The final season of Glee has had a big focus on the McKinley alumni, for obvious reasons. While the previous episode shifted that focus to the newbies, which was a nice change of pace, “The Rise and Fall of Sue Sylvester” seems like it’s going to be a mix between the two.

In an odd plot twist, Dalton Academy ends up burning to the ground. And since this is the Glee universe, of course the Warblers are going to team up with New Directions as a new group. It looks like this solves the problem of trying to find enough members to compete at Sectionals. How convenient. But if this were reality, I’d think Dalton would find a temporary location to house the school, and thus the Warblers could continue as their own group. I wonder what the show choir competition rules are for something like this.

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Elsewhere, the fabulous Whoopi Goldberg returns as a guest star when Rachel turns to Carmen Tibideaux to try and get back into NYADA.

As far as the music is concerned, here is the song list for the episode: Clean Bandit featuring Jess Glynne’s “Rather Be,” Judy Garland’s “The Trolley Song,” Frank Stallone’s “Far from Over,” Europe’s “The Final Countdown” and an original song called “Rise.”

We’ll get to see two performances from New Directions and one from Vocal Adrenaline. One of the New Directions songs is an original called “Rise,” and there’s a very big connection to one of the show’s stars. Glee has featured original music before, and they’ve even covered one of the cast member’s own songs before (Matthew Morrison’s “Still Got Tonight”), but this is the very first time an original has been penned by one of the stars. Darren Criss co-wrote “Rise” with five others, and he also wrote a song that will be performed in the series finale.

The adults get their moments in the spotlight as well. Sue teams up with Will for “The Final Countdown” — I’m sure this will be a big, epic Sue versus Will number in the way it’s performed on screen. And Sue will also be singing with her mom, Doris, played by the legendary Carol Burnett. (She and Whoopi aren’t the only big names appearing in this episode — for some reason, The Celebrity Apprentice runner-up Geraldo Rivera and Michael Bolton will guest star as well.)

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Listen to all five songs below:

“Rather Be” — New Directions

“The Trolley Song” — Sue and Doris (Carol Burnett)

“Far from Over” — Vocal Adrenaline

“The Final Countdown” — Sue and Will

“Rise” — New Directions

Which Glee song from “The Rise and Fall of Sue Sylvester” is your favorite? Are you excited that Carol Burnett is coming back to perform with Jane Lynch? And what do you think of the song Darren Criss co-wrote?

Glee airs Fridays at 9pm on FOX.

(Image courtesy of FOX)

Jeff Dodge

Staff Writer, BuddyTV

Jeff Dodge, a graduate of Western Washington University, has been a TV news editor for many years and has had the chance to interview multiple reality show stars, including Randy Jackson, Nick Cannon, Heidi Klum, Mel B and John Cena.