Welcome back, fellow Gleeks! It's a brand-new year at McKinley High, bringing lots of changes. Trouty Mouth, a.k.a. Sam, has left the school. Lauren Tuna, a.k.a. Lauren Zizes, has quit the glee club because it was damaging her coolness factor. And Quinn, a.k.a. Christian Barbie, has turned into Rizzo from Grease, complete with pink hair and nose ring. However, unlike Rizzo, she has no interest in singing, and quits New Directions. And even Santana's pleas of Cheerio solidarity can't get her to change her mind. Oh, and Will and Emma have apparently moved in together.
In terms of actual plot, there are four stories. First, and as always, New Directions has to recruit more members. Unfortunately, Will's harebrained scheme of placing purple pianos around school only attracts one auditioner, who turns out to have the musical sensibility of a howler monkey. and because she can't dance as well as Mike Chang, Will is forced to give her the boot.
In addition, Sue is running for Congress in a special election. She decides that her main platform will be opposition to public funding for the arts in schools. Since she's decided to declare war on the arts, Will decides he has no choice but to declare war on her, and he turns into a gay activist, glitter-bombing her at Cheerios tryouts. This causes Sue to renew her attempts to obliterate the glee club, and she orders Santana to destroy the purple pianos. After Santana lights one piano on fire, Will demonstrates his testicular fortitude for the third time in the episode by ejecting Santana from New Directions.
Meanwhile, Kurt has spent the summer trying to convince Blaine to transfer to McKinley. Blaine does spend the first few days of school at Dalton, but he eventually succumbs to Kurt's charms, transfers to McKinley, and joins New Directions. I sure hope his parents don't mind losing that nonrefundable first semester tuition.
Finally, Rachel and Kurt tell Emma, in her role as guidance counselor, that they plan to attend an arts school in New York City after they graduate. She sends them to a mixer for potential applicants to a highly selective performing arts program in the city. They head to the mixer fully confident that they will be able to intimidate other students out of applying, but are themselves highly intimidated when confronted with a showstopping production number. But in the end, they pull themselves together, and swear that they will both get into that school.
Featuring Tom Jones' "It's So Unusual," sung by Blaine, The Go-Go's' "We Got the Beat," sung by New Directions, an arrangement of "Ding-Dong! The Witch Is Dead," most famously performed by Barbra Streisand, performed here by (who else?) Rachel and Kurt, "You Can't Stop the Beat," from Hairspray, performed by New Directions, and a mash-up of "Anything Goes" and "Anything You Can Do," performed by an army of Rachel and Kurt clones, featuring The Glee Project's Lindsay.
Watch a video recap of this episode, courtesy of The Morning After:
"Shalom, blogosphere!" Uh, shalom to you, Jewfro. Because that's who is speaking to us as he makes his traditional back to school video report. Apparently, the McKinley blogoverse is obsessed with the plans people are making for their post-McKinley futures. So, kind of like the regular blogosphere. Jewfro asks Finn, the "mediocre quarterback [and] mediocre glee club lead," about his plans, and Finn not-so-confidently insists that he's totally got plans. But you wouldn't know them, because they live in Canada. Cut to Mike Chang, whose mother can't decide between Stanford and Harvard for him. Jewfro asks Tina what schools she's applying to, and she reminds him that she's a junior. I mean, come on Jewfro! Everybody knows that. And Artie is also a junior. Because Ryan Murphy says so, that's why! Jewfro finds Kurt and Rachel warming up in the music room. They are super happy, which means they are super annoying. They've got their future Juilliard-attending, Manhattan-living, Tony-winning futures completely planned out. I do love how Kurt can't stop making love to the camera with his eyes during this entire interview. That boy was born to be a reality-show famewhore.
Jewfro moves on to Mercedes, asking her about the Twitter gossip that she's been dating Sam, "a.k.a., Hobo McBieber." Mercedes was dating Sam, but his father got a new job and they moved away. (Which is code for "Ryan Murphy has the attention span of a coked-out chihuahua and couldn't think of anything to do with Chord Overstreet.") But now Mercedes is dating some mountain of a football player, who plans to make cocoa babies with her after she wins her first Grammy. Jewfro finds Santana in the cafeteria. She tells him, "Senior year is all about being the Cheerios' top 'ho, and modeling my fierceness after my numero uno Latina, Paula Abdul." Jewfro knows, as do we, that Paula Abdul is half-Syrian, not Latina, but I think that being confused about the ethnic origin of your role model is kind of a good way of following in Paula Abdul's footsteps. Santana is joined by Brit-Brit. Jewfro asks her what her plans are for the future. Brit-Brit stops and whispers, "Wait, are you working on a time machine too?"
We cut back to the end of Finn's interview. He tells Jewfro that he's very excited about the year. But as he walks away, Finn's voice-over tells us that he actually has no idea what he's doing with his life and can't even remember who he is anymore. And then some jocks remind him who he is with some synchronized slushy-ing. Mullet-haired jock: "Taste the rainbow, glee-yotch!" Finn: "Now I remember." Title card.