Glee (Hour 1) Recap: Being (Rachel) Is Believin' [Updated]

jenna ushkowitzI know even die-hard Gleeks sometimes accuse the show of being implausible and inconsistent and a whole bunch of other not-so-flattering words that begin with “i.” But after almost three full seasons of singing and dancing and angsting, there’s still some magic left in the tank of Fox’s high-school musical, and that point was driven home by hour one of this week’s two-episode extravaganza.

Indeed, “Props” turned out to be a two-Kleenex affair, thanks to terrific work by supporting players Dot Marie Jones (expect another Emmy guest-starring nod) and (more surprisingly) Mark Salling, plus a script that winkingly acknowledged fan complaints that Ryan Murphy & Co. all too often ignore some of Glee’s original players in favor of new and more-hyped flavors.

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In case you bonked your head in a shopping-mall fountain, here’s what you missed on Glee:

* Tina, frustrated by three years in the background of New Directions, threatening to quit before Nationals, suffering a head injury, and discovering (via body-swap dream sequence) that it’s a lot of hard work being the star. Yep, Ms. Cohen-Chang (not Asian No. 1, thanks very much) got a newfound appreciation for Rachel Berry after walking a mile in her saddles shoes.

* Rachel, with an assist from Tina, tracking down NYADA dean Carmen Thibodeaux, and imploring her to come watch her perform at Nationals as part of a second-chance audition. (Yeah, the Broadway vet brushed off the over-eager high-schooler, but Rachel’s speech about her life’s passion — and the fact that, c’mon, she can’t not go to college in the fall — makes me think the duo will meet again (and soon).

* Puck and Beiste unofficially teaming up to work through their issues: Besite comforting Puck over the idea that he wouldn’t be graduating, his spiraling life and his general lack of self-worth, realized she needed to leave abusive Cooter once and for all. The scene of Beiste holding a sobbing Puck, and her subsequent confrontation with her wretched spouse, were pretty remarkable. Where was the hashtag #BeisteIsTheNewSue?

* Oh, and Sue pushed Kurt to dress in drag to counteract Vocal Adrenaline’s transgender sensation Unique. But Mr. Schue finally put his foot down and demanded an end to Sue’s crazy ideas for props and gimmicks as the New Directions crew boarded the bus for nationals.

Anyhow, now that we’ve covered all the pertinent plot details, let’s review the best quotes from the episode:

“You already have the lady gait and the lady voice. You have to start smoking, though, because this dress is a Size 2.” –Sue, trying to convince Kurt to wear a flapper dress for Nationals

“I am your father.” –Sam, flipping up the top of his Flashdance welding mask

“Jennifer Beals is spinning in her grave.” –Sue, witnessing the Flashdance choreography gone awry

“Maybe basic sheet-metal work is just too much for your 12th-place choir.” –Sue, addressing Schue’s concerns that her welding-dancing vision might be dangerous and impossible

“Cooter was in 21 Jump Street?” –Brittany, hearing Mercedes say she saw Beiste at 21 Jump Street with Cooter

“I don’t even know if I’m welcome in Chicago after I body-slammed Refrigerator Perry in a bar fight.” –Beiste, making excuses for not chaperoning New Directions at Nationals

“Without a doubt, you’re the ugliest woman I’ve ever seen.” –Sue, witnessing Puck in drag

“You and me, we’re badasses. Nobody thinks anything hurts us, but it does.” –Beiste to Puck (Admit it, you cried after this one)

“It takes a lot of crystals to make something shine.” –Tina, explaining to Sugar why she shouldn’t resent being a supporting player

“William, I can taste your Axe body spray.” –Sue, not appreciating Will’s close proximity

And now, onto letter grades for the episode’s musical numbers!

Rachel, ‘I Won’t Give Up’ (sung to…herself!) Grade: B

Tina (as Rachel), ‘I’m Everything I Am Because You Loved Me’ Grade: A-

Beiste and Puck, ‘Mean’ Grade: A

Rachel and Tina, ‘Flashdance…What a Feeling’ Grade: A-

I’ll be back to update this post in the a.m. with more plot details, as well as a rundown of the week’s best lines, but until then, I turn things over to you.

