Well, this was certainly a powerful episode wasn’t it? A little bit of fun mixed with a lot of emotions, and some big shake ups. Will is coming back to New Directions! Blaine and Karofsky are done! Sam and Rachel…well they definitely put her last night in her childhood home (bed) to good use! Beiste is back! Glee is ending and things are changing. Are they changing for the better? It looks to be that way for me. I can see all of our favorite characters together on that stage one final time in just a couple of months.
So apparently Will has been making some good money since starting at Carmel as the Vocal Adrenaline coach. However, with new money comes the fear of losing it and Will is worried that he is enjoying the “stuff” so much that he’s losing his vision to inspire the kids and just wants to keep the boosters happy. Unfortunately for Will he is coaching a bunch of egg throwing, vandalizing, winning obsessed robot bullies.
While discussing his financial woes (but really gains) with Emma, Blaine and Rachel appear covered in eggs. Apparently, Clint and the gang dug through the Vocal Adrenaline archives and pulled out the oldest chick, I mean trick, in the book: throwing eggs at the competition. Obviously, a horrible thing to do, but I couldn’t help but enjoy the call back to season 1. This resulted in a few minutes of sadness over the fact that we haven’t seen Jesse St. James since season 3. Love him.
Will is furious that his club would even consider doing that to not only their competition but his friends. And what does Will do when he wants to punish his kids? He raps! Our first song of the night is Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’s “Same Love.” Mr. Shue raps his sweet little heart out and then Unique Adams comes out for a lovely duet. We all knew that Unique would be back and more specifically in this episode, but it was still a nice surprise and a great song to reintroduce us to him.
The Vocal Adrenaline kids could care less about getting a lesson. Much like the song, they can’t change. That’s okay though, because there’s someone else is going through a better change. Coach Shannon Beiste is no more. Coach Sheldon Beiste is back looking and feeling better than ever. Now that he is starting to feel more like himself and the person he was always meant to be, Sheldon is ready to return to school.
I thought that Dot Jones looked phenomenal. I almost got emotional watching the reveal and seeing Glee handle it so tastefully. Coach Beiste is greeted by his two biggest supporters, Sam and Sue. Sam is trying to figure out which pronouns are appropriate while Sue is there to lend a helping hand when needed. It’s a whole new Beiste and you can tell that he is finally in a great place, both at school and with himself.
Unfortunately, even the strongest of personas can be broken. At the end of the day, Beiste leaves school only to find his car had been vandalized. All he sees are words “Coach Tranny” written across it. The screeching tires heard in the distance? Beiste looks up quick enough to see a Range Rover full of Vocal Adrenaline kids peeling away.
When Will learns what his kids have done he is in furious mode. It’s one thing to rile up the competition a little bit, especially when the coaches are pretty close to your age, but to disrespect and disgrace Coach Beiste like they did was uncalled for. Will ends up kicking Clint off of Vocal Adrenaline. They’re lucky. It should have been a lot worse. However, even though Will loved his new influx of income, he had no problem making that decision. Although he probably knows in the back of his mind that getting rid of Clint will definitely hurt his place at Carmel and with the boosters.
The New Directions are also 100% behind Coach Beiste. Sam and Spencer and ready to throw down with Carmel. However, Beiste wants none of it. McKinley has come so far in the realms of acceptance and tolerance and they in no way need to stoop their way down to Vocal Adrenaline’s level. He is just glad to have their support, the people that matter the most.
So, what are the other kids up to you ask? Well, even after months of attempted sabotage Rachel’s house finally sold. She is devastated that her only home will soon be gone. Sam comes up with the idea to throw her one last basement bash (on their built in stage, of course) before she has to say goodbye to her house. So, the idea is that they will all sing duets at Rachel’s party.
Good thing they have the “Wheel of Musical Forture” with everyone’s names on it. Simply spin the wheel and discover who your duet partner will be. Someone kindly throws out that they could have just picked out of a hat, but come on, a spending like $500 to make a wheel is so much more fun!
The pairs that we see get chosen are Mercedes and Roderick, Sam and Rachel and Kurt and Blaine. Now, Sam didn’t spin because he was singing with Rachel no matter what. When Blaine came up to spin it looked like it was going to tick over from Kurt to Artie’s space, but a sly move of Kurt’s pinky kept it from doing so. Blaine’s only request is that Kurt not mention anything to Karfosky about their upcoming duet. I guess in the music world that’s the equivalent of cheating. To each their own!
Our first duet on the Berry Stage is “All About that Bass” sung by Mercedes and Roderick. It’s a fun performance and everyone has a good time dancing around and singing along. I love any episode where I get to hear Roderick sing!
Our newest couple Rachel and Sam are a little busy sneaking up to Rachel’s room. Here, we see how far Rachel’s wall décor has come since the show started. What once was a wall full of gold stars and Broadway idols alike is now full of pictures with friends and memories since the New Directions began. Finn’s absence was not unnoticed, however. I really wish they had put at least one photo of him on the wall. They share a sweet kiss shortly after Sam tells her to never stop dreaming about Broadway and to always keep expanding her wall, no matter where her home is. Then their kiss turns pretty heavy as they lay down on the bed.
