It’s time to dust off all those cassette tapes purchased for that one song you loved, because Glee is returning to its “old school” roots from season one. And by “roots,” I mean iconic songs from the ‘80s and ‘90s we all belt out when no one is looking. New Directions is back people. The magnificent seven pull out all the stops, forcing the Warblers and Vocal Adrenaline to shift uncomfortably in their seats, all contemplating this question: Do I have the same emotional triggers as Sue Sylvester? For the love of George Michael, I think I do.
The episode opens with the Vocal Adrenaline team gasping for air. Having just finished their “Whip It” arrangement, the aerialists, dancers, and Clint (he has a name!) hustle to their seats to watch the others perform. Sue announces to the crowd that the Warblers will be performing the next day, followed by New Directions the day after. This change of plans freaks everyone out, except Rachel, who is happy to secure 48 additional hours to recruit members.
Kurt convinces Rachel to go after Kitty, before heading to Breadsticks for a second date with Walter. Sue moonlights as a waitress, hurtling geriatric jokes with every breath. The solemn oath she took to reunite Klaine is still as much of a priority as sabotaging the Glee Club. When Walter takes her insults with a grain of salt, she resorts to harsher tactics—kidnapping.
It’s a good thing Sue was able to acquire the materials needed to construct a fake elevator, because the next day, Blaine and Kurt fall victim to one of Sue’s creepiest shenanigans. Not only did she successfully lock the pair in a small confined space, but she mentally teases them with a disturbing Sue puppet on a tricycle that looks eerily like a distant cousin of Lady Elaine Fairchild. Puppet Sue warns Klaine that if they don’t make out like banshees, they will suffocate and die. Welcome to Ms. Sylvestor’s neighborhood.
Meanwhile, the real Sue forces the Warblers to perform, even though their fearless leader is nowhere to be found. The boys straighten their navy blazers, channel the confidence of all Warblers who have gone before them, and nail their “My Sharona” number. In a hyphenated word, they are acca-awesome. When I heard the opening riffs of “You Spin Me Round,” I was a little disappointed, considering this song was brilliantly covered by The Treblemakers. Anything that is showcased on Pitch Perfect should not be touched, in my opinion.
Another thing that shouldn’t be touched is the annoying hypnotizing storyline. Perhaps this was just a way for Glee writer Ian Brennan to share his opinion of the worst songs on the planet. I’m no expert, but “Justified and Ancient” was probably a huge hit in Mu Mu Land.
Sam’s trance leads him to the choir room, where he tries to convince Rachel that “Dear Mr. Jesus,” “Ascension Millennium,” and the aforementioned KLF/Tammy Wynette ditty is just the setlist New Directions needs to take the invitational. Sam leans in for a kiss, but Rachel fends him off. YES! I know it trended on Twitter last week, but let’s not make Samchel a thing.
Once Sam snaps out of his trance, Rachel asks him to help her find more students to fill the empty Glee Club slots. Sam heads straight to Spencer. Spencer tells him that he can’t afford to join New Directions because if the other football players “smell a little bit of gay on me, everything I worked for is ruined.”
Time out. Doesn’t everyone know that Spencer is gay? Why did I get the impression that he would “take care” of anyone who had a problem with it? Discuss.
Sam reminds Spencer of another great McKinley High quarterback who changed he tapestry of Glee Club forever. I think it’s lovely how the writers continue to pull Finn into each episode. I imagine Corey Monteith would be proud that his legacy lives on.
Back in the choir room, Rachel is about to hyperventilate under the pressure, when a tart Cheerio waltzes in. While recruiting her earlier in the day, Rachel promised to never leave Kitty like the vanishing New Directions from season 4. Kitty loves a stage, and is ready to help Rachel find the perfect setlist. All she needs is a bobby pin to infiltrate Sue’s locked office door. Kitty knows that Sue has a secret playlist on her computer, full of emotional songs that have the ability to tug at her cold heart. Since Becky can be bribed with Mexican Twinkies, Kitty was able to secure the password—Thunderbolton69. How can a password be gross and awesome at the same time?
NEXT: Roderick is on center stage—finally