Hello my brave warriors. I hope you made it to the other side of this episode with the faint light of hope still shining in your heart, I hope your season finale dreams are not trampled, I hope just generally speaking –that you survived some nearly an hour of poorly focused refried plot so that you could at the very least enjoy the uplifting lyricism of Darren Criss. Let’s do this.
Sue is back on the “destroy the glee club” train she never got off to begin with. See sometimes Glee decides to write Sue as a tough as rocks woman who has a lot of issues being respectful and decent but ultimately has a lot of affection for the kids she’s watched grow up. And then sometimes Glee gives you an entire episode of Sue Sylvester written off as some Wile E. Coyote intent on “destroying” the New Directions for no discernible reason.
I was so unimpressed with this first musical number, “Rather Be”, not because the girls weren’t doing a great job, but because sometimes songs are put in just to show that the group is practicing so the numbers are unpolished and it feels like someone turned on a boombox and had the actors dance around the room while you have time to go find your phone charger. I was not so clever, so I wasn’t charged and ready to go with Candy Crush when this episode started to crash and burn. Much like Dalton!
Spencer and Alistair were being truly adorable on stage with the rest of the New New Directions when Klaine walked in the room and every set of eyes in America looked them over for signs of newly wed bliss. Spoiler alert: Don’t hold your breath for that.
Sad puppy Blaine is downright depressed that Dalton burned to the ground though no one brought up how this tragedy came about, just one part of how much the producers cut this plot line to its most minimal parts. Gay Hogwarts is gone, leaving a boat-load of Warblers searching for a new for their bespoke suited behinds and choreographed side-steps.
Are the New New Directions adopting the Warblers? Yes they are! Completely ignoring the discomfort of Jane, one of their core members, at admitting an entire band of entitled sexist overly-gelled jerks who ran her out Dalton. Rachel is apparently on business in New York which could mean one of two things, Rachel couldn’t be in this episode, or we’re giving her the entire New York plot line again.
Sue comes in to remind us all that she is a villain by opposing the integration of the Warblers into the New Directions. Why? Because she’s mean and doesn’t like them, because that is how the show likes to squander Jane Lynch’s acting skill.
I do enjoy when William calls her Suzie Q, it’s almost like I can take that spark of enjoyment and get through the episode. Almost.
For other unexplained reasons, Becky Jackson loves the Warblers. Or rather, she’s touched by the loss of their beloved Dalton and thinks that Sue kicking them out of McKinley is a step too far. Hurting kids with a burned down school is a moral limit for Becky and I for one am proud of her. Becky’s boyfriend Darrell seems to take the entire heated exchange in stride, even when Sue accuses him of turning Becky against her. I love that they brought Darrell back for a little cameo this episode, instead of dropping Becky’s relationship like so many other plots, lost to us forever.
We get some seconds of Rachel psyching herself back up for life in New York, reapplying for NYADA – no reason to try anything new or anything, there are only three episodes left after all.
Meanwhile, Sue primps herself up to schmooze the superintendent but William beats her to it. And oh my, he’s found the American Horror Story house of horrors she keeps in a storage unit and since his tiny talented nephew is now part of the New New Directions he’s got his own voodoo doll in the Hate Shrine.
The Klaine altar kind of stepped it up but apparently her copy of Penthouse took it over the edge. So now Sue is fired? I wonder how long that’s going to last.
So who does Sue call for help? Fox News. Of course. And of course this is the point at which Geraldo starts fact checking. Michael Bolton stops his sitcom tour at Glee, which I absolutely love. Geraldo poses the question “Is Sue a compulsive liar?” Well, you can’t say that many words per minute in full honesty.
Sue is treated to an HD video presentation of everyone she knows saying she is a horrible person. TEENAGE DREADLOCKS JESUS IS BACK SANS DREADLOCKS? That’s good, he had no business having dreads in the first place, but I for one miss his new age Christianity and cheery attitude.
Beiste comes to the rescue though because that’s probably when we’ve seen Sue at her best. Sheldon said he was proud to support Sue, which was surprisingly appropriate given that Sue was probably at her best while being supportive of Sheldon’s transition. Then, we get to see Will express his hidden affection for Sue, giving her a boost and calling for her to be given a second chance.
We’ve got the band kids on a funeral drudge that is I mean appropriate when you’re in that kind of mood in which Sue is. But all the heavy brooding is behind us now, it’s time for Carol Burnett! Hi Carol Burnett, hi!
So Sue’s hatred of Glee club is born out of early childhood musical trauma? If she was such a baby arsonist I’m surprised she hasn’t been accused of burning down Dalton. It probably has something to do with how Dalton’s storyline was mostly chopped out of the episode. “The Trolley Song”? This entire number is what I call “We had absolutely no reason to sing this song so we’ll give you a very vague excuse and burst into song”.
Rachel got accepted into NYADA and offered a part in a Broadway musical. The world is her oyster! Somehow, inexplicably, Rachel is still upset.
Watching the New New Directions practice beside the Warblers was a very cute moment, especially when it became evident that the New New Directions were stumbling colts beside the graceful Warblers.
Sue has now become the new Vocal Adrenaline coach and I will say this, Sue Sylvester and Vocal Adrenaline are a perfect match. The kids in Vocal Adrenaline seem to agree this since it’s just what these kids were demanding. These are the musical cheerios. “I am down but I am far from over,” see? That’s a contextually relevant song.
Are we going to use the Sam and Rachel relationship for something useful? Rachel once again has choices, all the choices in the world. Sam advises that Rachel go straight to NYADA instead of taking the Broadway role. Reasons? Who needs reasons? This is Glee, folks.
“The Final Countdown” was admittedly a really fun number, especially when we got to see Will and Sue go at it. “You have crossed me for the last time,” Sue warns. William is right for once in his life, she’s said that about twenty seven times.
BRAD IS BACK! The return of the background piano player is probably (depressingly) the highlight of the episode.
Fantasy air guitar battle, was indeed weird and borderline psychopathic much like this entire episode. And now the fate of the entire arts program hangs on the New Direction’s sectionals win. I could take a moment here near the very end of the episode to quietly ask, “Why aren’t Kurt and Blaine acting remotely newlywed? Why are they mentioning NOTHING about being married? Why?”
The most unforgivable part of this episode is what the minimization of the Dalton storyline to a song that was co-written by Darren Criss himself and that many of us had been so excited about. But instead we got a last minute play with no introduction scene. The song is gorgeous and beautifully performed, but the production of this episode wilted it down to a last minute afterthought.
I don’t know if you guys caught that but this was not a favorite episode of mine. Did any of you genuinely enjoy it? Is anyone as excited as I too put all of our remaining Glee eggs in next week’s Jonathan Groff basket? Share with us in the comments!