Okay gleeks, this one's gonna be rough, as you can tell by the picture. However, this is also the debut of arguably Glee's breakout star, so it all balances out. I think. We begin in the locker room, where Finn is relaxing in a hot tub. Next to him, Sam settles into a bath full of ice. Finn asks him how the hell he can stand the cold, and Sam says he's used to it. We see why as we cut to him and Quinn making out, hands begin to wander only for Quinn to catch them; unlike with Finn which was cockblocking to keep him in line, this is clearly Quinn not wanting Beth to have a big lipped half-sibling. Cut back to Finn lamenting about them dating the only girls in school who won't put out. Could be worse, they could be dating each other... wait. Anyway, Sam asks for ideas to deflate, and Finn suggests something non-sexy. Not mailmen though, that's his as we cut to Finchel making out for an example. Cut back and Sam says that he's never actually almost killed a civil servant before. Finn suggests finding his own buzzkill and on cue Enter the Beiste. Finn and Sam think she's perfect as we hit the Title Card. Cut to Kurt and Tina walking along talking about sweater when Kurt feels the fury of Karofsky, who presses Kurt into a locker without looking back. This of course will serve a purpose later. Cut to the choir room, where after a two episode absence, Puck returns from juvie having supposedly learned nothing. Will then announces new challengers for Sectionals: a senior citizens' choir called the Hipsters, and the Warblers, a choir from an all-boys school called Dalton Academy in Westerville. Will also reveals the second Boys vs Girls tournament. Kurt of course wants to join the girls, but Will of course makes him join the guys, which he really isn't pleased about. That will of course be the least of his worries today. Cut to Puck at Artie's locker. Turns out that to get out of juvie early, Puck sold his probation officer a story that he knew a cripple who needed help, so he wouldn't have to pick up trash from the roadside. Artie isn't too pleased. Cut to Karofsky throwing Kurt into the lockers again. As you noticed, up until this point, it's all been slushies and taunts, never getting physical until now. They have a screaming match in which Karofsky tries entirely too hard to be butch and Kurt throws insults at him, things intensifying more than usual, ending with another shove, this one right in front in front of Will. Cut to his office where he asks Kurt if he needs help. Kurt tells Will that he needs to do it alone, Will pointing out his mood swings. No shit Hairgel. Kurt correctly says everyone lets homophobia run rampant, and that he's not challenged anymore. A seed is planted as we cut to Will changing plans by having the genders sing songs made famous by the opposite. Cut to Kurt pulling a Rachel, though in this context it's clearly an attempt to assert control, attempting to get the ND boys into singing Dianna Ross with him on lead. The boys of course shoot him down, Puck suggesting that if he wants to be useful, he should go spy on the Warblers. Kurt walks out. Cut back to Sam and Quinn are making out. Sam starts to get hot, so he summons up the image of Beiste in a black negligee at a butcher's block. It works, too well in fact as when Quinn tells him to say her name, Sam says Beiste instead. Whoops. Quinn tattles to the Tracksuit Tyrant, thinking that Sam wants Beiste and reminding us all of her attempts to forget that she's not the same person she was. Sue, who still wants Beiste gone for the budget, tells her to go public, confront Sam, and they'll try turning Beiste into Mary Kay Letourneau. Cut to Puck and Artie outside, busking during lunchtime and coming away with enough to take Brittana out on a double date. And now we come to yet another hallmark moment, marking the debut of a man who arguably became Glee's biggest success story. See, around this time, there was a man who had gotten some buzz for his YouTube videos of him performing in front of the camera as well as his role in the musical parody A Very Potter Musical. The Glee producers caught wind of him during the first season when he auditioned for Finn. When Season 2 rolled around, they created a role for him and the rest is history... We cut to a elaborate dome as we pan down to see a spiral staircase with loads of suit clad men milling around. This is Dalton Academy, and in the midst of this sea of humanity we find Kurt attempting to blend in wearing similar clothing. He stops one of the men and asks him what's going on, claiming he's new. The man, one Blaine Devon Anderson (Darren Criss), says sometimes the Warbles perform in the senior common room, and everyone