In this picture, Artie should totally be saying "TIMMY."
McKinley High is hosting Sectionals this year, but New Directions is still nervous, despite the whole thing happening on their own turf. That’s a decent psychological advantage. Having lost their star, Rachel, the club feels that it needs Sam Evans back. Rachel and Finn go to Kentucky to retrieve him, because his new town actually isn’t that far away from Lima. Sam is working as a male stripper for all the middle-aged ladies who hang at a place called “Stallions.” These are probably the same people who are The Twilight Moms. We weren’t aware that Sam was 18. Although, that’s Kentucky, armpit of America, so they probably don’t care one way or another. Heh. If you’re from Kentucky and you’re offended by that, go get that cousin you married to comfort you. We’ll wait.
Rachel gave Sam a dollar that she got from Finn (way to perpetuate the “Jews are cheap” stereotype, Rachel), and Sam meets them in his dressing room. He says that he made $60 in 15 minutes, which is a lot more than he can make for his family at Dairy Queen. The three then went to Sam’s parents’ VERY NICE, BIG house and talked them into letting Sam go back to Ohio and live with them. Sam’s parents realize that this is what Sam really wants and they let him go. One less mouth to feed? How will they get by without the Stallions income when they clearly spend everything they get on a big house anyway? Oh whatever. These are the times Glee never makes any sense, and we are happy enough to have Sam back, that we will excuse a lot.
Meanwhile, Kurt and Blaine go to their gay little coffee shop and Sebastian shows up to hit on Blaine again. When Blaine leaves their immediate vicinity, Sebastian and Kurt have a little fight where Sebastian makes it clear that he thinks Kurt is unattractive and that he, Sebastian, is after Blaine. As if that wasn’t clear before. It totally was. Kurt counters with, “You smell like Craigslist.” Kurt FTW. Everyone meets back at the rehearsal room and sings Toby Keith’s “Red Solo Cup” with Sam. That was a weird song. It sounded like it came from Kentucky. We’ve decided that it was so bad it was good.
After rehearsal, Quinn met up with Sam and said that she didn’t appreciate him before, and that she wants him back. Yeah, that’s very attractive to a guy, Quinn. Sam is over it. He tells Quinn to enjoy her youth, which came out of nowhere for us, but we quickly got used to it, because that turned out to be the episode’s major theme. Mike Chang and his dad are back! We thought that storyline was a one-time thing, but it keeps coming back. Mike caved and only applied to Stanford for pre-med. Tina is concerned that Mike is giving up his dreams and voices this concern. Mike is really mean back.
Kids reading this: we would like you to know that your parents don’t have to know your major until you graduate and it’s too late. You can minor or double major too. Your parents don’t have access to your grades and generally are NOT THERE to see you doing whatever the hell you want. That’s the beauty of college. Take advantage of it. It’s your life, and college is when you get to do whatever you want. Also, colleges don’t have “pre-law” or “pre-med” majors. Major in whatever you want, get good grades, blow the standardized tests out of the water, and then apply to the graduate school you need to go to.
Sam’s plan to win Sectionals involves swiveling pelvises and air-sexing. Blaine really hates this. We mean really hates it. He goes into a rage and says that he’s “not for sale” and basically calls Sam a gigolo. The two nearly fight, but Finn breaks it up. Blaine is in the gym, punching a bag. He would have looked sexy, but he still has his head all lubed up. Finn tracks Blaine down and Blaine explains that he took up boxing after being bullied at his old school. Then he says, “I started a fight club at Dalton, which, obviously, I can’t talk about.” We loved that line, because we love Fight Club more than most things in life. Finn fixes things by admitting to Blaine that he’s been jealous of Blaine, and that now he just wants to win or something.
Sam finds Mercedes and tells her that he’s coming after her, no matter how big her boyfriend is. Mercedes is clearly charmed. Tina visits Mike’s dad with a video of his son in West Side Story, and she tries to make the dad see reason. Way to overstep, girlfriend who is not part of the family. She ends her plea with, “You know, you’re always talking about honor, Mr. Chang. Help your son honor his gift.” Honor? Who is this? The dad from Mulan? Speaking of which: when are they going to perform "I'll Make a Man Out of You"?
At Sectionals, the Unitards perform first. Sadly, they do not wear Unitards, so we have no idea why they are called The Unitards. That group features Lindsay Pearce and she sang “Buenos Aires” from Evita. She sounds fantastic. It’s a perfect song for her voice, even though it’s not a winning number. The Troubletones are next, with a mash-up of “Survivor” by Destiny’s Child and “I Will Survive.” They do weird arm movements that must count as a dance. New Directions go for Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, and the Jackson 5, singing “ABC”, “Control”, and “Man in the Mirror.” Those were ok, but not at all winning material, we thought. Mike Chang’s dad shows up to see his son perform.
New Directions win, even though we think they should have gotten third. Mike Chang’s dad caves and tells Mike to do what he wants. Rachel comes back to school. Quinn tells Shelby that she knows about the nasty Puck affair. Shelby complains about being old. Quinn is supposed to cherish her youth and not crave her baby, or something. Rachel tells Quinn that if Quinn rats Shelby out, Quinn will regret it forever. Quinn listens and becomes a nice human again. Quinn gets Rachel and Mr. Schue to agree to let the Troubletones sing one solo number per competition, so the two groups merge again.
They sing “We are Young,” which was sweet enough that we downloaded it. We actually liked all the unity and Quinn/Rachel being friends. The episode had a nice season-one tone. This was definitely a good one. We are glad that the crazy Quinn and Troubletones plotlines are over. This episode loses points for the three lame New Directions songs and "Red Solo Cup". It was relieving to see everyone acting like normal humans and not making insane, mean decisions. We like when the good guys on this show occasionally act like good guys.
Episode grade: B+