Welcome to the 18th and 19th recaps of the fifth season of Glee, a show about a bunch of teens and their dogs hunting out mysteries in they super cool van.
This show is normally recapped by Riese but today will be recapped by me. You might be wondering what all the delay was about. Well, I actually gave up on Glee like eight episodes ago and then when I found out I was recapping these episodes, I had to marathon six episodes before I could get to this here situation. It was not pretty. I have suffered. Sure, I have no suffered nearly as much as my girlfriend who had to sit in the next room hearing episode after episode of Glee, only popping her head out occasion to roll her eyes and ask confused questions about how the hell the cast all ended up in New York.
But here we are. Glee has been watched and I am here to recap. Oh, and these episodes? Not worth it. 518 was okay but 519? Now that was a stinker. Let’s take it from the top.
Episode 518: The Back That Ass Up Plan
We open on Rachel Berry who is just like so famous now. Like so famous. Almost as famous as Lea Michelle when she started in Spring Awakening. Almost.
Rachel is so famous and perfect she has immediately signed with a talent agency. Rachel’s got big plans for her future including a nice long run with her show followed a hit TV series revival of The Nanny, a movie trilogy based on a YA novel and, if she’s really lucky, a made-for-TV movie on HBO where she does a partial nude scene.
Unfortunately her agent doesn’t care about such plebeian things like “Creative freedom” or “Career advancement” or “Making money.” He just wants Rachel to do Funny Girl forever. Also he calls her ugly because of her huge nose which is so season two. Also it is really not that big so like whatever.
Over at NYAYDADADA Kurt announces to Blaine that June Dolloway (played by the legendary Shirley MacLaine) is coming to campus! Initially Blaine assume, like I do, that Dune Dolloway must be the original founder of the now closed/relocated lesbian bar The Dalloway but it turns out she’s actually some rich lady who just gallivants around New York throwing money at things. I guess technically she could be both. But regardless Kurt has been asked to sing like a nightingale for Ms. Dolloway and he wants Blaine to sing with him! Kurts like blah blah blah we’re codependent soulmates and I couldn’t possibly just sing alone even though I’m obsessed with having the limelight.”
In some other unspecified neighborhood Mercedes and Santana meet up at Mercedes’s place. It’s unclear if Santana lives there or is just stopping by to use her toilet. Santana is pissed because she’s still working at the diner after quitting Funny Girl for basically no reason and Mercedes is pissed because her producer didn’t think any of the songs on her album were going to make good singles.
I know this question should have been posed when Mercedes first came to New York, but didn’t her album already come out and result in her, like, selling them out of her trunk because she wouldn’t let them stick her voice on someone else’s body? Didn’t that happen? Please someone tell me I’m not crazy.
Anyhoo so Santana and Mercedes decide the best way to fix both of their lives is to have the Millionth annual Diva Off. Just kidding this isn’t high school anymore, thank god, they just decide to like be friends and sing a duet together.
That night Rachel does her usual Funny Girl gig and is just like so totally bored as we fast forward in time the whole week watching her perform the same show night after night. God, isn’t it just the worst when all your dreams come true? Like literally the worst ever to have consistent work in show business in the role you were born to play. Barf.
Rachel laments a la that Avicci song that I like but my girlfriend hates so we never get to listen to it. Most importantly Rachel does her own makeup as the star of a Broadway show every night. This feels like a stretch. Here watch:
Some night in the arbitrary future, the Dean from Greendale Community College pays Rachel a visit. Do you remember back when Brittani and I used to recap all the good half hour sitcoms including Community? I do because it basically ruined TV for like three months until we threw our hands in the air and decided to only recap shows with gays.
The Dean is actually a producer type and he’s here to tell Rachel how amazing and special she is. He wants her to come to LA to audition for some show on called Song of Solomon. Just to be clear, the show is on FOX because this shit is so meta. Rachel’s all like “Squeeee! I really want to but I’m supposed to be in eight shows a week and I already fired my understudy for being my friend. Opps!”