Meanwhile, downstairs Blaine and Kurt are preparing for their duet. They sing an awesomely fun song called “Somebody Loves You.” Halfway through I asked my roommate if she recognized it, which neither of us did. All I knew was that I liked it and I really enjoyed the more upbeat song. I downloaded it. Sometimes Glee gets clouded down by slower ballads. The faster ones give the show life.
Blaine was definitely keeping all of his attention on Kurt during the song. What quickly started as a plot of Kurt trying to get Blaine back changed just as fast to Blaine not being able to hide his feelings anymore for Kurt. He kisses Kurt outside shortly after they finish. Looks like another couple is having a good (albeit confusing) night as well.
We are treated to a sweet scene between Unique and Bieste the next day. Unique is acting all upset that he found out about Beiste’s return through Mr. Schue. Coach opens up about how he is struggling a bit with everyone treating him differently and not seeing him as one of the guys. I’m sure it’s tough for both sides to make that change socially, but Beiste is taking it exceptionally hard since he knows who he is, but there is no one else like him around, which is hard.
Well Unique, Mr. Schue, and gang are going to do whatever they can to help. And if Mr. Schue can squeeze a marker board-less lesson in there, even better! Shue tells VA and Clint that he was wrong and that they should do whatever it takes to win. These are clearly not the brightest kids as they all follow him to the New Directions auditorium to put K-Y Jelly on the stage. Once there they realize they’ve been duped.
Unique takes the stage and takes on Hairspray’s “I Know Where I’ve Been.” When the curtain raises we are greeted with a beautiful choir made up of 300 plus members of the transgender community. Coach Beiste is invited to join them and he takes his place right in the middle. Glee is the first network TV show to portray a transgender character and I think they did it wonderfully and poignantly. Glee has always been about how being a part of something special also makes you special. Coach Beiste has always been special but being able to share something so personal and difficult with many others is special on an entirely different level.
Of course, the heartless robots that make up Vocal Adrenaline are pissed that they missed good practice time to watch this. They just don’t get it. They don’t understand how being a part of moments like this make them better. They don’t understand Mr. Schue’s. And Mr. Shue can’t connect with them either.
After receiving Emma’s blessing earlier on in the episode, he quits Vocal Adrenaline. I am not quite sure what his new paying job will be, but for now he is the new alumni consultant for the New Directions.
He’s home. Besite is home. Rachel has no home. And Blaine probably needs to go looking for a new one. After telling Karofsky about kissing Kurt the two are over. Karfoksy encourages Blaine to go tell Kurt how he feels (using his words- not song). Unfortunately, when Blaine arrives he has to watch Kurt and Walter go on a double date with Sam and Rachel. Lokos like Klaine will have to wait a little bit longer.
Is anyone else a little miffed that Blaine is now the one chasing after Kurt? I could have used a little bit more of Kurt realizing the mistake that he made calling off the engagement. He always seemed so apathetic to their relationship compared to Blaine. I just wanted a little more of Kurt realizing that Blaine is who he wants.
Well we are halfway there, Gleeks. Only 6 more episodes until the New Directions curtain closes for the last time.
This isn’t really a normal Vocal Adrenaline performance. It’s more of a background song for a montage about Will’s new financial state. He’s driving around in his new Range Rover talking about his new gig that comes with an unlimited budget, kids being recruited from all over the world, a nutritionist, costume designer, and a strength and conditioning specialist. He also gets his own massage therapist. Clint can sing though, there’s no denying that. Can he sing like Jesse St. James? Ha! No.
“Same Love” by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis
Will raps. Need I say more? Glee is really pulling out all of the stops this final season. It’s a rap we didn’t want but kinda did…right? I have always enjoyed this song and it’s message and once Will stops rapping it really picks up. It’s a short one but certainly a good fit for the episode’s overall theme.
“All About that Bass” by Megan Trainor
Roderick! Mercedes sings most of it, but Noah Guthrie kills his parts as usual. I have to admit that I love when Glee sings songs that are currently Top 40. It’s a fun performance that includes all of the kids dancing and singing along. It’s cool how Noah’s voice can add an almost bluesy feel to any song he sings, even ones like this that are pretty much the same as the original. Also, bravo for the effort that went into making the banner that says “Saying Farewell to Rachel’s Childhood Home.”
“Somebody Who Loves You” by Betty Who
Let me start by saying that I have feared every Blaine and Kurt duet since “Candles.” Sometimes they sink and sometimes they sail. This one sailed! Such a fun upbeat song. The costumes add an extra level of fun knowing that Rachel’s family just has a box of them sitting in their basement. Chris Colfer and Darren Criss’s voices sounded really good together in this one.
“Time After Time” by Cyndi Lauper
At first I thought Kurt was going to get a follow up song, but was pleased when it turned into a Sam and Rachel duet. It’s a sweet performance, but I really don’t have too much to say about the singing. I enjoy all the songs these two have gotten this season and I really do like them as a couple. The song is paired with clips of Rachel and friends taking down her wall of memories and packing up the rest of her room.
“I know Where I’ve Been” from Hairspray
I have listened to the Queen Latifah version of this more times than I should probably admit. I think that Alex Newell did a phenomenal job. His voice and stage presence have come so far since his days on Oxygen’s The Glee Project. Combine his voice with the powerful reveal of the transgender choir and you’ve got an above stellar performance. It was certainly a number that tugs at your heartstrings as Coach Beiste joins them. Just beautiful. This is the Glee that I love.