The episode begins with the opening bars of "Don't Rain on My Parade," with a beaming Rachel walking inside McKinley and telling Mercedes and Kurt that since they won Sectionals, it's a new page in the book for them - the whole school looks at them differently, and they aren't "losers" anymore...
...oh Rachel. Do you not understand the concept of Tempting Fate
? Apparently not. Cue the Jerk Jocks
and the triple slushie. "Welcome to loser town, population you
," calls a grinning Azimio.
Oh, well. Cut to Principal Figgins' office, in which Will is shocked that Figgins will still cut the club if they don't place at regionals note
, because the glee club is slowly eating up the budget, and considering winter's fast approaching, the Cheerios could use the auditorium for practice. Will's confused - the Cheerios don't even have
a coach anymore, do they? Whoops, turns out they still do - as explained later, Sue slipped Figgins a date rape
drug and took blackmail
photos of him and her together - if she isn't reinstated as the Cheerios' coach, those pictures are going straight to his wife. You have to feel sorry for the poor guy sometimes
Cue a basketball game - McKinley against some unimportant no-name school - and it's Finn in possession of the ball. His inner monologue tells us that, in a way, he's glad football season's over, considering that their school isn't doing so hot, and he's hoping basketball can be a fresh start. Pan to Rachel, cheering in the bleachers with a "Team Finn" shirt on. And then an opposing player steals the ball from him. Finn's VO tells us that he's actually sort of depressed.
Scene change to hallway. Rachel accosts Finn
with calendars with kittens
on them (whose faces have been edited to show her and Finn's). She tells him that the calendars are so that he won't forget their dates anymore, considering he's been standing her up lately. Rachel keeps talking, and Finn's voiceover tells us that while he's flattered and everything, he's not really over Quinn yet (camera pans to show her leaning against a wall, staring sadly at them and having an angry conversation with Puck).
Back to the basketball game, Finn wonders why he can't be like Coach Tanaka, who, it seems, has fallen into quite a bit of a funk since the previous episode (lost his fiancee, gained
forty pounds, and everybody acts like it's normal). He tries to shoot the ball but is foiled by an opposing player note
. Pan again to Rachel, who's telling some poor unfortunate person that Finn's her boyfriend.
In the music room, Will, obviously expecting "Hello," as an answer, asks the kids what they say when they answer the phone note
. Will says that Graham-Bell wanted "Ahoy Ahoy" when he invented the telephone, and it was Edison who suggested "hello." They need to up their game for Regionals, and to do that they need to reintroduce themselves to the world. Hence this week's assignment (and title)
: Sing a song with the word "Hello" in the title.
Will intercepts Emma on her way out the office and says that he totally doesn't care if it's been twenty minutes since she's last practiced dental hygiene, because they've kissed before, anyway. She thinks her germophobia is unattractive. He finds it cute
. Huh. Anyway, Will, following this episode's theme, says that they have to clean things up emotionally and get to know each other better - he suggests a date at his place later in the evening where he can reintroduce himself to her.
Sue tells Brittany and Santana that she's severely
disappointed in both of them - she told them to destroy the club but instead they won Sectionals. She decides that the best way to ruin glee club is to destroy the heart
of the team - that is, Rachel - and since everyone can see that Rachel's hung up on Finn, she instructs Brit and San to go after him.
Will and Finn walk into the auditorium and the former tells Finn that he should find his inner rockstar. And Finn kinda does, with his pretty awesome rendition of The Doors' "Hello" - sings it at Quinn's back, then at the basketball game where he shoots a basket, then back to the hallway with the cheerleaders, then to the music room, where the girls think it's hot and poor Kurt looks like he needs a doctor. Or something. Yeah.
When the song finishes Brittany and Santana link pinkies, walk over to Finn, telling him that he was a good dancer even if his feet weren't even moving (Brit: "That was the best part"). They invite him on a threesome date, which he eagerly accepts. This, however, does not go unnoticed by Quinn - or Rachel. The latter confronts him in the hallway, asking him what that was all about. He tells her some lame excuse (which she obviously does not buy) and she tells him that she knows her craziness and desire to be popular make it hard to be her boyfriend, but she honest with. He the tells her he's not sure
he wants to be her boyfriend at all. Rachel does not take this well, and tells him that it's only because he cares more about his reputation than her, and says she's the only person who can truly understand him.
And apparently it's now time for glee club rehearsal, where San, Brit, and Finn are discussing pizza flavors. Rachel tells Will that she has the perfect
song for this week's assignment, and launches into AAR's "Gives You Hell," directed right at Finn, Rachel's way of taking him to the woodshed. Sooner or later, the whole club (with Santana and Brittany, and without Finn) join her. Will is not amused, because "hell" is obviously not "hello." Rachel tells him she was only focusing on the first syllable. Quite frankly, the look on dear Finnegan's face is priceless. Will says they really have to up their game. Like, seriously.
