Glee Episodes 518 and 519 Recap: You Need a Back Up Plan for Teaching Old Dogs New Tricks

Episode 519: Old Dogs, New Tricks, Good Bitches, Bad Songs

Alright on to the nineteenth recap of the fifth season of Glee, Old Dog, New Tricks; an episode that was written by Chris Colfer and aired on May 6th, the day before my 26th birthday! Was this episode a birthday gift from the Lesbian TV Gods?

No. No it was not.

We open on Kurt who is, as you know doing his best impersonation as Freddy from Scooby Doo. Yet again.

But who is Kurt sitting with?

Is it just me or are the tables really close in this restaurant?

Like I don’t know who’s running the costume department these days but, seriously, move on from the neck tie. He’s gay not a Ken doll.

I've got something hard for you Barbie!

I’ve got a hard surprise, but it’s not for you Barbie!

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Kurt invites his friends to go see a movie or something but they’re all far to busy having their own lives except Santana who is busy dying her hair blonde and starring in My Dreams.

Omg have you guys seen the pictures of the Autostraddle girls at the GLAAD Awards?

Omg have you guys seen the pictures of the Autostraddle girls at the GLAAD Awards?

Just as the group is about to settle into a nice long discussion of How Can Rachel Get Her Good Image Back After Lying and Missing A Performance, Rachel sees a woman stuff a dog into a purse.

Do you even know who Sarah McLachlan is?

Do you even know who Sarah McLachlan is?

Now, I don’t know, maybe that woman’s dog like being in that purse. My girlfriend’s cat exclusively like small confined places and I chronically find her like wedge behind drawers and stuff. But, we’re to assume this dog doesn’t want to be confined to a purse and Rachel give the owner a piece of her mind. It’s settled then, Rachel’s new cause will be animal rights.

Is it just me or does this feel familiar?

Incidentally Buck Cruelty is also my porn name.

Incidentally Buck Cruelty is also my porn name.


Later, at the Spotlight Marching Band Diner, Kurt meets an sweet older lady who wants to hang a sign for the Home For Retired Performers You’ve Never Heard Of’s performance of Peter Pan.

Excuse me but is this where I catch the bus?

Excuse me but is this where I catch the bus?

Kurt is so struck with this random woman’s chutzpah to put on a show featuring adults pretending to be children that he must immediately stop doing any work to sit down and talk with her. Kurt laments that his friends are all too busy for him and never even want to go to Cubby Hole anymore. The woman sympathizes with Kurt saying that most of her friends “can’t hear anymore,” which I take to be a euphemism for “have died.”

As soon as I come up from this BJ I would be happy to take your order

As soon as I come up from this BJ I would be happy to take your order

Suddenly Kurt realizes that he and this woman have been talking for hours without introduction and the two exchange names. The woman turns out to be, you guessed it, a retired broadway star you’ve never heard of: Maggie Banks. You might remember Maggie Banks as the lesbian lover of Helen Lyndon Goff who was written out of Saving Mr. Banks.

This is the most action I've gotten in days!

This is the most action I’ve gotten in days!

Just as the two’s conversation heats up, a couple of guys in white come to cart Maggie back to Xaviar’s Retirement Home For Gifted Elderly Folks. I hate the portrayal of nursing homes or assisted living facilities as places where we restrict older adults to prevent them from having any fun almost as much as I do the depiction of older adults as large children who need carting about. Blech.

These are actually just a couple of bakers I hired

These are actually just a couple of bakers I hired


Elsewhere in the city, Mercedes, Rachel, Sam and Artie head over to a local dog shelter to start planning their big event. The owner of the shelter doesn’t seem to care about Broadway much, but when Rachel says he won’t have to do any work he’s totally in.

Listen I don't know who you hippy freaks are but as long as you don't sing any of that Lady Gaga crap I'm in.

Listen I don’t know who you hippy freaks are but as long as you don’t sing any of that Lady Gaga crap I’m in.

As cute as the pups all are, they get one whiff of Lea Michele’s perfume for Candie’s and start barking like mad. What’s a group of former Glee clubbers to do? Duh! Sing! Fortunately Sam even has his guitar! This is a totally great idea because there is nothing, I mean nothing, that scared, rescued abused dogs love more than loud music.

