The kids finally make it to sectionals, there's seeming resolution on Will and Emma and Fin and Quinn, and plenty of Sue!
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Glee Finale
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The fourth season of Glee was full of ups and downs, but one consistent bright spot was Lea Michele's Rachel Berry, who stretched her wings…
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For months, we waited impatiently for it. Then, finally, last night our impatience was rewarded with the episode so important it could only be titled one thing: ”Sectionals.” (Alternate title: ”Your Last Whiff of Glee Until April 13.”) And while there were some small annoyances — could we have squeezed in a proper trophy presentation? — I’m pleased to report that the (feel-)goods were delivered. Newsflash: New Directions = Champions! Not that we should’ve been terribly surprised — how else do you advance to Regionals? — but it was fun to see our club impress in competition, especially Rachel, who was in full Glee-va mode. Newsflash #2: Will closed the book on Terri and opened his heart to Emma, who, gosh of goshes, never made it to the altar. But we’re just scratching the shiny surface: Quinn’s secret leaked out! Sue got served! Anchor Rod’s a Sectionals judge! I think it’s time to hop on the bus and take a joy ride to ”Sectionals.”

Sectionals: Where You Can Get What You Want

How did New Directions feel about Emma subbing for Will as director? Perhaps Brittany summed it up best when she mumbled, ”She’s the one they made me talk to when they found out I was keeping that bird in my locker.” (That was her second best line of the night.) As they began formulating a Sectional set list, things got entertaining: Rachel volunteered to sing a ballad from her repertoire, only to be met by an equal and opposite force in Mercedes. ”Okay, you know what, Miss Bossypants? Enough. I’ve worked just as hard as you and I’m just as good as you. You know, you always end up stealing up the spotlight.” ”Mercedes, do you honestly think you’re as strong of a balladeer as I am? Ballads are kind of my thing.” (Don’t forget gold stars, Rachel!) Mercedes promptly proved that ballads were kind of her thing too, singing the hell out of ”And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” from Dreamgirls, and thrilling her Glee-mates. ”It’s clear the room adores you,” Rachel graciously conceded. ”And although it wouldn’t be my first choice, I can’t wait to see you sing that song at Sectionals. You’re amazing, Mercedes, and you deserve it. I’m going to hug you now.” That’s our Rachel — proud of Mercedes, proud of herself being so magnanimous.

As the bus prepared to depart for Sectionals, Will sweated details with Emma. Boy, did it pain him not to be there. Oh, look at this last-minute arrival: Jacob, here to act as a sway-but-don’t-sing replacement for Finn, who’d stormed out of rehearsal after hearing the truth about Quinn’s baby (more on that later). Props to Blog Boy for pursuing his creepy crush on Rachel in the face of his ”terrible public event anxiety.”

New Directions soon had a similar sinking feeling. Just as Sue had deviously planned, the kids were assigned the final performance slot. Then they had to sit in the audience and watch blatant musical thievery. As Jane Addams topped off ”And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going” with butt wiggles, Rachel tried to console Mercedes: ”It’s a really popular song.” Poor Artie basted in his own hate juices as he watched the girls perform ”Proud Mary” in wheelchairs. Flustered, Emma called Will with the bad news: ”The kids are completely freaking out, Artie keeps ramming himself into the wall, and I’m pretty sure that Jacob Ben Israel just wet himself…. Will, these kids need a leader right now.”

NEXT: Playing it loose

Will knew where to rustle one up. Finding a wallowing Finn at his football locker, Will delivered a poignant they-can’t-win-without-you speech, capped off by the inspirational line, ”Because sometimes being special… sucks.” Liked that bit of foreshadowing after Finn moaned, ”I just want everything to be like it… like it never happened, you know?” and Will answered, ”Well, Finn… you can’t always get what you want.” Now if only Finn had a way to get to — oh, thanks for the car keys, Mr. Schue.

