Hello and welcome to the second recap of the sixth season of everybody’s favorite claymation movie-musical high-stakes gameshow horror thriller show, Glee. I hope you enjoyed Heather Hogan’s recap of Episode 601! Heather, I hope you also enjoyed Episode 601. I hope you enjoyed having “Let It Go” in your half of the recap. I got a little nervous near the end that there was gonna be a little bit of “Let It Go” in my half, and then I realized that 601 and 602 were totally different episodes, not just one monster episode! I still haven’t seen Frozen, is the thing.
It looks like Glee is getting back on track towards something chewable or at least digestible. I wouldn’t ask for seconds (or for another season), but it’s fine enough, it’ll do for lunch today and maybe lunch tomorrow. The McKinley Glee Club alums are back and they are like macaroni and cheese in that it’s not necessarily good for you but it’s pretty hard for even an amateur chef to fuck up. (It’s not impossible, however.) They’re back and that’s delightful and unimpeachable, and their return served to wipe our collective memory of when they were here every week but the show sucked anyway. LET’S BEGIN!
We open in the hallowed halls of Dalton Academy For Dudes, where Gay Blaine is sporting plaid-on-plaid and monologuing about how the identically-adorned ripe young homos of Dapper Dalton Happy Hour High breathed life into his bummed-out bones by embracing him as their musical leader shortly after Blaine’s devastating breakup with Kurt “Let’s Have a Kiki” Hummel.
After briefly experimenting with Natural Hair and Naked Necks, Blaine recalls how the never-changing familiarity of Dalton is what finally re-infused his life with buckets of joy. Yet no sooner has he noted his affection for patriarchal monotony when a pretty girl shows up to threaten all of that, forever. Meet Jane:
I’m gonna tell you a little bit about the actors we’re meeting for the first time this season because I like knowing this stuff and maybe you do, too! So, Jane is played by Samantha Marie Ware. Here’s Samantha’s twitter and her instagram. Ware had only been acting for two years and was appearing in the Las Vegas production of “The Lion King” when she landed a spot as Nabulungi in “The Book of Mormon”‘s first National tour, which put her on the Broadway radar from which Glee seems to have snatched most of its newbies this season.
So, back to the show: Jane’s smart ‘n savvy parents extracted her from her low-ranking arts-lacking Ohio school and got her into Dalton, and now she’d like to join the Warblers. This horrifies Blaine ’cause his Sectional Regional National Worldwide Quarterly Semifinals Plan was, basically, Naked Boys Singing.
We then change into some light joggers and take a quick sprint over to McKinley High School For Wayward Homos, where Rachel’s prancing about the hallways announcing the return of Glee Club while Master Sue Syvlester informs the proletariat that it’s homecoming week.
Alas, Rachel’s forlorn to see that only rectum-related jokes have signed up to audition for her club. Then Becky hurls a slushie at her face.
Later that fine day, I think, the Prodigal Sundresses have gathered at Mr. Schuster’s Den of Dinner Delights for Rachel to discuss the refreshingly cold feeling of corn syrup on her skin and getting back to her roots as a loser.
Schuster wants to make some Show Choir Competition ground rules, like that they can’t steal each other’s set lists or hire the same cheer coach, but then Blaine shows up and wants advice on what to do about the Estrogen Party trying to edge her way into his Testosterone Team. They suggest that Blaine lets her on to the Warblers. Seriously though: it doesn’t actually make sense that a girl would get in to an all-boys school, but considering that that has already happened, why would she be barred from said school’s extracurricular activities?
We then remove our clothing, squeeze our torsos into second-hand binders and compression bras, slip into some slacks, slide on some shiny shoes and shimmy on over to Dalton Academy for Dolts Who Don’t Realize Girls Are Better Than Boys. “What’s next, cat and dog Warblers?” asks an outraged Warbler, regarding letting Jane onto the team. Ah yes, ye olde slippery slope.
Unfortunately nobody’s asking the most important question of all: “What’s next, THE MINI-WARBLER?” to which I’d hope somebody would reply, “OBVIOUSLY.” The Gay Warblers are divided and cannot stand:
Gay Warbler: “We can’t have a girl Warbler! Imagine the sexual tension. We’d never get anything done.”
Gay Blaine: “But uh, aren’t most of you guys gay?”
Gay Warbler: “How dare you?!”
Gay Warbler #2: I have a girlfriend!
