Glee! 2.11 The Sue Sylvester Shuffle

Dear Brittany: I Miss You <3 The Human Cannon. (It writes really well for an inanimate object.)

This was the post-Super Bowl episode, so it’s all about the Gleeks versus the Jocks. And zombies. And Brittany in a Carny cannon. Today’s drink: THE SHAMBLING ZOMBIE. (Set up a cab on speed dial. Or a liver donor.  Or an ambulance.)

 

No free space today because I do not want your death on my hands.  Not after that year I spent locked up in a Thai prison, I’m not going back, not for you, not for anybody.  Okay, maybe for Puck.

 

Sue sits with her legs crossed and a sour expression on her face while waiting for the Cheerios to blow her away with their Regionals routine. They come out in thug gear, jeans sagging, half in blue bandanas, half in red and pay tribute to Tupac Shakur’s “California Love.” Brittany and Santana roll out in a ’64 Buick and shoot the place up, and the whole stage explodes in an epic gun battle.

Sue surveys the “dead” gangstas Cheerios lying in stage blood, unimpressed with their Laurence Fishburne/Boyz in Tha Hood tribute dance that was meticulously woven into the performance. She snaps on her bullhorn and tells them it was all boring. She isn’t buying one minute of their act. Big mistake casting Quinn in the Ice Cube role, big mistake.

She demands Brittany explain how Sue Sylvester single-handedly put cheerleading on the map. “In 1979 you directed a made for TV movie about the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders called, The Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders.” [DRINK!]

Quinn tells Sue that she’s bored because Sue has set too high a standard for what makes a routine successful. The Cheerios are shoo-ins to win, but that’s not enough for her, she needs to make a bigger spectacle than ever before. Sue decides she’s right and demands that everyone take a “chicken cutlet” (fake boob) and get them girls up on the glass better, totally contradicting herself in episode 2.01 where she demoted Santana for getting fake boobs. WHATEVER, we don’t watch this show for continuity, please.

It’s the last quarter of a division play off game and McKinley is up by three (three is the magic number, it’s ALWAYS three points difference in the Glee football games.) They’ve already clinched their spot in the championships (District? Regional? State? Do any of the writers know how football works?) Finn tells his team that he’s proud of how hard they brought it today, to which Karofsky immediately has to mock, because the only emotion allowed in Dave Karofsky’s mind is anger and fear. (And lots and lots of unbridled passion that is clamped down, but that story isn’t being told today. Well, not overtly.)

Finn tells him to shut up, and then makes an important connection: “That’s funny, Karofsky, how you’re always calling everybody gay all the time, but you never seem to have a girlfriend.” Ooooh. Karofsky feels the burn and hints that maybe he’s done blocking for the day, hope you like getting sacked, Finn. [DRINK!] I like imagining that Karofsky just made a double entendre and a come on.

Also, Karofsky is now playing center, even though he’s been a right guard up until now. (Again, I’m Texan, we inherently understand the game, that alongside remembering the Alamo. We’re born Alamo savants.)

Karofsky borks the pass to Finn enabling him to get creamed by the other team. Finn fumbles the ball, the other team picks it up and runs for a touchdown. Oh, hell no, Dave, come on! Coach Beiste flips the table with the Gatorade bucket, she’s so mad. After the game she demands answers. Karofsky explains that Finn is a big ol’ girl with lady boobs and as such, he couldn’t take a joke about Dave wanting to kill his step brother and stuff. Gosh, what a baby.

Finn rounds on him wanting Dave to just shut the hell up already. So what if Finn likes to sing, how the hell does it affect Dave? Another football player says that it’s just embarrassing, them being all excited about singing (uh, okay? Do they not remember that Metallica sings? Surely those dudes are into some form of music. Even Eminem sings some.) Karofsky says he refuses to play with Finn, because Finn has cooties and he’s not had his cootie shot yet, so Coach Beiste frees him up to go get that handled. For ever. He’s off the team. Karofsky stops drawing circles and dots on his arm and has a sad.

Sue writes in her journal that maybe she’s burned out, and isn’t sure if it’s from general ennui or possibly those raccoon hormones she’s been taking. Here she is, only 31 and already a legend, and she can’t get her star to burn brighter. …or can she? Felix the Cat (Cat the Cat is the translation, anyone else ever notice that?) is on the TV, and seeing the kitty blast something out of a cannon has given her a few ideas.

