“Glee” Episode 221 Recap: Four Solos and a Funeral

I saw some folks on Twitter saying this was a
“filler” episode, by which I believe they meant it didn’t advance the
Klaine or Brittana story lines. And it didn’t. In fact, Brittany was barely in it,
Blaine
wasn’t in it at all, and neither was Dave
Karofsky
.

And by the way, speaking of people who aren’t there, where
the heck is Coach Beiste? We haven’t
seen her since “Blame it on the Alcohol,” and after Lord Tubbington, she’s my favorite
character on Glee. What’s up with
that, Glee powers that be?

But getting back to the “filler” concept, this
episode wasn’t filler at all. It was a classic ensemble episode, featuring no
one and (almost) everyone. And that was a case of art imitating, well, art,
because it was also one of the messages of tonight’s show: New Directions is a
group act, not a showcase for any one performer, no matter how talented.

The episode opens with Mr.
Schuester
introducing Jesse St.
James
as the new “show choir consultant” to help them get to
Nationals.

Finn asks, both
for perfectly logical reasons and for weird twisted reasons of his own, how
they know he’s not just a spy for Vocal Adrenaline setting them up to do
something stupid.

“I don’t think I need to do much tricking to get you to
do something stupid, Finn,” Jesse answers.

Now, see, I’ve been known to disparage Finn from time to
time. I may have even suggested he’s not the brightest bulb on the tree. But I
really don’t like it when Jesse St. James does it. So back off on Frankenteen,
dude. I mean it.

Does he listen to me? Not a bit. When Mr. Schue tells the
kids that he wants to do original songs at Nationals, including one group
number and one duet, Finn immediately says that he and Rachel should do the duet.

“Finn, I think you should sit this one out,” Jesse
smarms. “The fact is, most of the guys are better singers than you are,
and even Mike Chang, who can’t sing,
can dance. You kind of sing and dance like a zombie who has to poop.”

I didn’t think I could feel this protective of anyone but Kurt.

Jesse goes on to share the Vocal Adrenaline method, which is
to identify your best performer and build the entire performance around them.

They’re going to hold auditions to determine who is the
“best performer,” and Finn objects that it’s not their style. Sam turns around and says,
“Normally I’d agree, but this is the big time. I think we should listen to
Jesse.” Finn looks like his puppy bit him.

Meanwhile, in the dark of night in her office, Sue is “lactating with rage”
at Honey Badger, who she tasked with
bringing her a computer hacker and who turned up with her Sheets ‘n’ Things
staffer Howard Bamboo, ex-Acafalla,
from Season One.

Howard asks if he gets a super-villain nickname, and Sue
tells him, “Your nickname is Panda Express.”

“But I’m not Chinese,” he says.

She shrugs. “Neither is the food at Panda Express.”

Turns out Sue wants to screw up New Directions’ plane
tickets to New York by diverting them to Tripoli, where she expects them to be
either killed or kidnapped and killed. Howard manages to break into Mr.
Figgins’ email account (gettingfiggywithit@aol.com).

After Sue correctly guesses his password will be 1234, they
write to the travel agency (do those still exist?) making the change. I’m
ignoring all the reasons why there’s no way this could happen, not because I’m
any more willing to accept this stupid “League of Doom” sub-plot than
I was last week or the week before, but because of what happens later in the
episode with Sue.

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