It’s Sectionals! Kurt is singing with the competition, New Directions is down a performer, and Will is in serious danger of becoming unfulfilled. Again. A drink should make it all better, gang, let’s try The Valerie. (And get ready for Santana to tear the roof off the sucker with that song.)
Will tells Emma that she’s their good luck charm, and as Sectionals are coming up and Will has a +1, he’d love her to accompany him? She says she’d love to go, and guesses that he’s going to have Finn and Rachel start with a ballad, Mercedes will power out the last bit, move into some background singing by the rest on some classic rock, and voila! Every performance they’ve ever done. Does she win a prize?
Will has to take a hard look at himself and his predictability. This is a man that decided to have high schoolers perform a musical about sexual awakening and cannibalism on a whim to make a guidance counselor like him, after all. Emma cuts into his thoughts to remind him that there are a lot of stars in his sky, and they all shine as bright, maybe look beyond Finn and Rachel? He actually listens, to his credit.
Will tells the team that even though it’s something like the day before Sectionals, he’s going to totally change their not-set-in-stone set list and feature Mike and Brittany as dancers and give the leads to Ken and Barbie. Err, to Sam and Quinn. [DRINK!] Rachel is not okay with this, she is a STAR, she thanks you, and let’s face it, her voice is superior to Quinn Fabray’s, but Will is not to be messed with. She can just pedal that Huffy right on out of there, because he’s made up his mind.
Santana gets more than a little bitchy with Rachel for her piss poor attitude. Rachel wheels on her and hisses, “You’ve been up my butt since the wedding!” What’s that all about? Oh, well, Yentl, that’s because Santana and Finn boned last year. Wait, what? [DRINK!] Oh, yeah, a little of the ol’ in and out, a bit of the slap and tickle, a touch of the How’s your Father, Mr. Finn took his skin boat to lady town, he dipped his wick, pet the kitty, and got in her pants. Except Santana wasn’t wearing any. Suck on that, Miss Priss.
Over at gay Hogwarts, Kurt slips on the Navy-n-Crimson and prepares for his first day at Dalton Academy where strange boys high five you as you walk in slow motion down marble hallways, and the floral arrangements are always tasteful and fresh. At his first Warblers meeting (they don’t have practice, they have meetings like dignified, square-jawed captains of industry) he receives a canary in a gilt cage as his initiation. (They’re more Boats and Harbor than Skull and Bones at Dalton.) Kurt immediately makes dark jokes about taking it into a coal mine, but these are fellows named “Chip” and “Thurston,” they don’t understand dark humor about blue collar work.
The meeting veers toward discussing their upcoming performance. Kurt tries to butt in with his standard, “If I may?” And no, he may not. [DRINK.] They do thank him for his enthusiasm, however. It’s… charming? Besides, the council has decided that the Warblers will sing “Southern Cross” in eight part harmony, moving into a rousing “Macarena.” Maybe Kurt can help work on costumes: should they use navy ties with crimson stripes, or crimson ties with navy stripes?
Rachel and Finn misunderstand what “guidance counselor” means and try to have a couples therapy session with Emma over the whole “you slept with the enemy and lied to my face about it” thing. Sure, he had sex with her, but they were on a break! Rachel just wants to know if he thinks Santana is prettier than her, to which he says, well, not prettier, but hotter. Rachel storms out and prepares to work on a medley of tunes to properly express her wretchedness.
Brittany, trapped in a classroom by her own fear, is discovered by Artie. Sure, she’s the most talented of all the Gleeks, Britney Spears taught her that [DRINK], but the pressure to succeed is squarely on her shoulders, wait, no, that’s just the hoodie on her Cheerios uniform. Still, she’s kinda freaking out. He tries to make her feel better, because he thinks she’ll be great. “I know that, just like I know that the cricket that reads to me at night is totally stealing my jewelry.” [DRINK]
Hmm. Artie has a magic comb that sends rainbows of unicorn glitter through your soul when you use it, insuring that you can’t fail. (Unicorn glitter is to success, as dragon farts are to stubbing your toe.) Maybe she could borrow it, if she promises to not lose it? Brittany thinks that Artie is pretty much the greatest boyfriend a girl could ever have.