Gay Warbler #3: We all have girlfriends!
Gay Blaine: Really?
Gay Warblers #3-30: Really!
Blaine suggests they aim for the right side of history and let the girl in. Alas, the boys are still hung up on furry mammals/rodents possibly joining the Warblers which, let’s be real, wouldn’t be the worst idea ever.
The Head Warbler points out that Jane might suck. So, why not just let her sing first to see if they can reject her on a talent basis without having to change any of their weird laws.
Cut to The Becky Jackson Celebration Computer Lab, where Rachel and Kurt are sparring over how to organize sheet music and if “co-chair” is the right label for Kurt’s involvement in this symphonious disaster.
Regardless, nobody wants to join their stinkin’ club.
Kurt: McKinley has changed. Sue has got these kids thinking that the arts don’t even exist. We have got to tell them that Glee still exists.
Before Kurt and his t-shirt venture into the hallways to remind the children that this show is still on, Rachel hears a voice drifting through the speakers, like when Moses saw the burning bush, and she chases this disembodied talent into the boys locker room…
…but once there, she cannot find the man behind the music. It’s basically like this:
A short-ish period of time later, Kurt’s apologizing for something and Rachel’s grinning ’cause she realized Kurt was right, that the children of McKinley are READY to FEEL THE MUSIC, they just need to be bullied into joining! But how will we show the light to these new naive children, Rachel Berry? WELL, WE’LL BRING THE OLD GANG BACK!?!!!
The Old Gang kinda accidentally left Tina to park the rental car and then forgot she existed, though. But don’t worry she found her way to The April Rhodes Memorial Pavillion:
Kurt and Rachel are PUMPED!
Snapback to the Glee Room, where Kurt and Rachel are reminding the children that Glee Club changed all their lives forever and ever and even. Also, although Rachel KNOWS THEY HAVE LIVES OR WHATEVER, it’d be real cool if they could refrain from informing us what those lives consist of and stick around for like ten or so more episodes, ’cause otherwise they’ll lose Glee Club, and Glee Club’s the best club to have ever clubbed. It’s where everybody found their true selves!
Kurt says they’ve gotta give McKinley “a little taste of what they’ve been missing” by re-claiming the hallway as a safe space for impromptu musical performances.
Using the device of Artie’s storyboarding assignment as a gateway to the sketches-come-to-life effect employed by the 1985 music video for A-ha’s “Take On Me,” we then segue into a classically hokey Glee ensemble number that delivers all we’ve come to expect from such things and more.
Here’s the original:
It’s a slap-bracelet-style symphony about wanting to turn that love you picture into the love you get, and in this case, the love they’re picturing is a new, ripe crop of young talents eager for their moment on the cafeteria table.
You wanna bump hips with cheerleaders? You want to rock out with your geek out? Join us, we’re the allegedly unpopular people singing the popular songs! Every day can be like a Gay-Straight Alliance Body Acceptance Club hosted at The Limited Too! Free lemonade for everybody!
Back in the Hallowed Hallways of McKinley High School, we meet Roderick:
Roderick is played by Noah Guthrie, who apparently got famous when his cover of “Sexy and I Know It” on YouTube went viral, landing him guest spots on Today and Dancing With The Stars. Of his invitation to audition for Glee, Guthrie recalls, “They were trying to cast the new season, and I guess they had seen some of my videos and heard my music, and they needed somebody who was kind of husky but also had a bluesy tone to their voice.”
Rachel Berry picks up on the scent of a dork from a mile away, and attempts to come between him and his headphones with sweet-talk about joining Glee. Puck tells Rachel she scared him off and should’ve just given him a hand job and called it a day. Just kidding the hand job was my idea. Anyhow, Roderick would rather die alone than join their stupid club, obviously.
Cut back to Warblerville, where Blaine’s telling Jane that The Warblers would like to see her audition before proceeding with the rule-changing conversation. Jane stands up for herself without resorting to irrational melodrama or rolling right over and letting the man walk through, like Glee heroines usually do. Jane’s just speaking the truth:
Jane: Let me get this straight. I have to go in there and perform for The Warblers just to make sure I’m good enough to warrant them taking a closer look at their already sexist and discriminatory admissions policies?
Blaine says that The Warblers have been around since The War of 1812 and change is hard so it’d be cool if she could swallow her pride and audition and to that end, he brings her to her new vocal coach: Rachel Barbara Berry!
