Previously on Glee, Sue joined forces with Will to help New Directions win at Nationals. Sam and Mercedes were dating, then they weren’t. Rachel and Finn are having relationship troubles over their futures. And not all the students seem to know what they want to do after high school. And that’s what you missed on Glee!

With this being the second episode back from its long hiatus, Glee is getting back into its groove … a disco groove, that is. Tonight, it’s the Saturday Night Fever tribute episode, as Will tries to motivate the students. Plus, it’s the debut of The Glee Project runner-up Alex Newell.

“Saturday Night Glee-ver” starts right off the bat with a performance (I guess it’s better to start sooner than later as there’s eight songs to get through). Blaine’s in class working on schoolwork and busts out with “You Should Be Dancing,” complete with disco ball and lighting. Mike and Brittany join in as they make their way through the hallway and onto the auditorium stage.

Last week, we found out that Nationals will be held in Chicago this year. And tonight, it’s revealed that the theme will be Vintage. Will Schuster tries to get New Directions excited about disco, but they all yell out, “Disco sucks!” Does it? I’m only about five years older than these characters and I love disco.

A Spoonful of Disco Will Cure A Lack of Motivation

Will’s worried about the students’ lack of motivation when it comes to figuring out what they want to do with their lives. He discusses this with Sue in her office, and she comes up with the idea of paying homage to the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. I find this funny, because this is now the second time that Sue has offered the music theme idea during a tribute episode. What with Madonna and now disco, she does have good taste. So Will goes right ahead and makes that this week’s assignment.

From The Glee Project to Glee

While Kurt and Mercedes are talking in the hallway by their lockers, Wade Adams, played by The Glee Project runner-up Alex Newell, shows up (are you allowed to let a random student from another school to wander your hallways?) and tells them that he admires them so much. Wade’s with Vocal Adrenaline (now coached by nemesis Jesse St. James). Wade tells his story and admits that he has an alter ego named Unique that he wants to bring out during his Glee Club’s upcoming competition … The problem, though, is that Unique is a her.

Will starts off the week’s assignment with “Night Fever” while dancing with Sue. Joe Hart and Blaine join in, and soon everyone is getting into it. (The disco floor is provided by Sue. Nice touch, Sue.)

There’s apparently a competition to win a replica suit from Saturday Night Fever (that Becky labors over to make). Santana, Mercedes and Finn are the winners. The winners, especially with Finn, seem kinda random. But when Will takes them aside, he reveals he only picked them because they are the only three that don’t have plans for the future yet. He wants them, through the SNF music, to share their hopes for the future.

Killer Vocals

Mercedes starts it off on “Disco Inferno” with Santana and Brittany backing them up. This is one of my favorite performances from the entire episode. Mercedes is killing it with her brilliant vocals. It’s great to see her in the spotlight again. And does anyone notice Sam filming her on his phone? Afterwards, she announces to everyone that her dream is Mariah and Whitney; she wants to be like them, to have No. 1’s that inspire people. As much as I admire her for having this dream, it’s not very realistic because she doesn’t seem to have any way of accomplishing it. It just sounds like she expects it to happen just with a snap of the finger.

In the hallway, Finn reveals to Puck that he won’t be going to California with him. He still doesn’t know what he’ll do. I wonder if he’s screwing himself over by rejecting Puck and possibly Rachel as well.

Sue’s Got the School Bugged

Sue invites Kurt and Mercedes to her office. She has the school bugged, and knows the two of them talked to the enemy, Wade from Vocal Adrenaline. She says that Wade’s group will tank if he wears the dress he wants to wear during the competition to become Unique. She wants Kurt and Mercedes to make sure he becomes his alter ego so that New Directions can win.

Of the three winners, Santana is up next, taking on “If I Can’t Have You.” Will believes he knows why she sang that song (having to do with marriage equality). But Santana stops him right there. She can’t live without fame (Will’s disappointed in her). “I will be famous if it’s the last thing I do,” she concludes. Maybe she would fit in well with the Jersey Shore or the Real Housewives?

On the auditorium stage, Rachel says to Finn that if he doesn’t want to to go to New York, then they don’t have to. She wants to give Finn’s dreams an equal shot. She transitions into “How Deep is Your Love.”

I’m Not Qualified For Anything!

