Glee finally returns with the first of a two episode arc revolving around the McKinley High Production of the musical Grease. Tonight, the kids vie for plum roles. Watch Marley battle Kittie for the role of Sandy. Glee Project winner, Blake Jenner, makes his debut tonight as Ryder who will face off against Jake to play Danny.
Finn is back in Ohio after his devastating split with Rachel in New York City. He’s working at the Hummel Tire Show and Artie enlists Finn to direct Grease as a way to pull the confused and unhappy graduate out of his funk. Surprise, surprise–Mercedes and Mike return to give Finn a hand.
And Will makes a BIG decision.
I read the spoilers, but like FOX news on election night, I refused to believe. An episode of Glee without my beloved Hummelberry? SAY IT ISN’T SO. Welp kids. This week’s Glee did not travel to NYC at all. Rachel and Kurt were nowhere to be found, except the latter in a scrapbook as Blaine lamented his lost love in song.
Ugh. Please don’t do that again Glee! I’m not sufficiently attached to any of these new people to handle an entire episode devoted (mostly) to them. And I’m not sure I ever will. Next week, though, it looks like Kurt and Rachel will head to Lima for the big Grease spectacular. I have no doubt hearts will be re-broken. Sigh.
Speaking of new peeps—Glee Project winner, Blake Jenner debuted as Ryder Lynn, the football playing dyslexic Finn takes under his wing. Blake is a fine actor, but like the rest of the newbies, he has yet to move me.
But on to this week’s recap
The action begins at the Hummel Tires & Lube where Finn has settled in to work after his military disaster and sad bust up with Rachel. Artie drops by with a proposal. Would Finn consider co-directing the McKinley High School musical Grease with him? Finn has fallen into a deep funk that Artie wants to help him out of. Finn starts that whole “I’m so dumb, I don’t know anything, I can’t do anything” meme he falls back on when faced with something new. But Artie persists and Finn reluctantly agrees.
Cut to Blaine and Sam out in the hallway. As Sam signs up for Grease auditions, he wonders if ruling the school as VP and Pres respectively allows them to choose whatever part they want. Blaine doesn’t care. He’s not in the right “head space” to play a romantic lead after cheating on Kurt effed up their relationship. Blake hasn’t been able to eat or sleep since that terrible weekend in NYC.. He doesn’t even gel on weekends! This is serious. “Kurt was my soulmate,” Blaine explains. The two of them were going to spend the rest of their lives together, eventually retiring to Provincetown to buy a lighthouse and start an artist colony. Of course.
But now, Kurt won’t return his calls and texts. He sent BACK the Gilmore Girls box set, unopened, that Blaine sent as a gift. “He’s gone,” sighs Blaine. “Maybe forever.” Everyone has been there, says Sam. He’s sure Blaine will survive the heartbreak. Blake ain’t buying it, though and launches into “Hopelessly Devoted to You,” the saddest of laments. He wanders the halls of McKinley like a lost lamb. He flips through a scrapbook filled with memories of Kurt. Cut to the football field where Blaine sings, so lost in lovesickness he doesn’t even acknowledge the hot football players practicing all around. Finally, Blaine is on stage singing at his audition for Artie and Finn. When he finishes, Artie says he’d make the perfect. Danny. Nearly in tears, Blaine blurts out that he can’t. “Grease is a romance. How can I play any of the scenes when I ruined mine?” he cries. It’s called acting dude! Remember last year when you and Rachel were able to act out your lost virginities on stage before you actually had in real life? At any rate, this particular plot device paves the way for the new kids to take over the musical.
Artie asks if there is any part Blaine would consider playing. Teen Angel, maybe, Blaine offers. “But probably not,” he chokes out as he leaves the stage near tears. Through all of this, Finn hasn’t said a word. He’s more convinced than ever that he does not have what it takes to direct the musical. Artie chases Finn after he takes off down the hallway. “Part of being a good director is surrounding yourself with the right people,” says Artie after he’s caught up, “the right choreographer and the right vocal coach.” As it turns out the cavalry has just arrived. Coming down the hallways is…Mike and Mercedes! Finn breaks out into a huge smile. There are major hugs all around! Finn’s mind has been changed. He’s still in.
Cut to Emma and Will sitting side by side discussing their dilemma. Will wants Emma to go to Washington with him while he sits on the Blue Ribbon Arts panel. Emma wants to stay in Lima and work with her kids. She’s afraid Will is trying to turn her into a 1950’s housewife. Who are the couple pouring their hearts out to? It’s Bieste, who makes a lot of confusing football analogies as she tries to counsel the duo. Finally, Will pleads with Emma to go with him. “I love you with every fiber of my being,” he says, calling her his “equal partner.” The sweet talk has an effect on Emma and she relents. She agrees to go. But as she hugs Will, it’s obvious that she’s torn. Beiste takes note.
