Choir Room. Will enters and reveals that in the midst of Finnegan's tongue costing New Directions Nationals last year, it turns out Vocal Adrenaline made second. Thus, Dustin Goolsby got sacked meaning VA has no director and are weaker, also meaning it's the perfect time for Will to decide to make the New Directions better in order to beat them. No, we don't know either, and about here is when we realize that the show doesn't, too. As a side effect, Will won't be able to direct West Side Story, but does institute a mandatory Booty Camp, to be run by Mike, and the worst dancers have to attend. After a brief ego burst by Mercedes; as mentioned last time, she has a new boyfriend who is encouraging but misguided, as well as more ego from Rachel, natch, it's revealed that the school musical is being assisted by Emma and Beiste. Beiste, clearly learning nothing from last year, has somehow convinced the Titans to play the Jets. We then find out that, to what should really be no ones shock, a lot of the McKinley staff are on Sue's side in her anti-arts campaign. Will then reveals a student director and of course it's not Rachel, but Artie. From there, we cut to Will in the lounge making coffee when we see a lovely set of legs approach, panning up to reveal... Shelby? As much as we love seeing Idina Menzel more than half of these guys by now, what's she doing here? And considering we haven't seen her since adopting Beth, does she know Quinn's snapped? And can she wait for Quinn to stop being a punk before meeting her? Or maybe meet the punk and see that the girl has some serious issues that she can probably help with? This is where the vendetta Murphy had for Dianna begin to take root, as at first we think that Quinn's getting something of a decent story this season, being made into a punk and Shelby returning being related to that. We of course will be very disappointed when not that, nor anything good for Quinn, becomes of this possibility.
Anyway, she's here for a certain future Lopez-Pierce. It seems Sugar found a bankroll in the time machine and, figuring that if Will won't let her join ND, that she might as well start her own glee club, tapped into the ego clearly passed down from Santana and convinced Mr. Motta, whom she somehow roped into playing her "dad", to hire her; we get a cut to Figgins' office to confirm it, Mr. Motta even sending a "headhunter" to New York to collect her. Shelby went to talk to Will because she thinks that her returning to Lima after she promised to fuck off to New York might upset Rachel. No mention of Quinn, except by us screaming at the TV, though Shelby does say she wants to try and make amends. After the standard "may the best glee club win", we cut to the girl's room to see Punk Lucille with the pinker hair, because it was probably re-died for every 10 minutes of airtime, waiting for Rachel strike that sadly, watching the Skanks steal lunch money and give kids swirlies, and thus invoking every overused and discredited school bully trope ever. Really, Glee, really? Enter the Tracksuit, who disperses the Skanks and, after discarding the smoke Q was gonna light, laments how far she's fallen, only to then reveal the true motive, taking advantage of a fragile emotional state to benefit her campaign. She wants Lucy to make a video campaigning against the arts by showing what glee club does to kids. Quinn, clearly too broken to care about anything save one person, agrees. Sue then leaves, but not before taking the money Q pulled out of her pocket for smokes, making her petty but not evil. Well, not as overtly evil as some...
Cut to Brittany's room, where she's showing Kurt suggestions for campaign posters... lots and lots of pink - including, but not limited to, a bribe I mean swagbag called "Kurt Hummel's bulging pink fun sack." Oh, yeah. Plus rainbows and unicorns, because No Bisexuals is possibly the show's second favorite thing after wanking over Finn... What?! Kurt, for once overwhelmed by stereotypes and not wanting to be defined by his sexuality (although events past and future would suggest otherwise), dismisses the idea. Brittany counters by saying that 99% of the school population are freaks or closeted freaks and they need representation. Kurt seemingly agrees, but it seems that there's an underlying sense of a punctured ego, as he instead prefers a minimalist campaign, offering a more understated poster. Brittany stands confused as we cut to Quick, Q about ready to head to the roof to throw ketchup-covered tampons at the marching band. Instead, Puck brings her to Shelby, whereupon she freaks out the way we did three paragraphs up. Shelby talks about how she was trying the working mom thing, but the entire time she was worried about the things she might miss; Beth's first words, steps et al. Q seems dismissive, but quite obviously affected; she tries to bail, only for Shelby to get to the point and that of course is that she wants Lucille to get to know Beth. The catch of course is that Q would have to revert to her actual self and that, plus the carrot that dangles in front of her causes Shelby to feel the Fabray temper, bad on a good day, but when it's from a broken soul? Lethal. Q snaps that just because Shelby signed papers doesn't make her Beth's mom. Yeah Lucy? It does, and she'll find that out the hard way. It's as if none of the writers understand people. Puck and Shelby share looks as we go to break.
