I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again: I adore Grease. I love to laugh at it (it’s just ridiculously dirty in places, and yet high schools all over the country perform this every year), it’s silly, and yet. Frenchie! John Travolta before he became creepy! Every sleepover I went to in grade school featured this as our late night movie (on VHS, even).
And I learned while watching this episode with my husband that he – a former heavy metal drummer – knows all the words to the songs that aired. Let’s just slow clap that out, shall we?
In the choir room, Will informs all of the kids that he’s going to DC because by becoming fulfilled he is now unfulfilled and needs a new dream. Paperwork and bureaucracy is the new black! Oh, but don’t worry, gang. Finn Hudson is going to take over Glee in Will’s absence.
Tina loses her shit (I am so tired of the way her character is being written/acted this season, good lord) and starts yelling about how they’ll all be dead by Sectionals, that Finn sucks, dogs and cats will be living together, and this is all while the new kids look to each other to try and figure out why this is a big deal.
Sue pulls Will and Finn into the office – she’s bugged the choir room, of course, so she can stay up to date on all things Glee – to try and intimidate and coerce Figgins into stopping this. But it’s too late, Sue. Glee isn’t an actual class, so Finn doesn’t need a degree or certification. Plus, he’s volunteering his time for free, so Figgins is all over that. Well, Finn, you just made an enemy of one Sue Sylvester.
Cue the O Fortuna! Sue rages in the hallway, throwing things, knocking books out of kids hands, and being horrible. Why she’s not been arrested on assault charges is beyond me. Oh, right. That’s logic and this is Glee. (That’s the secret to enjoying each week, don’t you know!)
In NYC, Cassandra has some of the upperclassmen brought into dance class for… who cares, it means Body is there in dance clothes flirting with Rachel, hooray! I would like to state for the record that I have stood next to this man, I have had a conversation, and he has put his arms around me. Yeah, for a picture, but still. Body (Dean) is lovely. New folks: Yes, I know it’s Brody. LOOK AT HIM. Also, welcome to HDJM where we are silly boots!
Rachel throws some exposition our way: she and Finn are officially official with the breaking up, to which Body is all “ORLY?” She also has her first off-Broadway audition for an avant garde version of The Glass Menagerie, and that is so damn funny to me I can barely contain my cackling. I would like to see Amanda singing, “Rise and shine! Riiiiise and shine! Laura? Go tell your brother to rise and shine!” to which Tom will reply in a deeply rich baritone, “I’ll rise but I won’t shine!”
Hey, if you don’t know this classic play of Tennessee Williams, then you need to rectify that immediately. Fun (and random) fact: The horribly awful movie “The Room” was described (by the writer and star Tommy Wiseau) as having “All the passion of a Tennessee Williams.” That never fails to crack me up.
Back to Rachel and Body, who are now making plans for the weekend, oho! Can’t blame you, girlfriend. Cassandra is eavesdropping, hears who Rachel will be auditioning for and cautions her to not bother. That director is a beast, and Rachel isn’t ready. (I know there’s a point to all of that, but Rachel freaking Berry can withstand ANY audition, right? I’m…confused by them pushing this “shy, nervous” Rachel onto us. We all know better.)
Rachel’s good, thanks, but maybe Cassandra should audition as Amanda, the washed up mom? You know, get back in the game? OOOOOOOOOOH. Rachel Barbra Berry, you just stepped into it and you don’t even realize it. Cassandra goes all “No more wire hangers!” in her eyes before pulling herself together and calling Body over to tell him about a new position (cough) available as her TA. Long nights, weekends, lots of…hamstring stretches? Want to get started this Saturday?
Body would love to, but he’d rather start next week if possible. He and Rachel have plans this weekend. And Cassandra is totally cool with that, sure. No prob. Have fun, you crazy kids! [SCHEMES]
Marley is trying to be zipped into her Sandy costume back at McKinley and can’t manage it. Maybe it’s stress bloating? Kitty saunters by and is horrible and awful and obvious and I’m totally over how mean with all of the fat jokes she is to a girl that is tall and thin. I’m tired of fat jokes. It’s just… it’s easy and it doesn’t apply here.
