little bit.
We "Drag Race" fans are a nutty, obsessive bunch so most of us have heard that Ru held off announcing the winner -- even going so far as to film three possible winning scenarios at the reunion -- to avoid a repeat of last season, when news of Raja's win was leaked far in advance.
That must have been annoying for Ru, and maybe some measures needed to be taken.
But with all the subterfuge came a lack of authenticity. We didn't get to see the real moment when Sharon, exhausted after competiting for so many weeks, learned she won the competition. We didn't get to see real tears, relieved tears or happy tears or whatever. We got to see her pretending or imagining what it might be like to win.
I hope Ru saw that, and that next season she finds a middle ground that preserves the mystery while also preserving the moments the audience really wants to see.
But there was much more before Sharon's crowning, and here it goes...
I adored the start to the episode, an homage to the choreographed Miss Universe/Miss America pageant entries. The top three were resplendent in gold (Sharon appeared to be a mug of beer, love her!) with the rest of the cast, sans-Willam, in black.
As the queens walk the runway to re-introductions, the only queen I wish we'd seen more of was The Princess (Chicago!), who is not only cute out of drag but so freaking fierce in it.
After a silly outer-space clip, Ru finally takes the stage in a ruffled red number. Gorge, of course.
There's an audience, cheering like nuts, and we spy Victoria "Pork Chop" Parker, Carmen Carerra, Sonique, Morgan McMichaels (in an oddly casual look), and more from past seasons.
Santino Rice (love him), Michelle Visage (enh) and Billy B (blah) join Ru one last time.
We get to briefly chat with the first four queens eliminated and they're given a shot at the "reading" challenge. Madame LaQueer gets in another in an endless line of digs at Jiggly Caliente's teeth.
Yes, we get it. Her grille is busted. That joke is about as fresh as a Monica Lewinsky blue dress gag.
There's a bit of a wig kerfuffle about Milan, with the criticisms flying about her tossing her wig during emotional high points in the lip sync. It's clearly lame and Milan has no real defense other than that people don't understand her "art." Whatever.
Jiggly goes through the ringer for her lack of sewing abilities and we recap Dida Ritz's heartwarming family breakthrough on the show.
"Like I always say, 'RuPaul's Drag Race,' bringing families together," Ru intones.
Kenya Michaels' time on the reunion is basically restricted to us making fun of her lack of mastery over the English language. Charo comes to translate one of Ru's questions.
Going to commercial, everybody coochie-coochies and it becomes clear that Kenya has been barely covering her coochie-coochie with clothing.
And then. Finally. FINALLY we get Willam.
What did Willam do?
I posited several weeks ago, when the expulsion first happened, that Willam had an unplanned pregnancy.
Which, as it turns out, is not that far from the truth.
He was having sex.
Lots of sex, plenty of sweaty, hot sex with his husband in the hotel room during filming.
"I told my husband I was doing a non-union horror movie in Europe, which I've done before and they suck so don't watch them," Willam starts off. "And he didn't believe it. He was like, 'why do you gotta take all this drag?'"
Long story short, Willam's hubs followed him to the hotel, and they began having a series of conjugal visits. It kind of sounds like the plot to a (good) porno.
After the obligatory plugging of Willam's iTunes singles, we revisit everyone's favorite personality queen, Latrice Muthafuckin Royale.
Latrice has no regrets about sharing details of her incarceration on the show.
"I want people to realize that it's OK to make mistakes. It's OK to fall down. Get up. Look sickening. And make them eat it," Latrice orders.
YES. Will do.
The final three then make their entrance, and Sharon Needles is flawlessly attired as a snake-green dark mistress, Ouija board planchette on her forehead where a crown would be.
It is genius.
Like everything Sharon does.
The other two finalists are wearing decent enough outfits, but they're no Sharon Needles.
Ru finally gets the chance to take Phi Phi O'Hara to task for her bad attitude and cut-throat mentality on the show.
Willam, Chad Michaels, Sharon and Jiggly also get the chance to take a few shots at Phi Phi, who does a bit of defending herself as well.
"Maybe that was my defense mechanism," she says.
Willam (of course) gets in the line of the night when she says that she's "not going to RuPaul-ogize for anything" she's saying now. Ru warns her to consider that line stolen.
"My new album will be called 'RuPaul-ogize' on iTunes," Ru says, laughing hysterically.
Unsurprisingly, Latrice wins the Miss Congeniality award, which entitles her to a sash and a free roundtrip, first-class plane ticket.
We do the round robin with the final three, which can be broken down as follows:
Chad is classy, Sharon is flashy and Phi Phi is assy.
"If anyone every boos you off stage, that is simply applause from ghosts. You remember that," Sharon tells the fellow weird kids of the world.
The judges weigh in but none of them pick a fave.
As Ru gets around to announcing the winner, I can't help but imagine what the moment might have been like had it been genuine, the actual moment Sharon found out she'd won. Instead, the real reaction Sharon had was in a house or at a viewing party on Monday night. Hopefully she was hugging Alaska and her mom and cheering for herself like crazy.
I guess, this season, that image will have to be enough.