Glee Season 4 – Lights Out – Recap, Videos

Tonight, in “Lights Out”, McKinley High experiences a blackout that forces Will and the kids to get creative as they prepare for Regionals. The club learns that it’s more important than ever to rehearse. The lead singer of rival club, The Hoosierdaddies, is a pint sized Diva named Frida Romero, and she IS their secret weapon. (American Idol’s own, Jessica Sanchez, making her Glee debut!)

Sue Sylvester is gone from McKinley, but she can’t stay away. She’s got a job as a boot camp-like exercise instructor. But in her free time, she creeps around McKinley, seething, as she watches her arch nemesis, Coach Roz (NeNe Leaks), take over the Cheerios.

Meanwhile, as darkness falls on McKinley, Blaine turns super-sleuth, determined to get to the bottom of what EXACTLY happened in Sue Sylvester’s office during the recent gun incident.

In New York City, Kurt’s boss, Isabelle (Sarah Jessica Parker returns!) asks him to help out with a fundraiser. Kurt enlists Rachel, and Santana–who is working as a bar dancer and confused about her future–to volunteer with him.

And Ryder continues his quest to find out WHO is catfishing him…

Click to Listen to FULL SONGS from Glee – Lights Out

Jessica’s scene was VERY short, the first scene of the episode. Will went on a spy mission and found Jessica’s character, Frida Romero, singing the snot out of the Star Spangled Banner. He became VERY afraid…

AUDIO of Jessica’s scene:


The power goes out at McKinley, giving the kids the opportunity to not only strip down their songs, but also lay bare their pretenses, lower their defenses and reveal their vulnerabilities. Two Glee clubbers will grow close after revealing a deep dark secret, and out in New York, Santana sheds her fear to discover the artist she’s always wanted to be.

The episode opens with Ryder eyeing Kitty suspiciously. He’s still convinced she’s the one who has been catfishing him. Inexplicably, he still in contact with her, although she refuses to meet him face to face.  But never mind that, there’s a Glee club to run!   Will rushes into the room to announce that they have a problem. Namely a pint sized girl named Frida Romero, whom Will caught singing during a spy mission to the Hoosierdaddie’s school. The two clubs are set to meet in the upcoming Regionals competition.  Frida may be small, but vocally she’s a beast.  How can New Directions compete?

Weirdly, Finn, who had pledged to work side by side with Will at the end of last week’s episode, is nowhere to be found, despite being featured in a FOX production still. As most of you know, Cory Monteith, the actor who plays Finn, entered rehab and had to be written out of the last two episodes. But I guess they decided to cut his scenes out of 4×20 too. But it’s odd because there is no explanation for his sudden absence. Oh well.  Brittany is also AWOL from this episode. Maybe Heather Morris had morning sickness.

Back to Frida. She’s played by American Idol alum, Jessica Sanchez, and we only catch a glimpse of her here. She’ll be performing two songs during season ending Regionals episode in two weeks

So yeah, Will is freaked out by this “tiny little sophomore” with the big voice. The only way to beat her, he says, is to tackle songs that are “huge.”   Just as Will is telling the club the need to find epically sonic stadium songs, the lights go out. Everybody in the room is pretty calm, considering they had just gone through a terrifying gun scare a few weeks ago. Well, Sam jumps to the “Zombie Apocalypse” conclusion. But you knew that was going to happen.

Oddly, with the school nearly pitch dark, Principal Figgins announces that classes will continue. Oh. And if the blackout lasts long enough , flashlights and CANDLES will be passed out to students. GLEE LOGIC! Will they be passing out matches too? Let’s just burn down the school while we’re at it.

With no electricity available to power instrumentation, the kids will have to figure out a way to preval over tiny Frida with an unplugged theme.

Meanwhile, Ryder can’t let go of his mysterious, lying catfish. He feels a real connection to her, having told her things he’s revealed to no one else. Jake challenges him to be honest with his real life friends–people he actually KNOWS. But Ryder isn’t ready for that.