Will asks Puck to use his massive….skills to find a 12th member for the Glee competition. Without a replacement for Kurt, they’ll be disqualified. No one is as popular or as persuasive as Puck. He’s touched and will not let Mr. Schuester down. He’ll be the am-Bad Ass-ador to the club.
Blaine tells Kurt that the Warblers are extending an audition to him, an audition for one of the Sectionals solos that Blaine typically gets. He’s sorry that Kurt is struggling, but he knows that Kurt will fit in, it just takes time. He stands there all Jake Ryan in his dark handsomeness, and if they ever have Blaine lean against a red Porsche, I might explode, just a head’s up, gang. (Or a plaid shirt and work boots? I just bit my fist.) Hang on, I have to listen to this about fifty-leven times.
Puck addresses the football team in the locker room, shutting Karofsky up before Dave can even smart off. Puck’s pissed that Dave is the cause of Kurt leaving. Azimio just wants to know if Puck’s going to light his farts on fire, because he’s a “major fan.” No, Puck wants to tell them all about Bruce Springsteen, the hardest working man in Jersey Rock, and how he’s a manly man, not gay, and he sings and stuff. So who wants to join up for Glee? They haul him off to be dumped in a porta-john for 24 hours.
Rachel comes in to practice the next day with duct tape on her mouth because she’s a petulant little shit that needs to get put in her place. Oh, wait, Mr. Schuester does just that! He tells her she has a terrible attitude, and she needs to be a team player. The kids are all worried about their chances and feel pessimistic. Brittany suggests that when the other teams perform that they “throw possums.” [DRINK!] Will shouts them down. THEY WILL BE GOOD SPORTS, COME ON!
Puck arrives looking beat down, spiritually. He has Lauren Zises in tow behind him. Well, Mr. Schuester, you wanted a warm body, here you go. She saved him from the porta-john. Her conditions for joining Glee were to be given a carton of Cadbury eggs (out of season) and seven minutes “in heaven” with the Puckerman. That’s about what I’d ask for, too. Turns out? She sorta rocked his world. Huh.
Santana continues to have a blast rubbing her hook up in Rachel’s face, flirting and smiling at Finn then whispering to Rachel, “Did I tell you that he bought me dinner after?” Oooh, after? That’s big. Especially if he let her order into the drive through herself and super size it. Puck sees this and surprisingly offers Rachel support. [DRINK] She just worries he’s there to rob her.
“I promised God [while trapped in the porta-potty] I’d be nicer to people. Well, Jews.” Since he’s usually the cause of problems with boyfriends, he kinda has this figured out. She takes his pumped up, strong, freaking hot arm as he walks her down the hall.
Tina is not having a good day, either. She stomps over to Artie, dressed like a zombie steampunk cheerleader. She thinks Brittany and Mike are having an affair. Pfft. Um, hasn’t Artie noticed her ignoring him? “Not really, it’s Shark Week.” (I love you, Kevin McHale. You have fabulous comic timing and delivery.) Well, Tina kissed Mike and she tasted like Lipsmackers. Know who uses Lipsmackers? Brittany. (But… she likes to share it. Lipsmackers are like candy for your lips!) Just keep your eyes peeled, Artie.
Kurt finds Rachel and asks for her help with finding the perfect audition song. Clearly they both need a song that expresses their inner turmoil at being better than everyone and their desperation for needing it publicly stated. Um, Kurt just wants to impress the Warblers, Rachel, but she hits “play” on iTunes and performs to the imaginary crowd the obvious choice: Evita’s “Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina.” This is intercut with Kurt auditioning the same piece for the Warblers.
Rachel cries, of course. [DRINK] Blaine smiles, completely transfixed by Kurt’s performance. Guys, I just have to for a minute: Blaine Anderson is freaking dreamy. Bedroom eyes, courteous manner, kind heart. Dear Santa Claus: give me a Blaine-clone, thanks. Sorry, back to the episode. There are moments where Blaine tries to sneak direction to Kurt, such as when Kurt very stiffly raises his hand as the note carries on. Blaine shakes his head softly and lowers his own hand. I laugh every time.
