Glee Episode 421 Recap: Wonder-less

We then kayak all the way back to New York, New York, where Bitchy Gay #1 and #2 tell The New Rachel that she’s up against Sutton Foster and Meryl Streep’s daughter for Funny Girl and she better pray her snowpeas off that Kate Hudson doesn’t find out!

and by the way we've got gaydar for days and both of us know you wrap your tampons in that metro-north pass before insertion because it's the only way you can feel close to quinn without leaving the paramount lot

and by the way we’ve got gaydar for days and both of us know you wrap your tampons in that metro-north pass before insertion because it’s the only way you can feel close to quinn without leaving the paramount lot

Bitchy Gay #1 and #2 hit up Kate Hudson’s office to give her the scoop. The most important part of this scene is that Kate Hudson’s wearing a VPL bra, which are the bras I wear in my dreams where I’m rich and have abs like Kate Hudson.

this picture is worth a thousand more words than this scene was

this picture is worth a thousand more words than this scene was

See look how cute this shit is, the whole line is super-androgynous. I love it:

We then pump up our Reebok Pumps and gallop back to Ohio, where Mercedes is punching Marley in the gut to teach her how to sing louder and telling everybody that they suck.

yup we are definitely getting together later for some maraca-as-dildo play

yup we are definitely getting together later for some maraca-as-dildo play

Then they do “Superstitious.” It’s an ace performance, full of solid Mercedes/Blaine vocals but also full of actual fun, from Mercedes treating Kurt to his signature dance move to everybody’s super-cute shoes and overall exuberance for life.

I wish this scene was lesbian-inclusive. Everyone’s super-excited about singing and jumping up and down and outfits. At the end of this number, Ryder is so excited that he uses the handlebars on Artie’s wheelchair to vault himself into the air like it’s the motherfucking pole vault.

cue junior mints dropping from the ceiling

cue junior mints dropping from the ceiling

Back in the hallowed hallways, Mike and Mercedes corner New Puck to give him an offer he can’t refuse.

doing a mattress commercial is practically a rite of passage for young musicians in ohio

doing a mattress commercial is practically a rite of passage for young musicians in ohio

Mike Chang and Mercedes tell New Puck that he’s Glee Club’s secret weapon because he’s such a fantastic dancer. But New Puck says that he’s only a sophomore! Yeah sure he looks 20, his girlfriend looks 24, Mike Chang looks 31 and Mercedes looks 27, but New Puck’s got like five more Sectional Regional Competition Game Shows Of Supreme Danceittude to go before this show kicks itself to the curb!

Good news: Kurt’s Dad is indeed okay! They exposit about the surgery and how he changed his diet and then the doctor says that Burt’s “in remission” and has the prostate of a 20-year-old! Kurt’s so happy. Burt and Kurt are always so cute and full of love.

group hug

group hug

Now that he’s in remission, will Burt continue selling meth with Jesse Pinkman? Maybe that’s the big cliffhanger!

Back in the Glee Room, Kurt wants to celebrate Burt’s second chance (actually it’s a third chance, since Glee loves to almost-kill Burt) by wearing orange pants and performing a song they used to sing in the car that always made Mini-Kurt smile. Kurt is joined onstage by The Skinny Girls of Glee.

The opening chords open and I’m transported back to my orthodonist’s office in ’93, listening to light rock. I mean honestly yes, I have this song on my iTunes and everything Stevie Wonder does is wonderful, but also it’s like a light rock radio staple. I hear it and I think “how did I end up in an elevator?”

and i didn't even rip my pants!

and i didn’t even rip my pants!

Back in New York City, Kate Hudson is really bitchy to Rachel, and it’s too stupid for me to even talk to you about it, honest.

and i want my bra back, berry.

and i want my bra back, berry.

Over the river and through the rainforest, back to Glee Club we go, ’cause Mike Chang knows the way, for New Puck to sway and dance around the roooom! It was pretty awesome.

