So Sue Me
After being endowed with some depth and development, Sue whips back to arbitrary villainy, in maybe the most nonsensical episode of Glee yet.
Previously: basically nothing happened that has any bearing on this episode, so let's get right to your guide to what's worth watching this week. (Spoiler: not much!)
Sue has lunch with Will "to bury the hatchet." Will seems very happy. "Clearly he has some sort of disorder that gives him the emotional depth of a twelve-year-old girl. Maybe that's why he doesn't have any adult friends," Sue voice-overs, and it's a fair point. Why would Will want to have lunch with Sue? More to the point, why would we want to watch it? Will leaves a plastic fork behind, which sends Sue into a voice-over rage at his rudeness. Ooookay?
The Rest Of Me
Sue and Becky (who hasn't gone back to college?) pull up in Sue's LeCar (someone thought this was funnier than it is) at a storage facility. Sue tells Becky she'd been thinking of retiring, but now she realizes she has to tie up some loose ends first. Her storage unit is full of voodoo dolls and Carrie Mathison crazy boards of everyone from Will to Rachel to Jimmy Carter. (There's one decent sight gag: a photo of the Season 1 cast with an arrow pointing to a boy who I don't think ever had a name and who was never seen again). Sue calls it her Hurt Locker. Sorry, Glee, Hurt Locker jokes have been won and no one else can make them anymore. She plays a chord on an organ to open a secret panel (sure, why not?) on a shrine to "Klaine," whom she's "been quietly shipping...since they first met. Apart, they're so shrill, so whiny, but together, a symphony of self-congratulatory sodomy." Wait, so Sue's evil plan is to destroy Will, break Rachel's heart, and...get Kurt and Blaine back together? This is the most mixed message this show has ever sent its audience, and that is really saying something.
What Was Sundered And Undone
Sue calls Kurt a Gelfling, which makes me snort-laugh (Smash and Jim Henson references -- even when you've completely lost your mind, you get me, Glee), and explains via a tortured, fairly offensive metaphor about blouses that she wants to help him and Blaine get back together. He lies that he doesn't want that. Sue says that he'd better get to the auditorium for rehearsals for the Invitational that she "arranged to destroy the Glee Club once and for all...I said that out loud, didn't I? I should've said that in voice-over."
More Like Droning Warfare
Rachel asks Will to fudge the invitational so as not to make her unpracticed kids feel bad, like the New Directions did the first time they saw Vocal Adreneline. Sue observes this scene via a small drone, which Will and Rachel somehow don't notice hovering a foot from their faces. Will reminds Rachel that she can't go to Sectionals with just four kids, and she says she needs more time, which she won't get if these four run screaming now. Will tells his kids they'll be doing brand new numbers on the fly.
I'm Getting Sleepy
Sue approaches Sam in the locker room (don't get excited, he's fully clothed) and hypnotizes him (really), giving him the trigger words "piano," "flatbed truck," and "let's do a song" to make him fall in love with Rachel and kiss her, then immediately break out of his trance and forget everything.
A Grizzly Situation
Blaine is a total bitch to Rachel and Kurt about rules and competition. He gets a text from Karofsky saying that they have an intruder in their apartment. Blaine, Kurt, and Rachel abandon all their students and somehow instantly teleport to the apartment, where Dave is standing on a chair. holding another chair, and screaming. I'm ready to be all pissed that suddenly Karofsky is a wuss now that he's gay, but in fact there's a bear in the bedroom. An adorable cub, but still, a bear. To be clear: an animal. And yet, why do I feel like we're going to get a joke about the other kind?
Sam and Rachel are at Breadsticks (apparently rehearsal is over) talking about falling back into old habits in Lima and missing New York. Rachel copes by watching Patti LuPone's Young Arts Masterclass. (There is a part of this in which Patti berates a student for singing notes that aren't written, which makes me think Rachel has never watched the whole thing.) Sam is into glass-blowing. Rachel says she's always wanted to learn to play the piano. Uh oh, code-word! They get a little schmoopy about how safe they feel together even though this isn't a date.
There It Is
Yep, Sue sent the bear to the apartment because she "had it on good authority that Dave Karofsky was attracted to bears." Just stop. Kurt agrees, and has even met someone new online. Sue is increasingly upset about the prospect of not getting to see Kurt and Blaine's fabulous future wedding. Again, even in the world of Sue within the world of Glee, this is making less and less sense. And there still hasn't been a song.
This Scene Serves So Little Purpose I Can't Even Think Of A Funny Headline
Blaine is going to give Sam and Rachel piano lessons. They were going to ask Brad the piano player, "but then I found this scrapbook that he has of women's feet." It's mean and cheap but I appreciate the joke at the expense of Brad, who has been present and silent for six years. Sue and Becky enter, say some mean things, and chase the kids off. Becky admiringly calls Sue a bad-ass crazy superbitch.
You Wouldn't Want It Any Other Way
Watch I guess? The thing about waiting so long to do a song is that it's a relief when it comes, so it's tough to judge this entirely objectively. I also like when they give Jane Lynch a number, which is rare enough to feel novel. But let's not pretend that Sue singing Meredith Brooks's "Bitch" is anything but total nonsense. She walks around school being...well, a bitch, and pops up in Rachel's desk drawer and Jane's locker.
When Karofsky Came Out, He Really Came Out
Dave and Blaine are out to dinner at Breadsticks. They're interrupted by a couple of bears (the other kind), both of whom Dave has dated. Then a bunch more. It's like a convention. Karofsky got around! Wouldn't some of these guys also know each other beyond the pairs they're at the restaurant in? Sue set this all up, of course. She's also determined that Dave and Blaine are third cousins. All righty then.
