Your card, and tonight’s cocktail is Ms. Chenoweth’s personal favorite Big Girl drink, the Cosmopolitan. I’m putting a twist on it to fit the episode, it’s the Almost Cosmopolitan.
We last left Glee in dire straits, well, in Rachel’s eyes they’re in dire straights. She left so she can focus solely on the musical, so neener neener, Glee Club. Also, we hear that the gang is working on the only song they’re allowed to perform, “Don’t Stop Believing.” (Hey. Securing song rights is expensive.) Quinn is trying to give it her all, but she’s no Rachel. Also, she has to run out a lot to puke. Morning sickness sucks.
Kurt wants Rachel back. Even Puck gets involved. “That chick makes me want to light myself on fire, but she can sing.” Finn just wants Mr. Schue to ease up on Quinn so it won’t hurt the baby. (For the love of… do any of these people know how pregnancy works?)
Shrewi and Will sit at the Pie Barn (there are two restaurants in town, I think) eating… you got it. Shrewi is on her third slice of Grasshopper pie and asks the waiter to bring her another. Will recognizes the waiter, he’s in his 20s and used to go to McKinley. Now he goes to Carmel High School and is in Vocal Adrenaline. They keep failing him so he can stay in – he’s the only one that can do a triple back flip while singing “Rehab.”
Failing students to keep them in Show Choir? You can do that? Oho! Will plots and schemes.
Emma Pillsbury, the steady voice of reason, calls Finn in for a chat so she can pretend she doesn’t know about the baby, but she just so happens to have loads of pamphlets that might be helpful. (“So You Knocked up Your Girlfriend!”) She encourages Finn to maybe pursue a musical scholarship instead of an athletic one. What with their football team sucking and all. He’s going to need to get Rachel back into Glee, though, so their chances of winning Worldunals will be increased.
Rachel is interviewed by Jacob Ben Israel Goldsmith Bernstein Cohenman Mann when he inexplicably demands that she take off her sweater in order to get a good review. Sandy comes in, hears that Rachel has a problem with nudity, and he assures Jacob that he has no issues, and has some ideas about Equus that he’d like to discuss…
(Side note, at the Tony’s Neil Patrick Harris got off an excellent joke that morphed Dan Radcliffe, Warhorse, and Equus, and I laughed like a big ol’ theater geek.)
Finn comes in and butters Rachel up. He offers to run lines with her, help her in any way he can, because he’s just a good guy wanting to help. Dirty pool, Finn, she really likes you. (He does feel bad, though.)
Will looks up an old Glee performer that he crushed on back in the day. April Rhodes, the hottest thing on two legs. And she dropped out of high school, no graduation, oh really? He emails her, gets an instant reply like it was Twitter or something, and finds her living in a fabulous mansion in their dipwater town.
It’s Kristin Chenoweth in all her weetiny glory, and she’s totally drunk already. [Drink! Well why wouldn’t you?] And the Real Estate agent for that house shows up, turns out April is actually a squatter. She funnels her wine back in the box and packs it up to flop on the curb and catch Will up to speed.
She had dreams of Broadway, but a bad boyfriend and badder choices left them at the Ohio state line, nowhere near NYC. There’s a set of mixed-raced twins out there with some powerful pipes (one expects) and those were the good times. Well, Will Schuester isn’t going to stand for any of that stinkin’ thinkin’, see? April Rhodes was somebody, and she’s gonna be somebody, the kind of somebody that makes you think stardust ain’t all gone, and dreams still do come true!
But… she’s going to have to sit in his Spanish class to get there. Oh, and join Glee. Sure thing, buddy, why not!? [Schue bringing in adult, what? – DRINK!]
The gang isn’t too keen on someone so “old” joining in. April snaps back, “Old, huh? You guys look like the world’s worst Benetton ad!” April hears that Rachel left to perform in Cabaret. Oh really?
Hit it, Tinkles! Nameless-but-constant piano man hits “Maybe This Time” in B-flat and a new generation of kids get to see why Kristin Chenoweth is who she is. My lord, but that woman knocks it out. It’s almost unfair when they cut back and forth between Rachel doing that number in her rehearsal. Lea Michele just doesn’t have the life experience to put the depth in that song that Chenoweth can, that’s all. But she’ll get there.
April wraps it up and they pan over the kids, who are sitting there open-mouthed. Kurt is crying and mopping away tears. (Side story, Chris Colfer is a massive fan and couldn’t help but break character and tear up watching her perform, and they left it, because come on, Kurt would cry, too. Good lord, but I adore that kid.)