Jane: Why are you helping me?
Rachel: Oh, well, look, we might be mortal show choir enemies but I’m a woman before all that, and I figure you’re fighting this fight for all of us girls.
Yes, all of us girls desperate to attend all-boys schools! This is probably how Sarah Lawrence went co-ed.
Rachel notes that Jane’s been listening to a lot of Janelle Monae on that little phonepiece of hers and therefore should def do “Tightrope” for her big audition, and also should command the audience with her body language and make eye contact, etc.
Meanwhile, Kurt’s infiltrated the boys locker room / weight lounge area / captain’s deck to Go Down On Guys For Glee I MEAN to convince Post-Modern Gay Football Player Spencer Porter to join Kurt Hummel’s Hall & Oates Appreciation Club For Male Lesbians.
But Spencer sees through Kurt’s Big Gay Plan.
Spencer: I know when you were in high school, being gay was how you primarily identified yourself, but that’s not my thing.
Kurt: Don’t you think it’s everyone else’s thing?
Spencer: When I told people I was gay, only two people had a problem with it. Coach Beiste kicked them off the team.
Kurt: Look, you’re naive if you don’t think you’re standing on our shoulders. Look, you owe Glee Club.
Spencer: Please, look, I owe Modern Family. Listen, when Coach Beiste kicked those guys off the football team, they cornered me by my car, got all up in my face. One of them ended the day wuth his jaw wired shut, and the other, I don’t think he ever stopped running. I can’t stand Gaga, I’ve never seen Newsies and I don’t write Archie fan fiction where Archie and Jughead are hot for each other. Just because you and I happen to be born in the 10% of the population who would choose Andrew Garfield over Emma Stone doesn’t mean we have anything else in common, so I’m not saying no to your Glee Club because it’s gay or straight, I’m saying no because it sucks. I’m sorry, man.
Firstly; that 10% number comes from the Kinsey Report, which used volunteer subjects in the ’50s and therefore was never considered an accurate sample size from which to draw conclusions about the entire population. So Post-Modern Gay is woefully uneducated in all areas of homosexual life, and, sadly, so are the writers of this show.
Is Spencer Porter:
A) A satiric look at how Gay Kids These Days have no clue how recently they would’ve been bullied out of their own skins and how hard older generations fought for their comfort
B) Glee patting itself on the back.
It’s hard to say.
We then ride our tricycles over To The Warbler Castle, where Jane is KILLING IT with “Tightrope.” If anybody can demolish a gendered situation in a way that favors the ladies, it’s Janelle Monae.
It’s bouncy energy let loose and swung back in, all elbows and neckties. Some Warblers are drawn right in while others resist the urge but it’s hard, because this girl is GOOD. She is really, really, really good.
We then smash our feet into our pointe shoes and piourette over to today’s meeting of The McKinley High School’s Tea Party Patriot Club!
Here, Private Army Air Force Marine General Puck, God Squad Goddess / Celibacy Club Co-Chair Quinn Fabray, Saving-Herself-for-Jesus Mercedes Jones, Tina Cohen-Chang and Is In Every Scene To Fuck With Our Heads Sam Evans have showed up to inspire some insufferable adolescents to come on down to funky town.
Puck suggests the Tea Partiers give up their three-cornered hats and stop being losers, but the head tightwad informs Puck and Pals that they’re not losers! In fact, this is McKinley’s most popular club!
Tina flips out to hear that bigotry is having a revival at McKinley and wails WHAT IS HAPPENING TO AMERICA??? The head butthole is eager to describe what’s wrong with Barack Hussein Obama’s America, to which Mercedes says OH HELL TO THE NO.
Mercedes: We don’t need you ignorant, backwards, lily-white, gay-hating, Obama-bashing clubbers anyway!
Then, for this episode’s best moment:
Sam: And you know what. Quinn once had sex with a Latina Lesbian. Oooh!!! Learned that in Glee Club.
Quinn cracks up as Sam pushes her and her muffins out of the room.
We then take a tram trolleymobile all the way back to Dalton, where The Warbler Council has voted against including Jane even though Jane is awesome. Apparently they want to maintain a brotherhood where they can make as many racist and misogynist jokes as they want without fearing recourse, like the Glee Writer’s Room.
Blaine assures Jane that he’ll threaten to resign unless they let her in, but Jane’s not even sure she wants to be in a club that doesn’t want her in their club.
