Glee 406 Recap: Glease Is A Really Weird Word

Cut to “Beauty School Dropout,” another exact re-creation, this time starring Blaine as Teen Angel and Sugar as Frenchy, The Role She Was Born to Play. Teen Angel’s clearly Rex Manning’s godfather, sidenote.

Even wearing bedsheets with 56 rolls of tinfoil affixed to their brains, Santana and Brittany still manage to give each other silent sexy eyes while nearly toe-tapping their silver dancing shoes. Maybe I’m projecting. Kurt and Blaine shoot each other one forlorn but disturbed glance:

why didn’t he ever wear those white pants when we were together

Smear to the ladies room, where Ryder Bieber-Strong catches Marley in the stage of almost-vomiting guaranteed to transform your eyeballs into crazy, watering drugged-out orbs of pain and possibly pop a blood vessel and definitely hurt your throat. (Pro tip: If you’re gonna do an eating disorder storyline, it’s probs best to root it in something deeper than a popular cheerleader’s three-day practical joke with no basis in actual reality.)

oh sorry i thought this was the men’s room

Ryder, high on The Themes of Glee, stops his maiden in her tracks and imparts a charming anecdote:

Ryder: “Google Johnny Poppas. He’s my second cousin. He was a wrestler at Bowling Green and the coach was always making him drop weight. So Johnny did all the crazy diets and puked every day and when that stopped working he used laxatives. Then last march, in the middle of a match—”
Marley: “He died?”
Ryder Bieber-Strong: “He crapped himself in front of the whole school.”

i can’t believe i’m getting advice from the glee project kid

Ryder tells Marley he doesn’t wanna kiss someone with puke breath, during or after the show WINK WINK, which snaps her right into shape. Yay! Boys fix all the things!

Meanwhile backstage, Brittany and Santana are not having sex — but they’re talking about their (heart-shaped) feelings!!

Brittany: “I miss you.”
Santana: “I miss you too. The only reason I came back was so that I could see you again.”
Brittany: “Well, I’m not dating anyone new, boy or girl.”
Santana: “Brit, we talked about this. And it would be fine if you were… I’m glad that you’re not.”

take off your jacket and so we can play with our pink ladies naked

Santana’s gotta be prepping emotionally for her big number, There Are Worse Things I Could Do, which’s from when Rizzo thinks she’s been knocked up. Obviously this made zero sense to me as a wee Grease fanatic and I usually zoned out during this scene. Santana insists she’s fine without excessive prep.

Brittany: “Yeah but this is like a sad song, right? So you have to think of something that makes you like really sad. Like how we’re not together anymore and it’s okay, but it still hurts a little bit. Especially on Friday nights because that was our date night.”

these girls deserve more date nights

There’s a moment of sad, sweet recognition of how much sweeter and simpler things were then, and Santana looks briefly in the mirror like an actress unsure of where her storyline is going and then someone arrives to call Santana onstage.

but to sing in front of you, that’s the best thing i could do

There Are Worse Things I Could Do is Santana’s number, but it splits almost immediately from her stripped-down solo into a montage featuring Kate Hudson and Geyerdean’s Insufferable Sexually-Tense Dance Project Rehearsal and Unique, wilting sadly in the cheap seats.

yes, yes, no

The Hudson/Geyerdean hookup unfortunately reminds me of the Nikki/Shane hookup interrupting Tina & Bette’s fantastic Tango Of Love in Episode 604 of The L Word, which isn’t the first time I’ve mentioned that on this show, and their inevitable end-of-song hookup feels cheap and inconsistent with what we’ve seen of Geyerdean so far.

dean geyer never imagined that one day he’d be lying naked atop penny lane

But Unique’s bold and heartsick solo on “I don’t steal and I don’t lie, but I can feel” is a gut-puncher — another one of those incidental Glee moments that reveal leagues more than its more deliberate tearjerkers do, because it’s literally true — and it’s quickly followed by Santana’s similarly affecting “and I can cry, a fact I’ll bet you never knew.” So when we swing to Brittany in the wings and see Santana catch her nearly-teary eye, it’s a solid heart-puncher, no way around it.

but to never scissor you, that’s the worst thing i could do

Cut to backstage, where everybody’s having Difficult Conversations ’cause “right before you go on stage” is a perfect time for such things. This time, it’s Mike and Tina — Mike thinks they should get back together but Tina’s not so sure. She enjoys her newfound feeling. She says they can talk about it, so look forward to an update on that in Episode 706.

get the new ipana with the brand new flavor it’s dandy for your teeth

Cut to four or six minutes later, when Marley emerges from the costume room in the skin-sucking signature black leather spandex get-up made legendary by the stick-thin Olivia Newton-John!

