After a tough loss at Regionals, the Glee Club is back as the underdogs of McKinley High. When the school is faced with even more budget cuts, Mr. Schuester pushes the kids to help recruit new members for the club. The Glee Club has had some changes over the summer, new relationships, new activities and some relationships broken up. Rachel and Finn disagree on new recruits, and aren't sure they will be able to come together in perfect harmony. Finn attempts to recruit new transfer student, Sam while Rachel attempts to recruit Sunshine. Jealousy gets in the way, which may cause some problems. Will and Sue team up together to take on Coach Beiste, the new football team coach when Figgins reveals that it'll cut Sue's Cheerios and Will's New Directions funding.
After a tough loss at Regionals, the Glee Club is back as the underdogs of McKinley High. Jacob interviews all the members to see what they have been doing over the summer. Rachel and Finn have dated all summer. Santana got a boob job. Brittany was lost in the sewers. Quinn is feeling better after having her baby and moving on. Puck is not totally over Quinn, and Kurt is standing up for what he believes in. Artie and Tina broke up, and Tina fell in love with Mike during Asian Camp over the summer, leaving Artie heartbroken. Coach Beiste, the new football coach, persuades Figgins to cut the Glee Club and the Cheerios' budgets and give more money to the football team. Mr. Schuester pushes the kids to help recruit new members for the club. But when no new kids sign up, Mr. Schue joins in with Sue in an attempt to take down Beiste.
The kids perform Empire State of Mind to get more members. The crowd is not amused with the performance and doesn't even pay attention. Sam and Sunshine are the only two students who seem to notice and enjoy the performance. Rachel attempts to recruit Sunshine and Finn tries to recruit Sam. Finn walks in on Sam taking a shower singing Every Rose Has Its Thorn. However, Rachel feels threatened by Sunshine and so sings Telephone by Lady Gaga with her to express her anger. This ends up encouraging Sunshine further, as she thinks it's fun and so wants to join Glee Club. Rachel says she'll get back to her on that and storms off angrily. Later, she sees Sunshine in the hall and pretends to invite her to audition, while actually sending her to an (inactive) crack house.
Artie wants Finn to help him get in the football team after his break up with Tina who started dating Mike after their time from asian camp when they recreated the song Getting to Know You.
Sue and Schue try to get Beiste to quit but it only causes her to get angry and hurt and she takes her anger out on Finn, who was trying to get Artie on the football team in hopes of winning Tina back. She kicks him off the football team. Schue finds out that Rachel sent Sunshine to the crack house and tells her to fix it.
Sue holds auditions for the cheerios, she is not impressed with any of the tryouts, especially when Quinn auditions. Sue immediately dismisses her but Quinn tries to convince her anyway. Her plan appears to fail but she has a suggestive smile on her face as she leaves. Sue then confronts Santana about her boob job, stating that a 'little bird' told her (probably Quinn). Santana doesn't get what the big deal is but Sue is furious and demotes her to the bottom of the pyramid along with giving the head cheerleader spot to Quinn. Santana is mad at Quinn for her demotion and attacks her in the hallways. Santana slaps Quinn across the face and calls her a slut. They continue to fight until Will splits them up.
Sam doesn't show up to actual auditions because he is afraid to get kicked off the football team. He takes Finn's quarterback position.
Schue apologizes to Beiste. Sue is extremely upset that Will has turned on her and tells the rival team Vocal Adrenaline about Sunshine. They recruit her by giving her mom a condo and a green card. Rachel and Finn meet in the hallway. She asks how mad the Glee Club is at her for sending Sunshine to the crackhouse, Finn says they were pissed. Rachel tells him to just break up with her already. But he says that she should break up with him because he is no longer on the football team. She says she will never break up with him and he agrees. They kiss. Rachel sings What I Did for Love from A Chorus Line to show her regrets, and during her number we see the outcome of the certain members of Glee and what they "did for love." Quinn talks with Coach Sylvester with a victory face, while Santana unhappy trembles at the bottom of the pyramid, Artie watches sadly as Tina and Mike dance, and Rachel watches from outside the choir room as the members of Glee Club talk and laugh amongst themselves.
