Glee's Sectionals episode has arrived once again, which means it's time for the the wrap off a few loose storylines from the first half of the season. In this episode we see the resolution of Mike's dad's efforts to squash his son's dreams, the Troubletones' beef with New Directions, and (possibly) Quinn's epically bad adoption plot.
Quinn's behavior in this episode doesn't really make sense, but perhaps that's fitting because the only constant thing about her personality and motives is that they've shifted in just about every episode of the past three seasons. The episode starts with Quinn excitedly telling Rachel that she knows Puck and Shelby are sleeping together, and she's going to tell Figgins, even though Quinn and Rachel aren't exactly friends. While reminding the audience once again that Puck is 18, so his disturbing relationship with Shelby is technically legal, Rachel tells Quinn that's an awful idea.
Meanwhile, New Directions is falling apart in the wake of Rachel's suspension and Sectionals ban, and Finn decides they need more star power. He and Rachel go to Kentucky to track down Sam and discover he's taken to stripping under the name "White Chocolate." Sam explains he's using the money to help his formerly homeless family, but Finn and Rachel convince him that he's "throwing his life away" by entertaining ladies at extremely sad bachelorette parties, and he needs to come back to McKinley. His parents say they're cool with him moving back to Ohio and living with one of his friends, and Sam makes his triumphant return with a random performance of "Red Solo Cup" in the chorus room. Later in the hallway, Quinn asks Sam to be her boyfriend/help her raise her baby, and he politely declines. Actually, he tells her she has "rich white girl problems," which doesn't seem entirely accurate. Quinn is a rich white girl, but she's trying to steal back the baby she put up for adoption by exposing a teacher's affair with her daughter's father, not having trouble convincing daddy to pay for laser removal of her Ryan Seacrest tattoo. Sam tells her she needs to "hold on to sixteen" as long as she can, and amazingly, no one starts singing "Jack and Diane."
While Sam isn't interested in being part of Quinn's demented scheme, he does want to rekindle his relationship with Mercedes that we know almost nothing about. He tries to hold her hand in the hallway, and when she says she's seeing someone else, he says, "I don't care how big or bad your boyfriend is. I'm going to fight to get you back." It sure sounds like there will be more on this in the second half of the season, but I wouldn't get my hopes up. The writers have been talking about giving Mercedes a boyfriend for quite some time and so far we've seen about 4 minutes of screen time devoted to her love life.
Sectionals starts with with a performance of "Buenos Aires" from Evita by the Unitards, which is a fitting name because the only person who sings is that chick from the Glee Project that Kurt and Rachel met at a NYADA mixer. After the performance, Rachel catches Quinn on her way to talk to Figgins, who apparently sits in his office at night in case anyone wants to report any troubling student/teacher romances. Rachel convinces Quinn that if she's going to ruin Beth's life by taking her from her mother, she should at least warn Shelby first because it's the "adult thing to do." Quinn tracks her down and tells her (rightly), "You shouldn't have come here with [Beth]. What you did was wrong. What you're doing with Puck is wrong." Shelby responds by lecturing Quinn about how her youth is going to fade away, which doesn't really have anything to do with her making the unilateral decision that Quinn should be part of her baby's life.
Next, the Troubletones do a mashup of "I Will Survive" and "Survivor" by Destiny's Child. It's okay, but no glee club capable of pulling off the Adele number would do this instead. New Directions Jacksons-themed performance of "ABC," "Control," and "Man in the Mirror," isn't their best performance either, but it's nice to see a number that showcases the New Directions who usually sing backup ... plus three band members enlisted to fill out the group, who Puck identifies as Floppy Haired Base Dude, Chapped Lips McGee, and Johnny Tromboner. Remember those names because in season five when the rest of the cast has graduated, we'll be learning about their family issues and romantic troubles.
Speaking of our favorite nameless background dude turned full-fledged character, Mike and Tina fight throughout the episode about his decision to apply to Stanford for pre-med rather than a dance school. Tina tries to talk to Mike's dad, which angers both Mike and Mr. Chang, but Mr. Chang shows up to Sectionals and has an overdue epiphanic moment. After the performance, he tells Mike he's recognized he's ridiculously talented and will support his dream of being a dancer.
New Directions comes in first place, natch, and the Troubletones finish second. The girls are crushed, but luckily they're about to benefit from one of Quinn's violent mood swings. The next day, Quinn finds Rachel and thanks her for finally making her realize what everyone's been telling her all season: Taking Beth from her mom is a horrible idea. Quinn's It's A Wonderful Life moment doesn't end there. She tells Rachel she's decided to apply to Yale on a whim. (Apparently she kept her grades up and got perfect SAT scores while running with the Skanks and plotting to steal a child from its mother.) Next Quinn tracks down Santana, Brittany, and Mercedes in the girls bathroom and delivers a speech about the real meaning of growing up. She convinces them to come back to New Directions so they can spend the rest of their senior year together. The episode concludes with the glee club performing "We Are Young" to celebrate their Sectionals win and reunification — though, they'll probably be bickering again and demanding diva-offs 10 minutes into the next episode.