For the first time in a long time, I don’t feel like they just threw eighteen different plotlines at my face just to see which one would stick. Some extremely minor bits of character business were touched upon tonight, sure — and yes, Quinn and Finn, I am staring directly at your boring asses as I type this — but for the most part, this episode told only two stories. Had I a heart, I’d say it told both of them well, but that goddamned manipulative funeral was giving me hives even before it began, and there I go, getting all ahead of myself again. Let’s start at the beginning, shall we?
The evening opens with Mr. Schue hiring Jesse St. James — swoon! — as the Glee Club’s “show choir consultant” to help the kiddies prepare for their impending performance at Nationals. First on Jesse’s agenda is selecting the primary soloist around whom the rest of the gang’s routine will be built, because that’s how they do it over at Carmel, and to that end, he convinces Mr. Schue to hold auditions. Santana Lopez, Kurt, Mercedes, and Rachel are the only four children to sign up, and the middle section of this evening’s installment is devoted to more-or-less full-length versions of the songs they’ve chosen to dazzle Mr. St. James. And while Santana Lopez definitely gives Miss Berry a run for her money, Rachel’s so obviously the best of the four, the whole thing’s not even funny. Well, except for just about every nasty, evil, unctuous, smarmy, hysterical line from Jesse St. James’s mouth, but those are best left for the recap proper.
Of course, Dumbass Mr. Schue then decides to throw the results out because the children perform best when they’re not competing with each other, or some such b*******, and on top of that bit of stupidity, he announces they’ll be presenting original songs at next week’s big competition — original songs they’re apparently meant to compose, arrange, orchestrate, costume, choreograph, rehearse, and perfect whilst lounging in their first-class seats on the American Airlines flight from Allen County Regional Airport to JFK, because of course. Of course.