Glee Recap: Let's Talk About Sectionals

glee sugar sectionalsI think it’s safe to say we’ve all heard Psy’s “Gangnam Style” so many times that the thought of one more rendition would be enough to drive us to the brink of collapse. But this week’s “Thanksgiving”-themed Glee — which found New Directions trying to recapture Sectionals glory, and Kurt and Rachel kikki-ing and carrying on amongst the drag queens and glitterati in Bushwick, Brooklyn — took that idea to shocking extremes.

Yes, folks, we have a real Glee cliffhanger — with wide-eyed Marley Rose, having starved herself into a ridiculous notion of “perfection” for New Directions’ big night, passing out at the end of her show choir’s big dance number, and leaving their dreams of a repeat at Regionals and Nationals in a cloud of uncertainty.

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* New Directions’ alumni Santana, Mercedes, Mike, and Quinn came back to Lima for Turkey Day and pitched in helping Finn prepare the McKinley show choir for Sectionals. Quinn mentored Kitty, but got into a slap-off with Marley’s mentor Santana when the Lady Lopez used her “psychic Mexican third eye” to figure out that it was Kitty who’d gotten Marley hooked on laxatives. I guess the gals’ high-school rivalry hasn’t quite subsided; that scene was tense, intense, and oddly believable. I especially enjoyed the verbal sparring that preceded the physical fight, with Quinn rubbing it in that she’d been to Jodie Foster’s clambake while Santana was stuck shaking her pom-poms in Kentucky, and Santana issuing the Twitter alert that Quinn (¡who’s sleeping with a married professor!) is yet again allowing a guy to define her life and happiness. I’d give the round to Santana — since last time I checked there’s nothing shameful about going to college in Kentucky, but Quinn’s moral compass remains as wonky as ever.

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* The Dalton Academy Warblers pretty much nailed it on “Whistle,” but were less exciting on “Live While We’re Young.” So if someone gets the smelling salts (and a Snickers) for Marley, there’s a door left open for our protagonists to prevail next week.

* Side note: Was it just me, or do you wish the writers had found something vaguely more interesting for Mercedes to do than throw a couple of snappy bon mots in Unique’s direction?

* In related ingenue news, Jake admitted to Ryder that he’d gone on a date with Marley — but said he’d break it off if his new buddy wasn’t okay with it. Ryder took the high road and gave his approval — and in exchange, Jake purposely botched his dance audition, paving the way for Ryder to take the lead opposite Brittany on “Gagnam Style.” Right before the curtain went up, though, Ryder passed the torch back to the younger Puckerman — insisting they all needed to put ego aside to help New Directions win. Of course, Ryder’s noble sacrifice also allowed him to interrupt Jake’s to-the-rescue conversation with Marley, who copped to feeling weak and sweaty but took the stage anyway. We all saw how that worked out, but let’s hope it’s an important first step to Marley developing some spine and taking control of her destiny. I’m still not sure I buy the whole hypnotized-into-bulimia thing the writers have cooked up for Kitty and Marls.

* Meanwhile, back in NYC, Rachel and Kurt planned an orphan’s Thanksgiving in their apartment. Brody stopped in to cook the turkey — which he sensuously stuffed with Rachel (gack!) — while Isabelle and her wild friends crashed the party in fabulous, finger-snapping style. Kurt decided — with a little push from his Vogue.com mentor — to try to forgive Blaine. His phone call to his cheating ex was a touching moment, and the duo agreed to meet up over the Christmas break to discuss their future or their friendship or…well, we’ll see. Rachel, meanwhile, realized she had no claim over Brody and his sex life, and decided to focus on her best self and her career. Those kids look like they’re gonna get busy before the Christmas wrapping goes into the recycling bin, though, no? (Girl, you better play safe is all I’m saying!)

* Oh, Schue was back just in time for New Directions’ set. (On what planet would Sectionals take place on Thanksgiving day? Surely the preceding Wednesday or even Black Friday would’ve been more realistic?)

Best Zingers from “Thanksgiving”
* Quinn mentioning how she hadn’t yet used the train pass Rachel bought for her to come visit NYADA, and thereby responding to Gleeks who’ve complained that the show’s writers let the Faberry friendship inexplicably die off.

* This exchange:
Mercedes: “Sashay!”
Unique: “Shanté!”

* Sam doing his “big tipper” dance move.

* Kitty, following Quinn’s instructions to wink at the Regionals judges to “remind them of youth and what might have been.” Horrible but hilarious.

