Finally there's Finn, who's had the most developed post-high school plotline prior to this episode thanks to Rachel. He's still treading water, unsure of what his ambitions are when they're not tied up in Rachel. The two have not been speaking, but finally reunite on stage where Rachel offers to lay her New York dreams aside so they can focus on Finn and find a compromise for him too, singing the Bee Gees classic "How Deep Is Your Love" while we see Emma and Will showing Finn a variety of college pamphlets to consider. He grins and accepts, then once he's out of their view dumps them in the trash. When Schue catches his deception Finn lashes out, telling his teacher that he just wants to stay young, that all he wants for the future is to stop time because he's a loser. Schue says he knows what he wants, he's just afraid to say it, and sets him down with a VHS of "Saturday Night Fever" to find his inspiration and decide what he wants to do with the rest of his life before he's even left Lima -- the cruelest joke adults play on kids, that they have to have it all figured out before they graduate high school. Finn, because he must, makes a decision and brings Rachel to the choir room to tell her through song. "More Than A Woman" becomes a 70s-costumed fantasy where the show's four couples -- Klaine, Finchel, Tike and Brittana -- all disco and sing to each other, and is the highlight of the night if only for Kurt and Blaine's stellar vests. After the song finishes and Rachel and Finn are back in their 2012 finest, Finn admits he wants to move to New York and go to school at "Inside The Actor's Studio" and be a great man for Rachel.
The only functioning B-plot this week is the inclusion of the fourth and final "Glee" Project winner, Alex, as Wade, a performer from Vocal Adrenaline who's Kurt and Mercedes biggest fan. He comes to them for advice about performing in his drag persona, a more confident version of himself named Unique, but also a female version of himself. Kurt and Mercedes are first unsure, and then swayed by Sue to sabotage Wade by sending him a pair of glitter heels to do the performance in, thus turning him and Vocal Adrenaline into the laughing stock of Ohio. They have a change of heart last minute, and try to talk Wade out of it, but he ignores them and kills as Unique on "Boogie Shoes" by KC and the Sunshine Band, much to new VA coach Jesse St. James's dismay. This type of gender identity play is new ground for "Glee" -- Kurt's always been staunchly identified as male despite being called lady by detractors, and he tries to impose his understanding of queerness on Wade and is promptly called out ("I've worn some pretty out there outfits but I've never dressed as a woman," Kurt warns. "That's because you identify as a man. I thought you of all people would understand," Wade calmly notes) but unfortunately we've barely had any time to digest Wade as a character before. He'll be back, and the identity issues he brings most likely won't go away, but it felt rushed even for "Glee", and that's saying something.
What was most interesting about this episode was the increased levels of meta commentary involved. Sure, as a show about star ambition, "Glee" will always have meta parallels to the actors playing their roles, but this week was almost glaring, especially in Mercedes solo album dreams in the anticipation of Amber Riley's forthcoming release. Likewise, Cory Monteith was a wayward youth who turned to acting to get his life on track, although his story had a lot more illegal substances than Finn Hudson's. Even his mention of "Inside The Actors Studio" reeks of meta when the cast was just featured on the program last week.
All in all, the episode was a lot of fan service in terms of focusing on characters and fleshing out fan-desired plot holes, utilizing period clothes, dance sequences and PDA with the couples, and upbeat music. None of this is a bad thing. In the end, everybody wins. Mercedes, Santana and Finn all get the leisure suits of their own and lead the group in "Stayin' Alive," during which they all get leisure suits and disco across the McKinley stage. Except for Rory, Sugar and Quinn, all mysteriously mostly missing from the episode. Maybe all the plot was happening off in some other part of Lima for this week with those three.
This week's episode was the antidote to everyone who's complained "Glee"'s too serious and forgetting its roots. "Glee" dug up those roots on full display this week -- teenage ambition, the pressure of feeling like you're not enough of something undefinable, and singing your way through it. Next week they turn to Whitney Houston for their soundtrack. If promos are to go by, there will be Kurt and Blaine drama, Quinn is closer to walking, and someone stuck some sort of liquor in the boys locker room. We can't wait.