Glee Recap: Their Super Sweet '16' [Updated]

Oh girls, I’m standing right there with you at center stage, mouth agape, contemplating a pretty unexpected conclusion to this week’s Glee. Then again, there’s more than one way to write a happy ending, and so, regardless of whether or not you agreed with the judges’ decision at Sectionals, you prrrrrobably ended the episode with a smile on your face.

Before we get to the grades for this week’s musical numbers, let’s run through the key plot points of “Hold on to 16″:

* We kicked off with a tense lockerside chat in which Quinn told Rachel she planned to report Shelby’s affair with Puck to Principal Figgins. I really didn’t need another reminder that Puck is 18 and therefore the whole icky, morally reprehensible pas de deux is legal, but I practically pumped my fist with delight when Rachel, encouraging Quinn not to succumb to her vindictive side, said what I’ve been waiting for somebody/anybody to say for weeks: “Shelby is [Beth's] real mom.” Ding ding ding ding ding!

* Anyone else feel a surge of white-hot rage when Mr. Schue reprimanded Finn by noting, “Too much talking; not enough looking for songs for sectionals.”? Why is it that New Directions never has their set list prepared weeks, if not months, before their major competitions? Infuriating!

* Kurt and Blaine’s coffee date was rudely interrupted by Kurt’s oversized denim collar and gold-studded ridiculata a flirtatious Sebastian, and led to a choice lobbing of insults between the boys competing for the attention of the Talented Mr. Anderson. “I don’t like your smirky, meerkat face. I don’t like your obnoxious CW hair,” hissed Kurt, to which Sebastian responded, “One of us has a hard-luck case of the gayface, and it ain’t me.” Bring on the bitch-off!

* Looking to bolster New Directions’ numbers (and chances) against the Troubletones at Sectionals, Finn and Rachel tracked down Sam at a strip club where he performed as White Chocolate (not exactly The Justin Bieber Experience) and then convinced Sam’s parents to let him move back to Lima and return to McKinley for the rest of his senior year. Worst part of that scene: Sam’s parents barely asking a question about where their son would stay, who would be his guardian, or how he’d fare academically with a mid-year transfer, before going in for the group hug and saying “yes!” Best part of that interlude: Rachel telling Mr. and Mrs. Evans that Sam wouldn’t be homeless, then remembering the family’s predicament from last season, perkily adding “not that there isn’t a quiet dignity in that.”

* Santana served a piping hot dish of insults to celebrate the return of baby-head polisher Trouty Mouth, while Quinn unsuccessfully attempted a romantic reconnection with her onetime beaux. Sam, for his part, was having none of Quinn’s “rich white-girl problems” and encouraged her to heed the Book of Mellencamp and “hold on to 16 as long as you can.” Of course, it turned out Sam really passed on Quinn because he wanted to reunite with Mercedes. We can all agree the lady protested a bit too much about having moved on from their “summer fling.”

* Somehow Blaine and Sam got into a fight over whether or not to use crotch-thrust choreography at Sectionals — “I’m not for sale!” huffed Blaine in Judgey McJudgerson mode. This led to a very weird scene where Finn and Blaine worked out their differences as the latter teen wailed on a punching bag. Then again, at least it led to this plum line from Blaine: “I started the Dalton branch of Fight Club, which I obviously can’t talk about.”

* After discovering Mike was applying to med school instead of following his dancing dreams, Tina went to confront Mr. Chang and asked him to “help your son honor his gift.” And while I actually thought Mike’s dad had some pretty practical advice for the starry-eyed teen about a future in show-biz, I can’t lie and say I wasn’t touched when the stern padre showed up at Sectionals and eventually wound up on his feet cheering for his son’s New Directions successes.

* Depending on your viewpoint, the Troubletones either got a little cocky or rather generous before Sectionals, boasting that once they took home the crown, they’d allow any member of New Directions to join their cause at Regionals. When Finn whined that Santana was being rude by making the offer, she countered with this doozy: “It would be rude if I followed you around and every time you took a step, I played a note on a tuba.” Oh snap!

* Despite the fact that, in my humble estimation, the Troubletones should’ve triumphed over New Directions for the Sectionals title, it was the latter show choir that took home first prize with the judges, including Tickles the Clown. (Anyone else notice the immediate and enthusiastic way Sugar recognized the red-nosed entertainer? One of the episode’s best moments by far!)

* As Sectionals kicked off, Rachel once again approached Quinn and tried to stop her from reporting Shelby, or at least to get her to go to Shelby before she went to Figgins: “I got a taste of what it’s like to do the wrong thing, and it feels awful,” Rachel explained. This led to a slightly stilted scene between adoptive mom and birth mother where the former woman explained that youth fades all too quickly, and that Quinn should try to enjoy being a kid, performing with New Directions, and other age-appropriate pursuits. And sorry, but Shelby’s “sleeping with Puck made me feel older, not younger” didn’t make me any more sympathetic to the fact that she’d broken the boundaries of a student-teacher relationship.

* The day after Sectionals, Quinn recruited Mercedes, Santana, and Brittany back to New Directions by promising (with Rachel and Schue’s blessing) that the Troubletones ladies would get at least one lead vocal per competition. (Let’s see if the show’s writers remember that edict in another four weeks or so.) She also had a sweet exchange with Rachel outside Figgins’ office — nope, what happened in Shelby’s boudoir did not make its way to the principal’s ears — where Quinn started thinking about Yale. (Yeah, because that’s the kind of school you apply for on a whim. But whatever.)

* Things ended with New Directions’ celebratory performance in the auditorium — with special guests the Troubletones. Some minor character named Mr. Schue oversaw the action. Honestly, adults on this show are thisclose to being relegated to “Peanuts parents” status.

And now, let’s rate this week’s musical numbers:

‘Red Solo Cup,’ Sam and New Directions
A cute little countrified return for Trouty Mouth, if not the most memorable musical moment in the history of the rehearsal room. (Question: Was that an actual bottle of champagne that Finn popped open?)
Musical grade: B Relevance to the plot: C+

‘Buenos Aires,’ Harmony and the Unitards
Lindsay Pearce has a heckuva set of pipes, but this felt less like a show-choir performance than a showcase for a soloist with some jaunty backup dancers. I do, however, love Harmony’s “Rachel x 10″ boundaries-free bravado: “I’m only a sophomore, and I’m already this good. Next year’s gonna be a bloodbath.”
Musical grade: B+ Relevance to the plot: C+

‘I Will Survive’/’Survivor,’ Santana, Mercedes, and The Troubletones
Was that full-fledged waacking or just some disco-eggbeaters gone awry? Who cares! I loved that the Troubletones broke free of the standard-operating glee-club choreography, and that there’s another legendary duet to add to the Sancedes oeuvre. Maybe this one didn’t have the emotional power of “Rumour Has It”/”Someone Like You,” but I felt Santana’s exhilaration when she ended the number collapsed on her back with a huge grin on her face.
Musical grade: A Relevance to the plot: A

‘ABC’/’Control’/’Man in the Mirror,’ New Directions
Look, I understand this is a story about New Directions, but if they’re supposed to be the Sectionals champs, their Jackson Family medley should’ve felt more like a cohesive performance and less like three individual numbers hastily patched together. It was nice to see Tina get the lead on “ABC,” but nothing about that number felt like the stuff of competition legend. “Control” was an unexpected choice with some good dancing, but “Man in the Mirror” proved to be a tonally jarring ending to the performance. What do these three songs have to do with one another? And after last week’s Michael Jackson theme on X Factor, is it possible Fox purchased from his songbook in bulk?
Musical grade: B Relevance to the plot: A

‘We Are Young,’ New Directions/Troubletones
Totally joyous fun, especially with all the kids finally back in one room, but how come Schue — who’s dealt with the bad effects of alcohol on his students — allows a ditty with lyrics about helping one’s inebriated friend stagger home from a bar?
Musical grade: A- Relevance to the plot: B+

Now I turn things over to you: What did you think of “Hold on to 16″? What was your favorite musical number this week? Hit the comments with your thoughts, and take our poll below. And for all my Glee recaps and commentary, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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207 Comments
  1. Anthony Newhall says:

    “We Are Young” is possibly the best song to date that Glee has done.

