It’s the episode where neglected characters come back for one last hurrah, there
are several songs that are chills-inducing, and internet culture is discussed honestly. In the spirit of neglect, I’ve recreated an oft -forgotten drink to become The Brandy Alexandria.
In a Glee meeting, Will works out figures on the whiteboard (the whiteboard needs to be a square on next season’s bingo board) and explains to the kids that they need to raise $5000 for the NYC trip. Even though they got the Cheerios funds, they can’t get the funds as Sue put all of it in off-shore accounts, so no one can touch it. What to do? Will holds up a little wax paper-wrapped candy.
“This is salt water taffy.”
“Oh, I love salt water!” Brittany tells Artie. [DRINK]
At twenty-five cents each, they’ll sell forty-seven million individual pieces of candy and still not have enough, or who knows, they’re all musicians and singers, no one is good at math. Um, Artie, Tina, and Mike would like to beg to differ. Turns out that they, plus Brittany, are on the Academic Decathlon team the Brainiacs, and they’re sick of hearing about the New Directions’ struggles, because no one even remembers that they’re on the team.
But…Brittany? Look, the other team member has hippie parents that don’t believe in vaccinations, so she got rubella (oh my GOD do not get me started on these people, vaccinate your children!!) They knew (inexplicably) that a category would play to Brittany’s strengths, Cat Diseases. They lured her to the competition with Dots candies and she smoked Sunshine Corazon’s butt (remember her? From Carmel high and crack house fame?) Brit brought them back from behind to tie with Carmel, then the tie breaking question was in the category: WHITE RAPPERS. Artie totally has that one.
So they need $250 to go to the nationals, and they don’t have the funds, either. Will adds their needs to his board and now they have to sell…. carry the three, times X… Um, a ton of crappy candy. (Am I the only one that noticed the math was wrong here?)
Meanwhile, under the city in a dank sewer (Sue’s office) a midnight meeting is getting underway, when normally Sue would be bow hunting hobos. Sue has called together a force to be reckoned with: Sandy Reyerson, Terri Schuester, and Dustin Goolsby, the director of Vocal Adrenaline. They will form a League of Doom (Legion of Destruction?) and they all will use their strengths to accomplish one goal: Kill Batman. I mean, destroy Glee Club! Their code names will be, respectively, Pink Dagger, Honey Badger [she don’t give a shit], and Sergeant Handsome. Sue will be General Zod. Go forth and destroy!
Holly and Will are having date night at his place, the fireplace flickering in the background and some sweet jams (Christopher Cross, no doubt) on the hifi. He asks her what she thinks about the taffy sale, which she immediately shuts down. It’s small potatoes, he needs to do something huge, like those benefits they do for not-too-gross diseases. They’ll call it the Night of Neglect and it’ll also serve as good practice for Nationals. (It’s not like they have any idea what they’ll be doing, even though every other team has been practicing for weeks, if not months. WHATEVER. [DRINK for the neglected setlist.])
Will tells the kids in class the next day about the benefit and that they need to pick songs from neglected artists. They seem excited for the prospect.
Sue gives each of her minions their first tasks. Sergeant Handsome will break up Will and Holly as she’s “looser than a thrift store turtleneck and probably just as diseased.” Pink Dagger (dressed head to toe in pink with a fuchsia satin cape, no, really) will start a heckling club for this Night of Neglect thing, but first she wants to know how he even managed to get into the building without setting off all of the fire alarms? FLAMING, is what she’s getting at.
Sandy has a group of kids in a classroom (I think he’s breaking probation by doing this) and it consists of Becky, Jacob Ben Israel Jerusalem Gaza Bethlehemberg, and Azimio. Azimio is pissed when he finds this is Heckling Club, not tutoring. “You set me up, you told me I was gonna get homework help!” This is why McKinley High fails, gang, students are, you guessed it: neglected. [DRINK]
Tina tells the group that she plans on performing Lykke Li’s song “I Follow Rivers” and she’s going to rock it. (Bless her for her optimism.) Mike is going to dance because he cannot sing, which is why he’s a member of a Glee Club (cough), but Mercedes is going to rock out Aretha’s song about neglect, and doesn’t want to hear any nay saying from anyone. Rachel butts in and thanks them for warming the crowd up for her finale number, a classic by Celine Dion.
Uh… this is supposed to be about neglected artists? It’s not that Celine is neglected, obviously, it’s about Rachel’s talent being neglected. She is the neglected artist in this case.