Smell my armpit! I used Secret today!

Smell my armpit! I used Secret today!

Missing a perfect opportunity to sing Who Let the Dogs Out, the group instead sings Modern English’s classic song about sex-during-nuclear-war-turned-Hershey’s-commercial I’ll Melt With You.

http://youtu.be/8Fl72-YF–A

A two hour sunway ride away in Bushwick, Santana and Rachel discuss Rachel’s new charity project Broadway Bitches. This starts a 50 minute experiment in which Glee attempts to see how many times it can use the phrase “bitches” in one hour. Santana explains that she’s orchestrated a plan to have Rachel photographed wearing a designer dress while walking three dogs. She also is dressed like the most delicious yellow-dress banana of all time.

And you are going to get your very first taste of pussy!

And you are going to get your very first taste of pussy!

As the two are chatting Kurt pops in and asks if he can help out with Rachel’s charity show. Now, as you may remember from last week, we’re doing this thing where Kurt isn’t talented and no one wants him around even though like three weeks ago it was decided that he’s studly and all the other gay boys want him. Whatever.

This is totally gay against gays

This is totally gay against gays

So Kurt can’t be in the show and in his sorrow he heads over to Xaviar’s Retirement Home For Gifted Elderly Folks. He arrives just as they are having a dress rehearsal for Peter Pan. The scene is just one joke on older folks after the next that culminates in the nonchalant death of the women playing Peter.

I drink of my sisters, and I take into myself all the power of Manon!

I drink of my sisters, and I take into myself all the power of Manon!

It is at exactly this moment that it becomes apparent that this entire script was written so that Chris Colfer could play Peter Pan. And he will, but not without an audition first! These folks are desperate for a new Peter, but not so much as so they would cast him without hearing him sing first.

Who? Little old me? Play Peter Pan?

Who? Little old me? Play Peter Pan?

Kurt does his best rendition of Memories and I roll my eyes so hard that I dislodge one of my contact lenses and spend the next five minutes trying to fish it out.

http://youtu.be/2iIL-Tq6_jw


Over in Manhattan, Sam and Artie play video games and hang out with Sam’s new dog that he adopted from the shelter. Mercedes comes home and is furious because she never said Sam could get a dog and clearly he is irresponsible.

I was going to use these heels to stake any vampires that came my way! Now what do you propose I do?

I was going to use these heels to stake any vampires that came my way! Now what do you propose I do?

This, kids, is why you don’t UHaul.

When you live separately from your girlfriend of two weeks you can get a dog and all she can do is tell you it’s a bad idea. If you live with her though, she can actually make you return the puppy. Similarly if you live separately from your girlfriend and she gets  a dog you can play with it without worry. If you live with her that dog will chew every last thing you own.

But we're in love! I've already taken his last name.

But we’re in love! I’ve already taken his last name.


While Mercedes and Sam sort out their dog problems (another great song that missed its opportunity here), Rachel does her faux dog walking situation.

So fun walking all these dogs. Literally nothing could go wrong.

So fun walking all these dogs. Literally nothing could go wrong.

Of course we’ve all seen a romantic comedy before so we know as soon as someone is eating a sandwich that the dogs are going to take off and pull Rachel ass over head.

It's going down/I'm yelling "timber"

It’s going down/I’m yelling “timber”

Also one humps some guy’s leg.

And yet we can't watch two girls have sex on network television

And yet we can’t watch two girls have sex on network television

Back in Bushwick the girls debrief the publicity stunt gone wrong. Santana is pretty unconcerned but Rachel is, as usual, freaking out.

Oh come on Rachel it was good. And your vagina does not smell weird.

Oh come on Rachel it was good. And your vagina does not smell weird.

Kurt comes home and announces his new part to the girls. They are, understandably, pretty unimpressed with his new role. You know, because I would say it’s approximately at the professional level of high school theater. Still, Kurt is pretty bummed when the girls tell him that they can’t miss the show because they’ll be at the charity event that Kurt already knew was that night.

Sorry Kurt, this one has been weird ever since we did it.