goes to watch when they do. Kurt, stunned by both this man and the concept of a school where the Glee club isn't alienated, is grabbed by Blaine and towed along to the common room in a slo-mo scene that Chris Colfer would dismiss as too corny even for Glee. When they get there, they find that the place is being adjusted so the Warblers have more room to sing. Kurt sighs that he sticks out like a sore thumb, and given that everyone in Dalton is wearing a uniform while Kurt's wearing clothes that are a fairly good imitation but don't actually pass, no shit. Blaine, likely figuring what's up, tells him not to forget his jacket next time. The Warblers start to perform and Blaine propels himself into their midst, revealing himself to be their lead singer. They perform some Katy Perry, and Kurt is overwhelmed at the sight of his future Mr. Back at McKinley, Mike tells Tina about Sam's buzzkill strategy. Tina thinks it's hilarious and drags Mike into a science room to make out. Everything goes well until, surprise surprise, Tina whispers 'Beiste' and Mike hears her. He, naturally, is not amused. Tina tries to deny, but she not fools anyone. Cut to Quinn publicly confronting Sam, and everything turns into one huge mess as Mike, Beiste and Schue get involved. After the break, we see Schue drag Mike and Sam into his office and berates them for insulting Beiste so cruelly- after all, she's an outsider who people see as different. He points out how upset Beiste would be if she knew, and tells them that being so cruel to an outsider is what the Glee club is trying to prevent. He tells them that they need to tell everyone else in the club to stop it, and that Beiste can never find out. We of course know otherwise. Cut to Dalton, Blaine and two other Warblers, David and Wes, have confronted Kurt over his spying, since he showed up again the day after he first went there. Kurt expects a beatdown, but they thought his ineptitude was endearing. Kurt asks if they're all gay. Blaine says that he is, but David and Wes both have girlfriends and you can see Kurt's eyes light up. David and Wes explain that while Dalton isn't a gay school, what they have is a zero-tolerance harassment policy. Poor Kurt is almost crying at this point, so Blaine, starting to see a picture, asks David and Wes to give them some privacy. Kurt tells Blaine about Karofsky and how horrible his life has become, and that nobody seems to give a damn. Blaine admits that he went through the exact same thing, so he went to Dalton. He tells Kurt that he has two options: transfer to Dalton, which may not be feasible as it's an expensive school, or refuse to be the victim and confront Karofsky. Cut to the choir room and the ND women trying to plan. Santana notices Rachel isn't babbling and we cut to her saying the idea is opposites so she's trying to clam up. Cut to Puck and Artie arriving, the two of them trying to use reverse psychology on Brittana by getting them to offer dinner, the boys refusing, only to tell them to show up if no "hotter" chicks do. Weird, as is Artie calling Puck a genius. Cut to Will in the lounge. Beiste to ask Will why his kids are mouthing off to her, and saying that if the students don't respect her, she can't do her job. Will admits that his students are using her as an anti-fantasy, this of course making Beiste upset and she leaves. After the break, we cut to Breadstix where Puck is regaling his company with an exaggerated tale involving a fight over waffles. This makes Santana overdo her denials yet again, having to act twice as turned on to compensate for even the slightest chance Brittany looks at her with any sort of affection. Fortunately, she need not worry, as we cut to Brittany's hand on Artie's leg, a futile act if there ever was one. Artie claims the waitress is into her. Puck reveals he plans to dine and dash, this causing a crisis of conscience within Artie as he stays and pays. Puck of course is displeased and refuses to help Artie further. Time for the competition and the ND girls go for the Fanservice by breaking out the leather for a Stone/Bon Jovi mashup, Non-Kurt ND boys drooling while Kurt gets a text from Blaine saying 'Courage'. Afterwards, Becky arrives with a summons for Will from Sue telling him to go to the auditorium. Cut to Sue revealing confetti cannons, since there's only one way she could've gotten those, she gleefully reveals that Beiste is gone and the budgets are restored. Will is, in a rare occurrence, straight up pissed. And now comes the Nightmare Fuel. In the hallway, Kurt is rereading his text from Blaine when Karofsky knocks the phone out of his hand and shoves him into the lockers. Kurt, now fueled by Blaine's text, has