They pull the rug out. The entire thing was a fantasy sequence, and the song crashes to a halt to leave the audience sitting in silence as the camera lingers first on Emma, then on Finn, and finally on Rachel, each still as nervous and unsure as they were before the Madonna kicked in. "Rachel?" Jesse St. James calls out once more, and Rachel gazes almost miserably at her reflection before saying to herself, "I'm ready." And that "I'm ready" never reaches her eyes because she's not. She's really, really not.
Fan-fucking-tabulous. And I hate "Like A Virgin"! By the way, Rachel? Sweetie? Yeah, over here: If you don't want to do it with him, I sure as hell will.
The next day, Kurt's scenting himself at his locker as he and Mercedes wonder which of their fabulous new Madonna-inspired looks Coach Sylvester will be sporting when she arrives at school. Answer: None. Though she is wearing a nifty little navy blue tracksuit with gold stripes. "Miss Sylvester!" Mercedes sighs. "What happened?" "Oh, hey, there, Whoopi!" Miss Sylvester chipperly greets her. "Don Knotts," she adds, nodding in Kurt's egregiously plaid direction. "All those hairstyles and costumes?" Sue continues by way of answering Mercedes's question. "I'm gonna leave constant reinvention to Madonna." She's had a revelation, you see...
Smear to Principal Figgins's office, where Sue presents him with that list she'd had tucked into the strap of her steel-belted sports bra this entire episode. Figgins, however, is having trouble concentrating, partly because "Justify My Love" is blaring through the loudspeakers, but mainly because Sue actually had settled on one of Kurt and Mercedes's Madonna-inspired looks, at least earlier that morning: Jean Paul Gaultier's infamous black cone bra. As, you know, we all saw in the 8000 promos that preceded this episode's airing. Figgins, appalled, decides to go for flattery. "Your new look is unnecessary, Sue! You're a powerful woman -- you don't need to copy anyone else! You're an original, just like Madonna! Don't lose that quality." Sue: "Do you mean that, or are you just saying that because I poked a couple of kids' eyes out before second period today?" Figgins wisely pshaws, complete with obsequious handwave.
Smear back to the present, where Sue tells Kurt and Mercedes that she realized she didn't need to reinvent herself. No, what Sue Sylvester needs to do is reinvent everybody else. Starting with Kurt and Mercedes. Beautiful.