    • Puckleberry says:

      We Are Young was the best for me, but I wouldn’t say it’s the best they have done so far. As contrived as it was, seeing all those guys back together again made me go…AAAAAAWWWW!

      • shueme says:

        Everything was a big mess, worst episode ever. I used to hate this show, but now I get ill reading these comments. Please stop.

        • Larry says:

          I 100% diagree with you. If you think this is the worst episode ever then you have NO heart. While Glee is often disjointed -when it makes heartfelt joyous episodes -it does it SO right and last night’s episode was just that. I don’t think you watched the same episode as I did.

        • Tyler says:

          You are wrong. Thank you. That is all.

        • sowhat says:

          Look, we all see things differently. I loved last night’s epi. It was fun and entertaining with good musical performances by all. A good message to the epi last night. I was greatly disappointed with Mash off becuz of all the chaos and upheaval people at each others throats. Meaness hatefulness mixed into back stabbing drama where no one is immune to a drama that had to start Santana’s story arc. So overly dramatic for a comedy series IMO. It wore me out. So unnerving. Mercedes San and Britt leave to TTs. It was disjointed and dysfunctional. Not entertaining for me. Others loved it their opinion. I did not enjoy I Kissed a Girl. IMO for me too much Santana and her woes. Not interested. It seems that lots of people on these forums really like the negativity where the members are at each other not being a team mate. One epi once in a while is ok but not the whole epi. Or them back to back as was Mash off and IKAG. But last night was refreshing and positive not negative. Nice to see them enjoying what they do since that is why they joined Glee. But I’m happy with most of s3 so far and cannot wait for next week.

        • Paul says:

          Last night’s episode was the best one of the season.

        • Puckleberry says:

          Okay, big mess, used to hate the show (does this mean you no longer hate it, but rather like it?) and reading these comments make YOU ILL? Well, you should then stop reading them. I think, they are hilarious. Some people (yeah, like me) go way overboard. Please, don’t get sick :) Just have a good laugh. TV is not to be taken seriously, is it?

    • Vinny says:

      I am possibly one of the biggest “fun.” fans around (been to several concerts, met them and so forth), so having “We Are Young” be voted up as the most favorite number of tonight is a delight, let alone having the music supervisors choose one of their newest songs to perform.

      I had heard about them including the song in tonight’s episode about a month ago and had been looking forward to it ever since. I was getting sad that there were only 4 minutes left and the song hadn’t been performed yet. It was a pretty perfect ending to the episode.

  2. Liz S. says:

    I absolutely LOVED We Are Young!

  3. Amanda says:

    Survivor: better singers.
    original choreography- WAACKING.yay.
    better mashup by far.

    ND got 3 songs and 2 just completely stunk. Control was a mess. ABC was lame and Man in mirror was a snore. How did troubletones loose?

    And if people say TT choreo was just “arm waving” they don’t what they were actually doing. much harder and much more difficult to do waacking than the cheesy crap the ND did.

    • Amanda says:

      lose….not loose., obviously. Typing in anger makes one have typos.

    • KSM says:

      It’s a show. About the kids in New Directions. That’s how they won.

    • Jason says:

      Sorry Amanda but I understand your opinion, but I’ve been doing show choir for 8 years now, and the Troubletones were a mess. The mashup was horrible. The songs do not go together in any sense. The Choreography may of looked Flashy but the timing was so off. Amber is one of the worst dancers on the show, and why they were trying to get her to move that quickly, is completely beyond me. Some people have limits, hers were surpassed.
      The ND songs did not “stink” at all. They were much better than the TT Mashups. The dancing might not be better, but the vocals killed it. Sorry but they absolutely dominated the TT.

      • dan says:

        You called it. The New Directions dancing was better too, the choreography for the Troubletones was terrible. If they had done the Adele mash-up they might have won. But then again, they weren’t supposed to win tonight, they were supposed to come in second.

        • Summer says:

          I thoroughly enjoyed the mash-up, though yes, the choreography was off. Way off. The girls themselves didn’t seem to be all synchronized in some spots.

          Loved it when the ND got to Man in the Mirror. I actually squealed out loud. Great choreography, and loved that everyone got a chance in the spotlight, except for Damian. And Sugar, but she’s supposed to be a bad singer, so that made some sense.

      • Seanny says:

        I agree with you Jason… I’ve been to my fair share of show choir concerts because my sister was in one and the TT number was not anything close to what a show choir would do, if for the sole fact that they had no powerful choir sound behind the three leads. Slezak is also wrong if he thinks a mash-up should triumph over three distinct songs. Mashups used to be call medleys and they never had the show quality of three songs sung well.

    • HeyAmanda says:

      If Troubletones had competed with their Adele mash up, they would’ve won, but they did this disco number that was simply nice, nothing else. And ND had to win. We all knew that’s how it’d go down.

      • J says:

        I agree. The Adele mashup was unbelievable. This one, not so much. I think this is the best New Direction has ever been in competition. And without Rachel – I love her and lover her performing, but I was amazed by how GOOD ND was this episode.

    • ggny says:

      you do know the show is about the kids in ND not TT right?

    • dvx says:

      I think ‘ABC’ was the best song in the competition. I really enjoyed the Trouble Tones mashup but (FINALLY!) New Directions had a great show with Michael Jackson’s cover… The first one. Three songs were too much.

      • uknow says:

        IMO the reason 3 songs was to allow the cast to shine and sing a solo thru out the 3 songs. Awesome. They all sound great.

    • Obie says:

      Just because there’s a name for it doesn’t mean it looked good. It looked stupid and distracted the audience. I’ll agree that the vocals were better overall, though.

  4. Jo says:

    Best episode in a long time! Loved the whole darn thing!

  5. Monique says:

    My fav musical number from “Hold on to 16″ was the I Will Survive/Survivor mash up!!

  6. Jamie Lynn says:

    Red Solo Cup! Hahaha
    Obviosly the Jackson Medley!! ABC CONTROL and MAN IN THE MIRROR.
    Also the best of the episode, Angry Blaine, Trouty Mouth, You smell like a Craiglist, Withe Chocolate, Faberry moments, Santana speech to Sam, Red Solo Cup, Mike Chang and Tike :’) This episode was just.. EPIC Ok?
    Angry Blaine=Girl Boner.

    • Jenny says:

      “Angry Blaine=Girl Boner”
      I’m going to steal that quote LOL

    • Russ says:

      Angry Blaine=Guy Boner.
      Lets get some gender equality up in here.

    • Priya says:

      I don’t really listen to pop music. I tend to like independent artists that haven’t been put through the autotune ringer so they all sound the same. Lately, I have found that every week there is one song that I can’t believe is an actual song. A couple of weeks ago there was that one about Friday night or whatever and this week it was the red solo cup song. Why are these real songs? Why are they popular enough to be on Glee? Why are they considered music?

      • Ubie says:

        Red Solo Cup was a goof bet that Toby Keith made with someone that he could write a song about anything. It is a real song in that a real professional country star wrote, sang and recorded it, but a weird one for sure.

