Hallway. Mercedes is out of her boring Cheerios uniform and is back to some of her normal great threads. Puck asks her where the uniform is, and she tells him that she quit. Flash sideways to Sue, telling Mercedes that nobody quits Cheerios. "You either die or I kick you off." Mercedes tells her that it just wasn't her. For once, Sue actually has a good reason to be upset, since she built her routine for Nationals (which are in just a few weeks) around Mercedes doing ten minutes of Mariah Carey runs. Sue: "Guess I'll have to take to the mike and deliver a diatribe. Probably something about immigrants." Back to the hallway, where Mercedes tells Puck that Glee Club has taught her to be true to who she is, and who she is turns out to not be a popular cheerleader with a boyfriend who treats nerds badly. She tells Puck he should look into being who he is, because she doesn't think he's actually the mean jerk he pretends to be.
Brit-Brit and Kurt walk down the hallway holding hands. She compliments his soft hands. Kurt: "The secret? Duck fat." They pass Artie and Tina, who are freaked out by this blatant display of heterosexuality. Brittany: "Seriously, they feel like a baby. Now I know what it's like to date a baby." And then Burt calls out Kurt's name. Because he's there to take Finn out for hoagies and the motocross excursion that Finn won by catching a foul ball at the baseball game. Kurt, losing the drawl and the deep pitch, asks Brit-Brit to go away. And then, pretty quietly, he asks Burt if he ever thought that Kurt might want to do those things. Burt tells Kurt that he and Carol think it's good for Finn to be able to hang out with Burt. Burt promises to hang out with Kurt as much as he wants, "just not tonight." Burt leaves. And then, we come to a moment so great it requires a new paragraph.
As Burt walks away, we hear the opening bars of "Rose's Turn." (Actually, the middle bars, since we're skipping the first two minutes, in which Mama Rose has a psychotic break with reality and fantasizes that she's become a big vaudeville star.) And then Kurt starts singing the song. With tears in his eyes and pain in his voice, he sings the first bit at Burt's retreating back. And then he turns and strides purposefully down the crowded hallway, singing all the way. When we get to the "I had a dream" bit, Kurt's on stage, in a spotlight. And he's lost the flannel, trading it in for a great lavender shirt, a silky blue scarf, blue belt, and plaid pants. And a pair of combat boots that are up to his shins. Thank God. I couldn't take one more minute of that redneck chicless. Instead of singing about being abandoned by daughters and boyfriend, like Mama Rose, Kurt sings about feeling abandoned by his dad (and, to some unspoken degree, his mother). And poor Rachel gets name-checked in the song, but only because "Rachel Berry" can be made to rhyme with "Gypsy Rose Lee." When we get to the "when is it my turn" bit, more lights come up and we see that Kurt is in front of a red velvet stage curtain. And then the curtain comes up to reveal his name in lights. And he transforms from furious to fabulous, complete with Fosse-like dance moves, the signature adjustment of the front lock of his hair, and some great high kicks across the stage. He finishes with a roar and collapses to his knees.