“Glee” recap (6.1 & 6.2): Back to before

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Previously on Glee, a rag tag group of high schoolers formed a glee club with the help of an overly earnest teacher. The power of music changed their lives (and ours) for the better. Six years later, it’s time to start saying our goodbyes. But first, the underdogs must once again rise to the top.

Someone who is dealing with the exact opposite of rising, is Rachel Berry, whose star made such a tragic descent from the heavens that it practically disintegrated upon re-entry. Rachel’s television show, That’s So Rachel, was such a profound failure that it’s been cancelled after its first episode, and Rachel has been fired. After burning her bridges with Broadway and watching her television dreams slip right through her fingers, Rachel can only think of one thing to do. Sing the Alanis Morissette ballad “Uninvited” as loudly and plaintively as possible as she is escorted off the television lot. It would be easy to sit back and revel in the schadenfreude of it all, but keep in mind that what Rachel Berry craves more that anything, more than understanding, or love, is validation. When given the opportunity at 20 years old to be validated by possibly millions of fans, she couldn’t turn that down. I dare say, none of us could.

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So after a self-imposed months long seclusion, Rachel drags her tiny pink suitcase back to the place where she always dreamed of escaping. Lima, Ohio. They say you can never go home again, but that isn’t true. Home is always there in spirit, but it is always subject to change, as Rachel soon finds out. Her father LeRoy (Brian Stokes Mitchell) breaks the news that he and Rachel’s other father are getting divorced. Rachel is deeply shocked, but LeRoy tells her that they have been unhappy for sometime now. Rachel is welcome to stay as long as she likes, but the house is for sale, so…welcome home!

Rachel seeks out Blaine for a shoulder to cry on, but it turns out that Rachel has missed a hell of a lot during her hermitting. Blaine and Kurt have broken up! Klaine found out that living together without the buffer of another roommate, was too much too soon. A devastated Blaine was also cut from NYADA, so he also sought refuge back home in Lima. He’s now the coach of the Warblers, and he and Rachel make a pact to support each other through this particularly shitty time of their lives. They sing “Suddenly Seymour” together in a music store, which really makes no sense other than to give them both an excuse to wail, but lets go with it.

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To break through the melancholy that is Blachel (Blaine and Rachel, OK?) the Orwellian voice of Sue Sylvester tears right through like that of Big Brother. Like Orwell says, she “who controls the past controls the future” and she “who controls the present controls the past,” and all that jazz. Well, at least, she who controls the hounds, controls the school.

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McKinley, which lets face it, was never that fun to begin with, is now a joyless, fear churning, fat shaming, academic machine. The arts and humanities have been obliterated, including that pesky glee club. Since fear is a powerful motivating factor, grades are up at the school, so the school board looks past some of Sue’s less savory tactics. Oh and in the most convenient of plot fixes ever, the old members of New Directions (Marley, Marley’s hat, Jake, Ryder, Unique, Harry, Niall, Emily, Spencer, Hanna, Aria…truly, I don’t remember) were forcibly transferred to other schools. I’m pretty sure that’s completely illegal, but we are going to go with it. Of course, this doesn’t sit well with Rachel at all.

Back in NYC, Kurt has been nursing his own wounded heart after breaking up with Blaine. He’s finally ready to give dating another shot, but it’s pretty obvious to even complete strangers that Kurt’s pretty hung up on his ex. At NYADA, third year students are expected to go out into the world and get some real hands on experience. He’s planning on spending the time directing Real Housewives the Musical at a retirement home, but you know that is about to change real quick.

Blaine invites Rachel to a Warblers practice to see his team in action and also get some of Rachel’s professional advice. The Warblers are on point as ever, and apparently keep Blaine’s blazer encased in glass. So what if Blaine left the Warblers to join New Directions. Plot, schmot. They perform Ed Sheeran’s“Sing” to a delighted Rachel and Blaine joins in halfway through. It’s the first time Rachel has smiled in quite some time.

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