Ryder Bieber-Strong immediately notices that the power Marley’s supplying is electrifying. Marley feels like the outfit’s too tight. Maybe she’s a method actress and has worn nothing but her costumes for three weeks.

Fake Quinn pops up to inform the budding young lovers that some hack from the McKinley Muckracker is in the audience and will likely shred their egos into Kibbles & Bits.

I hope you’ll be at cheerleader tryouts. We’ll have so much fun and get to be life-long friends!

Idiot Marley is successfully psyched, but Ryder Bieber-Strong quickly calms her jitters by sticking his tongue down her throat.

and she tasted like pink lemonade lip-smackers

It’s time for “You’re The One That I Want,” my favorite and my mother’s least favorite scene in the film. Apparently the message that “the best way to Get A Man is to dress like a 70’s porn star, smoke cigarettes and pretend to be something you’re not” didn’t sit well with her feminist sensibilities. It’s definitely inconsistent with the “love yourself for who you are” Glee message, and the “YOU DO YOU” Autostraddle message. But whatever. Oh, also:

Me: [screaming incredulously] “This song isn’t in the musical it’s only in the movie!!”
My girlfriend: “Oh bless your heart.”

Here’s the original from the movie:

Despite relatively light character development overall, Marley and Ryder Bieber-Strong sell their romantic connection in this song — all tied up in the bloom of youth and awkward attempts to blend into their new surroundings.

They carry the scene handily enough until it morphs into The New Rachel’s trip down memory lane to when her and Finn did the song in Glee Club during Season One, which involves lots of horrifying Finn close-ups.


Then for 30 or so magical seconds, the collective fantasies of all Glee Club members are played out as Kurt & Blaine, Mike & Tina, Brittany & Santana and Finn & Rachel are the ones onstage singing and sticking their groins out.

See for yourself:

We then cut to The Bathroom, where Rachel’s escaped the show to have feelings but unfortunately, unlike last season and the one before, it’s unlikely Quinn’s gonna show up for some subtext-heavy heart-to-heart. Thus Rachel dials Geyerdean — but Kate Hudson picks up.

what are you wearing

Rachel’s unsure why she’s talking to K-Hud and not G-Dude, who K-Hud says is in the shower. So this happens:

Kate Hudson: “Uh, let’s see. You blew off your playdate with the hottest piece of ass at NYADA to go visit your loser ex-boyfriend. Said hot-ass was lonely, distraught, didn’t know what to do with himself, and was more than happy to come help me choreograph a new routine when I called him up, and then one thing led to another and the next thing you know he’s at my place and you know —”
Rachel: “So, you and Brody.” [beat] “Why?”
Kate Hudson: “Why don’t we consider this one of those little nasty life lessons? Auditioning for an off-Broadway play, throwing yourself at an upperclassman and telling me that I need to get back in the game. That I need to get back in the game? I think you were overreaching and you need a little reminding. I am the game, Schwimmer, and you are what you’ve always been: a privileged, self-indulgent—”

Rachel hangs up and starts crying.

what? you’re sure you’re completely out of spots for a-camp?

Cut to the hallway, where Rachel runs right into Finn.

well this is awkward

Finn’s upset that Rachel’s crying over somebody else instead of him and so they decide not to talk to each other anymore:

Rachel: “You know I don’t know what’s gonna happen between us but I know that you used to be the guy that would make me feel like the most special girl in the whole world, and it doesn’t feel that way anymore. Now it just feels sad and confusing and the worst part is that it doesn’t even really feel that bad anymore.”
Finn: “And whatever happened with that Brody guy made you cry, and this doesn’t.”

don’t cry for me argentina, the truth is i don’t even like mashed potatoes

Then Kurt shows up and Rachel says McKinley doesn’t feel like home anymore, and before I can wonder how Burt, Hiram & Leroy might feel about this — HEY-O it’s Teen Angel!

i think we’re being followed

Blaine wants to talk to Kurt and explain himself and I know Kurt’s mad and everybody’s on Kurt’s side but why did Kurt come all the way out here to see Blaine if he doesn’t actually want to see Blaine?

