To start, Mr. Schuester decided to refresh his predictable approach to songs and singers for the upcoming sectionals competition. Instead of relying on Rachel for a shining solo and giving her a duet with Finn, Mr. Schu spread the spotlight around, showcasing Quinn and Sam's chemistry, Santana's voice and Brittany's and Mike's dance moves.
Meanwhile, Kurt – who was always a strong force at McKinley High – got off to a rocky start with Dalton Academy's glee club, The Warblers. On his first day, Kurt jumped in with lots of suggestions for numbers with more "panache" – but the group's rigid decision-making system left little room for his personal flair.
Even after performing a rousing version of "Don't Cry for me Argentina" as an audition for a solo spot, Kurt was rejected and told by his pal Blaine not to "try so hard" next time.
In terms of personal drama, Rachel found out about Finn's hookup with Santana, which happened before they were dating. Tina convinced Artie that their respective partners, Mike and Brittany, were cheating on them together during their long dance rehearsals. And although he knows she's happily dating another man, Mr. Schuester invited Emma to be his plus-one at sectionals.
At the competition, New Directions started to lose their team spirit and devolve into in-fighting backstage until Mr. Schuester told them, "Look, I don't care if you guys hate each other. All I want is for you guys to go out there and sing together."
And they did. The New Directions – fronted by Sam and Quinn singing "I've Had the Time of My Life" and Santana singing "Valerie" – got a standing ovation. But was it enough to beat The Hipsters and The Warblers? In the end, New Directions tied for first place with The Warblers, so both groups will head to the next level of competition – regionals.
As for all the turmoil, it turned out Mike and Brittany did not cheat, so Tina and Mike happily got back together, as did Brittany and Artie. Rachel and Finn weren't so lucky, though. The golden couple broke up after Rachel admitted she made out with Puck to get back at Finn.
But Emma had an even bigger surprise for Mr. Schuester: She went off to Las Vegas for a romantic trip with her dentist beau Dr. Carl – and got married! Mr. Schuester could barely muster the breath to say he was happy for her.