Glee Episode 415 Recap: Girls (And Bois) On Film

Welcome to the fifteenth recap of the fourth season of Glee, a show about human beings who have sex with bananas, get pregnant, give birth to half-banana half-human babies and then teach those babies to sing and then hook those babies up with a human-sized fingerling potato and slingshot the whole gaggle into stardom.

banger & mash

banger & mash

This week, Glee paid tribute to some of my favorite movies of all time and either alienated or enriched the lives of at least six passionate 12-year-old Gleeks who’ve never seen Ghost. Like every episode I’ve enjoyed in Seasons Three and Four, the episode’s extensive setlist offered minimal time for actual lines or plot and therefore minimal opportunities for something terrible to happen! Let’s get started on this highway to heaven, shall we?

We open in the drably-decor’ed recesses of William Schuster’s old-fashioned subconscious, where William Schuster and Emma Pillsbury, rocking Lesbian Cater-Waiter Chic, are dancing on the ceiling to “You’re All The World To Me” from the 1951 film “A Royal Wedding.”

i can fist you with the fury of ten thousand santanas

i can fist you with the fury of ten thousand santanas

fuck this would look so good with a tiny hat

fuck this would look so good with a tiny hat

glee is so fancy tonight

glee is so fancy tonight

William is jolted awake by his realization that the house is upside-down, only to find himself alone in bed surrounded by open DVD cases. He really should close those DVD cases, worms could get in there!

fuck where the hell is "ellen degeneres: here and now"

must watch “ellen degeneres: here and now”

Here’s the original:

We then starsweep to the Glorious Glee Room in the charming hamlet of Lima, Ohio, where William proudly announces this week’s theme: “MOVIES!” “Everybody loves movies,” William begins, ’cause clearly he’s not read I Don’t Like Movies.

finally we can fulfill our lifelong dreams of re-enacting the sex scene from "but i'm a cheerleader"

brittany i’m so excited, finally we can fulfill our lifelong dreams of re-enacting the sex scene from “but i’m a cheerleader”

This week, the tiny koalas will be selecting their favorite songs from their favorite movies, creating mash-ups, and competing Boys vs. Girls, like on Survivor, but in Lima.

please god don't make me sing Betty

please god don’t make me sing Betty

“Unique knows all there is to know about The Crying Game,” says Unique. Oh yes? Like how it’s one of the most transphobic movies of all time? I hate this show. “You don’t get dibs on Les Mis just because you are the poster,” Fake Quinn snaps at Marley-Kate, who’s been known to dream a dream of time gone by, when hope was high and this show worth watching.

no, jake's mouth is the troutiest!!!

no, jake’s mouth is the troutiest!!!

Will blathers about the language of cinema and “theatricality” and Artie announces that he’ll cast the winning team in starring roles for his first “micro-budget feature” (because the only thing better than a student film is a high school student film). Obviously, Artie loves Queer Theory and hates Gender so therefore none of his characters are un-evolved enough to require a certain arbitrary biological assignment in order to live their truth. If the Girls win, his film will pass the Bechdel Test with flying colors!

no unique will not perform that song from riese's most hated movie of all time "love actually"

no unique will not perform that song from riese’s most hated movie of all time “love actually”

Everybody’s favorite Human Kugel, Finn Hudson, pulls William into the hallway to impart some 18-Year-Old Executive Realness Wisdom upon his new bestie regarding William’s refusal to send a recon mission to Kobol to track down Emma Pillsbury. “Come on man, Stand and Deliver!” Finn belches down the hallway as William walks the other way, because I guess Glee Club is over now or something.

come with me and you'll be in a world of pure imagination

come with me and you’ll be in a world of pure imagination

Finn, ruthlessly committed to other people’s business, hits up Sue Sylvester for the inside scoop on Emma Pillsbury’s whereabouts.

