Glee 301 Recap: Purple Piano Project People Eater

Time for a brand new season of Glee: The 1-D Television Show! What will happen this year to our hapless heroes and heroines? Will we dive into Brittana’s dykey depths, investigate Quinn’s complicated psychological baggage or sexify the sanguine sniper sleeping in Rachel Berry’s soul? Will we meet Rachel Berry’s parents?!!

Nah. Why waste all those trees when we can just recycle the same plot we’ve already done 44 times!!

if these students could stop having large bowls of multi-colored pasta for lunch and just eat chicken nuggets like the rest of america, this wouldn't get so messy

You know the one: Glee needs more members because this/that person was eaten by a shark. Mean kids kick Glee kids in the face, someone gets kicked out of Glee, someone quits Glee and Sue Sylvester tries to destroy Will for let’s be real, really vague reasons we only accept  at face value ’cause we like Jane Lynch’s face.

How about THAT? YES? YES! WE GOT THE BEAT, GAYWADS, WELCOME TO SEASON THREE OF THE GOOD SHIP GLEE!!!

by Paul Richmond

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So, we open nostril-to-nostril with Jacob Ben-Israel’s Chia-Topped Melon Head, here to interview the Glee folks about their perilous futures, a.k.a recap everything AfterEllen wrote about Glee this past summer.

ideally he would choke on that microphone

So, Finn, Mike Chang, Kurt, Rachel and Santana are seniors. Artie and Tina are juniors.

Brittany? Brittany is timeless.

because if so i'd like to go back and tell santana that i want to be her girlfriend

Mercedes and Sam’s summer lovin’ is history, as is his Trouty Mouth and the body that came with it. Now she’s dating a football player who could probably bench-press Chord Overstreet. Because this show is so Diverse and Ground-Breaking, the future plan for these two is to become a famous singer and a famous athlete, respectively, and then make “cocoa babies.” At first I thought they meant legit babies made out of cocoa, which would be sweet (!) and then I realized they meant cocoa the color and then I didn’t know what to think about anything anymore.

you know what big fella, one of these days i'm gonna try to make you join glee

Santana, looking boss as ever in her shiny ponytail and throwback Cheerios get-up, tells Jacob Ben-Phen that she’s aiming to be the best “ho” on the Cheerios and emulate her #1 Latina Idol, Paula Abdul.

first comes holding hands, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in a baby carriage

It’ll be a spinoff called Hey Santana.

Kurt’s doing an imitation of me on the 2009 hit show “Alexi’s Closet Goes to the NewNowNext Awards” (skip to 9:50, she saved the best for last) as he and Rachel explicitly explain their mutual future in New York City. Due to the shininess of their stars at McKinley, they’d like to be one of the 12 boys and 12 girls who get into Julliard each year.

this is what getting better looks like, kids

By the way this is so, you know… THIS:

the future of rachel and kurt

When spotlight-jostling to share their BIG plans, Kurt name-drops New York Gay Marriage:

kurt does not fear the wrath of mitt romney

The lemurs running circles in Finn’s brain come up empty, so Finn admits in a voiceover that he’s not sure what he’s doing, and I admit in a voice heard over the program that I don’t give a fuck.

how do you feel about the Palestinian conflict

Wanna know where Rachel keeps all her plans and secrets? Okay, I’ll tell you:

trapper-keeper worked for me!

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Put down your oatmeal, ’cause shit is about to get raunchy:

i feel like this must please someone, somewhere

JK, I don’t have time to recap the adult parts AND the heterosexual parts AND the gay parts. On to the clothed children!

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Glee Club meets up to stare at their trophies and discuss how Finn and Rachel ruined their chances at Winning Nationals by playing tonsil hockey onstage.

because compared to the bigger trophy, this is like the lesbian sex equivalent of a pinky finger

Glee’s first meet-up engenders additional exposition: Zieses, because let’s be real she is too fierce for Glee, has hit the road leaving her mohawked manchild behind to cover all the solos she never sang.

Puck: “She’s the one that got away. Really, really slowly.”