* “Ina Garten would never cook her turkey in a bag.” –Kurt to Brody

* “When you’re all done using that turkey as a courtship device, could you put it in the oven?” –Kurt to foul/fowl Brody and Rachel (and here I thought Mark Wahlberg and China Chow’s had had the last word on sensual on-screen bird preparation in 1998’s The Big Hit...)

Grades for This Week’s Musical Numbers
* Quinn, Puck, Mike, Santana, Mercedes and Finn, “Homeward Bound”/”Home”: A truly pretty mashup of Simon & Garfunkel’s classic along with American Idol winner Phillip Phillips’ ubiquitous smash. (Nice cross-network synergy, Fox!) Grade: A-

* Quinn, Santana, and Brittany, “Come See About Me”: The unholy trinity was absolutely divine, with sweet harmonies and saucy-retro choreography. I wanted “Thanksgiving” seconds! (Bonus points for Santana’s scorching black and green striped minidress!) Grade: A

* Hunter Clarington and the Warblers, “Whistle”: Grade: A-

* Sebastian Smythe and the Warblers, “Live While We’re Young”: Grade: B-

* Isabelle, Kurt, Rachel and friends, “Let’s Have a Kiki”: Grade: A- (a total slice of delightful NY-centric ridiculata; did Rachel actually say “hunty”?)

* Tina and New Directions, “Gangnam Style”: Oh how I didn’t want to like this number. And oh how I didn’t want to believe Tina would accept this as her big solo. But once they brought out the confetti guns, my resistance proved futile. Grade: A-

What did you think of “Thanksgiving”? What was your favorite musical number? Did all of the week’s story arcs work for you? Do you wanna have a kiki? Sound off in the comments!

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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184 Comments
  1. Rae says:

    Am I the only one who wants an explanation of why Sam and Mercedes broke up. I don’t need a big explanation, but at least a sentence explaining what happened. His whole storyline last season was about trying to win her back, and they can’t even say why they broke up and now he’s about to get with Brittany.

    Some writer on this show really has a problem with couples that people don’t see as the norm. Someone mentioned above that it took forever for Santana and Brittany to kiss and Sam and Mercedes kissed like twice last season, but stick him with a blond, white girl and they kiss right away.

    • cote says:

      Preach! They’ve GOT to stop trying to shove Bram down our throats (no one likes it for crying out loud!!!) and bring Samcedes back. It’s not a lot to ask, really. I swear, somewhere in L.A, Ryan Murphy is rejoicing with our pain

  2. Ana says:

    I like the new kids. Really. But they were supposed to be background players and they are not. They are carrying all the A stories and its getting tiresome because the reason I watch is because of the originals. At this rate, this may be the last season I watch. And I’m getting particularly tired ad waiting to see any significant interaction between Santana and Brittany. This has already crossed over into the ridiculous. They were in the school at the same time. Working on regionals, at the same time. And not one single word to each other. But we do get Santana/Quinn interaction? Really? This really bugged me about this episode. On another note, I like Ms. Jessica as a guest. But I really like Kate Hudson because she’s so perfect as the queen of mean…

    • stef says:

      yes but the show is about a High School Glee club…the originals have to move on and we need to like the newcomers. I wish the originals would go once and for all so they can get back to writing Glee club stuff.

  3. Tony says:

    Remember way back when on ‘The Dukes of Hazzard’ where Bo and Luke were replaced by their cousins for a bit, so the show was pretty much the same, but more horrible? That’s what this season of Glee has been like, except Bo and Luke keep showing up to remind us of what the show used to be.

    And Glee missed a perfect opportunity to have the Mennonite choir sing ‘She’ll be riding six white horses when she comes’ juxtaposed with images of Sarah Jessica Parker.

  4. ProfKatG says:

    Thought the Darren Criss – Chris Colfer telephone conversation was the most well played scene in a long time. Darren’s acting is right-on. He makes despair over a life changing action/mistake believable. Chris plays his uncertainty and pain to perfection. Congratulations to both actors. This was one of their best. As to the music – “home” was outstanding as we’re the two songs by the Warblers. Bring them back.

  5. Chris says:

    Did anyone else notice that both Rachel & Brody called Cassandra “Cassidy” when talking about her? Hmmm… thought it was a slip but they said it 2 or 3 times.

  6. Angel says:

    My only question from this episode” Is Quinn really that guliable?” seriously, Kitty is a carbon copy of evil Quinn before she got knocked up, so I would think she would know a bs line when she heard one. Kitty needs to go jump off the roof already, she is horrible. The New York story was weak this week, minus Kurt’s amazing boss ( love SJP, can she be in every episode, we need Carrie Bradshaw back) and his phone call to Blaine. Loved the graduates coming back and singing together, great songs choices for that too.