Sorry Kurt, this one has been weird ever since we did it.


At one of New York City’s finest dog parks, Sam and Artie set off to train the misbehaving pup. Now, anyone who has ever owned a dog knows it takes basically daily training for months before you have an obedient dog, but we don’t have that kind of time. What we have time for is a musical montage!

Born breech.

Born breech.

While this would be a perfect opportunity for Sam to train his dog to Led Zeppelin’s Black Doghe instead goes for Werewolves of London.

http://youtu.be/KrlVShxwxtc

I actually love Werewolves of London because my best friend from high school used “I saw a Werewolf drinking a pina colada at Trader Vicks and his hair was perfect” as her senior quote and it felt like a big secret only we knew about. I particularly love Werewolves of London because it has no deeper meaning. It’s just about werewolves hanging out in London.

It's called Dog Dancing and all across the nation kids are trying it.

It’s called Dog Dancing and all across the nation kids are trying it.


Over at Xaviar’s Retirement Home For Gifted Elderly Folks Kurt discovers that doing a sub-community theater level performance is not all it’s cracked up to be. Some of the actors even wonder why they decided to do Peter Pan, a show about children refusing to grow up. I agree since many older folks struggle with their adult offspring treating them like children. Perhaps Chicago or Rent would have gotten the Young And Hip point across better.

And these paper trees don't look anything like real trees!

And these paper trees don’t look anything like real trees!

The rehearsal is interrupted when Maggie receives flowers from her daughter, Clara, who cannot attend the show. A nearby nurse immediately informs Kurt that actually Maggie just sends herself flowers. Clara doesn’t visit Maggie anymore and is probably a terrible person we should villainize despite not knowing anything about her circumstances.

The note says "Please accept these flowers as evidence of an overly preachy plot line coming up."

The note says “Please accept these flowers as evidence of an overly preachy plot line coming up.”

Kurt is unable to mind his own business and takes a scooter to god-knows-where to find Clara. He lies his way into her law office and promptly starts telling her how she simply MUST reunite with her mother. Clara explains that her mother was neglectful growing up and that she doesn’t have a good relationship with her.

I don't care about you and I don't care about your songs.

I don’t care about you and I don’t care about your songs.

I have a good relationship with my folks, but I’m on team Clara. I really hate when people on TV make reconciling with abusive or neglecting parents something everyone should strive for. You don’t owe them anything.

You are so fucking self righteous

You are so fucking self righteous


A hour cab ride up to Manhattan, Mercedes comes home to find Sam on the couch with the pup. While he is quick to point out that he’s trained the dog, Mercedes still doesn’t think Sam is smart enough to take care of himself left alone another living thing. Sam is quick to point out that during the second and third season he wasn’t actually a one dimensional cartoon character but a full-fledged person who supported and helped his family while they were homeless.

How do you not remember this? Like before the trouty mouth song, you know?

How do you not remember this? Like before the trouty mouth song, you know?

And I feel like it’s in the middle of this fight about whether or not they can take care of a dog that I realize the problem I’ve been having with this season of Glee is that the characters new “adult” lives are impossible to buy because everyone last one of them has regressed instead of grown over the course of the fourth and first half of the fifth season. They feel even more like high school students than when they started.

I should have been the star of season 5

I should have been the star of season five


At the Broadway Bitches charity event Santana shows off her publicist chops once again orchestrating an adoption drive. Santana even pics an adorable three-legged dog for Rachel to pose with.

Can I just have a show that's all about me?

Can I just have a show that’s all about me?

This little plan goes awry when a woman and her son try to adopt the needy dog. Being batshit crazy Rachel refuses and, despite the fact that she is the only person on the show with a brain cell, Santana also refuses. The woman leaves calling Rachel a self-obsessed fake liar which is totally hurtful and mostly pretty true.

I'll have you know that I was a huge fan until season four!

I’ll have you know that I was a huge fan until season four!


Meanwhile, Kurt prepares backstage for his big debut and Chris Colfer finally gets to wear the Peter Pan costume he so obviously wanted to wear so much that he simply had to drag us through the mud of this episode.

And just wait until you see how they hid the berries!