When Kurt finishes (and he’s of course in gorgeous voice, as was Rachel, although it took a few bars for Kurt’s voice to not sound tight) Blaine has a little bit of a disappointed sigh. Ouch. He later tells Kurt, who didn’t make the cut, that he’ll fit in soon enough, he promises. He just needs to learn how to be a team player, he doesn’t need to stand out all the time.
Artie asks Brittany to go out with him, but she gets nervous and hurries off. Uh oh. The New Directions seem to be falling apart. They’re all getting on the bus, bickering or giving the cold shoulder to one another. Emma comes by the bus and Will tells her that he’s worried about all of the in fighting. Emma tells him that she and Carl have been talking about things, and they’ve decided that she needs to quit spending “alone time” with Will. Also, she and Carl both said that they love each other. So….she’s not going. But good luck?
At the box office, Rachel panics over not having special candies to keep Lauren Zises from going ballistic in the green room when she bumps into Kurt. She’s shocked to find out he didn’t get the solo, thinking that means the Warblers are really good. It seems these two no longer are competing against each other now that they’re competing against each other. It makes sense in tv land. [DRINK] She tells him about Finn and Santana, and he’s slightly baffled, because duh, he’s known for a while. No time to explore that as the Hipsters are taking the stage.
A bunch of geriatrics with canes and walkers (don’t forget: they’re old) opens the competition with Mike + The Mechanics’ cheesy song, “In The Living Years” – eerily coming off like the New Directions in about sixty years. They even have an elderly Mercedes bringing it all together with the big finish on the song. Eh. That was a cheesy song when it came out, and it’s not “poignant” by having old fogies sing it, but then, I’m dead inside, you might feel differently.
Next up: The Warblers. Blaine is the star, the guys bring in the 8 part back up, and they perform Train’s “Hey, Soul Sister” and knock it out of the park, no small feat seeing as that wasn’t a fabulous song in the original form. But by the Warblers? Fantastic. Um, and Blaine totally directs a line at Kurt, “You blow my mind.” Raise your hand if you’re thinking they need to have more hand holding and slow-mo runs in the halls to a cleared out and dark classroom?
Rachel catches Kurt’s eye at one point and points to her smile, trying to get him to PERFORM. Ha, cute. He’s nervous. Their performance warrants a standing ovation from the crowd. Top that, New Directions!
Backstage, the Gleeks are going bananas and falling apart. Artie corners Brittany. “Nowhere to run. From me, or your lies.” How did he find out? She feels stupid and terrible. [DRINK!] But this is eclipsed by Rachel asking if everyone knew about Santana and Finn. Yep, pretty much. Ross screams at Rachel “We were on a break!” They’re all squabbling and half of them refuse to go on stage with the other half.
Lauren says, “Best. Green room. Ever.”
Will is simply ashamed of them all. Last year they didn’t have a set list, didn’t have a prayer. They just had a pocket full of dreams, some Journey songs, and a little back bone. They have to do this together.
They all get in their places, and Artie asks Brittany, “Just tell me why you’d cheat on me?”
“I don’t know, why would I cheat on you? Is this a Mad-Lib?” [DRINK]
Turns out that Brittany didn’t know what adultery meant, she thought it meant stupid, you know, a dolt. [DRINK] She’s been avoiding him because she lost his magic comb, somewhere between Cheerios and Motorcross practice. Oh, but that was just a comb Artie found on the floor! “And you let me comb my hair with it?” [Ahaha! DRINK.] She doesn’t need a magic comb because every little thing she does is magic, everything she does just turns him on, and even though his life before was tragic, now he knows his love for her goes on as she dances just for him. (That’s my John Ralphio moment, and if you get that reference, you’re really my favorite.)