Since the focus will now be on Finn’s dreams, what are his dreams exactly? Emma (along with Will) is here to help. In her office, she hands him papers and flyers for various colleges and athletic scholarships. You would think all the college application deadlines would be past already, right? You usually have to do those earlier in the school year. (As a recent college graduate, I would definitely know.) Finn says he has to think things over, but instead throws all the papers away after leaving Emma’s office.

Will finds out that Finn threw away the college brochures. The only reason Finn seemed interested in what Emma and Will had to offer was because he was putting on a facade for Rachel. Finn says he’s not qualified for anything. He just wants to stop time, and wants to be on the football field back in the more innocent days at McKinley High. He seems to be really good at football, but yet after all these years, it’s apparently not his dream. Will forces him to watch Saturday Night Fever and look at the dreams everyone has in the film.

A Sex Tape Made Public … Awkward

While walking through the hall, everyone is staring at Santana. Uh oh, here’s comes trouble! Brittany put their sex tape online, but also spliced it with video of her cat, Lord Tubbington. She did this because Santana says she wanted to be famous. Wow, it does look like she’d fit in with Snooki and the rest of them. Later on, Brittany explains all of her million other ideas to make Santana famous, including joining Hoarders and Fear Factor.

From Wade to Unique (Oh, And There’s Jesse)

Backstage at Vocal Adrenaline’s regionals competition, Kurt and Mercedes try to talk Wade out of dressing up as Unique, but it’s to no avail. They can’t talk him out of it. Wade thinks that Kurt of all people would understand his situation. Kurt may identify as a male, but Wade identifies as a female. I’m actually really glad they did this whole dressing up in drag storyline, because it harkens back to when Alex was on The Glee Project and constantly dressed up as a woman. Back then, he did impress. And this time is no different…

Vocal Adrenaline take to the stage and performs “Boogie Shoes.” (So apparently they knew that New Directions was paying tribute to Saturday Night Fever and decided to do the same.) Jesse St. James tries to get Wade off the stage after finding out that he went out there dressed as a woman.

But if you think about it, would anyone in that crowd watching know that he’s a guy in drag? From a distance, you can’t tell. And he infuses a falsetto, so the voice isn’t noticeable as a guy either. I say let him do it! Speaking of “Boogie Shoes,” Alex is fantastically brilliant on this song. Along with “Disco Inferno,” this is another one of my favorite performances from this episode.

I’m Gonna Be An Actor

After leading on “More Than a Woman” in the choir room, Finn tells Rachel that he knows what he wants to do next year. He ended up identifying with John Travolta’s Tony from Saturday Night Fever. He decides that he wants to go to New York with Rachel, has applied to James Lipton’s Inside the Actors Studio (a nice nod to the fact that the Glee cast were featured in an episode of that show last week). It’s his dream to become an actor, though it comes out of left field because we’ve never seen him have an interest in acting … ever. But you know what? If that’s what he wants to do, I applaud him for finally making a decision regarding his future.

Remember back when Sam was filming Mercedes on “Disco Inferno”? Well, he put it up on YouTube, and the video has received 485 comments — all but one are positive. Sam says it’s time to make Mercedes’ dream a reality. And as we go to commercial, the two kiss.

In Sue’s office, Sue noticed how Santana doesn’t really care how she gets famous. So Sue hands her an acceptance letter to the University of Louisville with a full ride cheerleading scholarship (this whole thing is Brittany’s idea). Umm … I don’t think that’s how getting into a college works. Sue must know some people if she’s able to pull that one off.

To close out the episode, everyone comes together (including Sue and Will) for “Stayin’ Alive” – it wouldn’t be a SNF tribute without this song.

You know, this tribute episode wasn’t as bad as it could’ve been, but neither was it the best. Yes, they filled it up with song after song after song (and I’m not buying that all those falsettos were naturally sung by everyone). And I’m still trying to figure out how Saturday Night Fever music would help motivate the students with their futures. But what partly sold it to me, the part that I enjoyed the most, was seeing everyone figuring out what they want to do with their lives. And with time closing in on graduation, better late than never, right?

Also, I’ve been really liking Sue a lot these past couple episodes since the show’s return. It seems as if the writers and Ryan Murphy have found the perfect balance of snark and compassion with this character. She’s not way overboard, but neither is she completely on the opposite end either. Hopefully this continues through the rest of season 3.

Speaking of the rest of the season, it’s time to gear up for another tribute episode! Next week, Glee will be paying tribute to the late Whitney Houston, and they will be using her songs as part of the students’ journey of saying goodbye.

(Image courtesy of FOX)

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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.