  7. AndyLuvr says:

    That cup song sucked big time. And whose bright idea was it to feature Madonna’s version of “Buenos Aires” in “Glee?” That young lady’s high notes were so pathetically weak and thin compared to how Patti LuPone sings those money notes on the Original American Premiere Recording of “Evita” as well as a number of clips available on YouTube, which boggles me because the version of “Buenos Aires” that the show used is in a lower key than the one LuPone sang in the stage production. So, epic “Evita” fail there, “Glee.” But I have to say, I loved “We Are Young” and embraced all the lovey-dovey cheesiness of it as the means by which Mercedes, Santana and Brittany (including Sugar Motta!) returned to The New Directions. I wanted to love “I Will Survive/Survivor” but “Survivor” done as a disco anthem just doesn’t work: I missed the harder beats in the original version by Destiny’s Child. I wasn’t too fond of the Jackson songs EXCEPT FOR THE FACT that we finally got to hear and see Jenna Ushkowitz take front and center as the leading lady of The New Directions. This bona fide triple threat’s vocals were fantastic and she must do more solos from here on out. She simply must!!!

  8. Chelsea says:

    Okay, so I’m going to ignore the facts that Finn randomly thought of Sam as a solution for Sectionals, that Finn immediately knew where Sam was (despite the lame FB excuse), Sam’s parents almost immediately agreeing to let him live in another state for God knows how long with a “friend” (we never found out who Sam is staying with, guessing RIB don’t know either) and the fact that Sam distractingly looks like a young Maculay Culkin.

    I LOVED all the performances from tonight, for once. The Troubletones were just okay to me. Didn’t deserve to win Sectionals against NDs, especially with the chicken dance they were doing. I really didn’t like Mercedes and Santana’s (but mainly Mercedes) attitude about losing and Mercedes claiming she was NOT coming back to NDs. I felt it was a cop out to let the “Troubletones” perform a number each showcase. That is so STUPID, they lost and should ASK to come back. I’m so sick of Mercedes saying she refuses to sing backup to Rachel, even since the Pilot. She’s better than you, get over it. Hm, so Rachel agrees to let the Troubletones sing every performance, sounds like good sportsmanish to me. Mercedes is just ugh, and has no redeeming qualities at ALL. Oh, and her and Sam are completly UNbelievable, there is no chemistry. I find it hard to believe Sam would be in to someone like that.

    Oh, and Glee we aren’t stupid, having Harmony say she’s a sophmore was SO a SETUP for her to be at Mckinnley High next year. Genius.

    • Amelia says:

      Mercedes killed the performance tonight. Amazing. And Santana and Mercedes shouldnt sing back up to Rachel. Many people are personally sick of the Rachel and Fin show. notice how the ratings got better since they took a backseat this season, with The troubletonessinging more? Better songs by far. Rachel is just tired and boring. And no they should not have come back. So angry about them coming back. Brittany, Santana, and Mercedes are so much better than the entire sum of ND.

      • Chelsea says:

        Mercedes killed it? No. She’s done better. All she does is scream and wail that last note. Ratings got better since they were showcased? Ha, that is a joke. Its actually been between declining and staying steady. Glee had its best season in S1 and who was featured? Yeah, Rachel and Finn. Santana (Naya) and Mercedes (Amber) songs have never sold as well as Rachel’s (Lea) even when she is singing that boring broadway crap. Candyman by the Troubletones didn’t do well on the charts and the only reason Rumor Has It/Someone Like You was so popular because it was a great mashup and its ADELE! Many people are sick of Rachel and Finn? What people? The 3% Interent fandom? More people are sick of Santana’s dragging storyline, she just dosen’t have the star factor to be featured for a lengthy period of time. Don’t even get me started on Mercedes, she couldn’ve been so much more than the steryotypical sassy, attitude-ish black girl. But sadly she isn’t.

        • Amelia says:

          The racism and hypocrisy of your statement just is fascinating. Well done!

          • Kirby says:

            There was actually nothing racist or hypocritical about that statement. Mercedes is written as a one-note stereotype of the sassy black diva. She even sang a song called “Hell to the No” that talked about eating poorly despite potentially getting diabetes. She constantly complains about singing back-up when she gets many solos. Tell me what’s not a stereotype about that. Tina, on the other hand, has sung for maybe two minutes of the entire series and never complains, so it is a characteristic specific to Mercedes. Kurt is also a stereotype – the effeminate, weak gay man who auditioned for Tony in WSS with a Barbra Streisand number (!) and then complained that there weren’t any roles out there for him (it’s called acting). As fun as the show can be, it is also horribly written and has been using the same dumb story lines since episode one with characters who never develop or change. Try reading the post before you attempt to snark on it.

          • Ayci says:

            I think she meant could have(could’ve),as opposed to could not have (couldn’ve that in reality is couldn’t’ve). Adding a letter makes all the difference.

          • Meg says:

            Ayci: wouldn’t “couldn’t have” be a lot better and more reader-friendly than “couldn’ve” or “couldn’t’ve”? Do people actually use those contractions rather than a simple “couldn’t have”?

        • the girl says:

          Interestingly enough ever since they started the TroubleTones, Mercedes has done everything EXCEPT wail. She sings softer pop tunes and really does blend well with Santana, which was the reason she gave for recruiting Santana in the first place. None of the songs that TT has done have been of the big note R&B variety. Without Mr Schue’s direction she’s moved away from doing the powerhouse diva songs and showed… A LOT OF RANGE! Which is why people like me have been wanting her to be showcased all along. Just because she has been doing a lot of big singing doesn’t mean that’s all she can do. In fact I believe Amber Riley has proved she can do just about anything, vocally.

      • J says:

        I will never get sick of Rachel. But I did enjoy seeing more of Santana/Mercedes. I hope they keep featuring them more. But having a glee club with them both at the front was one of the best things to happen lately on the show.

    • amelia says:

      and do you know whats bad sportsmanship? Rachel and finn sitting, talking , and saying how they got it during the TT’S performance, while Mercedes, Brit, and Santana were up and dancing . the girls have class. Finn and Rachel not so much. And btw, Rachel just as much of a brat and diva as Mercedes. So sick of people giving Rachel excuses .

      • Sara says:

        Umm, pretty sure that was Finn and Blaine saying that they had it during the TT’s performance, not Rachel. Who gives Rachel excuses? She’s always the one being punished and always the one bending for everyone else. Mercedes is an unworthy diva.

      • Chelseab says:

        Eh, that’s not bad sportsman ship. The Troubletones walking into the Glee Club being rude and cocky was unnesscary and showed Santana is still up to her old tricks by offering the NDs members to join their group when they lost. They were overky confident for no reason, I for one thought their performance would be epic but was disapointed. Rachel is endearing and caring. Mercedes has no redeeming qualties. She’s selfish and stomps her feet until she gets her way. No one is making excuses for Rachel and especially not Aretha.

        • MistaColin says:

          I’ve read a lot of these comments and appreciate everyone’s opinions. In TV shows such as these, fights will come up for who likes one character over the other. Now I’ve watched the show since the begining and I rather enjoyed the TT storyline. I think that Mr. Schue had become a little too Rachel-centric, though her talent is undeniable. The problem is because all the characters have talents in their own rights, we all want them to shine, just as the characters themselves do. Am I the only one who remembers Rachel telling Mercedes (the night of the fundraiser debacle) was that the reason Mercedes was liked and Rachel got the solos was because of the fact that Rachel didn’t care about anything other than the spotlight. Rachel is a very self centered and neurotic character which is why we love her. Mercedes isn’t so much self centered as she has more of a low self image which she combats with her sassy black girl attitude. When your only voice is your song, then you want to be showcased. Mercedes was just trying to get her turn to shine. It’s not that Mercedes is better than Rachel or vice versa. You wouldn’t say that Celine Dion sings better than Whitney Houston and you wouldn’t say Aretha Franklin is better than Linda Rondstadt. You’d say they were both amazing artists who play to two totally different audiences. Both girls have talent, there is no disputing that. So stop fighting about who’s better because it’s a no win situation. Just love what each one brings to the table. Also, conflict is what a show is about and these characters have flaws just like us in the real world have flaws. Hey, it’s only my opinion.