What did you think of “Props”? Hit the comments with your thoughts!

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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47 Comments
  1. Mark says:

    Was not expecting this episode to be a cryworthy one and then Puck had his emotional breakdown in the locker room and BAM there went the waterworks. Damn you Glee!

  2. Sue says:

    Love Unique! Here’s hoping that this character will be transferring to the new directions next season!

    • checkermate says:

      Double NO!

    • guest says:

      Definitely not. Alex has an amazing voice but is annoying as hell.

    • jennykins says:

      Nooooooooooooooooooooo….keep him as an occasional character in Vocal Adrenaline if you must, but please, please don’t put him at McKinley in New Directions. So irritating and even more over-the-top than Ryan Murphy usually is. Alex/Unique sings well but his acting is not good, and really, do we need a cross-dressing high school student in every episode?

    • Jon says:

      HELL TO THE NO! I almost fainted when he said he might in the Nationals episode, I hate Alex, he cannot be in ND next year, bring another actor to play drag if you want but please NOT Unique

  3. patjs says:

    I had almost given up on this show-but then I saw this episode. It was amazing. And I totally agree Puck and Bieste were stand-outs-LOVED their song together.

  4. Chris says:

    The two episodes tonight were easily the best this year. Way to redeem yourself, Glee.

  5. redsoxchickie says:

    Probably one of the best written shows in a long time. Especially Rachel’s monologue towards the beginning.

  6. Steph says:

    I’ve been watching Glee since day 1 and lately the episodes have been weak. Don’t get me wrong, there have been great moments within each episode but as a whole, eh.

    I feel like these two hours of Glee have been the best in a long time. Mostly everything was on point. Even Lindsey Lohan wasn’t bad.

  7. Sky says:

    Loved everything about this episode 2 hour episode. They got their acceptance finally. And their praises for Shue also touching. Loved the music. Jesse giving praises to Carmen on behalf of Rachel was classy. I can’t believe one more episode.

  8. Sky says:

    Tina was amazing. Thanx Glee for letting her shine.

  9. jane says:

    I LOVE RACHEL BERRY!

  10. Lana says:

    Loved it! I knew it O-V-E-R for Vocal Adrenaline when Rachel sang ‘IACBTMN’. I think I even liked it better than the orginal, the other covers were okay. I cried throughout this entire episode, I can’t imagine how I’ll be next week. I’m glad Glee didn’t make Emma and Will’s “first time” awkward. I’m glsd Tina had her moment and that plot line was done, I didn’t want Mercedes I Need My Moment Pt 2 going on. Of coarse Rachel will get into Nyada but from the promo its looks like all the couples will opt for the long distance thing. And please Glee don’t play with my Quick heart. Speaking of Quinn, before a hater says that it would be impossible for her to move like that after barely being able to stand must’ve forgot S1 when Quinn was 9 mnths preganant and on stage jammin’ like nobody’s buisness.

    • K says:

      I worked in PT for a bit and a pregnant women is more likely to move like that then someone who had a recent debilitating spinal cord injury.

  11. Fan says:

    Well done Glee, well done. Mark Salling and Dot Marie Jones were amazing.

    • Tess says:

      Who knew Mark Salling had it in him?!

      If the Emmy folks don’t nominate Dot Marie Jones, there is something wrong with them. She’s been fabulous this year and her storyline has been compelling. Loved how Beiste and Puck helped each other, and their song was surprisingly good. Easily his best since Sweet Caroline in season 1.

      Overall, two solid episodes in one night. Looks like Glee might end this season on a high after all.

  12. Fan of Haley says:

    This is for Slezak
    Haley Reinhart ft. B.o.B – Oh My! [Full Version]

    http://matthewkrand.tumblr.com/post/23027107465/hot-hot-heat-between-you-and-me

    Glee was good by the way.

  13. Andrea says:

    This was the best episode(s) all season.

  14. Adam says:

    Is it just me or did anyone else rooted for Finn and Rachel to kiss when Chris and Jenna played them in her dream?

