Does everyone have their box of tissues ready? Good. You’re gonna need it… Not necessarily because a beloved Glee character dies this week, but because you’ll need it to wipe the sweat off your brow from all the KICK ASS solos in this baby! Please, don’t use a handkerchief though. I love old man accessories. You should see my collection of ties, smoking pipes and fedoras! But a handkerchief? GROSS! Why would you keep something in your pocket you just snotted on? Anyway…
This week’s ep opens up right where we thought it might- with an announcement from Ol’ Goody Two Shues where he tells the glang he’s hired Jesse St. James as their new show choir consultant. He justifies this as saying they can use all the help they can get with Nationals encroaching upon them. Shue talks strategy and wants to do things they way they’ve always done. Singling Finn’s weaknesses out, Jesse disagrees. “You kind of sing and dance like a zombie who has to poop.” Jesse proposes the Vocal Adrenaline strategy, which is to identify the best performer and build the entire performance around the star. Finn feels the opposite of the collective and says it’s “kinda not our style.” Then he makes that blank stare WTF face that he’s so darn good at before commercial.
Sue is “lactating with rage,” at Honey Badger (Terry Shuester), because she wants to perform a complicated hack job to reroute the glang’s airline tickets to Libya and she’s brought her dopey co-worker from Things and Stuff (Was that what it was called?) to carry out the task. Sue dubs him “Panda Express.” Miraculously, they get the job done. Terry realizes where they’re being rerouted to and that the glang will most likely be kidnapped and murdered. She looks at Sue with a “somebody woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning.” Sue gives her a “you have no idea.” But we do! Shout out to ‘dramatic irony!’ A commonly used dramatic/literary technique. (Okay. Fine. It’s not REALLY dramatic irony… We didn’t technically know from the show, but we knew from the internet.)
Shue’s cruisin’ the halls when Becky and her mom pull him into his office for a chat. Becky says she wants to be in glee club or at least that’s what I think she said, and when Shue asks about cheerleading, a flashback reveals Sue asking her to “turn in her pom poms,” without any explanation. Shue really struggles with telling her “no,” because it’s too late in the year with Nationals on the way.
World’s Cutest Cheerio.
Shue yells at Sue in her office and demands an explanation for cutting Becky. She tells Shue she had to cause she reminded her of her sister, who just died. Sue says she died in her sleep from Pneumonia and even though she lived very long for a person with Down Syndrome, she almost thought they’d grow old together… Shue tries to console her but Sue’s not havin’ it.
Rachel”s voiceover talks about all the changes she’s been through, like “less baby fat,” since first auditioning for glee club, as she marches down the hall and signs up for the Nude Erections star performer auditions. Looks like Mercedes, Santana and Kurt have so far, and when Finn walks past her she asks why Finn hasn’t signed up yet. Finn reveals his confidence is shot because of Jesse and when Rachel tries to tell him he’s really good, Finn says “I’m Lima good. Not New York good.” Someone needs to remind Finn it’s because he’s not a Jesse St. James type is why we love him. He’s sweet and clumsy and genuine and I’d rather watch that than a polished performer MOST days…
Emma is helping Will separate, pack and store his hundreds of vests for New York. Shue tells her that that the glang doesn’t know he’s going and that it’s only gonna be for the durations of April’s show anyway. Emma thinks he’s not coming back. She tries to store a vest that Shue wants to keep cause he wore it the first week of glee club. She chooses another at random and Shue tells her it was the one he was wearing when he first met Emma. Then in a symbolic gesture he throws into the “Giving Away,” box. Emma looks disappointed, even though she’s the one encouraging him to follow his dreams. Then she doesn’t blink for six hours…
Finn and Kurt drop off some flowers for Sue in her office. Sue wants to know why they’re being nice to her even though she’s been so horribly mean to them in the past. The both say they’ve lost someone close to them too and know what it feels like. Sue admits she doesn’t know how to deal with Jean’s death and hasn’t been able to go to the home and sort through her things.
In the music room, Kurt and Finn petition with the glang to help Sue with the funeral. There’s a little resistance because of their past with Sue, but the most comes from Jesse as he suggests that the last thing they should be doing is planning a funeral. Jesse thinks they should be rehearsing for Nationals instead and says, “If someone in Vocal Adrenaline dies in a show. They use them as a prop. Like ‘Weekend At Bernies.” Finn overrides Jesse and in an effort to be more of a leader demands they help Sue… Fingers crossed that one day they’ll have to employee the “Weekend At Bernies” plan though. I suppose they could sort of already do it with Artie.
Shue stops a sunglass wearing Sue in the halls. He says the glee club is honored to help Sue with her sister’s funeral and that if she needs someone to lean on, he’s her guy… Sue says she’s just using Kurt and Finn for cheap labor and as for leaning on Shue, come on, you should know by now- insert Will Shuester hair joke.