Sue:“Well I assume she’s checked into some Ginger asylum somewhere now that she’s escaped from Will Schuester’s living dollhouse of the damned. Even if I were privy to that information, even if I did know, I certainly wouldn’t divulge it to a flop sweat-smelling, fake-teen-teaching, army-deserting, high school lurking, sectionals-losing, special needs baby-hating —”

i ordered ketchup with this!

i ordered ketchup with this!

Cut promptly back to the Glee Room, where Artie suggests hunting down henhouses and outhouses or else just talking to her parents.

if finn and artie had a shipper name, it would be "fartie"

if finn and artie had a shipper name, it would be “fartie”, just fyi

Meanwhile in the hallowed hallways of dear dear McKinley High, Blaine and Brit-Brit announce that they’ve knocked their prenaturally attractive heads together and birthed an idea: the first Boys vs. Girls number should be a Boys + Girls Number! Marley-Kate suggests “Wind Beneath my Wings” from Beaches, which’s the first cool thing she’s ever said, but Blaine suggests “a little ditty from the seminal college comedy Animal House!”

who wants to sing "run joey run" in our underpants? ehhh fellas? whaddya say?

who wants to sing “run joey run” in our underpants? ehhh fellas? whaddya say?

The now-enormous Glee Club, led by Heather Morris’s sweet sweet thighs and Blaine’s enthusiastic eyeballs, galavant gayly through McKinley’s hallowed halls while delivering an energetic performance of “Shout!”, a song I love like I love sunshine and apple pie. It’s bouncy and colorful and cute, too.

drink a vegan shake!

drink a vegan shake!

oh my god it's the kool-aid guy

oh my god it’s the kool-aid guy

the day of the locusts

the day of the locusts

shhh, sugar and brittany are doing that weird sex thing they do sometimes

shhh, sugar and brittany are doing that weird sex thing they do sometimes

Glee415-00065-shoutHere’s the Glee version of Shout:

And here’s the original:

We then journey across acres and centimeters and gallons of pure American soil, pausing briefly to visit some of Southeast Pennsylvania’s legenedary outlet malls, until we at last arrive in New York City. Here, atop the Barbie Bushwick Dream Loft, Santana’s bemoaning being snowed-in “with a bunch of musical theater geeks” dedicated to near-perfect re-enactments of dinnertime at Downton Abbey.

Santana: “It’s like Eli Roth decided to make a gay horror movie and this is the scene right before we all eat each other.”

I think there’s a missing “out” on the end of that sentence. Just saying.

a tree grows in brooklyn?

a tree grows in brooklyn?

Restless, bored and hopelessly snowbound, Santana sets to Stirring Up Shit, first by remarking to Adam’s Apple that Kurt and Blaine were pretty intimate throughout the Valentine’s Day Wedding Spectacular Episode and noting that Rachel appears “pumpkin-like” and “not just ’cause of Tan in the Can.” I think what she’s suggesting is that Rachel is not a human being but is actually a vegetable, just like her ex-boyfriend, which is slander.

ixnay on the exgencpay

we did not have sex we were just rehearsing for spring awakening

Rachel then burts forth from the chamber of the porcelain goddess to declare that Satana’s fucking up their Sanctuary and must move out. Kurt demands they retract their claws and focus on the movie marathon, for which Santana’s chosen Knocked Up, She’s Having a Baby or Rosemary’s Baby. Rachel vetoes, Kurt suggests my FAVORITE MOVIE EVER and THE FIRST DVD I EVER PURCHASED, Moulin Rouge. I listened to the Moulin Rouge soundtrack SO MANY TIMES in 2001 that the CD is no longer playable, an honor shared only with Lauryn Hill’s The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill and Ani DiFranco‘s Like I Said. Just FYI.

who's up for a two-hour orgasm

who’s up for a two-hour orgasm

I saw Moulin Rouge the week it debuted at the Village East Cinema in New York which was a few blocks from the Third Avenue North dorm, where I lived that summer with my BFF Becky from Westchester who had lived next door to me in the dorms at Michigan. We went with Becky’s best friend from home, Ashley, and it was hot outside but really cool inside, and we didn’t get snacks because Becky & Ashley didn’t eat carbs, and they both kinda hated it and I was like, oh my god, I LOVED THAT FUCKING MOVIE. The next day at work, aka The Olive Garden, I tried talking to the gay boys about it but they just wanted to complain about Nicole Kidman’s voice. So I settled for a private love affair with the film since nobody else shared my passion. Anyhow where was I?



