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Gleecap: Tragedy and toadstools

Guys, it's REALLY hard to compete with this.

It's almost time for nationals and we're left feeling a little confused about the promos FOX has been airing for Glee lately. It seems all the spoiler scenes were for...next week? Was this week not important in the eyes of the marketing team? Because some pretty damn important things went down.

Anything you can do I can do better
Nationals are approaching, and new glee consultant Jesse wants to put the Vocal Adrenaline stamp on New Directions. This means picking one star and letting everyone else sway in the background a la "Bohemian Rhapsody." And since we have more than one diva on the team, auditions are in order and egos are out and swinging. Plus, we get to see Schue play Paula Abdul to Jesse's Simon Cowell.

We would just be appreciative of the continuance of refreshingly organic ways to introduce musical numbers, but even that relief gets drowned out by the tryout performances. Granted, none of the song choices were surprising, but then, smart performers play to their strengths. As we've said before, we love Amy Winehouse on Santana, Kurt's flair for classic numbers with snarky overtones justifies his "Gypsy" obsession, and, Oh Mylanta, do we love that Otis Redding tune. Mercedes' incredible performance will never trump this scene, but it comes pretty damn close.

And Rachel...well, all we can say is, Kurt said it best. That girl can sing. But in the end, Schue predictably sticks with his gut and chooses an ensemble performance with original music.

Read on for an unexpected death and equally unexpected Willy Wonka props.

Honey badgers always come through
Meanwhile, the Legion/League of Doom is still furiously plotting the glee club's demise. Their actual demise, as Sue gets their flights re-routed through Libya in the hopes that they get "kidnapped and killed." That's a direct quote.

But Sue's resolve fails when we discover that her sister Jean passed away. Sue kicks Becky off the Cheerios because she reminds her of her sister, prompting a foot-in-mouth backlash from Schue. Kurt and Finn offer to help the crippled Sue with the funeral and packing Jean's room at the care center, as well as offer their best advice and sympathies. Sue accepts the manual labor, but shuns the emotional support, wishing only to retreat inside her hard, abrasive shell.

The power of Roald Dahl and Hollywood
Fortunately, sometimes all it takes to help the bereaved is to honor their lost one's life. Kurt and Finn do this to perfection with a "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory"-themed service, Jean's favorite film. They even enlist the rest of the gleeks for a beautiful rendition of the already stirring "Pure Imagination," while Schue helps Sue with her eulogy.

We've wanted human Sue back for a while now, but it's too bad we lost Jean in the process. The sisters' frank but caring relationship was an enjoyable aspect of the show, and we'll definitely miss seeing actress Robin Trocki sparring with the ever-sharp Jane Lynch. In any case, Schue and the kids' unerring support lead Sue to abandon her evil plans and re-enlist Terri to get the club back on the right flight to New York. She also gives Becky her spot back on the Cheerios, captain position for the next year, and a really, really cute hug.

Terri is moving to Florida, which is as it should be. Her role this season was too minimal for such a great actress and often felt forced. Unless there's any real way to bring her back into the plot, it's best that she's working on her tan down in Miami.

Don't rock the boat
Two of our leading men are on track to upset the balance of New Directions -- Schue is secretly heading to Broadway after nationals and Finn, with a new-found perspective on love from Sue's eulogy, decides to break up with Quinn and go after Rachel.

Schue is in denial about any possible success -- and therefore possible cross-country move -- he might face in New York, but Emma is gently pushing him toward his dream. Her budding self-possession in invaluable here, as Schue is at a loss with packing up his apartment. We loved the vest joke-turned sentimental gesture between these two, while simultaneously lamenting the Ross and Rachel will-they-won't-they dynamic at play, which has had it's run on pretty much every TV show ever. Except Community.

Following Jean's service, Finn very abruptly breaks up with a blindsided Quinn for being emotionally distant, and because he's probably still in love with Rachel. Though Rachel is obviously still head-over-heels for Finn, Jesse is drawing her into his tractor beam of tousled hair and baby-blue eyes. And don't worry about Quinn. She's already bounced back by the end of the episode, blond hair a-flouncing and evil plots a-making. Even Sue should be terrified of that hidden icy fury.

What did you think, fellow gleeks? What does Quinn have planned? Should someone have been picked to be the lead at nationals? Will Schue hit it big on Broadway? Or will his shiny, shiny hair blind the audience? To the comments!

Notes n' Quotes

Jesse: I don't think I need to do much tricking to get you to do something stupid, Finn.

Jesse: You kind of sing and dance like a zombie who has to poop.

Sue: Honey Badger, I am lactating with RAGE!

Howard: Do I get a supervillian nickname?
Sue: Your nickname is Panda Express.
Howard: But I'm not Chinese
Sue: Neither is the food at Panda Express.

Emma: Wow, that's a lot of vests.

Sue: I had to throw some of them out, I'm allergic to pansies. And I don't mean that as a swipe at either of you.

Jesse: Do you know what happens at Vocal Adrenaline when someone dies during a number? They use them as a prop, like at "Weekend at Bernie's."

Kurt: Correction: You had feelings for him, he made breakfast on your head.

Brittany: Jesse, maybe you can come on "Fondue for Two" and judge my cat.
Jesse: Rock and roll.

Sue: I do this thing where I sort of alternate which one of them I hate most. Right now it's that dancing Asian.

Rachel: Jesse?
Jesse: That's sweet. You remember the masculine click of my designer boots.

Final thoughts

  • Does Schue really have to pack up all his stuff? We get that he doesn't want his precious vests eaten by moths, but in his head he's not going to be gone that long.
  • Jesse's cat drawing is hilarious. But really, we thought he would have been doodling his own name on a marquee.
  • Oh, Mercedes, you do sing with emotion...but Rachel eats, sleeps, breathes and bleeds it.


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