Back at the competition, Emma guilted Mr. Rumba and Ms. Hitchins about their ill-gotten songs. (Two asides: Did Emma accidentally say ”Don’t Start Believin”’? And yes to Ms. H.’s jab: ”Oh, what happened to the white guy with the Jheri curl?”) While Mr. Rumba played both dumb and the ”deaf-racism” card, Ms. Hitchins essentially admitted to cheating: ”Do you have any idea how much winning is going to mean to my girls?” But the corrupt show went on as the deaf students from Haverbrook sang ”Don’t Stop Believin”’. Instead of seeing them on stage, though, we watched a man in the audience dab his eyes. Excellent. Rachel had enough, however, and rudely stood up mid-performance, calling for an emergency New Directions meeting.

In the green room, we learned that it was Brittany who unknowingly fed the intel to Sue. With that settled, they began brainstorming for replacement songs. No, Artie, not one of your def poetry jamz. Knowing that New Directions needed something good — something Berry good — Mercedes and Kurt turned to Rachel. ”Well, I do have something I’ve been working on since I was four,” she quickly said. Okay, what about a closing number? ”I have one,” announced Finn, entering the room. He passed out sheet music, delivered a serviceable pep talk, and relieved a relieved Jacob of his duties. Just as things were starting to feel a little too perfect, the scene’s best moment came: Puck extended a hand to Finn and said, ”We cool, dude?” Finn paused, answered ”No,” and left him hanging. Also snubbing Quinn, Finn turned to Rachel and smiled: ”You wanted the solo, you want the chance to be the star, this is your chance. Don’t screw it up.”

Aye-aye, co-captain. With Will beaming tearily on the other end of Emma’s cell, Rachel belted out a spectacular version of Barbra Streisand’s ”Don’t Rain on My Parade.” With the rest of New Directions assembled on the stage, Rachel set up shop on that final ”paaaaraaaaaaade.” Standing O! The Gleesters then closed out with an upbeat cover of the Rolling Stones’ ”You Can’t Always Get What You Want.” (My only complaint? I would’ve liked more vocal interplay between all group members; Rachel’s solo consumed much of their performance time. )

NEXT: Ken finds his self esteem

We need to talk about the amusing judges’ room scene, especially that awesomely un-PC moment when Candace Dystra — 5th-runner up Miss Ohio 2006! Mrs. Newlin from True Blood! — ditzily dissed the deaf choir: ”They weren’t singing, they were, like, honking, and everyone was crying, and I was like, ‘Get off the stage, you’re terrible. And you’re making me super uncomfortable.”’ I’d barely recovered from that when we were given… TV legend Rod Remington! ”Those Haverhurst (!) kids twice sent me reaching for my handkerchief,” he responded, ”and those Jane Addams girls had it goin’ on in all the right places.” (Rod, you’re creeping me out.) Our third judge? Even more bonkers. Donna Landries, the disgruntled Ohio Vice Comptroller grumbled, ”I don’t understand what a glee club is, and I have never even heard the term show choir until about three hours ago, when my boss told me he had tickets to NASCAR and I had to fill in at this fool event.”

As Artie tried to eavesdrop on the judges, Ms. Hitchins walked up to New Directions to compliment them… and to tell them she was going to come clean to the judges. As Rod cruised out the door, she tried to talk to him, but he explained that a decision had been made, and walked away. Ms. H. just stood there. C’mon — run after him!

Did you see what happened next at Sectionals? Trick question. I’m curious to hear your thoughts on the decision to delay the thrill of victory until Glee rehearsal. After all the build-up, I would have liked a funny or touching trophy presentation (Rachel not letting go?). Of course, one could argue that pulling off the under-duress performance was the victory — and this way, Will got to share in the moment.

Emma gets dissed — then kissed

You knew it wasn’t looking good for Ken and Emma when Emma told Will she could play fill-in director at Sectionals. Um, what about your wedding? ”We just pushed it back a few hours,” she explained. ”Now it doesn’t have to happen in broad daylight.” (Um, what about that fish-fry shootout candlelight vigil?) Emma assured Will that Ken understood, but what Ken understood was this: ”You will always choose Schuester over me.”

Later, in an intense scene at his apartment, Will made a big choice of his own. As Will dressed for the wedding, Baby Faker tried to show him that she was evolving: She’s seeing a therapist! But Good Will Husband was over it. ”I’m looking at you and I’m trying,” he said. ”I mean, I really want to feel that thing I always felt when I looked at you before, that feeling of family, of love… but it’s gone.” Terri looked stunned. ”Forever?” ”I don’t know,” he said, walking out of the room, and possibly her life.

