Glee Episode 420 Recap: Lights Out, You Don’t Wanna See This

We then cut to Breadsticks, home of the $12.95 Buy One Take One dinner special, where Fake Quinn’s taking Ryder on a not-date. She’s broken up with Old Puck.

and then santana told me that if i can fit 10 of these breadsticks in my vagina, i could definitely handle her fist

and then santana told me that if i can fit 10 of these breadsticks in my vagina, i could definitely handle her fist

Fake Quinn: “I don’t know why I have such terrible luck with guys, it’s probably because I come on really strong and pretend to be all slutty and then I freeze up right away and get distant and drop weird hints that my vagina has teeth.”

But Fake Quinn’s not here for Little Vadge of Horrors, she’s here to tell Ryder that he’s not alone —

Fake Quinn: “It may have seemed like no one else in that room understood what you went through but I did.”

Fake Quinn says when she was in 6th grade she was molested by her friend Julie’s older brother after a sleepover, and when she told her parents, they called Julie’s parents, and Julie told everybody to stop taking to Fake Quinn and so she switched schools. Stories like this always hit twice as hard when they come from a girl who’s typically so impenetrable and mean, and by that I mean I teared up. It was touching and I hope they follow up on this.

Fake Quinn: “I understand what it feels like to have something like that happen to you and to feel like nobody understands. I guess I just wanted you to know that I do.”
[Ryder takes her hand]
Ryder: “Thanks.”

is choking on a meatball

is choking on a meatball

We then cut jarringly to a Stompified rendition of ‘We Will Rock You,” which involves garbage cans and lamps and New Puck tap-dancing on a deflated silver balloon. Is the power still off at this school? What’s going on.

Meanwhile at McKinley’s football stadium, Becky begs Sue to return to McKinley but Sue says she’s totes over it, even though Becky’s got some gnarly Coach Roz stories.

no honey you're gonna need a dildo about twice this size if you really wanna make an impression on santana's cervix

no honey you’re gonna need a dildo about twice this size if you really wanna make an impression on santana’s cervix

Sue’s over all the “knocked-up sluts” and “lipstick lesbians” of Lima because they’re all little girls, like in the song “Little Girls” that Sue’s about to sing.

At the song’s conclusion, Sue affirms to Becky that she’s got no regrets about leaving McKinley. This leaves Becky patently heartbroken, but Sue doesn’t seem to notice Becky’s little heart breaking into tiny pieces. I don’t buy that. Sue’s always aware of Becky’s emotional state. Sue sacrificed her reputation to save Becky and now she won’t even look her in the eye?

look becky. i'm jane lynch. i'm a badass motherfucker who can do no wrong, and this show does nothing but wrong, and i can't jive with that

look becky. i’m jane lynch. i’m a badass motherfucker who can do no wrong, and this show does nothing but wrong, and i can’t jive with that

Two episodes ago Becky was so upset about her future that she brought a gun to school, and Sue won’t even give her a hug? What the fuck?

my actions have no consequences!

my actions have no consequences!

We traverse the endless jacuzzi of mid-America until landing at the New York City Superdanceshow, where celebrity wranglers Kurt, Rachel and Santana are hard at work. SJP asks Santana how she feels about Cherry Jones and Santana’s like, “whatever,” when she should be like “YES PLEASE HOOK ME UP WITH NYC POWER LESBIANS I NEED IN THAT SCENE” because duh.

yes thanks for asking it is hard to be this good-looking

yes thanks for asking it is hard to be this good-looking

SJP invites them to watch from the wings with her but Kurt says Santana’s not interested, she’s only there for the gown and the swag bag. SJP “dosen’t buy it.” She says all little girls wanted to be ballerinas one day.

oh my god there's a spider in kurt's ear

oh my god there’s a spider in kurt’s ear

Santana’s face shifts into that look she gets when she’s about to be serious and speak from her true heart, when vulnerability transforms her traditional confidence into something reluctant and real.

Santana: “I actually did take ballet classes. My abuela put me in them when I was little, because I was such a tomboy and it really pissed my Dad off. I only took a few lessons, but it helped me uh, escape a little, you know? It was the first time I danced. I felt safe there and not different. Part of something. Beautiful.”