Rachel asks her producer if she can have the night off to go audition but he’s basically like, “Lol you’re never allowed to leave ever. Move on with your life. You are my pet actress forever”
Later, Rachel decides to just lie to her boss about being sick and take the day off because that always works. You know, she’ll just take the 6am flight out of JFK that gets into LAX at 9am and then audition for the show and catch the 11pm red eye back home to waltz back into New York at 7am the next morning. Good luck with that.
At the recording studio Mercedes and Santana are having trouble harmonizing. It’s probably because they’re so distracted by how wrong I was about peplum going out of style.
Instead of sitting down with some sheet music and plotting out parts they decide to instead record in every room of the building. For some reason this entails Santana carry a brick around while the two sing “Doo Wop (That Thing)” by Lauryn Hill, which is an excellent musical situation.
Like, seriously, Santana carries the brick in the elevator.
Santana carries the brick in a gender neutral bathroom.
Santana carries the brick down a random hallway.
Finally, Santana carries the brick to a basement that supposedly has good acoustics but I think we all know would more realistically smell like leftover eggs.
Before I get barraged with comments, yes, I know it’s a speaker. Here’s the performance, which is the best part of this episode:
Across town Blaine and Kurt perform at NYADADADDAD and they do that thing where they sing together and everyone in the audience thinks Blaine is sexy and Kurt is meh.
I’m pretty sure we did this during season two also.
After the song the two present themselves to June Dolloway in hopes that she will take them on as her latest project and make them rich and famous beyond their wildest dreams. June is just so totally into Blaine and it’s definitely definitely definitely not creepy at all.
That night June takes Blaine as her date to a fundraiser she’s throwing where it is, again, definitely definitely definitely not weird at all. The two decide that people aren’t donating enough money so June and Blaine pop up and just randomly sing “Piece of My Heart” by Erma Franklin and later recorded by Janis Joplin. I would say this is unrealistic and impossible except I actually saw Kylie Minogue do it once at the New York GLAAD Awards.
The next morning Santana and Mercedes head back into the recording studio. Even though the two just made sweet sweet metaphorical and literal music together, Mercedes’s producer is so not interested in a duet. I mean, c’mon, there’s no way that a duet has any place on a debut album. No place whatsoever.
The producer says that if Mercedes really wants to do a duet she can do it with Katy Perry. Ew. Upon realizing she won’t be on Mercedes’s album, Santana has a totally out of character moment and says she’s “Just not worth it.”
Off in LA Rachel goes to her very first TV audition! What do you do at an audition? Duh! You sing a Bette Midler song because that is definitely going to make you sing young and hip. Nothing, and I mean nothing gets the kids going like Bette.
Now even though Ms. Rachel Berry has probably gone to hundreds of auditions, she fucks this one up! Why? Because it’s not a musical show, it’s a science fiction drama that will probably be a mid-season replacement that gathers tons of devoted nerd fans but ultimately gets canceled too soon.
Also she didn’t read the script which is like audition rule #1. C’mon Berry!
Upon leaving her terrible audition, Rachel is mortified to find that she has 15 missed calls! Looks like her understudy fell off the stage and now everything is ruined. Do you hear that? Everything! (Sidenote she would have more than one understudy, and there would also be a “swing” person who is able to play any role in the show at a moment’s notice)
Sidney tells Rachel she needs to be back by 7:30pm which is never going to work because even if she took the Delta nonstop flight from LAX leaving at 11:10am with the 3 hour time change she wouldn’t get into NYC until 7:40pm and she would have had to be at LAX by 9am, which was before her audition even started!
Can you guys tell I’ve spent a lot of time looking at direct flights to LAX for A-Camp?
Nevertheless Rachel hops in a cab and tells him to take her directly to the airport or, better yet, the secret portal she and her friends used for the last season to bounce between Ohio and NYC.
