Lord Tubbington, McKinley High’s resident overlord, makes his first appearance near a bowl of hot Appenzeller. As this episode is all about sexy gossip, today’s cocktail is: The Harvey Pagebanger. Ahem. (I’m just saying, there are a lot of scandals at our nation’s capitol.)
“Fondue for two! Fondue for two! That’s some hot dish! FONDUE FOR TWO.” Brittany has a gossip show featuring two of her favorite things: hot cheese and even hotter gossip. The opening with her denim outfit and a herky is a thing of beauty. She has two of McKinley high’s biggest gossips, Mercedes and Tina, there to talk rumors. Mercedes dips her…hush puppy? donut hole? into some piping hot cheese and has to spit it out; it’s way too hot. Also, it smells like the inside of a fake leg. Or is that bigfoot’s dick? No, no, a baby diaper filled with Indian food. …burnt hair?
Some of tonight’s rumors: Asian men. Tina assures us that “the myth” isn’t true. They can’t all do math. Damn, I was hoping that was accurate. And Brittany says regarding the rumor that Santana plays for another team: she can confirm 100% that it’s true.
Mercedes and Tina spit out their fondue again, “Wait, what?” Lord Tubbington, the massive grey tabby kitty that rules Brittany’s life enters the scene and immediately starts eating out of the fondue pot. He only eats people food, and he can have cheese because he’s on Atkins. He doesn’t like green beans, even when cooked in bacon fat. (He’s very difficult.)
Well, that’s all the time for today’s show, next week will be raw meat into boiling chocolate and Lord Tubbington finds out what really happened to his catnip mouse. Hint: it’s under the fridge. Damn, I gave it away.
Rachel nervously hands a package to Sam, who’s scared to take it. “Santana told me never to speak alone with you because you would try to steal all of my gold.” Um, she just wanted to give you this triple pack of Chapstick (anyone else catch that it was “Wild Berry” flavor? Ha!) because she thinks his lips are cute and maybe, since they’re both single, they could go to prom together?
“You’re not my type.” Ouch.
Terri meets Sue at the Lima Bean where Sue is dressed like David Bowie. [DRINK] Sue feels it to be imperative that she remains disguised. Sue is kinda going bananas without her Cheerios. She orders a huge cup of mocha powder and tells Terri that she’s bringing back The Muckraker, the school’s newspaper. She’s been inspired by Wikileaks. They’ll be leaner, meaner and go by the motto, “If I heard it, it’s probably true. Or something.” They take seats and now Sue is dressed like Ann Coulter. [DRINK]
“It’s possible I’m coming slightly unhinged.” Oh, but just slightly.
Terri explains that her goal now is to get Will out of Glee, not destroy Glee. Sue can support that, just get Will the h-e-double-hockey-sticks out of her face, and she’ll be fine.
April shows up in Will’s office after her all-white production of The Wiz was a disaster. (The all-white production of The Color Purple couldn’t get funding, ditto Beloved.) So remember how she sorta kinda bought the auditorium at McKinley? She’d really like to borrow it to practice her new Broadway spectacular, “Crossroads: The April Rhodes Show.” Will is proud of her for finally doing her own thing, and he’d be glad to help her in anyway he can.
The first issue of The Muckracker comes out and has this blind item: “What prom queen candidate is spending time in her closet?” Rachel rushes up to Finn to offer condolences, but Finn just says Quinn’s claustrophobic. (Um.) Also, she didn’t mean that one, she meant the one that says that Sam and Quinn were seen leaving a motel together. Uh, what?
Santana gives Brit an earful of after telling the whole world that she “plays for the other team.”
“But it’s true! You used to be on the Cheerios team, and now you’re on New Directions.” [DRINK]
Santana is still pissed. As is Finn who asks for a direct answer from Quinn, and doesn’t get it. Uh oh. He storms out.
Will has April over for a little whine and cheese. Well, no cheese, April doesn’t actually eat dinner, it’s all Chablis. He tells her that her musical should be about her emotional journey, and she loves that idea. Well, enough about you, let Will talk all about The Muckracker and the Glee kidsand how he’s feeling unfulfilled and she wonders if his butt is actually worth all of this.