After a disarming commercial break, we return to the snow-topped terraces of Paris (pronounced “Pear-EEE”) for a super romantic and erotic re-make of the legendary (to me) musical number “Come What May” from the fantastic (in my opinion) movie-musical Moulin Rouge, replete with flashbacks to early Klaine days, in the style of the original.



yoo-hoo who's hiding my turtlenecks

yoo-hoo who’s hiding my turtlenecks

shit that's a low-flying plane

shit that’s a low-flying plane

The song is tender but enormous, too, with these two guys on a rooftop, their hearts afire with the reticent beat of teenage love, torn apart by a literal and figurative distance that seems to be growing greater every minute.


In short: it was really sweet, and really gay, and also really unfortunate for Kurt’s British butt-buddy.

The original isn’t on YouTube, but here’s the Glee version:

Anyhow, we smear back to the couch, where Kurt insists the tears he’s crying are caused by his contacts, even though he doesn’t wear glasses, but Santana points out:

Santana: “Really? I would’ve thought that you were crying because you and Blaine used to talk about how this was your dream to sing this song to each other at your wedding.”
Kurt: [shut the fuck up face] “Did we?”

and to think i promised you that i would keep your secret about go-go dancing at henrietta's for free

and to think i promised you that i would keep your secret about go-go dancing at henrietta’s for free

Santana: “Yeah, I remember you telling me that singing this song to someone was a more intimate act than sex.”
Kurt: “Who wants popcorn?”

look me in the eyes and tell me you wouldn't be rather watching Cake boss

look me in the eyes and tell me you wouldn’t be rather watching Cake boss

Before any popping can begin dropping, Santana announces that she found a wad of cash and a pager in Geyerdean’s coat, which means he’s a drug dealer from the 90’s. A really terrible drug dealer, honestly, for leaving his pager behind.

Santana: “When I first met him, totally thought he was weird. He smelt all talcum-y like a Cabbage Patch doll and then he said that I wasn’t a real New Yorker until I had my first makeover and I was like what does that even mean? Like who are you?”
Adam: “Oh come on, Brody’s a sweetheart.”
Santana: “That’s what I told myself, you know, so what if he’s totally hairless and made out of plastic? I’m gonna look past the fact that he probably has a disgusting porn star landing strip. I’m gonna give Lars and the Real Boy one more chance. But them, I found… this.”

it was actually a much bigger chunk but i stopped at babeland on my way home

it was actually a much bigger chunk when i first found it but i stopped at babeland the minute i heard about the snowstorm

Santana admits proudly that she goes through everybody’s shit because she’s the Baddest Bitch On The Block.  It’s “a thing I do,” she says.

god she's sexy when she's angry

god santana’s sexy when she’s angry

The roommates are understandably aghast at this thought, especially Kurt with his vintage stash of XY Magazines and 2(x)IST Slimming Contour Briefs and especially Rachel with her vintage stash of sexy Lea Michele photos, but Santana rebuts:

Santana: “Oh, okay, I like how you guys pretend to be all accepting about everything, but when your friend suddenly shows up in your home, moves in and goes through all your stuff, you’re offended?”

looks like somebody's going back to the future

looks like somebody’s going back to the future

Har. Anyhow, Santana needs a Type-A girlfriend who does something dangerous or physically exhausting for a living, like Kara Thrace. I’m a Startana shipper.

