Finn's bad dancing breaks Rachel's nose, leading her to consider a nose job, which in turn leads to the theme of this very special episode -- "Accepting Yourself." Will assigns the kids to sing songs about loving the parts of yourself that you might otherwise want to change. Rachel confronts her desire to look less Judaic and Tina confronts her desire to have blue eyes. But it's other characters who actually have more serious issues to confront. Will pushes Emma to acknowledge that she's not just a neat-freak -- she's a woman with a serious anxiety disorder. With help from a really good shrink, Emma starts the road to dealing with her extreme OCD. Meanwhile, Puck and Lauren decide to confront Lauren's desire to be a beauty queen by running a cutthroat campaign for prom queen. Said campaign involves kneecapping the primary opposition by revealing to the world that Quinn was previously a fat, ugly little girl known as Lucy Caboosy before she remade herself (complete with nose job) into the paragon of beauty we know her as today. But Lauren's nasty campaign trick backfires, as all the school rejects decide that Quinn's self-imposed rebirth makes her a worthy role model, winning her votes in her campaign for prom queen.
While other people are learning to accept themselves, Santana decides that she needs to become prom queen so that she can trick Brit-Brit into being her girlfriend. To that end, she confronts Karofsky and agrees to be his beard, and then forces him to adopt an anti-bullying program that includes wearing a totally gay beret. [I was just impressed that kids in Ohio knew about the Guardian Angels. -- Angel] Her ultimate goal is to get Karofsky to apologize to Kurt so that he can return to McKinley and she can be a hero, thereby winning prom queen votes. And you know what? It works! Kurt comes back to McKinley, singing fabulous songs and wearing fabulous outfits that aren't ugly uniforms. In the end, it's Kurt who stages a Barbra-vention, leading Rachel to reject the idea of a nose job. And that leads to the entire club, sans Santana, singing Lady Gaga's ode to loving yourself exactly as you are.
Featuring "As If We Never Said Goodbye," from Sunset Boulevard, performed by Kurt, Lady Gaga's "Born This Way," performed by the entire Glee Club, a mash-up of "I Feel Pretty" from West Side Story (which I'm not linking to -- if you don't know it, you're not gay enough to watch this show) and TLC's "Unpretty," performed by Rachel and Quinn, the classic "I've Gotta Be Me," most famously performed by Sammy Davis, Jr., performed here by Finn (with dance assist from Mike Chang), and Keane's "Somewhere Only We Know," performed by the Warblers, to Kurt, as a way of sending him off to McKinley.
Meet the singers of Oxygen's upcoming reality series The Glee Project.
Prepare yourselves. Something unbelievable is happening. Will has actually assembled the New Directions in the auditorium to practice their dancing! I know, right? This may be the first time we've seen an actual rehearsal since the pilot. They start dancing, and Finn swings one spazzy arm behind him and socks Rachel right in the nose. Which causes her to flop to the ground faster than an Argentinean forward. She announces that she's bleeding, in the same tone you might use to announce that you have an inoperable brain tumor. Will proposes to take her to a doctor. I guess the school has just given up on having nurses? You know what would probably do wonders for a bleeding nose? A face full of slushy.
Instead, we cut to the doctor, where Rachel is holding an ice pack on her nose while Finn hovers. Rachel's dads are on the way, and Mr. Schue has left his injured student alone. Rachel tells Finn he can leave so that Quinn won't get mad at him for "sitting vigil at my bedside." But Finn is under the naive and moronic assumption that Quinn will be perfectly understanding about him being there, since he was the one who injured Rachel. The doctor enters and announces that the nose is broken. Fortunately, it was a clean break, so it neither requires resetting nor will look the slightest bit different after it heals. However, in light of Rachel's deviated septum, the doctor thinks this would be the perfect time for a "vanity adjustment." Wait, did Will bring his student with a bloody nose to a plastic surgeon? Dr. Haxalot thinks that a nose job is the perfect sweet sixteen gift for a Jewish girl. Rachel tells him that she's happy with how she looks, and Dr. Haxalot interrupts to ask Finn if Rachel is his girlfriend. Upon learning that she's not, the doctor goes out on a limb to guess that Finn's girlfriend has a perfect button nose. But even if Rachel is starting to feel vulnerable, she still doesn't want a nose job out of concern that it will harm her singing voice. Dr. Haxalot assures her that there's no risk of that, and that opening up her nasal cavity may actually help her sing better. Rachel calls upon the protection of her patron saint, Saint Barbra of the Schnozz, but the doctor notes that Barbra is one in a million, and that Rachel should try to look and sound the best she can to promote her acting career. Title card.
Rachel has just announced to the entire Glee Club that she's contemplating a nose job (which she describes as a minor procedure to correct her deviated septum). The other kids all have stunned looks on their faces, while Will is shocked to hear that she would risk her health for vanity's sake (what with the whole risk of general anesthesia). Santana interrupts with some of her patented bitchy wisdom, noting that every person in the room has things they might like to change about themselves. She suggests that Ladylips von Troutenmouthen has likely checked out lip reduction surgery, that Artie may have considered having his legs amputated, and that Tina has likely considered "an eye deslanting." Tina calls her out on her racism, and then claims to be completely happy with every aspect of her physical appearance. Mike Chang asks her if that's why she's wearing blue contacts. Finn also claims to be happy with the way he looks, but Santana calls him out on his "weird, puffy pyramid nipples." (Sam tries to pull Finn's hoody open to get a glimpse, but is slapped away by Finn.) Santana continues: "Maybe Rachel is fine with having an enormous beak. Maybe she needs it to crack hard seeds. All I'm saying is that, if you look in the mirror and you don't like what you see, you should change it." By the way, Santana is rocking a fur hat and vest in this scene. It's total cavewoman chic. She should get her own Sunday funnies serial comic strip -- "Santana of the Jungle." Her sidekick could be a rhinoceros. I would read the shit out of that, and I bet the Comics Curmudgeon would write about it frequently. Come on, Fox corporate merchandising people -- make this happen! Anyway, Will snatches me away from my reverie of a Santana of the Jungle/Phantom crossover event by telling the kids how shocked he is to hear them talking about wanting to change themselves. "I'm telling you, the thing you most want to change about yourself is the most interesting part of you." Mercedes: "Maybe, but at this school, the thing that makes you different is the thing people use to crush your spirit." Oh, honey -- that's true at every school.