When Shelby Corcoran (played by Idina Menzel) comes to McKinley High, New Directions face a big shake up. Rachel’s biological mother returns, which gives her a lot to deal with. Plus Kurt has decided to run for class president with Brittany giving him some special help.
Kurt is very flattered when Brittany comes up to him at his locker telling him how fabulous he is. She tells him that she wants to be his campaign manager for class president because she thinks he’s the biggest unicorn in school. Kurt is, quite obviously, very confused by this and Brittany explains that a pony who does a good deed gets a horn and becomes a unicorn. They then poop cotton candy until he dies when his heart falls out. Kurt looks a little bit shocked and tells her this is aterrifying story and walks off.
Brittany trails along after him, telling him that the point is a unicorn is someone who knows they are magical and isn’t frightened of showing it. Kurt had a bad year last year and never forgot how special he is. Brittany slept with a lot of people and could get a lot of votes herself, so Kurt asks why she doesn’t run for class president.
Brittany, rather sheepishly, tells him that she’s not smart enough, as illustrated when in class she things the capital of Ohio is O and the president is Will.I.Am! After mulling it over briefly, Kurt agrees and Brittany decides she is going over to his house after school to work on campaign posters.
Will enters the choir room and tells his Glee Club that Vocal Adrenaline came second in the recent Nationals, but have just fired their coach and are having trouble finding another coach. Tina recognizes the fact that this means they are vulnerable, but Will says he has to focus so can’t direct this years musical.
Rachel gets upset at this news, but Will tells her he’s not cancelling it, he just won’t be directing it. He also announces the start of a “booty camp” to help people with their dancing, such as Finn, Mercedes, Puck and Kurt. They start tomorrow with Mike Chang, Will’s assistant.
Blaine wants to come along so he can catch up with New Directions and Rachel is eager to know who is going to direct the musical. As Emma and Coach Beiste enter the room, Will announces they are the directors this year. Whilst Rachel is busy protesting about their lack of experience, Will calms her down telling her that they need to have the teachers on their side because Sue is trying to shut down art projects. Recognizing their lack of experience, Will appoints Artie as the student director. Artie isn’t sure he can do the job, but is encouraged by everyone else, particularly Tina, and agrees to do it.
Over in the teacher’s lounge, Will is making coffee when Shelby Corcoran walks in. Will is pleasantly surprised to see her and finds out she’s a part time teacher now as Sugar Motta’s father donated a lot of money to the school in exchange for Principal Figgins hiring Shelby to run another show choir team in which Sugar stars.
Shelby is proud to tell Will that they used a headhunter to track her down over in New York because she’s the best show choir director there is. Will is worried about how this will affect Rachel and Shelby is planning on reaching out to her. Shelby is keen to promote the arts in the school and try to help the kids do better.
The scene cuts to Quinn and the skanks in the bathroom giving another girl a swirlie and taking her money from her. As the girl runs out of the bathroom, Sue enters and demands to talk to Quinn alone. The other skanks leave and as Quinn goes to light a cigarette, Sue removes it from her mouth and throws it in the trash. Quinn doesn’t care because Sue has no power over her because she has nothing left to lose now.
Sue pulls Quinn to task, telling her she’s never looked worse. She’s lost her child, her style, her boyfriend and the worst of all, her status. Sue pours the blame on to the Glee Club, telling her that she was at the top of the school tree when she was a Cheerio but everything went wrong when she joined the Glee Club because Will didn’t appreciate her.
Sue offers Quinn the opportunity to get her revenge on the Glee Club and to become a star in the process. Sue wants Quinn to star in a video about a day in the life of a student who lost everything because of the arts. In return Quinn asks for cheap coaches from a thrift store to put under the bleachers as she finds it hard to stand up smoking all day.
Brittany is wearing a plush unicorn horn when she shows Kurt what she calls “Kurt’s bulging pink fun sack”, a pink sparkly tote bag contain pink sparkly posters, a purple teletubby and other fashion items. Kurt tells her, very politely, that it’s a little bit too gay and he doesn’t want to be know as the gay kid. Brittany doesn’t understand why and tells him that everyone at school is a freak or a closet freak and that if Kurt doesn’t run the football team captain will get the job, and he cates nothing for the students.