Cut all the way back to Lima, Ohio, home to seven MasterBrand Cabinet stores, where Artie and a Spicy Potato Wedge have donned Stuart Smalley wigs in hopes of seducing Emma Pillsbury’s parents into revealing Emma’s whereabouts.

believe it or not we found these wigs in the $1.99 section at target

believe it or not we found these wigs in the $1.99 section at target

Emmas’ parents provide a Murphy Nod, which’s my new term for when Glee informs us that they’re just as aware of their various inconsistencies as we are, noting that Emma’s a shitty Guidance Counselor because “the kids at this school never seem to think about what college they want to go to until about a week before graduation. That’s weird, you’re supposed to figure that our when you’re a junior.”

excuse me what? no i do not believe that giving you the address would make my husband feel like a better man, but thank you for the offer

excuse me what? no i do not believe that giving you the address would make my husband feel like a better man, but thank you for the offer

In any event, Finn and Artie snag the addy.

We then dash easterly back to the Barbie Bushwick Dream Loft, where Kurt announces that they’ve been snowed in for 48 hours but apparently only managed to watch 45 minutes of Moulin Rouge, because now “should we finish Moulin Rouge?” is up for a popular vote.


oh my god rachel looks dashing in those “straddle this” boxer-briefs

Rachel tries to prove Geyerdean’s not a drug dealer by calling him on speakerphone but he acts like a total sketchmonster, while Santana makes suggestive gestures in the background:

accurate re-enactment of my summer of 2005

Kurt whispers “I’m with you” to Santana, which means Kurt must also be gay!

now tell me that i have the prettiest vagina

now tell me that my vagina smells like a rose garden

(Be sure to tune in next week for a game of “how much sex-worker-shaming can Glee indulge in before Riese totally loses her shit?”)

We then gallop back over to Lima, Ohio, a fair-weathered village deep in the forest of ohiosville, where The Bois of Glee have prepared an ambitious tribute to Tom Cruise The Magical Scientologist by highlighting his best work, circa a long time ago: “Danger Zone,” from the Top Gun ride at King’s Island and I guess also the movie Top Gun, and “Old-Time Rock ‘n Roll,” from Risky Business, which requires New Puck, Sam, and Ryder Bieber-Strong to eschew pants.


boys in helmets look like condoms!!! teehee!!


wishing her eyes were wide shut

i could fly higher than an eagle because you are the wind beneath my wings

i could fly higher than an eagle because you are the wind beneath my wings

in addition to being a tribute to scientology, this also just-so-happens to be a tribute to the glee episode "mattress"

in addition to being a tribute to tom cruise, this also just-so-happens to be a tribute to the glee episode “mattress”

imagine if this was quinn - brittany - santana instead, just imagine that

imagine if this was quinn – brittany – santana instead, just imagine that

Here’s “Old Time Rock and Roll” from Risky Business:

Here’s “Danger Zone” from Top Gun:

And here’s the Glee version:

The most important thing to know about Top Gun is that Kelly McGillis is a lesbian.


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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 3228 articles for us.


  1. Riese!

    Thanks for this recap! It made me laugh so hard! So glad there’s someone out there who actually has fond memories of the 80s (music)! I think this ep DID alienate the 12 year old geeks who were born a few years after Kelly McGillis came out! hahahah! Where to start? How about, yes, Kara + Santana = genius ship! :) Risky business: Santana, Quinn, Rachel and Brittany in their underwear = pure gold! (And also, I just can’t stand Glee Project winner and new Puck, so!). I laughed so hard at that Top Gun reference! ahhaahha! Also, I love, love, love “Say Anything”, but I really don’t like it when Glee messes up stuff I actually like because John Cusack is much more awesome and Cameron Crowe rocks that movie! And also Moulin Rouge! Although I still prefer the original.

    But most of all, Santana in Bushwick. That is all.

    Thanks for this recap. Made my day! ;)

  2. Moulin Rouge is fucking magical and the best movie of all time. I’m so glad someone else agrees with me!

    Thanks for the recap! I only watch for Santana these days (and had the slightest hope that she’d tell Rachel about boffing Quinn which would lead to Rachel looking sad/wistful…)

    P.S. Finn, you are the worst, go home.

