Glee Season 6 Episode 10 Recap – The Rise and Fall of Sue Sylvester – Performance Videos
With special guest stars, Carol Burnett (Back as Sue’s Mom), Michael Bolton, Geraldo Rivera, and Carnie Wilson.
Glee Season 6 Songs! Listen to Music From “The Rise and Fall of Sue Sylvester”
Glee Season 6 Spoilers: “We Built This Glee Club” Episode 11
Glee Season 6 Spoilers – A Look At What’s Ahead (Updated: 3/4)
Tonight’s “The Rise and Fall of Sue Sylvester” began promisingly enough, with New Directions rehearsing in the auditorium. It’s a cover of “Be Clean” by Bandit. The soloists are Jane, Kitty and Spencer. The performance is energetic, spirited FUN! Jane (Samantha Ware) is a particular standout. The bratty 13 year old from last week’s Bar Mitvah episode looks ridiculous performing with all the big kids. But, whatever.
“Rather Be” – New Directions
Blaine and Kurt return from their honeymoon with bad news: Dalton is burned to the ground! So, just like that, Blaine, Kurt and Will decide it would be a great idea to merge the two clubs. Two clubs from different schools will merge one week before sectionals. How does the logistics of something like that even work? Do the Warblers transfer to McKinley? Could they? Your typical Glee suspension of reality required. I’m not going to sweat it.
Everybody embraces the idea. Well, almost everybody. Jane looks really unhappy, and who could blame her? These are the guys who voted NOT to let her into the Warblers. They basically drove her out of Dalton in the first place. And of course, there’s Sue Sylvester. For a reason she never really explains, she’s determined NOT to allow the two clubs to merge, despite the fact that her crush, the superintendent, has signed off on the idea.
Call it a Supergroup!
YES. The title of the episode IS “The Rise and Fall of Sue Sylvester.” But still, based on spoilers and promos, I expected a big chunk of tonight’s story to revolve around the tragedy of Dalton’s demise, Kurt and Blaine coping with the loss, the clubs merging and getting accustomed to each other, and the clubs finally uniting to sing “Rise” the melodic, aspirational, original song written by Darren Criss. THAT would have been an episode! But NOPE. Nearly the entire story revolved around a typically Sue-centered plot. And as unbearable Sue-centered plots go, this was even worse than usual. Yes WAY worse than The Hurt Locker part 1 and 2 which I mostly loathed.
Sue and Will face off for the zillionth time. You know the drill by now. Their faces get really close. Sue: “Doomsday has arrived,” Will: “Bring it Susie-Q” Me: *crying* as the focus completely shifts to Sue, and never really comes back to the kids until the last 20 minutes or so of the episode.
There is a weak B plot that has Rachel back in NYC, begging Carmen Tibideaux to re-admit her to NYADA. I guess they couldn’t schedule Whoopi Goldberg for another guest spot, because we only see Rachel nervously enter her office, as the secretary tells her not to get her hopes up. “Carmen has been looking forward to this,” she says ominously.
It’s a bit later in the episode, during a confab in the faculty lounge, when we learn that Carmen turned her down. Rachel is sure she can still wheedle her way back in. Mercedes (she just shows up without an explanation. Doesn’t she have a record to promote or something?) and Blaine try to convince her she’s probably fighting a lost cause. Sam, on the other hand, is on Rachel’s side. He believes continuing to pursue NYADA is worthwhile.
But then. BLAM! A phone call interrupts the discussion. Remember that audition for a new Broadway musical that Mercedes setup for Rachel a few weeks prior? She got the part. Just like that. In the real world, Rachel would be blackballed from Broadway for life after breaking her “Fanny” contract. But in the world of Glee. Or Rachel, more specifically, there seems to be no consequences for stupid decisions. “I totally forgot about that audition!” says Rachel, two weeks after going on one of the biggest auditions of her young life. Honey, about that short term memory loss you’re suffering? You might want a doc to take a look at that.
Later, as she’s chatting with Sam in the choir room (he’s rather fetching in a Dalton jacket she asks him to try on), Rachel gets a call from Carmen telling her there’s a spot at NYADA if she wants it. WHAT? There’s some faint explanation overheard on the phone about a student getting into a bike accident or something? In any case. Now, Rachel has TWO options. Either take the part in a Broadway musical, or go back to NYADA. Rachel must have truly been born under a lucky star. It’s amazing how little she has to work to have so much handed to her on a silver platter. The scene ends with Rachel and Sam in disagreement. Rachel wants to go back to Broadway. Sam is afraid she’ll make the same mistakes again if she doesn’t humble herself and go back to square one. College.
