April Rhodes returns and we learn a heartbreaking secret about Sam during a week of rumors

By Sandra Gonzalez
May 04, 2011 at 12:26 PM EDT
Beth Dubber/Fox
S2 E19
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Opinions about the last two episodes of Glee have been varied, to say the least. But there are a few things about last night’s episode that I think we can all agree on: It had its ups (Fondue for Two! Kristin Chenoweth!), its downs (Is that really how they’re using Sue these days?), and its OMGs (Sam!!), and introduced us to the fattest cat on television (all hail Lord Tubbington).

So let’s get together and run through the episode — but don’t come too close to me; I might steal all your gold.

We opened with the first episode of Brittany’s new Web series Fondue for Two, first shown to you by Mandi Bierly yesterday, which (1) I hope becomes a regular feature and (2) really set up tonight’s theme (rumors) in a clever way that didn’t involve Mr. Schue writing it on the board. (He eventually did, though. Boo.) Instead, Brittany dropped a bomb to her two guests (Tina and Mercedes): “Santana plays for the other team.” Now, Glee fans knew immediately that Brittany had definitely misspoken and that her words were meant to be interpreted in a context other than sexuality — because she would never out Santana like that. Nonetheless, it started the rumor mill in a major way.

Back at school, Sam rejected Rachel’s suggestion that they go to prom together, saying she wasn’t his type. The invitation in general had me a little confused because that’s one pair I do not see happening. Not that I wouldn’t want it to (they’re both sort of innocent and quietly sweet — when they want to be), but I just don’t think it’s in the cards. It turns out that the odd moment had an important function in that it led the way to a much more substantive plot for Sam. (More on that in a bit.)

On the other end of the spectrum, Sue’s plot this week felt neither important nor substantive. This week she resurrected the school newspaper, The Muckraker. Except, in its second life, it was as concerned with facts as the writers are about giving Sue something new to do besides play cat and mouse with Schue and the glee club. This woman is hilarious, and I’m ready to see her get some new and innovative evil things to do — something I hope does not include random, frightening costume changes.

The Muckraker caused plenty of drama among the gang: It led Finn to believe Quinn was cheating on him, it put Brittany and closeted Santana’s friendship on the fritz, and caused Artie and Brittany’s abrupt breakup. (Nooo!)

Honestly, I was surprised that the latter happened at all. I had previously assumed that Artie was vaguely aware of the Santana aspect of Brittany’s life. So I was a little confused when he became defensive about it — not that I blame him. He had a reason to be upset that his girlfriend was being manipulated and carrying on a sort of relationship with another person. But seriously, Artie. Why’d you have to call her stupid? Any other word choice would have sufficed. Sigh.

NEXT: Schue cries. We cry (but not because he did).

Meanwhile, Teri told Sue that she was going to pursue a separate plan to get Schue out of glee because she wanted to get their apartment back. But the honey badger’s plan would work out about as well as her plan to fake a pregnancy.

They planned to use April Rhodes’ millionth attempt at stardom (following the failure of her all-white version of The Wiz) to lure Will away from New Directions. And it nearly worked. Whilst helping April craft her new effort (CrossRhodes: The April Rhodes Story) and teaching the kids how to submit to the (Fleetwood) Mac, he found himself getting pushed to follow his dreams, specifically by Emma, who herself was on the path toward achieving her dream of living OCD-free.

In the end, Schue decided to stay after breaking down in the cafeteria and telling Emma that he cared too much about the kids and what they had done to “save [his] life.” When Schue first started crying in the cafeteria, the cynic in me thought, “Wow, he really wants to get inside her pants.” Why else would a grown man weep and then say that he was crying “because of the kids”? But it appeared to be genuine, considering how seriously he had entertained April’s offer. Sincerity = 1; cynics = 0

Getting back to the Sam plot I mentioned earlier, it unfolded in a rather mysterious fashion. At first, we were led to believe that Sam was having a secret rendezvous with Kurt after Rachel and Finn spied Kurt leaving a motel with Sam during their stakeout. But that didn’t make sense because Sam isn’t gay and Kurt wouldn’t cheat on Blaine. Period. Moving on. Theory 2… Well, I didn’t have one. When Sam went to school the next day wearing Kurt’s jacket, I thought maybe Kurt was giving him fashion advice or something similar, but generally, I was stumped. I was even more confused when Quinn got into the mix and was seen with both Kurt and Sam at a motel. Prom conspiracy? A new Glee League of Doom? Turned out to be much less kitschy than I was imagining: Sam’s family was a victim of the recession.

His dad lost his job, the family (which included two adorable children) had lost their house, and they were currently living in a motel room. Quinn, who learned this because they attended the same church, had come over to help him babysit, and Kurt, who learned after Sam delivered a pizza to Dalton, had donated some of his old clothes.

