In Ohio: We rejoin this never-ending school year after our lengthy winter hiatus to find Single-T Tina and Artie tied for valedictorian at The Graduation Ceremony That Will Never Arrive. Principal Sylvester contrives to have the two battle each other in a speech-off to be judged by herself, Janitor Figgins, Coach Beiste, and Mr. Schue, and while Artie and Tina initially snarl and hiss and hurl insults at each other for a variety of reasons to be mentioned later in the full recap, they each end up insisting that the other be given the honor, mainly because the script says so. This remarkable display of selflessness from the children involved results in an evenly split vote amongst the adults on the judging panel, so Principal Sylvester in her infinite wisdom demotes both Artie and Tina to salutatorian while throwing the top spot of Dreamboat Blaine, because why the hell not? And so Artie and Tina initially snarl and hiss and hurl insults at Blaine over this latest bit of utterly unrealistic fuckery until Blaine in his infinite wisdom decides that the three of them should skip the speechifying and sing a song together at graduation, instead, and everybody kisses and makes up.
In New York: Santana Lopez auditions for the job of Old Idiot Rachel's Funny Girl understudy, and proceeds to blow poor little woefully miscast Peter Facinelli completely away. Naturally, this leads to much psychotic shrieking from The Horrible Hooker Of Broadway, and after a couple of slapfights and a few heated exchanges, divalicious Rachel stomps out of The Improbably Bohemian Bushwick Loft, never to return again. Pity she'll still have to see Santana every single day at the theater and the coffee shop and the band rehearsals and whatnot.
In Other News: Some little-d drama transpires between St. Gay Of Lima and Adam Lambert for some dumb band-related reason, but they eventually kiss and make up, too. Unfortunately, St. Gay takes a photograph of that kiss and immediately Instagrams it to 3000 of his nearest and dearest friends on The Internets, so I'm sure we'll be receiving some Capital-D Drama between him and his fetching fiancé at some point in the very near future.
Featuring "Whenever I Call You 'Friend'" by Kenny Loggins and Stevie Nicks, as performed by Artie and Single-T Tina, with doo-woppy assistance helpfully provided by the other children in The New New Directions; "Brave" by Sara Bareilles, as performed by Old Idiot Rachel and Santana Lopez on the set of an especially dramatic New York magazine cover shoot; En Vogue's "My Lovin'," as performed by Tina and Artie during a disastrous mid-episode sing-off; Funny Girl's "Don't Rain On My Parade" for the bazillionth time, here performed by Santana as her audition piece; "I Believe In A Thing Called Love" by The Darkness, as performed by St. Gay Of Lima and Starrbooty for some reason or another; "Every Breath You Take" from The Police, as creepily performed by Rachel and Santana during their first rehearsal together; and Kelly Clarkson's "Breakaway," as performed by Artie, Dreamboat Blaine, and Single-T Tina, again with appropriate backup provided by the other Ohio kiddies.
Snap open deep within the abhorrent confines of Café Contrivance. Santana Lopez slaps a tab down on one of her tables and starts to saunter over towards the counter when some clearly racist tourist loudly complains -- in broken Spanish, no less -- about the state of her order. Santana obviously (and justifiably) would like to tear this woman a new one, but she instead bites her tongue and calmly whisks the troll-woman's plate back to the kitchen as a ridiculously overexcited Rachel bubbles on over from points elsewhere to giggle, "Okay, I was certain you were gonna go all Lima Heights-adjacent and just throw those eggs on that lady's face!" "I need this job," Santana grits by way of response, adding, "I'm saving up to buy a noose, to hang myself with," and oh, honey: Why buy new when you can just borrow from Martha Dumptruck?
In any event, this of course leads to a little heart-to-heart between the two gals wherein Santana bemoans her sorry lot in life for a moment before they finally get to the real point of their conversation, at least as far as this particular episode is concerned: "It's okay to complain to me," Rachel assures her. "It means we're friends!" "I just have this weird guilt-trip thing about being friends with you," Santana admits, "because I was so awful to you in high school." "It's fine," Rachel insists, promising, "I forgive you!" while pointing out that their time at McKinley High is well in the past, and that they're all best buddies now. Santana continues to mope that she's "crapping the bed" as far as her higher aspirations are concerned, so Rachel decides to cheer her up by inviting her to a Funny Girl-related cover shoot for New York magazine. "There's gonna be models," Rachel quite literally squeals, "and I think I have enough juice to ask if you can be one of them!" "You can get your hair done," she continues, "and your nails and your makeup, and there's all these free clothes -- are you in?" "Hells, yes!" Santana grins, and after the two merrily marvel at the unlikely yet happy fact of their incredibly stable and mature post-high school relationship, Santana tops it all off by sighing, "You're a really good friend!" So, we all know these two are gonna be clawing away at each other's throat within the next ten minutes, right? Of course right. Also: This evening's title card.