Jesus Christ. Anyhow, Quinn’s also gone missing because Finchel is insufferable and everybody knows it, except Artie who randomly says he misses her — is it just me or does Kevin McHale saying his lines like he’s amused by how random and stupid his lines are this episode?

and then everybody's face turned into clay

The turnover rate at Glee is worse than a meatpacking factory — they’ve yet to recruit and maintain a single new member since Season One.

Rather than develop character or plots about personal relationships, Glee dives right back into the “how do we get more kids to join Glee?” plot” I HAVE AN IDEA!

Will’s got a better idea: let’s put refurbished purple pianos all around the school and, just when everyone least expects it, start randomly signing in the hallway. Yup. Or we could save some time and have Santana wax the pianos with Big Gulp while wearing an Autostraddle This t-shirt and men’s underpants.

waiting for a bird to land on it.

Will: “These pianos were repossessed from foreclosed homes. They’re just like us — used, in need of repairs –”
Tina: “But still capable of making beautiful music!”

no no no i did not say anything about ryan murphy firing me on twitter

After a summer away from saltwater taffy schemes and Holly Holiday, the kids are sort of mega-cute about being into Mr.Shoe’s dumbshit idea, which he absolutely came up with while on novocain.

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Kurt & Rachel are A-dork-a-ble this week with their plaid and their big big Broadway dreams. I don’t know when they stopped being bitter diva-enemies and became best friends, but I like it.

this is the smile i'm using for my headshot. whaddya think? too teethy?

Emma lets Kurt & Rachel in on the secret that Julliard, known for its geniusy genius geniuses, King Lears, severely-haired wire-thin ballerinas and alarmingly studious flautists, has no room for the noisome calamity that is Musical Theater People. Emma suggests Kent State, home of the Kent State Massacre, when our government shot student protesters for being against Vietnam! Weird, right?

Also, this:

your hag would never wear that

Ultimately, instead of suggesting NYU or the nearby U of M or CCM, Emma tells them about some kind of “mixer” going down for prospective students at the New York Master Institute Supreme Academy of Drama and Theater Arts Classworld or something.

but more importantly, YAY COLLEGE LOANS!!!

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Sue is getting into some crazy ass shit:

when you've got nothing, you've got nothing to lose

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So Kurt and Blaine are being ultra-cute at The Lima Bean, probably after sharing an ice cream sundae at The Cracker Barrel, but Kurt’s being weird and quiet. Blaine, because he’s perceptive/perfect, inquires:

Blaine: “You’re awfully quiet.”
Kurt: “No, I’m being passive-aggressive.”

Kurt can’t help but notice what Blaine is wearing. Why’s Blaine wearing that blazer when he could have slapped a yard of Roseanne Connor’s flannel nightie in the middle of a white suit shirt and called it an outfit, like Kurt did?

ky intense worked for us

Because Blaine still goes to Warblerville High for Wayward Boys! That’s why!

Kurt: “One final sales pitch and then we can talk about making over Nancy Grace.”

Blaine teases that Kurt’s gunning for a transfer ’cause he’s scared of Blaine beating him, and Kurt is like no no no it’s because I’m sixteen and still idealistic about love and relationships to the extent that I am orchestrating excessive together time without any fear of what that will do for our actual tolerance of one another as people. It’s this adorable little showchoir gayboy banter that’s everything you ever wanted it to be and more.

why do they have to-go cups when they're having it for here

Just wait ’til Blaine sees the purple pianos, then he’ll def transfer.
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Quinn’s always secretly been a badass. She was a total cunt to everyone for most of Season One, got knocked up sophomore year of high school by a 25-year-old named after a wood nymph passing as a high school junior/senior and now — now.  Now!

WHO’S AT THE DOOR?

come back when you look more like Tor

It’s NEW QUINN! Quinn’s pulled an Ash-in-Degrassi and dealt with heartache by going timeless 90s gothpunk, and good lord does she deserve it.

At first I thought this was definitely Strawberry Shortcake inspired, with a side of Molly Ringwald’s punky friend in Pretty in Pink.

Popped Cherry goes Strawbertry

Natalie Portman in Closer is too dark, Leisha Hailey in All Over Me is too obvs, that manic pixie dreamgirl from Scott Pilgrim is too shiny…

Then, like a bomb blowing up your station wagon, the answer occurred to me: this is one part Samantha Mathis’s character in Pump up the Volume, one part Gwen Stefani, two parts Smoky Quinn Voice. That’s what this is.

