Recap: Jaime is lugging an enormous tree stump up the stairs of her apartment to use as firewood. When Mama Austin says she'll get her husband to chop it up for her, Jaime says that won't be necessary and karate chops the stump into more manageable chunks. As the two chuckle over the various ways her bionic abilities unexpectedly come in handy, Oscar drops by. He gushes to Jaime about how lovely she looks - even though she's all dirty and sweaty from hauling a tree stump up a flight of stairs and then karate chopping it - and asks her if she was ever prom queen or a contestant in a beauty contest. Jaime makes a blech face and goes, "No and no" so Oscar says he hopes she'd be willing to be objectified by parading around in a swimsuit and sash. He explains that the OSI is on the hunt for a micro-computer circuit, which went missing and is the entire key to the country's defense system. Sounds like someone screwed the pooch on the important task of keeping a careful eye on that piece of technology. Oscar tells Jaime he recently received a cryptic message from an OSI agent working in Paris - the next Miss United States will be Miss Florida - and needs to look into what that means, exactly. He then hands Jaime a "Miss California" sash and says he'd like her to enter the Miss United States pageant so she can poke around and figure out whassup. Jaime groans about how demeaning it is for women to walk around a stage semi-naked, but Oscar's like, "Blah blah...women's lib. You're beautiful and qualified, so just do what I tell you." He says he's unsure if it'll be a fluff type assignment or a deadly mission - LOL - but the bottom line is: the safety and security of the nation depends on recovering the missing computer circuit. Jaime asks Oscar why he doesn't just call up his agent in Paris to ask him what he meant by his cryptic message, and Oscar puts his extra serious face on and tells her that the agent was just found dead in the Seine. Eeeeeeek!
Jaime enlists Mama Austin to be her official chaperone for the Miss United States pageant, and the two women arrive at the Ambassador Hotel to go through the registration process and get their room assignments.
Mama Austin, who hasn't yet gotten the memo that this is an OSI mission, gushes about how thrilling it is to be a part of such a dazzling event. She tells Jaime she's wanted her to enter beauty contests for years, then suddenly looks quizzical and asks her why she suddenly agreed to compete in this one. Jaime mumbles something about how this pageant is unique 'cause it's geared towards professional women...and when the original Miss California came down with the flu, she [and not the first runner-up of the Miss California pageant] was considered to be the most natural choice to fill in.
Mrs. Belding, the robust looking housemother who's in charge of the contestants, is standing on the stage of the hotel's giant theater, lecturing to the women about how they're to be judged on poise, beauty, talent, and intelligence. She then introduces the Master of Ceremonies...and it's Mr. Bert Parks himself! For those of you who aren't pageant buffs, he's best known for cheesily singing "There She Is, Miss America" on the annual Miss America telecast during the '50s, '60s, and '70s. Bert Parks tells the ladies that it's going to be a very hectic weekend - case in point: they have a press conference in about an hour. He then orders them to split up into their assigned groups of five so they can get started doing whatever pageant things they have to do before the big night. Jaime's group includes Miss Florida, who comes right out and says she has no desire to make friends with anyone 'cause of how desperately she wants to win the crown...then flounces off to have a secretive chat with Berk Parks. Jaime activates her bionic ear and overhears Bert Parks tell Miss Florida, "We have a deal. I'll let you know what to do when the time comes."
As the taping for the talent portion of the pageant gets underway, Jaime slips away and follows Bert Parks to a row of pay phones and once again activates her bionic hearing. She eavesdrops on him telling whoever he's talking to that Miss Florida is all set and "Once she's crowned Miss United States, everything will go like clockwork. Nothing can stop us!"