      • Dee says:

        I’m sorry, did you write that Santana has CLASS???

        Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

        You’re funny.

    • Carrie says:

      I have to agree with you Chelsea – the way they have protrayed Mercedes character this year totally negates her talent for me – the attitude is horrible.

      • dan says:

        Hey remember: it’s a tv show! It isn’t real life! They need to have characters who create drama and conflict, otherwise there is no plot or story. The characters were created and are written for specific reasons. You may not like the way Mercedes or Kurt or Santana do things, but that is the way the writers want the characters to act and it creates drama/conflict. Wow, you people act like these characters are “real” and all need to fit into a perfect little box of what you think they should be. Here’s an idea: create your own tv show and see how well you can do it. Just enjoy the fun of the show and stop attacking it week after week.

    • Tyler says:

      I totally agree with pretty much everything you said. How did Brittney feel about how only Mercedes and Santana singing in the Troubletones? Mercedes thinks she deserves the spotlight, but if someone is better than you, accept that and do your best to improve the group in your own way. And Mercedes should not be allowed back in ND for her bad attitude.

      • Iffy says:

        So, when Rachel quit because someone else was offered a solo she wanted, should she have been banned from New Directions? When she sent a potential glee club member to a crack house put of jealousy, should she have been kicked out? I’m just trying to enoy the characters as they’re written on the show, but there’s always so much hypocrisy in the comments section.

        • Can says:

          You make very good points…and I’m a huge Rachel fan. The difference, I feel, between Mercedes, Santana and Rachel is that in all those examples you listed of what Rachel has done wrong she actually came back and apologised to the club and asked for forgiveness, the other two never did.

          Also I believe Rachel’s character has shown growth, she hasn’t done anything damaging or selfish to the Glee club since early season 2 and the argument that Mercedes and Santana keep making about not wanting to sing back-up to Rachel is absolutely ludicrous at this point in the season because Rachel has barely sung, in fact she hasn’t sung a single solo, so i am currently unsure how they are able to still make that argument.

          I would like it very much if Mercedes were featured more, I do honestly believe she should get her chance to shine in a competition episode…but Santana…I’m not even sure why she was included in this storyline because since Naya Rivera became a full cast member last season she has featured heavily on vocals, in fact she featured heavily in the competition episodes…if not more than Rachel…so really she has absolutely no reason to complain.

          • Iffy says:

            Thank you for being a fan of a great character while stating clear, reasonable points. I enjoy Rachel, too – I love the character and her voice. I just wish others could approach disagreements with class and facts (or at least well-formed, (if possible, unbiased) opinions).

    • Steve Z says:

      Chelsea… you are so right about Harmony/Lindsey. I think Ryan Murphy realized what a disappointment his Irish Leprechaun has been (unless this has been his plan all along?) I hope Samuel has better luck with his storyline.

  9. Jill says:

    We are young!!

  10. Marcus says:

    The parts of the Sectionals performance that Plaine Blanderson wasn’t singing in were the best parts of the episode.

  11. Carrie says:

    I’m sure I’ll be flamed for saying this – but I’m glad ND beat TT. Not that their performance was better, it’s just I don’t think you do what Mercedes, Santana & Brit did, but then again, I’m big on loyalty. So personally, I’m glad those who were unloyal to their friends came in second.

    • yep says:

      I realize their disappointment of being second fiddle for so long. But Merc called Rachel an ass kisser pardon the term but it was said in the episode where she was kicked out of ND. I felt for Merc but she said she was over the ND and Shue. That is bad attitude she should of expressed to Shue in private and not back stab Rachel when she wasn’t there. I was not a fan of Merc then but understand her attitude of resentment. But for Santana to come in and be rude to the ND prior to the competition was bad sportsmanship and not acceptable. If I were a ND I wouldn’t be so forgiving so soon to Santana. But this is Glee and the story needs to move on where the TT and ND are together. So they are and I’m happy the episode was a happy episode.
      Quinn is not crazy and came to her senses. She and Rachel are friends. They’re all growing up and being more mature. Very glad for that. All the members in ND sang solo parts especially Tina yea!!! Liked that Mike and his dad are back together with Tina’s help. The music was great. Michael is a fav of mine. Done well. Loved We are Young. I Survive was good. But it was meant to be not as good. Sam is back and happy to be back. Happy about this episode really was entertaining.

  12. Captain says:

    I Will Survive/Survivor. Everything they do is just epic. We Are Young was awesome as well!

    • mhm says:

      Worst mashup ever you mean?

      • Amanda says:

        I am sorry, but Rachel is just as much b*tch if not more. Mercedes is just trying to get her voice showcased over the stupid Rachel being shoved down out throats for three years. Mercedes and Santana were confident because you know what, they have the best singers, best dancers, and the girls. ND has stupid uncordinated finn, cheesy dancing, cheesy song choices, and Tina and Quinn’s weak voices. Even Slezak agrees the Girls were the clear winner. GIve it a rest and read some actual objective opinions. The girls had the best choreo and the best songs and the most creativity. Santana and Mercedes FELT there songs and sung every word, even only have one song less than 3 minutes while the ND hogged up 8 boring minutes.

        • HeyAmanda says:

          “Give it a rest and read some actual objective opinions…” Like yours? C’mon! Everybody is entitled to their own opinion (as for being objective, we can discuss about how opinions are subjective by their very nature, okay?). If you liked the TT mash up better, fine. Enjoy it. I liked ND better. So? My taste in music might be “questionable”, good. Don’t care. It’s me who’s enjoying or not one Glee number or another. I watch this show to have a good time regardless of other people’s opinions on the music, the characters, the plots… We all watch for different reasons.

        • Saidy says:

          Seriously? Rachel may be a total bitch but at least she learns from it. Mercedes expects everyone to drop what they’re doing and follow her command.
          New Directions are more humble. Sure Finn is uncoordinated but he’s improved so much from when he first started. Mike is a way better dancer than Brittany, and Tina did an amazing job with her feature solo. ND featured almost all of their members and each and every one of them did a fantastic job. And by the end ND was nice enough to even allow the girls to join them again despite their rude comment earlier about them losing.
          Mercedes and Santana didn’t feel their songs they were cocky and overconfident that they would win, I didn’t even detect a hint of happiness in their song until the end when it was over.

        • Laura says:

          Oh, well if even Slezak agrees then it must be true!

        • uknow says:

          @Amanda We all come on here and other places to voice our pleasure or unhappiness with an episode and why. Opinions vary to each and all of us. Our perception to an episode is like beauty it is in the eyes of the beholder. We will never all agree to any specific anything becuz that is being human. By human nature we preceive things not objectively becuz of our nature to critique with narrow opinions unique to our likes and dislikes. I give you lattitude on your derisive opinion becuz it is your right to your opinion. Now let’s all play nice. Thank u

        • Emily says:

          I thought this show was about underdogs. Wasn’t the New Directions winning with heart instead of their stars (defections, suspensions and otherwise) in line with the defining theme of the show?

          And Amanda: Objectivity and the arts are mutually exclusive. Art is subjective: that’s what makes it art. You make it sound like they were in a timed race and everyone is failing to acknowledge that the Troubletones sang the fastest. You subjectively feel that that they did better. Others subjectively feel that they didn’t.

