Previously on Glee, Kurt Hummel and Santana Lopez existed and spoke words and sang songs and danced dances and were beloved not only as beacons of light and sexiness for the queer communities they represent, but also generally accepted to be The Greatest by mainstream media as well. It was the best of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the epoch of belief, it was the season of Light, it was the spring of hope, we had everything before us, we were all going to heaven. It was Tale of One City — Bushwick. Alas.
The University of Lima is a place that has never existed until this exact moment. In fact, it might be a very elaborate figment of Finn’s imagination. For one thing, you can just start classes at any old time during the semester. And for another thing, the entire campus is a non-stop clown-fueled rager. Finn is happier than ever here. People dancing on tabletops in the library, people dancing in the fountain in the courtyard, people dancing on top of a sleeping Noah Puckerman on Finn’s dorm room floor. Puck? Puck! He lives here now. He and Finn do that Joey/Chandler thing where they jump up and down and twirl all around while locked in a hug.
At McKinley, the kids are all recovering from the gun incident in their own ways. Brittany, for example, has decided to concentrate on her post-high school education. MIT has put out feelers, but their arts and crafts classes leave a lot to be desired. Tina is going full steampunk. Sam is splitting his identity between regular Sam and his Australian(?) twin brother Evan. And Marley has decided to stop hiding her beautiful, behatted, wildly naive light under a bushel. She is going to release her Original Songs out into the wild.
But first! NeNe Leakes is back! Apparently the head Cheerios job at McKinley is so lucrative that Roz abandoned her position as North Korea’s national cheerleading coach to replace Sue Sylvester. I confess that I was yawning and walking toward the kitchen when Will and Beiste were hashing out the never-changing details of Will’s on-going feud with his 18-year-old best friend, but I sat my ass right back down on my couch when Coach Roz stormed into the teacher’s lounge. Beiste and Will are still rightly traumatized by last week’s gun thing, but NeNe is all, “[Cheap racist joke]” and even the background actors roll their eyes.
Oh, and Unique has started taking birth control because she read somewhere that it will enhance her breast size. She says loads of trans* kids are doing it, which: a) Is this the first time we’ve actually heard Unique refer to herself as “Trans*”? If so, that’s a really big moment for this show and for transgender viewers. And b) There’s actually a really intense and interesting and heartbreaking debate going on in the trans* and genderqueer communities right now about using non-prescribed hormones (sometimes purchased from dodgy overseas places) to curb or create different anatomical effects because insurance companies won’t pay for the medicines or procedures that trans* people need. It’s a lot more complicated than Marley and Unique’s nanosecond exchange, but what’s new?
At glee club practice, Mr. Schue announces that this year’s Regionals theme is: DREAMS! And he’s going the literal route. His planned setlist includes “Dream Weaver,” “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This),” and “You Make My Dreams.” Marley asks if it’s open for discussion like it would have been when Finn was their teacher but Will tells her to stuff a cabbie hat in her yap and stop saying her opinions and the name of the world’s most heinous betrayer.
As honorary Rachel, Blaine convenes a secret meeting of the unsupervised glee club — or, as I like to call it: the every other episode of Glee glee club — to bitch about Mr. Schue’s out of touch/dictatorial song choices. Marley suggests that they sing some of her original songs but Kitty vetoes it because she’s pretty sure lyrics about “fat moms” and “barfing” will bum out the judges. While New Directions are discussing their options, Sam and Evan are zooming in and out of the room changing identities and eyewear. Blaine Hermiones that they need to shut him down, but Artie Rons that he’s just trying to have a laugh. For now, they decide to let it slide.