She brings carnies to the field to show off their 75 ft. cannon. She’s assured that a human could be shot the distance of several football fields, but the amount of explosives needed for that would put the catastrophic failure rate at 70%. That just means 30% catastrophic AMAZINGNESS, buddy. She Pur-elles her hand and shakes his.

Who wouldn't trust this face?

 

Artie is surrounded in the hallway by a good 12 football players, all equipped with full slushies. Azimio checked his bucket list that morning and saw that torturing a kid in a wheelchair who also wears glasses and sings hadn’t been crossed off his list. That and finishing Infinite Jest. So with Artie being there and all, in a wheelchair and stuff? It’s just kismet. And hey, that whole “you shouldn’t pick on the physically handicapped thing” was like, racist or something. Equal opportunity for all, right? Right. All 12 dump their slushies on him.

Beiste tells Will how important football is to a community (Dillon Panthers, folks, Full Heart, Clear Eyes, Can’t lose! Except when you lose.) and how she can’t run this team if they’re not going to respect one another. It’s weird that one half of the team is a bunch of jerk face haters while the other half is Glee kids. What sorcery can bring these two together? Will has a tingly sensation that builds from his core and radiates out. He is beginning to get that “I might be fulfilled!” feeling deep down inside. “I have an idea.”

Artie rolls into the music room, soaked to the bone and covered in red dye #40 and high fructose corn syrup. Puck and Finn are ready to fight, the other guys rally behind them, and right then, the other football players show up. Coach Beiste told them to meet her in the music room. Will tells everyone that the plan is for the football guys to be in Glee for a week, because that will fix everything.

A riot breaks out. Rachel shouts, “There is no way I’m sharing a stage with a known homophobe!” Will tells her that Dave bullies because he’s ignorant. (If Kurt would have submitted a bit, he wouldn’t be so ignorant, am I right? Who’s with me? [crickets]) Azimio states that he will not sing any show tunes, as those are the songs of his oppressors. Finn realizes that they have no idea what Glee actually does. …math?

Puck and Rachel are more than happy to show them, and with Puck on guitar and their voices blending perfectly, they sing Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now.” [DRINK] It’s clearly a favorite of Coach Beiste’s as she mouths along. One of the football players starts rocking out, catching Karofsky’s eye. He shuts that down, because how dare that kid enjoy something? Puck and Rachel finish, and Azimio tells them that the girl with a mohawk sounded alright, and another fight breaks out.

Yeah, this is a great idea.

Puck and Finn decide that they need to go back to being friends so they can pull the team together. They need to be Ice Man and Maverick. (I’m glad they didn’t say Goose, because he died.) Finn moves past Puck having impregnated his former girlfriend and making out with his other former girlfriend; they’re back to being bros.

Sue reveals the cannon to the Cheerios: it’s her Sue-cular weapon. And lucky Brittany, she’s the one that’s going to do the stunt! “I don’t want to die yet. Not until One Tree Hill gets canceled.” [DRINK] Sue’s pissed at this lack of devotion to her whims, so she haphazardly jams a dummy into the opening and fires the cannon. The dummy explodes in an ashy, molten mess. Hmm. Do any of the Cheerios speak German? The handbook doesn’t have a translation. Quinn tells Brit to not worry, she’ll tell Mr. Schuester about it.

Figgins and Will yell at Sue for her flagrant disregard for the lives of her students. “I am a tastemaker, Will, I know that the audience wants. This level of risk and danger makes me feel alive again!” Figgins reminds her that she’s not the one facing the risk and danger. “That’s the best part!”

Nope, Figgins will not allow this type of endangerment, she simply cannot do the stunt. She leaves the office and begins to systematically destroy the secretary’s office, throwing, smashing, and breaking things. She starts flinging computer parts at students, and shoves another one out of her way. [DRINK]

Will tells Beiste about what just happens when Sue barges into the locker room and starts throwing things around, finally losing steam with the medicine balls. She tells a shocked Beiste that she called the cheerleading board and had the competition moved to the very night of the football championship game, so it looks like Beiste won’t have a half-time show, nor will she have any cheerleaders. In your faces!

Will and Beiste come up with a plan and tell the group: the Glee Club and football players will perform during half time! Azimio says, “So you want us to play the first half, change into some suh-queen (sequin) ball gowns and do the half-time show at our own championship game? Seriously?