      • Taylor says:

        Do people forget the atrocity that was Crazy In Love/Hair? That one was MEANT to be terrible.

  13. Kettle says:

    We Are Young was deff the best performance. Glee felt genuine again. Brung back a lot of memories. When Quinn and Rachel were talking towards the end about college, it finally hit me that next year the characters won’t be there. I’m enjoying my last year watching Glee, because the juniors ahem, Mercedes, Tina, Blaine and Sam won’t keep me watching.

    • Captain says:

      I don’t think Mercedes is a junior but I could be wrong. I’m pretty sure Quinn said it was Mercedes’ junior prom last year.

    • Taylor says:

      I’m pretty sure Mercedes is a senior. Artie’s a junior though.

    • dan says:

      Although it wasn’t clear in the first episode of the season, Amber Riley has said that she understands Mercedes is a senior. Her new boyfriend is a senior who is going to Ohio State to play football, and in the first episode he mentioned she should go on to be a Grammy winning R&B singer. They never really said she was graduating, but that was the impression we were supposed to get.

  14. Captain says:

    To me this episode was just okay. I liked it and it had some good moments but it wasn’t nearly as good as the last two have been and so much of it just seemed rushed. The Sam/parents stuff was unbelievably forced (“sure, I’ll let you move out of state with your friend when you’re only 17 since you REALLY want to!”) they could have at least put up a bit of a fight or had Sam sneak off to Ohio but his parents let him stay in the end…the Tina/Mike/Dad stuff was also very rushed. He was so against Mike becoming a performer yet all it took was one performance of a Jackson 5 song to change his mind? And finally, after Quinn being so determined to bring down Shelby for so long, I felt very cheated that her decision to keep quiet came so suddenly and out of nowhere. Whoever wrote this episode was really trying to cram plot points in but atleast we got Sam back.

    • Captain says:

      One thing I REALLY liked was the hint that Lindsay would be back next year. She is SO talented and could have been a great addition had they taken the time to give her actual material. Would love it if she joined New Directions next year but I feel like they’ll be turning her into the new Jesse St. James.

      • Jenny says:

        Oh.My.Cheesus. I hated that part. I hated her performance, it was so painfully dreadful I just got up and got a snack instead of listening to it all. Agh, she did no justice to Patti LuPone.

        If she comes back I will protest.

      • dan says:

        I love Lindsay. I really hope they bring her back. It wasn’t her best number, but then again, she was supposed to come in third so they couldn’t have her kill it.

      • Gerry says:

        That girl is TERRIBLE. Her performance of “Buenos Aires” was only slightly a notch better than Madonna’s, which isn’t a flattering comparison at all. Patti LuPone and Elaine Paige this Lindsay chick is NOT. She completely ruined the big, power money notes in “Buenos Aires.” I expected OOMPH from those vocal lines and she did not deliver at all.

        • Jim says:

          Lindsay was AMAZING. Anyone who can’t appreciate her talent is an effing MORON or has an ulterior motive for making such stupid comments.

    • madhatter360 says:

      I was really surprised Mr. Chang didn’t at least insist that Mike minor in business or something just so he’d have something to fall back on if he got injured and couldn’t dance.

  15. miau says:

    We Are Young. The kids are best when they are together.

    Out of the sectionals I go with Man in the Mirror.

  16. Tim says:

    The best song of the night was Jack and Diane by John Mellencamp. And they didn’t even have to sing it. Relevance to episode A+.

    So much to like about this episode. When the stories focus on the kids, like most of this season, Glee is the best show on TV.

  17. Kat says:

    I didn’t like I Will Survive/Survive, the vocals weren’t that strong and the dancing was atrocious-Dance Party-choreography. Maybe, I really noticed because of the cockyness of The Troubletones and Shelby. The performance wasn’t that great and it is certainly not the best mashup ever.

    Actually, I’m a tad bit confused at to what Mercedes and Santana did in ND. The only Glee songs I’ve ever purchased and their best numbers don’t feature them. Not because they don’t have the voice but because to me the characters are missing something. Valerie was okay for Sectionals but wouldn’t win Regionals or Nationals. And I’ve never been wowed by a Mercedes song.

  18. Meghan says:

    “We Are Young” was definitely the best number of the show! I was extremely disappointed with the Sectionals numbers – I really didn’t like any of them and felt that they were really second-rate.

  19. Kevin says:

    We Are Young was my favorite. I was really distracted during the Jackson medley. During ABC I was too excited that Tina was singing to pay attention, during Control I kept imagining how good the song would sound mashed up with My Perogative, and during Man in the Mirror I kept asking myself why getting Sam back was so darn important. Buenos Aires was good and Harmony is totally going to win nationals when she’s a senior. I didn’t really like the first song. The TT song was pretty good but it was pretty obvious that they were going to be second place to ND

  20. stephanay says:

    I liked it all around although it did seem rushed. Loved the trouble tones and new directions. We Are Young was the best of the night.

  21. 8daysaweek says:

    I thought this was one of Glee’s worst episodes to date. And I usually really like the competition episodes because the performances are generally at least interesting. These all sucked. The Trouble Tones were weak, ND was weak, the Unitards were weak. It was just bad all around.
    But most irritating for me was the Shelby-Puck stuff. A teacher having sex with a student is a crime, regardless of the student’s age and I hate that Glee is trying to justify it and make it seem okay.

    • No says:

      No it’s not a crime. In some states it is (I think like 3 states) if the child is under the age of consent. So learn your laws before you jump to that gun.
      And I agree the TT were bad, but the ND killed it. sorry but you just sound pissy.

      • Edward says:

        Puck and Shelby is not a crime, because they have made very obvious mention that he is 18.
        BUT it is still morally wrong, and definitely a violation of Shelby’s job code of conduct and teacher ethics. If Mr. Shue had sex with a legal female student, people would be angry at him and think bad things about his character. But Puck is a “bad boy” so it is OK for the hot teacher to do him. NOT.

  22. Ali says:

    We are Young was the best performance. Im tired of people saying this is the Rachel Berry show when in reality she hasn’t even had a solo yet this season, and it seems that her character, as well as the other female characters are just their to fuel the boys storylines. Rachels dream was going to NYC but, now the focus is directed into making sure Kurt gets into nyada too. Losing her virgintiy was made all about Finn and his feelings, even Santana’s episode after being forced out of the closet was once again all about Finn and how he is such a swell guy just trying to help a friend out. Tinas storyline is about helping Mike reach his dreams (eventhough that was sweet)what about her future plans. Shelby comes back and instead of her and Rachel interacting she ends up hooking up with Puck? Glee is overwrought with sexism where the girls need to be saved by the guys.

  23. Emily says:

    Here’s the thing:

    I Will Survive/I’m a Survivor could have been an incredible mashup: like legendary, fantastic, still talking about in three years kind of deal. But it wasn’t. It wasn’t even the sloppy choreography. The whole thing could have been arranged better (and I say that knowing nothing about music) and it would have been killer.
    Instead, ND nailed it. Man in the Mirror? Fantastic.

    BUT We Are Young was probably one of the best numbers Glee has done all season. This was the reason I fell in love with the show. It won’t last, but I plan in reveling in it for a while.

  24. Myles says:

    I LOVED I Will Survive / Survivor!! Honsetly, I thought they were better than New Directions!!!

  25. lipsticksocialism says:

    this episode made me cry. i loved the whole thing!! (even though the cup song was terrible). i’m so happy Quinn was finally allowed to grow up by remembering to stay 16.

  26. Autumn says:

    The Faberry scenes were the best part of the episode for me. Absolutely love them.