had enough and chases after him into the locker room, where they throw insults at each other until Karofsky... okay, when he debuted, he had spoiler tags put on him. This is why. See, as mentioned previously, Karofsky is an Armored Closet Gay. Thing is, when you're used to handing out slushies and insults, you don't think to realize that maybe part of your behavior is due to repression. You express yourself in the only way you know how. But eventually, something happens and the repression lifts, even if it's only temporarily. In this case, Karofsky's targeting is his realization he's starting to lose control, and to attack Kurt is to attack the part of himself he hates. Unfortunately, even that part can be stronger than you think, and it causes something unexpected... like him shoving his tongue down Kurt's throat. He pulls back, and Kurt is standing there utterly traumatized at both Karofsky kissing him and the fact that his first kiss counts as a form of sexual assault. He releases Kurt and tries for another kiss, but Kurt shoves him away and Karofsky, quickly realizing he essentially outed himself regardless of the inevitable denials, punches the locker in frustration and storms out. Kurt remains frozen with an expression of absolute horror, the audience staring at the screen with identical expressions. Cut back to the choir room where Will informs ND Beiste has quit. Rachel is understandably confused, so Finn admits that the boys and Tina were using her as an anti-fantasy. Figgins storms in and drags Will and Puck to his office, where Puck's probation officer is waiting. The probation officer is angry that Puck lied to her, and hanging out with Artie doesn't count as community service. Unless Puck actually starts serving the community, he's going back to juvie. Puck, in a surprise move, though one sort of expected given his embellishments earlier, has a crawling freakout and hauls ass. Cut to one of McKinley's external stairwells, where Kurt asks Blaine to help with Karofsky. They confront, wanting him to understand that he's not alone so he doesn't need to push around gay kids and pretend that he's straight. Karofsky responds with the expected denials, shoves Blaine into the barrier and runs off. Kurt sits down, and when Blaine asks what's wrong, Kurt reveals the kiss. In the locker room, Beiste is packing up when Will arrives. After the standard platitudes about how the kids care about her and what now, he gets to the point: High school can fuck people up worse than any person, and it's worst for the people who come back to teach. Beiste says she's straight, and that underneath the exterior she has the same emotions as everyone else; she can't even do online dating because she's a "specific type", and she's Title Drop. Will responds with a chaste kiss, Beiste responds with a hug. We start the home stretch with Puck at his locker, Artie arriving to hear Puck say it's six weeks of trash pick up or back to juvie. And if the crawling freakout hadn't tipped you off, Puck is terrified of going back, saying he got shoved around and actually felt fear. Artie responds with terms: pick up trash, and he'll tutor Puck in Geometry. Pan over to Kurt at his locker, where he's set up a Stalker Shrine to Blaine, complete with a huge photo and the word 'Courage'. Seems our Mr. Hummel's fallen hard. Unfortunately, the figurative becomes the literal, as Karofsky shoves him into the locker and Kurt falls to the floor, staring at the wall sadly, clearly thinking something's gonna give. Cut to the choir room, as the ND men stand in tuxes, offering both a verbal apology and a musical apology in the form of Dianna Ross by way of En Vogue. Beiste remains stone faced until the end, where she expresses thanks and both she and the ND men embrace to close us out. Next time: An Oscar winner and fever dreams. Groovy.
- "One Love/People Get Ready" by Bob Marley, performed by Puck and Artie
- "Teenage Dream" by Katy Perry, performed by the Warblers
- "Start Me Up/Livin' On A Prayer" by The Rolling Stones and Bon Jovi, performed by the Glee girls
- "Stop! In the Name of Love/Free Your Mind" by The Supremes and En Vogue, performed by the Glee boys
Tropes appearing in the episode
- Breakaway Pop Hit: The Glee version of "Teenage Dream" outpaced the original on the Billboard Hot 100 (8 to the original's 20).
- Early-Bird Cameo : Lauren Zizes checks out Puck during "One Love." A few episodes later, they'll be dating.
- Retroactive Recognition: One of the Warblers is Steven Skyler, who a year later would go on to be Antonio the Gold Ranger on Power Rangers Samurai.
- Title Drop : When Beiste confesses to Will. Also the theme of the B story with Kurt being bullied.