Kurt does agree with her, but thinks the posters are a bit too much. His idea is a black and white poster with him in a suit, inspired by Judy Garland. Brittany is amused by this and calls says his story is very unicorn!
Puck is dragging Quinn down the hall, and she resists until she sees Shelby in one of the classrooms. Quinn notices she is back and Shelby says she thought she could do the working mother thing in New York but didn’t want to miss any milestones in Beth’s life, even when she was performing.
As Quinn tried to leave, Puck stops her and she is told by Shelby that she missed all the milestones in Rachel’s life and doesn’t want the same thing to happen to Quinn. She’s keen for Quinn to be a part of Beth’s life. When she askss when she can see Beth, Quinn is told by Shelby that whilst she wants Quinn in Beth’s life, she doesn’t want her in her life like this. She has to clean up her act first. Quinn tells Shelby that she is Beth’s mother, not Shelby and stomps out of the room with Puck looking apologetic in a corner.
In the rehearsal room, Will and Mike are warming up for booty camp and Puck is lying on the floor. Will makes everyone get up and Mike Change shows them some basic moves. They start to do the “grapevine” whilst Kurt and Blaine are talkinga bout auditioning for the West Side Story musical. Kurt and Blaine realize they are auditioning for the same role, Tony, and Blaine thinks that is a little bit strange. They compliment each other for a while until Blaine tells Kurt that he is happy to play another part like Bernardo or Officer Krupke, so long as he can play it opposite Kurt’s Tony.
Shelby walks in to the auditorium to find Rachel warming up and compliments her on her voice as her range has seen a definite improvement. Rachel tells her she isn’t joining Shelby’s show choir because she feels that New Direction is her family and they all mean a lot to her. Shelby then tells Rachel she’s her biological mother, but Rachel interrupts her and tells her she isn’t her mother and has to get back to rehearsal now.
As Shelby is leaving, she suggests to Rachel to audition with the song, “Somewhere There’s A Place For Us”, which Rachel admists she had been considering but felt it was a bit challenging. She had decided to go for “I Feel Pretty” because she can perform it really well. She is told that unless she starts pushing herself, she’s not going to make the lead roles. She has to stop playing it safe all the time.
Rachel decides to give it a go and walks to the middle of the stage. She sings the first verse by herself but then Shelby joins her on stage for the second verse and they sing the rest of the song together.
We then see Sue’s anti arts video, which starts with Quinn hitting a sign and smoking whilst stnading in front of a no smoking sign. We hear Sue’s voiceover saying how Quinn used to have to all and be at the top of her game, but something happened. Quinn tells the camera that she got involved with the arts.
Becky runs into the corner of Will’s office with a soundstick, followed by both Sue and Quinn. Quinn tells Will she’s here to give him a piece of her mind as Sue keeps filming. Quinn starts yelling at Will that she used to have everything, was dating the quarterback, was the captain of the Cheerios and was the prettiest and most popular girl in the school until she joined Glee Club. She tells him that she will never come back to the Glee Club and that she hopes he’s happy with what he’s done.
As she goes to leave, Will stands up and begins to yell back at her. He tells her that she is a selfish child who cares for no one but herself and that she really should stop playing the victim all the time. He continues to yell at her, telling her that despite all the nice things everyone did for her and that Mercedes even let Quinn live at her house, she never once said thank you. He tells her that she can’t blame him and that she needs to get a grip, grow up and take some responsibility.
Quinn is shocked and doesn’t know what to say and turns and rushes out of the office.
She scene changes and we see Puck knocking at the door of Shelby’s apartment. He is quite nervous and asks her how she is doing. Shelby is a little disturbed that Puck worked out where she lived but he tells her that he has friends in the police. Shelby tells him he can be a part of Beth’s life but must not turn up without telling her.
