With "West Side Story" back on, thanks to Kurt and the Hummel-Hudson family, Blaine jumps up and declares that he has a number prepared to remind everyone what glee club is all about. He's back to his roots with a Katy Perry number, and one of the first truly current pop hits on Glee this season, "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)" The performance is pure "Glee," as if Tumblr had a wet dream about what a number should look like, with everyone (minus Santana) dancing disorganized and joyful, coming together and doing some choreography before descending into giggles and twirls. That's why "Glee" sells, takes International tours and connects with the youth of America in a nutshell. Rachel, ever the shrewd business woman, proclaims they should do that number for Sectionals, only to be refuted by Santana who wants other voices to be heard, not just the Rachel and Blaine show, echoing a bit of what Glee purists and fans have been complaining about this season.
Santana continues her mean streak, threatening Rory and using him as her pawn in manipulating Britt to her wishes, which he does by sneaking into her room and fake-granting her second, grosser wish about Lord Tubbington and candy bar excrement. As they share a candy that touched kitty litter, he tells her Santana's only wish was for Britt to join the all-girls club, and since it's a leprechaun wish it has to come true, forcing her to oblige.
Puck shows up at Shelby's to thank her for helping him get a year-round pool cleaning job and for believing in him. While she fusses over a crying Beth, Puck sneaks around the house undoing all the bad Quinn has done, then pulls out a guitar and sooths the baby with "Waiting For A Girl Like You" by Foreigner, which is not really a sleepytime number, but sweet nonetheless. Puck hasn't had a chance to play to his guitar-solo strengths in a while and it's a welcome throwback to classic "Glee" Season One. Beth quiets, and then Shelby breaks down complaining about how hard it is to be a single mother and experience all the ups and downs alone. Puck clasps her hand and tells her he'll be there for her. Uh oh, we all know where this is going.
Rory does his spy duty for Finn, reporting that Britt is quitting the club. When Finn confronts her with Santana about not being part of the team, Santana points out that Finn himself is being divisive with Blaine and not standing up for everyone's chances. When Britt tries to explain that it was a leprechaun wish, Finn tells her to stop being an idiot and believing in things like leprechauns or Santa Claus. She stares him down and points out that all the boys think she's stupid and he's bullying her which is disrespectful. This argument would go a lot further if she wasn't dating the school's biggest bully, but we're still hoping for a true Santana redemption this season.
Burt, who is now running against Sue as a write-in candidate after getting Will and Kurt as his campaign managers, shows up at the TV station to get his airtime, telling the community that arts and creativity are more important than ever -- that everyone needs to be creative now to get the county out of its mess. Capless and with his casual shirt just a tad unbuttoned, Burt Hummel has swagger, some sort of perfect mashup of Tea Party aesthetics and Occupy Wall Street ideals. Last season we all wanted him to be our dad, now maybe Burt Hummel should be our president. Later he brings up the future with his kids and wife, while Sue makes threats (and revitalizes her fight to also campaign for Special Education classes, which apparently McKinley doesn't have…), Burt just smirks and accepts the challenge. Does Obama need a new running mate for 2012?
Over in the all-girls group, now known as the Trouble Tones, Santana and Mercedes put Sugar in her place, telling her to sing softly and dance if she wants to be part of the winners. Along with Britt the duo take center stage for a rendition of Christina Augilera's "Candyman," complete with USO-style getups. They've flushed out with some extra dancers, but they're still shy of twelve members required to compete in sectionals, so while sonically and aesthetically they're a threat to New Directions, neither group is actually competition-ready. Still, Finn mends fences with Britt and the girls, trying to salvage their friendships if they can't save the glee club. With Rory's usefulness over, Santana tells him to scram. He's back to being invisible and the jocks in the hall locker slam him and try to make him admit that U2 is overrated. Finn saves the day, sending them scattering and offering him an olive branch in the form of glee club membership.
McGinty's section solo of the episode is Teddy Thompson's "Take Care Of Yourself" which is a little superfluous and overkill on his character introduction, but the club slowly falls in love with him as he sings, the moments of each of the McKinley bunch seeing a potential new star in their midst spliced with scenes like Kurt, Artie and Tina going to see fellow original club member Mercedes at practice, only to be shooed away by Santana, and the final shot of the oh-so-shocking (except not) liplock between Shelby and Puck.
"Glee" is not the first teen show to go there, and it won't be the last. There's a least some Puck MILF-loving precedence and the interesting addition of him fathering her adopted child, but regardless we doubt Glee will go full-out Dawson's Creek with the plotline. Plus next week they have the much more important dual plotlines of Kurt and Blaine and Finn and Rachel's respective first times to address.