Will asks if everyone remembers that awesome YouTube video of the Filipino prisoners performing Thriller in unison. Karofsky bird dogs in his seat and tries to not let anyone see the excitement. Someone, it seems, is quite familiar with that dance video. Will goes on to tell them that after that performance, no one in the prison ever fought again, and they were all released on good behavior and all crime ended for ever. Yay! So they’re going to do that at McKinley.

Oh, but not just do Thriller, but they’re going to mash it up with some Yeah Yeah Yeah’s “Heads Will Roll.” The Gleeks are excited. The football team has no idea who the Yeah Yeah Yeahs are. Beiste tells them all to saddle up, they’re headed to Zombie Camp.

The Gleeks and Jocks shuffle and amble with no harmony, until Will challenges them to just go for it and put some unlife into it. Afterward, Mr. Schuester tells Dave that if he’d stop using his energy to bully kids and put it to good use, he could be one of the most talented kids in the school – he’s really good. Seems like David Karofsky just needed someone to believe in him. (Aside from his parents, his coaches, the football team…)

Dave finds Finn, who immediately expects a fight. Dave then pulls Finn into his arms, tells him how sorry he is for all of the bullying and hate mongering, and softly touches his lips to Finn’s, not caring about the fake dead skin hanging off his face. His hands hold Finn in an embrace that promises more. Wow, Glee really does make you gay!

While in the ladies bathroom, Brittany tells Santana that the Glee kids and the Jocks together are like a double rainbow. A zombie double rainbow. [DRINK] They’re torn, though, about the competition. Do they stick with Sue, or the Gleeks? Sue, going for her 2pm Ninja Poop, has been eavesdropping the whole time and hands them resignation letters. (Without washing her hands? Grody, Sue.) They’ll quit Glee or they’re off the team, once and for all. To clinch a win, she hands Brittany a letter – written in crayon – from the Human Cannon expressing how much it misses her.

Well, just like Rachel predicted, the cheerleaders all quit Glee. Finn is furious at Quinn for her choice and for being weak, and while I like Finn generally, I would like to smack him upside his hypocritical head. How many times has Finn chosen football over Glee? Like, almost every time? Finn, I think you’re super cute and dreamy and all, but STFU. Sam overhears Finn and gets up in his grill for messin’ with his lady. They literally get into a shoving match until Will busts up in there, all 135 pounds of him, and tells them to cut out the HR Shovenstuff mess and to get to practice.

The football players all practice the number that Karofsky whispered into Finn’s ear during their make out (what? I can have my own ideas, okay? You’re not the boss of me!) It’s The Zombies (hurr) “She’s Not There.” Finn is Frankenteen, the other guys shamble about the stage and it’s a decent number. Finn is even wonky as a zombie dancer, bless his heart. Honey, go sit behind the drums and smile awkwardly, that’s how I like you best. Will gives them all high praise for the number, which seems to actually matter to the Jocks. Go figure!

They’re all best friends now and walk down the hall as a group, filled with love and sweets and joy and joyness and make plans for sleep away camp, and how they all need to remember to bring fabric markers for t-shirt autograph day, and how they’ll do fun musical numbers by the Monkees (you know that’s coming one ep, right?) when they’re confronted by the Ice Hockey players. I do love that all of the hockey dudes have mullets. The hockey team says that they’re super excited for the singing and dancing, because that will make the football players losers and the hockey team will then rule the school. Then those moose knuckles* slushie the football players!

(Moose knuckle is a derogatory term for a lady front butt, right? OH. I SEE.)

The jocks are mortified at being slushied (they don’t have emergency kits like Kurt and the girls keep in their lockers) and tell Coach Beiste they’re out, they’re not performing. Well, then that means they’re off the football team. Karofsky tries to call her bluff – it’s a championship game! She won’t be budged, though, when she says something, she means it. They all quit.

At Dalton Academy we have another case of the Warblers doing a fun performance at the expense of the janitors. (I bet if Blaine Anderson knew how hard it was to get shoe scuff marks off antique desks he would be less inclined to jump on them.) They bust out a great version of Destiny’s Child’s “Bills, Bills, Bills” which is one of my favorite DC songs. Chubs McWarbler is there! (Trent Nixon.) He’s my favorite Warbler that sometimes is there, sometimes is a student at McKinley, but always with the smooth moves. Seriously: watch him. You won’t be able to take your eyes off his groove.

