Alright, guys - it's time to get naked. ..Whoa, hold up - put your clothes back on, please - you do not need to be to enjoy this episode, besides it's totally an allegory for baring your soul. ..No, seriously - put your damn clothes back on, sheesh. Well, onto the episode!
The Warblers have been stripped of their Sectionals victory after testing positive for performance enhancers, pushing New Directions back into the competition. Tina proposes the idea of a 'Men of McKinley' calendar to raise the last four hundred dollars for Regionals, but not all the guys seem to be on board. Rachel nails an audition for a student film, but when the script calls for a topless scene, she battles with her 'old' self and in typical Rachel form - sings about it, with herself - on "Torn" by Natalie Imbruglia. Get it? She's torn? Ultimately, Rachel agrees to do the scene.
Sam and Brittany find out the results of their SATs and while Brittany scores a near perfect score, Sam tanks and so does his confidence in himself, leaving him to believe his best assets are his - well, his assets. Sam launches a seminar to get the boys of glee club body ready with a mash up of "The Angel is A Centerfold" and "Hot in Here". Sue and Finn throw down over the idea for the calendar, but when don't they seem to go at it like - well, like Will and Sue use to. Kurt is sick and tired of Rachel's ever changing attitude and calls her out on her choice to do the topless scene, as well as how Brody seems to enjoy awkwardly walking around in the buff. Is that the smell of trouble in Hummelberry paradise?
Marley, after embarrassing herself on Fondue for two, invites Jake to the auditorium leading to a sweet duet on "A Thousand Years" by Christina Perri, but Marley can't get those three little words out to Jake. Finn tries to get Artie to help him find Sue's old Penthouse photo to prove she's a hypocrite, but the conversation leads to Artie's declaration that he doesn't want to pose for the calendar and that not just girl's have issues with their bodies, Finn understands and is proud of Artie's values. Jake and Ryder discuss the moment in the auditorium where Jake swears Marley was going to tell him she loves him, which prompts Ryder to push Jake to admit his feelings, which he does using NeYo's "Let Me Love You". Rachel comes home to find Quinn and Santana there at Kurt's request to intervene with Rachel's plan to go forward with the topless scene.
Quinn and Santana give Rachel something to think about, while Blaine gives Sam some food for thought after he snaps during the shoot for the Men of McKinley calendar. With help from Ms. Pillsbury, Blaine helps give Sam some confidence about his future by having her present him with brochures for colleges who don't require SAT scores and scholarships. On the set of the student film, Rachel finally gives into her insecurity about being topless and is kicked off the film, but what does Rachel Berry do when she's been through a day? Sing a song! You betcha, and that she does with Santana and Quinn - a little "Love Song" by Sara Bareilles. Rachel asks Santana and Quinn to hang around for a little, which prompts Santana to begin considering a move to the Big Bad Apple herself.
Blaine presents Sam with videos of current and former New Directions explaining that he's a lot more than just a pretty face, which prompts a sweet Blam bromantical hug. Bromance, at its finest - BLAM! The Men of McKinley calendar hits the hallways and the boys are all the rage with the ladies, but the only lady that Jake has eyes for is Marley, thus he presents her a personally signed calendar with those three little words out in the open and on paper, and those three little words Marley returns! Jarley loving had them a blast! Artie, who agrees to appear in the calendar clothed along with a clothed Sam, thinks about the New Year and the new chance, something Sam agrees upon and leads to the New Directions performing "This Is the New Year" by A Great Big World. Classic New Directions at its finest, I tell you.
Didn't I tell you this was about baring your soul not your birthday suit? Could you put your clothes back on now? I mean - we're about to get divalicious and you need clothes for that! Next week - the divas are out and ready - its Kurt vs. Rachel in a diva-off to end all diva-offs, and the divas are also out at McKinley - male AND female. So, put your clothes back on and I'll see you divas, next week!
From This Author Robert Lawlor