Sunshine Corazon shows up at their rehearsal, and before they can shout her out of the building with cries of “SPY!” she explains that she just wants to help them, she has a massive twitter following and can get them to buy tickets. But Sunshine will need to finish the show, she thanks you. “I’m such a better singer than anyone else, so I know how it feels [to be neglected.] I’m all alone at the top.”
Ahaha. See what you created, Rachel Berry? Speaking of, Rachel is not okay with any of this, she doesn’t trust Sunshine at all. Puck shuts Rachel down, reminding her that she owes Sunshine for sending her to a crack house. (Puck is really invested in Sunshine, stay tuned.) Sunshine gets up on stage to perform the song she wants to close the show with, Rachel’s choice: “All By Myself.”
Let me just say that this tiny little thing is a TARDIS for a massive voice. How can she sing like that with such control and such power and be so young and wee? Charice is a phenomenon, she truly is. Everyone in the audience stomps and cheers and Puck claps the loudest when she’s done and even looks like he might cry. Ha ha. And seriously, this girl’s voice gives me chills, she’s an uber-talent.
Rachel is still unsure of allowing Sunshine to sing with them, but gives in and tells Mercedes that if “this is for the team,” then she won’t mind being shoved to the middle of the performance schedule, right? Mercedes sighs and agrees, Lauren noticing how quickly she backed down.
Lauren finds Mercedes in the library and explains that Mercedes is the most talented singer in there, and she best come correct with the demands for respect, because no one is going to give it to her, she has to DEMAND it. She’ll manage Mercedes’ career for 10% of whatever they can ask for. “Sister, you got yourself a deal.”
Emma scours a counter top with a motorized toothbrush and cleaner when Will comes in. He’s worried about her OCD kicking into high gear, so is she stressed? Well, let’s see. Carl left her, he’s seeking an annulment, she’s 32 and a virgin and scared to death, and she regrets pretty much everything in her life. So no, what on earth is there to be stressed about?
She sits, so very tired of life, and Will grabs her lunch sack. He puts on gloves and starts polishing her grapes for her, wanting to help her until she can beat this thing, and he offers no judgment. Holly, about to walk in the same room, sees their interaction and decides to not “interrupt.”
Finn and Quinn approach Rachel and ask her to be the Head of Talent Relations, because she’s so talented, she’d know how best to address a star’s needs. True. But while she’s grateful for the recognition, she thinks it’s pretty callous to rub their relationship in her face. Whatever, tell her the problems they’re having.
It seems Mercedes took her diva pills and has a J. Lo-level rider full of ridiculous demands. Rachel skims the list, deems most of them reasonable by her estimation (all white green room? Yes. Including pure white orchids? Naturally. No Ms on her M&Ms, only Ws? Understandable. A single jade peacock feather affixed to a fountain pen? How else will a star autograph her fan mail?) “I’ll take care of it.”
Holly teaches a history class dressed as Wallis Simpson (all of the Brainiacs are there) and gives a little speech.
Hello, class. I am the world’s most famous and stylish divorcée, Wallis Simpson. I was married a bunch of times, and then I fell in love with Edward VIII and made him abdicate the throne. I had giant hands so a lot of people thought I was a hermaphrodite but that wasn’t true. Others said I was a Nazi sympathizer; that was true! Boy, did I think Hitler showed promise. [Bell rings.] Tomorrow, we’re going to do Catherine the Great and her pet stallion Fred, so come early!
As the class shuffles out, Sergeant Handsome saunters in. He starts hitting on her aggressively, explaining that he’d like to lay his DNA on her baby jewels, if you catch what he’s blowing. Look, he’s not saying that he’s handsome and a catch, he’s just saying that he’s gorgeous and she’s an idiot if she lets him get away. Besides, Will has tiny baby hands, he can’t even eat a Big Mac, they’re so wee. He has to eat them layer by layer.
Will comes in, butt chin flashing with anger, and baby hands or no, gets Goolsby to get the heck out of Dodge. Will and Holly get into a bit of an argument, which frustrates her. She’s not the jealous type, not at all, but she saw Will and Emma with their tender grape rubbing session and that just didn’t sit well with her. So if he doesn’t mind, she’d like to change their duet to a solo (foreshadowing!) and have some cool off time.[DRINK]
Rachel checks off Mercedes’ rider: fourteen humidifiers to maintain a steady 87% humidity, just like Aretha demands (she does, too, girlfriend has requirements) a dispense-a-pom Pomeranian hand dryer, nothing but salmon colored rose petals strewn about in the shape of a cross, and a giant bowl full of W&Ws. There’s just one more thing: Mercedes will either get that closing spot, or she will need to be carried around all night, because her feet will not touch the ground, because she is an angel and deserves to be treated as the gift from god that she is.