And just wait until you see how they hid the berries!

Rachel calls and the two reconcile as Kurt discovers that, yes, for the eighth episode in a row Rachel has realized that she’s been being a bad friend and is determined to turn over a new leaf.

Psych bitch I'm here!

Psych bitch I’m here!

I can’t have this be the plot of every episode of Glee anymore. It’s killing me, it’s killing all of us. Most literally, it is killing the show.

Everything about you is actually about me!

Everything about you is actually about me!

Regardless the show much go on, the lights dim and Kurt takes the stage to do a rendition of I Gotta Crow or Never Never Land or better yet I Won’t Grow Up. Just kidding they do fucking Lucky Star and it is just so painful. At least Clara shows up to see her mother perform.

http://youtu.be/2iIL-Tq6_jw

After the performance Clara and Maggie reconcile but I don’t care because I’m not remotely invested in these characters I just met 22 minutes ago.

And they lived no one fucking cares ever after

And they lived no one fucking cares ever after

Just to make sure Kurt gets exactly all the support he wants/deserves, his friends also announce they’ve hire a bus to drive the entire cast down to the Spotlight Marching Band Diner where they can also perform the show again! I hope none of them have evening plans.

Announcement: I farted and I just want to apologize.

Announcement: I farted and I just want to apologize.

At the Spotlight Marching Band Diner everyone sings Take Me Home Tonight and, fortunately, the woman who had tried to adopt the three-legged pup magically shows back up to adopt him.

http://youtu.be/4-J0aCAt_1I

Even Sam and Mercedes get a happy ending deciding to keep their new dog because, hell, the show could really use some physical comedy.

You really screwed the pooch this time!

Talk about screwing the pooch. Am I right?

Best of all Rachel, Kurt and Santana get to do a three-way interview about how they’re best friends and Santana is an amazing publicist.

We're the three best friends that anyone's ever had!

We’re the three best friends that anyone’s ever had!

My hope is that all the talk of Naya leaving Glee is actually just to cover up the start of her spin-off show: Lesbian Publicist in which she plays, you guessed it, a successful singing lesbian publicist.

Oh! Oh! Oh! And on the show I get to nail tons of hot girls?!

Oh! Oh! Oh! And on the show I get to nail tons of hot girls?!

In conclusion this terrible which is probably why it was the least watched episode in Glee history. Tune in next week when it has to get better because it certainly can’t get any worse!

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Lizz is a consumer, lover and writer of all things pop culture and the Fashion/Style Editor at Autostraddle.com. She is also full time medical student at Brown University in Providence, RI. You can find her on the twitter, the tumblr or even on the instagram.

Lizz has written 276 articles for us.

18 Comments

  1. Lizz, firstly I want to thank you for recapping Glee so I didn’t have to (and could recap Faking It instead), you are a lifesaver. While watching Episode 518, I thought to myself “oh thank jesus i don’t have to recap this situation” on more than one occasion. you are doing the lord’s work.

    Secondly this recap was hilarious, I lol’ed on several occasions. I feel like they have completely given up on doing any lesbian things for Santana. They still haven’t even addressed who she was on vacation with, what happened to Dani, or if she’s still dating Brittany!

    Also the doo-wop cover was fucking awesome.

    • I was worried when I didn’t see your Glee recaps here for the last two weeks! But I figured you were just really busy, and I had faith that you would have everything taken care of eventually.

      They haven’t been doing much of anything for Santana in terms of actual consistent character development anymore. They just use her character whenever the situation is convenient or helps them with some other plotline. I’m glad that at least Chris wrote a line in his episode that spent a few seconds trying to explain where Dani has been (her roller derby team won the state championship) – and his reason even made some sense for her character!

  2. Yeah, these episodes were not as good as the previous ones. What the hell does Santana even DO now? Everything? Nothing? I give up. And also, the complete 180o from Kurt being swooned over and uber-hunky to now going back to Blaine being #1 stud and Kurt being too effeminate for sex appeal was really badly arranged.