Puck shows her his drug test results, which shows her he is clean and, apart from beer, he hasn’t had any drinks since they talked. Shelby is impressed with his efforts and tells him that children are a long term commitment and he has to commit to this for the long term.
Beth crys from the other room and Shelby goes to pick her up. Puck is surprised by how much like Quinn the bab looks with blonde curly hair and brown eyes. Whilst Shelby is holding the baby, she tells Puck that Beth has his dopey smile. He says he’s happy that Beth is happy and Shelby is looking after her so well.
He takes a picture out of his pocket that he drew for Beth which was originally going to be a clown but turned into a pig. A clown pig as he calls it. As he puts it on the fridge he asks if it will scare Beth, to which Shelby tells him it won’t. Shelby then asks Puck if he’d like to hold his daughter and he cautiously comes closer and says that he really doesn’t want to hurt her. Shelby reassures him that he can work up to it and Puck is determined to do anything he can to prove he can be a part of her life.
Elsewhere, Coach Beiste puts Artie down in his wheelchair as together with Emma they get ready to watch the West Side Story auditions. Kurt is ready on stage to audition for the part of Tony with the song “I Am The Greatest Star Who Ever Lived” by Barbara Streisand. Using the scaffolding on the stage he completes a great audition which is the judges applaud when he finishes.
In the bathroom, Puck meets up with Quinn and tells her he doesn’t approve of her brand of cigarettes. He tells her to get it together and that she looks like a housewife from Reno. He tells her that he saw Beth and she is wonderful, looking just like the old Quinn. Quinn says they aren’t parent material, to which Puck objects, believing they could be. When Quinn states that they will never be together, Puck tells her that he doesn’t care about Quinn, he just cares about Beth and that he doesn’t want Beth to be messed up and that she needs Quinn in her life.
At the auditions, Kurt is listening behind a wall to Coach Beiste, Emma and Artie talking. Whilst Emma and Artie think Kurt will make a great Tony, Coach Beiste is is arguing that Tony is tough, being the leader of the Jets and that Kurt can’t pull off tough. Coach Beiste wants a Tony that excites that ladies and that Kurt is just too much of a lady. Artie agrees with the Coach that Kurt is just a little too delicate to be Tony.
Kurt leaves the auditorium very disheartened from the judges’ words and sees pink, rainbow and unicorm posters with his face on them plastered all over the hall. Brittany and Santana are busy putting up more and he runs over to ask them what they are doing. Brittany tells him that his poster was depressing and Kurt tells her that he wanted something a bit more toned down.
Santana informs Kurt that this is toned down! The first version had the unicorn riding Kurt. Brittany is confused about why Kurt is upset because he’s special and needs to embrace it. Kurt insists he isn’t going to win and grabs Rachel to help him audition again. As he rushes back to the auditorium he shouts to Brittany to stop putting up the posters.
It’s now Brittany’s turn to be disheartened as she’s failed her dear unicorn. Santana thinks the campaign is brilliant and if Kurt can’t appreciate it then Brittany shouldn’t be his campaign manager. Santana tells Brittany that she’s the unicorn.
Rachel and Kurt drag out a period mattress in the auditorium dressed in Elizabethan clothes, much to the confusion of the judges. Kurt tells him he’s going to show them the masculinity that he can bring to Tony when they cast him, to which Artie snorts in the corner. Kurt informs the judges they will do a scene from Romeo and Juliet, which West Side Story is based on. Throughout the scene, Coach Beiste, Emma and Artie are giggling and snorting and when Kurt goes to kiss Rachel, she tries to stifle a laugh. Kurt is very hurt by this and leaves the auditorium.
When Sugar warms up with Shelby, Shelby realizes just how bad she is. After some warming up, Sugar tells Shelby to take the rest of the day off because she has a very nasally voice which Sugar can’t take much more of. As Sugar leaves, Quinn comes in and tells Shelby that Sugar is hopeless. Shelby tellsher that no on is hopeless and that she went down the same path when she gave up on Rachel. She tells Quinn that the true test of motherhood is how much of yourself you’re willing to give up for your children.