He you know what I found on YouTube during this number? Jacob Artist doing modern dance to “Hide and Seek,” aka A Love Song to Marissa Cooper. Kid is talented:

Mike says he wishes Mercedes were here to see New Puck’s Moment in the Sun but obviously Mercedes is in the auditorium, wearing this horrible shirt situation and having a heated phone conversation with her producer.

excuse me i thought we agreed that "bust the windows out your car" would not be going on the final product

excuse me i thought we agreed that “bust your windows” would not be going on the final album

Apparently, Mercedes was shooting a Celene-Dion-in-a-perfume-commercial-style album cover and the producer wanted her to reveal her shoulders or elbows or lean in for some extra cleavage or something, to which Mercedes was like, Hell-to-the-No.

this looks like a soap commercial

they really pulled out the big bucks for this shoot

Kurt and Mike Chang are horrified by this horrifying news. She says the producer volunteered to just scratch her picture altogether and use Milli Vanilli, but obviously Miss Jones is not having any of that bullshit.

Mercedes: “I’m gonna be dealing with this the rest of my career. Everyone is gonna want me to look like Beyonce, and no one is gonna be satisfied with me, Mercedes Jones.”

This is a valid and interesting point to explore! I’d love to have a storyline digging into the horrible hegemonic racist sizeist beauty standards of the recording industry! But in this case, the producer asked her to take off her fucking shawl, not starve herself or get completely naked with Marc Jacobs on the cover of Vanity Fair. Selling albums does involve a little sexiness, and everybody getting into the industry knows that. Why can’t this show just MAKE SENSE. It’s literally not one ounce harder to make this storyline work than it is to make it stupid, yet they went with stupid. Sometimes I feel like I spend more time on the recaps than they spend on the script. I know I sound really annoyed during this recap, I CAN’T HELP IT. (For the record, I sense equivalent if not greater degrees of frustration emanating from my favorite Glee recapper, Demian at TWOP.)

you know what they say - first they ask you to reveal your elbows, and then they want you to reveal your wrists, and then you're pregnant!

you know what they say – first they ask you to reveal your elbows, and then they want you to reveal your wrists, and then you’re pregnant!

Kurt’s like, omg, you’re not considering revealing your shoulder are you? And she’s like, I don’t even know, I better go talk to my mom “about this hot mess.” Also when did Glee become so oddly prudish about so many things? It’s progressive one minute, and sort of shockingly conservative the next. We’ve already had three sex-worker-shaming storylines and none of the kids have even turned 19 yet.

next week on glee

next week on glee

Luckily for Artie, Fake Quinn the Able-Bodied Ambassador does not need to understand or know how it feels to be in a wheelchair in order to tell him how to live his life! Not only that, but she’s so prepared to school his mother on her alleged insecurities about sending her son off to an enormous and not-very-handicap-accessible city that she will track his mother down and show up at her house in order to do so!

oh hello, we were just talking about "loving annabelle"

oh hello, we were just talking about “loving annabelle”

Of course, Fake Quinn discovers that it’s not Artie’s Mom putting the breaks on Fake Tisch, it’s Artie. Artie says he’s afraid to leave his Mom and his sheltered world but Mom tells him it’s okay and he’ll be fine because it was his idea to build a ramp. Also, New York City is 500x c0oler than Lima, he’s been there before, and he’ll have “copious amounts of kick-ass fun” in New York City, and I know that because that’s what I said I was gonna do in New York City when I wrote my very first MySpace profile.

wait a minute is this even the right set for my house

wait a minute is this even the right set for my house

Also! Artie’s Mom is John Locke’s girlfriend, Helen from LOST! I think this means that John Locke is Artie’s Dad.


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Riese is the 39-year-old Co-Founder and CEO of as well as an award-winning writer, blogger, fictionist, copywriter, video-maker and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and then headed West. Her work has appeared in nine books including "The Bigger the Better The Tighter The Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image & Other Hazards Of Being Female," 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. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

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  1. I just have to say that I laugh out loud every time there’s a caption about Junior Mints and I have no idea why I think it’s so funny.

