Previously on Glee, all the awesome people in Lima, OH started migrating away from Lima, OH — only to be replaced by bots containing echos of their personalities. Mr. Schue went on the most inexplicable crusades for the grossest shit (the right to twerk with his students, just for an example), and not even Principal Sue Sylvester’s death glare could make him shut it down. Fed up with Marley’s disinterest in his boners, Jake got his hanky-panky on with Bree on her letter jacket under the bleachers, and so Marley climbed up on top of a literal wrecking ball and smashed some bricks through some windows and broke up with him. Also, Kurt and Blaine got engaged and never saw one another again for the rest of their lives.
Principal Sue hosts a McKinley High School career fair and excludes singing and dancing from everyone’s future, but if Will Schuester wants to stand on a stool and demonstrate what a career in The Arts looks like by popping that grown-man ass up and down all afternoon, she’s cool with that. Will, however, has a better idea: He will use Sue’s dismissiveness to teach a lesson about “a goofy-looking kid who struggled for years” and became one of the best-selling musicians of all time. Yes, it’s BJ week. And before Sam and Blaine hop into that magical subway portal that connects McKinley High to Bushwick, NY, they perform a BJ together. Just kidding, everyone. It’s not real BJs. Boys can’t even kiss on this show. It’s a Billy Joel song they sing together: “Movin’ Out,” which climaxes with them nearly getting murdered on an MTA bus because of sing-shouting in commuters’ faces and ends with them piling into the Hummelpezberry loft for a giant group hug.
Now, put a pin in that because we’re going back to Lima.
Artie’s been doing some thinking about Becky — which she knows, duh, because clearly he’s been in love with her since kindergarten — and has decided to help her realize her dreams of attending college. Sue’s not feeling it, like at all, so Artie asks Becky’s parents for permission to take her on a road trip to Cincinnati. He sings “Honesty” to her, because nothing makes a girl on this show change their mind about a thing like singing to her, and finally Sue relents and gives her blessing. In one way, this is just another classic example of Glee sending in a straight white guy to fix the problems of a minority student, but in another way, Artie also is handicapable, so it’s much more palatable. He actually knows what it’s like to be afraid to move away from what’s comfortable because of being different. And Kevin McHale’s voice is delicious, as always, so that’s a plus.
They hit up the University of Cincinnati, where a group of students with Down Syndrome are participating in a life skills class, and while a gifted Beckretary like Becky probably doesn’t need this class, she fits right in with the other students, makes them laugh, gets her flirt on with the cutest boy. Becky really loves it, but is afraid to tell Coach Sylvester because she doesn’t want to hurt her feelings. “Oh, Becky,” Sue says, “I don’t have any feelings.” And so Becky reveals that she’s outgrown the high school bitches at McKinley and wants to move away to college. Sue smiles at her so sweetly and starts helping her strike all the swear words out of her application essay.
Not only does McKinley High School boast a teleportation hub between Ohio and New York, it also possesses a time-traveling mechanism that allows students to jump between years. For example, Jake and Ryder and Marley have all traveled to 2012 to start their love triangle storyline over from the beginning. No one cared last time. Will they care this time? (No.) But, hey, it’s never the wrong time to talk about how you can’t “get back” the first time you have sex, so, sure, why not. Marley’s mom tells her to protect her v-card until a special boy comes along who deserves to swipe it, and Marley agrees that is a real good idea because you can’t “get back” your virginity. The person who wants to “take” her virginity, of course, is Jake, and the person who does not want to “take” her virginity is Ryder. How do I know? Because he sings “Innocent Man” at her to prove he is not an evil v-card swiper. (“Swiper, no swiping!”) Jake responds by clomping around and lifting weights and perving in the girls’ locker room, singing “My Life.”
Marley chooses a date with Ryder, who is innocent, which: Ha ha ha, tell it to Unique.
Despite Sue’s glorious protest — “Oh no, no, no! Don’t you dare! Over my dead body will you inexplicably shoehorn in another Billy Joel song just to punctuate one of your weekly lessons that inevitably veers off into an acrid barrage of angst and affirmation.” — Will decides to close out BJ week with a razzle-dazzle group performance of “You May Be Right.” (He may be crazy.)
New York, New York
After teleporting to Bushwick, Sam and Blaine follow Santana and Rachel and Kurt over to the Starlight Diner for some grilled cheese sandwiches and singing and dancing. Kurt gave them solid sightseeing advice, but they mostly visited campus visits all day. NYU and Columbia — because of course one of Blaine’s safety schools is an Ivy. Kurt says Blaine doesn’t need a backup plan because he’s the greatest singer in all the lands, and then he stands up on stage and says the same thing to everyone in the restaurant: “Now, you may not know the name Blaine Anderson yet, but you will soon when it’s lit up all over Broadway!”
Blaine performs “Piano Man” with Sam on harmonica, and everyone dances around the diner with candles, which seems dangerous and terrifying, to be honest. The crowd loves him. They cheer and cheer. Kurt rushes the stage and kisses Blaine full on the mouth with so much passion and pride. Heh. Jokes. Kurt stands on top of a counter, 500 feet away, and whoops and hollers in Blaine’s general direction.