We return with Booty Camp; after some gratuitous moves from Morrison and Shum, Mercedes shows off more of her Shane-induced ego, saying she's more of a sayer than a doer. Will of course disagrees and the steps commence, of coure this is simply a backdrop for Kurt to brag about the auditions (and let's be clear, he's only auditioning and running for president because it'd look good for NYADA). Blaine inadvertently pokes said ego by revealing he's auditioning for the role of Tony, whic of course is the same role Kurt's auditioning for. Oh dear. Blaine senses the poked ego and tries to demur, half-heartedly saying a senior should be Tony. Blaine, if you're quick to back down, no wonder half the fanfics are D/s fics with you as the submissive. Sheesh. Cut to the auditorium where Rachel is practicing for her audition. And because dramatic convenience is always effective, Shelby decides that now she's in town it'd really hurt if someone told her she couldn't see the daughter she gave up and appears. After the expected displeasure, and a reveal that Rachel had to go to therapy, we find out that Rachel was going to sing I Feel Pretty for her audition because she likes the way she feels when she does (and we know the partner in that duet would love to feel you), but Shelby convinces her to sing something from the musical she's actually trying out for, which is a pretty good idea, especially since Shelby played Maria 18 times. As we'll see later in the season, Shelby points out that playing it safe will never get Rachel the lead. Rachel tries it, and gets the expected applause by Artie, Beiste, and Emma.
Cut to Quinn and Sue making their video about how her life was ruined by glee (if 'glee' here means 'Glee' as we refer to it, that statement is very much correct), when she enters Will's office to blame him for ruining her life instead of, oh, let's see, among other things, the manchild who shoved his tongue down the throat of the woman you're in love with and cost you a National championship. You know, I can't call her an idiot due to her broken state, but this is clearly anger at the wrong target. Will, not happy as usual at being hit with blowback, calls ''her'' out on everything he allegedly did for her, and tells her to grow up. Wow. Inappropriate and unprofessional, and probably making Quinn's life worse. We've got to hand it to you, Glee, you sure do know how to write adults that need to grow up.
Cut to Shelby's apartment. It seems that we almost forgot that there was one other person on Q's bed the night was conceived, and that person arrives. Puck comes prepared with a nearly clean drug test minus one beer, which Shelby compliments before Beth starts bawling. Puck sees Beth for the first time since her birth and is floored. Puck wants to hold, but Shelby demurs for now. He wants to prove that he deserves to be in Beth's life, and we can see that when called on, Puckerman can man up with the best of them.
And of course, now, Mood Whiplash. It's Kurt's audition, but for the manly Tony role by singing some Barbara, and lest you think he's lost it, he got Rachel's permission, lest she end him brutally. However, it's performed by The Cast Showoff Chris Colfer dancing around scaffolding and spinning sais. Afterwards, it's more Mood Whiplash as we see Lucy put her makeup back on. Puck enters, and tries to bring her to senses. She dismisses, only for Puck to tell her that he went to see Beth. For bad timing, Puck, you're an idiot. He says they can both be in her life; Q thinking he wants her, Puck making it clear that those feelings are gone for now and that Beth doesn't need confusion over where she came from. Q ponders as we cut to Emma and Beiste in contention over the casting. Beiste likes Rachel as Maria, but Emma wants to see Mercedes' audition (the role should be Santana's, but we figure she's probably not as ambitious as those two, plus she eventually kills it as Anita) and Beiste agrees. When it comes to Kurt though, Beiste thinks that Kurt was awesome but can't pull off the "leader of a street gang" role, but Emma thinks it'd be a great test and she's sure he'll be able to do it. Artie, though a fan of non-traditional casting, thinks that Kurt's too delicate for it. And since ego knows no bounds, we cut to Kurt hiding near Emma's window, crushed at the rejection.