Blaine: “I never told you about what happened. The guy that I hooked up with —”
Kurt: “What are you gonna tell me? That it wasn’t serious? That you only made out? That you didn’t care about him?”
Blaine: “I didn’t care —”
Kurt: “Do you think any of that matters to me? Relationships are about trust and I don’t trust you anymore. I was stupid to come back. Rachel’s right, this isn’t home anymore.”

Relationships are also about listening to each other, caring about each other, taking an interest in each other’s lives and not being a self-centered douche — and Kurt had yet to exhibit one ounce of care or interest in Blaine since moving to New York City, circumstances which quickly conspired to make Blaine feel unwanted and vulnerable. I’m not excusing Blaine’s actions, but Kurt’s sanctimonious attitude here is grating and unnecessary.

no, blaine, i just came here because i love grease the musical

Smear to The Glee Club room for a roundabout read of the Muckracker’s rave review of Grease! There’s some bullshit about Finn being Michalangelo which in turn robs the Muckracker of any remaining thread of journalistic integrity.

hey hey the gang’s all queer!

Santana’s there!

this is santana

Then Will gives a speech and I fall asleep while Finn and Will give each other a bro-hug.



Next week on Glee:

Pages: 1 2See entire article on one page

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

Join AF+!


Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3152 articles for us.


  1. I enjoyed Unique in “There Are Worse Things I Could Do” but I still wanted it to just be one glorious number of glorious Santana being glorious. I won’t even mention the other person singing that song and the crap going on.

  2. I think the real question is “why hasn’t Santana also moved to Unicorn Planet so various cute queers can plan their wedding?”. I’m just saying.

  3. This might be officially nit-picky, but it really really bothers me that the fact that Finn and Kurt are step-brothers has been completely ignored this season. Like, you would think upon seeing your step-brother who you lived with for at least a year you would hug, even if there was other weirdness going on. Or that you would already be going to the musical you step-brother is directing.

    • sometimes i feel like the people writing the script actually don’t know that kurt and finn are step-brothers

  4. I missed the first 15 minutes and saw from right before the Sandra Dee performance. Now I’m glad I never went back and watched what I missed, since it seems it was all boring/irritating crap, like 83% of the rest of the episode. Finding out what i missed from these lovely recaps is a much safer and less vomit-inducing way to find out what happened.

  5. Fake Quinn: “Fine, ladyboy can come. But if I catch you hiding your dinky between your legs and prancing around like Silence of the Lambs, you’re out.”

    No. D:

    Though I would like to purchase a pair of homosexual jeans.

  6. “I WISH THIS COULD BE REMADE STARRING A BUNCH OF HOT BUTCH LESBIANS” = the key to getting me to watch Glee ever again

  7. I started reading this, but then just watched Grease on youtube instead… less anger inducing. And even with the flying car still makes more sense.

  8. I got excited seeing that Santana was back, but then I realized watching this show would result in my laptop’s destruction so I’ll just skip that one.

    Also. WHERE THE FUCK IS QUINN. This is her cue now that Brodudey is making Rachel sad and realizing that maybe men aren’t for her.

  9. I can remember a time when I used to like this show. It seems so far far away now…

    Also. I am feeling some kind of way about Marley and those tight pants. She’s holding that fake cigarette like a true non-smoker, and I can’t explain why, but that always bothers me.


  10. As much as I miss Quinn, I think I’m more happy that the actress appears to have escaped the clutches of Ryan Murphy’s wacked-out, anti-woman fever dream/Glee.

    • I’m wishing for the same thing for Tina, to be honest. I’d miss her character, but by God does Jenna Ushkowitz deserve better than the crap she is currently getting.

  11. “Santana looks briefly in the mirror like an actress unsure of where her storyline is going”

    you’re so good, riese. Reading this was better than watching the show. Thanks.

