Schu and Beiste mediate between New Directions and the football team; Sue tries to shoot Brittany from a cannon

By Breia Brissey
Updated February 07, 2011 at 08:00 AM EST
FOX

What’s that you just heard? Oh, it was just the simultaneous Glee-gasm had by Gleeks everywhere. That’s right: Glee has finally returned! (Oh, yeah, and the Gleen, er, Green Bay Packers won the Super Bowl during what I like to think of as the Glee pre-show.) It’s been way too long since we’ve seen Mr. Schu & Co., so a big thanks to Grilled Cheesus for giving us an appropriately super-sized show to make up for the series’ long absence. And, boy, have our hearts grown fonder for the New Directions.

At the start of last night’s episode, Sue Sylvester was having an existential crisis of sorts. Not even boobs and fire (and boobs on fire) could get her going. (Though it likely did rev up a good portion of the football audience that neglected to change the channel after the game.) The Cheerios completed perhaps their most epic routine ever to Katy Perry’s “California Gurls,” but Sue was only bored by the flaming whips, hula hoops, and BMXers. Maybe she was just struggling with the fact that she can’t always top what she’s done in the past. Or maybe the raccoon hormones were to blame. Either way, Sue was looking for a way to get the feeling back in her life. (Note: A misspelled tattoo is not the way to go. Take it from Sue Syvlester, kids.) And when the sight of Santana slapping herself with a chicken cutlet didn’t even get a chuckle, Sue realized she had to do something. Something big.

Enter her newest purchase: a human cannon, a.k.a. the Suclear Weapon. Shooting Brittany S. Pierce across a football field would surely get her juices flowing again. And with a 30 percent chance of a catastrophic success, how could she pass it up?

Meanwhile, the football team was at odds over their lack of chemistry. So Beiste and Will came up with a plan to reunite them — make the football team join the glee club. But (surprise, surprise) the football players didn’t want to be a part of New Directions. Will and Beiste, however, powered through, and looked to a Filipino prison for advice. So it was off to zombie camp for New Directions and the football team. The new united front worked for a little while. That is, until Karofsky got slushied — then everything started to crumble.

But, lo, it got worse! When Sue learned she couldn’t fire anyone out of her cannon without consent, she went on her own Suclear rampage and destroyed everything in sight. Then, in a true Sue Scrooge move, she switched the Cheerios competition to the night of the football game so Quinn, Brittany, and Santana would have to resign from New Directions. Aw snap! How heinous (and by heinous I mean hilarious) was it when she shamelessly played Brittany’s ignorance against her? The handwritten “I miss you” note from the human cannon, on top of the nonsense about the baby cannons? She’s a sneaky bitch, that Sue.

NEXT: It’s a thriller, thriller night..

Seeing it as their only option, Rachel, Mercedes, Tina, and Lauren decided to join the football team to replace the quitting Karofsky & Co. Getting tackled hurts, ladies. And not in a Mellencamp sort of way. The girls suited up, but only to watch the team get crushed. But because the show was almost over and we had yet to see a happy resolution, Finn stepped in with a plan: Sam was the new quarterback. Puck had to convince the footballers who quit to return for their zombie mashup. And Finn went to rescue the three wayward Cheerios. This, of course, culminated in their over-the-top halftime thriller (pun intended). And lookie there, even Karofsky joined in on the fun!

With the performance out of the way, there was still one thing left to conquer: McKinley’s kids had a game to win. The football team started a chant of “brains, brains, brains… ” which, from what I can tell, is Glee‘s version of a slow clap. This distracted the other team enough for a fumble, McKinley high recovery, and TD play! Wooooo! Everyone went crazy like it was the Super Bowl or something. (Hey, isn’t that convenient!) So even though the glee club and football team certainly won’t be BFFs anytime soon, they took a step in the right direction. Or, I guess a step in a New Direction. Ha.

But not everyone was a winner: Diane Sawyer Katie Couric was on hand to notify Suclear Sue that she beat out the economy, Mel Gibson, the housing market, Dina Lohan, Wall Street, Tiger Woods, the Dallas Cowboys, Brett Favre’s cellphone, 9 percent unemployment, and Sparky, Dina’s dog who is apparently also a loser, for the prize of Loser of the Year. (Major props to the Glee writers for that string of burns.)

NEXT: Grading this week’s musical numbers and recounting the episode’s best lines

THE SONGS

“Thriller/Heads Will Roll” It’s pretty hard, dare I say impossible, to top Michael Jackson’s original “Thriller.” That said, Glee definitely did the song justice, and it was surely their biggest song/dance number to date. Plus, their original mashups are always some of my favorites. I think MJ would be proud. (And honestly, I enjoyed it more than another recent halftime performance. Sorry, Black Eyed Peas.) A–

“Need You Now” I’ll admit I love the Lady Antebellum song — and Glee‘s version sounded eerily similar. So while there are no complaints here, I definitely can’t reward the show much in the way of originality. The song does get bonus points, however, for reuniting Team Puckleberry, and bonus bonus points for Coach Beiste singing along in the background. B+

“She’s Not There” I loved the men belting out this amped-up version of this Zombies’ 1964 hit. It was the perfect choice to go along with the Finn/Quinn drama of the night. Plus, it just goes to show that all the football boys can sing and dance. B+

“Bills, Bills, Bills” The Warblers’ a cappella version was pretty ballin’. (No scrubs in the Warblers. Only ballers, for sure.) And the song will undoubtedly remain on repeat on my iPod for weeks to come. That said, I was disappointed it really didn’t have anything to do with the plot. It felt awkwardly thrown into the episode. Still entertaining, but a Glee‘s performance works best when it ties into the storyline, allowing us to feel more invested in its message. B–

THE BEST MOMENTS

++The Cheerios slapping themselves with chicken cutlets

++ “You’re not going to try to kiss me again, are you?” –Coach Beiste after Will asked if she trusted him

++ “I don’t want to die yet. At least not until One Tree Hill gets canceled.” –Brittany

++ “I’m not singing no show tunes. That is the music of my oppressors.” –Azimio (did anyone else know that’s what his name was?)

++ “Blaine and I love football… Well, Blaine loves football. I love scarves.” –Kurt

++ It wasn’t in the actual episode, but I almost did a spit take when Brittany talked about giving her Chevy to charity during their Chevy commercial. Definitely one of the funniest moments of the night: “Charity’s my cat… she totaled her SUV last weekend.” Cat jokes = always a win!

The bar was pretty high for tonight’s return. Do you think Glee cleared it? Or are you left feeling underwhelmed by “The Sue Sylvester Shuffle?” Did anyone really believe Sue when she told her journal she was 31?! It looks like Finn and Quinn are headed for a relationship… again. Did you love their moment at the end? And what did you think of New Direction’s Chevrolet commercial? (I do sorta want to see the USA in my Chevrolet, now. But I’m also extremely susceptible to advertisements.) Share your thoughts in the comments! And remember, only two days until the next new episode! Your patience has been rewarded.

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