In this episode, the New Directions compete at the 2010 Western Ohio Sectional Championship. Rachel is distraught when she finds out that Finn lost his virginity to Santana and didn't tell her, and to make her even angrier, she isn't being featured at Sectionals. With all happiness taken away, Rachel helps Kurt with an audition solo for the Warblers. The New Directions have a large quarrel, causing none of them wanting to perform together at Sectionals.
The week of Sectionals arrives, and when Emma guesses exactly what New Directions' setlist will be, Will realizes it's time to change things up to let other members of the club shine, so he gives Rachel and Finn's duet to Sam and Quinn and suggests that Brittany and Mike perform a dance number at sectionals as well. This does not sit well with Rachel, who loudly protests the decision, causing Santana to get fed up and tell Rachel that she slept with Finn last year. The rest of the New Directions look shocked while Rachel is very hurt by this and schedules a couples counseling session with Emma for the two of them. Rachel ends up storming out of the session. Will told Puck that he needed to step up as one of the most well-known people in the school, and try to recruit more members, since they were one short after Kurt leaving. Puck made an announcement to the football team telling them to join, but the idea was quickly rejected by Azimio and Karofsky. The football team locks Puck in a port-a-potty, and he ends up stuck in it for 24 hours. He is finally rescued by Lauren Zizes. After he is freed from the port-a-potty, he asks Lauren if she wants to join Glee. She agrees, but only after Puck agrees to spend "7 minutes in heaven" with her.
Meanwhile, Kurt is in Dalton Academy and struggling to adjust to the energy of the place. The Warblers invite Kurt to join them for a meeting and they allow Kurt to join, but first he must watch over The Warblers' mascot, an actual warbler. Kurt then suggests that the Warblers sing "Rio" by Duran Duran for Sectionals, which the council politely declines. Blaine comes over to him after the meeting and offers Kurt the chance to audition to sing a solo at Sectionals. Kurt goes to Rachel for advice and she helps him learn Don't Cry for Me Argentina. Kurt auditions for the Warblers and then patiently awaits the results of the audition alongside Warbler members Nick and Jeff, only to discover from Blaine that Nick and Jeff will be moving on and that he is out of the running for a solo and must resign himself to singing in the background.
Blaine comforts Kurt by reminding him the group is one of uniformity and, in time, he will find a place. Brittany is afraid that she will fail to perform well at sectionals. To give her more confidence, Artie gives Brittany a "magic comb" that he actually just found lying around, and tells her it will help her win. Later, however, Tina tells Artie that Brittany and Mike are having an affair. Artie attempts to talk to Brittany several times but she keeps avoiding Artie, increasing his suspicions.
As the team gets on the bus to Sectionals, Will worries that his plan for Sectionals was a bad idea because the group is now so divided. Emma tells Will she cannot go because Carl doesn't want her to. They had had a big fight about Will, and afterwards they made up and said they loved each other. Will says she will be missed, and sadly gets on the bus to go to Sectionals.
At Sectionals, The Hipsters perform The Living Years and then the Dalton Academy Warblers perform Hey, Soul Sister. In the green room, more drama unfolds as Quinn starts to panic about performing in front of an audience after going into labor the last time, Rachel finds out that everyone in the club knew that Finn slept with Santana other than her, and Artie confronts Brittany about being guilty of adultery, which she admits to. This causes Artie to storm off, and Tina also becomes angry at Mike. Rachel, Artie, and Tina all refuse to go on until Will reminds the club that only a year ago, they had no setlist and no choreography, but they pulled through as a team. The club decides to go on despite their differences.
Brittany tells Artie that she thought he had accused her of "a-dolt-ery," meaning that she was stupid, as the real reason she was avoiding him was that she lost his magic comb and doomed the team. Artie tells her that it was just a comb he found, and assures her that she can do it. Brittany smiles when Artie describes her as "magic" and tells him that she won't be dancing for the audience or the New Directions. She said she'll be dancing for Artie.
They both kiss before Sam and Quinn perform (I've Had) The Time of My Life, followed by Santana singing Valerie while Mike and Brittany doing the dance number. The results are soon announced. The Hipsters made third place and the Warblers tied with New Directions, and they will both be competing at Regionals.
On the following Monday, Emma tells Will that she and Carl went to Vegas together and that they got married. Will says he is happy for her and immediately leaves. Rachel tells Finn that winning at Sectionals the way they did made her remember that she was part of something special. She and Finn get back together, but Rachel reveals that she made out with Puck out of jealousy (Puck couldn't go through with having sex, not wanting to repeat what he had done to Finn with Quinn), and believed that Finn's actions with Santana would cancel hers out. Finn does not agree, as he was not dating Rachel when he had sex with Santana, and he immediately breaks up with Rachel.