This bit segues us into a really beautiful and blessedly long performance of “At the Ballet” with Sarah Jessica Parker, The New Rachel, Lady Hummel and Santana Lopez, which is really the only part of this entire fucking episode I really needed to see.

my name is santanaaaaa...

my name is santanaaaaa…

and these are my booooooobbbsss!!!

and these are my booooooobbbsss!!!

snapshot of the new "Hall of Ballet Dancers" soon to open at Epcot Center in Disneyworld in Orlando, Florida

snapshot of the new “Hall of Ballet Dancers” soon to open at Epcot Center in Disneyworld in Orlando, Florida

we're just two girls who want junior mints in our mouth!!!!

we’re just two girls who want junior mints in our mouth!!!!

Santana says that she loves dancing but doesn’t know what she wants to do with her life. She should go to college, then she’ll really have no idea what to do with her life.

Back in the dark murky depths of McKinley High School, Roz marches Becky to Figgins’ office to turn her in for making fart noises. When Roz dashes, Becky admits the false flatulence was merely a ploy to get escorted to the office. I guess this means she’s gonna confess about the gun now.

toss. me. the. god. damn. junior mint.

toss. me. the. god. damn. junior mint.

At last, after what must be at least three days without power — which is 1.5 days longer than I went without power during The Great Blackout of 2003, a situation which undoubtedly posed a greater challenge to the power company than the mylar balloon causing McKinley’s blackout but whatever, it’s Glee — the lights are on!

has no intention of taking off the headlamp

has no intention of taking off the headlamp

The Glee Clubbers assemble in the auditorium and New Puck’s eager to ditch the unplugs in favor of plugging in some shit and rocking out with the help of electricity, but Mr. Shue wants to drive home “the power of singing a capella” because at the end of the day our voices are the only instruments that truly matter.

hold up hold up i'm allergic to junior mints

hold up hold up i’m allergic to junior mints

Cut to The William McKinley George W Bush Memorial Library, where Ryder’s chatting it up with his main squeeze katie_xoxo, who wants to know why Ryder’s even still talking to her.

Ryder: “This thing we are doing, whatever it is, it’s working for me.”
katie_xoxo: “I get it. It’s working for me too.”

and then you stuffed me with breadcrumbs and celery and all this other weird shit and i'm not even sure if i'm into that

and then you stuffed me with breadcrumbs and celery and all this other weird shit but i’m cool with that, so

After katie_xoxo promises to “ping” Ryder back in a minute, Fake Quinn strolls by to invite him on a date to Subway for some phallic sandwiches, but he turns her down in favor of…

Fake Quinn disapproves:

Fake Quinn: “She’s a projection. She’s whatever you want her to be. Why do you think you think you get along so well. You have no real intimacy with this person. Stop embarrassing yourself and come have lunch with me.”

Ryder says maybe they can go out after he figures out who katie_xoxo is. Except katie_xoxo is obviously Fake Quinn, so he should just get off his ass and stuff some meatballs and bacon and homogenized avocado product in his facehole.

and if that's not your style, i do a handy reverse cowgirl

and if that’s not your style, i do a handy reverse cowgirl

We then board Daenerys Targaryen’s dragons and fly all the way back to New York, New York, where Santana’s decided to add a little more dancing into her life by enrolling at Fake Julliard Adjacent. She shows up late and sasses off to the teacher, who announces that this class won’t help any of them get into Fake Julliard. The only way to get into Fake Julliard is to ambush Whoopi Goldberg or perform a moving ballad at the Winter Showcase, DUH.

no thanks lady i've got plenty dental dams at home

no thanks lady i’ve got plenty dental dams at home

Santana snaps that she doesn’t need a $30k/year education to teach her something she already rocks at so the dance teacher wants to know what she’s doing there at all:

Santana: “I love to dance. I’m an artist, but I sort of lost touch with that part of myself lately and so I’m here to do some reintroducing.”

Then Little Baby Santana shows up and asks Santana never to forget her again and they hug.

i would like this on an official santana lopez music box please

i would like this on an official santana lopez music box please

This all makes sense, truly it does, because your first year out of high school is that time when you must assemble and analyze all of your interests in hopes of pinpointing the one thing that is truly you, that is absolutely your calling, and so often that means trying to remember what we liked to do as children. Because when you get older, “what we liked to do” is so often shadowed by “what we think other people want us to do” and you’re not sure if you can trust that or not.

damn my butt looks good

baby got back

We end as we always do these days: in the auditorium for a rousing group number, throughout which Fake Quinn gives Ryder Bieber-Strong some really intense looks of love/longing. I’m into it. What’s the shipper name? I’ll totally board.

