Welcome, everyone, to the final season of Glee, the first reality competition in history that seeks to find out what happens when its audience, rather than its contestants, are thrust to the edges of their sanity. Riese and I will be co-recapping season six, alternating from week-to-week, because remember in Interstellar when — SPOILER ALERT! — Matt Damon became an axe murdering sociopath after being stuck on that ice planet by himself for so long? That’s why. Riese’s recap of “Homecoming” is right here, so click on over when you’re finished with this one.
Here’s what you missed on Glee:
Do you want to be on Broadway?
Come on, let’s go this way
We’re going to New York
Through this magic port
You’ll be the best some day!
You used to be a no one
But now you’re not
You can probably touch the sky!
Do you want to be on Broadway?
You’re gonna be the best on Broadway.
Do you want a TV pilot?
Kick your childhood dreams right in the balls
Tell your boss you’ve got the stomach flu
Screw who you’ve got to screw
To do something banal
(Hang in there, Fabray!)
Sure, you will be lonely
But you’re in full bloom,
Trash your ambitions from junior high—
(Tic-Tock, Tic-Tock, Tic-Tock, Tic-Tock, Tic-Tock)
It’s a new day in Los Angeles, California, where Rachel Berry is sitting in her trailer on the set of That’s So Rachel while her agent reads reviews of the pilot of her TV show. They are not good. So not good that Dean Pelton drops by to tell Rachel her show is just super cancelled and that, as a millionaire white guy, he will be leaving to run another network, but she, a lady-person, will never work in this town again.
Dean Pelton: We have offended literally every minority and special interest group on this planet, and since you’re the face of the thing, blame rests squarely on your beautiful shoulders.
Rachel: Is this some kind of thinly veiled meta commentary where I’m Ryan Murphy and you’re the internet?
Dean Pelton: Probably, but not as meta as the “Post-Modern Gay” you’re going to meet real soon. Anyway, sorry your life is ruined. Toodles!
Rachel sadly rides away on a sad golf cart sadly singing Alanis Morissette‘s “Uninvited.” She arrives back in sad Lima and is met with the sad news that her dads are divorcing. Also her childhood home is sadly already on the sad market. “It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything,” her dad says, which is a fine Fight Club quote, but I think a better Tyler Durden pep talk would have been: “You’re not your job. You’re not how much money you have in the bank. You’re not the car you drive. You’re not the contents of your wallet. You’re not your fucking khakis. You’re the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world.”
Probably they’re saving that for Sue’s series finale monologue.
Blaine also has returned to Lima because he and Kurt broke up and so he slid into a bitter depression, flunked out of NYADA, and decided to come back to Ohio and coach the Warblers. “Coach the Warblers?!” Rachel says when she meets him for coffee. “Don’t you need like a college degree for that?!” Blaine laughs in her face because there are no laws in Lima, silly-billy. You can gyrate on your students here while singing about date rape. You can kidnap babies. You can marry yourself. You can sell pot brownies at a school bake sale. Even the natural laws of the universe don’t apply to Lima. Quinn, I think you will remember, used her willpower to heal her paralyzed legs so she could dance at prom. College degree. Berry, please.
Blaine and Rachel agree to stick together from here on out and turn their lemons into lemonade. It’s a nice sentiment, but I’m pretty sure what Rachel needs right now is for someone to turn some potatoes into vodka. They sing “Suddenly Seymour,” which is a life-affirming ballad from Little Shop of Horrors about how everything is going to be okay if you feed the assholes in your life to a man-eating plant.
And now that the clunky exposition is out of the way, we can get to the glory of exposition as masterfully performed by Jane Lynch.
America, Ohio’s winningest cheerleading coach is now Ohio’s winningest principal. Test scores are up. Body Mass Indexes are down. How’d I do it? The Sue Sylvester Three-Point Plan. One: a complete dietary overhaul — protein shakes and raw kale. Number two: Random mandatory weigh-ins and body-shaming. Three: Occasionally releasing hounds. My crowning achievement? Getting rid of that glee club.
And indeed she has run off all the New New Directions, shipped Will to Carmel High where Vocal Adrenaline lives, and turned the choir room into the Becky Jackson Memorial Computer Lab. Rachel sees all this and is, of course, appalled. I see it and feel that pang of guilt I always get when I realize I am accidentally rooting for like for the original Cylon on Caprica or Mona on Pretty Little Liars or Loki in The Avengers or the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park. I know Rachel is the Jeff Goldblum of this remarkable social experiment gone awry, but I just love T-Rexes, man. I don’t want Sue to eat off Rachel’s face, but maybe Will Schuester’s face, though.
In New York, Kurt walks us through what happened to him in the off-season. For NYADA’s third-year work study program, students are encouraged to get out of New York and do art things. He’s going to be directing a Real Housewives stage play at the retirement home where he did Peter Pan, and after taking some time off from dudes (“out of respect for Blaine”), he has decided to put himself out there by going speed dating.
It’s exactly what you’d imagine speed dating in Brooklyn to be like. There’s: an accountant, a server at a mediterranean-themed vegan restaurant for pets, a psychic, a guy who does pirate reenactments as a career. I have met all these people in New York and I have only been living here a year. If there was a guy who showed up on one of those 1870s-style high wheel bikes sporting a handlebar mustache and talking about how his signature cocktail includes chamomile foam, it would be pretty much everything you need to know about Williamsburg. But it doesn’t take the psychic long to figure out that Kurt is not over Blaine, which is true, obviously, but also: I am so sure any gay man on Tindr anywhere on earth is going to swipe past Chris Colfer‘s face.