Kitty tells her that her metabolism must be kicking in. Say hello to the circus fat gene. (Kitty is sewing her costume smaller and smaller, you see.) Also, Kitty’s like, super lonely (I can’t imagine why…) and wants to have all the girls to a sleepover. “All the girls?” Marley wants to know with a pointed look at Unique. FINE, but Unique better not do any Silencing of her Lamb, if she feels where Kitty is going with that. There is a strict No Buffalo Billing at Casa de Kitty.
Marley goes to talk to her mom about her mom’s history with weight gain and blah blah, her mom thinks that they should go on a strict diet together. UM, I HAVE SOME PROBLEMS HERE. One, the fact that her mom has this whole “You have to fight to stay thin,” mindset isn’t healthy and two, that her mom can look at Marley and say “strict diet.” I have stood in front of this actress, have spoken with her (she is charming and sweet as pie, I must say), and she is a thin reed of a girl. I have major issues with this message and YES. I know it’s Glee and it’s dark, I know. But you have to be good at delivering the joke, and it’s not working here at all. But keep reading.
Later, Finn tries to hang out in the teacher’s lounge, pissing Sue off royally. Someone asked me the other day about why Sue always calls Finn fat when they spar. Cory Monteith is delicious and not in the least bit pudgy. But Sue calls people out on their imagined weaknesses, their fears. And Finn has a known poor body issue, so she goes after that. And it works because of the delivery. Pointed look at the new folks, y’all need to make it work or find a new thing for Kitty.
Finn tries to apologize to Sue again, but she won’t hear it. Also, she’s booked the auditorium for a few weeks, so good luck with rehearsals, buster. Finn is forced to have rehearsals at Burt’s garage, which is perfect, seeing as they’re going to practice “Greased Lightnin’.” The guys aren’t sure about things until Finn points out that the freaking number is them crawling all over a beat up junker, and hello…
I love this number, it’s totally a dirty song, but they’ve cleaned it up for television, which is funny given how naughty Glee can be. But that’s all worth it for the doofy dance moves of the adorkable Ryder and all of the guys in their coveralls and slicked back hair. (I do wish they didn’t enunciate so clearly when they record songs, though. Just me?)
You totally did the arm movements during this song, didn’t you? I won’t even act like I didn’t.
In NYC, Rachel and Kurt stretch out on the floor of the dance studio to get Rachel in tip top shape for her audition. He gets a text from Tina about how the Grease rehearsals are going, prompting them to have a tiny conversation about their exes when Cassandra walks in. She’s bitchy and mean at first, and Kurt is even floored a bit by her. She asks what they were talking about and encourages them to go back to Ohio to see their friends, support their old school, get closure, yadda. Well, that sounds great on paper, but they can’t afford to go back to Ohio on a whim.
Kurt is going, regardless. “I’m going. I need to see him. I haven’t seen him since. I’m not sleeping… I’m living off of Ambien and The Notebook.” Oh baby boy.
Cassandra fixes that problem by giving them her JetBlue flier miles. And guys? There is no such thing as a free lunch. Red flags should be all over the place here.
At the sleepover, we see Kitty’s trophies and there is a hilariously dirty joke in there, too. First is her “Most Tongues Spoken” at Bible camp, and a picture of her horse, JoJo. Kitty rode her for six years until her hymen broke. [sprays a beverage all over the screen] Haha! The other girls show up with all manner of junk food, so of course Marley wants something healthy. (Try Kleenex! They taste like clouds.) Kitty pulls Marley into the bathroom to teach her how to make herself throw up.
While Marley stays in there (please don’t be doing that Bad Thing, young lady), Kitty recreates the Grease scene for the number “Look At Me, I’m Sandra Dee.” Kitty’s voice actually sounds like a good fit here, but there’s another filthy moment during the “As for you/Troy Donahue./I know what you wanna do!” where Sugar does a handstand, spreads her legs, and Kitty shoves her face in there, tongue waggling.
Back at school (who cares when the time line is. Sleepover on a school night? Sure.), Figgins has Unique’s parents in the office, worried about their son. Finn, Will and Sue are there, too. His parents are proud of him, but they also get that they’re in Ohio. He’ll be Wade at school, and if she wants to be Unique after school, then that’s fine with them, too. They just don’t want him to be hurt. Because he’s already getting shoulder checked by assholes, Sue points out.
