6:07pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Glee' Turns 100 With Homage to the Past
[Warning: This story contains spoilers from "The 100" episode of Glee.]
Fox's Glee celebrated its 100th episode on Tuesday with an homage to the past and a peek at the future.
During the first of the two-part episode, the musical dramedy deftly made good on its promise to feature remixed versions of songs selected by the fans, using mostly music from seasons one and two.
While members past and present gathered to bid farewell to the club that has meant to much to them, Will (Matthew Morrison), April (Kristin Chenoweth) and Holly (Gwyneth Paltrow) set their sights on saving New Directions. (More on that next week in part two.)
While New Directions may still have a glimmer of hope, it was the reunions that made the 100th episode such a great throwback that was comparable to the show's early pre-New York days. Having Rachel (Lea Michele), Mercedes (Amber Riley), Kurt (Chris Colfer), Santana (Naya Rivera), Quinn (Dianna Agron), Puck (Mark Salling), Mike (Harry Shum Jr.), Tina (Jenna Ushkowitz) and Artie (Kevin McHale) back in the same choir room with Blaine (Darren Criss) and Sam (Chord Overstreet) for season two's "Raise Your Glass" was a reminder of what made Glee a global phenomenon.
Brittany and Santana's reunion illustrated how much the former has changed and begrudgingly embraced her genius status. But Santana's ability to identify how unhappy Brittany is in her new life is what continues to make them such a natural fit. It's a full circle moment for the former couple after Brittany helped usher Santana out of the closet. Ultimately, the old Brittany returns -- and wants to get back together with Santana. (More on that next week, too.)
As for Quinn, Puck -- now in the Army as a tribute to the late Finn (Cory Monteith) -- reiterates one of the first rules of glee club to his former flame: Never be anything but yourself. Puck fills in for Monteith on a new mix of "Keep Holding On," which again is dedicated to Quinn in a great moment from season one when the club performed it as a message that it would stand behind the then-pregnant teenager. Once Quinn embraces and reveals her past to her yuppie boyfriend, he rejects her -- in front of Puck -- who, in another nod to season one, throws him into the dumpster. Puck ultimately professes his love for Quinn and calls her his soul mate as they wind up together.
Meanwhile, Rachel and Mercedes put their seasons-long debate about which of them truly was the diva of New Directions on hold when they bond over the realization that the path to stardom is filled with bullies, setbacks and rejection.
As for the covers, most were from seasons one and two and were complete with the fun energy of the choir room and the upstart club that just wouldn't take no for an answer. Other nods to the show's early days were Will (Matthew Morrison) offering a demo of the lesson, the choreography on "Keep Holding On" nearly matching the original and the return of Brittany's "Fondue for Two." (The series also finally found a way to explain how Will finances the club's extravagant performances: The money April earmarked for the club.)
The 100th episode also paid its respects to Finn -- and Monteith -- after Puck paused in front of the late quarterback's framed football jersey to question if his best friend ever forgave him for lying to him about his role in Quinn's pregnancy. "We saved him; Rachel was his soul mate," Quinn tells Puck. It's an excellent homage that is in line with the original conclusion showrunners Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk had in mind for Glee.
What did you think of Glee's 100th? Hit the comments below with your thoughts. Glee airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on Fox.