NEXT: Will and Emma’s moment

An even better scene followed: Will reemerged at Ken and Emma’s wedding reception, which featured Cheetos, lollipops, an ice sculpture of a hockey player, and no guests. When Will asked where Ken was, Emma said quietly: ”Um, home I’d imagine. Probably trying to regain some of the pride that I stole from him…. He dumped me.” (So Ken didn’t wind up as the Pillsbury D’oh Boy! Good for him. But I wanted to see the scene where he ended things.) The Emma lines that got me? Explaining that she’d messed up and Ken was right that she was settling, she said: ”Really, one blink from you, Will, and I would have been out the door.” On why she’d emailed her resignation to Principal Figgins: ”I just can’t — I just can’t be at the school. I can’t see Ken without feeling ashamed, and I can’t see you without feeling heartbroken.” And how about when Will took her gloved arm and said carefully, ”I just left my wife”? He seemed confused that she still wanted to leave, so she reminded him in perfect understatement that it was too soon: ”Exactly. You just did.”

But we weren’t going to end on a downer, right? Back at school, New Directions showed off their trophy to Mr. Schue, and sang a special number for him because he couldn’t be at Sectionals. Their super-happy cover of Kelly Clarkson’s ”My Life Would Suck Without You” included cowboy hats and other nods to past performances. While the gang chirped, ”’Cause we belong together,” we saw Emma pack up her office. Then Will — man on a mission — ran to her office… which was empty. Bummer. But wait, there she was in the hall with her stuff. He jogged up to her, put a finger to her lips (definitely didn’t say ”Love you like a sister”), and kissed her strongly. She opened her eyes and… smiled. The episode ended on their exhales — relief, anticipation, everything. While there was satisfaction in that ending, I wonder if it would’ve been more intriguing if the show had concluded with him only finding her office empty. Or just seeing her down the hallway? Or even right before she smiled approvingly after their kiss? Question to ponder: Is it too soon for Will and Emma, as she herself intimated in her wedding dress, or is it about freakin’ time? Discuss.

NEXT: Waking a sleeping giant

Sue Sylvester’s surprising setback

Just as the sight of Sue sweetly reading to her sister a few weeks back was a whoa-that-was-deep! wallop, the resounding defeat of Sue in this episode felt like an equally strange treat. Nine and a half times out of ten, our great dictator does not wipe humble pie out of her face.

Can we back up for a sec, though, and relive that great first hallway confrontation with Will? After he accused her of leaking the set list and threatened to expose her fraudulent ways, she growled, ”Bring it on, William,” and deployed a cluster insult bomb: ”I am reasonably confident that you will be adding revenge to the long list of things you’re no good at. Right next to being married… running a high school glee club, and finding a hairstyle that doesn’t make you look like a lesbian.” Awkward tension abounded as she taunted, ”Love you like a sister,” kissed her fingers, and brought them to his lips. When he pushed her hand away with a ”Get your hands off me,” she shoved him. ”You’re not going to push a woman, are you?” Pause. ”I didn’t think so.” Were we just one flinch away from a wrestling match?

Okay, back to her downfall. Hosting Sue and Will in his office yet again, Principal Figgins informed Sue that the directors of Jane Addams and Haverbrook admitted that she gave them New Directions’ set list. Sue: ”You have no proof.” Figgins: ”The set lists were on Cheerios letterhead.” Sue: ”I didn’t do it.” Figgins: ”They say from the desk of Sue Sylvester.” Sue: ”Circumstantial evidence.” Figgins: ”They’re written in your handwriting.” Sue: ”Forgeries!”

Those rat-a-tat responses were amusing (though I’m not sure I buy that someone as sly and conniving as Sue would leave behind such incriminating evidence), and she continued down her path of arrogance and denial. She condescendingly told Figgins to wrap up his little lecture and give her a wrist slap, and headed out the door. But Figgins was fed up; he ordered her to sit down. He removed her as Cheerios coach (much to her I-beg-your-pardon incredulity), told her that she’s besmirched the name of William McKinley (”A failed president!” she barked back), and suspended her from school. Congrats, Figgins, on growing a pair.

