We start today with a Blaine V/O as he looks at the bulletin board, saying the seniors had their moment last year, but now it's his turn. He then proceeds to become Season 1 Rachel, heh, and joins nearly every single club posted, all while vocally shedding the proverbial Tears for Fears. See, as you'd expect, with Kurt in NY, Blaine needs to define himself away from Klaine. As we see though, it's not complete isolation, as there are the expected phone calls as well as Skype dates. Thing is though, the cracks, though subtle, are starting to show, and it's only a matter of time before said cracks grow and collapse the relationship. And sadly, that time is coming up faster than both would think. As we continue to montage Blaine in his new groups, we then see him approach one last sign up sheet... one that promotes running for school president. See, Brittany didn't get around to changing the rules that would keep her president for life, so she has to run again. Said ex-prez approaches Blaine and is not too pleased as we hit the Title Card.
Bushwick. Kurt is basically trying on his entire wardrobe looking for the right outfit for his job interview with Vogue.com. The interview is senior editor Isabelle Wright (Sarah Jessica Parker), so this is evidently the fashion equivalent of Carmen Tibadeaux. He enters her office and we can immediately smell the Foregone Conclusion, as she's from Columbus and they bond over their shared small town roots, Isabelle even telling Kurt she got food poisoning at Breadstix. Huh, only one? Impressive. Anyway, she complements the resume, which includes a gallery of all of Kurt's outfits. We get routine questions, establishing Kurt's basic hopes and dreams, then Isabelle basically tells Kurt that NY is where one reinvents themselves, and that he should dream bigger than he ever hoped he could. Thus, again, Foregone Conclusion, Kurt is hired as we cut to Brittany approaching Artie and asking him to be her VP, saying it's good for the college resume. Thing is, a 4.0 GPA, scoring 210 on the practice S.A.T. and being the only handicapped member of a national championship winning show choir pretty much means college is a non-issue. However, he would like to have some semblance of relevance within McKinley before the diploma, so he accepts. Cut to the choir room, it's revealed that since ND won Nationals, they get to set the rules for Sectionals; this is where we actually get some Lampshade Hanging on some of Glee's more unstable show choir rules. note When Jake presses about starting Sectionals prep, Will stammers, revealing that for once he's off his game, the subsequent V/O confirming it, saying all he could come up with is a scat version of Carmina Burana, AKA Sue's Berserk Button music. And then, Mood Whiplash as Brittany stands up and begins smearing Blaine, asking if anyone can prove if Blaine was born in the US. Blaine, realizing her tactics, claims the election isn't a popularity contest. Blainers, have you forgotten what school you go to? As ND disperses, we get a brief shot of Sam; this will be relevant later as we cut to Will in the lounge as Sue enters. He reveals possible Sectionals themes of TV themes and a "Salute to Autumn" and yep, he's lost it. Sue suggests doing something with his life; shocking no one, it involves quitting McKinley, her saying he peaked and it's time to move on. Cut to Sam (see?) finding Brittany and asking why he wasn't her running mate. As mentioned last time, there's a reason for all these sudden Sam/Brittany scenes, and it'll be revealed to be a revolting one. Brit-Brit claims it was so she wouldn't wreck their sudden out of the blue friendship that in no way will set up the main reason Glee's ratings began to plummet... Ahem. She does see him as a VP though, so she finds Blaine and offers Sam as his running mate. He accepts, then promptly accepts a challenge for a debate as we go to break.
We return to a Vogue.com meeting, where Isabelle wants leather-based pitches. As you'd expect, they're depicted as useless. How in hell did they get Anna Wintour to not only sign off on this, but give them free clothes?note . This of course serves as a reason for Isabelle to become flustered as she's used to designing not delegating, and thus there's a reason for Kurt to give her a Will-esque peptalk playing up her strengths; when he admits that he thinks they're not being Vogue enough, she tells him that she's being cautious because she doesn't want to lose it all. Good tactic, but Kurt convinces her to be true and so be daring, saying that he'll have her back. How he could possibly hold her up during the ruin of a fashion empire, should it happen, we don't know. We'll follow up later as we cut to Artie telling Brittany that 90% of the students are coming to the debate... if only to watch her say something s####d. Brit is of course crushed, and Artie tries to build her up, saying she's creative, and that her brain exists in "this magical other dimension where anything is possible". As Brit begins to perk back up, we cross over to Blaine telling Sam that he needs to start acting like a candidate. Cut to both teams doing debate prep, which in both cases goes as well as you'd expect. Artie then talks wardrobe and that cues up the Hole, as we see both Brittany and Sam in proper dress attire; HeMo rocking the business suit. And who is joining her in this duet? Sam. Again, at this point, the Brittana fans began to suspect something not kosher. They would of course be right in their fears. Afterwards, we cut to the lounge where Will tries to lead the annual Show Choir Committee meeting. The other two people in the room, as you'd expect, would rather be anywhere but there, one of them even being Dalton Rumba from Season 1. Another Will V/O kicks in lamenting his boredom, only for motivation to arise in the form of Rumba's group Haverbrook losing its funding, Rumba warning that the money for the arts has dried up. Whereas last season was about whether the arts are relevant, this season is about the money for those arts. One of the committee members mentions a blue-ribbon panel designed to get arts back in the schools; this naturally lights up the braincells within Will's cranium as for the first time this episode, we find Rachel lamenting to Kurt about being bullied by generic ballerinas. Kurt says it's because she hasn't changed how she dresses, which is something easy to mock, even though those clothes aren't her anymore, which is even easier to mock. When she's found a new style she feels confident in, there won't be anything obvious to attack. She says it's not like she can afford new clothes, but mischievous Kurt says she won't have to as we go to break.