Back to Sue. Becky is furious that she won’t let the Warblers join the Glee club. God knows why–something about her own personal moral line being crossed because she won’t help kids whose school has burned down. She’s still “dating” Darrell, who is present to “translate” what Becky screams at Sue, as if Becky can’t serve as her own agent. Patronizing. Exactly the problem I had with his role in Jagged Little Tapestry, where he seemed to exist solely to explain Becky’s point of view. Stomping out of the office, Becky declares that Sue is evil and no longer her friend. Sue blames Darrell, who insists that Becky arrived at that conclusion all on her own.
Sue is called to the superintendent’s office, where Will is present as a “witness” to her being fired. Superintendent Bob was horrified after being taken on a tour of Sue’s bizarre “Hurt Locker,” where he saw the craxy Klaine tribute, and an effigy of his own nephew, Myon. Although it was the Penthouse pictorial he was handed, that featured a naked Sue, that sent him over the edge, the Klaine tribute also freaked him out. “I’m all for young love,” Bob says. “But this is wrong. Right?” Yes. It is. Very wrong. Buh bye Sue.
Next, we cut to Geraldo Rivera, hosting a special FOX report “The Rise and Fall of Sue Sylvester.” Geraldo sets a team of fact checkers to investigate all the outrageous claims Sue has made over the years, like being born in the Panama Canal zone, fighting in the Falklands war, extracting Noriega from power. And most importantly, there’s no evidence she has ever been water boarded! Sue reminds Geraldo that she water boarded herself. That meta list of lies is just a sampling of the ridiculous claims that Sue made over the years. The water boarding joke is straight out of the pilot. These things that were part of the hyper reality of Glee are suddenly brought back down to earth by the ridiculous Geraldo Rivera. Can we get back to the kids now? No?
Several guest stars appear via satellite to debunk Sue’s lies: Carnie Wilson reveals SHE played tambourine for Wilson-Phillips, not Sue Sylvester! Michael Bolton drops the bombshell. He is NOT the father of her child (where is Maury Povich when you need him) and has never even met her. ” I honestly think the woman has some sort of mental illness,” he says. Sue’s world is falling apart! And so is mine. This Geraldo sequence is interminable.
Cut to the Gee Club. HI COMPLETELY RANDOM APPEARANCE BY SAMUEL LARSEN. Rachel, Kurt, Blaine, and more recount the terrible things Sue did to them–kidnapping, forcing Klaine to kiss, showing up to Rachel’s Funny Girl performance only to walk out half way through, cutting off Joe Hart’s dreads. You know. Because his dreads are gone? Ha ha? Artie explains that the reason that she hates Glee is that “she’s never forgiven us for stealing her thunder.” Geraldo reveals that Quinn, Brittany and Santana declined to comment. Or the producers couldn’t contract them for the episode.
Infuriated, Sue blames Will Schuester. But then Geraldo reveals–DUN DUN DUN–It was Becky Jackson who spilled Sue’s secrets to the superintendent and the press. Cut to Becky on screen, in soft focus, walking hand in hand with Darrell. She explains that when Sue wouldn’t let Gay Blaine and the Warblers join Glee when their school burned down, it was time to blow the whistle. So that’s what it took, huh. Not all the other heinous things Sue has done and said in the past. OK.
After lying about cutting to a commercial when actually the cameras were still rolling, Sue declares the interview a hack job, unworthy of the “fair and balanced” FOX news. Oh. Taking a shot at FOX news. On FOX. Sue only has one champion, and that’s Beiste. Shot in the dark with his voice altered, he describes how Sue supported his transition, and escape from a domestic abuser. “Why are the lights off?” asks Beiste finally, looking around. “I’m not trying to hide!”
Geraldo Rivera Interviews Sue
Since we have to shoehorn another guest star into the episode, there’s Sue’s mom Doris, played by Carol Burnett, walking arm and arm with Geraldo, claiming she wasn’t really a Nazi hunter. They just told Sue that as an excuse to stay away from what Doris describes as a “bad seed” kind of kid. “From the minute I laid eyes on her, I knew Sue would be the daughter I just couldn’t love.” At which point, Sue becomes so angry, she slugs Geraldo as she leaves the room. Geraldo wonders if she’s a psychopath who deserves to be behind bars. Observable behavior would indicate yes, methinks. The last clip is Will, who actually defends her. “She’s a fighter,” he says, “Her cutthroat spirit kept everyone around her on their toes, striving to work harder and be better.”
Back at McKinley. Wait. How is Sue still allowed in the building after being fired acrimoniously? When I was laid off. LAID OFF. I wasn’t even allowed back in my cubicle to grab my purse. As Sue mopes about the auditorium, as the band kids play sad music, her mom arrives to apologize and offer an olive branch. In reality, mom blames herself and her own inability to do the “parenting thing” for their terrible relationship.
