Rory tells the group he found out he'll be deported next year, which is clearly a lie to win Sugar's heart, and combining it with a crooney performance of Buble's "Home" is like kryptonite. Sugar says she feels even worse for Rory than she does for Artie and asks him to be her date. The God Squad gather to discuss if they're willing to sing to same-sex couples, although Sam points out that they're in Glee club so they sing to gay people every week. Joe's the only odd-man-out, and says he's never met anyone gay before. Mercedes explains that one in ten people is gay, and thus one of the apostles would statistically be gay (Simon, she says, is the gayest name). Joe says he needs more time to think about it.
Sam continues his quest for Mercedes heart with a valentine, but she tells him she cannot be with him even though she's come clean to Shane about their kiss. The cheating and lying has filled Mercedes with guilt and she wants to be single until she figures herself out. Then, in a moment that was almost prophetic in it's pop culture timing, she breaks into Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You" as Sam walks away, transitioning from a hallway spotlight to a choir room performance to a stunning auditorium back-lit shot where Mercedes wears the hell out of a red ballgown and a besotted Sam looks on. We finish back in the choir room, where a single tear tracks down both Sam and Mercedes faces before Sam flees. While all this was shot and selected before Houston's passing this weekend, Mercedes stunning take on the classic are definitely an apt tribute to the diva, and the tribute screen at the end of the episodes feels a tad unnecessary; this song could stand on it's own as honor.
The Berries and the Hummel-Hudson's meet for a dinner party punctuated by a performance of "You're The Top" from Rachel and her dads that leaves Carol, Burt and Finn a little dumbfounded and explains everything you ever needed to know about what made Rachel Berry into Rachel Berry (her parents met while they were both in Up With People, of course.) While Hiram makes some masterful lubricant and rubber double entendres (it could be about sex, but it's actually about car maintenance!) they reveal that the real purpose of the dinner was to give Rachel and Finn a test run at domestic bliss by allowing them to have a semi-supervised sleepover. We're treated to Rachel's elaborate nighttime routine, and when that bucks up against Finn's bathroom wishes and the realization that, yes, when they're married Finn will actually have to use the bathroom in the same place as Rachel, the two devolve into a fight that uncovers the underlying issues of Finn's ambition and Rachel's expectations, ending with Finn storming off downstairs and Rachel throwing her beloved hairbrush.
Kurt shows up early at the Sugar Shack to meet his secret admirer, but instead of Blaine under the gorilla mask we find former bully Dave Karofsky (did we really think Blaine was going to sneak out of his sick bed and wander around dressed like a primate?) After their brief talk at Scandals a few episodes back Dave realized his anger and attention on Kurt was wound up in hating himself and admiring Kurt for his bravery. He says he loves him, and that Kurt has helped him so much and he's almost ready to come out now. While Kurt tries to be nice, he gently pulls back from Dave's touch and explains that he's with Blaine, and that Dave only thinks he loves Kurt, he doesn't really love him. Embarrassed, Dave makes to flee but is noticed by a new school mate who clearly isn't fooled by Kurt's casual remarks about being old classmates who just ran into each other at Breadstix.
The Misters Berry realize that Rachel and Finn have gone quiet, and their plot to try and break up the engagement through reverse psychology may have backfired. It's done even worse than that -- the lesson in cohabitation has encouraged Rachel and Finn to accelerate the wedding plans. They head off to the Sugar Shack with a promise of more details for the shell-shocked Berries later. The God Squad had decided that love is love, and they will sing a mash-up of tracks by The Association and Madonna both named "Cherish" for Britt, at the end of which the girls share their first real on-screen kiss. The collective breath their fans have been holding could be heard from the moon. Then Sugar reveals her surprise guest, Blaine Anderson, who sashays in with a heart shaped eye-patch that he rips off to perform the B-52's "Love Shack." He even convinces Kurt to join him (he had his own microphone at the ready, natch), and the whole crowd erupts into a celebration of love and retro splendor.
Last season's Valentine saw a much more buttoned-up Blaine performing at Kurt's lonely hearts bash on the same stage, and while in a year we've seen love shake-ups, the mood is definitely more optimistic than before. However, "Glee" has been promising a crash to this sugar high all season, and next week's winter finale should bring the reality that's been edging in these past few episodes to the forefront. Rachel moves forward with her bridal plans, the thread of Sebastian returns with Regionals, and that Karofsky loose end will likely unravel further. How they leave us before the final arcs of the season remains to be seen, but if this season is anything to go by it will be big, brash and unexpected.