Previously on Glee, Marley Rose couldn’t remember How Clothes Work, so she contracted an eating disorder, despite the fact that she should be feeling really good about herself as a lady because two men-folk keep validating her existence with homoerotic wrasslin’ matches. Jake and Ryder worked out a bro-type truce when Jake helped Ryder get diagnosed with dyslexia and Ryder told his jock friends to stop bullying Jake just because he’s a poor. Blaine’s post-adultery existential crisis continued unabated until Sam worked his Overstreet magic and made our little Gollum remember how he used to be a happy hobbit in the gay ol’ Shire and convinced him that maybe he should stop punching himself in the face all the hours of all the days. And Finn Hudson was buried with Will in baptism and raised to walk in the Schueness of life.
Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, Quinn Fabray walks into mine. She’s on the stage in the auditorium at McKinley High, singing a little Simon and Garfunkel. And before you can say, “She’s coming back, I know she’s coming back!” she’s joined by Santana and Puck and Mike and Finn, and they’re doing a “Homeward Bound” mash-up with that ubiquitous “Home” song that sounds like it’s from Mumford & Sons, but is instead from an American Idol guy. I don’t know who directed this episode, but whoever did it is as in love with Old New Directions as we are, because the camera is — it’s like pining to hold each of their hands and twirl them around and around in a field full of dandelions and then lay them down and make sweet, musical love to them under the wide open sky of home. It’s all slow-mo and caressing their faces and ethereal and dizzy. I mean, I get it, camera, but keep it in your pants; we’re only 10 seconds into the episode.
So, the gang is all together again, except for Rachel and Kurt, but don’t you worry because Quinn knows exactly what’s going on with Rachel because Rachel is haranguing her at every turn to use a gifted train ticket to come visit her in the city. Quinn is like, “Sorry it’s obvious she still loves me more than you after all this time, Finnigan.” But Finn just shrugs and says, “I kept you two apart as long as I could, I guess.”
Just like every other week of this show, I am determined to give The New New Directions a real chance to win my heart, because it’s the mature thing to do and also because you guys keep telling me it’s what I need to do, but now The Old New Directions have come home for the holidays, and my good intentions are for naught. But Finn has a pretty good idea this week. He pairs up each Old New Direction-er with a New New Direction-er for the purpose of Sectionals mentoring and making us care. Old Quinn is with New Quinn, Old Puck is with new Puck, Old Mercedes is with New Mercedes, and Old Santana is with New Rachel, because there is no such thing as a New Santana because you shall have no other gods before her and all that.
Out in the hallway, Jake and Ryder decide between the two of them what the future holds for Marley. “Shall we allow her to choose between the two of us?” Jake asks, and oh, they laugh, because a woman making a decision for herself is just about the most hilarious joke they’ve ever heard. They agree that Jake can have Marley and Ryder can have the dance solo in “Gangnam Style” at Sectionals. (Marley, meanwhile, is monologuing in her mind about how she can’t let down New New Directions so she’d better keep on starving herself. And while she’s thinking all that, she’s sort of falling down in the hallway due to starvation and banging up against lockers and smashing into people and slurring her words. Tip-top shape, basically, is what she is in.)