One of the contestants is performing a fire baton twirling routine, and at one point drops her blazing baton and sets fire to the carpet. LOL. Once the fire has been stamped out, Mrs. Belding calls out Jaime's name...but she's not there to respond 'cause she's on the phone with Oscar, reporting to him about how the pageant is definitely rigged. He tells her to keep up the good work, then mentions that Steve is plugging away in Brussels in an effort to locate the missing circuit. Jaime perks up at the mention of Steve and goes, "So, like, does he ever talk about me?" and Oscar indulges her and says, in fact, he does...and that he's always asking how she's doing and if she's dating anyone. Jaime beams and chirps, "OK. Bye, Oscar!" just as Mama Austin rushes over to tell her that everyone's waiting for her to perform her talent...and a few seconds after that, Bert Parks and his stage manager (Brady) storm over, admonish Jaime for making an unauthorized phone call, and forcibly usher her back to the theater.
Jaime has chosen singing as her talent, and she sweeps onto the stage in a loose fitting white pantsuit and starts crooning Feelings - OMFG - which clearly is a tribute of her love for Steve. Fortunately, her brain problems related to romantic memories of Steve appear to have resolved themselves, and her head doesn't implode in mid-song. She gets all into it and scrunches her eyes shut when she hits the high notes...and when she finally wraps it up (after making us listen to the song in its fucking entirety), everyone applauds while Mama Austin looks on with tears in her eyes. Brady, meanwhile, reports to Bert Parks that he overheard Jaime talking on the pay phone to someone named Oscar, then points out that Oscar Goldman is head of the OSI. Bert Parks shrugs and tells him that lots of men are named Oscar and breezily says it was probably just a boyfriend.
Inside their hotel room, Jaime tells Mama Austin that she needs to disappear for a little while to follow someone, and Mama Austin gives her a funny look and reminds her about the curfew. Jaime then reveals that she's on an official OSI mission, which may or may not be extremely dangerous, and explains that Oscar pulled the necessary strings to get her entered into the pageant so she could gather intel from the inside. Mama Austin looks alarmed, but then admits it was kinda weird that she (Jaime) was suddenly interested in competing in a T&A type contest after resisting it for so many years. Jaime says she needs to go out so she can spy on Bert Parks, and asks her to cover for her in case Mrs. Belding happens to drop by. She then takes a bionic leap out the window, lands several stories below, and takes off running...dun dun dun dun... At that moment, Miss Florida happens to look out of her window and - uh oh - notices Jaime bionically jogging away from the hotel.
When Mrs. Belding does her rounds for the 11pm bed-check, Miss Florida rats Jaime out and reports to the housemother that she just saw Miss California roaming around outside.
Jaime spots Bert Parks getting into a car with some guy, then bionically overhears the guy telling him that the "package" has to be in Paris the day after tomorrow. Bert Parks tells him he'll give it to Miss Florida, who will then transport it via private jet after she's crowned Miss United States. He explains that Brady will help him falsify the pageant results, then grins evilly and says he's looking forward to becoming a very rich man.
Mama Austin is alarmed when Mrs. Belding knocks on the door to perform the nightly curfew check (with a smirking Miss Florida in tow). She dashes into the bathroom and runs the water to make it look like Jaime is taking a shower, then answers the door and nervously tells Mrs. Belding that Jaime is in the shower and that she should come back later. Mrs. Belding says she's staying put and will wait until Jaime is finished. Mama Austin goes back into the bathroom to pretend to tell Jaime to speed it up...and anxiously peers out the window. Fortunately, Jaime has just returned, so Mama Austin urgently waves her up and tells her that Mrs. Belding is doing her curfew check. Jaime leaps onto the fire escape and somehow manages to climb into the teeny tiny bathroom window...and a few minutes later, she emerges from the bathroom wrapped in a robe and with a towel around her head. She apologizes to Mrs. Belding for keeping her waiting while she washed her hair...but when Miss Florida runs over and pulls off her towel and reveals a dry head of hair, Jaime is unable to explain her lie and just stares sheepishly into space. Mrs. Belding sternly tells Jaime she strongly suspects her of breaking curfew 'cause she could hear her rattling around on the fire escape, then warns her that she doesn't tolerate trouble-makers. She says she's going to tattle on her to Bert Parks and the judges, who will likely order her to stay in her room until further notice.
