No matter your feelings on the current state of Glee — whether you’re #TeamNYC or #TeamLima, whether you dig Rachel and Santana as reluctant buddies or sworn enemies, whether or not you ever want another pep talk from Mr. Schue — you’ve got to admit there was something really sweet about getting the old gang back together again for the show’s 100th episode.
The aptly titled “100” gave us updated renditions of classic Glee performances, romantic (albeit not always realistic) reunions and a good old-fashioned diva-off. Plus, drunken-broad shenanigans, Britney Spears by way of Chicago and a makeout session between two cats. Who could ask for anything more?
If, however, you were too busy replaying old episodes of Fondue for Two, here’s what you missed on Glee.
TWO DIVAS ENTER, ONE DIVA LEAVES (WEEPING) | Rachel, hot off her Broadway casting, and Mercedes, hot off her label deal, arrive at McKinley’s farewell celebration for the soon-to-shutter New Directions and wonder how come there’s no red carpet or confetti, then renew their rivalry to be the club’s top (vocal) dog (during a very funny appearance on Fondue for Two). They engage in a diva-off to the tune of “Defying Gravity” (with Kurt, oddly, snagging a line or two), but before it’s put to a vote, Santana brutally shreds Rachel in front of everyone, and it’s Mercedes who follows Ms. Berry to the bathroom for a word of comfort. There, the gals share their high-school-fueled insecurities and a sweet embrace — and then return to the choir room to call off the competition. Too late, though: Schue announces it was a tie anyhow.
QUINN FABRAY 7.0 | Quinn arrives with her old-money Yale boyfriend Biff McIntosh (Chace Crawford), and puts on a prim, fawning display clearly designed to impress him — even as her eye is clearly drawn to Puck (and his hunky Air Force uniform). Puck (and Mike, Artie, and Santana) all notice Quinn suppressing her past and her personality — and help to wake her up to the sad reality. Biff, though, blows up when Quinn finally confesses she has a back tattoo — and a baby she gave up for adoption. The argument ends up with Quinn giving the uptight dude’s nose a good, hard squeeze — and Puck tossing him into a dumpster. Later, staring at Finn’s memorial jersey in the locker room, Puck shares that he knows who his soulmate is, and says he’ll stick around if Quinn wants him. Sure enough, she chases him down the halls of McKinley, kisses him, and coos the word “stay.” Awww… sweet enough, I guess, in a nostalgic way. But my inner skeptic wonders how come not a single one of Glee‘s romantic pairings hasn’t seemed to outgrow each other — or why “I’m, like, 20 — and I’m choosing to be single and explore the world” can’t ever be its own “Happily Ever After.” (I know, I’m the worst.)
DOES BRITTANA = LOVE? | Brittany returns for the New Directions farewell, too, but Santana becomes alarmed to see her old girlfriend has been turned into something of a math robot — with no joy or outside life — now that she’s at MIT. Santana reboots Brittany’s love of singing and dancing, and as the old lovers hang out, it’s Brittany who leans in and goes for the kiss. Santana pushes her away, says she’s worked too hard to get over her high school flame to go back now, but Brittany states her case pretty dramatically and clearly: She tells Santana that she’s seen the world, and that she’s sure Santana’s girlfriend Dani is great, but “you can’t recreate what you and I have.” Outcome: To be determined next week, methinks!
NEW DIRECTIONS’ LAST STAND | Will’s (and New Directions’) boozy pal April Rhodes (Kristin Chenoweth) returns to the scene and tells Sue that because the McKinley Auditorium is paid for by the April Rhodes Charitable Foundation, that New Directions will/should be allowed to continue there. Alas, though, Sue discovers April’s assets (and private island) have been frozen — thanks to her association (ahem) with Bernie Madoff. Plus, Schue’s outrageous spending has depleted the fund April already donated to New Directions. (Whoops!) But April’s not done yet: She calls in legendary sub Holly Holliday, and the duo vows (over copious vino) to save the glee club. In the interim, Schue gathers the Original Flavor New Directions in the auditorium, where Finn’s plaque is now hanging, and gives a tearful speech. “I don’t have any more pep talks,” he weeps. “I just have you guys and the memories of the people on this wall.”
Grades for the Week’s Musical Performances
April, Will & New Directions: “Raise Your Glass” — B+
Quinn, Santana and Brittany: “Toxic” — Grade: A (loved the castanets and sexually heightened “Cell Block Tango” staging!)
Rachel, Mercedes and Kurt: “Defying Gravity” — Grade: A+ (Rachel wins by a nose, if I’m being honest)
Santana and Brittany (with Mike and Jake): “Valerie” — Grade: A
Puck (and the original New Directions): “Keep Holding On” — Grade: A-
Holly Holliday & New Directions: “Happy” — Grade: C+ (not enough funk, too “Up with People,” no?)
“You all cheer now, but wait till he starts rapping.” –Santana, prepping the audience for a Will Schuester musical moment
“You know, she once taught me how to shoplift meat in my vagina.” –Tina, sharing with wide-eyed Marley a favorite April moment
“Wait, you call your mother, ‘Mother’?” –Puck, throwing shade at Quinn’s new boyfriend
“I just wish that I could have my old life back — where I wasn’t a mathematical genius and all I wanted to do was to scissor you and to talk to my cat.” –Brittany, sharing her woes with Santana
“If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times: The one thing this country needs more of is teen marriage.” –April, commenting on Blaine and Kurt’s engagement
“Will Schuester’s profligate spending and his penchant for staging elaborate, private Bacchanalia — replete with extravagant scenery and costumes not seen since the reign of Caligula.” –Sue, explaining to April where the funds she set aside for glee club went