  12. One thing that I found really annoying/upsetting in this episode that wasn’t covered in your lovely recap was Unique singing the line “..and throw my life away / on a dream that won’t come true..” I really wish they would decide where her character is going. Because if it was well done this could have been a really powerful moment about her fears that she’ll never get to be the fabulous woman she really is. But because Ryan Murphy likes to be a jerk about this I was just left more confused about what he’s trying to take her character.

    Did anyone else notice this?

    • I watched that clip and noticed that, too. SOMEONE is being deep and powerful in arranging who sings which lines, but it’s lost in the non-musical components of this shitshow.

  13. This episode pissed me off way less than last week’s! I actually really loved Teen Angel. Sugar was perfection as Frenchie. And although Kitty is obviously a sociopath and a poor man’s Quinn, I did enjoy her playing Patty Simcox.

    Like you I’m not going to touch on the incredibly piss-poor job they did with Marley’s out-of-nowhere eating disorder arc (resolved for her by Bieber/Finn 2.0 because of course, why not, can’t have a girl on this show feeling validated without some bro doing it for her).

  14. P.S. The ‘ladyboy’ line from Kitty is a perfect example of something the Glee writers think is OK to say as long as a ‘bad’ character is saying it. Which, as Riese has pointed out, is just too fucking risky when the subject of the joke is a transgender character. (Or whatever the fuck she’s meant to be – I don’t have a clue because these writers DON’T HAVE ANY IDEA WHAT THEY’RE DOING.)

  15. I didn’t watch the episode, and halfway through reading the recap I was hit with a strong craving for tequila, and now I really want to watch Grease but I left my DVD at my parents’ house.

    Also the seamonkeys caption is probably my favorite caption ever.

  16. Everybody’s mad at kitty for saying those Trasphobic,racist lines but Brittney dose the same damn thing but it gets looked over because it’s Brittney?Why dose it seem that Brittney says racist and offending shit get looked over because she’s the Queer girl in love with Santana?

  17. Raise your hand if you found it über obvious they’d bring in the eating disorder plot and address it at a cringe-inducing, shallow level from the minute Marley and her mother were introduced. I’m so over this shit, and yet can’t stop myself from watching, if only to relive it through these brilliant recaps.

  18. The only good scene in this whole episode was the Brittana conversation and the Santana & Unique parts of “There Are Worse Things I Could Do.”

    Oh and Lea Michele in that black spandex outfit. And the fact that Finn and Rachel are no longer speaking to each other. And Sugar Motta.

    Everything else sucks and makes me want to stab things.

  19. this show, once my life’s greatest source of joy, has become the bane of my existence. i used to have a lot of respect for ryan murphy; he wrote stories about the gay kid, the pregnant kid, the slightly ethnic but unpopular kid with the overbearing attitude, the doofy sporty kid that needs to grow up and take responsibility for his actions, the disabled kid that’s simultaneously hella gangsta and as dapper-dressed as an old grandpa, about all the kids that are different but awesome and maybe for a while they hated each other and fought like cats and dogs but it was okay because they found a place and a group of people with which they could battle high school adversity. and sing and dance on a magically appearing and disappearing budget.

    now though, i look at characters like sue and finn and figgins and god especially will, who have consistently made poor decisions and said awful things and displayed startling intolerance and unkindness, and who have slowly over the course of the years lost almost all of the sympathy i’ve had for them, and i see kitty who’s clearly ramping up to become another suezilla-esque tornado of negativity, and i just can’t really understand why it’s lasted for so long.

    i look at the frankly horrific handling of critical social issues, misleading and dangerous, and i wonder where they get the nerve to put that on television. what they must say to convince themselves that it’s okay to do.

    i look at the honestly baffling consistent negligence on the part of the writers that would allow them the arrogance to assume that it’s okay to portray acts of assault and cruelty and violence as matters that no one will listen to or make priority out of, as things that are to be ignored or powered through, as acts that are perhaps somehow deserved or at the very least unavoidable, for the sake of their plotlines, on a show directed towards teenagers, and i want to fly, screaming, into the sun and become a calcified rage dragon spewing fire and harsh critiques of this show.

    and i remind myself that i’ve stuck with these damn singing teenagers for three years now, it’s nothing short of a full commitment. i’m invested. like a large benign mole on one’s underside, this show has a way of sticking with you and not exactly letting go all nicey-like. and suddenly oh god is that a melanoma? i’m losing what percentage of my ass?

    lawrd bebbe haysoos is testin me

    • This, all of it.