Mrs. Belding informs Bert Parks and Brady that Jaime was spotted outside at curfew time, and Bert Parks grimaces and agrees that the trouble-maker needs to be confined to her room. Brady gets in on that action and snarls, "If she even tries to step out of line again, it'll be her last time."
The next morning, Brady tells the contestants that Miss California won't be joining them 'cause she's under the weather...and we see that guards have been posted outside of Jaime's room and on the ground below her room. Jaime wails to Mama Austin that she desperately she needs to talk to Oscar about Miss Florida's involvement in this sinister plot, so Mama Austin offers to get in touch with Oscar for her. Jaime quickly mulls that over and decides why the hell not get Steve's mom tangled up in a dangerous OSI mission?
Mama Austin sneaks downstairs to the row of pay phones and calls Oscar - but he barks at her to hold while he gabbles to someone on a different phone about the ongoing search for the circuit, including something about "the falcon". When Oscar finally takes Mama Austin's call, Bert Parks and Brady suddenly appear beside her and loom over her menacingly. She nervously cuts the call short by saying, "I'll get back to you. Bye, Oscar!" and when Bert Parks growls, "Oscar who?" she stammers, "Uh...Oscar Lipschitz." LOL. Bert Parks snarkishly tells her she's not allowed to use these phones, and Brady grabs her and forcibly escorts her back upstairs.
Jaime is bummed that Mama Austin wasn't able to pass along any intel to Oscar - but an earnest Mama Austin tries to be of help and tells her everything she can remember Oscar saying while she was on hold. Jaime manages to piece together that the missing computer circuit has been nicknamed "the falcon", and that the newly crowned Miss United States will be its courier when she flies to Paris. Jaime says it's more important than ever that she speak to Oscar and tells Mama Austin she's going to try to slip away after the finalists are announced.
As the pageant gets underway, Jaime is back stage with the rest of the contestants, looking annoyed in her swimsuit and Miss California sash. Bert Parks introduces each of the contestants...and a few minutes after what I assume was the swimsuit portion of the competition, the five finalists are announced. Jaime is stunned to learn that she made the cut - no doubt so that Bert Parks and Brady can continue to keep a close eye on her.
In the next scene, Jaime is decked out in a soft peach gown with a flowing scarf thing in anticipation of the evening wear competition. She tells Mama Austin she's going to slip away now, and asks her to do her best to stall anyone who comes looking for her. She sneaks around backstage and spies on Bert Parks, who's talking to the guy he was in the car with earlier. She quickly realizes that they're in possession of the computer circuit and hears Bert Parks say he'll put it in a super secret hiding place...but then a small crowd of people appear from nowhere and block Jaime's view. She tries to get a better view by bionically leaping onto some scaffolding, unaware that Brady has spotted her skulking around. When Jaime is unable to determine where Bert Parks hid the circuit, she leaps back down...and is quickly grabbed from behind by Brady, who smothers her with a chloroform soaked rag. Bert Parks rushes over, concurs with Brady that Jaime is definitely up to no good, then helps him drag her off.
Bert Parks and Brady drag Jaime down a long hallway...and when Mrs. Belding appears and asks whassup, Bert Parks fibs and says she passed out 'cause she's probably "on something". Mrs. Belding has no problem believing that Jaime is a hopeless drug addict and concurs that she's been nothing but trouble. The two men bring Jaime into a small room and deposit her onto the couch, and Bert Parks gleefully says that by the time she finally comes to, they'll be out of the country.
Oscar learns from Steve that "the falcon" is scheduled to fly out of Los Angeles tonight. He hangs up the phone and orders his assistant to produce a list of all international flights leaving LA in the next few hours.
Brady tries to inject Jaime with some sort of tranquilizer, but he's puzzled when he has trouble penetrating the armadillo-like hide of her bionic arm with his needle.
Oscar calls the Ambassador Hotel and tries to get in touch with Jaime, but he's told she can't be located. He then turns on the radio, 'cause apparently the Miss United States pageant is important enough to also be broadcasted over the airwaves. He hears Bert Parks announce that, due to illness, Miss California won't be able to continue with the competition...then immediately jumps into action and tells his minions that they're off to the Ambassador Hotel!
