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[Warning: This story contains spoilers from Thursday’s “Glease” episode of Glee.]
“Grease” was the word on Thursday’s Glee as McKinley staged its now annual musical, drawing recent alums Rachel, Kurt and Santana back to Ohio for the performance.
During the hour, Kitty continued her vendetta against Marley for “stealing” Jake, while Finn brought out the old fiery Sue Sylvester we know and love as Mr. Schue prepared to head to Washington.
Despite returning home with the best intentions, Kurt and Rachel’s respective reunions with recent exes Blaine and Finn don’t go according to plan as Brittany and Santana, as well as Mike and Tina’s reunions were slightly less awkward.
Here are the hits and misses from the episode.
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1. The glee club learns that Mr. Schue (Matthew Morrison) is heading to Washington, meaning he’ll miss out on Sectionals. He announces Finn (Cory Monteith) as his replacement, with Tina (Jenna Ushkowitz) immediately objecting and chaos almost immediately ensuing. Our vote: Miss. Since when does Tina hate Finn — and apparently Santana playing Rizzo — so much?
2. Sue strongly objects to Finn — who barely graduated high school — taking over New Directions. Sue (Jane Lynch) ditches her support for the arts — which lasted what, one season? — and she begins her rampage anew. Our vote: Hit. Angry Sue is angry? Yes please. Booting New Directions out of the auditorium and recycling a plot point from previous Glee seasons was a nice touch.
3. At NYADA, Rachel — jazzed about her first off-Broadway audition — boldly suggests Cassie July (Kate Hudson) “get back in the game” and audition for a lesser role. It doesn’t go over well as Cassie eventually convinces — and even pays! — for Rachel and Kurt to fly home so she can have her way with Beefcake Brody (Dean Geyer). Our vote: Hit. Rachel, like Tina did after her split from Mike, needs to learn how to stand on her own again — even if it means the silent treatment from Finn.
4. Kitty continues to give Marley a complex about her weight, sabotaging her Grease costume and mocking her during a sleepover with Tina, Brittany, Unique and Sugar. While Kitty’s zingers can be funny, her attempt to win Jake back over by meddling with Marley makes little sense considering the limited time (and chemistry) the Cheerio had with the younger Puckerman. Our vote: Miss. How’s about some backstory for Kitty? Or is she just a clichéd nutjob hung up on a guy she seemingly went out with for 10 minutes?
5. Marley turns to Mrs. Rose (Trisha Rae Stahl) for support as she begins to worry about her weight and genes. Mama Rose tells her talented daughter that she has control over her body and needs to fight to maintain her figure as both set out on a strict new diet — together. Our vote: Hit. The message is simple and not overhanded, while still being sweet — basically everything we loved about Kurt and Burt (Mike O’Malley). Also: How does nobody, including Tina the costume designer, realize that nobody can add two inches to their waistline in a day?!
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6. Method acting with the boys: Evicted from the auditorium, Finn turns Sam, Joe, Ryder and Jake into grease monkeys for “Grease Lightning.” Cool concept, great set but what was with those weird backing vocals? Our vote: We miss the actual sound of New Directions. Miss.
7. Figgins calls Unique’s parents in for a meeting, where they learn of their son’s casting as Rizzo. While they supported him in Chicago, they claim Ohio is just too small a town and they worry for their Wade’s safety, yanking him from the play and insisting he refrain from wearing women’s clothing at school. Our vote: Miss. Acceptance doesn’t depend on the city you live in. If Unique is strong enough to take it, support that — as that’s what Glee is really about. And if Sue witnesses Unique getting pushed around by the football team, she should fight for what’s right. If the football team called her daughter the “r-word,” she would expect a faculty member to stand up just the same.
8. Mercedes (Amber Riley) is doing something in L.A.! She’s recording back-up vocals while juggling classes at UCLA and navigating Puck’s (Mark Salling) dating requests. Our vote: More, please!
9. Sugar Motta (Vanessa Lengies) makes eyes for Blaine’s Teen Angel during Grease. Someone send us a GIF of those longing glances immediately as the hilarity of her silent role as Frenchie made us giggle uncontrollably. Our vote: Duh, hit.
10. Ryder and Marley have liftoff. Ryley? Marder? What ever the ‘shipper name is, we approve of the new Finn and Rachel 2.0 pairing after The Glee Project season two winner uses humor and not a soapbox to lift Marley’s spirits. The smooch after spotting her in costume as Sandy makes us collectively say, Jake who? Our vote: Hit.
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11. Brittany and Santana reunited — sort of. Santana confesses she only agreed to help Finn and play Rizzo in order to see Brittany. Even though Santana rejects Brittany’s attempts to get back together, she reveals she’s glad the Cheerio hasn’t moved on — with either a guy or a girl. Getting the solo for “There Are Worse Things I Could Do” — which cuts back to Brody and Cassie in New York having a very inappropriate student-teacher moment as Wade sings along from the audience — was a nice touch. Our vote: Hit.
12. Hope for Mike and Tina? After Grease, Mike tells Tina she’s perfect as Jan says their breakup was premature. A confident Tina reveals she’s glad they split because it tested who she was — and they can talk about getting back together. Our vote: Hit.
13. Rachel learns the hard way when Cassie uses Rachel’s departure to Ohio to move in on the “hottest piece of ass” at NYADA as the dance teacher has the last laugh at Rachel suggesting she get back in the game. “I am the game,” she tells her. Our vote: Hit. We love when Rachel ugly cries over a guy.
14. Finn attempts to console Rachel, whom he thinks is crying over their split, and learns that it’s not the case as they agree to go completely contact free, setting Rachel truly free of the emotional ties to McKinley — and kicking a girl when she’s already down. While it’s a bummer for the couple, it provides a newly motivated Finn with the opportunity to (finally!) focus on him for once. Our vote: Hit.
15. Kurt and Blaine, meanwhile, suffer the same sad fate when Kurt rips into Blaine for cheating, revealing it didn’t matter if he didn’t care about the other guy or what ever it was they actually did. The bottom line is that Kurt says he no longer trusts Blaine before joining Rachel as they head back to their new home. Our vote: Miss. We still want an explanation! Who’s Eli?!
What did you think of Glee‘s “Glease” episode? Do you like Marley and Ryder? What did you think of the big moments for all the former couples? Hit the comments with your hits and misses. Glee airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on Fox.
Email: Lesley.Goldberg@thr.com; Twitter: @Snoodit
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