Jesse and Shue sit in the audience of section of the auditorium. Shue tells Jesse he’s very reluctant to even have these auditions cause he doesn’t want anyone thinking they’re a loser. Jesse says he’s looking forward to putting his Reality TV Show Judging class to good use and “give feedback that’s both blistering and unhelpful.” With that Santana enters onto the stage and sings Amy Winehouse’s “Back To Black.” AMAZING. UH-MAY-ZING, I say! It made me wish we lived in a parallel universe and Naya Rivera dropped the Back To Black album instead… It seems Rivera has just as much grit, and SHE doesn’t have to do a ton of crack to have it. She’s also a bagillion times hotter. Santana’s solo got me all hyped for the rest of the ep cause I realized we were gonna get to see Rachel, Mercedes and Kurt do the same thing. Of course, Shue loves it, Jesse slams it… Santana is about to go “all Lima Heights” when Kurt enters for his audition.
Kurt auditions with “Some People” from Gypsy. Not my favorite show tune but the context worked. And I certainly enjoyed the sassy pizzaz that Kurt put into it… I got to see Bernadette Peters do this on Broadway, but don’t you dare ask me to compare them. Love them both. I WILL say though that Kurt had to go into his head voice in areas where someone like Patti LaPone would still be in her chest. (Is that the right area?) So maybe that’s why it felt a little soft? I guess I can live with that though, because, oh, I don’t know, he’s a BOY… He finishes with a dramatic flamboyant slide to the front of the stage and Jesse isn’t sure he can “fill the heels” of the female Broadway greats that have performed that song before him. We saw that coming though.
“Some people wouldn’t wear these pants.”
Shue is being made to look like he is in shock at how horrible Jesse is being but I’m having a hard time believing he’d let Jesse say these things. They at least could have come up with a better reason to allow Jesse to be so terrible…
Kurt storms into the music room post audition with a “Jesse St. James Jesse St. sucks!” Rachel comes to his defense and Mercedes says she wish Rachel would stop making their feelings for each other so obvious. Santana thinks she’s gonna win and Mercedes walks outta the room telling Rachel not to bother warming up because she’s “about to wrap this thing up like a Christmas present.” Inappropriate Mercedes. Hello! Rachel is Jewish.
Then I turned the volume way up on the telly because I realized Mercedes was auditioning with “Try A Little Tenderness.” I have always been absolutely enamored with Otis Redding’s version, although I’m pretty sure he’s not the original singer. I happen to think you’d be hard pressed to find a song with a better build and climax in the world of music but that’s just ol’ soul loving Birschy talking. MAN did Mercedes do this song proud! I would not be surprised if she burst a lung, broke a button and had a baby recording that song. The sheer, raw power of Amber Riley’s voice never fails to impress me. She finishes and Shue thanks Mercedes for reminding him where they started and how far the glee club has come since. Tooting your own horn, arrrrre we writers? Predictably, Jesse is not impressed and calls Mercedes “lazy” while Shue makes this face:
Shue would TOTALLY do this while his kids are chastised. Not.
Rachel’s turn. She busts out the big Bab guns and auditions with Funny Girl’s “My Man.” Before she begins she says it’s the most difficult song she’s ever sung. Jesse wants to know if she’ll be thinking of anyone in particular. He looks disappointed when she says “no.” But once she starts singing, we cut to a slow motion, almost foggy Finn Hudson in the halls, staring at the camera, watching it/Rachel walk by, with a goofy, sweet, handsome smile. Then we cut back to her teary eyed, staring into the lights and closing her eyes when it hurts to much to sing certain lyrics. The Rachel Berry unrequited love emo-machine is at full throttle and I can’t help but be absolutely mesmerized. It was stunning. Heartbreaking and beautiful. I loved it. I know we sometimes give this character a hard time for always playing the victim but the fact is, girls like her do exist, and it’s moments like these on the show that make her both human AND superhuman at the same time… Can you IMAGINE the pressure on Lea Michele for having to live in the Streisand shadow?? It must be horrible. (NOT that I feel sorry for her for one moment.) Michele does it though, and I happen to think she excels at it… Kurt, Mercedes and Santana have snuck into the auditorium to watch Berry’s audition. She finishes and Kurt can’t help but give her a standing ovation with moist eyes. Neither could ol’ Birschy… Jesse has nothing but the “tip of his hat,” for Rachel. Of course, Kurt, Mercedes and Santana are outraged at Jesse’s bias. Shue calms them down and says they’ll need a few days to come to a decision.
Finn and Kurt are finishing up organizing and packing Jean’s things in her old room while Sue stares numbly at a clip board. They ask Sue what she wants to do with all of the stuff. With the exception of one stuffed animal, she tells them to throw it all out, even the Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory tape she would watch at least three times a week. The guys try to convince her to keep a few things and she lashes out with personal assaults. Finn says they’re only trying to help and Kurt wants to know why she agreed to let the glee club help when she doesn’t even like them. Sue says it’s because she was afraid no one would be at the funeral and walks outta the room. Then Kurt makes a GaGa dress out of all the stuffed animals. Noooo, he doesn’t, silly! He wanted to though, I bet.
