Welcome to the 18th and 19th recaps of the fifth season of Glee, a show about a bunch of teens and their dogs hunting out mysteries in they super cool van.
This show is normally recapped by Riese but today will be recapped by me. You might be wondering what all the delay was about. Well, I actually gave up on Glee like eight episodes ago and then when I found out I was recapping these episodes, I had to marathon six episodes before I could get to this here situation. It was not pretty. I have suffered. Sure, I have no suffered nearly as much as my girlfriend who had to sit in the next room hearing episode after episode of Glee, only popping her head out occasion to roll her eyes and ask confused questions about how the hell the cast all ended up in New York.
But here we are. Glee has been watched and I am here to recap. Oh, and these episodes? Not worth it. 518 was okay but 519? Now that was a stinker. Let’s take it from the top.
Episode 518: The Back That Ass Up Plan
We open on Rachel Berry who is just like so famous now. Like so famous. Almost as famous as Lea Michelle when she started in Spring Awakening. Almost.
Rachel is so famous and perfect she has immediately signed with a talent agency. Rachel’s got big plans for her future including a nice long run with her show followed a hit TV series revival of The Nanny, a movie trilogy based on a YA novel and, if she’s really lucky, a made-for-TV movie on HBO where she does a partial nude scene.
Unfortunately her agent doesn’t care about such plebeian things like “Creative freedom” or “Career advancement” or “Making money.” He just wants Rachel to do Funny Girl forever. Also he calls her ugly because of her huge nose which is so season two. Also it is really not that big so like whatever.
Over at NYAYDADADA Kurt announces to Blaine that June Dolloway (played by the legendary Shirley MacLaine) is coming to campus! Initially Blaine assume, like I do, that Dune Dolloway must be the original founder of the now closed/relocated lesbian bar The Dalloway but it turns out she’s actually some rich lady who just gallivants around New York throwing money at things. I guess technically she could be both. But regardless Kurt has been asked to sing like a nightingale for Ms. Dolloway and he wants Blaine to sing with him! Kurts like blah blah blah we’re codependent soulmates and I couldn’t possibly just sing alone even though I’m obsessed with having the limelight.”
In some other unspecified neighborhood Mercedes and Santana meet up at Mercedes’s place. It’s unclear if Santana lives there or is just stopping by to use her toilet. Santana is pissed because she’s still working at the diner after quitting Funny Girl for basically no reason and Mercedes is pissed because her producer didn’t think any of the songs on her album were going to make good singles.
I know this question should have been posed when Mercedes first came to New York, but didn’t her album already come out and result in her, like, selling them out of her trunk because she wouldn’t let them stick her voice on someone else’s body? Didn’t that happen? Please someone tell me I’m not crazy.
Anyhoo so Santana and Mercedes decide the best way to fix both of their lives is to have the Millionth annual Diva Off. Just kidding this isn’t high school anymore, thank god, they just decide to like be friends and sing a duet together.
That night Rachel does her usual Funny Girl gig and is just like so totally bored as we fast forward in time the whole week watching her perform the same show night after night. God, isn’t it just the worst when all your dreams come true? Like literally the worst ever to have consistent work in show business in the role you were born to play. Barf.
Rachel laments a la that Avicci song that I like but my girlfriend hates so we never get to listen to it. Most importantly Rachel does her own makeup as the star of a Broadway show every night. This feels like a stretch. Here watch:
Some night in the arbitrary future, the Dean from Greendale Community College pays Rachel a visit. Do you remember back when Brittani and I used to recap all the good half hour sitcoms including Community? I do because it basically ruined TV for like three months until we threw our hands in the air and decided to only recap shows with gays.
The Dean is actually a producer type and he’s here to tell Rachel how amazing and special she is. He wants her to come to LA to audition for some show on called Song of Solomon. Just to be clear, the show is on FOX because this shit is so meta. Rachel’s all like “Squeeee! I really want to but I’m supposed to be in eight shows a week and I already fired my understudy for being my friend. Opps!”
Rachel asks her producer if she can have the night off to go audition but he’s basically like, “Lol you’re never allowed to leave ever. Move on with your life. You are my pet actress forever”
Later, Rachel decides to just lie to her boss about being sick and take the day off because that always works. You know, she’ll just take the 6am flight out of JFK that gets into LAX at 9am and then audition for the show and catch the 11pm red eye back home to waltz back into New York at 7am the next morning. Good luck with that.
At the recording studio Mercedes and Santana are having trouble harmonizing. It’s probably because they’re so distracted by how wrong I was about peplum going out of style.
Instead of sitting down with some sheet music and plotting out parts they decide to instead record in every room of the building. For some reason this entails Santana carry a brick around while the two sing “Doo Wop (That Thing)” by Lauryn Hill, which is an excellent musical situation.
Like, seriously, Santana carries the brick in the elevator.
Santana carries the brick in a gender neutral bathroom.
Santana carries the brick down a random hallway.
Finally, Santana carries the brick to a basement that supposedly has good acoustics but I think we all know would more realistically smell like leftover eggs.
Before I get barraged with comments, yes, I know it’s a speaker. Here’s the performance, which is the best part of this episode:
Across town Blaine and Kurt perform at NYADADADDAD and they do that thing where they sing together and everyone in the audience thinks Blaine is sexy and Kurt is meh.
I’m pretty sure we did this during season two also.
After the song the two present themselves to June Dolloway in hopes that she will take them on as her latest project and make them rich and famous beyond their wildest dreams. June is just so totally into Blaine and it’s definitely definitely definitely not creepy at all.