Yes kids, in case you haven’t figured it out–we’re heading down the path to another Very Special Glee Episode!

Cut to New York, and THANK GOD FOR THAT!  Santana is dragging a ratty old chair she found in the dumpster, into the loft, much to Kurt and Rachel’s dismay, as they wait expectantly on the couch to speak with her. And they aren’t happy. It turns out, Santana is not only allowing tourists to grope her at Coyote Ugly, but she’s also cage dancing at a lesbian bar.  Of course, since both Kurt and Rachel made their sexual shaming tendencies SUPER CLEAR in the Naked episode from a few months back, you  know that some major pearl-clutching is dead ahead.

Appalled, Rachel begs Santana to stop and focus on her talent.  Rolling her eyes, Santana informs her roomies that she’s got to earn a living, not like some people. And would they please not to force their creaky old Broadway dreams on to her AMAZGINGLY AWESOME dreams.

And what are her dreams exactly? She doesn’t know. Yet.  In the meantime she wants to take a time out.  Kurt suggests she take dance lessons at the NYADA extension school.  Thanks, but no thanks, says Santana as she leaves the loft in a huff.

Back in the darkened choir room, Sam performs an acoustic version of “You Lost That Loving Feeling” invoking both Phil Spector’s famous Wall of Sound, but also the idea of stripping a song to its essence. It’s an emerging theme in this episode.  It’s all about clearing the noise and listening to that still small voice within you. Even Santana in New York is embarking on a similar journey as she tries to figure out where the heck she’s headed in life.

Ryder joins Sam on harmony and it’s an awfully pretty rendition.  But when Artie complains that he can’t sing Miguel without his synths, Sam loses it, and  tells him to man up.  The lights went off many times in the Evans household when the struggling family couldn’t afford to pay the electric bill. He learned to entertain his brothers with just his guitar. NO SYNTH NEEDED DAMMIT.  Sam lectures Artie the class on their addiction to phones and computers and all things plugged in. Stripping it down means keeping it simple and noticing what’s right in front of you.

Cut to the offices.  And now we know Kurt still works for them, even if he’s no longer there  24/7.  It’s good to see Sarah Jessica Parker back as the flakey editor, Isabelle. She’s the perfect foil for Kurt and I would love to see more of her.  She calls the young fashionista into her office. Kurt is certain he’s being fired due to his drastically reduced commitment. But no. After asking after Burt. (His cancer is responding well to treatment) she asks Kurt to volunteer for a huge charity event she’s co-chairing–the New York City Ballet Gala. Kurt perks right up, because it’s THE social event of the performing arts season.   Her “celebrity wrangler” copped out and she’d love Kurt to step in. He’s ecstatic!  And oh by the way, he should bring a few of his friends along to help.

After she was fired for bringing a gun to school, Sue has a new job teaching  boot-camp style aerobics classes to rich trophy housewives, single gals…and Blaine Anderson.  And a million gifs will litter tumbler tonight. There is a workout, set to “Call on Me” and it’s kinda like this. And wow. Darren Criss sure is flexible.   The scene is super gratuitous and a major gift to the fan girls (AND BOYS). You’re welcome, says Ryan Murphy.

Blaine isn’t taking the class to get his booty in shape, however (Uhm. It already is).  He’s there to let Sue Sylvester know that HE knows she was involved SOMEHOW in the school shooting, and that it’s time for her to come clean.  His original plan was to take her down, but Coach Roz is even crazier and meaner than Sue. Her girls are lost and need their former leader back. Here’s another weird thing. You know that scene with Blaine dressed as Nightbird, grilling Becky about the school shooting,  that’s been promoed to death all week? It’s nowhere to be found in this episode. I’m guessing that’s why this scene with Sue has virtually no context.