Kurt tells Blaine that he is worried about Pavarotti, the warbler canary he has to take care of, because he is losing his feathers and won't eat or sing. Blaine tells him not to worry as the bird is just molting and getting used to its new environment, and it will be singing again in no time.
Tina and Mike make up, with Tina telling him that she was sorry for doubting him and they kiss. Will asks Rachel to perform a solo to celebrate their tie, but she is too sad about Finn and defers it to the unsung heroes, Mercedes and Tina. The two perform Dog Days Are Over with the club as Rachel sadly cleans all the Finn-related things out of her locker and Emma and Carl kiss in the office that has a new sign on the door reading "Mrs. Emma Pillsbury-Howell."
|Song Title||Original Artist||Performer(s)|
|Don't Cry for Me Argentina||Cast of Evita||Kurt Hummel and Rachel Berry|
|The Living Years||Mike & The Mechanics||The Hipsters|
|Hey, Soul Sister||Train||Dalton Academy Warblers|
|(I've Had) The Time of My Life||Billy Medley and Jennifer Warnes||New Directions|
|Valerie||The Zutons (Mark Ronson feat. Amy Winehouse version)|
|Dog Days Are Over||Florence + The Machine|
Special Guest Star
- Harry Shum Jr. as Mike Chang
- Chord Overstreet as Sam Evans
- Mike Hagerty as Pete Sosnowski
- Darren Criss as Blaine Anderson
- Max Adler as Dave Karofsky
- James Earl as Azimio Adams
- Ashley Fink as Lauren Zizes
- Telly Leung as Wes
- Riker Lynch as Jeff
- Titus Makin Jr. as David
- Eddy Martin as Thad
- Curt Mega as Nick
- Dominic Barnes as Trent
- Emma stated that Will always made Rachel and Finn start out with a ballad and finish with a classic rock song in which Mercedes belted the "last jaw dropping note." In fact, he only did once, but maybe she referred to other performances, for example, Somebody to Love. It is also a set list that is the most recognizable for Glee competition arrangements.
- This episode marks the first time Rachel and Finn don't sing lead vocals in a competition.
- Lauren joins New Directions in this episode.
- Naya Rivera stated the song Santana sang (Valerie) was her second all-time favorite song.
- In the scene where Puck remembers Lauren asking for "7 Minutes in Heaven," Trent is clearly behind them as a McKinley High student.
- The scene following Lauren demanding Puck "7 Minutes in Heaven" is showed in the episode Silly Love Songs, as Puck remembers Lauren's badassness while rejecting him due to terrible kissing.
- This episode was watched by 11.68 million viewers.
- First Glee competition where the judges were not introduced to the audience.
- The episode refers back to The Power of Madonna, when Finn slept with Santana.
- During the performance of Valerie, Ashley Fink can be seen making mistakes in the choreography. However, Fink has said she is not a dancer, and she was originally on the show to be a comedic background character.
- It's revealed that Brittany does motocross, as, while telling Artie she lost the "magic comb", she mentions going to motocross practice.
- Rachel gives Tina and Mercedes a solo, because they are the unsung heroes. But Mercedes sung at Sectionals in (I've Had) The Time of My Life.
- Although Mercedes just belted a few seconds towards the end of the song.
- When Rachel angrily asks if they all knew about Finn and Santana, and Tina replies "Pretty much," Lauren nods. It is unclear how Lauren would know, as she joins New Directions in this episode, and wasn't shown to be close to any of the members previously, so it is unlikely she would have known.
- Kurt references the song Rio, by Duran Duran towards the Warbler council. Ironically, in an episode of the next season, Blaine, who was another Warbler member, sang a mashup of Hungry Like The Wolf/Rio with his brother.
- The man who announces the winner is introduced as the "Associate Director of the Ohio Department of Motor Vehicles." There is no Department of Motor Vehicles in Ohio, it is called the Bureau of Motor Vehicles.
- When Kurt is shown getting dressed his hippo brooch is shown on his right lapel. Kurt is later seen walking down the hall with it on his left lapel.
- However, he could have moved it between getting dressed and getting to school.
These costumes are causing some unmentionable chafing.
—Lauren, Special Education
You are as brilliant and talented as you are irritating.
Finn: Are we a part of something special, you and me?
Rachel: You said you'd never break up with me.
Artie: Adultery means cheating.
Tina: We have a problem.