This week, it’s Sectionals on Glee, and it wraps up almost all of the storylines of season 3. And by “wraps up,” I mean completely erases them. Mike Chang gets his father’s respect back, Quinn finally appears to be over her plot to destroy Shelby and the Troubletones are disbanded so Santana, Brittany and Mercedes can rejoin New Directions. With the return of Sam, it’s kind of like the first seven episodes of the season never even happened.
The Return of Sam
To win at Sectionals, Finn thinks New Directions needs the star power of Sam Evans, the guy who danced and sang back-up in almost every single performance. Things get more ridiculous when Finn and Rachel drive to Kentucky and fine the underage Sam stripping to make money. One quick conversation convinces Sam’s parents to let him go back to Ohio, live at Finn or Rachel’s house, and re-enroll at McKinley to compete with the glee club. I’m pretty sure none of that is even the slightest bit acceptable.
Sam wants to win Mercedes back (because love triangles are the only plot device the Glee writers have ever heard of). He also suggests using the guys’ sex appeal to win over the judges, but Blaine disagrees and essentially calls Sam a whore. I think Blaine temporarily had a case of ‘roid rage, because he’s like a completely different person. Maybe it’s because he had another run-in with Sebastian who vowed to steal Blaine from Kurt, though I don’t really see how that’s possible since Blaine seems to truly love Kurt. But Finn calms him down and forges a new bromance so the two can work together to win.
First up are the Unitards led by Faux Rachel (aka Lindsay Pearce from The Glee Project). She’s literally the only person in her group who sings, and more disturbing, there’s absolutely no explanation for why this group is called the Unitards. They’re not even wearing unitards! On the bright side, it’s revealed she’s only a sophomore, so theoretically the show can bring her back for two more seasons.
Next are the Troubletones who do a Destiny’s Child/Gloria Gaynor mash-up that is like cotton candy. It tastes good and it’s fun to watch, but there’s absolutely no substance and it’s just spun sugar. Santana and Mercedes are so much better than this, and if they’d just done their Adele mash-up, they could’ve won.
Finally, New Directions performs a trio of Jackson family songs, and they deserve to win simply by virtue of letting more than two people sing. Everyone (except Rory and the three random band members who they needed to add to qualify at the last minute) gets a solo. Interestingly enough, there are only two girls (Tina and Quinn) in the whole group.
The first number (the Jackson 5’s “ABC”) is actually the only one I enjoy. The other two were too understated and lacked real power. Plus, despite the claim that they needed Sam for “star power,” he barely does anything except one sexy body roll. There are also about 200 cutaways to deep, meaningful audience member reactions from Shelby, Mercedes, Will, Sebastian and Mike Chang’s dad.
Needless to say, New Directions wins. Quinn has a heart-to-heart with Mercedes, Santana and Brittany about spending their senior year together and how Will and Rachel guaranteed them one song at each future competition, so they return to New Directions. If this conversation happened five episodes ago, we could’ve saved ourselves the pointless drama. Also, does anyone want to take bets on whether we’ll ever see or hear from Sugar Motta again? I’m guessing not.
Now that Quinn knows about Shelby and Puck, she wants to get Shelby fired to get Beth back. I thought she got over that dream last week? Anyway, Rachel is against the idea. I don’t think it’s as simple as Rachel makes it sound, because what Shelby is doing is definitely wrong and should definitely have consequences.
Next on Quinn’s list of the worst ideas ever, she tries to get Sam to agree to date her again and raise Beth with her. Seriously, Quinn needs to be tested for a brain tumor if she thinks it’s a good idea to ask some random high school junior she used to date to be her baby’s father.
Quinn confronts Shelby at Sectionals and Shelby has the audacity to rationalize her actions and act like she’s not totally in the wrong. Quinn finally concedes that Beth is better off with a mom whose life is ruined by a sex scandal, so she says nothing and Shelby is allowed to have sex with a student without getting in any trouble, setting an awful example for high school teachers everywhere.
Quinn also becomes friends with Rachel and reveals that she wants to go to Yale. I’m pretty sure the time to think about applying to college is before December of your senior year, but logic in the real world has never stopped Glee before.
When the writers promised to give Mike and Tina a storyline, I hoped it would be more than an overly sincere and melodramatic piece of nonsense. Mike Chang is applying to med school to appease his father, but Tina disagrees and confronts his dad to talk him into letting his son follow his heart. Her one talk about honor convinces him and Mike Chang, Sr. shows up at Sectionals and gives his son his blessing to pursue his dream of dancing. We also learn that Tina forged Mike’s signature and sent applications to dance schools on his behalf. The same thing happened on Bones, and the moral of that story was that it was wrong and the student shouldn’t get in since it’s not really legal or fair. I doubt Glee will have the same outcome.
“Red Solo Cup” (Toby Keith) by Sam and New Directions: Since when does Sam like country music? And since when is singing a song about being an alcoholic acceptable for a high school glee club?
“Buenos Aires” (from Evita) by Harmony and the Unitards: She’s good, but that’s about all I can say for this fairly forgettable performance. Lindsay Pearce deserved better for her second (and final) Glee appearance, so I hope she comes back.
“Survivor” / “I Will Survive” (Destiny’s Child / Gloria Gaynor) by The Troubletones: It sounds fine, but I expect a lot more from Santana’s deep, soulful voice and Mercedes’ divaliciousness.
“ABC” (The Jackson 5) by New Directions: I actually enjoyed this, mostly because Tina deserves more singing time, and I love the fact that Mike is now an actual singer who gets his own solos.
“Control” (Janet Jackson) by New Directions. Yawn, this definitely brought down the energy at the middle of their performance.
“Man in the Mirror” (Michael Jackson) by New Directions: The solos were evenly spread out for all three Sectionals performances, but I think that’s might biggest problem. You need one or two strong vocalists for each performance instead of just letting everyone take one or two lines.
“We Are Young” (fun. Featuring Janelle Monae) by Rachel, Finn and New Directions: The episode ended with a celebratory song. It actually just made me think of last season’s Sectionals celebration song, “Dog Days Are Over,” which was a million times better.
Next week on Glee: It’s the Christmas special. For an equally awesome Christmas, check out this week’s Community (Thursday on NBC at 8pm), which is going a Glee parody episode that’s pretty darn hilarious.
(Image courtesy of FOX)