Frenemies is the ninth episode of Glee's fifth season and the ninety-seventh episode overall. The episode aired on February 25, 2014, after the fall hiatus. Starting with this episode, Glee episodes moved back to the Tuesday 8:00 PM timeslot.
Artie and Tina compete against each other for the spot of Senior Class Valedictorian, and also for a solo at Nationals, which strains their friendship. In New York, Kurt begins to believe that Elliott is out to take control of Pamela Lansbury. Rachel gets a shock when Santana tries out for her understudy, which causes a feud between the two roommates.
This episode was directed by Bradley Buecker and written by Ned Martel.
The episode opens at the Spotlight Diner, where Santana is having a rough day. She complains to Rachel about how she thought people would see how awesome she was once she made it to New York. Rachel reminds her of the Yeast-I-Stat commercial she did, but she reveals it has made her undesirably infamous. Looking to cheer her up, Rachel offers Santana a spot as a background model on the cover of New York magazine, which is going to showcase Rachel. Santana accepts it, saying she feels guilty about being friends with Rachel after how awful she was to her in high school. Rachel tells her that it's in the past, and now it's just the two of them and Kurt in New York. She reassures Santana, telling her that at some point, she'll be at the top.
Tina and Artie are having lunch in the auditorium, which is revealed to have been their Tuesday tradition since they dated. They're both proud they managed to stay friends after their breakup, but sad that their time at McKinley is nearing its end. Tina tells Artie she's worried about not being accepted in Brown University, as being waitlisted, she has only a slim chance of acceptance, so Artie sings Whenever I Call You Friend with her (and latterly the rest of New Directions) to cheer her up. At the end of the performance, Becky tells Tina and Artie to go to Sue's office, where they find out they are academically tied to become valedictorians. Under Sue's rules, only one of them can be, so a speech-off is organised in the auditorium - the one whose speech impresses the judges of Sue's choice the most, gets to be valedictorian.
At the New York magazine photoshoot, Rachel is excited and nervous. Santana calms her down and tells her to own it, since she is where she's supposed to be. Santana begins daydreaming, imagining herself in a luxurious dress like Rachel, performing Brave with her as a duet during the shoot. As the performance ends, Rachel tells Santana to get dressed, and Santana snaps out of her revery.
Back at McKinley, Tina and Artie have a fight in the hallway. Tina wants Artie to let her be valedictorian so she can get into Brown University, but he refuses, and they viciously trash talk each other. Artie accuses Tina of becoming McKinley's biggest bitch sometime between Junior and Senior year, and Tina says that Kitty is using Artie to become popular. Blaine talks with Kurt on the phone about Kurt's fear of Elliott trying to take over Pamela Lansbury, so Blaine counsels him, telling him to keep his friends close, but his enemies closer. In New York, Rachel says that she'll have to miss Pamela Lansbury rehearsal so that she can go to the casting for her understudy, which she believes she doesn't need. Santana also declines to attend the rehearsal, and Kurt is left unhappy.
In glee club, Will announces that a slot for a solo for nationals is still available. Tina volunteers, as does Artie, which results in a Diva-Off. With backup from New Directions and Mr. Schue, they aggressively sing My Lovin' (You're Never Gonna Get It), which culminates in Tina accidentally throwing Artie out of his wheelchair. Kurt embraces the newfound free rehearsal time to get background information from Starchild. After a somewhat awkward conversation, Elliott advises Kurt to take a trip to a music store with him to buy a guitar. While at the store, they sing I Believe in a Thing Called Love, dancing with props and a pole, erected in the middle of the shop.
While Rachel is casting her understudy, she makes it clear to Rupert that she doesn't believe she needs one. As Rupert is explaining to her why an understudy is necessary, Santana makes a surprise appearance, auditioning for the understudy role. Much to Rachel's chagrin, she sings Don't Rain on My Parade, Rachel's signature piece. Rupert is amazed by her and, once he finds out they went to high school together, he's even more thrilled, anticipating the good publicity it will bring to the performance.
Back in the flat, Rachel complains to Kurt about Santana's audition and, when she arrives home, demands an explanation for why she auditioned for the understudy without telling her first. Santana, angered, accuses Rachel of elitism, telling her that all her time in New York as been spent getting back at her for the bullying she received from Santana in high school. Rachel believes Santana is the one who can't take the fact that she's a star. Santana unleashes a barrage of abuse, telling Rachel that she should realize that Santana is just as good as her - without having had all the support Rachel's been given. She tells Rachel that she is "short and awful, and that is never going to change." Rachel, snapping, slaps her. In the stunned silence that follows, she tells Santana that she thinks she should move out. Santana agrees, and, receiving a call, confirms that she has been chosen as Rachel's understudy in Funny Girl.
Tina and Artie's speech-off to decide who will be valedictorian begins in front of an empty auditorium. Both of them write speeches which glorify the other and drop out to give the other the chance. Sue, sickened, leave the judges, who are visibly moved, to decide on the winner.