    Sidestory: I posted on my FB: “Ohmyfuckinggod Glee did Lauryn Hill!” and I got a sternly worded email from my mom because she doesn’t like that I used the F-word alongside “god”. LOLOLOL OKAY MOM, FREAK OUT ABOUT THE LOWER-CASE SYNONYM FOR DEITY BUT NO OUTRAGE TOWARDS THE RAMPANT MISOGYNY AND RACISM I POST ABOUT CONSTANTLY?? Cool story.

    (I love my mother a lot and I recognize that she isn’t as progressive as I am but come onnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn way to pick your battles/shutdown meaningful conversation about what’s *actually* important in my life)

    • Exactly, I completely agree with all of this!

      Santana does everything AND nothing. This is the problem. Nothing is specific to her.

      I thought 518 was good, though 519 was a bit hit and miss for me. But Glee definitely seems to be moving back in the direction of “not as surprisingly awesome as it has been recently”.

      And that sidestory sounds really frustrating and sucky for you. Here is a hug and appreciation for raising awareness about misogyny and racism and all of the awful things! :)

      • Thanks for the hug and appreciation. I should recognize the good things about my mom in terms of responding to me coming out and stuff, but she’s never consistent about responding to things in my life so I feel like she only knows 40% of me (school and my boring daily life) because she just rolls her eyes or doesn’t agree/understand with the rest. BLAH HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY RIGHT

  3. Autostraddle, I’m disappointed in you.

    I get wanting to be critical and I most definitely understand sarcasm and dry humour. But what is the point in recapping a show only to open by saying you hate watching it and that it’s basically crap? Believe it or not, the people who are still watching Glee probably still enjoy it, good times and bad. I love coming to Autostraddle to read about news and reviews and recaps, but this recap was horrible. I really don’t want to read any recap for any show or episode, regardless of whether I love it or hate it, and have it thrown in my face that watching the show was some incredible burden. Why bother?

    I would rather read a recap from someone who likes the show most of the time, likes the characters, and doesn’t shit on every aspect that isn’t the female actresses’ physical appearance. This isn’t just about Glee. I’ve seen this in a lot of recaps for other shows. This was just the most glaring example.

    I’m disappointed in you, Autostraddle, for publishing this. Find someone who is more impartial to write your recaps or at least find someone who can pretend to be.

    • I don’t want to be rude but I’m in awe that any queer person still enjoys glee at all. I’ve been in the fandom since the beginning and I can’t stand it anymore. I love that someone has the balls to call out glee on their bullshit tbh. Also why would you have to be impartial to write recaps? What I like the most about Autostraddle is exactly the opposite, they’re not a news impartial site, they have an opinion and stand by it. So I just want to give love to Riese and Lizz for continuing recapping a show almost no one gives a shit about just because there’s still some of us who (sadly) can’t quit glee.

      • thanks, globika!

        and yeah… i mean, i don’t know a single living soul who still likes glee — which is why i wasn’t even our first glee recapper… i am in fact the fourth writer to pick up that torch, because if there’s something nobody else wants to do, either i do it or it’s not done! and i’ve been grateful when lizz has been able to fill in for me when i didn’t have the time. so if we had to only pick from recappers who liked the show to recap it, we wouldn’t be recapping it at all!

        • “i mean, i don’t know a single living soul who still likes glee”

          “So I just want to give love to Riese and Lizz for continuing recapping a show almost no one gives a shit about just because there’s still some of us who (sadly) can’t quit glee.”

          That has to be one of the most bullshit statements I have ever read in my life. Seriously? All you have to do is look at the fandom (on Tumblr or wherever else) and find thousands of people (many of them members of the LGBTQPIA community!) who still watch Glee and still enjoy it most of the time. It’s really not hard at all to find thousands of people of all genders, sexualities, and ages who love the show, are critical of it, and are perfectly able to call it out when it says something offensive.

          Every show has fans. The good ones, the bad ones, and everything in between.

          You’re seriously using the excuse that since “nobody” likes it anyway that you should just give sloppy recaps full of over-exaggerated hate, when Glee very obviously still has fans. If truly everyone on your writing team hates the show with a burning passion, then find someone who doesn’t mind writing the recaps. What you’re presenting here is the terribly sloppy and I had a lot of respect for Autostraddle before I started reading their Glee recaps.