So it’s classic Sue, ruining things at the last minute, and now the musical will be canceled, so put that in your pipe and–
Not so fast. Finn can totally find a new Rizzo. This isn’t over. Cut to Santana who was born to play the part, has it memorized and even owns the wig. Tina races in talking about how she might have to carry the script for the second act, but she’s ready to take the part. Um…honey? You already have a part. Tina is pissed. “You have got to be kidding me!” Nope, they’re not. Attitude adjustment, jeez-o pease-o! Also, Santana’s off book, come on!
It’s opening night suddenly, and Rachel and Kurt walk through the hallways of memory lane. They both look unbelievably gorgeous here, let’s just get that out. Kurt says that he’s actually nervous about seeing Blaine, now that he’s there, but instead they run into Mercedes. Aww, she got a line! (Amber? I just want to listen to you sing some old Motown, why is the universe transpiring against us?)
She brings them backstage to say hello to everyone (meanwhile, Marley again can’t fit into her costume and bursts into tears, running to the bathroom) when Kurt and Rachel run into Finn and Blaine. Blaine is dressed as the Teen Angel and looks like he stepped out of Hollywood Fantasy Magazine from 1959. Kurt can barely even look at him, and keeps averting his eyes while Blaine looks beseechingly at Kurt for a moment, then is too hurt and confused to keep it up, and averts his eyes as well. Finn and Rachel, however, try to be grown up about it with some small talk, even though it’s awkward for everyone.
Finn is glad they came because he’s really proud of the work they’ve done (and OH MY GOD, MY HEART. Blaine, at the word “proud” looks like he’s going to burst into tears because almost exactly one year ago Kurt said “I’m so proud to be with you,” and all Blaine wanted in life was for that to be true and look at where they are now, and GOOD LORD, my heart aches for them!)
I would also like to point out that exactly two years ago from this episode they met on the stairs at Dalton. But there will be no hand holding, and there will be no racing through empty corridors this time. Blaine holds in his emotions and walks away; Kurt tells Rachel she was right: it was a mistake to come. She reassures him that she’s not going anywhere, and she’ll be by his side the whole time as they watch.
The play is underway, now, and it’s the Teen Angel/”Beauty School Drop Out,” scene with the most perfect Frenchie since Didi Conn, and seriously, if you don’t absolutely love Sugar Motta for how adorable she is, then I don’t know what to do with you. Also, Blaine is outstanding here. Darren Criss is perfect in this moment and looks timeless, sounds fantastic, and I can’t help it, I just adore the guy.
As Blaine sings, he catches Kurt’s eye mid-sentence and has to shake off a wave of emotion and pull himself back into the scene to keep going. Kurt’s face just looks utterly woebegone, his heart still broken. As the song ends and the audience applauds, Blaine looks at Kurt again, who looks back, just completely sad.
Let’s go back to that whole two years ago moment where they met on the stairs. And Blaine is at the top of the stairs this time, looking down at Kurt and it’s all flipped and backwards and wrong. Oh, show, when you want to rip out my heart, you do it with a rusty, clawed hand.
Ryder is looking for Marley, because Act Two is about to start and there’s no Sandy. She’s in the bathroom, trying to make herself throw up. He stops her, tells her a story about his cousin who took laxatives to lose weight for the wrestling team and ending up…sharting all over himself in public. She cracks up (because EWW). Good work, buddy. He tells her, “I don’t want to kiss a girl with puke on her breath. Onstage…or later.” Oho!
Backstage, she has her Sandy revelation about who she wants to be, and her voice is gorgeous, it just is, as she sings the “Goodbye to Sandra Dee” refrain. Nicely woven story, Glee, I have to hand it to you.
Santana and Brittany talk about Santana’s big number coming up, and Brittany clearly is still in love with her, and the same could be said for Santana, but Santana’s being an adult about it: they don’t live in the same place, and they should live their lives for a while. Brit tells her to think about her when she’s onstage.
Santana sings “There Are Worse Things I Could Do,” but we know she’s not singing to Kenickie/Trouty Mouth, she’s singing to Brittany in her heart. There’s a wonderful montage of Santana singing, then it cuts to Kate Hudson practicing a dance number with Body back in NYC (and it is sex-ay. My husband said, “I didn’t know this show was so sexy!”), and then Unique entering the audience and singing as well. They all sound great (Kate is definitely the weak link here, but she does have some character in her voice, at least) but oh, how I love to hear Naya sing. Cassandra’s part of the song ends with her on her back and Body on top of her, kissing her. Well, I can’t blame her, I do have eyes after all.