Glowing from his reinstatement as New Directions’ director, Will was cruising down the hallway when Sue stopped him. She admitted that she underestimated Will and shared that she was headed to Boca Raton to reload, before returning to destroy him. ”Get ready for the ride of your life, Will Schuester — you are about to board the Sue Sylvester Express.,” she snarled. ”Destination: HORROR!” His response? ”I look forward to it, Sue.” (Hers was funnier.) ”You know you just woke a sleeping giant,” she continued. ”Prepare to be crushed.” Can’t wait to see Sue 2.0 with an accelerated anger chip.

Quinn decides to make this baby a solo project

After Terri’s Bogus Belly was exposed last week, we still had unfinished baby business, and I’m glad the show wasted little time in resolving the will-Finn-find-out-that-Puck-is-the-baby-daddy? question. Rachel told her Gleemates that she was psychic — ”It’s not like Carrie or anything” — and her gifted gut was telling her that something was going on between Puck and Quinn. During an ensuing party line split-screen scene, the gang fretted that Rachel, a.k.a. ”Trout Mouth” would figure out the truth and tell Finn, who’d wig out, jeopardizing their shot at Sectionals. By the way, the fun party line gag (more of these please) included Brittany’s line of the night. Denying that she was dating Puck, Santana said, ”Sex is not dating,” prompting Brittany to quip, ”If it were, Santana and I would be dating.” Everyone on phone: Silent, considering the implications. Me: Hitting the rewind button.

NEXT: Finn drops Quinn

In the episode’s most random plot development, Rachel decided to flush Quinn out using her keen knowledge of Jewish genetic disorders. She asked Quinn if she’d had the fetus tested for Tay-Sachs before backing off: ”I’m such an idiot — they would only run the test if one of the parents was Jewish. Only Jews carry the gene.” Of course, Quinn went running to Puck, telling him, ”You have to take me to go get those Jewish… baby tests.” Now, sometimes Quinn gets SSP (Surprisingly Supportive Puck), other times it’s SDP (Surprisingly Disappointing Puck). Guess which one he was here: ”Does this have to happen tonight?” he asked. ”Because I have my Fight Club.” (I’d totally watch that spinoff.)

Finn was about to start his own Fight Club with Puck’s face. While he told Rachel that he was pumped for Sectionals, we heard that eerie scale-singing, which meant something naughty was about to happen. Looking out for her boy wonder, Rachel spilled the baby beans to him. Finn waited out a commercial break, then beat the stuffing out of Puck, who feigned ignorance. ”Don’t play dumb! You’re too freaking dumb to play dumb,” Finn shouted. The end of the Finnocence was upsetting, no? He pressed Quinn: ”Is it true? Just tell me — is it true?” Quinn whimpered: ”Yes… Puck is the father.” Puck taunted Finn for being stupid enough to buy the hot-tub lie, and Finn had enough: ”Screw this! I’m done with you!” he said, pointing a finger at Quinn. ”I’m done with — I’m DONE WITH ALL OF YOU!” he shouted, Chuck Norris-ing a chair on his way out the door.

The next scene worked as quiet counterbalance. ”I fully understand if you want to be beat me up. If you can just try to avoid my nose,” Rachel said to Quinn, bracing for impact. Instead Quinn maturely delivered this: ”I’m not mad at you. All you did is what I wasn’t brave enough to do — tell the truth.” Quinn continued downward: ”I have hurt so many people…. Can you go now? I just really want to be alone.” Exit Rachel, enter Puck, who was in SSP mode, wanting to play good daddy. Alas, ”I’m going to do this own my own,” she said. ”I know you don’t understand it, but please respect it.” Exit Quinn, enter questions: Will she keep the baby? Will she let Puck help out? And where will she live now? Because it could get very awkward at Casa de Finn.

Exit me. Enter you. Were you a fan of ”Sectionals” too? What did you think of the ending? What was your favorite line? And will your life suck without Glee? Of course, it’s never too early to start talking about what’ll happen when Glee returns in the spring….

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The fourth season of Glee was full of ups and downs, but one consistent bright spot was Lea Michele's Rachel Berry, who stretched her wings…
Glee

Jane Lynch, Lea Michele, and high school anxiety star in Fox's campy musical.

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