The New Directions’ showdown with the Warblers at Regionals finally arrives as Sebastian (Grant Gustin) returns to try and force Rachel (Lea Michele) to pull out of the competition by threatening to post unflattering fake nude photos of Finn (Cory Monteith) all over the Internet. However, before the end of the episode Rachel will go on to perform and Sebastian will be shocked into learning his lesson by an event which rocks McKinley High.
The episode’s other big story involves Karofsky’s (Max Adler) attempted suicide after being outed and ostracized by those he considered his friends. The entire sequence is inter-cut with the episode’s only non-Regional number – Blaine’s (Darren Criss) performance of Young the Giant‘s “Cough Syrup” which might work a little to well to lessen what’s happening in Karofsky’s bedroom.
The episode certainly speaks to the show’s core audience and message about being yourself and fighting through what the world may throw your way. I’ll give Glee credit for tackling a tough subject and coming away without feeling like the cast is preaching to their audience. At the same time I’m a little shocked they chose this episode to throw such a big cliffhanger in on the end as it takes away a little from the message the show was trying to share in both plot and song.
As the Principal Figgins (Iqbal Theba), Sue (Jane Lynch), Emma (Jayma Mays), and Will (Matthew Morrison) question whether they could have done something to prevent this, each member of the Glee Club reacts in their own way including Kurt (Chris Colfer) who feels responsible for not taking Karofsky’s feelings more to heart and Will who takes the opportunity to share his own lowest point with the club.
Although Regionals and the shock of Karofsky’s attempted suicide take up most of the episode’s running time there are a fewer smaller stories as well. Sue announces her pregnancy and her eagerness to help the Glee Club win Nationals (I’m not sure which is more shocking), Rory (Damian McGinty) tastes peanut butter for the first time, Finn and Rachel decide to get married directly after Regionals, and Quinn (Dianna Agron) gets back on the Cheerios but will have a whole set of new issues to overcome once the show returns after a couple of weeks off. It’s also nice to see the show has re-embraced the odd small town judges including a late night horror host in full vampire makeup (and even his own coffin).
Regional performances include the Warblers performing Lenny Kravitz‘s “Stand” and The Wanted‘s “Glad You Came,” and The Golden Goblets sing “She Walks in Beauty.” New Directions performs a mashup of Nicki Minaj‘s “Fly” and R. Kelly‘s “I Believe I Can Fly,” the former Troubletones perform Kelly Clarkson‘s “What Doesn’t Kill You (Stronger),” and Rachel Berry takes center stage to lead the group in their finale – a performance of Halestorm‘s “Here’s To Us.”