Sam invites Blaine to the locker room after school, no chicks allowed, which: if that’s a concept that intrigues you, it’s time for you to get caught up on Teen Wolf. Sam’s Nude Directions training session includes tips on broga (“yoga for bros”), manscaping (“nobody wants to see a back that looks like Chewbacca’s ass”), and package augmentation. He follows it with a “Centerfold/Hot In Here” mash-up that features the most ridiculous choreography this show has ever done. It also features three solid minutes of Chord Ovestreet jumping rope and doing crunches and flexing every muscle in his celestially whittled body. The whole thing is basically an answer to the question: But, like, what is Tumblr for?
Also doing some after-school inviting is Marley Rose, who wants Jake to help her pick a Regionals melody. They try out a duet of that song from Twilight about love that stretches across centuries unless you accidentally get pregnant with a vampire baby that tries to eat its way out of your uterus, and then maybe love only lasts like six to ten weeks. It’s a pretty/pretty disturbing song, but they sound nice together. Afterwards, Marley tries to tell Jake that she loves him, but she bails on her confession at the last second because if this is going to be one of those moments she remembers forever, she wants to be wearing her hat.
That afternoon, while Jake and Ryder are doing their daily synchronized weight lifting regimen, Jake asks Ryder for advice about the womenfolks. Ryder says that if Jake loves Marley, he has to say it first, because yes, he’s sexy when he’s naked, but he’ll be even sexier when he gets naked with his feelings. Heh. This really is like an episode of Teen Wolf: the shirtlessness, the locker room, two guys with crackling chemistry failing to convince the audience they’re into boobs instead of each other. If only one of them would shove the other one up against a locker and breathe real close to his face in a totally heterosexual way, MTV could sue for copyright infringement.
Jake takes Ryders advice to heart and sings Ne-Yo’s “Let Me Love You” with so much soul and tenderness it’s like the first time I haven’t thought of him as New Puck this whole season. Although, if we’re being honest, the best part of the whole thing is Kitty rolling her eyes and smashing her head against the wall.
The only glee club member not really feeling the calendar is Artie, and when he and Finn trek to the library to track down a vintage centerfold photo of Sue Sylvester — to blackmail her into not shutting down their calendar project, of course — he says that he’s going to pass on posing for the project. Finn is like, “That’s cool, man. You know, some things are personal. Private. Sacred, even. And we each get to decide when and where and to whom we reveal those hidden parts of ourselves. Except for in the case of lesbian sexuality. I’m the one who chooses the time and place to make that information public.”
The only hitch in the calendar photoshoot is Sam’s ego, which Blaine recognizes right away as insecurity. Sam tells Blaine that the only thing he’s got going for him is his body, and that even his interpersonal skills are padded by how hot he is, and so Blaine makes an appointment for him to talk to Emma about how he does have college choices and scholarship choices, and he even edits together a testimonial from all the Old New Directions about how Sam is a hero, even without his cape. He came back to McKinley so they could go to Nationals, he rescued their trophy, he took care of his family when his dad lost his job, he gave Mercedes the confidence to pursue her dreams and Sanatana the muse she needed for her songwriting career and he busted Hunter Clarington III and gave this show back its narrative structure. Blaine cries, Sam cries, the solo piano cries, I cry. Man, I wish they’d never tried this Blam thing as anything other than a very best friendship. What these two have is really remarkable, especially on TV: a gay guy and a straight guy who are both portrayed as sexy guys with sex drives but who have a deep and abiding platonic affection for one another.
The calendar is a success. They pull down a whopping $350 and everybody feels good about themselves, even Artie, who somehow gets convinced to dress up like a leprechaun. They close it out with “This is a New Year,” all bouncing around and doing that a capella Glee bop-bop-bop-bop thing and laughing and running and dancing and living and loving and not even caring that Will Schuester has probably been eaten by a bear.