Glee Recap: The Dark Night Rises [Updated]

Glee Recap Season 4 Lights OutThis week on Glee, McKinley High experienced a power outage, Sue tried to move on from her firing as head coach of the Cheerios, Ryder and Kitty revealed painful secrets and the NYADA pack (which now officially includes ¡Santana!) pitched in to help that fabulous Vogue.com editrix/fairy godmother with a charity event. (Glamour with a ‘u’ was on the menu, obvs.)

“Lights Out” contained quite possibly my favorite musical number of the season, but only the briefest glimpse of American Idol Season 11 runner-up Jessica Sanchez as Frida Romero, powerhouse vocalist for New Directions’ rivals at Regionals — the Hoosier Daddies. (That clip of her belting the National Anthem certainly should’ve had Schue trembling in his boots, though.)

If you spaced out wondering what happened to Blaine’s “Night Bird” alter ego — he’d been shown in preview photos for the episode, but must’ve been left on the editing-room floor — here’s what you missed on Glee:

UN-ELECTRIC YOUTH | A power outage at McKinley plunged the school into darkness — say what now, no windows? no generator? — and even prompted the use of candelabras (since when do adults trust teens around open flames?). New Directions used the event to spearhead an “unplugged” lesson — mostly because Sam felt like everyone spent too much time Tweeting on their phones and not enough getting to really know one another. Speaking of which…

CATFISHING EXPEDITION | Ryder continued communicating online with “Katie” because he felt comfortable opening up to her about his innermost secrets — and despite the fact that “she” refused to reveal her true identity. When Jake noted maybe Ryder needed to connect with some actual human faces, the hunky guy with the exceptional hair decided to unplug his feelings with an acoustic rendition of “Everybody Hurts.” What followed, though, was far more unexpected: A confession that he’d been molested by his teenage female babysitter when he was only 11. Artie and Sam reacted appallingly with a “Bro! Why be ashamed when you lived a fantasy?” response that’s altogether too common in female-on-male sexual abuse cases — and yet still felt a tad too unsubtle, given that Ryder used the word “molested” and was clearly filled with shame and embarrassment about the memory. (Anyone wish Schue had been a little more insistent in driving home the point that child sexual abuse is never, ever “cool,” despite whatever wrong-minded fantasy scenarios might pop up from time to time in movies and on TV?) Anyhow… Later, Kitty took Ryder for dinner and shared that she, too, had been molested by her best friend’s teen brother when she was in the sixth grade — and the subsequent fallout was so bad, she had to transfer schools. The next day, though, Ryder rebuffed Kitty’s lunch invite in order to stay online with “Katie,” prompting the mean-girl cheerleader to ask “How can you pick an online fantasy over an actual fantasy?”

GALA MY DREAMS | Kurt and Rachel confronted Santana about her work at a Coyote Ugly-esque bar and as a cage-dancer at a lesbian club, but the Lady Lopez retorted that she simply needed time to figure out her dreams. (She could’ve belted out Taylor Dayne’s “Don’t Rush Me” here. Just sayin’.) Those dreams came more into focus when Kurt (still interning at Vogue.com) got assigned to be a celebrity wrangler for a New York City Ballet benefit that Isabelle (Sarah Jessica Parker) was hosting. (Can I pause here to add that I adore how Isabelle has been written as truly sweet and kind — with no secret agenda or viciousness? Sometimes you really do meet those kinds of mentors in life, and it’s refreshing to see SJP vividly executing one on the small screen.) A view from the wings — and a fantasy sequence about childhood ballet class — reignited Santana’s inner dancer, and she ended the hour signing up for a class at NYADA Extension! No need to quibble — it’s just a walk-in class for folks of all ages and skill sets — but the experience earned her  a message from her childhood ballerina self: “Don’t forget me again, okay?”

SUE 2.0 | Blaine sampled a class, too, Sue’s hardcore, writhing-centric aerobics lesson (where dirty things happen set to remixes of Steve Windwood’s “Valerie”). Blaine told Sue that McKinley — and especially the Cheerios — needed her back, what with Roz promoting rib removal among her tumblers. But after watching the girls practice from the bleachers, then fantasizing about killing them, Sue said there was no way she was coming back, even though we all know she doth protest too much. Finally, those preview scenes of Blaine and Sam interrogating Becky about Sue taking the fall for the school shooting? Well, they never aired. Instead, Roz dragged the insubordinate gal to Figgins’ office — and she enigmatically stated she’d just wanted a quiet moment with him where she could share… Well, we don’t know yet. That’s a cliffhanger…maybe for next week? I kinda hope she fesses up and we can move the story arc to it inevitable conclusion.

Sam and Ryder: The Righteous Brothers’ “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling” | Grade: B+

Ryder: R.E.M.’S “Everybody Hurts” | Grade: B+

Sue: “Little Girls” (from Annie) | Grade: B

New Directions: Queen’s “We Will Rock You” | Grade: B-

Rachel, Kurt, Santana and Isabelle: “At The Ballet” (from A Chorus Line) | GRADE: A+

New Directions: Billy Joel’s “For The Longest Time” | Grade: B+

“Maybe I don’t wanna be in Funny Girl or be a singing waiter at the Fire Island pancake shack.” –Santana, differentiating her life goals from those of Rachel and Kurt

“I’m doing what I do best: Dishing out top-tier abuse to trophy wives and self-hating single gals as a personal trainer.” –Sue, describing her new job

“Fact: If I hadn’t mistaken you for a butch Israeli gal, I would never have let you in here.” –Sue, spotting Blaine in her aerobics class

“The blackout occurred when a Mylar balloon congratulating my secretary Donna on her successful hysterectomy became trapped in an outlet behind a filing cabinet.” –Figgins, addressing the McKinley student body over the PA system

What was your favorite musical number from “Lights Out”? How did you feel about the various story arcs? Take our poll, then sound off in the comments!