The most important part of this scene is that we get almost half a second of lesbian action:


Anyhow, all my complaining aside, I do think this episode gamely executed a broad and emotionally consistent theme and did a surprisingly adept job at making the Ohio and New York stories work together without overlapping. The New York parts were good. There were some touching scenes this week and only a few jarring tonal shifts. So, there’s that. I guess. (But of course it’s all relative.)

Next week on Glee, everybody wears yellow!

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 3153 articles for us.


  1. I just interneted instead of actually watching this episode, so I see why that would appeal to Ryder.

    After his big reveal I was like ‘nonononononononoonono this is going to be dealt with so badly or never addressed again’ so I stopped paying attention.

    Baby Santana is adorbs though.

  2. also i didn’t mention this in the recap, but did anybody else notice that the scene of interrogating becky that appeared in the preview didn’t appear in the actual essay? there’s also some episode stills i’ve seen around the internet from Fox where Blaine’s in a superhero outfit with a flashlight, which also never showed up in the episode. ISN’T THAT WEIRD YOU GUYS

    • This has happened before! Remember when that one season 3 preview showed Blaine and Kurt exchanging promise rings or something (I don’t know I don’t care about Klaine) but it never actually happened in the episode?

      Here’s what’s happening next week on Glee…JUST KIDDING!

      • And Quinn telling Rachel she’s making a terrible mistake marrying Finn…and the scene where it’s revealed that Quinn and Rachel wrote the original songs for regionals…

  3. Riese,

    Thanks you so much for recapping this trainwreck every week – so we don’t have to watch all of it and skip the bits of awfulness. You always do a great job and it’s hilarious as always! I liked the NYC parts (as we all have agreed that part of this show is awesome), although I feel like Santana suddenly wanting to dance is a bit out of character? Wasn’t singing something she preferred doing instead? Also, just a side note – how much nicer would it have been if in that “At the Ballet” pic, instead of SJP, it’s actually Quinn singing? :-)

    I hated the McKinley parts.

    I HATED the molestation storyline.

    Perhaps because I had female friends who were molested as children. Because I had an ex-girlfriend whose cousin did that to her. Because I had a guy friend who was molested as a child. Because I worked with women and children who were survivors of sexual abuse and I remember one fifty-year old woman who, after having gotten married and having children, carried that secret and shame and anger of having been molested when she was a child and I remember when she finally came out with it, at fifty years old, that she was crying and crying and she still had that anger in her and she wished she could have done something about it then….

    I remember all these and it really makes me even more angry, BECAUSE GLEE HAS NO BUSINESS with dealing with a molestation storyline BECAUSE THIS IS AN ACTUAL THING that people actually have to live with and deal with and for some people it takes years and years to even actually come to terms with it and for Glee to decide to take it up as the “issue of the week” and have its characters think it’s cool, or treat it dismissively, or have Mr. Schue, who’s the ADULT in this show, dammit, say something like that, pisses me off even more, because this is just very disrespectful and irresponsible and f*cking offensive.

    Sorry, had to get that off my chest.

    This, in my opinion, is the MOST OFFENSIVE STORYLINE GLEE has ever made.

    And it angers me to no end. And makes my chest ache with rage.

    • I feel everything you said about the molestation storyline.

      Also I’m not sure if there was some warning on the actual episode or something, but I watched it on hulu and there wasn’t. Being completely unaware that there would be a molestation storyline and then suddenly hearing descriptions of it was triggering as fuck.

  4. Was anyone else SO. HAPPY. That Rachel “my life is so hard” Barry didn’t have a verse in that song? Omg.

    • No cause her voice is perfect for the song. Too bad she didn’t have more actually. And Rachel has never pretended her life is so hard.

  5. “Sexism is an intrinsic element of most jobs, and I felt more violated by the insidious sexual harassment and blatant sexism of my pervy restaurant managers and I felt more disempowered by the boy’s club of publishing than I ever did in a job where the sexual element was out on the table from the get-go and priced accordingly.”

