In the Very Special Episode portion of tonight's presentation, Coach Beiste shows up at McKinley High with a vivid shiner adorning her left eye, leading Santana Lopez to unleash a series of delightfully snide remarks on the topic of domestic violence that are overheard by the lovely and talented bronze medalist Roz Washington, the latter of whom flies into deeply affronted rage. Roz joins forces with both Sue Sylvester and Coach Beiste to teach Santana -- and her partners in crime Mercedes, Single-T Tina, Sugar Motta, and Brit-Brit -- a Very Important Lesson About Wife Beating by giving the girls a performance assignment that the girls promptly proceed to misinterpret in the most hilarious manner imaginable. Of course, it immediately stops being funny when Coach Beiste breaks down and confesses to all and sundry that her Cooter's really been rough on her lately, and the always-excellent Dot Marie Jones gets several minutes of material for this year's Emmy reel when Coach Beiste first leaves her husband, then returns to give him a second chance because she's convinced she'll otherwise end up alone. It's a horrible idea for this show even to attempt such a storyline, of course, but Jones did so well with the incredibly iffy material that I'm not sure how much I hate all of it at the moment.
Meanwhile, St. Gay Of Lima and Idiot Rachel deal with last-minute jitters when an esteemed alum of Fake Drama School In New York flies in to audition them for her alma mater. St. Gay decides at the last possible instant to switch songs, and he ends up doing quite well, but Idiot Rachel totally biffs a number she's performed hundreds of times before, so it looks like she might be hanging around for next season after all.
Also probably hanging around for next season after all is Puck, whose seldom-seen father guilts him into parting with the bulk of his California savings, and who also fails an important exam he needed to pass in order to graduate. You know, guys, it's going to be awfully hard to miss you if you don't actually go away.
Featuring "The Music Of The Night" from Phantom Of The Opera, as performed by St. Gay Of Lima, with Single-T Tina giving us all an absolutely deadly Sarah Brightman impersonation; Alice Cooper's eternal adolescent classic, "School's Out," as performed by Puck; an unfortunately truncated "Cell Block Tango" from Chicago, as performed by Mercedes, Single-T Tina, Santana, Sugar Motta, and Brit-Brit; "Not The Boy Next Door" from The Boy From Oz, as performed by St. Gay, with a bit of shimmy provided in the background by Single-T Tina, Brit-Brit, and Mercedes; Funny Girl's "Don't Rain On My Parade" -- again -- as performed -- again -- by Idiot Rachel; an oddly familiar-sounding punk version of My Fair Lady's "The Rain in Spain," as performed by Puck and his impromptu late-night study group, which consists of Artie, Frankenteen, The Leprechaun, Dreamboat Blaine, Lady Lips Von Bieberhausen, Gaylord Wiener, and New Guy With Gross Hair Whose Name I Can't Be Bothered To Look Up; a beautiful version of "Shake It Out" by Florence And The Machine, as performed by Mercedes, Santana, and Single-T Tina; and Kelly Clarkson's "Cry," as performed by Idiot Loser Rachel after she totally biffs her audition for Fake Drama School In New York.
Idiot Rachel wafts toward us in slow motion through the hallowed halls of dear McKinley High, caught up in the reverie her episode-opening voiceover has induced, and as she smiles to herself, that voiceover lectures us like so: "Deep in space, there are giant interstellar clouds. Most of them just float through the universe, content to be balls of gas and space dust, but there are special ones. Maybe they collide with a supernova, or are just made up of something extra-amazing, but one day, they just get too big for the nebulas they're in, and with the sheer gravitational force of their awesomeness, they become a star." Thank God Idiot Rachel's majoring in theater next year, because she clearly sucks with the astrophysics. By the way, when Idiot Rachel's Voiceover hits that bit about those worthless balls of ambition-free gas and space dust, Actual Idiot Rachel happened to glance over at Puck just as he tossed a salacious wink at the camera, so I suppose we're now clear as to what she thinks of him after all these years. But before we're allowed to dwell on that bit of possibly-insulting information, Idiot Rachel's Voiceover drags us forward in time to...
...Actual Idiot Rachel's bedchamber, where the be-curlered lady of the boudoir bolts upright in bed at the crack of dawn to intone, mantra-like, "I am that amazing cloud! My whole life has led to this moment!" Actual Idiot Rachel then hurls herself into her morning fitness regimen atop her elliptical machine, staring with laser-intense focus at some tacky adolescent inspiration board she's stapled to her boudoir wall as her Voiceover exposits, "My [Fake Drama School In New York] audition is this week. All of the singing, dancing lessons and hours spent late into the night practicing my Oscar acceptance speech into a mirror are just about to come home to find purchase!" Idiot Rachel's Voiceover then confides that Frankenteen "couldn't be more excited or supportive," and we get a brief blip of the lumbering, slack-jawed jackass in question running Idiot Rachel through a series of audition-appropriate facial expressions until Idiot Rachel's Voiceover once again drags us...
...back over to McKinley to inform us of Actual Idiot Rachel's by turns paranoid and superstitious pre-audition rituals, the most batshit of which is her habit of walking backwards through the halls at odd moments, with everyone she sees magically transforming into "a metaphor for the things that could stop" her, and thank God Idiot Rachel's majoring in theater next year, because she clearly sucks with the language arts as well. People wandering past you sporting sandwich boards emblazoned with phrases like "MURDEROUS STALKER," "ADELE'S THROAT POLYP," and "MENSTRUAL BLOAT" are not metaphors, honey. Try again.