Next, Mercedes and Mike talk to Finn about a serious problem. While there are plenty of girls trying out for the musical, there is a dearth of guys. What high school music department hasn’t had the Guys Won’t Go Near Musical Theater With A Ten Foot Pole syndrome? Back at my school, if you were a guy and had a pulse? You were in. With Blaine out and Sam with his heart set on playing Kenickie, there is virtually nobody to play Danny. Joe Hart won’t cut his dreads. And Jake? He’s not interested. There aren’t a lot of dudes like you, Mercedes reminds Finn. Mike reminds them that Mr. Shue had to go looking for the club’s male lead. (And blackmail him with planted pot, but I digress). Finn is off to search out his Danny.
Cut to Finn surveying the football field with Beiste. He wonders if there’s anybody who might be a good prospect for the musical. Picking up on Finn’s need for encouragement, she says, “You are one of a kind. I just wish you felt that way.” Beiste advises Finn to give it time. “You’re going through the biggest change of your life. Guys like you always find their way.”
Speaking of guys trying to find their way…is there anyone out there Finn can recruit for the musical? Oh, hey. There’s that crazy guy, Ryder Lynn, who dances in the endzone when he makes a touchdown. He’s a real ham! He’s a sophomore who flunked out of his old school. Sweet, but he’s a loner who can’t learn a play for his life. He might be lazy, muses Bieste. Oh. We know there’s more than meets the eye to THIS story. And Finn has found his guy.
Marly and Unique are hanging in the girls’ bathroom. Don’t worry, Unique informs Marly when she’s surprised to see him there–dressed as a boy no less–“I sit when I pee.” Unique has decided not to audition, because he wants to play Rizzo, and is convinced being cast in a female role is out of the question. “It would be as weird for me to play Danny Zucko as it would for you.” He’s sad that the world considers his cross dressing a joke rather than an expression of how he feels inside.
Uh oh. Sue Sylvester bursts out of a stall. Eavesdropping. She dubs Unique “Tina Stomachturner” and “Urethra Franklin” but can’t seem to come up with a mean nickname for the sweet-as-pie Marly. This may be a first. There is no way IN HELL Unique will play Rizzo. Sue needs a new cause and a new nemesis, and Unique and his/her budding transgenderism are it. Marly isn’t afraid. She grabs Unique and huffs out of the bathroom, “We don’t care what you say, “we’re both auditioning for that musical.” And with that, the rapidly bonding besties launch into a spirited performance of “Blow Me (One Last Kiss).”
Eventually, the two end up on stage in the auditorium auditioning for Mike, Mercedes, Finn and Artie. Unique is in drag and their energetic performance is triumphant. After Marly reveals that she has her heart set on playing Sandy, Unique bravely announced that SHE wants to play Rizzo. The group is a little stunned. That Unique auditioned in drag should have been a clue about what she had in mind, don’t you think?
Cut to Finn interrupting study hall. After ditching the teacher with a “ you’ve got a phone call in the teachers’ lounge” ruse, he sits down to introduce himself to Ryder, who is studying hard. He’s got to put in double the work to do half as well as everyone else. Finn reveals that he struggled with bad grades too, until he joined Glee club. He claims that learning the music and the choreography just “opened up my brain somehow.” So very scientific! Ryder says Glee club sounds like fun, but with football and studying, he’s got too much on his plate. His parents are going to make him quit the team if he doesn’t bring his grades up. Finn suggests he start slow, by trying out for the musical. Ryder insists that he does not sing. PROVE IT, challenges Finn, inviting him to come to the auditorium at 4 to audition. After Ryder flunks another history test, he decides to go for it.
Finn and Artie are in the auditorium choosing a jukebox for the production. Ryder shows up early for his audition, but is still too shy to sing. Finn, recognizing a kindred spirit, says he didn’t think he could sing either, until he just did it, without thinking. And it felt awesome. Like a really good poop. Uhm Ok. And, it just so happens there is a jukebox onstage filled with 80s hair metal so he can prove his point. The duo sings “Juke Box Hero”. The scene turns into a “Rock of Ages” fantasy with screaming guitars and screaming fans and Finn on drums. By the end Ryder is sold. He wants to audition. But guess what? He already did.
Ryder introduces himself to Marly at her locker. He figures since she’s likely to be cast as Sandy, and he has a shot at Danny, they might as well get to know each other. The sparks begin to fly immediately. Marly recognizes him from his AWESOME endzone dances. Ryder says he likes Marly’s mom, the lunch lady, because she sneaks him extra meatballs on spaghetti day. Meanwhile, Jake is down the hall jealously watching the two interact. Just in time to be annoying, psycho bitch Kitty drops by to insult Jake’s mixed race heritage (He’s jealous of Ryder because he can’t grow Justin Bieber hair). Kitty is determined to make Jake’s life miserable after he broke up with her.