Meanwhile, Artie has a revelation. He discovers that plastic water bottles sound really cool when run over by a wheelchair.  He shares an idea with Sam. How about making music with household items! Ring up Jimmy Fallon, y’all!

Back in New York, Kurt enters the loft, all smiles, as he attempts to rope Rachel and Santana into helping him out with Isabelle’s charity event.  Rachel squeals with delight when she learns that only a few hours of volunteer work will allow her to rub shoulder with the Hoi Poloi. Santana is all, “Just when you thought it couldn’t get any gayer, it does.”   As Rachel and Kurt begin to reminisce about their first ballet lessons, we see them at the bar as little kids and they sure are cute!  Ballet freed them to be the fearless artists they are today. Santana insists she skipped all that crap to study the timeless art of crunk.  Kurt is finally able to convinces her to join them when she learns she’ll get free couture from the vault.

Cut to a candlelit choir room. Ryder has permission to sing “Everybody Hurts” with full orchestration, because it’s his feelings he wants to unplug. Hm. Isn’t unplugged unelectrified instruments? I would think stringed instruments would qualify as unplugged, but whatever. The performance is cut with shots of the kids being hit with slushies. Not only does everybody hurt? But everybody also relates.

Singing that REM classic, gives Ryder the courage to make a confession. A thing he’s only told his online catfish. And since she’s proved to be a lying liar he can’t trust, he wants to reveal it, before it gets out. And here’s where the episode turns Very Special. When Ryder was 11, he was molested by his 17 year old baby sitter, who walked in on him in the shower. She touched him.  The girls are stricken–especially Kitty.  But the guys, on the other hand, are ready to give Ryder a high 5.  Sam and Artie don’t understand why he’s ashamed that a hot teenaged girl touched his junk.  It’s actually pretty awful and touches on a pretty prevalent double standard–the idea that sexual abuse only happens to girls.  That older girls taking advantage of an under aged boy is “every teenaged boys fantasy.”  The girls are rightfully pissed at the boys’ attitude.  Ryder, clearly hurt, brushes it off.  “The kids clearly has superior game,” says Artie, cluelessly

Kitty has asked Ryder out to dinner at Breadstix. She’s NOT cheating on Puck, because he broke up with her before he started college.  She has a hard time getting emotionally close to guys, and there’s a reason. She asked Ryder out in order to share her own secret. She was molested too, in sixth grade.  A brother of a friend crawled into her sleeping bag at a sleep over and felt her up.  When she finally told her parents, they wondered why she waited so long. Her friend’s family refused to believe it, and her friends rejected her. Eventually, she transferred to another school. If anybody understood what Ryder was going though–she did.  Becca Tobin continues to prove she’s an actress with depth. Kudos to Blake Jenner as well. And to Ryan Murphy for treating the subject with sensitivity rather than his usual heavy hand.

Back in the auditorium, Artie sings lead on ‘We Will Rock You” while the kids play on various handmade instruments like bottles, plastic drums and janitor supplies.  Look at Jake, doing ballet as he stomps on plastic bottles.

Look at Sue Sylvester hanging around the McKinley High field, watching the Cheerios practice.  he can’t stay away.  I kept waiting for those super-vigilant security guards hired since the shooting to escort her off campus. You know, because she was fired after confessing to bringing a gun t school.  Becky drops by. She’s quit the team because she hates Coach Roz.  She begs  Sue to come back, but Sue has moved on to a job where people respect her. She can’t go back to babysitting brats. That’s her cue to launch into “Little Girls” from Annie. Hey, did you know that Jane Lynch is set to play Miss Hannigan in Broadway’s Annie in a few weeks? Not a coincidence!   Sue is a little bitter as she fantasizes about killing the team off one by one.  Yep . She doesn’t miss them one bit. That’s why she’s hanging around the school.