We return to see Kurt sneaks Rachel into the Vogue vaults in the middle of the night. Obviously Isabelle catches them - security not forgotten right now. Hearing Kurt's plan, she decides to help out instead of fire him as we are reminded that Reality Is Unrealistic is one of Glee's trademarks. Now they just have to get Rachel fully on board. Back in season 1, she was offered a makeover by Kurt and thought she could win Finn with it. However, she has no Finn to impress - not that he liked it, anyway - and no boy to win, at least not yet. Plus, she doesn't want to give Kurt freedom to dress her like a sad clown hooker and/or in something she won't be comfortable or herself in. Buuuuttttt..... Dear Lucille did ask Kurt to give Rachel a makeover, so it's an obvious way to Lucy's heart if she dresses up a bit. This seems to seal the deal, the promise of Quinn coming to visit soon (come on, Glee) makes Rachel want to look her best and, well, if that's in the hands of Kurt - as she was so dearly entrusted by her Yale love in sophomore year - then so be it. Anything for Q as we see the end result basically amounting to Rachel Berry in Lea Michele's clothes. The knee socks and argyle sweaters are gone; however, the knee socks will make one more appearance this season, and then twice next season, one appearance as the byproduct of events most heartbreaking. After the obligatory music, we cut to Kurt telling Blaine about the experience. Blaine then tries to ask Kurt for class president campaign help; it was barely a year ago for Kurt, but compared with his day he will undoubtedly think it's child's play. This is realistic, graduation growing you up. And again, more cracks in Klaine as we go to break.
We return to find Will in Emma's office. He gets her to talk to him as a counselor, explaining the blue-ribbon panel that is assembling to improve the arts across the US. Thing is though it's in DC, so while he'd get paid, he'd be away from ND. Emma says they've been telling the kids for years to follow their dreams, and that she won't tell Will to do the opposite. She says the wedding can wait and Will signs the paperwork. Cut to the school president debate, where of course only a handful show up, among which is Sugar clearly cheering for her mother. Cut to backstage, where Sam pays Blaine back for the makeover by getting him to ditch the bowtie, which surprisingly, Blaine approves of. Sue is moderator, dear god, and of course uses it as and excuse to use every insult in the book. VP candidates go first, Artie going into a speech that makes Sam nervous and Sue ready to commit hare-kiri. Sam gets asked if he's ashamed to have been a stripper and he says no... then strips. Because Glee. Then it's Blaine and Brittany's turn, Blaine accurately calling Brit's term ineffectual, citing the senior prom and hairgel ban as the only highlights. He's trying, but you can tell in true McKinley fashion no one cares. Brittany simply says that she loves school so much that if re-elected she will ban weekends. Yeah, this is pretty much a given as to who wins, a cut to Artie's face seems to confirm it as we go to break.
We return to Vogue.com, where Isabelle tells Kurt she forwarded the video they recorded of Rachel trying on the Vogue stock to Anna Wintour, who not only liked it, securing Kurt's future there, but it's going to be reshot in Bali with a supermodel, Kurt still getting the credit. Kurt is naturally thrilled, telling Isabelle that Rachel threw away the reindeer sweater (good god), and that the clothes have rebuilt her confidence. Isabelle tells Kurt not to lose his optimism, declaring the two of them kindred spirits, Kurt calling her the best-dressed fairy godmother he ever had. That's actually kinda sweet, it must be said. When one of the boardroom drones from earlier arrives, Isabelle tells her Kurt's sitting in on the next meeting. Again, sweet, but also, again, Reality Is Unrealistic. Cut to NYADA, where Legs Berry is stretching as New Finnegan I mean Brody approaches and gives her the eyes, saying you've not really settled into NY unless you've been madeover. Rachel says a makeover is when one changes the outside and the inside follows. Brody thinks it's about the outside catching up to the emotions. He reiterates his feelings for her as she picks up some sheet music, seems one thing that remains constant is her need to sing to keep the vocal chords fresh. Apparently, Brody does the same, this naturally being the excuse to cue up the Sheryl Crow and have the two of them gallivant around NY. This is the first Geyer/Michele duet, and it's admittedly not bad. Afterwards, Rachel, taking another step forward, asks Brody to her place. Ooh, bold Berry, not bad. Cut back to McKinley where Sue, after a break because drama?, officially declares Blaine president. Hurray.