Lauren knocks out a bunch of push ups to kill time, not because she’s nervous. Show choir is stupid. Sam and Quinn wait for their cues, and Sam Evans with his adorable face of cuteness is bursting at the seams looking at his beautiful girlfriend. They’re all nervous cute energy and start singing “I’ve Had The Time of My Life.” And no one puts Baby in the corner, they sound great together. Quinn’s voice is a little too soft for a show choir, but paired up in a duet it sounds lovely. Not outstanding, but nice.
Also, I want to point out that the girls’ dresses are super cute and flattering. They move into the second number, and grab a fan, because things are about to get h-o-t HOT. Miss Santana gets primped in a little hat with lace and a butt pat from Brittany (ahaha) and busts out “Valerie,” the Mark Ronson/Amy Winehouse version of the Zutons song. [DRINK.]
Guys, come on. COME ON. This is too much, from the amazing singing to the bad ass dancing that Mike and Brittany do. Heather Morris, I want to watch you dance all the time. There’s a moment when her hair is in her face, and she whips it out so fast, you barely notice she’s done it. Let’s start the petition to get a Brittany/Santana performance in Season Three. The crowd is going crazy, and even Will seems blown away by their talent. (Uh, you’re their coach, bro.)
It’s time for the vote, and the Emcee comes out, delivers a PSA for organ donation (o…kay?) and then we learn that the Hipsters win third place. The big winner is… it’s a tie! The Warblers and New Directions are moving on to Regionals! [DRINK] While I’m glad to have more Warbler fun times, this is a little anti-climatic, right? Finn and Rachel hug before they remember they’re not supposed to be nice to each other. Otherwise, it’s cookies and sunshine all around.
When Will gets back to school on Monday, he goes to tell Emma about their win but she just wants to tell him that she and Carl had an amazing weekend. She tried something called a Reverse Cowgirl, and the lack of visual really helped her get over her “messy messy messy!” squick. Oh, and they went to Vegas and got married. Um. He tells her he’s happy for her, and to leave it at that. He leaves.
Rachel seems to have grown up a bit over the weekend, and it seems like she and Finn are on the mend. Finn asks her if they’re a part of something special, she says yes. He wants them to be honest from this point on. She steels herself and says that she agrees, which is why she wants to tell him that she and Puck made out, but he stopped it because he couldn’t do that to Finn again. [DRINK]
“I knew you were a lot of things, but I never thought you were mean. What you did is really bad, Rachel! And you knew how sensitive I’d be.” She reminds him of when he said he’d never break up with her, but that’s before he knew what a jerkface butt cheese she was. Also? What he did with Santana was when she was dating another dude, he never cheated on her.
Rachel cries. [DRINK]
Back at Dalton, Kurt freaks out about his canary, Pavarotti. He’s listless, his feathers have lost their shine and bounce, and Kurt never meant to kill the damn bird, Blaaaaaaaaine! Blaine checks on the bird, assured Kurt that Pavarotti is just molting, he’ll bounce back good as new in no time. He gives Kurt’s knee a pat and a squeeze and heads out, and Kurt files away the feeling in his core where his stomach dropped forever and his face heated up and he flashed on full, red lips moving in closer and we have our first official Klaine sighting.
Tina apologizes to Mike for ever doubting him, and he asks for an Asian Kiss. After a tense stand off, she drives a tank over his face. [LOOK. I AM NOT THE ONE WRITING THE SHOW, OKAY? WTF is an Asian kiss? She slaps him upside the mouth with some rice congee?] They walk into class, and Will asks Rachel to give a solo, but she defers it to Mercedes and Tina, in a complete shock to everyone. [DRINK]
You don’t have to ask them twice! They knock out a fantastic version of Florence and the Machine’s “The Dog Days Are Over,” and Tina sounds fantastic in this style of song, they both sound great together. [DRINK] There’s a montage of the performance, Emma hugging Carl and looking happy, Rachel clearing out all Finn paraphernalia from her locker, and Kurt at Dalton, smiling at a healthy Pavarotti and dreaming of a boy with dark hair and a kind heart.
Next episode: the Christmas episode, featuring some of the best and worst musical performances in Glee history!