“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,


wasn’t in it at all, and neither was Dave


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.

introducing Jesse St.

as the new “show choir consultant” to help them get to


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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