Cut to the Dalton Academy library. The Warblers enter, only to find that the stolen Nationals trophy in the case has been replaced by a Dalton blazer with a "no thanks" note stuck to the lapel. They race to the window, and find a grappling hook on the banister with a rope leading to the group. In the distance, Night Bird, the Blond Chameleon, and the Nationals trophy flee to the warm arms of justice! BLAM! SLAINE! Commercials.
Marley's locker. Ryder tells her he has to bail on their plans to hang out on Friday. He has an appointment with the best dyslexia specialist in Ohio, but the only time he could get was early Saturday morning, so he has to go home right after the game. Kitty overhears only the part where Ryder canceled on Marley, and walks up to commiserate with her for being dumped. But her earlier efforts to prop up Marley's shaky self-esteem had an effect because Marley decides that if Ryder doesn't have time for her, she'll just ask Jake to go out with her. Oh, Kitty -- foiled again!
Music room. Sam and Blaine have returned with their booty. Blaine is apologizing for ever doubting that he belonged at McKinley. He also tells them that he's not worried about Sectionals, because "we've got the team, we've got the talent, and we've got, most importantly, the leader." And with that he hands the trophy to Finn. The kids applaud, and then Tina presents Finn with a gift -- a superhero utility belt containing spare markers for the white board, a bottle of antacid, and (from Brit-Brit) a severed doll's head. And a treble clef pin to remind him of his secret identity as the Treble Clef. Finn calls them into a huddle to cheer on their upcoming success.
And then we're on the stage, where the New Directions perform fun's "Some Nights." They're wearing the same red tops and jeans they wore the first time they performed "Don't Stop Believing," and the leads are spread among a bunch of different kids. And I know I'm still a sucker for this show, and this song (with its driving martial rhythm and gospel choir sound) is especially manipulative, but this performance gave me the kind of musical shivers I used to get from this show all the time. So good on you, New Directions 2.0.
LTG lives in Boston, where he's full-time pension and benefits attorney and part-time superhero tailor. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.