For the most part, Glee has wasted the talents of Carol Burnett in a barely funny, thankless role. But I’m not gonna lie, what happens next is pure bliss. Sue wants to know if Doris loved her father. She did! Ever since they first met on a trolley…and cue the music for a fabulous Jane Lynch/Carol Burnett duet of “The Trolley Song.” Forget the horrible storyline and characters. Two talented entertainers from different generations join forces to sing and dance, and it’s delightful. If only the two could have come together under more creative circumstances. Doris loves movie musicals. Sue explains why she hates them, “How do people just burst into song? How does everybody just magically know the lyrics?” Glee!
Sue Sylvester and Doris Sylvester (Carol Burnett) sing “The Trolley Song”
Speaking of people who burst into song at the drop of a hat–the story finally gets back to the struggle of the two choirs attempting to merge in the final acts of the episode. The Warblers want to wear their blazers, and the New Directions do not. Tempers flare. Will and Kurt think the blazers need to go. Blaine and Rachel hesitate to take away the last vestige of the Warblers’ burned down school.
Plot twist! But not really. Somehow, Sue ends up as coach of Vocal Adrenaline. Clint wonders how she got the job without ever having coached a Glee club before (Au contraire. Sue coached Aural Intensity back in Season 2 when the Kurt & Blaine led Warblers faced off against New Directions.) Sue puts them through brutal paces that include something called the “barftron 200” 5 hour workout, while they sing “Far From Over” 200 times! Since they’re all douchebag robots, they love it and welcome their new coach with open arms. Sue burns her pom poms, her trophies, all of her Hurt Locker items. She throws a little doll Becky gave her in the fire, but then pulls it back out again.
“Far From Over” – Vocal Adrenaline with Max George
Cut to Sue in the auditorium (Seriously. How is she still able to hang around McKinley?) playing the opening bars to “The Final Countdown” on a huge church organ.
“You’ve crossed me for the last time William Schuester,” says Sue. “Do you have any idea how many times you’ve said that?” asks Will, who is at this moment, a total stand in for us. This dumb plot line was maybe funny the first time. Recycled a gazillion times…not so much. Sue insists that he betrayed her. Nevermind that it was Becky who revealed her secrets and Will who offered his support. Nothing really has to make sense in the final hours of Glee. As if it ever did before.
“I’m taking it upon myself to destroy the Glee club, and you once and for all,” says Sue, “And I know I’ve said THAT before too.” MAKE IT STOP PLZ.
When Brad (BLAST FROM THE PAST!) randomly shows up to take over the organ, Will warns, “don’t even think you can out Europe me, Sue. I saw them play live at the Franklin fair in 1993!” Cut to an over the top fantasy sequence featuring Will and Sue in huge wigs and hair metal outfits singing a really really really terrible 80’s song. The kids, gathered in the auditorium, are horrified and frightened by what they see. Which is not what we see. They see the reality of two lunatic adults pretending to play and break guitars while we watch what must be going on in Will and Sue’s heads. Both scenarios are ridiculous.
“Final Countdown” – Will and Sue
Jane Lynch sings TWICE in one episode. And here we are with only 3 more hours to go and Chris Colfer hasn’t had so much as one solo yet. I’m sorry. But that’s criminal. In fact, this is at least 3 songs for Jane. When it’s the last time we’re going to see the original cast, shouldn’t each one have the opportunity to sing at least one last solo? ETA: Also don’t need multiple solos from the acting-challenged The Wanted singer, Max George, and Vocal Adrenaline. End. Of. Rant.
Bad news! If New Directions doesn’t win Nationals, the club will be forced to disband and all arts and music programs at McKinley will be cancelled, so sayeth the superintendent. I can understand making the stakes as high as possible for the club, but can’t the writers come up with a new roadblock? Not winning a huge barely attainable competition was the reason Glee disbanded last season. It didn’t make sense then, and it doesn’t now.
As they always do, the kids buck up, determined to power through and prevail. Cue the music! And I breathe a sigh of relief as Glee gets back to the things I love. The combined Glee clubs take the stage to sing “Rise” a song that Darren Criss wrote with some of his friends a few years back. It’s uplifting and tuneful and gushingly hopeful. The kids are all in shirts, slacks, skirts and striped ties. Very Dalton like. Halfway through the song, Blaine wheels out a garment rack full of bright red blazers! It’s the Warbler uniform, but in McKinley colors! The club members help each other suit up. “We will rise above the ashes, before this whole life passes us by.” Perfect. Glee. For about 15 minutes of this episode, anyway. Go away Sue Sylvester.
Rise written by Darren Criss – New Directions/Warblers
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