Kurt and Blaine show up for the benefit and walk the halls, Kurt showing where he was shoved here, was slushied there, taped up a shrine to Blaine in this locker, etc. Karofsky appears out of nowhere, and says that he “was pumping iron in the gym [snerk, is that what you call it?] when someone said you two were here spreading fairy dust all over the place.”
Blaine is not okay with this and calls him out on his bullshit, because the three of them know what this is about. Karofsky bows up and calls him “Butt boy” (pssht, he’s a top, I bet) when Kurt says that they know the truth about him. Santana slithers out of the darkness, and wants to know what’s “the truth?”
Karofsky, terrified and angry, calls her J. Lo and threatens to take her down. Santana shoves the boys behind her and tells Karofsky, “See here’s what’s gonna go down. Two choices, you stay here and I crack one of your nuts, right or left that’s your choice. Or you walk away and live to be a douchebag another day. And also I have razorblades in my hair. Tons, all up in there.”
Even though Kurt and Blaine are amused by her, they tell her they could have handled this on their own. Yeah, but this was so much more fun, don’t they think? She toodles and heads off to the choir room. She checks her buzzing phone, Sunshine has just tweeted that she’s not coming, which means no one is coming. Well…shit. They all think they should cancel the night, there’s only 6 or so people out there.
Finn remembers that he’s a leader, or something, and tells them that they’re supposed to follow that saying, the show must keep up, or something. Okay, he’s dumb, but you don’t have to force it, writers. Rachel agrees, regardless of how many people there are, they’re going to put on a show. Tina’s up first.
She heads out there with the ubiquitous “sexy, dangerous” girl toe drag and sultry expression and starts singing her Lykke Li song, but the hostile crowd (made up of the Hecklers Club) jeers hateful things to her. Pink Dagger chants, “Show tunes! Show tunes!” It’s not the best performance, regardless, but that’s still mean. She bursts into tears and runs off stage to comforting arms from the Gleeks.
Will tells them that this is a good lesson for how it is in show business (he’s right) and that they need to sally forth. Quinn has a genius idea and passes out taffies to everyone in the audience (with some reminders to vote for her for Prom Queen) and they’re so busy chewing that they can’t speak through the next performance, Mike doing a dance to Jack Johnson’s “Bubble Toes.”
Mike is an outstanding dancer. He’s excellent. His number is clever and cute and entertaining and he only makes two Herp-Derp faces [DRINK, DRINK] and I’m proud of him growing as a performer. Control the face, Mike. Kurt and Blaine clap and cheer loudly for him when he’s done, because they are the cutest support team in gay teen television.
Mercedes is up next, but, um, Lauren informs the group that she’s not feeling appreciated so she, like Elvis, has left the building. Holly tells them she’ll deal with the heckling haters and Rachel is go look for Mercedes.
Holly invites the hecklers to the library during the intermission, praises them for their killer slams (Azimio practices by rocking the chat rooms, 4Chan style.) Holly proves that she can be a good teacher by talking about how technology has allowed us to distance ourselves from any ramifications of actual interaction, and when we embrace the culture of insults, we become comfortable with insensitivity. (More on this in Drunken Thoughts.)
Did they know that the actual girl that they heckled has been sobbing for an hour? Maybe they could point that high-powered perception at themselves? Or maybe they’re just afraid to? Tell me his name, Doctor Lecter!
Sorry. The group says, nah, that’s no fun, but they will go ahead and leave instead of sticking around just to be rude.
All that’s left is Pink Dagger, Kurt and Blaine, and Will. Holly takes the stage for her number. Now, if you’ve not heard Adele sing the song, “Turning Tables,” you’d be pretty blown away by her performance. But it’s Adele, she’s one of those voices where you better be as good, if not better, to own the song. But Gwyneth Paltrow does a great job with it, all things considered. Plus she looks gorgeous. Will picks up what she’s putting down, lyrically, and he’s pretty sad about it.