  3. Amazing recap as usual, Riese, I like all the different words you’ve used to indirectly call Finn a potato without ever saying the word “potato” =) Also the Jenny Schecter’s ashes caption slaughtered me.

    I am woefully behind on internet-speak so can someone explain to me what “shipper” means?

    • i always explain shipping as ‘being in a relationship with a relationship’. it’s being emotionally invested in a romantic relationship between particular characters, or it can just be thinking they’re hot and should bang, or a combination. for example, i would say i ship santana and starbuck because they’d be ridiculously hot together and they’d be a badass couple. and shipper is ‘one who ships’, so i’m a santana/starbuck shipper.

      ‘ship’ doesn’t even look like a real word anymore.

  4. Having never seen The Crying Game, I missed that transphobic reference, but I’m glad you didn’t Riese. The shit this show gets away with, I swear.

    Though I admit I’m part of the problem. I’d sit through anything to hear Santana snark at Rachel and pretend to snort coke off the back of her hand. Hilarious.

    • Ah…The Crying Game…

      That movie made me a Forest Whitaker/Stephen Rea fan for life. I could do without the transphobia though…

      Anyone remember that movie “Priest” too?

  5. “regarding William’s refusal to send a recon mission to Kobol to track down Emma Pillsbury”
    I may not know who Emma Pillsbury is, but (the remake of) Battlestar Galactica is my life! Starbuck and Boomer… let’s get together and have some sort of human cylon threesome?

  6. They did this with Mercedes, they did this with Lauren Zizes (Zises?), and now they’re doing it with Unique. QUIT ADDING SLEEVES TO THE DRESSES FOR THE FAT GIRLS. It makes them look like mothers of the bride. Either put all the ladies in different dresses of the same color, or make all the dresses THE SAME.

  7. I saw Moulin Rouge for the first time in Grade 7 and I got my mom to rent it for me at Blockbuster multiple weeks in a row – I would watch it every day after school.
    Some days I’d even watch a few scenes before school if I had time.
    I’d also annoy the hell out of my friends by quoting it endlessly at school.
    (Luckily my best friend is amazing and would sing Elephant Love Medley with me on the way to school – I would always sing Ewan’s parts).

    I finally got the DVD for my birthday and to this day there’s a napkin on the inside (I don’t know why I didn’t use paper?) from when I first got it where I keep a tally chart of how many times I’ve watched it (the DVD, that is. Not even counting watching it on VHS or at other people’s houses). I think the tally is between 40-50

    So exciting to read about everyone else’s love for this film since there was nowhere to fangirl over it during the height of my obsession. ha.

  8. I have basically stopped watching glee and started reading these recaps instead.
    Also I love Moulin Rouge! We always used to watch it at school in the run up to christmas etc. We would have whole class sing alongs with some girls even doing campy dance routines on the tables (we watched Coyote Ugly a lot too) and it was amazing. Sometimes girls’ schools rock :)

  9. “Imagine if this was quinn – brittany – santana instead” I did and it was beautiful.
    also do you, riese, just have a giant list of different ways to say that we are traveling between lima and new york? because honestly that seems like it would be the hardest part of the recap.

    • i have a feeling if i looked back at the old recaps that i would find out that something i thought i’d thought of for the first time this week i totally used in october, so i just cross my fingers that i’m constantly thinking of new ways to travel between lima and new york

  10. I was really in to Moulin Rouge until that whole weird drunk sing-a-long/awkward threesome happened.

  11. YES a million times to Moulin Rouge. I also had friends who said they didn’t like it because Nicole Kidman can’t sing. I think we can all agree that they have hearts of stone and their opinions don’t matter very much.

    More importantly: Southeastern PA outlet malls!!! Thank you for the shout-out. The legend lives on.

  12. I dressed as Satine to go to a Christian youth group event.

    That didn’t go down too well.

    My favourite movie too. :D

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