We have a cold open news broadcast that pretty well sums up why the Warblers have a DQ, and since, as Demian puts it, the Rosedale Mennonites are evidently rotting in a grave somewhere, the New Directions are undisqualified and need to raise $400 to rent a bus to take them to Regionals in Indianapolis, or as Artie puts it, “The Paris of Indiana!”

Various ideas are tossed out and shot down, until Tina suggests a beefcake calendar. And it’s going to consist of only the guys, because women are the ones who spend the money. Kitty gets one of the best lines of the show when she backs the idea thusly: “Those Twilight books were poop on paper, and we’ve turned them into a billion-dollar industry.”

In other storylines, Brittany encouraged Marley to go after Jake. Brit-Brit and Sam got the highest and lowest scores in WMHS history on the SAT, respectively.

Oh, and I’m going to get the NYC storyline over in one chunk:  Rachel decides baring her breasts is the artistic equivalent of baring her soul, but she’s not really sure about it, so she has a sing off with Season 1 Rachel via Natalie Imbruglia’s cover of “Torn”.  I’d’ve thought Kurt would’ve been appreciative of a naked Dean Geyer hanging around their apartment in support of her decision to go ahead, but no, he calls in Quinn and Santana for an intervention. They use the 2-2-2 rule to persuade Rachel she really doesn’t want to do this, and once she gets on set and it’s time for her to actually drop her robe, she starts having second thoughts. First, she asks the (all male) crew to take off their tops, then she realizes she’s not ready for this, and the topless crew becomes a topless band for her to meet up with Quinn and Santana as they end this storyline singing Sara Bareilles’ “Love Song”.

Meanwhile, back in Ohio, Jake and Marley declare their love and devotion with Christina Perri’s “A Thousand Years” and Ne-Yo’s “Let Me Love You (Until You Learn to Love Yourself”, which, I hate to tell you dude, it doesn’t work that way.  And Sam has decided that since all he has is his body, it’s his job to use the lessons he learned as “White Chocolate” to help the Glee guys get ready for their close-ups.  First, he strolls into school wearing nothing but a bathing suit to the strains of Yella’s “Oh, Yeah”, then he holds a seminar entitled “Modern Centerfold: Techniques at Work for Today’s Hot Young Posers” after school where he gets all the guys (except Artie) working out so they and random Cheerios can give us a highly entertaining mash-up of Nelly’s “Hot in Herre” (sic) and the J. Geils Band’s “Centerfold”.

Turns out Artie didn’t participate because he’s self-conscious about his not-quite-so-buff bod, but after Sam shows him a video from everyone in glee club talking about how great he is, and promises him he won’t be the only one with clothes on, he agrees to take part.  We get to see all the calendar shots, and they all have at least one item of clothing on. Screaming WMHS girls line up to get autographs and make not-so-subtle passes at the Glee boys. ARtie, whose ‘tude has vastly improved, tells Same he’s really excited about the new year. Sam replies, “Me, too. It’s a new year and a new me!” which segues us right into the final number, A Great Big World’s “This is the New Year”.

But wait, you say, that’s not all that happened this episode! No, indeedy it isn’t. There was yet another storyline happening in regards to the calendar, and it was probably my favorite Glee storyline ever.  Because it wouldn’t be a Glee episode unless Sue was trying to put the brakes on whatever they were doing, so she decided that the calendar was kiddie porn. (Note: Like I said, the kids weren’t entirely nude, not even in the shots with carefully placed props. So for the sake of my enjoyment of the show, I’m going to ignore this minefield and instead revel in her getting the comeuppance she so richly deserves, delivered by none other than our own Finn.)

But when she confronts Finn, he’s got his own ammunition ready. You see, he’s heard that she had her own photo shoot when she was much younger, and it had nothing to do with cheerleading, no, it appears Sue was a centerfold for Penthouse, and Finn knows if he can find a copy he can hold that over her head.  Sue says it’s not true and even if it were she already bought all available copies. Finn sets Artie on the case, and eventually marches triumphantly up to Sue and slams a manila envelope down in front of her.  Sue, being Sue, proudly owns up to her past, and decides she wants to take a look at it. Finn lets her pull the magazine out — it’s Highlights. Sue’s flabbergasted that he let her discover this, but it really doesn’t matter, because he taped her confession.

Corey Monteith and Finn really shone in those confrontations with her, and I hope that Finn remains a formidable opponent for Sue.

Until next week, which I’m posting next, but not as a recap.

Nina Lisa