Glee Season 3 Episode 20/21 – Props/Nationals – Recap, Photos, Video

GLEE: Tina bumps her head and sees Sugar (Vanessa Lengies, L) as Quinn and Joe (Samuel Larsen, R) as Mike in the first hour of a special two-hour "Props/Nationals" episode of GLEE airing Tuesday, May 15 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2012 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Mike Yarish/FOX

Lindsey Lohan, Perez Hilton and Whoopi Goldberg guest star.

Sorry guys! I’ve been crazy busy on the blog. This week y’all are getting a bulleted list of thoughts on tonight’s episode rather than a full-blown recap.


  • I was expecting “Props” to be a fun hour of TV featuring Tina’s silly body swap fantasy and Sue’s comical attempts to give the Glee club an edge over Vocal Adrenaline. It was that, but so much more!  “Props” is up there with “The First Time” and “Dance With Somebody” as one of my favorite episodes of Season 3
  • Best “That’s what you missed on Glee” EVER. The story of Tina Cohen Chang in 10 seconds!
  • The Body Swap was hilarious.  So silly, yet so fun. The best impersonators were Chris playing Finn (his mannerisms were dead on!) and Lea’s slouchy Tina.
  • But it wasn’t all silly. In her head injury induced fever dream, Tina envisions herself as Rachel, singing fantastic solos to standing ovations. She comes out of her reverie more confident, and with a better understanding and respect for Rachel’s ambitions. She’s willing to play a support player until it’s her turn. For Tina, part of the neglect was brought on by her lack of confidence.
  • In the meantime, Tina and Rachel interact in this episode in a really sweet way. Rachel passes the torch to the younger girl, like a big sister, while Tina helps Rachel screw up the courage to visit Carmen Tibideaux (Whoopi Goldberg) in person to ask for a NYADA audition do over. Not only that,  after Tina defends Rachel, pointing out her determination and talent,  in response to Carmen  reading Rachel the riot act, the tough educator reconsiders her stance.  Sisterhood is a two way street and a very beautiful thing.
  • There was a ton of meta in the Tina story line. Despite being a New Directions member, original Flavah, poor Tina can’t get no respect.  Neither can Jenna Ushkowitz, whose talents have been underused by the show. Hopefully Ryan Murphy follows through on the promise of this episode by making Tina a leader in the choir room next season.  Tina and Artie as co-captains? Works for me. Also: Tina and Blaine. Besties! Make it happen, Murphy.
  • The underclassman help Tina make costumes.  A handy device to establish that Joe, Rory and Sugar are not graduating, and could come back for Season 4. Just for the record, Sugar is the only one I want. More of the comic stylings of Vanessa Lengies, please  Damian and Samuel can go back to where they came from.
  • The good news: For once Kurt and Blaine got to display tons of PDA! The bad news: As played by Cory and Mark in the body swap.  Don’t even get me started.
  • Reason #3564 that the character of Kurt Hummel is not a stereotype.  Sue wants a boy from the Glee club to perform in a dress in order to compete with Unique, Vocal Adrenaline’s dynamic transgender. Kurt says NO. Just because a guy is gay—even if he is flamboyantly so and high pitched—does not mean he wants to or is willing to do drag.  That point was also made back in Season 2’s Rocky Horror Picture Show episode when Kurt refused to play Frankenfurter.
  • Having said that—OMG. Kurt and Blaine as Snooki and The Situation? Lulzy!
  • Hilarious line: “Jennifer Beals is spinning in her grave,” said by Sue after the kids fail to dance and weld at the same time during one of her crazy prop stunts.
  • Hilarious line: Kurt goes off to spy on Vocal Adrenaline. He brings back black and white footage. Sam asks him why. Kurt answers, “Because I worship The Artist.”
  • Holy crap. Mark Salling.  The scene in the locker room after Beiste intervenes in his confrontation with the hockey team was as powerful as any of Glee’s best dramatic scenes. Color me totally bitch slapped and impressed.
  • I’m really glad the show revisited the domestic violence story line, because the way it was introduced in “Choke” was ALL wrong. Instead of being written as a glorified PSA, we saw Beiste struggle in a realistic way with the decision to leave her physically and emotionally abusive husband. Like Rachel and Tina, Puck and Beiste form an unlikely alliance. Puck’s kindred spirit helps Beiste to find the courage to leave a bad relationship. In turn, Bieste has a talk with Puck’s Geography teacher convincing her to allow Puck his do over.  With Beiste’s help, he’ll graduate after all.
  • And it was all because Puck was willing to don a dress for Nationals!  It showed that he cared…about something and was willing to take one for the team.
  • There were only 4 songs in this episode, each advancing the plot. Rachel sings “I Won’t Give Up” as a pledge of her determination to make it to NYC no matter what.  Tina sings “Because You Loved Me”.   Even though she thought she was Rachel Berry, Tina ultimately shined through.  Jenna Ushokowitz can sing. Are you listening, Ryan Murphy.  After Beiste leaves Cooter in a scene that was sad, scary and heartbreaking all at once, she joins Puck on stage for a rendition of Taylor Swift’s “Mean Girls” that resonates in a completely different way in the hands of two characters that are supposedly bad asses. But, not really, because they hurt inside too. Damn, that shit was good. Finally, Rachel promised Tina she would sing a duet with her before graduation. As they head for the bus to Nationals, they perform “What a Feeling….Flashdance” and there is no welding involved. The torch is successfully passed.


