Season 3 Episode 1

The Purple Piano Project

Aired Friday 8:00 PM Sep 20, 2011 on FOX

Episode Recap

School's back in session and Jacob, McKinley's resident gossip hound, is doing on-camera interviews in the hall and asking students what their plans for the future are. Many of the Gleeksters are seniors and have big plans for the future. Of course Rachel and Kurt want to go to a performing arts college in New York. Mike is most certainly going to an Ivy League school. Mercedes announces she broke up with Sam when he moved away, but she's now dating a guy on the football team who wants to make "cocoa" babies with her one day. Apparently, Santana and Brittany are back on the Cheerios, as they are seen in uniform. Finn is having the hardest time coming up with a plan for the future, and Quinn is nowhere to be found.

Will wakes up in bed with Emma hoping to get a little action. All she can deliver is a kiss and then it's time to get ready for school.

Kurt tries to convince Blaine to drop out of the Warblers and go to school at McKinley so that they can be together all the time. Blaine says he'll think about it. They both kid about how it isn't good for their relationship to be on competing show choir teams.

During the first meeting of Glee Club in the new school year, Will tries to motivate his students by putting their 12th place trophy on the floor next to a first-place one. He tells the kids they're going to have to work harder than ever if they want that bigger trophy. But first they need to get a new member. After losing nationals royally, Lauren feared for her reputation, dumped Puck, and quit glee. Will's plan to recruit new blood is to take a set of donated pianos that he refurbished in purple paint and place them around the school. Whenever one of the Gleeks sees a piano, he or she should start singing. The goal is to find the kids in school who can't help but sing along.

Finally, Quinn is spotted in the halls. Her hair is died bright pink, she's dressed like Madonna at the very beginning of her career, and she smokes. When she runs into Santana and Brittany, they try to convince her to come back to the squad, reminding her that they're besties and this is their last year together. Quinn nonchalantly says she's over it. She's hanging out with her new friends, "the skanks," instead. While smoking under the bleachers with her girl gang, Rachel approaches and asks Quinn to come back to glee and tells her how much they need her, but Quinn refuses her, too.

Sue is gearing up once again to find a new way to destroy the glee club, especially now that she's running for state senator. She calls Santana and Becky into her office to announce they will be co-captains of the squad. Santana doesn't like having to share the top spot, but she agrees to commit to Team Sue this year and help her destroy glee club. Once Sue witnesses another teacher complain about the disruption the purple pianos are causing, she decides to run on an anti-arts-funding platform and makes her announcement from her "As Sue C's It" segment on the local news.

Will retaliates by glitter-bombing Sue during Cheerio auditions while Emma films the whole thing. His resolve to take action turns Emma on and Will might actually get lucky with her sometime soon if he keeps this attitude up. Unfortunately, his public protest antics fail and Sue rises in the polls.

Blaine shows up at McKinley to surprise Kurt. He's not in his Warbler's uniform because he's decided to transfer after all. To make his announcement to the school, he sings "It's Not Unusual" outside on the bleachers, where all the outside Glee performances take place. After he finishes, the Cheerios pour lighter fluid all over the purple piano and Quinn tosses her cigarette on it, allowing it to burst into flames.

The kids get ready to make their big push to recruit new members in the cafeteria. They're nervous and under a lot of pressure, but they dance across the lunch room tables like pros while singing "We Got the Beat," by the Go-gos. After they finish, the students hurl spaghetti sauce at them and the whole room erupts into a giant food fight.

Covered in marinara sauce at the next meeting of Glee, the kids lament that no one was the least bit interested in joining and that the "Purple Piano Project" was a total flop. Just then a girl named Sugar walks in announcing she has self-diagnosed Asperger's Syndrome and wants to audition. She brags about how great she is, but her rendition of "Hey, Big Spender," is absolutely awful.

Meanwhile, Kurt and Rachel have been spending a lot of time together planning their future as Broadway stars. They want to go to Julliard until Emma tells them the school doesn't have a musical theater department. She recommends they go to a performing arts college in New York City and tells them there's a mixer of local youth also looking to get into the school.

Kurt and Rachel perform "Ding Dong, the Witch is Dead," to prepare for the meeting. They're convinced that they're going to blow the other kids away, but when they show up at the meeting, they immediately notice that all these kids are just like them, except that they have way more acting and performing experience.

No one wants her to join, including Emma, who tells Will the next morning while they make lunch he's going to have to be tough if he wants New Directions to win that national's trophy this year. Beiste agrees, explaining that she has to dash a lot of kids hopes every year when she makes cuts for the football team. In the end, Will tells Sugar she can't join.

But who is going to fill the two open spots vacated by Lauren and Quinn? New Directions can't compete without a complete team.