Blaine: Yeah, because this is wrong. This is wrong. And sometimes, if you wanna make change, you got to make a little noise. I can fix this. I just need a little time.
Back at McKinley, Santana’s heading out to the football field with her lovers in tow, kindly reminding them that “sex sells.” I guess they’re gonna seduce these virile young men into their lair of song and then surprise them with a cover of “Hey Soul Sister.” It’s every adolescent male’s #1 dream.
For today’s sales lesson, the Sexy Sirens of Glee will be performing Ariana Grande’s “Problem,” which’s full of opportunities for our aggressively coy Pied Piperettes to engage in genitalia-centric hip grinding, short skirts that pop and lock and flirty hair flips and eye rolls.
It’s a very important moment for Queer Visibility because The Holy Trinity is now connected biblically as all Holy Trinities should be forever and ever Amen.
My girlfriend felt awkward regarding Naya singing Big Sean’s new girlfriend’s hit single. Ariana’s probs jealous because she didn’t have lesbian cheerleaders in her version.
We quickly learn that Fake Quinn’s also returned for Season Six, aka Season SEX. Turns out that Artie dropped Fake Quinn like a hot potato when he skipped off to get collegiate and Fake Quinn avoided the Great Glee Club Member Expunging of 2014 ’cause Sue knows a star when she sees one, “unlike Rachel Berry, who never even knew our names.”
Brittany: “I know your name. It’s Quinn!”
Quinn: “I’m Quinn.”
But there are two Cheerios in Kitty’s litter that are, in fact, interested in synchronized singing — meet Madison and Mason McCarthy!
Madison is played by Laura Dreyfuss (here’s her instagram), a Broadway girl who appeared in Once and Hair.
Singer-songwriter Billy Lewis, Jr plays Mason. Here’s his instagram. Billy was in the national touring companies of Hair, Spring Awakening (Lea Michelle played the lead female role in that show’s original cast) and Queen’s “We Will Rock You.”
So, back to the show: Mason and Madison want to audition together, which Quinn approves, citing her own tri-dition with Brittany and Santana. Much like The Holy Trinity, however, it turns out that this pair has some sexual tension:
Fake Quinn: Of course the incest twins want in. Let’s go, ladies. We have to explain to these two again why Flowers In The Attic is not a love story to aspire to.
Back in the Glee Room, aka The Gloom, Brittany is telling Kurt that he needs to burn all his clothes and tell Blaine that he’s going to dress like a real person now and then Blaine will take him back. But before Kurt can really dig in to this non-starter of a reunion plan, they hear it again. You know, IT. THE VOICE. THE MALE VOICE CAREENING THROUGH THE AIR VENTS LIKE A SOFT MELODY ON A SPRING DAY IN A YEAST-I-STAT COMMERCIAL.
Rachel and the Scooby gang chase this enchanting voice all through the school before landing themselves in the library and the source of this voice!
Oops! Wrong show. Here, it’s Roderick:
Initially, Roderick sees a physically attractive band of adults approaching him and assumes they’re gonna kick his ass. They insist that they’re coming in peace, but the pitch for Glee Club still barely lands: people already beat him up and Sue already calls him White Precious. Why make matters worse? He just wants to be invisible, anyhow. That’s how I feel because of street harassment! We have so much in common. Regardles, Rachel insists that Glee Club is a place “where misfits fit in.”
Quinn: “Look at us, we’re all so different, and yet there’s nothing that we wouldn’t do for each other. We’re all just a phone call away, and that’s because we all took a chance on Glee Club. And that’s something that you deserve as well.”
Probs she could’ve just gone with “and I had sex with a Latina Lesbian,” and he would’ve sprung for it, but whatever. He agrees to audition and basically, I guess, be Glee Club.
Back in Sue’s office, Sue is telling her journal about how miserable she is now that her white whale has returned and she must again fight the raging fury of Glee Club. In celebration, she’s been drinking motor oil, Bloody Mary Mix and bat guano in hopes of bleeding out and dying.
Sue decides to go with an old strategy by recruiting the Post-Modern Gay Football Player to infiltrate Glee Club. Unfortunately, he refuses her offer of a Tom Brady fleshlight.
Post-Modern Gay says he’s not for sale, and regardless, she’ll need better items if she’s gonna convince him to do her bidding. Probably he wants a scissoring sweatshirt.
