In an unofficial tribute to Finn, the glee club heads to Nationals to try and keep the crown in this week's episode of Glee
. Meanwhile, Mercedes is back to cheer on the group and brag about her new record deal with Sony. And Marley struggles to figure out whether she should stick with the glee club or try another avenue. A tough decision for a high school student, I know.
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Respect the Competition -- Throat Explosion
Before the choir heads off to Los Angeles, Finn's mother and step-father, Carole and Burt, come in to give the kids a pep talk. They say that Finn would want them to just enjoy themselves and live in the moment. And a proper send-off song is, of course, "I Love LA" by Randy Newman, sung by the entire group as they see the sites around the City of Angels.
Mr. Schue also tells Sam that Finn would want him to lead the group, which is why he recruited him to the glee club.
In the hotel lobby, they run into Mercedes, who tells them about how Kanye West's housekeeper bought her CD in a parking lot and the rest is, well, history. They also run into their biggest competition, Throat Explosion, led by Jean Baptiste (Skylar Astin). Later on, Sam, taking Mr. Schue's advice, gives the group a pep talk and reveals he brought the Finn plaque to the competition so they can honor him.
The day of Nationals, the plaque goes missing, but Sam gives yet another pep talk about how Finn is there in spirit. However, Finn's mother has her doubts and finds it too hard to be around the kids. At the last minute, though, they decide to come back and watch the show, and give yet another pep talk before they perform.
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And the Winner Is...
Their biggest competition seems to be The Amazonians, who sing "Vacation" by the Go-Go's in huge Vegas-style costumes, and Throat Explosion, who sing a mash-up of Styx's "Mr. Roboto" and OneRepublic's "Counting Stars." It's quite a performance and you can see the fear on the New Directions' faces.
However, they give it their all, singing three of Finn's favorite songs, bringing a tear to not only Mercedes and his parents' eyes, but also Sam's. Those songs are "More Than a Feeling" by Boston, "America" by Neil Diamond and "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" by U2.
I have to say, visually, their performances aren't that great compared to Throat Explosion, but vocally, I think it's better. However, the judges seem to be impressed by the better dancers as Throat Explosion comes in first, while New Directions comes in second.
It should be noted that during the U2 song, there are flashbacks of Finn from past episodes, which is a nice touch. In fact, I think this episode is a better tribute to the character and Cory Monteith.
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The Future of the Glee Club
The kids are very upset by coming in second, despite beating out 14 groups. They're disappointed and feel they let Finn down. But his parents save the day and give another pep talk about how they tried their best.
But trying their best isn't enough in Sue's eyes, especially since the Cheerios, led by Roz (NeNe Leakes), came in first in the national cheerleading competition. She lets Mr. Schue know that the glee club will be cut, along with some other clubs. And he doesn't even put up a fight, knowing she's made up her mind.
News of the disbanding of the glee club travels all the way to New York, and in their only appearance (unfortunately) in the episode, Kurt, Rachel and Santana are distraught at the news.
I'm very mixed about this episode. I'm disappointed that the New York storyline isn't touched at all. And while I was impressed with the two performances, I thought it lacked that "umph" as in past nationals competitions. I guess that's why Mr. Schue is done fighting Sue to keep the glee club around. However, I'm pretty sure in the 100th episode of Glee
next week, all of the past Gleeks will be back to try and save the program.
I also wasn't really into the whole "Marley wants to quit" storyline. I guess it's because I can't really get into the new students in the club. I don't really care about Kitty, Jake, Ryder or Marley. It's like Saved By the Bell: The New Class
, but only if Zack and Kelly came back.
I did like the guest appearances by not only Skylar Astin, of Pitch Perfect
fame, but also the three judges: Marlee Matlin, Jackee and Joanna Rohrback. However, I thought they could have played up the judges a little bit more, as I really like both Marlin and Jackee. Astin was also great as the rival with a heart, as he respects that the group has lost an important leader.
Next week is the 100th episode, so it should be good with everyone coming back. And who knows, maybe the crew can help Rachel and Santana smooth things over? Or maybe it will make the riff even worse? I'm hoping for worse because I actually like that storyline the best this season.
airs Tuesdays at 8pm on FOX.
(Image courtesy of FOX)