I would like to remind you all that I have been pressed against this man, his arm around my waist, and I’m pretty sure angels sang and a dirty bass line played somewhere. True, I brought a boombox and played that when he hugged me, but you’re missing the point. IT HAPPENED. (Ha.)
Also, it’s a song about tough girls who can’t show emotion, who are ridiculed as being weak or soft when they do, and this applies to all three of them in their own way and it’s really, really clever. I still love you, Show. Because of the layers? (Because of the layers.)
Boring moment of Mike and Tina talking about how maybe they shouldn’t have broken up, and Tina saying yeah, but they did and she’s becoming someone new that she likes (do you?) and maybe they can try again? I want to care. I used to care. I loved the Cohen-Chang-Changs. But Tina is such a screeching harpy this season that I just do not. Oh, Mike. I miss you, though. I also miss old Tina.
Marley is in her skin-tight black cat suit, and damn. She’s a whip thin, tall drink of water, that one. Ryder is all “humina humina” over her, reassuring her that she looks great and then pulls her in for a sweet kiss. Nice work, buddy. She’s all twitterpated about it and ha, in the background is Jake, looking on with a sad face. You snooze you lose, buddy. I have no sympathy for you.
The two leads start singing “You’re The One That I Want” and they sound really great. Finn watches and flashes back to Season One when Rachel was trying to nab him and went through her “Tell me about it, Stud!” moment, and if you didn’t make a little cooing noise at the flash of Baby Season One Kurt grumbling, then you might actually be dead inside and should get that checked out.
Rachel fantasizes about Finn playing opposite her on stage, Kurt and Blaine are also dressed as T-Birds (seriously, how huge are Chris Colfer’s feet? Those Converse look like water skis!) and it’s just so bitter sweet, seeing all of the couples together but not at all. Rachel is shaken when it’s over, not sure what it even means.
She leaves to pull herself together and calls Body. Of course, Cassandra answers (and Kate Hudson is great at playing a bitch, isn’t she? I hope it’s not because it isn’t a stretch, if you catch my drift.) and lays it out for Rachel after saying she just banged Rachel’s crush: Rachel dared to insinuate that Cassandra was a wash up and needed to get back into the game. Girlfriend, Cassandra is the game. Just as she starts to really lay into Rachel, Rachel hangs the phone up. She’s devastated.
In the hallway she runs into Finn, who worries that she’s crying her #4 Cry, the one usually reserved for something he’s done. Well, it is her #4 Cry, but it’s about Body now. She really has moved on; he hasn’t, so he tells her that from this point on they need to not talk to each other. He doesn’t want to know if she’s in town. She agrees, Kurt shows up wanting to know what’s wrong, and that’s when Blaine comes around the corner. Oh, the hurt between these four couples is so hard to watch. Finn is called away, and Rachel leaves to have a private moment.
That leaves…nothing but heartache. Hold me, guys. Blaine wants to talk to Kurt but Kurt isn’t interested. “What are you going to tell me? That it wasn’t serious? That you only made out? That you didn’t care about him?”
“I didn’t care about him,” Blaine mutters, hurt all over his face and a little shame, too.
“I don’t trust you anymore,” Kurt says with a sense of finality, turning and leaving. I would like to present for the record that Kurt has not said “Goodbye” yet, fulfilling a promise he made in Season Two. Look, let me cling to these things, okay? (Also, did you see that Blaine mouthed “No,” as Kurt delivered his “I don’t trust you” lines? WHY ARE YOU BREAKING MY HEART, BOYS.)
Finn goes to the choir room where the cast is gathered. Artie reads a review from the very tough critic (a sophomore, lol) who heaps praise onto the cast. The Sistine Chapel? Garbage. David? Like a toddler’s art project. Homer? A hack! But McKinley’s production of Grease was like angels themselves came from heaven to produce the most glorious two hours in human existence. Hahaha.
Will leaves with Finn, trying to impart some final advice before leaving but Finn stops him with his half grin, twisted up to the side. Remember how last season ended with Finn telling you he’s got this? Well, he’ll say it again: he’s good. Now go do good things in DC! The Gleeks are in good hands.
Next week! EVERYTHING BURNS LIKE ROME. Ha. Way to go, Finnald. I need a robe made out of kittens and bunnies to put my heart back together, guys. How are you faring with all of this heartbreak everywhere?