Quinn tells Shelby she isn’t going back to being a blonde Miss Perfect but is told that if she really was that girl she wouldn’t have got pregnant in the first place. Shelby continues to say that Quinn will be graduating high school very soon and that as a soon to be adult she needs to stop punishing herself for things she did when she was younger.
Because Puck saw Beth, Quinn wants to see her too, or at least a photo of her. Shelby finds a phone of Beth on Puck’s knee and shows it to Shelby. Quinn starts to sniffle at the picture and is told that Beth looks just like her and that she can be part of the family too, if she wants too. As Shelby leaves, Quinn looks at the picture and begins to cry.
Rachel is sitting with Finn, handing him tools as he works in Burt’s shop on a car. Finn thanks her for helping and she’s grateful for the distraction as she’s feeling stressed out by the auditions at the moment. Finn is convinced she’ll get the lead and she tries to persuade him to audition too, but he’s just too busy with football, the Glee Club and booty camp too. He has to become a better dancer or it will jeopardize their chances of winning the Nationals.
Rachel tells Finn that she really doesn’t want him to give up on the things which makes him special and he says it wouldn’t be so bad if he stayed in Lima and wored for Burt. Rachel tells him that would be fine if it would make him happy, but she doubts it will. Finn tells her she’s the best girlfriend every and they kiss as Burt walks by telling them to stop making out in his shop.
Burt sees Kurt sitting in his office and comments on how he only comes down to the shop when he wants some money or has a problem he needs to talk about. Kurt has a bit list of musicals that he’d be a great choice for the lead role, including playing Miss Saigon in Miss Saigon. Burt reminds Kurt that he is gay, sings like Diana Ross and dresses like he owns a chocolate factory. There’s nothing wrong with that, he tells Kurt, it’s who and what he is. Kurt isn’t ashamed of it but he desperately wants to be an actor and needs to be able to pass for a straight guy to get the big, romantic roles.
Burt tells him to change the rules and write his own stuff to star in. Kurt tells his dad that he’s fed up of being a unicorn, but Burt tells him, “You know what they call a unicorn without a horn? … A freaking horse!”
Back in booty camp, Finn is nervously watching Mike Change and Will do some dance steps. When Finn joins them he gets about half way through the routine before he stops saying he can’t do it. Will reassures him and encourages him to get through it again. He manages to get all the way through the routine this time with Mercedes and Puck and Kurt cheer very enthusiastically.
Finn is very happy and gives Will a hug. As they turn around they see Quinn wearing a white sundress and with her hair back to normal. Will very politely asks her if they can help her and she replies by saying she had heard this was for people who need help to improve their dancing and want to win the Nationals. She asks if she can join them, to which Will tells her, “Absolutely”. Quinn gets a big hug from Mercedes and gets in line next to Puck, who tells her how proud he is of her. Quinn tells him, much to his surprise, that she wants to get full custody of Beth, even if it means she has to dye her hair blonde and pretend she’s someone special.
Sue joins Will, Emma and Coach Beiste at lunch and Will is gloating that Quinn has returned to the Glee Club. Sue is non plussed by this and tells him it gives her a new angle. Quinn’s “relapse” in to the arts is because they are like crack, only more addictive and not as good for you. She also takes great delight in telling them that at the moment, she is topping the polls. After Sue leaves, they decided they can’t let Sue win and that they need an someone credible, an anti-Sue to run against her.
Brittany is very surprised to see Kurt in the hallway hanging pink posters that feature Kurt with a unicorn’s horn sticking out of his head. Kurt tells her he is sorry, but she way right, he has to celebrate who he is, his unicorn ness. Brittany is pleased and tells her that she is going to run too and start believing in her own magic because all the last presidents have been male.
Blaine auditions singing “Something’s Coming” whilst Kurt watches, smiling, from the rafters. Blaine’s rendition of this song is brilliant and he gets a standing ovation. Artie is very confused though because he is only auditioning for Berdardo or Officer Krupke. The judges want him to read for Tony, which shocks Kurt who rushes out of the auditorium.