We're at Breadstix for the celebration and the home stretch, Artie telling Blaine that for some reason, Sugar agreed to go out with him. Perhaps it's a pity date on account of her mom losing, or more likely, she just told him what he wanted to hear just to get him off her back so she and Brit-Brit could continue working on the time machine while Sugar continues to comfort her one mom while her other mom's in Louisville. It's a really good thing she didn't date either of last year's girls... After telling Artie some Blatant Lies about Kurt planning a party, we cut to Vogue.com where what is supposed to be a meeting turned into a nightcap. Blaine calls, and Kurt promptly rejects the call. Cold Hummel, cold. Cut back to Breadstix where Sam finds Blaine who tells him that he realized that he came to McKinley solely for Kurt, and that without him there, he's lonely. He feels like winning wasn't a real accomplishment, compared to what Kurt's doing, and that it feels pointless because it hasn't got Kurt's attention back on him. Sam tries to cheer him up by saying he is the first gay male president, which is McKinley history being made. This is the first example of what becomes the bromance Blam, which also leads Sam into even more Ambiguously Gay territory than season 2 managed. As Blaine leaves, Brittany arrives, Sam telling her he voted for her. He tells her that losing sucks, but it's not all bad, and that somehow gets Brit to cuddle him. As the Brittana fans prepare to gird their loins, we cut to Sue's office where, after we mention another deleted scene involving Sue, a tuxedo, and a duet with Will, we find him telling her he sent in the application for the panel but needs a recommendation, which uber-prepared Sue has of course already written.
They shake hands as we cut to Bushwick where Rachel is prepping for her first non-Finnegan date in a long-ass while. She even tries to cook dinner, the sudden rush of flames putting paid to that. Pizza is therefore ordered, is it vegan? Who knows, it's not as if anyone's ever remembered before (Quinn did, Rachel). The duck Rachel burned wasn't vegan. Then, because of course, they start making out a lot. This thankfully is interrupted by a knocking at the door. Though we never noticed there being any sort of lock or security before, Rachel thinks Kurt just forgot his keys again - when she opens up, however... okay, remember when we talked about the "New" Finnegan? Wondered where the "Old" Finnegan was? Last we heard, he signed up for the army. Now, guess who's at the door. Go on, guess. Yep. Do we want this or more of WestBerry? How about we have Lucy show up too, have a grueling fight for Rachel's heart? Unfortunately, it's not only Finn, but Finn in his smug arrogant form, clearly thinking Rachel was waiting for his triumphant return because he's Amazing Finn, even though he told her not to. While we do get some comfort in seeing the way his grinning face drops upon seeing Brody, the fact remains: You put her on the train, and you're the one who broke up with her, therefore we end this recap with four words we'll be using a lot this season... Finn, you're an idiot.
And speaking of idiots... remember when we said this season you'll see some of Ryan Murphy's most dubious storytelling? This is what we mean...
Next Time: The most heartbreaking example of Exactly What It Says on the Tin you'll ever see.
- Everybody Wants To Rule The World by Tears for Fears, performed by Blaine
- Celebrity Skin by Hole, performed by Brittany and Sam
- The Way You Look Tonight/You're Never Fully Dressed Without A Smile by Fred Astaire and from Annie, performed by Kurt and Isabelle Wright with Rachel
- A Change Would Do You Good by Sheryl Crow, by Brody and Rachel
- Mister Monotony by Judy Garland, performed by Sue and Will*
- Actor Allusion: Sarah Jessica Parker sings a song from Annie that she did when she was in the musical.
- Actor-Shared Background: Isabelle introduces herself as "Columbus", trying to say that she and Kurt have being from Ohio in common - SJP is from Nelsonville, Ohio, in the forest near Lancaster.
- Costume Porn: And how!
- Duet Bonding : Along with some Erotic Eating.
- Meta Guy/Take That, Us: When Will is heading to Show Choir HQ, and gets questions about what the actual rules are (12 members is the constant, then add whatever they make up for that episode)Tina: Please tell me you're going to ask what "one-third vintage" meant last year.Sam: Or why some teams can sing six songs but others only do one?
- "Not Important to This Episode" Camp: Besides Santana and Beiste, the S4 newbies take a back seat, Jake and Marley only getting one line each.