She says that it sounds like they got a case of the Mac, Fleetwood Mac. (Exposition: your parents probably liked them, they were kinda hippies and singers and did loads and loads of cocaine and were swingers, then the little blonde one became a witch and liked gauzy scarves and black clothes, the end.)
Will gets the idea to base a lesson off the entire album Rumors, and runs to put it on the record player. April doesn’t have one anymore because she sold hers for drug money. Kidding! No, she’s not. (I love April. I love Kristen Chenoweth. She needs to be on all the shows.)
Will and April perform a super handsy version of “Dreams” in the class for the kids to illustrate the lesson. Side note, I cannot hear this song without thinking of Lucy FLawless singing, “Now here you go again you say, you want burritos. I sure hope you can keep ‘em down. It’s only a flour tortilla you can wrap around your meat…” Their duet is great, I mean, come on look who it is. Will tells the kids to put their own spin on the song of their choice.
Artie wonders aloud to Brittany what they’re doing together. He looks like Bert in glasses and she looks like… Brittany. He wants to know what’s going on with her and Santana, and if she’s cheating with her. “No, I can’t! She’s a girl. It’s not cheating, it’s talking with your tongues really close.” [DRINK] Artie’s worst fears are confirmed, Brittany makes out with Santana and wants it to end, gets heated thinking about how manipulative Santana is (he’s not wrong) and when Brittany continues to defend her, Artie shouts “Why are you so stupid?”
Her face melts into agony and she cries, “You’re the only person at this school that never called me that!” She races off leaving Artie dumbstruck. Puck pops up out of the woodwork and starts playing (incredibly well, I might add, Mark? Crisp fingers. Awesome, and I’m a major guitar snob.) “Never Going Back Again” to which Artie sings along. The other guys show up with guitars and play as well, their faces stoic as Artie sings out his frustration with love and the pain its caused him.
Rachel and Finn are on stake out (“It’s like an episode of Hart to Hart!”) to see if Quinn is actually cheating with Sam. Rachel tries to soothe Finn’s hurting heart (karma’s a bitch, bro) and all he can think of is how he can’t trust anyone. Rachel wonders why he got back with Quinn if he can’t trust her? “I…don’t know.”
She knows. Because you’ll forgive your first love anything. The door to the motel room opens and oh my god it is Kurt. Finn is gobsmacked. “I can’t believe Kurt would do that to Blaine!” Jacob Ben Israel Goldmann Haverstein Ichenberg is standing in the shadows of the parking lot, snapping pictures.
The Gleeks all talk about the possibility of Kurt cheating with Sam. Tina wonders what they really know about Sam when it comes down to it, maybe he’s a serial killer? Quinn says “That’s not what’s happening.” Well, the only logical remaining answer is that he’s gay, then! Quinn breaks in and says with a finality to her voice, “Sam’s not gay.” Oho, and how do you know that, missy?
Santana brings a sad Brittany to the emptied choir room and says she’s found a song that expresses her feelings for Brit. She sings a lovely, bluesy version of “Songbird,” and the refrain, “And I love you, I love you, I love you like never before,” is so heartbreakingly plaintive and pure, if you don’t feel for Ms. Lopez, you must be dead inside. [DRINK] Santana’s choked up at the end of the song, and Brittany asks why she couldn’t sing it to her in public? Santana says that ever since that Muckraker thing, she’s been treated differently.
Brittany takes her hands and asks her to come on Fondue for Two, Brittany will say lovely things about her, ask her to prom, and that’ll be that. Good? Santana slowly agrees to it and they hug each other, each trapped in their own misery, but trying to find a way out together.
Rachel confronts Kurt at his locker (he’s wearing a fabulous sweater, by the way [DRINK]) and she wants to know how on earth he could do this to Blaine. “Oh how I missed your insanity.” She keeps trying to travel down Gossip Lane, but Kurt lives on Truth Avenue, gives Rachel a “Bitch, please” face and walks off after reminding her that focusing on rumors is never a good idea.