Meanwhile, back in New York, Kurt, Rachel and Santana are at the gala, dressed to the nines. I’m not 100% clear on what their jobs are, but it seems to involve babysitting celebrities.  Rachel pleads with Isabelle to allow her and Kurt to watch the performance from the audience. Isabelle says  ABSOLUTELY NOT! Scaring them until she invites them to watch with her from the wings. Isabelle asks Santana if she wants to watch too, but Rachel is all–OH SHE HATES THE BALLET. Like Ryder and Kitty, Santana has a secret too.  She took ballet as a child. Only a few lessons, but it made her feel safe, like she belonged somewhere.

Here, the stage darkens, and when the lights come up, it’s bare except for Kurt, Rachel, Santana and Isabelle as they sing “At the Ballet” from a Chorus Line. This is truly the centerpiece of the episode and it’s gorgeous, as Isabelle, Santana, Rachel and to a lesser extent, Kurt, trade off leads.  Naya Rivera is a revelation and Sarah Jessica is brilliant. Can I just say that?  In the background, ballet dancers twirl elegantly and the mini-mes dance happily, while the quartet extol the virtues of ballet. And, once again, I’m crying over why the New York storyline doesn’t stand on its own. Screw Ohio. Seriously.

When the lights come up, and the scene shifts back to reality, Santana confesses that she has ALWAYS loved dancing, but she doesn’t know what she wants to do or how she’s going to get there. Isabelle says she’s got plenty of time, and it doesn’t have to be Broadway or ballet, as long as she loves it. Baby steps are OK. The concept of Santana loving dance is awfully weird. There was never an inkling of this back in Lima, even while she DATED a dancer. GLEE LOGIC.

Cut to a still darkened McKinley.  It’s completely unrealistic that a school power outage would last for days, with kids still attending class. Coach Roz (Who I have never found very funny, to be honest) marches Becky to Figgins office, because she’s annoying her, or something. Becky is inexplicably back in her Cheerios uniform.  It turns out that she only misbehaved in order to be sent to Figgins Office. She has something to confess…But we aren’t going to find out about that now.

Finally, the power comes back on. And of course there’s a nutty, convoluted story behind it, involving a Mylar balloon and a woman’s vagina.

Back in the auditorium, Will isn’t ready to plug back in just yet. First, he wants the club to sing a cappella. “In the end,” he says, “our voices are the only instruments that truly matter.

Cut to Ryder chatting with his catfish. He still believes catfish is a member of the Glee club, which is one of the reasons why he confessed his deep dark secret, hoping to catch a look on their face as he revealed something they already knew.  Catfish still ain’t telling. She wants to know why Ryder is still talking to her. Whoever you are, you’ve opened me up somehow, he confesses. He’s letting down his defenses, becoming a more honest person.  Catfish has to log off for a few minutes. Ryder promises to stand by and wait for her.

In the meantime, Kitty comes by and calls him the Son of Frankenteen, which is an awesome call back to season 1.  She becomes irritated when he declines a lunch invitation. She can’t believe he’s going to sit around waiting for a phantom girlfriend who isn’t real while there is real flesh and blood standing in front of him.  “She’s a projection,” says Kitty, “She’s whoever you want her to be. That’s why you get along.” Oh. Truth!  Kitty doesn’t have an easy time warming up to guys. And once rejected, there are no second chances. It’s Kitty or the Catfish.  And the Catfish wins.

Santana breezes into her Nyada dance class, fashionably late and with a major attitude as she takes her seat next to middle aged housewives.  The instructor wants to know what’s she’s doing there.  “I love to dance,” says Santana. She an artist who has lost touch with that part of herself, and she’s there to “do some reintroducing.”

“I can dig that,” says the instructor. As Santana dances at the bar, she spots her younger self across the room. She approaches her and gives her a hug–promising to never forget her again. And Santana is on the path to finding herself.

The episode ends with the Glee club performing an a’cappella rendition of “The Longest Time,” in a well lit auditorium as a proud Will looks on.

Photo Gallery

About mj santilli 33272 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!