Cut to some library-music-store place
where Rachel is searching songbooks. She opens a Lionel Richie one right to "Hello," when some guy with great hair interrupts
her and says that Lionel Richie's one of his favorites. She recognizes him as Jesse St. James, star of Vocal Adrenaline (and in about 11 years time, star of her heart
). He recognizes her too, saying he saw her perform at Sectionals and while her rendition of "Don't Rain on my Parade" was okay, she clearly lacked Barbra's emotional depth - but she's talented
. He tells her that he comes to this place a lot, he's a senior, and he's got a full ride to the University of California Los Angeles note
Rachel's clearly smitten, and Jesse invites her to perform "Hello" with him right there. After some convincing (and the fact that this Jesse guy gives impromptu concerts for the homeless) she does, and they perform pretty good. Let's keep this guy around. Afterwards, he's all, "We should do this more often. How's Friday night?"
At Breadsticks, we finally see the infamous threesome date - which, it turns out, isn't doing so hot. After snarking the waitress into getting them more food for free, San and Brit start talking about the hottest guys in school. Brit volunteers Puck, and says that Finn is cute, but he's definitely not hot. Santana agrees with her and says that and Rachel's just dragging his rep through the dust. Pan to Finn, who reminds them that he's right in front of them, and could they please include him in the conversation or something? San says that they're following the procedure: he buys them dinner, they make out in front of him. Sweet. Finn seems to agree. Santana criticizes Rachel's fashion sense, and Finn rebuts her by saying Rachel's kinda cool. Brittany says that's mean. In any case, Santana seems to grow tired of this conversation and tells Finn to wait in the car (but leave his credit card, of course).
Brit: "Did you know dolphins are just gay sharks?" And thus begins six seasons of the wit and wisdom of Brittany Susan Pierce-Lopez.
Will's house, and he's dancing (and later, singing) with Emma to Neil Diamond's "Hello Again." Will says the song's perfect for the two of them, since it's about a guy who decided to get romantic with a friend. Then Emma kisses him. They start making out, but Emma freaks out, saying it's happening too fast, and confesses to Will that she's a virgin. She's embarrassed about it, but Will says it's fine, and suggests they just watch a movie.
It turns out Rachel's already constructed a shrine to Jesse in her locker, and she's staring at it when Finn walks up to her. He says he wants to be her boyfriend again after his threeway date with Brit and San didn't go so well. Huh. Unfortunately, it seems he's a tad too late, as Rachel tells him she's already moved on to Jesse St. James, and while she's aware that their starcrossed lovers thing schtick puts pressure on their relationship, their respect for each other's talent will make up for it. Finn's suspicions are justified, but Rachel won't have it.
Of course, the next scene is Finn stalking to the music room to rat her out to Will. Darn!
Sue makes Brittany and Santana do punishment crunches, as their date with Finn went horribly. They say he didn't fall for any of their tricks (which include, apparently, not wearing a bra and turning up the AC). She is very
disappointed and calls them the stupidest teens she's ever taught, which is saying something, because she apparently once taught a young Sarah Palin cheerleading. Burn
. However, Brit does tell her that they've learned that Rachel's fallen hard for Jesse, which makes Sue happy, at least. You can practically see the gears turning in her scheming blonde head.
Vocal Adrenaline's auditorium, where they perform "Highway to Hell" with Jesse on lead. Just as all the pyrotechnics go off, Will walks in and sees their coach Shelby Corcoran
tell VA that that was just horrible
. She makes Jesse show them a "showface" - which is essentially this nausea-causing big grin. Shelby says it has to be so optimistic it can cure cancer
. Hoo boy. She tells them to take five, and Will introduces himself. He says that he's worried that Jesse is dating Rachel. Shelby asks if Will thinks they're spying on them, which is apparently not the case. Darn. But anyway she tells him Jesse's a good kid, and that she doesn't tolerate funny business. "Sometimes there's just that little spark," she says of her future son-in-law.
And then we cut to them making out on his sofa. Well, "that little spark" indeed. In any case Will soon comes to his senses and tells her to stop. Shelby apologizes for being "all business" and asks him if he's gay
, because she's made out
with lots of gay show choir directors. Shelby says she's been so focused on Vocal Adrenaline she hasn't had a date in three years. Will sympathizes with the whole workaholic schtick, because it played a huge part in ending his marriage. Well, that and the whole fake baby drama thing. But anyway, Shelby gets it out of him that he's dating someone, and she's like, "Whoa, whoa, whoa, you're dating someone and yet you're making out with me?" Atta girl. She says he needs time to reintroduce himself to himself. Shelby picks up her purse, tells Will that he's the cutest thing she's ever seen, and gives him her number in case he ever fixes himself up.