    As for the Puck/Shelby. It honestly disgusts me. Someone stop this storyline now please. First of all, he’s dated her biological daughter. I’m sure that would mess Rachel up if she knew. Secondly, she adopted his baby, so that makes it not a good idea. Third, she is a teacher at his HIGH SCHOOL. And it is illegal to have sex with your current hs student, even if they’re 18. Fourth, she isn’t just a little older than him, she’s old enough to be his mother. Fifth, as if Quinn needs another thing to mess with her head. Sixth, if this was Mr. Schue and Rachel would guys be okay with it? No, eww. For shame, Glee.

  27. fiona says:

    I’m totally game for having more tina and mike singing (and artie too for that matter) but why does mike’s story line always feel sooooo rushed?

    I thought ABC was a totally cornball choice for sectionals, but I was really happy they let Tina sing.

    Mercedes: I’m tired of singing backup to Rachel and Blaine.
    Sectionals actually had everyone singing their fair share. Was really surprised mike got so many lines. Poor Damien though was reduced to back ground. The sectionals songs overall were mostly Artie and Tina

    • AndyLuvr says:

      At least Mike has a storyline this season. Poor Harry Shum Jr. barely spoke in Seasons 1 and 2.

      Artie actually sings a heckuva lot on the show since Day 1 because Kevin McHale is a better singer than Cory Monteith. If you think about it – all the big showcase numbers fall on Artie like “Thriller” and the majority of tonight’s singing by The New Directions. Good for him. AND Jenna Ushkowitz. Both are so talented but get overlooked in favor of the overrated Lea Michele.

      • Oh Please says:

        Im sorry. You must be one of those crazy Jenna/Tina stans, because she is not even close to Lea in singing, or acting. She isn’t close to Naya either.

        • fiona says:

          I really like everyone to sing! So yes I was really glad for tina and Artie.

          Jenna, while she doesn’t have the power of lea, or the unique tone of naya, is still a really good singer. Good enough to be on broadway might I add.

          Let her/tina shine because she’s the most underrated character in the show. Mercedes and Santana keep complaining she doesn’t get songs or leads: Jenna hasn’t had a solo since SEASON 1! The most she got was a duet with mike (Sing!), a duet with mercedes (Dog Days Are Over), a couple of songs that were never produced (Tonight, I Kissed A Girl, My Funny Valentine), a couple of lines in another and finally she got lead vocals in ABC. Also while she was an original 5, she has been reduced to a supporting character to mike (I love mike and his story by the way, even if RIB speeds it up to much) or a comedic relief, ever since her story line with Artie ended.

        • AndyLuvr says:

          Oh Please, you clearly are one of those INSANE Lea Michele fans who think she’s the next Barbra Streisand. News flash: SHE’S NOT. Michele’s not even worthy to lick the soles of Streisand’s shoes.

          Naya Rivera is good but maybe if she stopped smoking her voice wouldn’t sound like she has a ton of vocal nodes.

          Bitch, please!!!

          • Oh Please says:

            Oh please. Did you hear me say anything about Barbara. Jenna is good, but she isn’t near Lea or Naya in acting or singing. It has been proven to me. I should probably state that is my opinion though. I never said that she wasn’t good, because we all know she is, but come on. IMO, she isn’t as good as the others I was talking about. I personally don’t care about Tina. I have always found her boring, and still do. ABC wasn’t even that great. However, I love Jenna, and would like for her to have more. Even if I don’t really care. Your hatred is hilarious. Bitch please? Bitch grow up.

  28. xxx says:

    Please know they could focus in rachel, finn, quinn, Will and emma. Im tired for all that crap. twos glee club, brittanay and klaine drama.

  29. Stephanie says:

    I thought this was the strongest episode in awhile…my biggest problem is why give Damien the win on the glee project of you arent going to use him?!? Lindsay has had more main screen time-although I am glad that they set her up to come back. I also loved that since Quinn and Tina were the only girls left in ND that they were able to feature them-rather than letting it be the Rachel/Santana/Mercedes show.

    • Josh says:

      Agree about the Quinn/Tina point. Even though I miss Rachel solos, this was a great way to push these two into the spotlight.

    • whislerpotpie says:

      We thought the same thing! Damien has no singing outside of back up – Lindsay has had two huge numbers. At least she’s playing herself…and still makes me uber stabby.

      • Kelly says:

        Damian CAN’T ACT. Get over your stupidity about Lindsay. She is a very sweet girl, but of course some morons believe reality tv.

  30. Spencer says:

    I knew before even watching the episode that New Directions would win, but I was still angry when Trouble Tones lost. Honestly, I Fastforwarded through New Directions’ songs, but I watched TT’s song over and over again!

    Although, seeing the gang all back together (even Trouty Mouth and Sugar) was very sweet.

    Lastly, Santanna is hilarious! Her whole Trouty Mouth notebook: LOL

  31. Jenn says:

    Actually, student-teacher relationships aren’t necessarily illegal. It all depends on where you live (the laws regarding this vary from state to state and country to country). HOWEVER, it is considered sexual battery in Ohio (where the show takes place), but in a case like that, I do believe the student is the one that has to make the complaint when they are 18+.

    • Bill says:

      Since when does something have to be illegal to be considered highly inapropriate?

      If I found out my 18-year old son’s teacher slept with him, I would do everything in my power to get that teacher fired, and I expect few parents would react differently.

      I got the strange feeling that Glee was down playing the whole thing somewhat because the teacher was female and the student was male. Do you think for one moment that the producers would have ever had Mr. Shu sleep with Rachel or Principal Figgins hop in the sack with Brittany? Hardly. Yet sex between a 30 something female teacher going through a mid-life crisis and a hot sexy male student – well, what’s the big deal?

      For a show that prides itself on social commentary, such as the condemnation of homophobia, it really screwed up on this one. Shelby gets to have her little dalliance with a student and go right on teaching as if nothing happened. And they portray Quinn as a horrible person for wanting to blow the whistle on her. Given that her intentiosn were highly vindictive, I was disgusted with Rachel’s pleading with her not to do the “wrong thing” like Rachel did when stuffing the ballet box in the student election.

      In the end Rachel did the adult thing by not turning Shelby in because of the harm it could bring to her daughter. I would have had more respect for this show had they had a scene between Shelby and quinn in which Quinn said to her… “Unlike you, I’m going to put my daughter’s needs before my own and not turn you in. Isn’t that what an adult is supposed to do? Isn’t that what a good mother is supposed to do?” Quinn turns and walks away from Shelby who looks down in shame as tears begin stream down her face.

      Now that would have been the kind of scene I would have expected from Glee on this issue.

  32. Carmichael says:

    Red Solo Cup is a song? Really? Seriously? That, right there, is why I stopped listening to modern pop country. Outlaw country all the way baby! Moving on, while none of the songs were great to me, I’d like to point out one thing that if I had been a judge I’d have said. While they only showed the one number, it’s safe to figure that Trouble Tones had two girls singing, much like What’sherface’s team only had her singing. New Directions actually had more people singing than just the one or two

  33. Josh says:

    Wasn’t a fan of this one… I hated the Unitards’ song choice, but in terms of performance, they should have beaten both New Directions and the Troubletones. They actually danced. And they sang well. Meanwhile, New Directions was terrible. Yeah, they sang MJ songs – super – but their choreography was still hideous as usual.

    My standard for choreography is Vocal Adrenaline’s performance of “Rehab” in the pilot episode, and if we are going to believe New Directions wins Nationals this year, or even comes close, they need to step it up big time. I get that these are actors and not dancers, and they have other things to do, but when a group’s dancing over three years involves walking around the stage and occasionally featuring the one pro dancer, it’s hard to buy that they could possibly beat a group like Vocal Adrenaline.