Quinn: “I’m not sure what the tipping point was — dying my hair, the nose rings, my ironic tattoo of Ryan Seacrest — but one thing I know, I’m never going back.”

These are Quinn’s new friends. They can suck the chrome off a cadillac, wear chains unironically, and totally shoplifted that lipgloss.

the anti-glee

It makes sense, though, perfect sense — Finn broke her heart, almost, but she never really loved Finn for Finn anyhow, she loved what he represented. She loved the promise of status and a certain lifestyle and when she lost her lifeline to that side of the tracks, the only thing a person can do at that point is convince oneself that you never wanted that at all. In fact, you want the opposite of that — the opposite of nice, and safe, and clean and Finn. You want to smoke cigarettes underneath the fucking bleachers and when Rachel Berry shows up to beg you back to Glee, you do not consent.

Santana rallies her empathy and puts on her nice-girl pants to beg Quinn to return to Cheerios —

this is like that photoshoot in gia except with clothes on

— but ultimately to no avail.

isn't it cute how my intern spelled musketeer, bless it

Rachel Berry flops with her enormously earnest and possibly genuine (but c’mon, there’s smugness underneath, it’s Rachel Fucking Berry) plea for Quinn to return to Glee.

hot topic vs. talbots, round one

Can’t these motherfuckers see that Quinn is busy. She has drugs to do.

Honestly I think Quinn is full-force HOT with that hair and those piercings and that drapey dark shirt thing with no bra and chains on her wrist. It’s all the power and beauty of popularity smashed into the glory and horror of rebellion — who does she think she is, Angelina Jolie in the 90’s? Yes. Quite Possibly YES. (I mean, no, nobody is, but you know what I mean) I like her now. I’ve crossed over. For today.

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Riese is the 35-year-old CEO, CFO and Editor-in-Chief of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, blogger, fictionist, copywriter, video-maker and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York City and mellowed out in California before returning to Michigan. Her work has appeared in nine books including "The Bigger the Better The Tighter The Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image & Other Hazards Of Being Female," magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 2316 articles for us.

95 Comments

  1. Thumb up 0

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    A truly meh episode but at least it introduced some plot points for the season which is more than most eps of glee do. The music was also pretty fun.

    Blaine and Kurt were cute and Brittany was the right amount of endearingly stupid but not seemingly brain damaged. Also copious Heather Morris ass-shaking is always a good thing.

    I normally love Santana and I get that her thing is “keeping it real” but the line about extra chromosomes made me seriously uncomfortable.

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      At least she was saying it to Becky, so there was some relevance? I mean, it would be way worse if she was saying it to someone without Downs Syndrome…

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      I took the line about “this or that amount of chromosomes” as Santana saying she wouldn’t discriminate against Becky because of her Downs Syndrome; she still sees her as a rival, i.e. someone she “may or may not have to destroy.” She said it after Sue told her & Becky they were co-captains, and they were arguing. (Becky called Santana “Sandbags” which I thought was hilarious.) I like their rivalry, it has a lot of potential for comedy.

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        Yeah, I actually liked that line. Too frequently kids with Downs Syndrome get called retarded, and expected to not contribute to society. Becky’s storyline might be the most revolutionary of all the storylines, in my view.

  2. Thumb up 0

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    I felt like the basically threw away last season and went back an entire year and are just repeating it with different musical numbers. Which is rather lame.

    However, the wicked witch thing was cute. And Quinn was completely adorable, and I hope she gets to keep this new look / attitude.

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    I’m pretty sure Quinn said she had an ironic tattoo of Ryan Seacrest not erotic. Which makes much more sense because ‘erotic Ryan Seacrest’ does not compute.

  4. Thumb up 0

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    I totally thought it was an “erotic tattoo of Ryan Seacrest” at first, but I watched the episode again and I’m pretty sure it’s an “ironic” tattoo.

    Also, I just want to wear everything Blaine wears.