April tries to keep up in Spanish class, but “the old noodle ain’t what it used to be. I huffed a lot of upholstery cleaner in the 90s.” Will just wants her to win the other kids over. Win them over, eh…?
Cue the Hall and Oates for the montage of April and the various Gleeks. She gives Kurt a thermos of Chablis.
“It smells like my Aunt Mildred.”
“Just drink it. A few swigs every morning and you’ll have all the courage to be yourself.”
“Really? That’s fantastic.” Glug!
“So’s my primo collection of vintage muscle mags.”
Kurt is barely able to take the gift offered. Oh, but he does. Also, he is wearing THE WORST outfit in all of Glee history today. It looks like the wardrobe specialist raided Don Knott’s trailer from the Three’s Company days. DRINK.
HERE IS YOUR PROOF.
April shows Mercedes and Tina how to shoplift by cramming things up their cootchies. Why, April once stole a kid’s birthday cake and the candles were still lit! (Does that mean there’s a lot of room up there? You know, for the oxygen required to burn them? I’m confused. That paints a very wrong picture in my head.)
Puck exits the shower, smirking, and then April comes out in his football jersey and a towel wrapped around her head. Hoooooot like burning, sister. Also, sexual innuendo, DRINK. You know what, guys? I think the kids are going to like her!
Rachel, at rehearsals, is getting screamed at by Sandy. But she’s onto him, he just wants to fire her so he can play the lead in Cabaret. With those wrinkles? He could never be a proper Sally Bowles! Rachel runs off to run lines with Finn. He thinks maybe he’d join the play, if only she’d come back to Glee. Or maybe they should go on a not-a-date and do some bowling to talk about stuff? He’s cranking the charm to 11. April comes in to practice her part with Finn, and Rachel is shocked. Pfft, talent doesn’t age, sweetheart!
Out in the hallways, Kurt staggers towards his locker so clearly hung-over (and still drunk.) Emma walks past him, smells the booze, and backs up. Kurt has massive bags under his eyes, his hair is unkempt, uh this is not the Kurt Hummel we’re used to, he’s barely pulled together a look. [DRINK.] He stares at Emma and is very confused, and then sad.
“Oh, Bambi. I cried so hard when those hunters shot your mommy…”
LOL times forever. And then he ralphs all over her feet. We next see Emma stiffly walking into the teacher’s lounge after having a Karen Silkwood shower. (Look it up, kids.) Since he looks like an 11 year old milkmaid, he’s clearly being given the booze by someone, hem hem, Will. Someone with a backpack full of clinking booze bottles? Someone who’s name rhymes with Wapril? She then tells Will that April is taking away the kids’ chance to shine, and he needs to, you know, be a good teacher here.
Will looks like he might start feeling unfulfilled again.
Rachel cries during another horrible rehearsal [DRINK!] April tries to connect with her, but Rachel is not having it. There will be no muscle mags or hot shower hummers for this diva, I thank you. She thinks April is being inappropriate, but April, who has been down for so long, is not going to give up this high. She’s never leaving. [Uh, okay Jerri Blank.] A pair of sunglasses fall onto her face and she shouts, “DEAL WITH IT.”
At the Bowling Alley, Livin’ On A Spare, Rachel gets some personal instruction from Finn on how to bowl. He stands closely behind her, wraps his arms around her and whispers into her ear, “You just stick three fingers in and throw towards the dark hole. It’s kind of self-explanatory.” Ahem. He’s working it, and she’s falling for him hook, line, and gutter ball.
(They should form a team, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Gutter! No? How about Split Happens? I’ll stop now.)
Will and April just happen to be there, too, and he goes on about how into her he was. [You’re married and on a date, Will. DRINK.] She’s just happy to be ambulating as she’s “rolling on a fistful of horse tranquilizers.” There happens to be a bar at Livin’ On A Spare (of course there is) so they hop on up the stage and rock out some Heart. “How do I get you alone?” in particular, and that is also not the best song for a guy with a (he believes) pregnant wife at home to be singing to his former crush, DRINK.
One critique for Kristin – she does that thing that “cute” girls do when they smile where they put their tongue behind their teeth to disarm you with their girlish charm. Nope, I only think you’re about to blow a raspberry while smiling, which is impressive, granted. But come on, pop, rock, Broadway, opera, is there anything she can’t do? Heart.