  7. Champmav says:

    Second really good episode of this season, it was the music that made it great for me. Homeward Bound/Home mashup was nicest arrangement I’ve heard them do in a while. A little surprised the Warblers are getting away with a fallatio song in a HS competition, but it’s TV and not real anyway, so, whatever. No major acting gaffs evident. An A.

  8. Elizabeth says:

    I thought this episode was an “Okay” episode. Wasn’t perfect, wasn’t terrible. I love seeing Dianna back, she’s one of my favorites from the original cast! I’m a little upset over how the writers keep flip flopping Quinn as a character but at least we got to see some of the old Quinn. The only bad thing though is that it’s been 4 seasons.. and Quinn has grown a lot. So just bringing her back to where she was is kind of a let down. I don’t really care about the Jake/Marley/Ryder triangle, it feels like they just threw that one at us. But I do feel for Marley in this episode. Although I find her boring, and I think the writing of this Bulimia story line could’ve been a lot better, I did feel terrible for her. I’m so sad about the New York story line, especially Rachel’s. I understand she’s changing as a person, but it’s just really hard to differentiate Rachel from Lea now when you could literally see Lea wearing most of things Rachel wears now. Also, I thought the Warblers’ performances were great! I don’t really understand the addition of Hunter, Sebastian alone would’ve been just fine, but they’re performances would’ve been really difficult to beat even if Marley hadn’t fainted. So we’ll see what happens there! Without a doubt my favorite part of the episode was the Klaine phone call! I love Isabelle and Kurt’s friendship, it’s a very mature one, in contrast to Rachel and Kurt. I love Kurt and Blaine, they’re my two favorite characters. I thought this phone call was perfect and such a mature step in their relationship. It was nice to see that even though Kurt is hurting and mad, he still loves Blaine, and Blaine still deeply loves Kurt and realizes what a huge mistake he made. I can’t wait to see how this progresses!! I do think they should spend some time just being friends for a little bit, maybe even have Kurt date a few guys, but I have no doubt that by the end of the season they’ll be back together officially!!

    • Kay says:

      I find it kind of odd though that Isabelle and Kurt are so close, since she is his boss at Vogue.com and he is just a lowly intern. I don’t know how appropriate it is for a boss to be so close to an employee, especially one so much younger than herself.

      • Elizabeth says:

        I agree with this too! I love the fact that he has a mature friend and mentor, but yeah it is weird that they’re so close when he’s just a new intern.

  9. Emily says:

    Okay I know it’s glee, and nothing ever makes sense, but seriously glee and its ever changing schools districts

  10. Rab says:

    Oh, a skunk has been let loose.

  11. Kay says:

    I kind of liked this episode and I tried pinching myself to check if this was reality. I laughed (yk how long it’s been since I laughed because Glee was actually doing something funny?) and found out the scenes I feared the most were not that terrible or they didn’t assassinate a character I was liking so much (Isabelle). Tho I still can’t believe all those graduates have that much free time to go and mentor the new members, I am so happy for that first number and the little interactions they actually showed of the mentorings were nice. Would’ve liked to see the one of Mercedes and Unique but I am so happy for mostly not watching anything more from Marley’s other than the backpack scene. I feel sorry for Quinn’s character. I sometimes believe Dianna insulted Murphy’s yellow hats. I loved NYC, mostly. Kurt and Rachel are definitely what I’m looking forward to every week but on one hand we have this Rachel-Brody relationship I still don’t like. Rachel should follow her own advice and go back focusing on how to be the best musical actress Broadway and West End have seen, at least that’s what I believe the Rachel we knew would be doing, instead she’s wanting/not wanting the attention of some guy who is instructing her in the ways of adult world dating. On the other we’ve got the beginning of the closure for Klaine. Chris absolutely killed that scene and I love the detail of him crying but smiling when Isabelle hugs him.

  12. dude says:

    I wish the collapse had been more dramatic. I feel like Marley should have gotten her own solo and collapsed half-way through the song instead of just falling down at the back of the group during a big dance number raining with confetti. It was a little anti-climatic.

  13. cote says:

    They CAN’T win sectionals after that mess of a presentation. And Marley fainting… we all saw that one coming. I can’t believe I’ll say this, but I hope the Warblers win! But as Finn is the new hero, they may end up winning anyway *sigh*. ND needs a wake up call to get off their high horse and start to make things right again. And wouldn’t THAT be dramatic? Not making it to Regionals after winning a National Championship? I’d love to see how they’d handle that kind of humiliation.
    But NO. Thanks Murphy, I guess you want more time writing for AHS and TNN… ’til you f**k up those shows too! :)

  14. stef says:

    Kind of stupid that these kids graduated HS 6 months ago and they are “legends”! Umm…weren’t they all friends with Tina, Artie, Sam etc? Yet everyone in Glee club now has to look up to them? And how does Finn get any respect? The show is just getting ridiculous and I am losing interest…I don’t like the two story lines..just get rid of the old and let us get to know the new. Maybe we’ll like them and move on from Rachel, Kurt and co.