Tickling The Ivories
Rachel practices her piano, badly. Sam helps, which involves lots of sweet dumb talk and sexy piano touching.
At Carmel, Sue visits the principal...who is Figgins's sister Abigail...who is played by Iqbal Theba in drag. Principal Figgins's first name is actually Principal (because he's firstborn). Anyway, Sue has come to rat out Will (who we learn is teaching "study skills" along with coaching VA, hee) for expressing loyalty to the New Directions on Sue's drone footage.
You Twin Some, You Lose Some
In the choir room, Rachel and Kurt explain that Invitationals will be the new New Directons's coming out, even though it's not a real competition. The twins are excited to have more stage time since there are only four people on the team. "Twinning!" they cheer.
Where There's A Will, There's A Whole Lot Of Questionable Behavior
Will storms into Sue's office, all, "How dare you?" Sue tells Will how much she hates him and that she's going to destroy him. Is this still over a fork? She launches into a monologue in which she calls Will a "borderline pederast," marvels at his multiple Teacher Of The Year awards "despite not speaking a word of the foreign language you purport to teach," accuses him of preying on "the most vulnerable students," and calls him out for not knowing the names of anyone in the band, even though they can literally play anything at the drop of a hat. "Your bizarre psychosexual obsession with that Glee Club was disturbing from the first moment you stalked a nude student in the showers." Didn't we just see Santana do this bit last week? Why are we repeating it so soon? Santana's epic read was funnier because (a) it just was, and (b) a quirky teenager insulting another quirky teenager is uncomfortable in a cringe comedy way, but a teacher -- even Sue -- finally calling out Will for being a terrible teacher with, at best, horrible boundaries, is actually super-creepy and calls into question how either of these people is still employed. Will says he's heard that Sue is planning her retirement, and he intends to make sure Glee Club is a fixture at McKinley long after she's gone. Okay, but that doesn't negate any of the true things she said about you?
Not Awkward At All
Blaine shows up in the auditorium to slut-shame Dave to Kurt. These two seem to be doing the friend thing pretty well rather suddenly, until Kurt tells Blaine he has his first date with the guy he met online and it gets super-awkward.
Staring Blankly Ahead
Just when I'm thinking "why hasn't there been another song yet?" Sam and Rachel duet -- on both piano (which they can now magically play perfectly) and vocals -- on Vanessa Carlton's "A Thousand Miles." In an homage to the original video, the piano rides around town on what I can only assume is a flatbed truck. Sam sings melody and Rachel sings harmony. There's a string quartet in the park. It's sweet, and if you like this song (I do, and I'm not ashamed to admit it), then it's totally watchable. Sam kisses Rachel. But no one said "flatbed" or "let's do a song!" Get your own damn rules right, Glee!
The Manchurian Candi-duh-nt
The next day, we hear the end of Sam telling a dirty joke to a group of students in the hall, because why should anyone who works at this school be appropriate ever? Rachel comes up to talk to him about the kiss. Sam: "What kiss?" Oh, because Sue hypnotized him so he'd forget so he'd break Rachel's heart. Got it. Rachel asks him out on an official date. He says he can't because he's still in love with Mercedes. Sue glides by in the background in a legitimately funny shot. She finds Sam back in the locker room and hypnotizes him some more, this time into torturing Will.
There Are Whole Sites For Guys Who Are Into This Without Having To Trick Them
Kurt's date arrives and he's Harry Hamlin. Kurt: "Your photo definitely looks like you...at some point in time." Look, I'm not going to judge anyone's consensual age differential relationship, but it's sort of like the writers wanted to find a way to make Will less creepy by comparison. On the other hand, you could do a lot worse than Harry Hamlin, Kurt. Harry Hamlin is only recently out and seems to feel legitimately bad about misleading Kurt, who also feels bad about being kind of a dick, and they decide to have dinner anyway -- as friends.
Neither Rain, Nor Sleet, Nor Dumb Of Night...
Will arrives home to find Sam stealing his mail. Sam says that Rachel told him to take Will's bills so that he'll go into debt and lose focus and lose the glee...match. Or whatever. As dumb as Sam is, Will doesn't find this odder than usual?
He's In A Giant Clam!
In the auditorium, the Vocal Adreneline kids openly mock Will for being a giant dork, which is the most plausible thing to happen all episode. "We don't like you," one says in the background as Will desperately tries to get them to do a "show circle." Sue introduces the Invitational Hunger Games style, and VA does "Rock Lobster." What? Why? It's a fully a cappella (auto-tuned) version, which is nice, but it's also so bizarre. It has to be seen to be believed. And New Kid, I'm sorry, but you are no Jonathan Groff. The song ends and they transition to "Whip It," complete with Devo costumes and arial acrobatics. Because sure? I've seen some insane show choir videos on YouTube, and I'm no expert, but these just don't seem like song choices that would happen in 2015, let alone that would terrify the competition. From the other teams' reactions, we're clearly meant to believe that the number is amazing. It's...not.
And that's where we end the episode, which for some reason is half of a two-parter.
All the skips. Delete it from your DVR, then record a rerun just so you can delete it again. Last week's episode wasn't good in a quality sense, but it at least had the original cast for nostalgia, general internal logic and consistency, and some goddamn songs to liven things up. There were episodes of American Horror Story this season with more musical numbers than this. Presumably next week will have more music, since we're owed numbers by the Warblers and New Directions, but if they're setting up a war with Sue for the rest of the season, it doesn't bode well. But: chances are it will all be reset in a week.