Finn and Rachel split a pizza, and he tells her how everyone misses her. SPORFLE, what?? She knows better, she says they just miss her singing. Well, he misses her. She picks up her ball for her last roll, KISSES IT (oh my god, that is a public ball gack!) and gets a strike, because this is TV. She hugs him, which turns into a kiss. Whoops!
“Come back to Glee.”
“What about Quinn?” (she doesn’t yet know about the pregnancy, remember)
He doesn’t know what’s going to happen there, but Rachel agrees to coming back and is happy with the decision while Finn just looks hopelessly confused.
Speaking of Glee Club, they’re all sitting around gossiping about Quinn and what could be the matter with her. After some inane guesses, Puck, exasperated, finally blurts out, “Are you that stupid? I bet you thought Bert and Ernie were just roommates. Maybe… she’s pregnant.”
Rachel bounces in at that time, expecting applause, but they’re too wrapped up in this new juicy tidbit. Quinn’s pregnant and Finn’s the daddy, they tell her. She’s not slushied, but she may have well have been. She’s devastated. Poor thing.
Finn, full of false virtue, bounces in and sees Rachel. She slaps him across the face, hard. Ooooooh. He races after her saying he’s sorry he was a big old Lying Liar who Schemes (and lies) but she just wished he’d been honest. She doesn’t care that he does like her, her dreams are bigger than some dumb boy. I hate the phrase, but a “you go, girl!” is fitting. Pfft, I’m drinking to it.
Rachel goes back to the play, Sue gives her full artistic control, and that’ll show them, humph!
That night there is an Invitational (I wish I was making that up) and as the gang warms up, April lurches in, three sheets to the wind. She’s obnoxious, makes out with Puck for a second (ha, I would too, sister) and shoots finger guns. Emma is livid with Will for letting this happen [DRINK] but he just wants to win, omg, how will he ever be fulfilled if he doesn’t recreate his 1993 Nationals Win?
The group performs a wholly inappropriate number, “Last Name,” which is about getting shit-faced on Cuervo (gross, drink Milagro) and waking up with a stranger in her bed [song choice – DRINK.] I will say that they do a great job line dancing (again, I’m from Texas. Even if you’re Goth you know how to freakin’ line dance here.)
Rachel stands in the back, sad (but not crying) seeing how good they are without her.
Will waits for April to come out of the bathroom. He’s mad at how drunk she was and tells her she has to leave. She knows it, too. She has the grace to feel badly for the kids, whose spotlight she’s stealing. But she won’t lie, it felt good to get a standing ovation. Well, there’s always Branson. People’s Peepaws and Meemaws like a good show, too.
Will tells the kids that April is gone, they panic, but he tries to explain that he made a mistake bringing her there, and that it’s supposed to be about them. Rachel comes in to tell them how great they were and offers to come back, if they’ll have her. She misses them. Being a star doesn’t feel as good as being a friend. Aww! Gag.
But all redemption is belonging to the kids, because they take Rachel back, show her how to do the choreography (circle Finn, raise hands, cross stage, raise hands, cross stage, circle Finn, raise hands) and if “Somebody To Love Me” was a piñata, we’d all be rolling in candy. That means they knocked the shit out of that song, and they really, really do.
I’m not gonna lie, y’all, the first time I heard them do this number when it originally aired, I got chills. There is something inherently awesome about a group of young people singing an amazing song, making it their own, and doing it well. I might actually like this version of the song better than Freddy Mercury’s turn with Queen, and guys, that’s saying something.
Mercedes knocks out the last big section [DRINK!] and the chills come back. Love it. LOVE it.
Emma is proud of both the kids and Will, Will is blown away by how awesome a job he did as a teacher, and oh right, the kids, and you guys? They totally just won Invitationals.
Drunken Thoughts: The only critique I really have in this episode is that goofy moment in Livin’ On A Spare when Will and April sing. I mean, yeah, the writers needed the two adult leads to sing together, but it was just a little too hokey for me. The Chenoweth is above that sort of thing. Maybe if they sang a different song? Islands in the Stream would have been hilariously awesome. Or Endless Love. I have FEELINGS about those songs, so sue me.
Mostly I just really loved the songs the kids sang here, and April’s number to prove that she belonged there is just… how can you not love it? But for pity’s sake, Wardrobe Consultants, don’t you ever do that to Kurt Hummel again. Green toile shirts have no business being on the body of a 16 year old boy, especially not paired with a mustard knit tie. Good hell.
Next week! Shrewi stirs up trouble and gets the kids hooked on “Vitamin D.” Ha. Episode 6 is right this way!