Rachel finds Mercedes sitting in her car in the rain. She reminds Mercedes that Aretha earned her respect by, you know, performing and not being bested by anyone. The demands came after. (She actually doesn’t mention that, but puh-lease. Ms. Franklin has a long list of demands, no matter where she goes. But I’d say she’s earned it by now. I digress.) Mercedes just doesn’t understand why Rachel gets more attention than her, Mercedes is every bit as good. Why? Because Rachel doesn’t care about being liked, she cares about being a star. If Mercedes wants that closing number, she better get in there and take it from her.
Sue pulls Sandy aside and shames him for letting the Heckling Group get away. He’s going back in there and will single handedly tear these kids down, or his name isn’t THE PINK DAGGER. He’s even worked out a slogan: “You’ve just been poked. Poked by the Dagger!” Whatever, Sally Jesse, just handle your job.
Mercedes, looking outstanding in a navy blue sequined gown with a schnazzy feather hair-fascinator, takes the stage with a backing gospel choir. Oh, lord, here we go, sit down on the bus because we’re all about to get schooled. Sandy hears the opening music and mutters, “Oh, no… Not Aretha!”
The most ethereal performance of Amber Riley’s career thus far happens and sister girl throws down one of the better performances of “Aint’ No Way” that has ever been done, and I grew up listening to Aretha and Dionne and Dianna and you know all three of them sat up at one point, their skin prickling because greatness just happened. [DRINK.] I absolutely tear up every time I see this performance, because Mercedes puts all of herself into this song, and it’s breathtaking.
(Things of note: during the line ‘stop trying to be someone you’re not’ Rachel looks over to Finn and Quinn, snuggling in their seats.)
Mercedes walks off to the wings and tells Rachel to bring it. Uh, Rachel knows as well as everyone else that there’s no way she’s going to follow that number as “the house has been brought down.” Seriously, I have chills just writing about this. I’m drinking again, because Mercedes deserves it. [DRINK]
Holly gets off the phone with a school in Cleveland. They’ve offered her a sub job for a French class, and Will, confused that she would leave, gently reminds him that she’s allergic to commitment, remember? He asks if she’d ever commit. “Yes, but not with you.” Ouch. She reminds him that because of her stellar counseling skills, someone that he could be good with is actually available. But, he did break her record, they had five dates.
“You counted that time in the janitor closet?”
“That was my favorite one.” she smiles.
“Will you come back to visit?”
She’s begun walking away, braces herself, turns back to face him after steeling her face and chokes out, “I thought you’d never ask.” She leaves, the tears finally free to run down her face. (Great work, Ms. Paltrow.)
Will finds Sandy in the choir room with the kids and starts shouting “Stranger Danger!” but Sandy explains that he’s only here to launder his drug money. He wants to pay for the trip to NYC’s Nationals competition. They’re all excited to have the money, including the Brainiacs. A cheer rises forth.
Sue calls her last meeting of the Legion of Death. League of Suffering? Doesn’t matter, the men were failures. Terri? Honey Badger? Do not fail me. “Your time has come.”
The show closes with The Brainiacs on television and it’s down to a tie breaking question from the following category: “Hermaphrodite Nazi Sympathizers.”
Artie and Brittany beam at each other.
Drunken Thoughts: My main goal in creating this site was to be a bit of a backlash against “internet culture” where it’s cool to hate on things and cool to insult. Now, that’s not to say that criticism isn’t deserved, it’s a good thing. But the idea that everything is stupid and dumb, and the vitriol that gets flung about is really awful. I’ve been online since the old Compuserve days and it’s something that’s always been there, and probably always will. It’s just easier to sit by yourself and fling insults.
But what about a place where you can honestly critique things and still (safely) sqee and smile and love and just freaking enjoy something? We have too much disdain for happiness in a lot of places, and hey. Don’t judge me. I just want to love what I love, but that doesn’t mean we can’t point out faults, we just don’t have to be assholes about it.
I want to hate Gwyneth Paltrow, for example. She can seem so smug and full of herself at times, but I bet she’s an awesome hang. I think she just comes from a well-to-do background where that’s just a part of the tight-jawed, top-drawer life she’s accustomed to, but she knows NWA, I can’t hate a girl for that. And Will makes me crazy, but it’s because the writers can’t figure out what to do with him, Matthew Morrison is a fine actor. I don’t know, I can’t figure all of this out tonight, I just want to spend as much time hanging with your daughter, sir. [/Say Anything.]
Wait one, more: “Why can’t you be in a good mood? How hard is it to decide to be in a good mood and be in a good mood once in a while?” Gee, I guess it’s easy. (That’s my life’s motto, thank you, Lloyd Dobbler.)
Next Episode: Born This Way!