Rachel’s and Finn’s reactions upon learning this were spot-on: It was a mix of embarrassment for acting suspicious and regret for their friend’s situation. I was glad that the twist would make them own up to being untrusting once again. I hope everyone gets over their trust issues soon, because I sometimes feel like retreading the same territory is getting tiring. How many jealousy plotlines are we going to go through here? Luckily, in the end, Rachel and Finn redeemed themselves by going to the motel room and presenting Sam with a gift: his guitar, which he had sold to help his family.

Tears, readers. Tears. Sam cried; I cried. And when Sam claimed it was “the first time I’ve cried,” I bawled more. I loved that the show took some time to address some of the other trials and tribulations facing kids these days. They definitely have the subject of sexuality covered, and are doing a standout job on it. But I loved that this episode focused on a character we haven’t focused on a lot this season.

Time for talking points: What did you think of the episode? Are you hoping Sue gets some fresh material soon? Did you like the Fleetwood Mac tribute? Were you as sad as I was about the Artie/Brittany breakup? And is anyone else irrationally hoping for a royal wedding between Lord Tubbington and Brit’s apparently forgotten kitty, Charity?

NEXT: Grading the performances and the week’s best lines

THE PERFORMANCES

“Dreams

Kristin Chenoweth singing? Yes, please! She also managed to make me forget Mr. Schue was there trying to douche up the song. K-Cheno won the battle, thankfully. B+

“Never Going Back Again”

I was as excited about an Artie solo as I was about April’s return. A-

“Songbird

Santana did a lovely job with this tune. I liked it better than “Landslide” — mostly because it was free of Ho Ho (a.k.a. Holly Holliday). But the one thing that peeved me (sort of unrelated to the music) was that Brittany recovered from her fling with Artie so fast. It was as if the song flipped a switch in her mind. And while that could be the case, I was too big of a fan of that pairing to accept that she would get over it so fast. A-

“I Don’t Want to Know”

If you, like me, think that there’s nothing steamier than a little angry sex among TV couples, meet angry singing. The PG-13 version of the previously mentioned — and just as hot. A-

“Go Your Own Way

Rachel is not Lindsey Buckingham, but if I had to listen to someone cover this song, it’d be her. I could have done without the Finn flirting during the song, though. As my Glee chat buddy said, “He’s not yours. GET. OVER. IT.” If she gets Finn officially, great. Otherwise, it’s just sort of mean to flirt with another girl’s boyfriend. I’m looking forward to next week’s arrival of Jesse St. James. Hopefully he’ll provide a distraction. I’ll certainly be distracted :) A

“Don’t Stop

I loved the shared solo time in this song. It was the ensemble as it always should be. A

QUOTABLES

(Same drill as last week. Nominate your own in comments and I will update later! Thanks, y’all!)

“It tastes the way a baby’s diaper smells.” — Mercedes

“Lord Tubbington is allowed to eat cheese because he’s on Atkins.” — Brittany

“Tune in next week when we will be dipping raw meat into boiling chocolate.” — Brittany

“Santana told me to never speak alone to you because you’d try to steal all of my gold.” — Sam

“Like newspapers everywhere we’re leaner, meaner, no longer concerned with facts, fact-checking, integrity, or facts.” — Sue

“‘What prom-queen candidate is spending a lot of time in the closet?’ That’s garbage; Quinn’s claustrophobic.” — Finn

“I sold mine for drugs. Kidding! Ha… Nope. I actually did that.” — April

Rachel: Look at all of us. Look at all of the different combinations that we’ve had. Finchel. Puckleberry…

Tina: Tina Cohen Chang-Chang

Artie: Artittinay

Puck: Pizes

“People are already treating me differently. They asked me to join the golf team.” — Santana

READERS’ PICKS

“Oh, how I’ve missed your insanity.” — Kurt

(Suggested by JML; seconded by Sienna)

“I’m still mad at you; I know you started smoking again” — Brittany

(Suggested by LN)

Finn: Do you believe in that thing call karma?

Rachel: Well…yeah.

Finn: Can you explain it to me?

(Suggested by Jackie; seconded by LN)

“Ohio loves you, Ann Coulter!” — random woman

(Suggested by Derk)

“You know what I call an afternoon when I’m getting drunk? An afternoon.” — April

(Suggested by Melissa C.; seconded by Pamela)

Becky: Extra! Extra! Read all about it. Get your Muckraker here.

Quinn: [takes newspaper with a big smile on her face] And vote for Quinn!

Becky: Bite me Fabray!

(Suggested by Martin)

Follow Sandra on Twitter: @EWSandraG

Jane Lynch, Lea Michele, and high school anxiety star in Fox’s campy musical.
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  • 05/19/09
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