That does it. Sue stands up and punches Geraldo in the mouth. (It’s my favorite part of the episode.)
Sue goes back to McKinley and asks the band to be the soundtrack for her melancholia, and they agree to do so. Carol Burnett arrives, and guess what? She never loved Sue because Sue never loved music. I guess that settles that question (that none of us were actually asking). They decide to make up and try to love each other by performing “The Trolley Song” (because Sue’s parents met on a trolley?). I mean, it’s Carol Burnett and Jane Lynch singing together. They don’t need an excuse. They should be able to do that on broadcast network television whenever they want.
However much Sue hates music, she loves winning and crushing Will Schuester more, so she goes on over to Carmel High and decides to coach Vocal Adrenaline, even though she unleashed wild dogs on them like three weeks ago. She tells them she’s in charge now, and they don’t push back against her like they do against Will, because she doesn’t want to sit in a circle and hold hands and talk about everyone’s feelings; she wants them to do CrossFit from the 80s. And they do, while singing “Far From Over” while she yells at them about what’s hard and not hard.
Sue goes back to McKinley to get into a Battlebot singing competition with Will. They do “Final Countdown” with ’80s costumes and big hair and pyrotechnics and everything. But! Then New Directions bust them and it turns out all the costumes and the band and stuff where only in their minds. Ha! I feel like that could be true for literally every performance this show has ever done. I feel like this whole show is happening inside Sue’s mind at Arkham Asylum for the Criminally Insane.
The B-Story this week is about Rachel finding her way back to New York. First, she hits up NYADA, and all her friends seem pretty convinced there’s no way Carmen Tibideaux is letting her back in, not after the way she left. But then, Carmen does invite her back. But also, Rachel lands the lead in that Richard Simmons musical that Mercedes got her the audition for a couple of episodes ago. What will she do? What will she do? Sam knows exactly what she should do and that is go back to school and get a degree, and he is so used to all the dudes on this show making decisions for Rachel Berry that he is shocked right down to his very marrow when she pushes back and says she’s gonna do what she wants to do.
So of course he goes to Will, like, “Uh, I told Rachel to do a thing and she won’t, so I guess it’s time for a full penile intervention.” But Will goes, “She’s a big girl; she can make up her own mind about things.” And both mine and Sam’s eyeballs pop right out of our heads.
The Warbler/New Directions merger isn’t smooth, mostly because no one can decide on a uniform. The Warblers aren’t giving up their signature look, and the New Directions are not wearing those damn blue blazers. So they compromise! They decide to wear red blazers! They actually look really good and not at all like they’re staging an American Revolution reenactment, which is what I thought would be the case when I heard about it. Their first task as a united, uniformed team is to perform Darren Criss’ “Rise.” It’s the first time a song by a cast member has been performed on Glee, and it’s great! It’s peppy and inspiring! I’d put it on a workout mix! Or in a Faberry fan video! And anyway, I’m going to assume this song is about Fawkes the Phoenix because of Darren Criss’ Starkid roots.
New New New New Directions is gonna rise above the ashes, both literal and metaphorical, and win Sectionals, is what they sing.
Next week: Jesse St. James returns to tell Rachel what to do with her life.