Adam Rose/Fox

New Directions competes at Nationals; Tina and Rachel switch bodies; Lindsay Lohan appears as herself


S3 E20
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TV Show
May 16, 2012 at 06:10 AM EDT

It turns out you need two hours, a ton of props, and an impromptu roadtrip to Oberlin College — not to mention a way-more-awesome-than-I-was-expecting body-swap subplot — to get a bunch of Lima teenagers ready for Nationals in Chicago for the unique privilege of being judged by America’s sweetheart Lindsay Lohan. I snark, but only to cover up my tears: Last night’s double-episode extravaganza was for the most part a spectacular return to form for the show, with plenty of emotional moments and soaring notes that made me leap to my feet and cheer. Or, at least, post an approving Facebook status. Same thing.

The two-for-one Glee-fest kicked off with “Props” which found Rachel not processing her NYADA debacle as well as she had seemed to the previous week. She sadly sang to herself, as she does, and decided to throw herself into Nationals prep, seeing it as her last chance to be a star. She had also left 14 messages on Carmen’s machine begging her to reconsider and come watch her Nationals performance, but so far, no response. Note to high school students/everyone: This is stalking. You shouldn’t do this.

Human prop Tina finally hit her limit with everyone catering to Rachel getting yet another solo at Nationals and stormed out of the choir room. These were super-valid feelings (loved the shout-out to “Sit Down, You’re Rocking The Boat.”  They were so innocent then!) but no one was very supportive. Even her boyfriend Mike was Team Rachel. Ouch. I expected a “Rachel, Rachel, Rachel!” Brady Bunch moment from Tina, but instead we got one better: She hit her head on the fountain at the mall when she was racing around getting fabric for Nationals costumes and imagined she switched bodies with Rachel. She also saw everyone else body swap: Kurt as Finn, Puck body-swapped with Blaine, Santana was Artie, Joe was Mike, and Brittany switched it up with Mercedes. Great: Sue and Schu swap! Best shot: Finn and Puck all snuggly together, holding hands and dressed up like Kurt and Blaine. The entire cast deserved an MVP award for their completely on-point mannerisms. That group has clearly spent the past three years together.

As Rachel, Tina finally got a solo and sang a Celine Dion power ballad — complete with the patented Berry original hand-on-stomach move. After getting her first standing O moment in the spotlight, Tina and Rachel (both as the other one) had a heart-to-heart. Tina-as-Rachel thanked Rachel-as-Tina for her valuable contributions to the chorus, which allowed Rachel to sound even more spectacular…if that’s even possible. There are no small parts, only small actors. Right, guys? Rachel returned the favor by telling Tina-as-Rachel to not give up on her dreams. She’s incredible! NYADA would be lucky to have her! The two hug it out and, conflict over, Tina woke back up at the mall with Blaine and Kurt — as themselves — standing above her. Everyone was back in their correct body and no one was (outwardly) sad anymore. On with the show!

NEXT: Unique returns, plus Masks! Fire! Flashdance!

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