Under the patient guidance of Coach Beiste, the McKinley High Titans have miraculously emerged from the latest football season with a winning record, and are therefore headed on towards the conference championship game -- in Ohio, in February. Unfortunately, Dave Karofsky's ongoing Capital-I Issues with his sexual orientation have led him into an openly antagonistic relationship with Finn and the other male Glee Clubbers, both on the field and off, with all of the non-singing football players backing him up for some reason that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.
With her players thus so divided, and despairing of her team's chances at that conference game in Ohio in February, Coach Beiste turns to Mr. Schue for advice. Just go with it. Will, of course, suggests they build bridges between Karofsky & Ko. and New Directions by forcing the non-Glee football players to join show choir for a week, and the results are initially as disastrous as one would expect. Somehow, though, he convinces everyone involved that a super-spectacular halftime performance inspired by a 30-year-old music video will make them all, like, totally cool, and Karofsky even starts emerging from his hostile shell during the joint rehearsal sessions, but everything goes to hell when Karofsky & Ko. find themselves slushied by the much-loathed yet gloriously bemulleted puckheads of McKinley's hockey team.
Because of all that, Karofsky and his compatriots flat-out refuse to participate in the super-spectacular halftime festivities, but Coach Beiste stands her ground and boots every single one of them off the team, effective immediately, even though that means she's heading into that conference game in Ohio in February with only five players. Fortunately, Rachel and Mercedes decide to visit Kurt and Blaine over at not-gay-at-all Dalton Academy, and avid gridiron aficionado Blaine comes up with a solution I totally didn't understand, because I am proud to count myself as one of the many, many queers who still hate football. Blaine's proposed solution, however, leads to the Glee Gals volunteering themselves as replacements for Karofsky & Ko., and for yet another reason that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever, it works.
Meanwhile, Sue Sylvester's got her track bottoms all knotted up in a nasty wad because the cheerleaders' Nationals are next week, and her lack of inspiration threatens to derail her chances for a record-breaking seventh consecutive title. Sue decides that her only course of action is to shoot Brittany out of a carny cannon at a key moment during the Cheerios' routine, but when Brit-Brit -- with the support of both Quinn and Santana Lopez, surprisingly enough -- balks, Sue completely loses her cool and forces all three of them to resign from New Directions.
Everything comes to a head on the night of The Big Game in Ohio in February, with the other team rather predictably kicking the Titans' diminished ass until Puck and Finn work a little magic both to convince the recalcitrant non-singing football players to perform at halftime and to rescue the cheerleading Glee Gals from Sue's evil clutches so they might do the same. Everyone in the stands of course goes gaga for the halftime routine -- even Karofsky so loses himself in the moment that he joins the others on the field for the grand finale -- and with her team thus so happily reconstituted, Coach Beiste goes on to lead the Titans to victory. In Ohio. In February.
Sadly, the loss of Quinn, Brittany, and Santana Lopez means that Sue also loses what would have been her record-breaking seventh consecutive Nationals title, and she's forced to endure the abject humiliation of a Katie Couric interview. I've a feeling Sue'll bounce back by next week's episode, though. Call it a hunch.
Featuring the hateful Katy Perry's equally hateful "California Gurls," performed by the Cheerios, their flaming boobs, and a bunch of guys on dirt bikes; Lady Antebellum's "Need You Now," performed by Puck and Rachel; 1950s advertising classic "See The U.S.A. In Your Chevrolet," performed by most of New Directions during the episode's first commercial break; "She's Not There" from The Zombies, performed by the McKinley High Titans; "Bills, Bills, Bills" from Destiny's Child, as trilled by Dreamboat Blaine and The Dalton Academy Gays; and, finally, the much-hyped mash-up of a thirty-year-old music video with some song I never heard before, as performed by everyone and their mom during the halftime show.
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As the introductory vamp of Katy Perry's "California Gurls" assaults our ear-holes, the camera snaps open on an anonymous, blue-wigged Cheerio, who's sporting a skimpy bikini top over her carwash skirt while twirling a flaming whip above her head. After a few seconds of this, the lithe Lima kitten lashes a brief tongue of fire out towards the lens, and we're off. The shot immediately pulls back to reveal Sue Sylvester -- positively regal in her finest Nancy Reagan-red tracksuit, the one with the daring black-and-white racing stripes down the sides -- presiding over what's obviously a rehearsal of the Cheerios' latest daring routine, this one featuring not only the finest scantily clad jailbait western Ohio has to offer, but also a bunch of BMX-boy randoms casually tossing off what I'm guessing are meant to be thrilling aerial stunts on a set of ramps set up especially for this purpose in the middle of McKinley High's gymnasium. Fire pots belch rhythmically in the background. One young lady works her flaming hula hoop to death as other members of the squad prance around her, and as impressive as that is, I think my favorite bit comes when four especially enthusiastic gals materialize center stage to skip around whilst spinning their fire poi about in various eye-dazzling configurations. The grand finale involves two particularly pert Cheerios igniting their WMHS-emblazoned cone bras to lead the rest of their compatriots in a sparkly Glamazon stomp of high-attitude elegance down the middle of the backflipping BMXers, and once it's over, Sue raises her trusty megaphone to her mouth to blare, "I'M BORED." And you know what? Sue's got a point. Delightful as this particular opening was -- despite the dreadful so-called "song" it was set to -- it sure as hell didn't come anywhere close to "Ray Of Light" on stilts, to offer only one example of the Cheerios' storied past routines, but perhaps I'd better let Sue Sylvester explain her crushing sense of ennui in her own words.
First, however, she has a request: "Brittany, please remind me of how I single-handedly put cheerleading on the map." Brit-Brit, looking surprisingly fetching in her hideous Smurf-blue Katy Perry wig, rotely recites, "In 1979, you directed a made-for-TV movie about the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders called The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders." I had no idea Sue Sylvester directed that masterpiece -- which really needs to be released on DVD, and soon -- but I digress, for Sue follows up with the rhetorical inquiry, "And in the meantime, what's changed?" "Personal grooming habits?" Quinn slyly guesses. "What's changed," Sue corrects her, "is I have completely lost interest, and ladies? I blame you!" The camera pans past Brit-Brit's sad little chastened expression to land on Santana's typically smug moue before cutting back to Sue, who turns to her enforcer, Becky, with the order to distribute "more silicone falsies." As Becky complies, dipping into a red McKinley Titans bucket for the slimy-looking things, Sue instructs, "You will each enhance your bust with an additional pair of chicken cutlets in an attempt to add some jiggle to what is the most boring routine I have ever witnessed!" [And yet she hated Santana's breast implants... - Zach]