Next, it’s time for Kitty to do some damage to her arch nemesis Marly. Kitty plans to audition for the role of Sandy and has no doubt she’ll get it. And to twist the knife, she hones in on what is obviously a sore spot for Marly. “She’s only got a month or two before she starts ballooning to her natural weight of 5,000 pounds and starts writing her memoir, ’50 Shades of Gravy'”, Kitty warns Ryder. The fear of becoming obese, like her lunch lady mom, is obviously one of Marly’s fears. “Wow, you’re a bitch!” says Ryder, “What did she ever do to you?” Kitty doesn’t need an excuse to be mean, but steal her boyfriend, and you’re toast. Marly leaves, upset after Kitty accuses her of being a scheming little kiss ass.
The sparks between Marly and Ryder are enough to push Jake into signing up to audition. And Kitty has the perfect audition song for the two of them! “Everybody Talks”—a tune I’m thoroughly sick of at this point. During the performance, Jake finally shows off his incredible dance moves (A HEMO dance duet please!). Kitty is a pretty fancy dancer herself (Becca Tobin has a Broadway background, notably in Rock of Ages). They both impress the gang. Marly arrives to watch the audition. She’s annoyed to see Jake hooking back up with Kitty.
Cut to the choir room where Artie, Finn, Mercedes and Mike are deciding who to bring back to audition again. Artie thinks Sandy should be blond, so he’s Team Kitty. Oh, like Maria couldn’t be black, grouses Mercedes, opening old wounds. They decide to call back all the Dannys and Sandys. Brittany has Cha Cha locked up. And Tina would make a great Jan, except she won’t audition. She’s still smarting over her break up with Mike. Finn wants to cast Unique as Rizzo. Artie has reservations, but decides to trust Finn’s judgment. “It’s nice to have the old Finn Hudson back.”
Sue enters the room just in time to pee all over the party. She orders them all to a meeting at Principal Figgins office with Will. So, what Sue is really worried about: If Unique is allowed to play a girl part in Grease it will open the door to her joining the Cheerios in drag. It’s not like Unique has even expressed interest in joining the team, but whatever. Poor Figgins is totally confused. He’s under the assumption that Unique has lady parts. Calling her a “brickhouse” was not only wrong, but perhaps a little inappropriate?
Finn doesn’t see the big deal, and neither does Will. Finn stands his ground, calling Sue a bigot. She bristles at this, reminding him of the openly gay cheerleaders on her squad and how she defended Kurt when he was being bullied by Karofsky. Sue threatens to make a VERY public stink if Finn casts Unique as Rizzo. Does he really want to put her through that? Will sides with Finn, much to Sue’s chagrin. Finally, Finn stands up to Sue. “I’m the director, It’s my decision.” He insists. When Sue pledges to make his life a living hell, Finn replies, “You can’t threaten me Sue. I’ve already lost my girlfriend, my future, my pride; I’ve got nothing more to lose.” He’s casing Unique, and that’s all there is to it!
And what’s more…he thought Sue would have more of an understanding about the plight of the underdog after she helped New Directions win Nationals. And after having a RETARDED baby. Oh no he di’int. OH YES HE DID. Finn, the king of saying the wrong thing (outed Santana in the hallway. CHECK. Called Kurt’s design sense faggy. CHECK) instantly realizes he used the wrong word and apologizes. Too late. Sue storms out. Finn has made an enemy forever.
Emma is in her office getting ready for her big move to DC. She’s obsessing over finding a place that doesn’t mess with her OCD. She doesn’t look happy. Enter Beiste who confronts her. She knows Emma has agreed to the move, despite reservations. “You don’t want to go with Will to Washington, I saw it in your face when you said you would.” Beiste insists that Emma has to tell Will she doesn’t want to go. Emma is afraid of busting Will’s dreams like his ex-wife did. That’s it. She’s going. Beiste reminds Emma that Will fell in love with her because of all the things she is besides being his girl.
Mike finally confronts Tina. They broke up amicably before he took off to Chicago for school in, but as it turns out, when confronted with his presence, she’s not really OK. She’s upset that he gave her no warning about his plans to choreograph Grease. Mike wants to make the situation “not weird” so she can audition for the musical. “We could use you. You’re so talented!” says Mike. “I’m sorry. You’re going to have to survive without my talent,” says Tina before she storms off.
