Every time I sit down to write my Glee recap I’m reminded that very shortly there will be no more recaps to write and that breaks my heart. The reason being that Glee is just so dang good right now. Maybe that’s because it’s their final season and the stories are being tidily wrapped up or maybe it’s because there is a new group of characters that I truly am rooting for and care about. Whatever the reason, Glee has been a part of my life since high school and it’s really tough to think that in just a few days we will be hearing our final song. I’m definitely not ready for that.
So before I get super sentimental about next week, let’s talk about the amazing episode that was this week.
Those are definitely my highlights of this episode. It was everything that I love all wrapped into one. There were callbacks and reminiscing, a whole lot of group fun in the auditorium, and did I mention Jonathan Groff? What a presence he brings anytime he is on the show. His BFF chemistry with Lea Michele is just out of this world and when I first started recapping this season he was one of the things that I had hoped to see once more. Thank you, Glee!
While practicing Mr. Schuester’s homemade choreography, The Warbler’s call out the New Directions (more specifically Noah and Spencer) for holding them back in the dancing department. They suggest the two guys stand in the back during their Sectionals performance. Unfortunately, with all of the school arts and the future of glee club on the line, Kitty also agrees that it may be better for them to stay out of the judge’s line of vision.
Not wanting to bring the team down Noah and Spencer agree that they need some extra dancing help. That’s how they find themselves practicing choreography with Kitty and Mr. Schue. Unfortunately, the jump spin proves to be too much for Spencer as he lands wrong and snaps his ankle.
Spencer is adamant that he will be performing at Sectionals even though he can hardly walk. It’s kind of adorable to see how passionate Spencer is about the club now considering how hesitant he was to join in the first place. Coach Beiste tells him that putting any kind of pressure on it could have effects that last much longer than the Sectionals set. His knee has never been the same since he chose to forgo treatment in his early years. Spencer is still having none of it. Mr. Schuester says there is no way he is letting him perform, but Spencer ultimately decides that he will get the huge cortisone shot and take the stage with this fellow directioners.
So, I guess that Sam and Rachel aren’t dating anymore? I have absolutely no idea what their status is but that was my takeaway. It slightly annoys me that the writers wouldn’t touch on this but then again it doesn’t really shock me because it’s Glee and relationships start and end faster than it takes Sue to come up with an insult. I just never thought they would do that with Rachel after her loss of Finn. I thought they would take better care of her in the relationship aspect.
Sam is still telling Rachel that she really needs to think about going back to school. Rachel is adamant about taking the role in the Russell Simmons show she was offered but they do have a nice exchange of lists of people who succeeded on both sides of the spectrum. Sam leaves Rachel to think about it, which in this universe means sing about it.
She gives a little nod to Brad the piano player and dives right into “Listen to Your Heart.” A few verses in she is interrupted by Jesse St. James in a nice call back to the prom episode when he interrupts her “Rolling in the Deep” solo. The two finish out the song beautifully. Jonathan Groff is by far the best male voice that has ever been on the show in my opinion. It was a phenomenal performance to watch just because of the raw talent and chemistry between the two. They were exchanging these natural smiles throughout which made me feel like I wasn’t really watching their characters but Jonathan and Lea reuniting on Glee for the last time. This was by far my favorite performance of the night.
As it turns out, Jesse is there to convince Rachel to accept the role in the musical. He heard through the grapevine that she was chosen as the female lead and has a selfish desire for her to do it since he was picked as the male lead! Let me just note that the male lead in the play is described as an:
“Iraqi war vet who was discharged for covering the American Embassy with the graffiti he used to make himself a famous Philly street artist, and when he comes home crippled with PTSD, it’s only his love of hip-hop that can save his life.”
This further complicates her decision. Jesse says that she belongs on Broadway and that they could do great things with this play all while being able to see each other more. She tells him she is still not sure what path she is going to take but that she will be in NYC no matter what. That much she has decided. Later on, Kurt gives her a heartwarming speech saying that he just wants her to do whatever will make her happy and that he supports her either way. He and Blaine, who got into NYU, will also be in New York so she will always have them around when she needs that extra love.
Everyone’s moving back to NY and it’s very reminiscent to the earlier season when they all leave for NY as well. It makes me wonder just how far off track the show was forced to go after tragedy.
Mr. Schue joins the kids in the choir room as Rachel is passing out mystery gifts that they all received. No one really senses the sketchiness of these unmarked packages until it’s too late. Just as Will makes the connection glitter bombs start going off all in the choir room. One sole package left on the piano was on a self-timer and literally exploded, causing the piano to come crashing down. That was actually really sad to see. That piano has been there in that same spot since the beginning and it’s gone now.
On his way to find Sue, who technically shouldn’t be on the property, he runs into Sam who vomits all over his shoes. Once in the teacher’s lounge Will notices that all of the teachers are also getting sick. When he finds Sue hiding behind a plant watching her evil plan ignite, she admits that she added eye drops to the McKinley water system and also set Will’s car on fire. Not one to back down from a fight, Will (and this actually happens. I repeat- I am not making this up) dresses up as Sue’s hairdresser, ties her to the chair and shaves her head.
She ends up getting a wig but not before a brief encounter with Beiste in the locker room in which she refers to herself as Lex Luther.
So,now it’s Sectionals day and we’ve got the New Directions, Vocal Adrenaline, and the John James Audubon Institute for Rehabilitative Ornithology all competing. Although its really just between the first two. The JJAIRO perform an interesting rendition of “Broken Wings” all while holding actual falcons and interpretive dancing.
Vocal Adrenaline is next and they pull out all of the stops as usual. Sometimes I wonder how the New Directions have ever won a competition against Vocal Adrenaline because they are seriously that good, but I’m all for spunk and heart and VA often have neither.