Of course, this triggers a Blue Screen Of Death as we see Kurt down the halls, stopping as he notices all the posters are rather pink. As in really pink. Yes, Brittany decided to put up the posters as we all know color and unicorns win school elections. Suave black-and-white minimalist candids? Please? Kurt mimics Quinn in his crawling freak-out, confronting Brittany while Santana's nearby, which adds him to the ever-growing pile of idiots this episode has already made. He then asks an approaching Rachel to help him re-audition for Tony in a more manly way. Santana, becoming more in tune with her lover's emotions, comforts Brittany, telling her that she's the unicorn. Back to the auditorium, where in a case of trying too hard, we se Kurt and Rachel perform the sex scene from Romeo and Juliet, which nobody ever wanted to see - except for those who ship Hummelberry romantically. They are sad, lonely folk. We then escape that torture only to be faced with another in the form of Sugar's attempts at singing. To be fair, you can actually hear Vanessa Lengies deliberately trying to sound bad, which makes it less cringeworthy, but still not in any way good. At least it's worse than the last time she sang, we think. Because Sugar calls the shots, she says she owned it and doesn't need to practice any more, so leaves. That's Brittany's genes talking, right there. As she goes, Quinn enters. Shelby reveals she went through her own rebellious phase after Rachel; Sinead O'Connor hair, Regis Philbin tattoo. But she realized that though she was never really her kid, Shelby knew she did right by Rachel. And Quinn needs to do right by Beth. After more insistence that Punk Quinn is Real Quinn, Shelby cuts to the crux of it: Q should stop blaming herself for what she did. It of course goes deeper than that, but it's a start. Shelby says visitation is earned, but does produce a picture. As you'd expect, Q breaks down as we go to break.
As established, this is only the start of all the shit this season decides to bury her (almost literally) in; because Dianna dared to actually make Quinn human, Murphy decided to make her all too human.
We return from break to see that Finnegan found a job at Papa Burt's tire shop. Him and Rachel discus the musical, and how Rachel will be more self-centered than usual until the results are posted. Hey, at least she admits it. When she says Finn should try out, he refuses citing school, ND, football and now the shop. This is the beginning of the underlying theme for Finchel this season; namely that Finn enjoys simple things, while Rachel is chomping at the bit to graduate and get to New York and that ultimately their future plans might not have each other in them. They won't. After some confidence from Rachel followed by an aborted make out, we pan over to Kurt who has a list of musicals he thinks he's good for, saying that he can only ever be cast as gay or a woman, but never in a leading role. Burt says if the parts aren't there, he shouldn't try to act straight but to instead write his own. He then rebuff's Kurt calling himself a unicorn by saying if you take away the horn, you get a horse. He has a point. Kurt ponders as we cut to the auditorium for more Booty Camp. We see Finn stumble one too many times, Will offering another peptalk and of course that does the trick because it's Finnegan. However, this scene has another purpose. We see a familiar blonde approach; it is of course Dear Lucille reverted to her base self. Pity. The punk look suited her. Probably would've turned Rachel on. Anyway, everyone's happy - confused as to why she needs booty camp, but then understand that it was a clear dramatic return she could only achieve this way. Puck says he's proud of her... only for Quinn to reveal the brown eyes full of anger and revenge. Seems Shelby's peptalk tapped the wrong part of her brain, the one housing her true dark side and thus we flip the switch to Psycho mode. Quinn reveals the plan; distract with the change, play the part, then when the times right, maneuver into position to discredit Shelby and get them full custody of Beth. She makes it perfectly clear she'll do anything to get her back, believing Beth is the only good thing she ever had (um, Q? You forgot the one with the nose, knee socks and Mary Janes. Just saying.). Clearly we want to hug her then admit her to a mental rehabilitation ward for her own health (with Rachel being the only visitor). Puck understandably looks like he's shit himself and, to be fair, regardless of the nature of his feelings, you can tell he still cares about her.