  • I really hated the way the writers wedged the Regionals competition into an episode that was stuffed with public service announcements. Rather than being the focus of “On My Way” the performances took a back seat to an outing and resulting suicide attempt, a texting and driving tragedy and the issue of teen marriage. The episode was easily one of my least favorites of the season. This time around, “Props” did all of the heavy lifting storyline-wise, while Nationals stayed focused on the club’s quest to finally win Nationals.
  • And win Nationals they did. Would you have it any other way?
  • Mercedes gets sick, prompting Will to introduce Quinn and Tina into the Troubletones. Did we really need a plot device to do that? Now that Quinn has proven she can dance as well as walk, can we forget that the whole car accident story line never happened? Nearly killed in February. Dancing by May. Don’t text and drive, y’all.
  • Honestly, not sure why Vocal Adrenaline didn’t win. They were fabulous. Unique was fabulous! I remember not liking Alex Newell much on the Glee Project, but he’s won me over. When Kurt and Mercedes go backstage to wish Unique luck, she’s tearing off her wig.  She was just a guy who wanted to sing wearing a wig and a dress. But now that her act has drawn attention, she’s become the poster child for any kid that’s different. She can’t handle the pressure of being a role model. “You’ve got to move through that fear and expectation,” says Kurt, convincing Unique to not give up, “at least that’s what real stars do.” Is that Chris Colfer speaking as Kurt or speaking from his own real life experiences?
  •  As Kurt and Mercedes exit, Unique is so moved by their generous spirit that she considers transferring schools.  And an opening is left for Alex to appear on Season 4.
  • But the New Directions performances are pretty fabulous too. The Troubletones, always full of win, perform “Edge of Glory.”  Just as Rachel hits her high note in “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now”, Carmen Tibideaux takes her seat in the auditorium. Rachel goes from powerful and dramatic to fun and campy in a blink, when The New Directions launches into an energetic “Paradise by the Dashboard Light”.  Carmen is so impressed, she whistles her approval. Yeah, I think Rachel will be joining Kurt at NYADA.
  • The always awesome Jonathon Groff is back and despite the pressure, he’s conciliatory-even putting in a good word for Rachel when he runs into Carmen in the lobby.
  • Rachel and Jesse have more chemistry than Rachel and Finn. There. I said it.
  • As much as I hate to admit it, because they both annoy me–the scenes in the judges’ room with Lyndsey Lohan and Perez Hilton and the guy from Suburgatory were pretty funny.
  • The triumphant return of New Directions to McKinley was so sweet, with the Hockey team shocking the club with slushies made of celebratory confetti. One even hugged a surprised Kurt! Finally, the kids are cool!  But they’ve always been cool, even back in their tragic “Sit Down You’re Rocking The Boat” days.  It’s the crazy world we live in that bestows money and fame and popularity based on outside stuff like winning a championship.  But at this moment…who cares. Let the kids revel in their glory! And indeed they do, in a montage set to New Direction’s candy coated song, “Tongue Tied.” Kisses, hugs and sparkling cider all around!
  • Every couple but Klaine get a hug and a smooch during the victory party—even Brit and Santana. It’s the biggest moment of their young lives, and we don’t see Kurt and Blaine so much as hug? But gay PDA between two straight guys (Finn and Puck’s body swap in Props) played for yucks is fine. Alrighty then. Maybe the Brittana kiss in the montage filled the episode’s quota for gay PDA.
  • A National Championship also helps to convince a certain fiancé to finally do the big nasty. Yes, Will and Emma have sex, after living together for nearly a year.  Thank God that’s finally out of the way.
  • Finn was so confident the club would win Nationals, he bet Rick the Stick 500 dollars, which he collects. Now he and Rachel can take a kick ass honeymoon after they get married. Yes, they are still engaged. I expect their plans to be once again derailed in the big finale next week. As they should be. Finchel teen marriage storyline. Do Not Want.
  • The episode ends with Figgins surprising Will with the teacher of the year award.  Sue brags that her moles have informed her that she’s won, after snatching back the cheerios from Roz Washington as a result of helping the kids win Nationals.  Sue isn’t really bragging–she’s in on the surprise. The kinder and gentler Sue Sylvester still continues to rock.
  • The kids sing “We Are the Champions” Finn drags Will on stage for an emotional hugfest. Aw. Expect a lot more tears as the senior kids graduate in next week’s episode.

“Because You Loved Me

Flashdance….What A Feeling – Props

It’s All Coming Back to Me Now

Paradise by the Dashboard Light

Starships – Nationals

Pinball Wizard

Tina Hits her Head – Props

Mercedes is Sick – Nationals

Promo for “Goodbye”

Listen to Full Songs from Props/Nationals

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About mj santilli 35006 Articles
Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!