    On another note, Quinn’s turn-around was SO SUDDEN and out of the blue. One minute she’s ready to get a teacher fired and steal a baby, and then one brief speech later, she’s smiling and welcoming everyone with open arms. What gives?

    Song-wise, the solo cup one was horrible, but “We Are Young” was probably the best of the episode.

  34. SL says:

    More Damian!

    So I guess I’m the only one who liked Red Solo Cup? Fun song. I liked seeing the Glee kids having fun. Too much angst lately.

    • Theresa says:

      Yes, more Damian. He won his spot and they need to show case that amazing voice he has!

    • Meg says:

      No, I liked it too. My favorite bit was when Kurt was seen mouthing to Blaine “What’s wrong with you?” during the song.

    • jw says:

      Red Solo Cup was all kinds of awesome, just the kind of loose easy entertaining piece they needed to perform together. Slezak was just channeling Kurt.

    • Deej says:

      Count me in on the Red Solo Cup love. And from all reports Damian is having his run extended so hopefully we will see more.

  35. Siobhan says:

    I liked Angry Blaine the best. Finally get to see evidence that the dude has issues. Seems as though there’s a lot of unresolved hurt and anger in him over what he went through with bullying. Hope we get to see more of that side of him.

  36. Max says:

    “I also started the Dalton branch of fight club which I obviously can’t talk about.”

    Best line of the episode, no contest.

    • Robin says:

      Really? I liked: “Girls smell better than ham, and when they’re jumping around and bouncing around you can’t help but watch them”

      • Max says:

        IDK, I find Rory a bit weird and off-putting. *shrug* But none of the Glee Project kids really grabbed my attention. But yes, loved the Fight Club reference. And Darren just totally nailed that whole scene.

        • econruth says:

          I also thought it was an interesting scene with Blaine and Finn. It was a little disconcerting to see Blaine so angry (we did see a flash of that when he was drunk outside the gay bar) and hopefully that leads to his character being fleshed out a little bit more as the season goes on.

  37. Vilya says:

    “Red Solo Cup” made me laugh, soley for Chris Colfer’s “WTF?” reactions. That was genius.

  38. STW says:

    Awesome music all the way around, and almost all of it was relevant to the plot.

    “Red Solo Cup” lyrically touched on Sam’s family’s situation (one of the weaker songs in terms of relevance to moving the plot forward, but close enough to justify using it), and the number did two great things–A) it was not stunning musically, and so set things up to make it look like ND would lose even though Sam was back, and B) it gave us an opportunity to see the kids having fun with each other in the choir room in a number that was less focused on performance and more focused on interpersonal dynamics and enjoyment.

    “Buenos Aires” fits both the ongoing challenge to Kurt and Rachel about wanting to go to the “Big Apple” and be stars and worrying that they might not be good enough/might no get there. The song–esp. w/Rachel saying she should be singing it–tells their ambition stories well.

    “Survivor/I’m A Survivor” didn’t have much lyrical relevance to the plot, other than the fact that it encapsulates people struggling to succeed despite the odds/to survive. However, since the TTs went into the competition as the putative favorites to win, having them sing about surviving didn’t fit their story. The music was incredible — a truly great mash-up of the classic 70s number and the modern song, and Naya and Amber both knocked it out of the park. The dancing part of the performance had some really nice moments–particularly the tango part–although portions of it veered too much into hairography/arm flailing.

    “ABC” fit in very nicely with the Mike Chang story/Tina encouraging Mike — especially the line “gonna show you how to get an A,” which hearkens right back to “Asian F”‘s A minus tragedy. Not to mention that the performance, both singing and dancing, was spectacular–Tina, Kurt, and Mike sounded awesome, and it was SO great to hear Tina, especially, get a major lead when she has only had a few before(True Colors, Dog Days, Pure Imagination). I also liked that the production of Mike’s voice sounded much more natural than we’ve heard him up ’til now–I could finally hear the distinct qualities of his vocal tone. Tina and Kurt channeled Michael and Marlon wonderfully, and all of the NDs did great homage to the Jackson 5. The dancing, too, was stellar, here and in “Control”.

    “Control” fit the stories, particularly Quinn’s story, and while it was probably my lead favorite number of the episode, it looked and sounded great; it just isn’t a favorite song, and this performance didn’t make it one for me. But since it fit the episode well, I’m glad it was there.

    “Man in the Mirror” was wonderful; the song was totally relevant lyrically, with almost all of the kids having faced or facing the need to confront their flaws and weaknesses, identify their strengths, and change their lives around by starting with the person they see in the mirror–themselves. That–being true to who they are and changing for the better–is the message of Glee, and Glee tells us that when people do this, it will, in fact, make the world a better place. I loved the vocals from all of the singers (Puck sounded weirdly overproduced in his opening part, but was good later), and thought the contrasts between the voices of Finn, Artie, Blaine, and Sam were awesome. It was clear to see how much Kevin McHale and Cory Monteith were loving that performance, and their voices truly shone. Bringing Mike’s voice in for the final “Make that Change” was a great way to incorporate him and tie his story back in.

    The 3 ND numbers were staged beautifully, including lighting and choreography and the interactions of various characters with each others. Even better, throughout the numbers we saw cut-aways to characters in the audience and, in something we don’t always see in Glee, reactions from the characters performing that told their stories in accompaniment to the music–that’s what Glee does when it is doing it’s best musical work. And I absolutely loved that every single member of the ND (except Rory, but his time will really kick in in S4) got a recognizable lead in the three songs–this emphasized the clear “we are a team coming together, and when we work together we can do the impossible” message the show has had since its inception.

    “We Are Young” was somewhat relevant lyrically–about as much as “Red Solo Cup” was, as it spoke to the theme threaded throughout the episode that the kids are young but will soon be adults, so they should enjoy the time they have left together before life moves them in new, separate directions. What made the song purely excellent was the filming of it and how the interactions between different characters set up/alluded to story lines that will be borne out throughout the rest of Season Three and, quite possibly, into Season Four. Season One’s end-of-sectionals episode ended with a song (“My Life Would Suck Without You”) filmed to provide a retrospective look on the episodes up to that point; Season Two’s (“Dog Days Are Over”) was filmed to foreshadow all sorts of interactions/stories between characters in the latter half of that season. “We Are Young” seems to indicate that we are going to see even stronger relationships/stories developing between Rachel, Santana, and Finn, possibly in preparation for future plans involving the three of them in S4; a story that will continue the interaction we saw between Blaine & Sam over leadership of the ND next year; continued fun interactions between Brittany and Rory; a return of the Quinn/Mercedes friendship that mysteriously disappeared in S2; more playing out of the Tina/Mike story that will inevitably be challenged as Mike graduates; growth of what we saw in this episode that could lead to a genuine friendship between Rachel and Quinn, something Glee has been incrementally working toward from the very beginning; continued relationship and tension, both, between Mercedes & Rachel; and, of course, a continued focus on Finchel. Speaking of whom–it was SO great to hear them leading a group number together again, particularly one that showcased their roles as team leaders bringing the group together. Their voices were gorgeous in the number, and the lovely interactions between the two throughout were done beautifully.

    This is the fourth very strong episode of Glee in a row, now–strong story wise, acting wise, and music wise. Long may it continue!

    • D says:

      I like your comparison between songs and story lines.

    • uknow says:

      well said. Ditto

    • champmav says:

      Good analysis! I remember Ryan Murphy et al. repeatedly saying song choice begins with plot relevance and the show works best when this mantra is followed well. From that perspective this episode is among the best. The performances were excellent throughout the episode. COMPARING THESE TALENTED YOUNG ARTISTS UNFAVORABLY WITH THE MEGA-STARS THAT PRECEDED THEM IS UNJUSTIFIABLY MEAN-SPIRITED. I am sad when I read so much of that in comments sections. Thanks STW. I agree with you that this 3rd season of Glee has been excellent.