  15. Finch says:

    This season is just awful in general. The characters who once inspired me when the show first aired have become so unlikeable. The cast, especially the originals, is too talented to be stuck on this show, and I really would like to see them move on to bigger and better things. This episode was terrible, and “Gangnam Style” was cringe-worthy. Even the Warblers were sub-par this week (“Live While We’re Young” was a disaster, sorry). I only bother watching because Blaine’s songs are always fun to listen to and watch. I’m just so disappointed in Glee, and this is coming from someone who’s been to both tours and saw the 3D movie in theaters three times.

  16. HEATHER says:

    This was my least fav episode of the season, but it was still Ok.
    However 4 things that I LOVED:
    1) The opening Song with old gang!
    2) Whistle!
    3) The Ryder/Jake Bromance!
    4) Quinn bitching out the Pukermans… LOVED it!

  17. Amy says:

    I know this is Glee, and there has to be a large suspension of disbelief, but did no one else feel that maybe a song about how to perform oral sex (Whistle) might not have been allowed at sectionals? Tacky

  18. Alyssa says:

    Why is Darren Criss allowed to “act”?

  19. Gerald says:

    Warblers nailed it. Great vocals and the choreography was insane. The whole choir did back flips in sync. New directions had Jake do one back flip. I felt bad for Tina that she was burdened with incomprehendable Gangam Style. Finn’s worst idea ever and he has had some doozies. Any one of the songs from last week would have been 100 times better. It didn’t really showcase anyone’s talents.
    And for the love… Why do they introduce a new song to perform at sectionals days before it. Mr Shue did the same thing. I am sure the Warblers had been rehearsing their number for months. Becasue it showed. Confettii canons can’t save how aweful that number was. Marley can rest assured she did not loose the competition for them by fainting. They lost that all on thier own.

  20. Angela says:

    I’m not entirely sure why everyone is so surprised they choose the songs for sectionals the week of sectionals. They’ve done that for every competition. Glee doesn’t like recycling songs. “Let’s have a Kiki” was the campiest most fantastic thing! I loved it! It was so over the top ridiculous I just couldn’t stop smiling the whole time! “Gangnam Style” was fun and I actually enjoyed the performance. The best moment for me was the Klaine conversation. It was heartwarming and heartbreaking all at the same time. Here’s hoping these boys can come together and be stronger for it. However I don’t want them back together immediately. I hope Kurt gets to date around a little bit before ultimately realizing Blaine is the one he is meant to be with. Blaine also needs to mature a little and live his life outside of Kurt. Love SJP’s character so much! So good to see a positive role model who I think understands Kurt.

  21. Karin says:

    Watched Glee for the first time since s3 because of the original cast coming back and wow the new characters are boring (as are the horrible actors), glad I’m not missing out ;)

  22. Anna says:

    Hate Quinn…her rapidfire “growth” last season was beyond ridiculous. I actually think her dating a professor is the first IN CHARACTER thing she’s done in a year.

  23. Jared says:

    Am I the only one that senses a little sexual tension between Ryder and Jake??

  24. Tinemi says:

    Oh Glee! you’re making me like the Gangman style when I’ve been able to avoid it

  25. Carrie says:

    I hate the Marley became a bulimic/anorexic overnight because Kitty manipulated her story. It’s offensive, it’s badly written and worst of all its undermining to a very big issue that many young girls have with eating disorders and body dismorphia. Glee loves to write their bully characters but the message to their young fans is becoming “cruel behaviour works”. Was Marley not enough of an outsider character with her large lunch lady mom storyline? I’m able to get past a lot of the shoddy writing becasue I enjoy most of the musical numbers but my love of Glee is fading fast.

  26. Celeste says:

    Quinn bought the tickets for her and Rachel. Do the writers even bother with a continuity check?

    • lolo says:

      THANK YOU FOR POINTING THAT OUT. Agh, that made me so made. That wasn’t just some little mix up, it was blatantly wrong.

  27. tzinger says:

    “Bonus points for Santana’s scorching black and green striped minidress!) Grade: A”
    Where is this dress from? I have to have it!!! Please help

  28. Anna says:

    “Let’s Have a Kiki”. DONE!!

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