This week, Glee took on one of the most iconic musicals of all time: Grease. Or, as they like to call it, Glease. In related news, can we get Glee to stop naming things?
The episode opened Schue dropping a bomb on the glee club: he’s leaving to work in DC for a few months and Finn’s going to be in charge. No one takes the news well, least of all Sue Sylvester, who goes on a school-wide rampage when Figgins allows it. Sue hates Finn (and who can blame her?), and her former grudge against the glee club begins anew.
In New York, Rachel is optimistic about her future sans-Finn. She’s auditioning for an off-Broadway pay, and even makes plans with Brody. But she continues to butt heads with her dance teacher Cassandra, a woman who, while bitchy, is also objectively a good teacher. Too bad no one told Rachel that teachers are supposed to challenge you and not coddle you. Now Cassandra has an obvious issue with Rachel, and when she asks Brody to be her TA, you just know she has lots of scheming ulterior motives.
Back at McKinley, the girls are getting fitted for their costumes and Kitty continues to be Satan incarnate. She’s has an evil plan to make Marley self-conscious about her weight by sneakily making her costumes smaller (did Marley not notice that her normal clothes still fit?), and when she calls Marley fat and brings up her “genetics” from having an overweight mother, none of the other girls stand up for her. Marley does, however, stand up for Unique, snagging her an invite to Kitty’s “girls only” sleepover. Marley brings up her fat fears to her mother, who gives her a speech about taking control of her body that sounded really suspect until she ended it with a mother/daughter diet plan. Saying “I didn’t raise a victim or a quitter. I raised a star” sort of makes you sound like a creepy stage mom, Mama Rose.
In New York, Kurt comes by the studio to help Rachel rehearse and brings up the idea of going to McKinley to watch the musical. He needs to see Blaine, he hasn’t been able to sleep since their break up and he needs closure. Rachel claims to have found her own, but a blind man could see through that. Cassandra, quick to get rid of Rachel for the weekend so she can see Brody, offers them her frequen flyer miles. Finally, an answer to how these kids can jet between New York and Ohio so easily. I’m from Ohio; it is not cheap to get to NYC.
At Kitty’s sleepover, which looks suspiciously identical to the sleepover from the movie Grease, Kitty continues her plot to make Marley bulimic. And for some reason, Marley goes with it, probably because her friends don’t stand up for her. Instead they join in when Kitty mocks her a la Rizzo.
The next day at McKinley, Sue reveals her plot to destroy the musical by… protecting a student from a valid threat. Unique’s parents hadn’t known about her part as Rizzo, and they arrive to inform Finn that though they support their child’s right to be whoever they want to be, they fear for her safety. So Unique is officially out of the show. No Rizzo equals no musical, right? Wrong. Finn calls on the one other person in New Directions with the talent to play the part… Santana? Who doesn’t even go there. Whoops, sorry Tina.
The night of the show, Kurt and Rachel arrive and have a walk down memory lane that ends with an awkward encounter back stage with both Finn and Blaine. Kurt can’t look at Blaine, Blaine can’t look away from Kurt, and Rachel and Finn babble to each other to fill the silence.
Kitty has finally gotten to Marley, who is found binging in the girls’ bathroom by Ryder. Luckily he helps her see sense, and the two have an adorable moment. Ryder is the first to tell Marley that Kitty is being a bitch, but their cute kiss gets added drama when Jake sees it. I smell a love triangle. There’s another adorable moment between Tina and Mike, who decide to talk things over and consider getting back together, and a bittersweet Brittana scene where the two obviously love and miss each other but agree that their break up was for the best.
Rachel, who feels overwhelmed by being in McKinley, runs to call Brody but Cassandra answer his phone. She insinuates that she and Brody had sex and insults Rachel to the point of tears. When Finn finds her, the two once again hash things out. They finally get closure when Finn tells her “no more contact. Not even in song.” Wow, that’s big. And when Rachel and Kurt go to leave, Blaine flags them down to try to talk to Kurt, but Kurt realized he isn’t ready to hear it. He tells Blaine that he can’t trust him anymore, and that Lima isn’t home anymore. Once again, Blaine cries, Kurt cries, I cry, everyone cries.
The episode ends with the show having been a rousing success, and Schuester leaves the club in Finn’s hands for Sectionals.
Next week, the Warblers return and the New Directions kids dress as superheroes. I have no idea why, but that doesn’t stop me from being excited.
"Greased Lightning"- Ryder and the boys
Pretty much a direct homage. Ryder is a good singer and the song had good energy. Though someone should tell Finn that Grease is not actually about fixing cars. B
"Sandra Dee"- Kitty
An exact recreation of the movie, it was fun and cute and I actually really like Kitty’s voice. B
"Beauty School Dropout"- Blaine
Another recreation, and taking place during the performance. Darren Criss knocks it out of the park again and shows off his lower register. Plus his acting when he momentarily breaks after seeing Kurt in the crowd made me sob. A+
"Sandra Dee Reprise"- Marley
Musically great, maybe my favorite Marley song yet. The visuals weren’t super interesting but the focus was on Marley and that was the important part. B
"There Are Worse Things I Could Do"- Santana, Unique, Cassandra
Poignant, makes sense in the story, PHENOMINAL voices and good staging. Naya Rivera and Alex Newell have two of the strongest voices on the show, and I continue to be shocked at Kate Hudson’s singing ability. A
"You’re The One That I Want"- Everyone
Beginning in the performance and moving to a fantasy with all the broken up couples (AKA all the couples we care about), it sounded great and the energy was good. B+