  39. A says:

    Blaine was HORRIBLE to Sam and anyone who defends him is just as bad. But god forbid Blaine ever have to apologize for being a jerk.

    • CC says:

      Blaine wasn’t horrible to Sam, he just had an opinion he felt strongly about. And Sam is the one who attacked him cause he didn’t like Blaine’s opinion on selling yourself. Seems they were both in the wrong.

    • Max says:

      Blaine wasn’t horrible to Sam. Seriously, lol. Blaine finally snapped after months of having all his thoughts and ideas stomped on by Finn, and so when Sam comes back and shoots down another one of his ideas, of course he lost his temper. He’s human. I found Blaine fascinating in this episode, and obviously he probably apologized offscreen, since he was chummy with Finn AND Sam at the competition. There were no hard feelings. Just let it go – they are all fictional characters.

    • econruth says:

      I actually was glad that SOMEONE said SOMETHING about how stripping in a night club is not a glamorous, exciting way to make a lot of money – whether you are a guy or a girl. It was really weird for it to come from Blaine though, and he WAS pretty harsh about it – I’ll give you that.

      • xxx says:

        think about that when your family does not have to eat. I really hope sam kick ass blaine, he always making a victim

        • econruth says:

          Sam said he was stripping to provide extras for the family – not to put food on the table. They were out of the crisis of homelessness by the time Sam took this job. When I went back and rewatched the episode I did see that Rachel took up the topic of my post and defended my position.

    • Eveline says:

      I thought it was ironic seeing as Blaine’s got a few stripper moves of his own. Also if you factor in how rich Blaine apparently is and how poor Sam is. I’m sure Dalton didn’t refund his tuition when he decided to walk away after the school year started. And didn’t Quinn call Shelby a wh*re a few weeks back?

  40. Margo says:

    We are Young was certainly the best song of the episode….Imma need for Glee to never do a slow MJ song again, if they do, don’t give it to Cory Monteith!

    It did seem a bit rushed and unrealistic to see the group all back together again, now there are just way too many people! But it was also kinda cute…will be interesting to see what happens next.

  41. Emily says:

    Hands down, my favorite was We Are Young. But I was pleasantly surprised by the direction ND took with ABC/Control/Man in the Mirror. Seemed atypical for them, and it featured the vocals of almost everyone, even Mike Chang. It was refreshing not hearing Lea Michele’s voice, beautiful as it is.

    I Will Survive/Survivor was a thrashing mess. It came off as an arrangement that sounded epic on paper but somehow didn’t translate in performance. The Troubletones using Santana and Mercedes as their only soloists is just as bad as New Directions overusing Rachel: looks like these girls don’t learn from experience.

    • What says:

      You do realize Rachel sang most of We are young, right? I don’t know why people keep saying it was good she wasn’t singing, because if I remember correctly she didn’t sing at last years sectionals either. But you are right. Rachel is certainly my fave and I was so proud of her in this ep, but I loved Tina, Mike, and Artie getting to sing at a comp. I thought it was a really good episode, and I liked everything.

      • uknow says:

        She has learned alot in 2 and half yrs. From a socially inept selfish, self serving young girl with no boundaries or inhibitions Rachel has learned from being humbled by all in various degrees of severity to down right chastized for her actions and has changed for the better as a person. Still learning the ropes of being a team player and sharing. I agree she is my fav and I was proud of her too. She gave truthful and insightful advice to Quinn and admitted she had made a huge mistake. So glad Rachel and Quinn are becoming close. Seems Rachel is reaching out to all her adversaries including Mercedes and Santana in a friendly gesture welcoming them to the family again no grudges held. Finn has shown his leadership abilities again uniting the ND without Rachel as cheerleader. This just shows me the writers have gone back to s1 Rachel and Finn showing the true contrast of how they lead the ND from then now with unity. Somethin

      • Emily says:

        Clarification: My note about not hearing Rachel’s voice referred to the Sectionals performance, not the entire episode. I also didn’t say it was good Rachel wasn’t singing at Sectionals; I said it was refreshing (as in different in a good way). But I don’t think it’s unfair to argue Rachel gets overused in competition, and I esp. noticed it this time. Between Buenos Aires (did the backup dancers even sing?) and another Mercedes/Santana duet, ND’s spotlight-spreading arrangement was a nice contrast.

        Further clarification: Just trying to point out the hypocrisy in joining a new team where they get all the solos because someone else was getting the solos in their old team. How does that make them any different? Granted, they’re main characters and that’s common real world thinking, but for a life lesson, it seemed like only half of those who needed to learned it.

        • What says:

          I agree with everything you said Emily. Like I said she is my fave, but she doesn’t need every solo. I don’t want that. I want her to be a team player, but still be her adorably annoying, and ambitious self. The girl who is probably the most forgiving person in the world, which brings me to your last point. That bothered me too, and then they just let them back by promising them solos at every comp. Isn’t that the same as people complaining about Rachel singing. I find it very odd, but it’s all good, because they are back together.

  42. Reed says:

    I would have to say we are young

  43. kristi says:

    I have to just simply say that “We are Young” by fun was pure amazingness!!

  44. Laura W says:

    Is Mecedes a senoir I thought she was a junoir?? And besides nobody knows what Sam is anyway?? He could be a senoir?? We are young was the best of the night!!

  45. Donna says:

    Having come of age with the J5, Janet J and Michael – the ABC/Control/MiM was the best! Great production of these songs as well. This ep put a smile on my face.

  46. Chris says:

    WHEN DID SUGAR LEARN TO SING? SHE WAS TONE DEAF?!

  47. C says:

    I have to say for a long time now I have found Glee to be very hit and miss with its episodes, sadly mostly miss. But… I really enjoyed this one! Yes it was predictable in the win and the reunion at the end, but it made me smile. I also thought there was some really nice little character moments, like Tina and Mike, Rachel and Quinn etc and that’s the stuff I like to see. Also with such a large cast I thought this episode did a really good job on shining the spotlight on *almost* every character in some way. I thought Man In The Mirror was a bit bland (?) when I first heard it, but watching the boys perform it changed my view. We Are Young was the highlight for me though, but the Troubletones Mash-up was pretty great too.

  48. Whitt says:

    I loved it. Finn being the leader, Rachel being a good friend to everyone, Mercedes, Brittany and Santana coming back to gleeclub! I’m so glad New Directions won Sectionals. And the We Are Young celebration song at the end was EPIC. Feels like old school Glee.

  49. Laura says:

    I vaguely remember Finn saying something about Will bringing sparkling cider before “Red Solo Cup” – explaining the champagne like bottle.

  50. tgabawm says:

    Sugar is an awesome new comic character. Her facial expressions are priceless. Even in the background, she steals the show.
    The songs chosen were really disappointing for all the groups. Obviously ND had to win, but it is so not deserved, and this whole “ND are the good guys and everybody is super nice” just annoys me.
    The whole Sam storyline was ridiculous, though I am glad he is back.
    It just took few words from Rachel for Quinn to become mentally sane again, wish she had done that earlier.
    To sum it up, though I enjoy the show, it is utter nonsense, and it annoys me that the creators and writers insist the characters have to graduate to be realistic, when nothing is realistic in the show in the first place. Better watch it with the brain off.

    • D says:

      hahaha, very true, better to watch with the brain off. And the Sugar character is turning out to be a funny character to watch.

    • murley says:

      i totally agree about sugar, she is hilarious. her facial expressions and background reactions are priceless. i am glad she is joining new directions so we get to see more of her!

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