    Also, Jacob Artist really is a heck of a dancer.

    Also, they can’t win regionals, it’s the end of the season. There’s nowhere else to go if they win regionals. They ran out of school year. I have no idea what’s going on with that.

  2. if nothing else, this show has an outstanding ability to make Lea Michele have chemistry with every female she has scenes with. Rachel Berry/Penny Lane, I ship it.

  3. It’s a riot that even Darren Criss acknowledges Glee’s failure to be entertaining while filming the actual episodes.

    Nothing makes sense on this show anymore, continuity isn’t even a concept to the writers at this point.

  4. Riese, your continued obsession with junior mints (are they just small mints?) is the only reason I still read these recaps.
    I hope one day love wins out and you get gay-straight-mint-married. Like Klaine, but fresher!

  5. What made Mercedes story even dumber is they did it a few episodes ago with Rachel.

    Both were faced with the issue of showing more skin for their career. Rachel thought was actually something to ponder.

    I don’t get how them asking her to show cleavage meant they didn’t want her just her voice?

    • yeah i thought rachel’s actually made sense — because it was a specific and honestly realistic situation, that she’d be asked to strip for a crappy student film. and of course no, you save your nudity for an actual film where you’re getting paid and it’s helping your career. it’s just smart business. but mercedes thing didn’t make sense, at all! not one element of it made sense. i honestly think it’s possible that whole subplot just existed to intro her singing “higher ground.”

  6. Does anyone else think Kurt looks like an old man without his dentures when he starts singing? Where do his teeth go? And furthermore, why did Mercedes become Rachel Berry as soon as she took her jacket off?

  7. I wonder if this “Mercedes shoulders dilemma” is some sort of backhanded way of addressing the online criticism that they often dress all the girls in the same sleeveless dress but give Mercedes and Unique dresses with sleeves that cover shoulders and upper arms?

    I think half the story lines that don’t make any sense are just the writers way of getting digs in at their critics at the expense of the show itself.

  8. thanks for a lovely recap, riese. really excellent captions too.

    i had actually never noticed that mercedes’ shoulders never had been shown before until they did. and of course it was smokin’ hot. which is not the case for that extremely unfortunate shirt she was wearing in the scene with her talking to her producer.

    i like kate hudson better as a snarling writhing all-abs monster.

    GAHHH all episode i was wondering what happened to katie!!! i know– shame on me for ever getting sucked into a plotline.

    actually, shame on me for watching when i swore i wouldn’t anymore. i got stuck at a connecting airport overnight when a flight got cancelled. i had nothing better to do. (excuses fuel co-dependency).

  9. last episode expectations: quinn goes to new york to see santana, but her feelings for rachel are brought back to the surface because she walks in on a dance class with the uber chemistry between penny lane/berry.
    last episode reality: entire cast gets sent back in time to the jurassic period and they fight for survival hunger games style

    … because Glee.

  10. I literally came here just to share my feelings because while watching this episode I thought, man that producer dude looks familiar. A quick imdb search told me, HOLY CRAP IT’S PROTO ZOA FROM ZENON!!!
    Sorry, that just made me more excited than a 26 year old should ever get about anything related to Glee or a Disney movie from 1999.

    • Dude!

      Finally! Someone else who recognizes Katey Segal from Married with Children! And also the voice of that alien in Futurama. :)

      If there’s no Quinn and/or Santana with Rachel nothing is worth watching really. :)

  11. #GleeActuallyHatesGirls because all of the guys on the show who can dance are given their holy moments of showing off their skills, while the rest of the girls sway in the background except for Brittany who is lucky to appear in half the episodes anymore.

    I’m just still royally pissed off that Harry, Jacob,Kevin, Darren and even Chord are worshipped for their ability to dance, but Dianna never got the chance to demonstrate her dancing abilities except in group/background shots. UGH.

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