    True story, I would rather strip than work as a night waitress again. In exotic dance I get to be in control of my money and who I dance privately for (it’s actually a fantastic lesson in small business ownership if you can handle it) and, because sexuality is part of the service, it’s monetized and monitored. People get bounced for groping a stripper without permission. That’s bad for business. When I was waitressing, being groped or harassed by both employees and patrons was ignored because it was more important to keep the customers and owners happy than to keep me safe. I never felt as demeaned in exotic dance as I did serving.

    Also, I can’t even talk about the molestation storyline because it makes me livid. This is why so many men have a hard time getting help and, quite frankly, says a lot about rape culture that any unwanted sexual advance is ever considered cool or lucky.

    • yes yes yes yes yes. all of this. especially re: waitressing and the patrons; everything we’re expected to put up with for free, just for being human females with bodies

  6. Dude, serious shout out to the follow spot operators in At The Ballet. That was some solid work. Not to mention the amazing demonstration of all the cool stuff you can do with intelligent lights. The lighting designer made the lights dance! In my opinion, Glee is at its best when it sticks to theatre.

  7. “She says all little girls wanted to be ballerinas one day.”

    Nope. I wanted to be a knight in shining armor.

    • I wanted to be a marine biologist. I’ve followed that through to the point where I got a major in marine biology. More of an evolutionary biologist lately, but ~details~.

      • That’s really good. I’ve been somewhat thwarted in my knight in armor ambition on account of their not really being a thing. I did take archery and fencing in college. That was the best I could do.

        I suppose I could take up LARPing.

    • i wanted to be a dinosaur

      (just a little one. i knew i was short, i had to keep my goals realistic.)

    • I wanted to be one of the X-men. Still stings a bit that my powers didn’t develop once I hit puberty.

      • Same, and I’ve been disappointed for at least ten years now. But lately I’ve decided that my awesome mutant powers are that of homogayness.

    • I wanted really badly to be a soldier. (At the age of 9 I gave up that dream because someone told me I would have to eat spicy food to do that?? I still don’t understand that to this day)

    • I wanted to be the first woman to play for the Chicago Blackhawks.
      Still play hockey, don’t think I’ll be drafted/signed though…

    • I wanted to be a pro golfer from ages 5 to 15.

      Guys, I didn’t know about the gay thing until I was like 22. How ridiculous.

  8. That quarter At The Ballet was beautiful, really <3

    At this point, I'm constantly surprised by the fact that I'm still gobsmacked with how horrifically offensive this show has gotten. I should just assume the worst of everyone now.

  9. I’m slightly handicapped by not actually watching the show, just reading recaps, but the aerobics class is a parody of the Eric Prydz “Call On Me” video, is it? The pictures of the girls and Blaine look staged that way.

  10. Naya Rivera is very good and it sucks that, outside of the dwindling numbers of people who watch Glee, no one really knows that.

  11. Where is Brittany? Did teen Jesus graduate? What about Sugar?

    About a fourth of the club is MIA and no one mentions it?

    • Brittany is on vacation in Ponyville.
      Teen Jesus is playing at some Christian concert.
      Sugar returned to the future.

      Glee doesn’t care about them so I’m going to pretend that this is what happened.

  12. I live for these reviews. Bra. Vo.
    And I agree with Weevil, Naya is way too talented for the limited and stunted role she has on this show. So are Chris, Lea, and Cory.
    All of them need to leave the sinking ship ASAP.

  13. When I was a little girl, I didn’t want to be a ballerina…I wanted to be an Archaeologist. Indiana Jones made the job look so glorious and dangerous and adventurous…That would have been the dream. But no. Instead I grew up to be a friggin’ dog groomer. A DOG GROOMER!

    On another note, I did love the NY side of this episode (though I’m very late in the game with this comment). Naya is ALWAYS so damn flawless, and breathtaking and just so stinking perfect and gorgeous. That purple dress was…no words. I was left speechless! And that Alexander McQueen dress in that first scene had me picking my jaw up off the floor. It was so short, and tight!

    The Molestation story was just too much. Not even going there. It hits too close to home and so I’m just going to pretend that it NEVER happened.

Comments are closed.