|Song Title||Original Artist||Performer(s)|
|Empire State of Mind||Jay-Z feat. Alicia Keys||New Directions|
|Telephone||Lady Gaga feat. Beyoncé||Rachel Berry and Sunshine Corazon|
|Billionaire||Travie McCoy feat. Bruno Mars||Sam Evans and New Directions Boys|
|Listen||Cast of Dreamgirls||Sunshine Corazon|
|What I Did for Love||Cast of A Chorus Line||Rachel Berry|
- Every Rose Has Its Thorn by Poison sung by Sam Evans.
- Getting to Know You from The King and I sung by Tina Cohen-Chang.
- Salsation by David Shire played during Glee's Big Gay Summer.
- I've Got the Power by Snap danced to by Finn.
Special Guest Star
- Iqbal Theba as Principal Figgins
- Dot-Marie Jones as Shannon Beiste
- Charice as Sunshine Corazon
- Harry Shum Jr. as Mike Chang
- Chord Overstreet as Sam Evans
- Josh Sussman as Jacob Ben Israel
- James Earl III as Azimio Adams
- Max Adler as Dave Karofsky
- Dustin Ingram as Pizza Guy
- As of this episode Naya Rivera (Santana), Heather Morris (Brittany), and Mike O'Malley (Burt) are now billed as Main Cast.
- This episode marks the first appearances of Shannon Beiste, Sam Evans, and Sunshine Corazon.
- Only premiere episode starting with the "Here's what you missed on Glee" section.
- Matthew Morrison deemed the friendship between Will and Beiste, "Will-de-Beiste"
- Watched by 12.45 million viewers.
- Second time Tina sings an unreleased song in the first episode of the season.
- Sue says that Figgins can't cut her budget without word from the President of the Federal Reserve; however, when Figgins cut Sue's budget before for the Glee club there was no word at all from the Federal Reserve, unless Sue was exaggerating. However, due to her budget being cut the first time, she could have made a few calls to the Federal Reserve to make sure it didn't happen again.
- The first episode to feature Chord Overstreet (Sam Evans) shirtless.
- Sam was featured in two recreated scenes that featured Finn; one of them being the shower scene.
- Critic Brittany Drye of The Stir found this episode to be racist.
- Samuel Larsen, one of the winners of The Glee Project, had auditioned for the role of Sam Evans.
- Sunshine's first duet and solo.
- Chord Overstreet was cast as Sam Evans the day before shooting Billionaire. The song could not be changed to suit Overstreet's voice so he was forced to sing a key higher than he normally would.
- Coach Sylvester criticizes Santana for being too young to get plastic surgery because she got breast implants over the summer. This can be regarded as a comment on the widely reported rumor that before starting to film her role on Glee, Charice received Botox treatments (Botox is also a cosmetic surgery procedure).
- When Rachel first talks to Sunshine in the bathroom, she says Sunshine is an exchange student from the Philippines. Charice was actually born in San Pedro, Laguna in the Philippines.
- On the Glee club's sign-up sheet it says: 'ButtFace McBallnutts,' 'Ass-braham Lin-colon,' 'Eat a bowl of balls,' and 'You are the suck.'
- Rachel comments during this episode that she didn't believe that anyone could be shorter than her until she met Sunshine, but in Acafellas, dance choreographer Dakota Stanley is.
- When Jacob was interviewing the glee kids, he used the same clips from the beginning twice.
Finn: Rachel is what you would call a controllist.
Rachel: I’m controlling. Performing is my LIFE. And yes, do I have opinions about it? Does my need to constantly express those opinions annoy my fellow Glee clubbers?
Mercedes: So is that a men sweater?
Rachel: Kurt, I need to talk to you about something.