Previously on Glee, the Originals returned to McKinley High for a little Greased Lightnin’. Mike macked on Tina, Mercedes revealed that she is crushing it in LA (duh), Kurt stared at Blaine with baby deer tears in his eyeballs, and Rachel couldn’t find Quinn in their bathroom, so she called Brody instead and discovered that he was boning Cassandra July. Because what else are you going to do when she starts brandishing her abs at you like that? Kitty infected Marley with bulimia because she was jealous of her love triangle situation. And Finn took over Glee club so Mr. Schue could go to D.C. and earn some extra cash for Nationals by dancing around in a sombrero and leather pants.
Remember when Blaine joined all those clubs at the beginning of the school year to try to fill the Kurt-shaped hole in his heart? Well, the Secret Society of Superheroes Club is still in full effect and all the cool people have joined up. Blaine has traded in his secret identity of Kittenboy for a secret identity of Nightbird, and also he’s gotten his hands on a burner phone, which he wants to use as a hero hotline, but which Tina wants to use to help him process his feelings about Kurt. Blaine is saved from crying some more by a distress call from the choir room. Their Nationals trophy has been stolen by the Warblers!
Marley is standing at her locker. Her locker that still houses a sign that declares: “I love my mom!” Which is totally normal behavior for a teenage girl. Ryder swoons at her, Jake swoons at her — then they try to beat the shit out of each other while she feebly squeaks, “Stop this! It’s stupid! We could be spending this time showing something the audience cares about! Like who is Santana making cry right now? What is Kurt wearing? Is Quinn still alive or what?!” Suddenly Finn is there, dressed like a Schuester, and he busts up the brawl.
Finn’s first glee club lesson is a disaster. He can’t find the white board markers, he can’t command an audience, he can’t think of anything worth singing. Everyone starts booing and hissing and throwing rotten fruits and vegetables at him like they’re used to actually learning something at choir practice. Like Will Schuester was an exemplary leader who never had ideas like: “Night of neglect!” (Will’s best ever idea was called “Finnproof,” but unfortunately it didn’t stick.) Blaine storms out of glee club to go to Dalton to recover their Nationals trophy.
But first, Coach Beiste is also dressed in superhero garb and her superhero is The Beiste Master and she says “Punkin’” and I love her. Finn lumbers up and whines the word “Hi” like only he can. He explains that his first lesson was a mess because no one likes him, and Coach Beiste goes, “I can’t think of anything to say to better illustrate how out of touch these writers are with the audience than, ‘Be their hero, Finn.’”
Blaine descends on Dalton Academy — it says a lot about how much I miss the olden days that even seeing this set makes me go, “Awww! Dalton!” — and runs into Sebastian who says he did not steal New Directions’ trophy. No, that was Doctor Claw. Doctor Hunter Clarington Claw. He’s new here and already he has fallen under the spell of the ghost of Blaine Warbler. He tempts Blaine with a blazer and an acapella rendition of Kelly Clarkon’s “Dark Side,” and it’s every bit as gaudy and glamorous as you remember the Warblers being. They send Blaine on his way with his blazer and tell him to return anytime he wants to hop around on the leather common room furniture or be a messiah.
Finn returns to McKinley the next day dressed as The Almighty Treble Clef and his assignment is Dynamic Duets. He pairs Ryder with Jake and Marley with Kitty. Poor Blaine is going fully Gollum in his own mind, changing identities every six seconds and mumbling cryptic phrases to himself. He’s Blaine Anderson. He’s Nightbird. He’s Blaine Warbler. While Finn is doling out duets, he’s wrapped up in his cape, rocking back and forth in the corner, hissing, “We needs that trophy, Precious. No! No! Tricksy Treble Clefsies! We needs must haves the blazer!“
Ryder and Jake team up for “I am Superman” and it’s pretty great. They’re both dressed as Clark Kent, reporter hats and glasses and everything, and they dance around and disrobe and jump on tables and sing in Marley’s face. It’s that last thing that causes the duet to fall apart. They end up rolling around on the ground and slapping at each other and squalling like a couple of rabid cats. And, I mean, just make out already, you two. Good grief. You keep finding ways to say “Marley” while rubbing all over each other. It’s ridiculous. Even Marley doesn’t understand it. Finn tells them to try again, but this time, they need to share their deepest, darkest, most desperate fears and feelings with each other before they sing. Because that’ll help them be less in love mean to each other.