That night June takes Blaine as her date to a fundraiser she’s throwing where it is, again, definitely definitely definitely not weird at all. The two decide that people aren’t donating enough money so June and Blaine pop up and just randomly sing “Piece of My Heart” by Erma Franklin and later recorded by Janis Joplin. I would say this is unrealistic and impossible except I actually saw Kylie Minogue do it once at the New York GLAAD Awards.
The next morning Santana and Mercedes head back into the recording studio. Even though the two just made sweet sweet metaphorical and literal music together, Mercedes’s producer is so not interested in a duet. I mean, c’mon, there’s no way that a duet has any place on a debut album. No place whatsoever.
The producer says that if Mercedes really wants to do a duet she can do it with Katy Perry. Ew. Upon realizing she won’t be on Mercedes’s album, Santana has a totally out of character moment and says she’s “Just not worth it.”
Off in LA Rachel goes to her very first TV audition! What do you do at an audition? Duh! You sing a Bette Midler song because that is definitely going to make you sing young and hip. Nothing, and I mean nothing gets the kids going like Bette.
Now even though Ms. Rachel Berry has probably gone to hundreds of auditions, she fucks this one up! Why? Because it’s not a musical show, it’s a science fiction drama that will probably be a mid-season replacement that gathers tons of devoted nerd fans but ultimately gets canceled too soon.
Also she didn’t read the script which is like audition rule #1. C’mon Berry!
Upon leaving her terrible audition, Rachel is mortified to find that she has 15 missed calls! Looks like her understudy fell off the stage and now everything is ruined. Do you hear that? Everything! (Sidenote she would have more than one understudy, and there would also be a “swing” person who is able to play any role in the show at a moment’s notice)
Sidney tells Rachel she needs to be back by 7:30pm which is never going to work because even if she took the Delta nonstop flight from LAX leaving at 11:10am with the 3 hour time change she wouldn’t get into NYC until 7:40pm and she would have had to be at LAX by 9am, which was before her audition even started!
Can you guys tell I’ve spent a lot of time looking at direct flights to LAX for A-Camp?
Nevertheless Rachel hops in a cab and tells him to take her directly to the airport or, better yet, the secret portal she and her friends used for the last season to bounce between Ohio and NYC.
In a panic Rachel calls Kurt. He says Rachel should just ‘fess up, but I think we all know that the best cure for lying is more lying!
While Rachel has a panic attack about her future, Blaine discusses his future with that rich lady. She decides she’s going to throw a concert for Blaine starring Blaine because why attend charity events or meet with financial investors or just bath in a hot tub full of gold coins when you can shower a 19 year old gay boy from Ohio with money, attention and opportunity. Ryan Murphy: don’t think I don’t see that this is all some weird fantasy of yours.
Most importantly Ms. Dolloway says to ditch Kurt.
Across town Mercedes meets up with Santana at the Spotlight Marching Band Diner.
Mercedes tells Santana that even though she’s the worst friend ever she’s actually the best friend ever and that niceness is a social construct. This actually means that somehow Mercedes has a contract for Santana which would be totally amazing if either of them appeared to have lawyers or even just other adults supporting them and actually looking out for their best interests.
Santana sits down to sign the contract just at Kurt busts in the joint. He tells that that Rachel is in trouble and can’t make the show. So what are the Scoobies gonna do? Are they going to hold an impromptu benefit celebrating all actresses who’ve ever lied in the pursuit of success?
Nope! Santana is just going to step right in as her understudy!
Even though Rachel is a soprano and Santana is a mezzo-soprano and Santana dropped out of the show before the show was entirely restaged after they workshopped it in upstate New York this seams like a reasonable solution to everyone and the show goes off without a hitch.
Though, for the record, I cannot fathom why Santana doesn’t wear Rachel’s Fanny wig.
The next night Santana and Rachel have dinner. Rachel wants to know what Santana wants in return and Santana wants some of Rachel’s famous vegan meatballs.
Santana tells Rachel she’s decided to use her “Bitch Powers” for good instead of evil. I have no idea what “Bitch Powers” have to do with successfully BSing your way through an entire Broadway performance but, whatever, I’m impressed.
An hour and a half away in Manhattan at Samblades’s house, Blaine and Kurt sit down to a huge bowl of popcorn. Kurt and Blaine discuss Blaine’s new Harold and Maude situation. Instead of just telling Kurt that June is helping him arrange a concert and isn’t that exciting, Blaine lies that he’s getting Kurt a performance in the show too! They are literally the worst at communicating. The worst.
The next morning Rachel goes into Sidney’s office to inevitably get fired. If you’ve never had a See Me In The Morning meeting, it’s basically the worst.
Sidney tells Rachel he really really wants to fire her. Like he’d like to destroy all future prospects at a career for her. Butttt they’re not going to fire her because where on earth would they even find a Jewish theater girl in New York to replace her. Where even?
After her terrible meeting Rachel goes outside to cry for a little. Rachel gets a call from the Greendale Community College Dean Slash Fox Network Executive and he tells her she didn’t get the part. Other girls were just so much better.
So that’s that right? Wrong. Just when you thought maybe this show had a secret underlying message about responsibility and lying and maybe even the importance of enjoying your achievements in life before ruthlessly continuing to climb up that ladder, the Dean offers her a contract to develop a show in New York City completely based on her, Rachel Berry. This shit is so fucking meta.
The Santana and Brittany scissored for the last 5 minutes of the episode. Just kidding it just ended. Wheee let’s do the next episode.