Jaime regains consciousness, bionically breaks down the locked door, then takes off down the hall. Dun dun dun dun..
The pageant has reached the interview portion of the competition. When asked, "What is your ultimate goal in life?" one contestant says she dreams of filling the world with music. [Sorry, but the correct answer is: world peace.]
Brady sees Jaime milling around backstage and raises the curtain so that her presence is revealed to Bert Parks, as well as the audience. Bert Parks is all, "Wha-a?!" but then quickly composes himself and ushers Jaime onto the stage. He calls her "a real trooper", and she smiles cheekily and says she's feeling much better now. He proceeds to ask her about her ultimate goal in life, and she uses the opportunity to pass along a not-so-subtly coded message to Oscar: "My good friend Oscar Goldman once told me the following proverb...as the Queen flies to Paris on her falcon, so must we continue this search for our goals." Bert Parks shoots her the stink-eye and growls, "That makes zero sense" but Jaime continues grinning and says she hopes it makes sense to someone...and the oblivious audience nods approvingly and applauds. LOL. Oscar, who's en route to the hotel and has heard her coded message, immediately calls for backup units. Bert Parks announces that it's time for the judges to tabulate their votes so they can move ahead with crowning the newest Miss United States.
Brady presents Bert Parks with a silver tray that has the envelop containing the winner's name...along with a small handgun. Bert Parks grabs both items, then announces all of the runners-up. While that's going on, Brady steers an unsuspecting Mama Austin closer to the stage and says she can get a better look from this position. Bert Parks makes the shocking proclamation that Miss Florida is the first runner-up...meaning that Miss California is the new Miss United States! Jaime's all, "Wha-a-a?!" and is showered with several gifts: a tiara, a lovely bouquet of roses, a rhinestone-encrusted wand, and a Miss United States sash. Bert Parks positions himself behind her and pokes her in the back with the handgun, then snarlingly tells her to look to her right. When she does so, she notices that Brady is standing behind Mama Austin, covertly pointing a gun at her back. Bert Parks tells Jaime that as long as she does what she's told, no one will get hurt. Jaime obediently smiles for the audience as Bert Parks breaks into song...and a clueless Miss Florida stares around in complete befuddlement.
Oscar arrives at the hotel, enters the theater, and sees Jaime standing on the stage. She activates her bionic hearing so he can start peppering her with questions, which she answers by either nodding or shaking her head. Bert Parks notices their discreet communication system and forcibly drags Jaime backwards, the gun still pointed at her back. When the curtain goes down, Bert Parks and Brady hustle Jaime and Mama Austin downstairs to the parking garage - but before the women can be shoved into a car, Miss Florida appears and angrily reminds Bert Parks that he had promised her the crown. Jaime uses this distraction to bionically shove Bert Parks and Brady onto the ground, then snaps at Miss Florida to get the hell out of here. Brady jumps into his car and tries to make a break for it, but Jaime lifts up the back end of the car so he's unable to escape. Oscar appears and pulls Brady out of the car...and then a group of OSI agents swarm the area and subdue both men. Oscar barks at Bert Parks to reveal where he hid the computer circuit - but Jaime interjects and picks up her rhinestone-encrusted wand, unscrews the top of it, and pulls out the missing circuit. Oscar's like, "Phew!" and beams with relief.
Jaime finds Miss Florida sitting on the stage of the empty theater, staring despondently into space. She tells Jaime she's deeply ashamed of herself and didn't realize how selfishly she had behaved when she almost sold out herself and her country for the purpose of winning a stupid beauty pageant. Jaime tells her to learn from this mistake, then hands her the ballot that came from the judges' panel - and it reveals that she (Miss Florida) won the pageant fair and square. Jaime hands her the tiara, but Miss Florida shakes her head and moans, "I can't take it. I don't deserve it after what I did" and Jaime grins and chirps, "That's true!" and the two women burst out laughing and agree that beauty pageants are tacky, stupid, and too ridiculously sexist to ever be taken seriously.