In a panic Rachel calls Kurt. He says Rachel should just ‘fess up, but I think we all know that the best cure for lying is more lying!
While Rachel has a panic attack about her future, Blaine discusses his future with that rich lady. She decides she’s going to throw a concert for Blaine starring Blaine because why attend charity events or meet with financial investors or just bath in a hot tub full of gold coins when you can shower a 19 year old gay boy from Ohio with money, attention and opportunity. Ryan Murphy: don’t think I don’t see that this is all some weird fantasy of yours.
Most importantly Ms. Dolloway says to ditch Kurt.
Across town Mercedes meets up with Santana at the Spotlight Marching Band Diner.
Mercedes tells Santana that even though she’s the worst friend ever she’s actually the best friend ever and that niceness is a social construct. This actually means that somehow Mercedes has a contract for Santana which would be totally amazing if either of them appeared to have lawyers or even just other adults supporting them and actually looking out for their best interests.
Santana sits down to sign the contract just at Kurt busts in the joint. He tells that that Rachel is in trouble and can’t make the show. So what are the Scoobies gonna do? Are they going to hold an impromptu benefit celebrating all actresses who’ve ever lied in the pursuit of success?
Nope! Santana is just going to step right in as her understudy!
Even though Rachel is a soprano and Santana is a mezzo-soprano and Santana dropped out of the show before the show was entirely restaged after they workshopped it in upstate New York this seams like a reasonable solution to everyone and the show goes off without a hitch.
Though, for the record, I cannot fathom why Santana doesn’t wear Rachel’s Fanny wig.
The next night Santana and Rachel have dinner. Rachel wants to know what Santana wants in return and Santana wants some of Rachel’s famous vegan meatballs.
Santana tells Rachel she’s decided to use her “Bitch Powers” for good instead of evil. I have no idea what “Bitch Powers” have to do with successfully BSing your way through an entire Broadway performance but, whatever, I’m impressed.
An hour and a half away in Manhattan at Samblades’s house, Blaine and Kurt sit down to a huge bowl of popcorn. Kurt and Blaine discuss Blaine’s new Harold and Maude situation. Instead of just telling Kurt that June is helping him arrange a concert and isn’t that exciting, Blaine lies that he’s getting Kurt a performance in the show too! They are literally the worst at communicating. The worst.
The next morning Rachel goes into Sidney’s office to inevitably get fired. If you’ve never had a See Me In The Morning meeting, it’s basically the worst.
Sidney tells Rachel he really really wants to fire her. Like he’d like to destroy all future prospects at a career for her. Butttt they’re not going to fire her because where on earth would they even find a Jewish theater girl in New York to replace her. Where even?
After her terrible meeting Rachel goes outside to cry for a little. Rachel gets a call from the Greendale Community College Dean Slash Fox Network Executive and he tells her she didn’t get the part. Other girls were just so much better.
So that’s that right? Wrong. Just when you thought maybe this show had a secret underlying message about responsibility and lying and maybe even the importance of enjoying your achievements in life before ruthlessly continuing to climb up that ladder, the Dean offers her a contract to develop a show in New York City completely based on her, Rachel Berry. This shit is so fucking meta.
The Santana and Brittany scissored for the last 5 minutes of the episode. Just kidding it just ended. Wheee let’s do the next episode.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
While Mercedes and Sam sort out their dog problems (another great song that missed its opportunity here), Rachel does her faux dog walking situation.
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.
Also one humps some guy’s leg.
Back in Bushwick the girls debrief the publicity stunt gone wrong. Santana is pretty unconcerned but Rachel is, as usual, freaking out.
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.
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!
While this would be a perfect opportunity for Sam to train his dog to Led Zeppelin’s Black Dog, he instead goes for Werewolves of London.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Even Sam and Mercedes get a happy ending deciding to keep their new dog because, hell, the show could really use some physical comedy.
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.
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.
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!