Not so smooth is Surfer VonHydrogen Peroxide (Jeff) Warbler who does a weird half-squat and foot slide move in slo-mo. O…kay? David deHead Warbler (I like making up names for people, it helps me) does a pretty sweet back flip in slo-mo and ultimately it’s a bad ass performance. Blaine agrees with me. This number will not be performed at Regionals, as it’s too awesome. (That’s how it works, right? And why we never see repeat performances?)

Kurt and Blaine hit the Lima Bean to meet with Rachel and Mercedes. Klaine is all super excited about how awesome they are, and hope McKinley knows how to bring it. They don’t. Not only can’t they bring it, but they’ve lost it. The school is falling apart in cliquedom. Kurt is upset that this is the first he’s hearing of this, what with him bringing Finn a glass of warm milk every night in hopes for a lady chat. (What? Also, does he live at Dalton, or what? The writers can’t decide. I need to know so I can set my fanfiction at the dorms and not be AU.)

Not only does Glee suck a fat one lately, but so does Karofsky. BOOM! Wait, I meant to say that the football team isn’t going to be able to play because they only have 5 members. Fortunately Blaine isn’t too gay because he knows all about football. He tells the girls that they just need 9 players in high school football.

Beiste and Will – who are now co-teaching Glee I guess? – tell the guys that they’ll have to forfeit the game. Not if Rachel Berry has anything to say about it! She hands the teachers signed and notarized permission slips from all of the Glee girls. They’re going to play. But don’t worry about them getting hurt, because they’ll just lie down when the play starts! That should help them win? The guys immediately think this is a bad idea.

Lauren reminds everyone that not only is she the only state champion in the room (Greco-Roman Wrestling, two years in a row) but she has three pro-wrestling outfits courting her once she graduates. Puck is getting turned on by this squinty-eyed Luchador that keeps denying his advances. Beiste checks the forms, they’re legit, so welcome to the team!

Brittany, in Sue’s office, is facing a contract of her own. She doesn’t want to die, which will certainly happen if she’s shot out of the cannon. Sue says, “As you ponder your decision, I want you to remember that that cannon has two little baby twin cannons at home, and one more on the way. And if you refuse to sign this, well, those little baby cannons just might go hungry. And the mama cannon has fibromyalgia, so she can’t work.”

Brittany bends over to sign and gives my all-time favorite quote: “How many Ms are there in the letter R?” [DRINK!] Oh, how I wish Sue had answered “one-half.”

The football players, watching from the end zone, see the Glee girls head on field, wanting to know what the hell they’re doing. Puck tells them, “What you don’t have the balls to do.” Burn! The plan isn’t really working, though, and McKinley trails in the first quarter. Lauren gets in some sweet blocks (she’s playing Center) but Finn has next to no one to throw to, so they’re almost all interceptions.

In the second, a fumble off the other team gives Tina a chance to grab the ball and make a play. She books it down field, looking like she might get a TD when a guy from the other team wraps his arms around her waist and lays down with her. (That was the gentlest tackle I’ve ever seen.) It knocks Tina out, though, and Mike races over, fraught with worry. She comes to, they walk her off the field, and Finn puts Sam in as QB1. He tells Puck to work on the former footballers; he’s off to intercept the Cheerio Gleeks.

Santana, Brittany, and Quinn are getting ready to board the Cheerios bus when Finn tells them how badly they need them for the half-time show. If they didn’t have to worry about their reputations, what would they choose? “Glee.” Exactly. Sue walks in on this and tells them to get their cans on the bus. The girls tell her they’re quitting the Cheerios. “You can’t quit, it’s blood in, blood out!” Tough stuff, Sue, Puff, they’re Audi. What the what? Sue is beyond shocked.

Puck corrals the football players in the locker, calling them cowards. Coward losers, actually. This is their one chance to shine in their shitwater town, and they’re going to throw it away because they’re too scared of being called a geek? Talk about pussies! He tells them they can win. Azimio thinks about his dad out in the stands, not seeing his son in a championship game and decides he’s back in. All of the football teams agrees to come back, minus Karofsky. I guess he’s afraid that if he sings and dances, a dildo might fall out of his butt and then everyone would know he was gay, okay guys?!

Who cares, the rest of them get in zombie make up and start the awesome Artie-led number, Thriller. Oh, Kevin McHale, you’re so great, you need more time to shine. Karofsky watches from the sidelines, seeing how much fun the performers are having, and how into it the audience is. He pulls on his jersey and heads out to bust a move with them, thoroughly enjoying himself.

