This is it - The clash of the musical titans we've all been waiting for. No, not Gaga vs Katy Perry - the other clash of the musical titans - New Directions vs The Troubletones for the Sectionals glory. Who will rise and who will fall? Without a Berry to their name, New Directions goes into the battle without their lead diva. Sit back and prepare for a musical battle to end all musical battles!
Quinn informs Rachel that Puck and Shelby are having sex, and how she plans to tell Principal Figgins and get Shelby fired, which would eliminate The Troubletones from Sectionals. Rachel attempts to rationalize things for Quinn, but Quinn seems far too content with her plans – until Rachel brings Beth into it, leaving Quinn slightly deterred, but not for long. Finn and Mr. Schuester discuss Sectionals, which will be held at McKinley for the first time in years, but Finn fears they lack star power – thus bringing up the idea of tracking Sam down, who is currently living in Kentucky. At the Lima Bean, Kurt continues to lament his and Rachel's bleak future, while Blaine laments over how Finn continues to put him down – only to be interrupted by Sebastian. The claws come out when Blaine leaves, Kurt and Sebastian reveal their dislike for each other – Kurt not backing down as Sebastian attempts to do what Sebastian does best. Rachel and Finn track down Sam – secretly working at a strip club – under the name – White Chocolate to provide for his family.
After confronting Sam about his job and how they need him for Sectionals – Rachel and Finn meet with Sam's parents attempting to convince them that McKinley is where Sam belongs, but it's not until Sam himself speaks to them that it becomes crystal clear that it is where Sam belongs. Upon his return, Sam rejoins New Directions – bringing in a country twang with "Red Cup Solo".
With Sam back - Quinn thinks this is a perfect chance to get her plans back on track, but Sam turns her down. Meanwhile, Sam makes it clear he's not over Mercedes, who attempts to deter him from pursuing her, but Sam isn't one to take things lying down. Not everyone loves Sam's input to New Directions - Blaine isn't for his overtly sexual moves, which prompts them fight before Blaine storms out. When Finn confronts Blaine, Blaine finally has had enough of Finn's constant issue with him - which Finn reveals is due to a mix of jealous and lack of confidence in his own talent - both boys agree to put the past behind to make the best for New Directions. Meanwhile, Mike continues to struggle with what he wants and what his dad wants - prompting a fight with Tina.
After the argument with Mike, Tina confronts Mike's dad with how she feels he would be throwing his life away by not dancing or performing. At Sectionals - everything is on the line as Harmony and the Unitards perform a rousing version of "Buenos Aires" from Evita - leaving both Kurt and Rachel nervous and jealous respectfully.
Rachel confronts Quinn, who plans to blow the whistle on Puck and Shelby's relationship, but Rachel convinces her to mention it to Shelby and allow the Troubletones to perform before she does anything. Quinn follows up on Rachel's advice - confronting Shelby about her relationship with Puck, whichever Shelby says she's ending. Meanwhile, The Troubletones perform a fierce mash up of "I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor and "Survivor" by Destiny's Child.
New Directions performs a trio of Jackson hits - the Jackson 5's "ABC", Janet Jackson's "Control" and Michael Jackson's "Man in The Mirror". After watching Mike perform - Mr. Chang has a change of heart and decides his son's talent is worthy of pursuing, and with a little help from Tina - Mike's talents will be seen by several schools.
The results leave New Directions victorious, while the Troubletones take defeat to heart. Rachel's words convince Quinn that ruining Shelby won't make her happy, and now she's ready to make her future happen - possibly at Yale studying drama. Quinn goes to discuss things with Santana, Mercedes, and Brittany - offering them the chance to not only perform how they want, but also return to New Directions and make their last several months special and memorable.
Everyone - Troubletone and New Direction - come together for one big group number - reestablishing themselves as a group.
With Sectionals under their belt - the sky is the limit for New Directions! Next week - It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas - and things are going to be gleeful! Until next week, Gleeks! Bring your Santa hats, and I'll see you under the mistletoe!