  15. Paul From Toronto says:

    Anyone else find that everyone had a kiss moment except Kurt and Blaine?? I thought the was lame of Fox and Glee. It’s like they deGayed them as a couple. Brittany and Santana kissed several times!

    • A says:

      I totally agree! The episode was amazing, but Kurt and Blaine are a stable couple, and should be able to do more than hold hands.

    • Russ says:

      While I love Blaine and Kurt, I mean jesus christ who really cares they don’t always have to kiss a every happy moment. I don’t do that with my boyfriend. Plus they could have done that on purpose to show that they have drifted apart and will break up when Kurt moves to NY, I hope not though.

  16. A says:

    Loved everything. It was perfect. Mark and Dot Marie Jones were absolutely amazing. I loved how they helped each other; it felt so real, honest, and truly heartwarming.

  17. corey says:

    Just have to say the Puck/Beist duet of Taylor Swifts”Mean” was GREAT, better the the original version nt far.

  18. Divine says:

    I am probably in the minority but these two hours were absolute crap! The only good parts were Dot and Mark. That storyline was worthy of applause and tissues. And I also loved Unique’s performance.
    BUT…two hours of trying to remind the audience of how hard it is to be Rachel and how much she deserves to go to New York…I could have done without. We get it. She is talented and wants to be a star. Do you have to shove it down our throats? So Tina only got to sing because she had to see how hard it is to be Rachel? Give me a break.
    And the Nationals performances were okay. I don’t know. I wasn’t impressed at all. But that is my opinion.

  19. A says:

    Tina and Rachel killed their renditions of Celine Dion’s songs.

  20. kristhian says:

    i fine the episode decent the only thing really amazing was Beiste leaving Cooper and Chris Boob Line

  21. Shaun says:

    Diana as Sugar Matta was hilarious!

    • guest says:

      Thank you! She was actually my favourite part of that episode (and I don’t like Quinn) and she didn’t even get a line. Proves what a funny actress she can be.

    • murley says:

      she was the one who kept catching my eye in the group scenes. she was so funny.

  22. Kalee says:

    Yay for Tina! Glad she finally got her time to shine (along with her long overdue solo). Props :lol: to that “So Here’s What You Missed on Glee” section of Tina being in the background for the past three years.

    Great Puck and Beiste moments too.

    This is definitely another season 3 episode that feels like good ol’ season 1. And I’m proud that Glee can still show restraint when doing musical numbers. They only did four this episode! Has the world come to end?

  23. jake says:

    dot marie jones must get an emmy

  24. SG says:

    Finn as Kurt and Kurt as Finn were so spot on and funny!!

  25. J says:

    I love this episode so much! Tina deserves this episode!

  26. Todd says:

    I dreaded the idea of the “body swap” thing but it turned out to be quite amusing. I smiled a lot with that. I’m glad it didn’t take up the whole show. That would have been too much.

  27. I love, love, love everything about these 2 episodes. They tied together seamlessly and boasted some of the best acting and vocal performances on Glee all season. The body swap wasn’t all I hoped it’d be, but I enjoyed seeing Tina take the spotlight especially with the writers acknowledging all of her time spent in the background. This is the Glee I fell in love with back in season 1.

  28. Rick says:

    I always find something to complain about on Glee, but this episode was pretty fantastic. The Beiste-Puck stuff was great, and the body swap was hilarious. Also, this was the first time a Taylor Swift song was actually remotely moving.

  29. kaley says:

    Glee, please stop the stupid meta. Tina as a character never really fought for the spotlight so her complaining about being in Rachel’s shadow all the time right before nationals felt ill-timed and came out of nowhere. It‘s an insult to both Jenna, the actress, who’s the one being actually neglected for three seasons, and her fans, who complained about it rightfully so.
    As a show with dwinidling ratings you probably shouldn’t flip off your remaining audience and your hardworking, dedicated actors, who are the main reason to keep watching.

    That aside, I was glad to see more of Jenna and finally get a complete solo, and I was impressed by Dot and Mark.

  30. kk312 says:

    absolutely loved loved loved this episode!

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