Now, I’m not usually a fan of mash-ups, but this one really worked. Plus, my girl Santana got to take lead female vocals [DRINK!] which is always a plus in my book. They totally kill the number, and head back to the locker room for the second half. Coach Beiste tells them to leave on their makeup, it’ll be a good psych-out for the other team.

The Glee girls, still in zombie gear, act as the cheer squad. Burt Hummel is a true local, cheering on the team in the stands. [DRINK!] Karofsky gets in an awesome hit, enabling Finn to make a sweet pass. They high five each other, and are finally acting like a team. They’ve got ten seconds left in the game, but they’re down by three. (See? THREE. Magic number. Yes it is, it’s the magic number.)

Finn fumbles the snap causing the other team to touch the ball, but not gain possession of it, so the ball is still in play even if the clock runs out. The ball is run in by McKinley for a touchdown. The play goes off without a hitch even though this (and another play for defense, onside kick) has a low probability of working. But this is TV, please, it’s going to work.

Sue has an interview with Katie Couric, mistakenly believing this was “10 Most Interesting People.” That’s Barbara Walters. Anyhow, it seems Sue Sylvester was nationally ranked as the Biggest Loser behind Dina Lohan, the economy, poop trapped in the crevices of lug soled boots, and Dina Lohan’s dog. (That’s not nice to call Lindsey a dog, Glee. Also, man, they’ve been going after the Lohans hard!) So how is Sue coping with all of this loser stuff? “I’ve been drinking a lot of bleach.”

It seems that the rest of her budget will be going to the Glee Club. Sue looks daggers at Katie. “I hate you, Diane Sawyer.”

Finn sees Karofsky in the hallway and passes him a note that he’s origami’d into a Valentine. “Do you like me? Yes or No” Finn tells Karofsky that to stay with Glee (and in his heart) the two of them will need to go to Dalton to ask permission to date from Kurt. That snaps Dave out of his love-induced reverie. “Who said I wanted to join Glee Club? I just won the championship. I’m on top, why would I want to change things?” Because we all know you’re secretly a bottom?

Finn’s heart is broken again. Quinn smiles from across the hallway, tells him how amazing he’s been this week, and it’s reminded her of why she fell in love with him in the first place. She pops up on her toes and kisses him, trying to ignore the flavor of Karofosky’s lipsmackers.

Uh oh.

 

Next episode: Silly Love Songs. Valen-times. Forced romantic intrigue, hooray!

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  • Laina

    This episode was so great! Okay, I’m going to come right out and say it…I’m a “Puckleberry” girl at heart. Puck and Rachel’s duet of “Need You Now” had me swooning, not gonna lie. Their voices are so perfect together and I’m puzzled as to why Puck doesn’t get more lead parts. Actually, Artie deserves more lead time too. I also loved when the girls were getting ready to run their first play and Puck grabs Rachel’s face mask and asks her if she’s ready for this. Her response of “let’s kick some ass!” was gold. *huggles for Rachel because she was amazing in this episode”
    The Thriller/Heads Will Roll mashup is my absolute favorite from both seasons. It was fantastic! I have a little beef with the writers of the show, however. Why is it that when the glee kids perform, the school goes apeshit nuts, but then the next day they’re losers again? I’m puzzled…

    • I would love more moments with Rachel and Puck, as well, but mostly because they play off each other well (esp.in comic scenes) and their voices sound wonderful together.

      Lea Michele really is a fantastic comic actress when given the chance. I adore her.

  • Comedy Quiche

    ^ This. Pretty much everything you said.This was an episode where once again Rachel was very likable. I want this Rachel back all the time!

    Also, weren’t Azimo and Dave on the Hockey team’ Back in season one, in the ep where Finn and Quinn start loosing their popularity and get slushied, Quinn calls them ‘puckheads’ and I don’t think it is because they are fans of Puckerman.

    • This was an awesome Rachel, agreed. helpful, funny, raring to go. I like Team-Centric Rachel a lot.

      And yeah, Dave was. def. on the hockey team, he mentions it in S1, but continuity isn’t the number one (or thirty) priority at Glee, right?

  • Sally R.

    (If Kurt would have submitted a bit, he wouldn’t be so ignorant, am I right? Who’s with me? [crickets])

    I’m with you, babe. Just don’t tell anybody.

    • (There is a small but fierce fandom devoted to this idea. Ahem.)