  5. Thumb up 0

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    Mr. Shoehorn(!)kicks Santana out but Rachael just had to apologize for sending Sunshine to a crack house? Honestly, I think that Glee writers just come up with a plot point and figure the audience will go along, no matter how poorly they get to it. I love this show, I really do, but sometimes it makes me want to drink heavily.

    Overall, meh. I liked the Go-Gos number and the Tom Jones one. These both had dancing Cheerios in them. Coincidence? I think not.

  6. Thumb up 0

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    So it’s perfectly okay for Rachel to send Sunshine Corazon to a crackhouse but if Santana sets a piano on fire that gets her banned from the club? Go to hell Schuester.
    Also Also Also Bad Girl Quinn is HOT

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    Actual genuine question: if Quinn lit the piano on fire – and I’m pretty sure it /was/ her – why’s Santana the one being kicked out for it?

    Did I miss something?

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      I know right!! That was so confusing. I mean I think Santana is meant to have doused the piano in something flammable, since it was clearly wet. But was Quinn in on it? I thought she wasn’t hanging out with Santana and the queerios anymore so…? Maybe it’s ok if there are random acts of destruction involved.

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          but it wouldn’t have lit on fire if quinn hadn’t put out her cigarette, but i can’t imagine that quinn would’ve been in on it anyhow, or like, planned her cigarette smoking so carefully. i was and am still really confused about that too.

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            Hmm, that’s true. Maybe it was supposed to be a symbolic statement of how all of their enemies unconsciously coordinate to destroy them from all sides, but I doubt Murphy has any knowledge of imagery or depth so probably not.

            The piano-burning thing was the best thing about that episode though.

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            most likely quinn has gone undercover again in some lame plot to screw the glee club by hiding behind her pink punk persona.

            however, if quinn and santanna are together and sparking things up with symbolic flaming purple pianos- maybe she does swing our way after all. Oh god, a cheerleading threesome is coming our way…

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            I’m pretty positive that it was planned by Santana and Quinn helped since she DGAF now lol. You can see the look (or smirk) on Santana’s face after the piano burns and it’s clear that setting it on fire the way that way was what she wanted to happen. Otherwise why douse the piano with lighter fluid?

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        Whether Quinn was in on it or just there with a convenient cigarette, he couldn’t exactly kick her out of Glee because she already quit. And Santana was one of the ten or so Cheerios that sprayed lighter fluid on the piano when they danced around it, so I can see why he kicked her out. She was the only guilty party he had access to at that moment.

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      Maybe Quinn is having a secret fling with Santana (the alternative haircut and all, you know the signs are there). So she’s helping Santana with her little “evil” plan. Let’s say Schuester has suspects on the fling. But he can’t kick out Quinn, cause you know she kinda kicked out herself on her own from the Glee. So he kicks out Santana. Hoping she will run towards Quinn and make out with her.

      Okay this is happening only in my twisted mind, isn’t it?

  8. Thumb up 0

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    OMIGOD THANK YOU RIESE FOR AGREEING THAT QUINN IS HOT. Or at least interesting.

    Otherwise: Santana was amazing per usual. And that was it. I mean, I’m glad they’re pretending second season never happened, but I did roll my eyes at the Purple Piano thing (Stupidest. Idea. Ever.) and Sue’s revival of the same thing she’s been doing this entire time. Anyone else feel like she’s Wile E. Coyote and Will Shuester is a douchefuckbag?

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    I thought exactly the same thing when the water started dribbling down the windows of the car. Despite the money they obvs throw at this show, they’re not so good with little things like this. The continuity is also appalling.

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    so cafeteria food fights are an epidemic where I live.(I’m not in high school but I represent indigent people in court AND it was in the paper) was the food fight some kind of nod to reality?

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        I’ve never experienced a food fight in all my years attending public school in America. I’ve always wanted to be in one and I’m not sure why because I bet they aren’t that fun. I’ve been in many snowball fights. That’s probably as close as I need to ever get.

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          I, too, once suffered from the strange desire to participate in a food fight, so I organized one in my back yard with all my friends. We followed it up with a garden hose shower.