We then take a romantic gondola ride over the river and through the woods down to The April Rhodes Memorial Pavillion, where Roderick is auditioning for Glee Club with “Mustang Sally.” He soon inspires backup from The Scissoring Sisters!
IT’S A HIT! HE’S IN! EVERYTHING IS BEAUTIFUL!
Some period of time later, Sue Sylvester announces that it’s Homecoming Day and introduces her Grand Marshal Becky Jackson, who’s gonna tase anybody who’s not wearing school colors. “Every student must bring two books to burn at the bonfire,” says Becky. I laugh.
Sue wrestles Becky off the microphone while Rachel sits sadly in the auditorium… thinking about Mr. Schue. Do they have Mr. Schue dummy text that they just stick in whenever they don’t know what to do next in a script? “Let’s have a kid talk about how much Mr. Schue changed their lives!”
Then, Kurt and Rachel and Roderick are discussing the location of their first rehearsal and Rachel has just gotten around to mentioning that this year’s roster includes TWO new recruits, not just one, when Blaine storms in. Blaine yells that they agreed not to poach anybody, so what’s the deal? You guessed it: Jane’s the latest student to take advantage of the incredible ease of transferring from Dalton to McKinley.
Kurt: Blaine, you have a full team and G-d knows how many other students at Dalton who would like to join —
Blaine: Don’t act all cool and loving about this Kurt, I’m sure you’re very happy about all this. I wouldn’t be surprised if you made this all happen after seeing me with Dave.
It’s a deep and uncalled-for dig, but there it is.
Blaine says that this whole “friendly competition” thing is over! Roderick is like, “oh shit, dramz.”
Kurt and Rachel trudge into the Glee Room for their first rehersal, which appears to have a staff to student ratio of about 5:1. Just kidding, 2.5:1! (#gleemath)
Santana: “As per usual, my undeniable sexual magnetism has worked yet again. This is Mason and Madison McCarthy.”
Santana has gotten the twins on board, and they’re ready to rumble:
Mason: Hey gang. We’re super pumped there’s a Glee Club again. Now, I know what you’re thinking, they can obviously log roll and kick toss, but can they sing? Well, not to toot our own horns—
Madison: TOOT! But we’ve worn karaoke night at the Wakapaneta Cheer Camp every summer since we were three. It’s in our blood. Our parents met while touring with the inspirational world famous singing group Up With People.
Santana: Oh no, no no no, I think I’ve made a mistake.
Rachel says Madison and Mason will have to submit to a rigorous audition process, to which Tina points out that Sugar Motta got in, so let’s be real and just let them in. Everybody piles on for a big group hug, for which Naya smashes on her best laundry-detergent-commercial grin, and just when I’m about to throw up in my mouth, Sam whips out his guitar and jumps on the back of a golf cart for this evening’s closing number!
“Home” delivers family-dining Glee with aplomb, rolling us into an optimistic acoustic songscape where all hallways lead to a room full of best friends singing in vaguely matching colors. Much to our collective relief, The New New Directions, unlike Marley McSnoozerton and the Two Snoozers, fit easily into the well-worn format of their predecessors.
We spin between school auditorium/hallway scenes and that evening’s big bonfire for homecoming, where Santana and Brittany get some vaguely sexual screen time as they skip hand-in-hand across the field, singing “man oh man you’re my best friend, I scream it to the nothingness,” then rubbing their gay shark foreheads together for “there ain’t nothing that I need.”
The couplet is true enough: now that they’re home, even Sue’s pyrotechnics fail to burn brighter than their amnesiac love for each other.
Of course we’re unsurprised when the shot careens into the locker room to discover Post-Modern Gay Spencer’s singing along while conducting a one-way staring contest with the Glee sign-up sheet that somehow made its way into the locker room. Fingers crossed he’s gonna turn out to have a thing for nelly bottoms and end up rump-roasting with Kurt by the end of the season!
Speaking of Kurt, Rachel casts a protective glance his way as they stand side-by-side at the bonfire, watching Karofsky sling a beary arm around Blaine as fireworks light up the sky.
Here’s the whole goshdarn thing:
And that’s our show!
Well, and there you have it! Next week on Glee, Santana is gonna propose to Brittany and we’ll bear witness to Glee‘s second attempt at covering transgender issues which undoubtedly will disappoint!