Finn and Rachel spy on Sam again. Finn says that he never knows what Quinn’s really thinking, she won’t let any of her feelings out. He realizes that Rachel never did that. Nope, Ms. Berry feels everything profoundly and not only that, feels other’s feelings to boot. They see Quinn leave Sam at the motel, giving him a tight squeeze as she leaves. Finn is devastated.
Brittany interviews Will in his audience to “improve her journalism skills.” Her rapid-fire questions:
1. Boxers or briefs? “Uh…boxers?”
2. Pantyhose or lace panties? “I just said boxers?” Well, Brittany will just record that you refused to answer the question.
3. When did you start waxing your back? “These aren’t appropriate.”
4. How many students have you had affairs with? “…there’s a rumor that I’m? Wait, what is-”
5. Is it true you’d rather be on Broadway than here?
Will is dumbstruck. Who wrote these questions for Brit? “Coach Sue said that I should not answer that.”
Sue is in a Muckraker meeting telling them that they’re now on Lesson 2: Making Stuff Up. She hands Jacob a tube of toothpaste and asks him to squeeze it into his hand. He does. “Now put it back.” He can’t. See where I’m going, kids? Azimio shoves Jacob’s hand into his face, “Oh, no I didn’t!” Yes he did.
Will comes in demanding to know what’s going on, and she asks him why he’s helping that well-known bratwurst gobbler, April Rhodes? Could it be that he wishes he was going to Broadway? Because Sue will be the first to admit that maybe he could be successful out there.
The newest issue of The Muckraker has a lead story that Rachel and Finn are now dating. Quinn is pissed, but Finn explains that they’re not back together, they were just on stakeout. Staking out her skeevy motel room cheating. She assures him that she’s not doing that with Sam, but she won’t say why she’s spending time with him. Neither of them seem to trust one another. Sounds like an awesome relationship to me!
Cut to them in class singing a (really nice) duet to “I Don’t Want To Know.” I really like their voices together. Solo, they both have flaws, but together they complement one another and are bigger than the sum of their parts. They circle each other like cats, pretending to be happy, but you can see they’re not. The whole class is uncomfortable when they’re done.
Rachel makes a comment: it makes far more sense for her to be paired with Finn, what with her huge talent and Quinn’s huge…lack thereof, and they have Nationals to think about! Quinn is at her limits. Either Finn stays with her in a relationship, or he sings with Rachel. She would love to win Nationals, true, but not at the expense of her relationship. So what’ll it be, buddy? Uh… Things are deteriorating quickly in the New Directions.
Will, in a tux, and April, in a smashing royal blue evening gown, work on a song from her musical. “I’ve slept with princes and toads, my name is April Rhodes, and there’s a good bet I’ve slept…with…yoooou!” I have to say, I’d pay good money to see this musical.
Emma has slipped into the auditorium and stands quietly in the back, watching them both. She hears April ask him to join her on Broadway. This stage, this club…that’s the kids’ dream, not his. What does he think about it? Bright lights? Big city streets? Treading the boards? He’s not sure.
Brittany waits for Santana to join her on Fondue for Two, but she’s not coming. She texted Brit saying “I can’t.” Brit instead interviews Lord Tubbington.
“Question 1: Do you think The Aristocats is an accurate portrayal of the feline relationship? [DRINK] You know, just because we’re doing this interview, it doesn’t mean I’m still not mad at you, ‘cause I know you started smoking again.” [DRINK]
Emma makes huge strides with her OCD. Will finds her in the lounge eating food that she didn’t polish spotless. She says he inspired her to take care of who she’s meant to be. Speaking of, why doesn’t he go with April to Broadway? He says that he couldn’t do that to the kids, they’ve worked so hard. He has a mini break down because William Racquel Schuester is on the verge of being unfulfilled.
Emma and the kids saved his life, he’d been so miserable he didn’t know there could be goodness in life anymore. But. He wants to go so badly. Oh, Will. They finally got this character back on track. he’s a good guy deep down, he just wants what’s best for everyone else. He’ll always come last on the needs list.