          I’m not saying that everyone has to like the show. Obviously. There are shows I really cannot stand that have queer female characters that a lot of my queer friends like and I don’t get it so I just nod my head and don’t feel the need to interject about what a piece of shit I find their show to be.

          Being critical of the show and calling it out on its bullshit (which I very easily say has been a lot of it) is very different than starting a recap by saying “Wow I hate this show and it’s a piece of shit so here I go having to write a recap for it ugh I hate my life and everything about this”.

          Don’t use excuses because I’m not interested in hearing about how “nobody” likes the show when it’s very obvious that that is untrue.

        • ok that was me being hyperbolic, but also, maybe just unclear? i know that there are many living souls who still love glee. i just don’t personally know any living souls who write here who love glee. sorry if my phrasing was confusing.

          don’t get me wrong, i still enjoy an episode here and there, and I still like 75% of the musical numbers, too. i like the fact that the show is in new york now, that the characters are finally growing up, that mercedes is finally getting some screen time, and also there have been some really great moments this year! but 518 and 519, in my opinion, were super mehhhhh.

          but also i won’t apologize for souring on a show that has sidelined their lesbian character like glee has.

          i also feel like there is a misconception of what my life is like… i work 80 hrs a week for this website, i’m usually on the verge of a mental breakdown, i spend most of my waking hours fighting for the money we need to stay alive, and we have so many things that need to get done around here, finding a recapper who likes glee more than we do is not high on that list of things that need to get done. :-/

          i’m sorry that you didn’t like this recap, maybe you will like past or future ones better.

    • Hey I was just walking by and overhead how much you hated my recap!

      I’m sorry you didn’t like this recap, maybe you’ll like the next one better.

      I actually love Glee and enjoy watching this show like 80% of the time. That’s probably more than I like watching a lot of sitcoms that I keep up with just because, you know they’re on. The reason I stopped watching and got behind wasn’t because I decided I hated the show, but actually because I spent 6 weeks studying for my medical boards. I know you probably don’t know this because we’ve never met, but I’m actually a med student who works a billion hours per week. It’s okay, I forgot to tell you that part. After watching all of these episodes leading up to the Big New York Changeover I was expecting more. I just thought these two episodes were not so great.

      I actually mostly just think we deserve better from Glee! Like to hear songs from Peter Pan which I love instead of a shrill version of Lucky Star. Or to have it revealed that Santana is actually dating Dani and Brittany at the same time only to have Dani inevitably bust her with Brittany and — just when you think Brittany and Santana will be together — Santana tries to win Dani back by singing Truly Madly Deeply. That would be just awesome.

      And sometimes it’s fun to use over-exaggeration to make jokes and get points across. Do I actually think Kurt looks like a Ken Doll in all those neckerchiefs? Of course not! He has movable elbows and knees.

      • Hey, Lizz (and to Riese as well).

        I apologize if I came across as unnecessarily harsh. Tone does not translate well online and I really should be more mindful of this. I do sincerely apologize for any trouble I have caused.

        I in no way meant to suggest that these recaps are of the utmost important part of this website, nor did I ever, ever mean to suggest that you do not work hard to keep this website up to par or in your jobs/life commitments as well. I found Autostraddle through dumb luck and it has really been an amazing place for me to learn new things, laugh, get recommendations, meet new people, and gain perspective on the lives of queer women. As a relatively young gay woman who has yet to really find her place in this world, Autostraddle has been an amazing resource. I just want you to know that however I may have sounded in my comment, I really do love Autostraddle and I really do appreciate all of the work that is done for it.

        I very sincerely apologize for any and all words I sad that were hurtful or bitchy.

        Coralee

  4. What a coincidence, Lizz! The Back Up Plan (518) aired the day before my 22nd birthday! So, Happy Belated Birthday from one fellow Taurus to another! I was also hoping Glee would give me a birthday gift of lesbian sex. Instead I got the news that Naya Rivera was being written out of the season finale that Heather Morris was guest-starring in. :(

  5. Thanks so much for recapping Glee. There was a brief period of time when I enjoyed the show, but that time has passed. Now I just really want to know when there’s anything happening with Santana’s love life.

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