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      Oh, I could’ve read your comment but I went to the google machine instead. It’s weird because I’m pretty sure she was high school-aged in Stick It and that movie is years old. The whole Glee episode I was trying to compute if that could be her. Also, at the time, I definitely made up Stick It fan fic in my head where Haley and that blonde girl who hated her actually were lovers who broke up and then made up after the movie’s ending. And by fan fic, maybe I just mean had dirty thoughts. That movie was sort of crappy and unsatisfying, and sort of AMAZING.

  11. Thumb up 0

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    I’m pretty sure it’s Sugar Motta. Did anyone else find the Asperger’s thing offensive?

    And did anyone else think Sue was hinting that she knows about Santana’s sexual orientation and is using Santana’s fear of being outed to get her on Team Sue?

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      Yes. Agreed. All of this. The Aspberger’s thing was totes offensive (as was their jab at bipolar disorder last season – haven’t forgotten that one yet). And I totally think Sue was being hella emotionally manipulative and bitchy, or at least that’s how Santana heard it, and she’s still terrified of her “secret” getting out.

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        Do you mean Holly Holliday’s bipolar thing in class? (“everyone practice your bipolar rants” or something like that?) Just for the record I have severe bipolar and I thought that was fucking hilarious.

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      Yeah, I also found the aspergers thing offensive. My brother has aspergers and I actually dislike him a LOT, but even I was annoyed.

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        I am outraged at the representation of Asperger’s.
        People with Asperger’s generally work super hard to be agreeable socially. They don’t generally go around being rude and mean on purpose like this new character.

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          but that’s kind of the point isn’t it? granted I haven’t seen the show but it sounds like she’s not meant to have actual asperger’s, but that she’s supposed to be a jab at people who use it as an excuse to act the fool. Like I said though, haven’t seen it, but if the line is how it’s represented in the recap that is how I am inclined to take it. Also my best friend has asperger’s and so do a lot of people in our circle and everyone has a pretty awesome sense of humor about it, so different strokes.

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    I have missed these recaps so much. I spent so much time obsessively refreshing Autostraddle waiting for this. Even more time than usual. Trust me, that says something.

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    “I guess basically it’s like porn, but with singing and dancing instead of sex.”

    Riese, you have summed up why I still watch this show. Pretty people singing and dancing. Also, lesbians. And lots and lots of subtext between the supposedly non-lesbians. Did you see Quinn *lick her lips* and give Rachel the once-over at the end of their scene? Quinn is gay and nothing will convince me otherwise.

    I didn’t think the episode was all that plot-wise, there was a lot of dumb stuff and a lot of WTF, but the fandom shout-outs and really hot girls made up for it. Quinn is so skanky-hot right now, I can’t even. I also really liked Sugar, she was hilarious. And Santana & Becky’s rivalry.

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    I just have to say that as a performing-arts major (music, not theatre, but still), I’m glad that a show finally got that Juilliard does not have a musical theatre program – it’s either straight theatre or classical voice (i.e. opera and lieder, not Broadway). It gets on my nerves that every single super-talented kid in the performing arts on TV shows ends up going there, because not only is it not the only great performing arts school in the universe, for some majors it doesn’t even have the best program. If you’re into musical theatre or popular music, you’d be better off at NYU or Berklee College of Music respectively, and yet TV writers don’t do the research and still have those characters going there.

    Anyway, I really liked that whole plot with Rachel and Kurt this season, about them being big fish in a small pond (though they’d be big fish in a big pond, too), because I remember having that anxiety when I was in high school, too. I went to a school with a really shoddy orchestra, I’d only taken a year of composition lessons outside of school, and so I was worried be able to compete with people who had attended performing arts schools or at least regular schools with better music programs. But it turns out I was wrong! While it’s not a bad idea to apply to some safety schools, I’m so happy I didn’t listen to the people who tried to tell me I should ONLY apply to those places.

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      *was worried I wouldn’t be able to compete

      Also, re: Emma not recommending other top programs in musical theater, maybe they’re going to have a subplot about the ignorance of most public school guidance counselors re: performing arts programs? The ones at my school regularly tried to steer me toward places that had absolutely no music composition program whatsoever because they heard it had a good marching band or something.

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      this is how I got through the last season of the L-Word. no, scratch that, halfway through. even my Irish-German-bred liver has limits, unlike Ilene fuckin’ Chaiken.