Sue finds Shue waiting in the lobby at the chapel for Jean’s service. He opens the door for her to a house full of the people that Jean knew through out her life and to a coffin adorned with mushrooms, over sized gum drops, giant lollipops and a chocolate fountain. Kurt and Finn explain that they thought they would do something to celebrate her life. Sue loves it… A priest says a few nice words and then brings Sue up to the podium. She can only get through a sentence or two before she breaks down, so Shue reads the rest for her. He reads about being tethered to someone so that two people always feel connected no matter where they are, along with some other horribly depressing and uplifting sentiments. Then the glang sings “Pure Imagination,” from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and when Sue grabbed Shue’s hand ol’ Birschy’s bottom lip got to quiverin’… They finish and Sue gives them a heartfelt, soft spoken “thank you.”
Then Zizes fell into the chocolate river and got stuck in the pipe that leads to the fudge room…
Finn is crying in the truck by himself and Quinn hops in apologizing for the line in the bathroom. She asks why he’s crying and Finn says cause he’s breaking up with her. Sue’s speech about being tethered to someone made him realize he doesn’t feel that way about her. “But you do with her, [Rachel]” says Quinn and then goes onto say that they’re not breaking up, they can work through Finn’s confusion about Rachel and that they’ll be prom Queen and King in no time. Finn says he doesn’t want that life along with a dramatic, not so convincing “Don’t you feel anything anymore?” Quinn cries and asks, “Is this good enough for you?” Finn tries to console her, she yells “don’t touch me!” and gets outta the truck. I love these characters and I even like the actors but I have to say they’re not most talented in the bunch. Maybe it was partly the dialogue. I dunno.
Jesse is giving Brittany and her camcorder the scoop about selecting the star of Nude Erections. Shue isn’t comfortable having the conversation recorded so he has Britt turn off the camcorder. Shue asks if making Rachel the star will really help them win Nationals. Jesse says it’s a sure thing…
Becky is turning in her pom poms and megaphone to Sue. Sue tells her it’s not necessary cause not only is Becky NOT cut but she’s being made captain of the Cheerios the following year… Becky is super stoked and starts to run out of Sue’s office to tell her mom. But Sue won’t let her leave without a hug and when Becky’s little chubby hands were shown squeezing Sue as tight they could, the ol’ bottom lip started to quiver again…
Shue is eating a sandwich in the teachers lounge and Sue sits down to say “good luck.” She says she’s throwing in the towel as far as trying to take down the glee club after what they did for her sister. She’s now moving on to other challenges like taking on the health care system. Then she admits that she had the glangs airline tickets rerouted to Libya. Cue Terry Shuester with an “I can explain.” Terry and Shue walk through the halls while she says she was able to pull some strings with the President of the airline who happens to be a supporter of the arts and get them all first class tickets to New York. Shue wants to know what the catch is and Terry says she’s moving to Florida to be a manager and Sheets N’ Things. That’s what it’s called! They give each other an awkward sweet good-bye.
Emma sees them parting in the halls and asks if everything is okay. He says, “yeah, finally, it is.” Shue notices Emma is wearing Shue’s old vest. He tries to convince her he won’t be gone forever and Emma says she hopes it is because he deserves it. Then she walks away quickly with tears in her eyes. Shue stands there with his mouth open like a dummy.
Jesse has Rachel meet him in the auditorium. Rachel wants to know why when the list is about to be posted. Jesse tells her she’s going to be the featured performer of Nude Erections, to his credit. Although she’s overjoyed, she’s also concerned everyone will hate her. He reminds her that it’s sometimes the price of fame but that he realizes now that there’s something that matters just as much to him as fame. “What?” says Rachel. “You,” Jesse replies tucking her hair behind her ear. Finn walks in just in time, tulip in hand, to see them kiss. Blast you, timing!!!
Santana, Mercedes and Kurt are confused staring at the results. Rachel and Jesse approach but are just as surprised when they see the posting, “Emergency meeting in the choir room.” Shue walks in, the star candidates are at each other’s throats and demand to know the results. Shue says that’s just the thing he’s trying to avoid and says there will be no star performer. They’re going to things the way they’ve always done. TOGETHER. Instantly everyone starts to get along again and Jesse is at a loss for words. Finn thanks Quinn for being really cool and not quitting glee club even though she’s hurting. Quinn says if she quit glee club her big plans for New York would have been ruined accompanied by an awesome bitch smile. OooooooooooOOOOOh! And what will THAT be, I wonder? A trip to Central Park? A climb to the top of the Rock Observation Deck? A decapitation of one Finn Hudson’s wiener? I bet she’ll do the latter and then throw it off the observation deck.
Eeesh. This was a pretty dark ep. If it weren’t for the amazing solos I might have locked myself in the garage with the car on… Jane Lynch pulled it off though. I’m glad they’ve finally put her and the glee club at piece with one another. It’ll be interesting to see what they do with her next season, if they even have her come back????
Alright my darlings, thanks for sticking with me.
Talk at you next week.
yours and everyone else’s,
Gline O’ the Week
I fired you in a hormonal fury I like to call ‘womb rage.’” Sue Sylester