We go from caring to not caring as we begin the home stretch. After we find out Beiste eats a whole chicken every meal, Sue arrives to gloat about how her campaign now has a new narrative and how she's now ahead nine points over her opponent, who incidentally has a niece in McKinley. We say this due to forthcoming events that will put an ND member in very dangerous crosshairs thanks to a bastard manchild. Anyway, you know for once, everyone is terrible at being functioning adults. Sue's narrative is about how the arts are compared to an addiction while Will, Beiste, and Emma, are completely unconcerned with Quinn, instead worrying about Sue's depiction of her and how it affects their lives. Clearly, Will never did learn Rule Number #1: Help the Kids. They decide that they nee to find someone to run for office against her, someone her exact opposite. Given her love affair with the HeelFace Revolving Door and Graying Morality, that should be a hard person to find. However, Will's brain actually takes time from sending him commands to be a jackass in order to give him a decent idea. Cut to a forlorn Brittany down the halls, only to see more polished pink posters. We see Kurt put them up; seems he decided to engage in the time honored tradition of plagiarism. You're a douche, Hummel. He tries to ask Brittany to resume their campaign, but it's impossible to work on two at once. Yes, Kurt was Tempting Fate earlier, and now it blows back as Santana's convinced Brit to run against him. Brittany's convinced of her own magic, declaring herself not a unicorn, but a bi-corn. We end in the auditorium as Blaine arrives to audition for "Bernardo or Officer Krupke". However, he brings Beiste to tears and causes Artie to ask Blaine to consider auditioning for Tony. And since his ego can't be crushed enough, we cut to the balcony where Kurt stands, leaving before Blaine answers and clearly wondering why he didn't stay in bed.
Next Time: We meet Mike Chang's father, and the stereotypes, they are plenty. Plus, more ego stroking, culminating in the first defection to the new glee club.
- "Somewhere" from West Side Story, performed by Rachel and Shelby
- "I'm the Greatest Star" from Funny Girl, performed by Kurt
- "I Am A Shining Star", performed by Sugar and Shelby
- "Something's Coming" from West Side Story, performed by Blaine
- Adults Are Useless: When Sue's the only one who has a semblance of mostly-appropriate conduct towards the students (specifically Quinn), something's wrong. Will just gets worse from here on out.
- Celebrity Paradox: Kurt talks about the career of Kate Hudson, next season's bitchy-good dance teacher Cassie July.
- Cute But Psycho: Quinn.
- Double Entendre: "the unicorn was riding you"
- Everything's Better with Rainbows
- The Musical
- No Bisexuals: Even though just one, they refuse to use the term, instead putting in deliberate substitutes, which is worse.
- Pink Means Feminine
- Rousseau Was Right
- Sai Guy: Kurt
- Swirlie: By Quinn and the Skanks.
- Tastes Like Diabetes: Brittany's campaign ideas.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: An epic but misguided one was delivered when Quinn tries to blame Glee Club for "ruining" her life:Will: Ms. Fabray, wait. You know there's only one person in this world that you care about, and that's yourself.Quinn: You have no idea...Will: I'm not finished! You're not a little girl anymore, Quinn. How long are you planning on playing the victim card? Since day one, you've done nothing but sabotage the same Glee club that's been there for you over and over again! When you got pregnant, when your parents kicked you out... You know, Mercedes even let you live in her house! And I don't recall ever hearing so much as a 'thank you'. Tonight, you're a train wreck. Well, congratulations. But you stride into my office and tell me it's MY fault? Well, then I have something to say to you... Grow up.
- What Do You Mean, "It's for Kids"?
- Jerkass Woobie: Quinn Fabray