Rachel walks into the music room to find Kurt, Tina, Mercedes, and Artie waiting for her. They say they've heard of her new man and that they're suspicious that he's just there to spy on them. Kurt says that "murder or be murdered" is essentially VA's motto. Mercedes: "We're not saying he's playing you - " Kurt: "He's playing you." Bam. Anyway, they just want her to stay away from him until Regionals - you know, just in case - because if she doesn't, they'll all quit, meaning they can't compete at Regionals.
Having been summoned to Sue's office, Rachel sees a circle of Hollywood Homely
young women, which is apparently Sue's "Old Maids Club" - as she's heard that Rach and Finn's relationship isn't doing so hot either and she's heard that Rachel has a serious suitor in the form of JstJ. However, her fellow gleeclubbers feel very betrayed. Rachel wisely asks how Sue knows that. Flashback to Santana and Brittany, having told everyone in Glee about Jesse, trailing behind Sue. Sue says they'll now move on to Step 2 of her evil plan, which includes rounding up a bunch of TV-unattractive girls.
Anyway, the Old Maids Club is doing a great job of freaking Rachel out. Sue says that she would
encourage Rachel to go for it with Jesse, but seeing what happened to these girls, oh dear. She invites Rachel to join the club.
Cut to Emma, who's meticulously setting a table for dinner with Will. Terri comes in and they bicker a bit before Terri tells her, more or less, that she's never going to have a chance with Will. Emma wisely inquires what Terri is doing here, and it turns out that she's just there to pick up some stuff. Terri picks up a copy of The Jazz Singer
and learns that Will called "Hello Again" his and Emma's song. Oops, turns out that was Will and Terri's prom song. She leaves, but screws up Emma's perfectly aligned teaspoon first.
Rachel walks onto Vocal Adrenaline's stage and calls for Jesse. The spotlight above her turns on, and she says she has a rape whistle. Relax, kid, it's just him. Coming out of the shadows, Jesse tells her that they have to wear sunscreen for that spotlight. Rachel ignores this and asks him to tell her the truth. Because apparently she'll die - not literally, but emotionally - if he doesn't, and will carry that pain for the rest of her life. Like Barbra in The Way We Were
. Jesse laughs and brings her closer to him, saying that she's even more of a drama queen than he is. Jesse stands back and holds out his hand, saying that she's met Jesse St. James, star of VA and all that, but he wants her to meet just Jesse, "the guy who's nuts about her and would never hurt her." They kiss, and in the back Jesse shares a Mysterious Look Fraught With Meaning with Shelby.
Back in Emma's office, Will wonders why there was that nicely set dinner but no Emma when he got home. Emma explains, and he apologizes and said he didn't even remember that "Hello Again" was the prom song. Emma says that may be true, but his unconscious was still holding on to things. She says they were naive, and that they should spend some time apart first. And then she kicks him out.
At Finn's locker, Rachel tells him she broke up with Jesse and that she's trusting him to spread the happy news to the rest of New Directions. Finn's happy and everything, and tells her that he's circled dates on her date calendar already, but she turns him down for the team. At rehearsal, the squad does "Hello Goodbye" by the Beatles, and Finn keeps sending Rachel Looks, which make her more and more uncomfortable and upset. And who can blame her? At the end of the number she runs off the stage.
Songs from this Episode:
- "Hello, I Love You," originally by The Doors. Sung by Finn.
- "Gives You Hell," originally by The All-American Rejects. Sung by Rachel and New Directions (sans Finn).
- "Hello," originally by Lionel Richie. Sung by Jesse and Rachel.
- "Hello Again," originally by Neil Diamond. Sung by Will.
- "Highway To Hell," originally by AC/DC. Sung by Jesse and Vocal Adrenaline.
- "Hello Goodbye," originally by The Beatles. Sung by Rachel, Finn, and New Directions.
Tropes present in this episode:
- Duet Bonding: How Jesse wins over Rachel.
- Foreshadowing: Rachel says of Jesse, "maybe he's not the one, but what if he is?" As the finale proved, he was.
- Girl-on-Girl Is Hot: The reason Finn agrees to go out with Santana and Brittany.
- Hilarious in Hindsight: This is the first time we see Santana and Brittany make any mention of making out with each other. As the rest of the series proved, they went from making out to making it down the aisle.
- Invisible Backup Band: Subverted. "Hello" begins with Jesse on the piano. Soon enough, the camera pans over to a bunch of students who've taken out their instruments.
- Romantic False Lead: Jesse seems a little too well-set-up to be this, ironically, that's who Rachel winds up with in the end. Shelby, for the Will/Emma pairing.
- Traumatic Haircut: Sue gives one to a poor guy who was wearing his hair in a ponytail. Satisfied, she tells him that he will no longer confuse her with his "she-male" looks.
- Woman Scorned: Rachel to Finn, hence the "Gives You Hell" number. Essentially Rachel stating as only she can, "Finn, you dun goofed".