This week on a Stevie Wonder-themed Glee, Artie faced his deepest fears, Mercedes faced her truth, Rachel faced the wrath of Cassandra July and Kurt faced the idea of life without TV’s sweetest dad Burt Hummel.
It was a fun, frothy, music-packed hour, but one that felt somewhat at arm’s length from what you know will be next week’s dramatic, cliffhanger-y Season 4 finale. Among the critical plot developments:
* Kurt traveled back to Lima to attend Burt’s critical doctor’s visit, and discovered his dad was (huzzah!) cancer-free with the prostate of a 20-year-old! But with all the ancillary anxiety, the younger Mr. Hummel seems to be developing some obsessive-compulsive tics.
* Mercedes returned to McKinley to help Mr. Schue prep the New Directions kids for regionals, then discovered her record label wanted her to sex up her image for her debut CD. When she refused, she lost her contract but held on to her dignity.
* Artie almost turned down admission to the Brooklyn Film Academy, but after Kitty shared the secret with Artie’s mom (the fab Katey Sagal), he admitted he was just afraid to head to NYC alone — and to leave behind the woman who’d devoted her life to caring for him. Sweet stuff. And now another core character is NYC-bound! (Wouldn’t mind more Ms. Sagal and her no-nonsense empathy in Season 5, either.) Also, with only one episode left this season, is the Artie-Kitty flirtation going to stay just that, or actually lead to something more serious?
* Rachel feared the wrath of Cassandra July when her brutal dance instructor discovered she’d gotten a second callback for Funny Girl, but turns out the Wicked Witch of NYADA really has a heart of gold. 1-800-Whaaa??? Cassie changed the date of Rachel’s midterm to not conflict with her Broadway dreams, and even told her she knew she’d get the part. Out-of-left-field? Maybe. But surprisingly feel-good, nevertheless. (Also feel-good? Rachel calling Mr. Schue at the top of the hour and thanking him for helping her on her path to Broadway. Still, I’m not sure if telling her she was a “shoo-in” was the most prudent response!)
* Blaine asked Burt for Kurt’s hand in marriage, but the elder Hummel wisely told the high-school senior it was way too soon for that kind of commitment. Line of the episode: “Didn’t you learn anything from Finn and Rachel?” Lord, let’s hope Burt’s wisdom sticks, because next week’s previews have me worried we’re gonna see Blaine on bended knee. And ain’t nobody got time for that.
* Speaking of proposals, Mr. Schue told the kids he’d re-proposed to Emma — and she’d accepted! I did have time for that, but alas, we didn’t see the evidence on screen — or any sign of Will’s ginger-haired love! #MoreEmmaPlease
TONIGHT’S SET LIST
Kitty: “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours” | Grade: C+
Mercedes and Blaine: “Superstition” | Grade: B+
Kurt: “You Are The Sunshine of My Life” | Grade: A-
Jake and Mike: “I Wish” | Grade: B
Cassandra: “Uptight (Everything’s Alright)” | Grade: B
Mercedes: “Higher Ground” | Grade: A-
Artie and New Directions: “For Once in My Life” | Grade: B+
WEEK’S BEST ZINGERS
“That can’t be true.” –Kitty, mumbling after Schue revealed Brittany had gotten early acceptance to MIT
“Did you learn your new lyrics yet? ‘Do you want fries with thaaa-ah-ahh-at?” –Kitty, noting Mercedes’ return to Lima from Los Angeles and casting doubt on her record deal
“You’re widely regarded as having one of the puffiest morning faces of any known human.” –Cassandra, taunting Rachel
What did you think of “Wonder-ful”? Sound off in the comments and vote for your favorite musical number in the poll below!