They first sing “We Built This City,” which is a really fun song and made me want to watch Rock of Ages again. Their performance is over the top with moving platforms that they can climb all over while doing their normal acrobatic dancing. It’s an entertaining routine and definitely impressive. They then rip off their first uniforms to reveal a combo of cheerleader uniforms and track suits for their next song, “Mickey.” I can’t stand that song but once again their choreography and performances are on point and they literally conclude the song by shooting two human beings out of a cannon…Sue’s dream come true.
The looks on Rachel and Mr. Schue’s faces say it all. They may be in trouble. They aren’t going to let that show to their kids though. Back in the choir room, Mr. Schue passes the pep talk reins to Rachel who does give a sweet speech but of course is outlined with a message about her. She thanks the glee club for helping her find her way and giving her the confidence to get back on her feet. Aaaaamazing! Roderick also convinces Spencer to forgo the shot…he has another idea to incorporate him into the set without further injuring his ankle.
It’s silent as Roderick prepares to go out for his solo. Once again this is reminiscent of most scenes before the first song of a competition. It’s just silence as the soloists prepare for the epicness they are about to bring. Roderick walks out and starts singing “Take Me to Church.” There is probably not a more perfect song for him to sing. Their set up is neat too. The lights are somewhat dim and there is a sheer curtain behing him where the rest of the group is singing along and dancing. At the end they all join together on the stage.
The next song “Chandelier” is led by the ladies. It wasn’t my favorite performance but it did have some fun moments. Myron dressed in a full nude leotard and wig takes some inspiration from the Sia music video and struts around the auditorium, probably making people really uncomfortable. I haven’t seen the video nor was I super familiar with the song so I was a little confused, but once it was explained to me I thought it was fun. Spencer also swings in on a chandelier, matching up perfectly to the corresponding lyrics. It was awesome!
Their final song “Come Sail Away,” which was my favorite of the three, was performed by Madison and Mason. I had forgotten how much I loved that song and really loved the energy and comradery the performance had. Mr. Schuester’s choreography was on point too. It was just a classic all-around feel-good New Directions performance. Seeing Shue, Rachel, and Kurt beaming with pride in the audience certainly helped too.
After a brief check in with the judges, which was also a nice callback, it was time for the results. First place goes to our lovely band of misfits, The New Directions! Why not!? Their performance had heart and it’s Glee’s final season so there is really no reason to not give it to them. The arts will stay and the glee club will continue on to Regionals!
It was really nice of them to put Sectionals before the finale. That way we know the finale will mostly focus on our original characters, and that’s how it should be.
On his way to celebrate with the kids, Will runs into Sue once more. Prepared for another battle, Will is surprised when Sue congratulates him. She then tells him that she basically handed the New Directions the win after realizing that Will was one of the two people that stood up for her during her public take-down last episode. Apparently Sue designed her entire set as secret sabotage of her own team.
Every dance move, song choice, uniform, and cannon shot were chosen to subliminally upset the judges. She had performed intensive background checks on them all and planned her routine accordingly so the judges would vote for the New Directions. There was also cortisol in her water contamination plan that enhances alertness that would enhance their determination in practice and also gave them a stress free calming affect the exact second they went out on stage. It’s all a little silly but I enjoyed her attempt.
Will is having a little trouble truly believing her and also knows that his team earned the win. He just stares at her when she is clearly fishing around for a thank you or some sort of praise. When he doesn’t give it to her she gets pissed and vows to return from her vacation with more insults and more ways to bring down Will and the glee club once and for all. It’s good to know that long after we leave Lima, OH., these two will still be going at it.
Jesse St. James finds Rachel in the auditorium and we finally get to learn what her choice is about her future. Rachel Berry has decided to turn down the play and return to NYADA to get her degree. I am absolutely in love with her decision and glad they ultimately decided to take her back there. Jesse is upset that he won’t be able to spend his nights taking over the stage with Rachel but is very excited about the fact that they will both be in NYC and are bound to see each other from time to time. She smiles at him and they kiss. I instantly wish there was one more season of these two in New York and one more season of the new glee club!
I have always said that if Rachel couldn’t be with Finn I would want her to be with Jesse. I like to imagine that’s what could happen now. I liked her and Sam, but that felt a little contrived. This just feels natural. I wonder if they will do anything with it next week. It obviously would not be the focus of the episode, but a little scene of ultimate closure would not be opposed by me.
The whole gang gathers in the choir room to admire their first win and place the trophy in the case. When Kitty notices Rachel staring longingly at her old trophies, which are placed on the other side of the room, she suggests they add those to the case too. Rachel gives her a nod of thanks.
This was an emotional scene. As they moved each trophy into the case we were treated to a flashback of the original gang putting that same trophy in the case, starting with the mid-season finale of season 1. It all led up to the gigantic trophy the New Directions won at Nationals. We get a quick glimpse of Rachel handing the trophy off to a beaming Finn as he places it in the case. That’s about the moment when I realized I was crying. It was a truly touching scene that really makes you look back on the journey they have all gone on as well as us as the viewers.
So, next week we have the two hour series finale of Glee. Are you guys ready? My friends and I are having a little viewing party with slushies in the form of frozen margaritas, NY Pizza, and gold star cookies. I am not ready for the show to end but I am so excited to see how they close it out. It’s going to be an emotional night that’s for sure! Think we will hear “Don’t Stop Believing”? I hope so!
Check out the Performances!
“Listen To Your Heart” by Roxette http://www.fox.com/watch/411906115602/7684378368
“We Built This City” by Starship
“Mickey” by Toni Basil
“Take Me To Church” by Hozier
“Chandelier” by Sia
“Come Sail Away” by Styx