  15. Thumb up 0

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    I know this was mentioned a couple times, but did anyone think this episode was glaringly offensive over and over?
    First there was Sue’s crack to Tina and Mike about the song being the national anthem for “wherever they’re from.”
    Then when Santana made that crack about chromosomes.
    Then the Aspergers thing.
    It was all just a little too offensive without making a point about anything. It just made me uncomfortable.
    Also, I can’t believe you didn’t include the “You and Your Hag” pamphlet that Kurt got. Loved that.

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      glee has ALWAYS made offensive jokes. i think theyve actually toned it down since the first season, since getting so popular.

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        Yes, they have always made offensive jokes, but generally I think that the jokes have been ironic. Generally being offensive to point out how bad it can be…
        Whereas this episode was appalling.

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          Exactly. I’m used to the show having offensive material, but it’s never made me drop my jaw in surprise like this episode did. I don’t know what it was. It just seemed pointless and unapologetic instead of trying to prove a point.

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        Oh my god. I totally missed it, didn’t I? I swear when I read it the first time that picture must have been smaller or something…
        I’ll be hiding in a corner due to embarrassment now.

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    One: I want to hang out with Riese because I adore her humor.
    Two: I would like to see Alex Vega dance to “We Can’t Stop the Beat” with imaginary drumsticks in a giant apartment because I’ve autostraddle/facebook stalked her and now I have an autostraddle/facebook crush on her.
    Three: If I confess that number two was creepy, does it make it less creepy?

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    did no one notice the way sue said “You like playing for both sides, don’tcha?”
    maybe i just read too much into that………..

    anyways omg i am in love with new quinn IN LOVE

  18. Thumb up 0

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    I just about died when Santana referenced “the unholy trinity.” way to steal fandom-originated terms, ryan murphy (or whoever wrote this episode). maybe they could also steal some storylines from brittana fanfiction while they’re at it.

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    Now, I know this is a bizarre question that is totally unrelated to this episode, but I need to share my feelings. My fruit related feelings. How does Emma manage to eat so much fruit? In every episode she has about 5 separate containers full of fruit! How does she eat it all?

  20. Thumb up 0

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    Riese, did whole scenes go over your head or are you just interested in snark? Here is a clue. Anyone can do snark. It is the laziest form of criticism. Why bother reviewing it if you are going to just provide wafer thin analysis? Some would argue no analysis was offered. I am very disappointed. The experiences of Santana and Quinn in this episode are itself worth a few pages in it’s comprehension of rejecting one’s being out of a fear of being hurt. Instead we get this snark. Unreal.

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      You’re all worked up over a recap of Glee?

      Pretty sure it was supposed to be funny. Pretty sure most people are enjoying it. I’m sure you could find some in-depth analysis somewhere else on the internet if you wanted.

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        Yeah, I expect humor from Riese’s recaps. This includes what you call snark. She does provide some very insightful commentary when it’s called for, I don’t think this was one of those eps.
        An in-depth analysis of Santana and Quinn’s brief time in this ep, especially a couple of pages worth, seems waaay over the top.

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      not everyone can do snark. it is an art, like anything.
      also, if you’re looking for super subtexty analysis, i suggest you try tumblr.

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      Butthurt Faberry fan wants pages of analysis deconstructing every word, every pause, every glance that Quinn and Rachel share in their, what? 90 seconds on screen together?

      Please. The shippers will do this for you. You do not need to whine at Riese about all the ways her (awesome) recap failed you.

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      I would check with Heather Hogan at AE. She can write pages and pages of ridiculous analysis about a show if she really wants to. Personally, I hate recaps like want to “peel away the layers of the show like onions.” I just want to laugh at how much Glee sucks yet we still all watch it.

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    For a site who is about girl-on-girl culture, you sure provide lots of misogynistic commentary.

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    I just googled Sugar Motta and confirmed she was indeed the bitchy gymnast in the movie Stick It. If you’re a lesbian and you never watched Stick It alone on a random Saturday night, I don’t even know what to say to you. As a teenager, that movie fulfilled all my lesbian checkboxes while seeming like a movie for straight girls. An amazing covert operation.

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