Despite their differences and general love/hate relationship with one another, Artie and Tina apparently have a standing lunch date on Tuesdays in the auditorium. They’re feeling especially nostalgic about it today because the school year that will not end is finally, mercifully coming to an end. Over sandwiches and salads, Tina confesses that she got wait-listed at Brown and didn’t really apply to any other schools because she was under the impression that if you just sing hard enough about your dreams, they’ll come true. Artie says that’s not a real thing, but that he can sing happiness into her heart. They perform “Whenever I Call You Friend” with New Directions and feel so much love for each other … until Becky summons them to a meeting in Sue‘s office.
It turns out they’re tied for valedictorian. They have identical GPAs, extracurriculars, attendance records. Sue, hilariously, goes: “Now, unlike some members of the Glee club who come and go for months at a time with no explanation, you two losers are always in that choir room, even if for an entire week the only thing you have to do is say something inconsequential like, ‘Kitty’s right’ or ‘Blaine, are you serious?’” Isn’t it fun when Glee does self-deprecating meta commentary instead of audience-chastising meta commentary, the way Tina Fey taught us? Sue decides they’ll have a speech competition to see who is the true valedictorian. Is it fair? No, but neither is having to put up with Will Schuester’s bullshit for five years.
Sue’s one stipulation is that if they break out into song and dance during their speeches, she’ll make sure literally every beverage they drink for the rest of their lives has her pee in it. They know she’s telling the truth.
Tina and Artie take it to the hall and have a Santana/Rachel-sized squabble about who deserves to be on top and why the other one should drop out of the race. They yell about who’s suffered the most at the hands of these writers and blah blah: “You’re a Slytherin.” “No, you’re a Slytherin.” (They’re both Slytherins. No shame.) Their argument follows them into the choir room where Will says Blaine gets one of the solos for Nationals and they’ll have a sing-off for who gets the second one. Artie and Tina go at it with “My Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get It” so aggressively that Tina knocks Artie out of his chair. She feels immediately awful about it, unlike the time she rubbed down Blaine in his sleep and had to have it explained in eleven different ways why it was inappropriate and why she should feel awful.
During their valedictorian speeches — which are being judged by a blue ribbon panel of Will, Beiste, Figgins, and Sue — both Tina and Artie wave American flags and release bald eagles and explain that the other one is a True American Hero. The more they talk, the more everyone cries, except for Sue who is mystified that they’re pulling this shit. So she decides to make them co-salutatorians and make Blaine Warbler the actual valedictorian. He’s honored, really, to be chosen and, honestly, he feels like sometimes things just get handed to him. Like solos and the tightest pants in the known universes and an iPad with an Instagram photo of Kurt silly-smoochin’ Starchild. Becky delights in this new development. Blaine does not.
For his graduation speech, Blaine wants to sing with Tina and Artie. They warm up with “Breakaway,” which is a much nicer song when it doesn’t end with Rachel being homeless.
Next week: With one week left until Nationals, Mr. Schue figures New Directions still has all the time in the world to work out their set list, so he takes the week off to try to impregnate Emma. Santana admits that becoming Rachel’s understudy was just an elaborate way to tell her she wants to get under her. Kurt installs a stripper pole in his bedroom, which he reveals to Blaine during a midnight Skype session. And Demi Lovato shows up to sway in the background.