For the second episode of Glee‘s fifth season, the issue of the loss of Cory Monteith has yet to be addressed. With the full coroner report released for the late actor and plans announced to resolve his character’s disappearance in next week’s next week’s episode, audiences will hopefully gain some sort of closure. This week, however, the Glee kids are continuing with two-part theme of Beatles music, venturing into the Fab Four’s more experimental classics.
We begin with the glee club gathered round a piano in rehearsals to talk about your standard high school fare: gay marriage, Sam’s inability to lock down a prom date and the Beatles. However, their pop music history lesson is interrupted by Principal Sue Sylvester on the intercom to announce the candidates for prom king and queen. Included in nominations are Blaine Anderson, “Stoner” Brett, Artie Abrams, Kitty, some other Cheerios and “inexplicably” Tina Cohen-Chang.
Tina’s psyched and Sam’s bummed that he wasn’t nominated. Immediately, Tina drops Sam as her date with a plan to go with a group of single girls in a strategic attempt to gain votes. This leads to her starting a solo of “Revolution” that quickly cuts off when the bell rings and her classmates scatter.
At the Spotlight diner in New York City, Rachel laments that she hasn’t heard back about her audition while Santana tells her the good news that she booked a yeast infection medicine commercial. In the ad, she delivers the line, “I like yeast in my bagel, but not in my muffin,” with a giant smile. Rachel congratulates her with a hug and feigns not being jealous.
Bree runs into Kitty in the hall and rips her a new one for being nominated for prom queen but opting not to campaign against Tina. This Cheerio is not so cheerful. Meanwhile, Sam mopes to Will about Tina dropping him like a bad habit until Sue interrupts them to inform them of her policy of mandatory vaccinations. According to her, all the glee club kids need to have their shots by the end of the week or Will is fired. Her zinger of the night is calling him, “Busted Timberfake.” Ha!
Back in New York, newly-engaged Kurt sees Rachel in a room full of pianos and informs her she needs to get her mojo back. As part of this campaign, they sing “Get Back.” There’s a lot of complicated choreographed piano-dancing.
In Lima, Sam crashes nervously and loudly into the nurse’s office, and even though he shares a moment with the cute college sophomore nurse-in-training, Penny Owen, he scoots out before he can get pricked with a polio-meningitis vaccination.
We see that it took about 2.8 seconds for Tina to turn into Tracey Flick from Election. With her little minion Dottie by her side, power-hungry Tina stalks the halls, concerned about early prom queen polls. Are those really a thing? She flips when she sees posters of Kitty plastered everywhere. The whole New Directions gang backs Tina in assuming it was Kitty who did it. Only Kitty and the Cheerios know it wasn’t her, and Bree secretly watches Kitty tear down the posters in frustration.
Spotlight diner waitresses Dani (guest star Demi Lovato) and Santana enjoy some flirty conversation. Dani admits to “loving lady parts” and Santana says her last girlfriend was bisexual before scooting away all hot and bothered. Rachel runs into her and gets excited at the potential romance, encouraging Santana to not be scared of dating a full-on lesbian.
Sam skips out on a tux-shopping expedition for a quick visit to the nurse’s office to attempt to woo Penny. After a pep talk from the boys, Sam sings “Something” as he floats serenely down the hall toward Nurse Penny with a goofy grin on his face. This commences in a falling-in-love montage, complete with a slow-motion Heimlich maneuver demonstration that is…sexy? The fantasy culminates with the two dressed for prom, slow-dancing on stage.
Sam’s dreamy imaginings crash to a halt when he learns Nurse Penny has been fired. He undoes his pants to receive his shot in the rear. He then runs into Principal Sue Sylvester’s office to argue for her job. Sue absentmindedly notes, “Yesterday, I asked her for two aspirin and she accidentally gave me steroids.” And just like that, Nurse Penny is back in business.
Tina’s campaign is in full swing and she is playing the race card big time. Desperate times, my friends. In the midst of some grassroots campaigning, Dottie gets pulled aside by Bree and recruited by the Cheerios.
At the diner, Rachel announces she is going to audition for every possible role and slips out early to give Dani and Santana time to bond. Dani gives a little speech about the sunrise and the two waitresses sing a duet of “Here Comes The Sun” looking very much like a couple. They harmonize in preparation for some sexy musical lady times and it ends with a kiss goodbye in front of Dani’s apartment stoop.
Prom has arrived and the glee club kids take over the stage in full Sergeant Pepper’s regalia to perform “Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.” Tina confidently arrives with her gang of single ladies and Sam not-so-coincidentally runs into re-hired Nurse Penny near the punch bowl for a flirty moment. He convinces her to join him on the dance floor. Dottie and Bree make some last-minute preparations for their Carrie-inspired prank.
Sue takes to the stage to announce prom king and queen, Stoner Brett and Tina Cohen-Chang. In slow motion, Tina takes to center stage with a giant smile only to have red slushie rain down on her. Poor Brett is knocked out when the bucket lands on his head.
Tina flees the stage, her buddies hot on her tail. They all convene in the rehearsal room to support angry, soaked Tina. She prepares to storm off home but is interrupted by Blaine who suggests she clean up and go back to the dance.
The group performs “Hey Jude” as the gals clean Tina up. At the end of it all, she steps out in a bright pink frock and a new bouquet of pink roses to triumphantly return to the stage to accept her crown. The moral of the story, kids? Prom kind of has to suck, or you’re doing it wrong.
The next day, Coach Roz drags Bree into Sue Sylvester’s office to say that even though the prank was hilarious, Bree should still be suspended. In response, Sue promotes her to Head Cheerio and promises her a new car with grand plans of making her into a super villain.
In the Big Apple, Santana is surprised to see Kurt working at the diner. The three of them make a pledge to give NYC two years. Rachel is requested at a booth to serve someone. The producer of Funny Girl is back. He orders a whole cake and tells her he wants it to read…”Congratulations, Rachel Berry, you are Fanny Brice.” A happy ending!
With a big smile on her face, Rachel sings “Let it Be” to new couple Santana and Dani, and Kurt, as they toast to her success. Back the high school, the New Directions take over to close out the episode with a splashy, hippie-inspired grand finale.
Next week promises to be an emotional tribute to both Finn Hudson and the actor who played him. We’ll all be steeling ourselves for the tearful farewell.