Kitty, Marly, Jake and Ryder have assembled in the auditorium for call backs. There can only be ONE Sandy and ONE Ryder Mercedes reminds everybody (Uhm. Note to Mercedes: There would have been two Marias last year in West Side Story if you hadn’t pulled a Diva move). This audition is about gauging chemistry. Who’s got it? Who can generate the most heat?
Mike and Mercedes volunteer to start the auditioners off. “Everybody knows Kitty Kat is going to finish it,” informs psycho bitch. “Oh you have a lot of attitude little girl!” sniffs Mercedes, before she shows little miss bitch exactly how to perform “Hand Jive”. Mike leads the kids’ dance moves. Jake and Ryder compete for Marly’s attention while Kitty watches, fuming. Kitty hip checks Marly while Jake pushes Ryder. “Break it up!” orders Artie, ineffectually. Ryder and Kitty do a pretty neat double somersault. After, Kitty and Jake argue off stage. This can’t bode well for their chances.
Cut to Finn sitting down with Unique in the library to deliver some good news. He’s (Unique is a boy today) got the part, Coach Sue be damned. Unique tears up. “I don’t feel right in the men’s locker room. But I can’t go into the girls’. And I don’t feel right in men’s clothing. But I can’t wear dresses every day. It sucks to never know your place. It’s just nice for once to feel like I found one.” Aw. “Yeah it is,” Finn says as he has the moment of realization that while he helps Unique find her place, Finn might be finding his own. He warns Unique that he’ll do all he can to protect here, but she better be ready for the heat. “Dreams aren’t free,” Unique responds, simply.
Finn posts the cast list. Here’s how things shake out:
Brittany S. Pierce – Cha Cha
Tina Cohen Chang – Jan
Sam Evans – Kenickie
Sugar Motta – Frenchy
Joe Hart – Doody
Unique – Rizzo
Blaine Anderson – Teen Angel
Jake Puckerman – Putzie
Ryder Lynn – Danny Zuko
Marly Rose – Sandy Olsson
Kitty – Patty Simcox
Kitty wants to know WHO THE HELL IS PATTY SIMCOX. Ha ha. Psycho bitch is scorned! Ryder and Marly are awarded the leads. Tina has made amends with Mike. Blaine accepts his role, but doesn’t look entirely ready for it. Grease the Musical is ON.
“I prayed really hard for this!” says Kitty. “Maybe God wasn’t listening because he was busy helping people with cancer…” says Joe, earnestly, before Blaine silences him. Before storming off, Kitty blames Jake for screwing up the “Hand Jive” and then reminds Marly that the stage adds 10 pounds—in her case 90. Oh burn. Let the bulimia begin (You know it’s going to).
After Sue takes a gander at the cast list, she stares down a defiant Finn. This is not going to turn out well.
Cut to Will and Emma’s place. Emma has donned a Donna Reed apron and is busily cooking dinner in the kitchen. Will senses that her OCD symptoms are flaring up, as she flits around the room. Something is wrong. He stops her. “Whatever it is,” Will says, “Just say it.”
“I don’t want to go to Washington with you,” Emma confesses. She explains that for the last 3 years, all she has wanted was to be Will’s wife. But now she realizes she has no idea what that means. She doesn’t want to turn into a klonopin-addled wife like her mom. Will doesn’t want that either. Emma loves him, but she loves her job too. She’s afraid she’ll come to resent Will if she goes with him. She’d rather stay in Lima, far from him, but feeling close–rather than with him but feeling really far away. You got that? Will gets it. The pair will switch off weekends. And when Will comes home, they will finally get married. February sweeps, people!
Will enters the choir room where Finn is busy figuring out how he’s going to get a car to fly onstage in the auditorium. Finn admits that it’s nice helping other people make their dreams come true. “It’s called being a teacher,” says Will. Then, Will reveals that he’s temporarily leaving the Glee club and wants Finn to take over in the interim. Not only that…he wants Finn to call him Will, like the grown up he’s become. Technically, that would make Finn Will’s adult friend, right? That’s one for Will!
Finn doesn’t feel mature enough to run Glee club. But Will disagrees. He saw how Finn stood up to Sue, and how he successfully mentored Ryder. He’s ready. It’s a three month stint. Will Finn take over the Glee club? We’ll have to wait until next week for the answer.
Hopelessly Devoted to You – Blaine (Darren Criss)
Blow Me (One Last Kiss) – Marly (Melissa Benoist) Unique (Alex Newell)
Everybody Talks – Jake (Jacob Artist) and Kitty (Becca Tobin)
Jukebox Hero – Finn (Cory Monteith) and Ryder (Blake Jenner)
Born to Hand Jive – Mercedes (Amber Riley) Kitty, Marly, Jake
Glease (4×06) Preview