Fortunately, before Will gets a chance to wallow further in his annoying self-pity, Beiste charges on up to them with news of the dire doings currently transpiring in this anonymous hotel's "Wrigley Room." Coach Beiste, Miss Pillsbury, and Mr. Schue race downstairs to find the children quite literally at each others' throats because, as Artie notes, they've "been rehearsing for three straight hours," which when you think about it is an absolutely torturous amount of time for these morons. Oh, and Puck's decided that studying for his European Geography final's just a wee bit more important than going over his dance steps for the thousandth time. And St. Gay Of Lima just found out that Rahm Emanuel handed Not Really All That Unique a key to the city for some stupid reason. And Brit-Brit accidentally dropped both her blanket and her pillow into the hotel pool. Disaster! More screaming ensues, so Santana Lopez steps to the center of the room and shouts at the other children in general, "If you are not giving this everything you've got, I will go all Lima Heights on your sorry asses!" The threat of violence seems to shut everybody up for a moment, so Mr. Schue steps into the conversational breach to deliver a heartfelt lecture on the subject of "Passion," or whatever, and just like that, the children get back to rehearsing their various routines. Well, that was easy.
Cut to the façade of the Nationals performance venue, and while this episode is supposedly taking place in Chicago, the building we're looking at in this shot is actually The Luckman Fine Arts Complex at California State University Los Angeles. Maybe you've heard of it? It's in Los Angeles. And in a blessed case of If I Quote Him, He Will Come, Jesse St. James appears on plaza to inquire of the just-arriving Idiot Rachel, "Looking for what's left of your dignity?" Jesse St. James's eminently mackable hair is looking quite fine this evening, but that garishly-patterned tuxedo jacket of his is unfortunately giving me a rash. And don't get me started on that tacky little impresario scarf he's insouciantly knotted around his neck. Yick. Anyway, Idiot Rachel approaches him, and he immediately starts trying to psych her out by insisting that Carmen Thibodeaux would never, ever show up at Nationals just to listen to her sing. To her credit, Idiot Rachel immediately calls him on his crap, correctly surmising his surly demeanor's due to the fact that he's incredibly nervous about Vocal Adrenaline's chances at this year's competition, and she even goes so far as to point out the physical tics he tends to display when he's tense. For whatever reason, this causes Jesse St. James to collapse completely right there in front of her, and he spends the next several minutes babbling on and on and on about his own self-perceived failures as a glee club coach until Idiot Rachel's left with little choice but to offer him the same sort of pep talk Emma gave Will a couple of scenes ago, and it's boring as hell. But, you know, at least we're not finding out that his failures as a glee club coach are due to the fact that his boyfriend's been secretly beating him for the last several months, so I suppose I should be grateful for small mercies.