      I mean, yes Quinn was mean, but she had layers underneath that to explore and do something with. Rachel was Rachel. Even Finn, in his old incarnation, was annoying but still a somewhat understandable character – the football star readjusting and realizing that football and being high-school popular wasn’t the most important thing in life.

      But these new characters – they absolutely *suck*. There’s nothing underneath (except Unique) that’s interesting or different or embodies high school life. They’re incredibly BORING and they have no personalities – they’re just caricatures (in the case of Kitty) or, in the case of Marley and Ryder, they are *nothing*. No personality, no interest, nothing but essentially a stock character that Ryan Murphy can manipulate to put pop songs in his show.

      This show used to have so much promise and then it just started sucking. Horribly.

      The only reason I’m even mildly invested in this show is because I’m interested in what happens to Rachel, Kurt, and Santana (and Quinn, if she ever shows back up) and even then, I don’t watch the episode unless I know there will be a significant amount of scenes in New York. I kind of wish they would just move Santana to New York and then do a spin-off…with new writers.

  20. WHY are you defending Blaine? Kurt has every right to be upset and not want to talk to him. But OMGGGGGGGG MY BRITTANA FEELS!!!ERJNSJFENGJFNDJFDNSJFNDJSFNJDFNDN

  21. I was annoyed at Finn’s apology. Made his character even more insufferable.

    I was annoyed that Rachel cried after Kate Hudson called to tell her she banged her crush and to also insult her pointlessly.

    Am I the only who thought the comebacks wrote themselves. A grown woman entertaining high school games… It reminded me of Taylor Swift being pitifully sad for a year after Kanye had his outburst. Am I the only one who would have laughed it off, told Kanye to sip his Henny at his seat, and then blurted “I love Beyonce too!” ????

    I digress…

    But I’m glad Rachel hung up on her. Like have some pride.

    As much as I love old Glee, for the first time I kind of wish… “You’re the One That I Want” played out with just the new characters. Thought Riley and Marley were doing a great job. I didn’t care to see Finn squeeze into a black man cat suit. And I didn’t care to see New Rachel revert to Old Rachel in that moment. I got that she was reminiscent by all of the sad glances.


  22. Am I the only who tehe’d when Brittany told Santana that they wouldn’t allow Mercedes to play Rizzo?

  23. This show is so ridiculous.

    Finn taking over the Glee club? What the actual fuck? Seriously? Lack of BA and certification aside, singing and dancing (even as a lead) is nothing like directing and leading. And even if Glee is an extracurricular last time I checked teachers still did those. Schools don’t just let anyone (even graduated seniors) stroll in and start leading after school activities. I had to get fingerprinted just to do a mentoring program and I don’t even go to the school.

    As much as I love Santana, it doesn’t make any kind of sense for Artie and Finn to invite back an already-graduated student to play her. It wouldn’t even be *allowed*. For God’s sake why not let Tina do it? So much for showcasing the seniors. And why would Santana even do it anyway? If my HS had contacted me a few months after I graduated to ask me to be in a HS student drama production I’d like like “LOL no.”

    Brody sleeping with Kate Hudson is ridiculous. Kate Hudson’s character in general is ridiculous. I get a teacher who has a vendetta against Rachel for some reason, but Cassandra July initially came off a little crazy but not willing to risk ANOTHER job by sleeping with a student. Or petty enough to brag about it to another student. And why would a teacher at a PERFORMING ARTS SCHOOL discourage a student from doing an off-Broadway audition? WTF?

    Marley has no personality. It’s offensive that they are posing her as the New Rachel, so to speak. Ryder also has no personality, but neither does Finn, so that works.

    UGH I hate this show. I hate it because I used to love it. I think back to episodes like “Britney/Brittany” or the one where they all took the happy pills with the Halo/Walking on Sunshine mashup, or even the storyline with Idina Menzel and the wonderful Troubletones. Then I look at this horrible mess and I’m like, really? REALLY? I hate you, Ryan Murphy. You murdered the show.

Comments are closed.