Rachel performs next class, “Go Your Own Way” with Finn on drums. She’s clearly singing it to him, totally hitting on him and it’s working. Finn fell in love with her talent, and here she is laying it out there for him like a Vicoria’s Secret spread. Quinn is pissed. She jumps down Rachel’s throat when the song (wonderfully sung, btw) ends.
Everyone rounds on Sam, blaming him for all of this. He tells them that he’s not doing anything inappropriate with Quinn or Kurt. The Gleeks are real jerks to him, it must be said. The truth is that his dad lost his job, and they lost their house and his entire family is living in one motel room. Quinn helped babysit while his parents went looking for work, and Kurt loaned him some clothes. He hopes they’re all happy, to know that now. He justifiably storms out.
April has afternoon drinks with Sue and Terri, because you had her at “margaritaville.” Terri asks Sue if there is protein powder in the ‘ritas. “Yep. And just a touch of placenta.” Terri tries to sift the protein out of her drink through her teeth.
April says she doesn’t think Will would leave the school and kids, but Sue is planning on printing a lie saying that he is. See, that will give him an out to go to Broadway, the kids will know without him having to say anything, easy peasy!
April is very uncomfortable with this. She isn’t up for this shady behavior, and that’s saying something. She once became an Avon lady just so she could rob demented seniors.
Rachel and Finn slip over to Sam’s motel to apologize and see what they can do to help. Not much. Sam’s family was evicted, they’re down to everything in this room. Finn has some clothes for him, and they learn that Quinn and Sam’s families go to the same church, that’s how she knew, and Sam was delivering pizzas to Dalton, so that’s how Kurt knew. Sam’s probably going to have to quit Glee – he’s needed to help with his younger siblings
They don’t want him to quit, just say what’s needed and they’ll do it. Also, they heard he had to pawn his guitar, so they all chipped in and bought it back for him. Finn hands it over and Sam breaks down in tears. Sam’s little sister wakes up and climbs onto her big brother’s shoulders, asking him to not cry. It’s apparently the first time he’s allowed himself to do so. Poor kid.
Jacob grills Santana in school about her relationship with Karofsky, and she plays coy for a bit then says they’re going strong. Jacob’s a good reporter, though, and thinks she’s making it up. She brushes him off, and Brittany, who has overheard this exchange, looks on sadly.
The kids have the latest issue of The Muckracker and ask if it’s true: is Mr. Schuester leaving them to go on Broadway? He says that you can’t believe every rumor. Um, that doesn’t sound like a no. “We’re going to Nationals together, and we’re going to win.” That’s better. Kinda.
Sam brings his younger siblings to the choir room instead of keeping them holed up in the motel. They all sing “Dont Stop” with Sam on lead and Quinn harmonizing with him in an absolutely disgusting dress. What on earth, Costume Department? That is what country western people wore to do laundry in the 80s. [DRINK]
The whole gang joins in the song. They hoist Sam on their shoulders and dance with the little brother and sister and Sam’s dad miraculously has a job and they win Nationals and they all move to New York together and star in Glee The Musical, and it’s just like The Muppet Movie, but even better! Karofsky turns out to be Sweetums, a lovable oaf, and Brittany is the best Janice ever, fer suuuuure!
Will watches from the audience, chewing his nails to the quick as April watches him, worried.
Drunken Thoughts: It’s a throwaway line, the “Just like an episode of Hart to Hart!” but I love how outdated everything about Rachel is. I imagine her dads as older men, who lived hard in the 70s and 80s, and have tons of VHS tapes of Moonlighting and Hart to Hart and Cheers and Taxi, and that’s what Rachel grew up watching, nothing that was actually playing as it aired. And they have the mod basement where she performed songs from Cher’s Variety Hour and Laugh In and it just cracks me up.
And don’t even act like the Gleeks as the Muppets wouldn’t be a thing of beauty. You know it’s awesome! Moving right along, dugga dun, dugga dun, foot loose and faaaancy free!
Next Episode: PROM QUEEN.