As regionals near, the New Directions-Warblers rivalry heats up (with Michael Jackson music on the soundtrack), Kurt and Rachel hear about their applications to NYADA and sparks fly between Sam and Mercedes.
Mercedes and the Troubletones girls are irritated that they missed out on doing a Michael Jackson song with New Directions several weeks ago. Will decides that the glee club should honor Michael with a week-long tribute of his music. To kick things off, Blaine leads the group in a performance of "Wanna Be Startin' Something." Later, Finn asks Rachel if she has an answer yet for his proposal. When she seems uncertain about the idea of marriage, Finn tells her to take a few more days to think about it. Meanwhile, Warblers' leader Sebastian finds out that New Directions is planning on covering Michael Jackson at Regionals. He reveals that, since the Warblers get to perform first, they will steal the Michael Jackson idea from New Directions. The glee kids refuse to back down from the Warblers and challenge them to a "Jackson-off," where the two glee clubs perform a group duet of "Bad." Following the performance, Sebastian throws a tainted slushie in Blaine's face.
As a result of the slushie attack, Blaine's cornea is deeply scratched and requires surgery. The glee kids are furious as they suspect that the Warblers tainted the slushie with rocks or glass. Artie is disgusted over the way he and his friends are always the targets of vicious bullying. In a dream sequence, Artie and Mike perform a duet of "Scream." Elsewhere, Rachel tells Quinn that Finn proposed and she's unsure what to do. Quinn tells Rachel that she's too young to get married. Later at glee practice, Quinn reveals some news of her own to the group, which is that she's been accepted for early admission into Yale. Quinn sings "Never Can Say Goodbye" as her friends celebrate Quinn's accomplishment. Meanwhile, Kurt is still fuming over the Warblers' attack on Blaine. Santana tells Kurt that New Directions will get even with Sebastian.
Sam texts Mercedes to meet him in the auditorium. He again professes his feelings for her but Mercedes shrugs it off. Sam plays his guitar and the two perform a duet of "Human Nature," which ends with the two sharing a kiss! Meanwhile, Kurt receives a letter from the New York Academy of Dramatic Arts saying that he has been chosen as a finalist. When Kurt excitedly shares the news with Rachel, the two realize that Rachel has not received a letter and appears to have not been selected by NYADA. Later, Kurt, Rachel and Finn visit Blaine and sing "Ben" to cheer him up as he awaits surgery. Elsewhere, Santana confronts Sebastian and the Warblers about the damage they've done to Blaine's eyes. Sebastian admits that the slushie was meant for Kurt but won't admit that they tainted it with sharp objects. Santana and Sebastian face-off in a duet of "Smooth Criminal." As the song ends, Sebastian admits to putting rock salt into the slushie that hurt Blaine.
Back at glee practice, Santana reveals that she had a tape recorder under her breasts when talking to Sebastian. Although she now has the proof to bust Sebastian for spiking the slushie, the gang decides that they want to teach the Warblers a better lesson. Meanwhile, Finn and Rachel share an intimate moment in the choir room and sing "I Just Can't Stop Loving You." As the song closes, Rachel professes her love for Finn and accepts his marriage proposal! Later, the gang calls the Warblers into McKinley to teach them a lesson once and for all. The kids tell the Warblers that the Warblers have no idea what Michael was really all about. They perform "Black or White." In a surprising turn of events, the Warblers (minus Sebastian) join in! Santana then reveals that she has Sebastian's confession on tape, and that he better back off if he wants the evidence to stay away from the police. Following all the excitement, Rachel is elated to find that she has received a letter from NYADA stating that she, too, is a finalist! Kurt congratulates her and asks if she has told Finn yet, while Rachel stares blankly into space.
The question on everyone's mind going into tonight's Michael Jackson-themed "Glee" episode was whether Ryan Murphy and company could put together a tribute big enough to honor "The King of Pop." I'll admit that even I had my doubts. Feel free to smack me at any time. As I sit here completely humbled and in awe of the "Michael" episode, I take back everything I said about "Glee" making a mistake in honoring a legend like MJ. Not only did they do the iconic superstar justice, they also advanced storylines in a meaningful way. Simply put, this episode offered something for everyone, even if you're not an MJ fan. And if you are... tell me that you didn't scream like a little starstruck fan every time the gang performed one of his hits! Special kudos to Finn and Rachel for the "I Just Can't Stop Loving You" performance. It seriously had me in tears. But why the hell did she say yes?
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- Mario Rocchetta