We open on a shot of Artie, strutting down the hallway. I mean, strutting to the extent you can strut in a wheelchair. Which, surprisingly, is quite a bit, based on the amount of swagger Artie's working. His voice-over tells us that he's feeling enlightened, because he's discovered what his passion is. He throws a high-five to Puck, who obliviously walks right past him. Artie's passion is not being ignored by punks with really bad fake mohawks. It's directing (or, as Artie terms it, "bossing everyone around"), which he's realized since he was put in charge of West Side Story. The key is just making decisions, even if you have no idea what you're talking about. Did Artie go to the same leadership seminar as my boss? Artie's point is illustrated with a flashback of him reviewing wardrobe for Maria (modeled by Rachel), randomly selecting the ugliest option possible. His V.O. informs us that the musical is just days away.
Cut to the auditorium, where Artie and his two co-directors, Emma and Coach Beiste, are listening to Rachel and Blaine rehearse "Tonight." But they're still reading off of sheet music. And there don't really seem to be any sets assembled. And Rachel and Blaine are just standing at the piano, not doing any kind of blocking at all. This is not what I recall "a few days before the show" looking like. And yet we get to hear them singing much of the song, in the most boring way possible. Beiste is moved to tears (which is apparently her reaction to every song), and Emma is also thrilled. But Artie thinks they lack any kind of chemistry or passion. He is not getting the vibe of "sexual awakening" off of Rachel and Blaine. At the sound of the word "sexual," Emma and Beiste both freeze like terrified bunnies. Artie asks Rachel and Blaine if either of them have ever done it, leading Emma and Beiste to make up excuses to flee the room. Artie tells Rachel and Blaine how exciting it was the first time he had sex with Brit-Brit ("even though she called me the wrong name like four times"), and asks them what their first time was like. Except that they've each been holding out for that special moment. Artie: "As you friend, I support your strange aversion to fun. But as your director, I'm concerned." And then Artie basically tells them that he doesn't think they can do a good job in their roles unless they've had sex. I hear Tim Burton gave similar advice to Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter prior to filming Sweeney Todd. The sudden rash of rich gentlemen disappearing on days they had appointments with their barber is completely unrelated.