The start of the school day finds the Cheerios cheer squad relentlessly drilling through their practice, led by their merciless coach Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch
). Meanwhile, the football team surrounds the stylishly weary Kurt (Chris Colfer
). After allowing Kurt to remove his Marc Jacobs jacket and manbag, the team unceremoniously tosses Kurt into the dumpster.
Spanish teacher Will Schuester (Matthew Morrison
) eyes the school trophy case, in particular, a tribute to former Glee coach Lillian Adler. Later, after a slow-paced Spanish class, Will sits in the teacher's lounge with germaphobe Emma Pillsbury (Jayma Mays
)), the football coach and a caustic Sue. Will learns the glee teacher, Sandy Ryerson (Stephen Tobolowsky
) was fired. Will visits principal Figgins (Iqbal Theba
) and asks to take over the glee club.
Kurt, the stuttering Tina (Jenna Ushkowitz
), and talented Mercedes (Amber Riley
))audition for a hopeful Will. Fame-hungry Rachel Berry (Lea Michele
) purposefully and confidently auditions, in spite of her private revelation. She was the one who got Sandy fired for innapropriate touching.
After a disastrous first rehearsal, Rachel is upset that Will has cast Artie (Kevin McHale
) as the lead, especially since Artie is wheelchair bound. Will and Rachel talk. Rachel reveals she is tired of being hated and laughed at, and doesn't want to make a fool out of herself.
Will meets with Principal Figgins, who tells him that he can't use the auditorium anymore; Alcoholics Anonymous needs it for meetings and will pay rental fees. Will and Figgins strike a bargain: Glee can use the auditorium until Nationals. If they do well, they get to keep the auditorium. If they bomb, they will give it up. Figgins agrees, on the condition Will runs detention - for free.
Terri Schuester (Jessalyn Gilsig
) is exasperated at her work. Employee Howard (Kent Avenido
) can't fold a fitted sheet. Will surprises Terri with a roast beef sandwich and news he'll be working late for awhile. Will runs into Sandy who is shopping for a toilet seat cover. Sandy tells Will he's thrilled to be out of school and he's making more money re-selling medical marijuana to other teachers. Sandy slips Will a sample packet saying, "First one's free."
At school, Sue and Will talk. Will asks if some of the Cheerios want to join Glee. Sue explains the school caste system to Will, noting kids in Glee are "sub-basement." Sue tells Will kids like to know what they are.
Emma gets gum on her shoe. Will, passing by, stops to help. Emma advises Will to make Glee more popular by getting the popular kids to sign up.
With help from the football coach, Will talks to the jocks about Glee and puts up an audition sheet. Later, after getting a naughty word written on the sign-up sheet, a dejected Will hears singing coming from the boy's locker room. Following the sound, Will finds Finn Hudson (Cory Monteith
) singing in the shower.
A desperate Will blackmails Finn into joining Glee by telling him marijuana was found in his locker, producing the marijuana supplied to him by Sandy. Despite Finn's protests, he ultimately agrees to join Glee.
Finn privately reveals his father died in Iraq. His love for music came from the Emerald Dreams lawn guy, who his mother took up with when Finn was young. After the lawn guy dumped his mother, Finn resolved to do whatever it took to make his mother proud.
In rehearsals, Finn and Rachel sing "You're the One That I Want" from Grease. Will is hopeful.
That night, Will and Terri work on a puzzle in Terri's craft room. Will asks Terri to chaperone a field trip with the Glee club to see last year's winner of Nationals, Vocal Adrenaline. Will and Terri argue. Will confronts Terri with her Pottery Barn shopping habit, opening the craft closet to reveal mahogany toilet brush holders. Terri defensively tells Will there is nothing wrong with wanting nice things.
At school, Will posts a sign-up sheet in the teacher's lounge for chaperones for the field trip. Emma quickly signs up.
At football practice, Finn lies to teammate Puck (Mark Salling
) about missing Saturday practice, telling Puck his mother is having surgery to have her prostate removed.
While at the other school to see their potential rivals perform, Rachel makes her play for Finn. Finn tells her that he already has a girlfriend, the president of the celibacy club, Quinn (Dianna Agron
). Emma and Will share a peanut butter and jelly sandwich while Will confides in Emma about his marital problems.
Vocal Adrenaline, the glee club's rival and last year's winner at Nationals perform "Rehab," to a rousing standing ovation. Will, Emma, Artie, Mercedes, Tina, Kurt, Rachel, and Finn sit, dumbfounded by the talent.
At school, Finn is surrounded by his football teammates. Puck tells him women don't have prostates. Discovered, Finn admits the lie and is paintballed by the team.
At home, Will is surprised by Terri, who announces she is pregnant. Thrilled about the pregnancy, but worried about how he will provide for a family on a teacher's salary, Will tells the Glee club the next day he's leaving school in two weeks. Finn wonders if he no longer has to be in Glee if Will is leaving. Rachel vows to continue on without Will.
Will fills out a job application for an accounting firm. Emma tells him she's made an appointment for him in the career center. Will agrees to go.
Rachel confronts Finn about missing Glee practice. Rachel tells Finn he can't worry about what other people think about him.
The football team meets up with Finn with a surprise. Artie, trapped in a porta-potty by the team, yells for help. Puck tells Finn he gets to do the first flip of the porta-potty. Finn lets Artie out, and tells the team he's going back to Glee. Over Puck's protests, Finn tells him both the football team and Glee need him to win, so he'll do both. While pushing Artie to practice, Finn sees the Emerald Green guy spraying the football field.
Finn apologizes to the Glee club, then organizes them. Artie agrees to get the jazz band to rehearsals. Mercedes will do costumes. Rachel will choreograph.
Emma shows Will a tape of himself at the 1993 glee team at Nationals. Will admits it was the greatest moment of his life, and at that moment, he knew who he was in the world. Will tells Emma he feels the same way now, knowing he has a baby on the way, and he must provide for his family. Emma tells him life worth living must be one he's passionate about.
As Will leaves the school, he hears the kids singing Journey. Following the sound, he steps into the auditorium to discover the kids are actually good, really good. Will makes his decision - to stay and help the kids get to Nationals. Unbeknownst to Will, an envious and competitive Sue and the Cheerios watch from above.