At rehearsals for Funny Girl, Rachel and Santana grate over make-up, and start to argue again. Rupert interrupts them, telling them that whatever happened between Rachel and Santana is in the past doesn't matter. In order to maximise media attention, he needs to sell the story of two high school friends making it big in his show - so they have to stick together until it's over. Rachel and Santana sing Every Breath You Take as they rehearse. Kurt and Elliott hang out at the Bushwick loft, with Elliott telling Kurt that he's glad that he met him, although he knows Kurt believes he wants to take over the band. He explains that he just wants to be a part of the band due to the talent and personalities in it - and he just wants to make it big with them. Kurt apologizes, and they take a "Pamela Lansbury selfie" in reconciliation.
At McKinley, Sue reveals that Tina and Artie tied in the speech-off. She makes them both salutatorians, and elevates student number three as valedictorian - Blaine. Tina and Artie are both shocked and outraged, despite his apologies and guilt. As the three talk, Becky shows Blaine the "Pamela Lansbury selfie," believing Kurt and Blaine broke up, which Blaine denies. Blaine decides that, instead of giving a valedictorian speech, he wants to sing a song with Tina and Artie, who forgive him.
Rachel and Santana have one final fight, both asking Kurt to side with them. Kurt remains neutral, and so an upset and frustrated Rachel decides to leave the loft for her own sake. Tina, Artie and Blaine sing Breakaway with New Directions as the scene alters between the choir room and Rachel packing. As Rachel is leaving, Kurt hugs her. She takes a picture of her and Santana on graduation day, tearing it into pieces in Santana's face, before walking out.
|Song Title||Original Artist||Performer(s)|
|Whenever I Call You Friend||Kenny Loggins
& Stevie Nicks
|Artie Abrams and Tina Cohen-Chang with New Directions|
|Brave||Sara Bareilles||Rachel Berry and Santana Lopez|
|My Lovin' (You're Never Gonna Get It)||En Vogue||Artie Abrams and Tina Cohen-Chang with New Directions and Will Schuester|
|Don't Rain on My Parade||Cast of Funny Girl||Santana Lopez|
|I Believe in a Thing Called Love||The Darkness||Elliott Gilbert and Kurt Hummel|
|Every Breath You Take||The Police||Rachel Berry and Santana Lopez|
|Breakaway||Kelly Clarkson||New Directions|
- Beautiful Dreamer by Steven Foster, sung by a Bad Girl Singer.
Special Guest Star
- Adam Lambert as Elliott Gilbert
- Dot-Marie Jones as Shannon Beiste
- Iqbal Theba as Mr. Figgins
- Lauren Potter as Becky Jackson
- Bonnie Bailey-Reed as Dissatisfied Spotlight Diner Customer
- Nick Nordella as Sales Person
- Rory Schleifstein as Bad Girl Singer
- Chelsea as Jordan Stern
- Tena Parker Baker as Hairstylist
- This episode received a rating of 1.2/3 with a total of 3 million viewers. Source
- This is the eighth time two duets are sung by the same people in the same episode. The others are Throwdown, Home, Duets, Rumours, The First Time, Big Brother, and Love Love Love.
- This is the second time two different pairs sing two duets in one episode, the first being Big Brother.
- This episode contains the show's 600th musical number, Whenever I Call You Friend.
- Tena of Glee's hairstyling department makes a cameo appearance as herself.
- Sue calling Tina "Warrior Princess" is a reference to Xena the Warrior Princess, a TV series character. There is some similarity between Tina and Xena's names.
- Last appearance of Figgins in the fifth season.
- When Rachel and Santana are fighting, Rachel mentions the number they did in the choir room "after graduation," referring to So Emotional, when in actual fact it was before graduation. Curiously, this mistake was fixed in the Latin American dub of the show, Rachel doesn't mention graduation.
- In Extraordinary Merry Christmas Tina says that Artie's re-walk broke the next day. However, during his valedictorian speech, Artie says it broke an hour later.
- All in the same day, Santana wears a green and yellow dress, then changes to a blue one for her audition, and then comes home from the audition wearing the original dress. It was definitely all in the same day because Kurt and Rachel were wearing the same clothes all the way through.
- Sue mentions that both Tina and Artie have perfect attendance. However, Tina was absent for the events of The Spanish Teacher, something that was even mentioned in On My Way.
- Tina and Artie compete for a solo at Nationals but neither Tina or Artie have a solo.
- Also Will says that Blaine would have a solo, but this was apparently changed.
Mr. Schue: Okay, guys, it's coming down to the wire. We have a very important decision to make.
Tina: I'd like to nominate myself.
Kurt: You don't own the song.
Santana: Hey, roomies. Talking about me?
Okay, why don't we just chill for a second, please. Okay, I'll make expresso.
Thank you. What a treacly, stomach-turning waste of everybody's time. I hate you both. The judges will now make their decision while I find a wastebasket to dry-heave mouthfuls of yellow bile into.
Well... at least we know who the rainbow is, and who's the dog.