After a month hiatus, the “here’s what you missed on Glee” provides useful Tuesday, except they manage to ignore the big Kurt and Blaine kiss from last episode as a key plot point, so I am already bored with this episode before it starts.
The Glee club needs $5,000 to go to Nationals (I’m trying to do NYC hotel room rate math and I already think they’re aiming too low) and Schue’s big idea is to sell saltwater taffy by the piece at school. Only 20,000 pieces! Santana points out that they don’t have a leg to stand on to get things sold at the school (remember that disaster of a bake sale?) especially if she, one of the last untouchables, is getting slushied in the mornings.
Out of nowhere, Mike Chang stands up and has lines. He’s frustrated that some of the Glee kids are even further neglected. Mike, Artie, Tina and Britt are part of academic decathlon team The Brainiacs, who qualified for their own Nationals in Detroit but can’t afford the 250 dollars (a much more reasonable estimate) to go. Schue voices the collective “whaaa?” about Brittney being on academic decathlon, but the group needed a fourth, bribed her with Dots, and then she proved extremely useful thanks to her encyclopedic knowledge of cat diseases, even though Artie’s knowledge of white rappers sealed the win. Schue decides they can just sell a little more taffy and send everyone where they need to go. However, Santana’s logic stills stands and who even buys taffy when not on a boardwalk?
Elsewhere, Sue has assembled her League of Doom, bent on taking down the Glee club. They are: Dustin Goolsby, the coach of Vocal Adrenaline played Bluetooth-in-ear by Cheyanne Jackson, dubbed Sergeant Handsome; Sandy Ryerson, the fired ex-Glee coach who explains he’s “what they call predatory gay” (always two steps forward, one step back, Glee), dubbed The Pink Dagger; and Will’s estranged, slightly psycho exwife, dubbed The Honey Badger. They’re a pretty lackluster bunch, but the best Sue can pull together.
Gwyneth Paltrow returns as Holly Holiday and during her date night with Will she points out the taffy plan will fail, and a better idea is to hold a benefit concert for the neglected kids, featuring music by neglected artists. “Oh so you mean like me,” quips Rachel when Schue informs the group of the plan. Close enough, and at least the kids are more into this than candy sales.
Meanwhile, Sue starts putting her plans into motion, calling on Sgt. Handsome to try and seduce Holly away from Will. Sandy, wearing some sort of pink cape that sets the gay rights movement back 10 years, will form a heckling club to demoralize the Glee kids, featuring McKinley bully No. 2 Azizmo, Sue’s henchwoman Becky and gossip blogger Jacob.
The Glee kids gather to pick out artists for the benefit and seem to completely miss the point. Mercedes wants to sing Aretha, who is definitely not neglected in the music canon. Rachel is even worse, opting for Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On.” Can someone find these kids someone truly underappreciated? Maybe an artist who’s big in the U.K. but gets no love in the U.S. (Robbie Williams? Scissor Sisters? I could go on for days). Sunshine Corazone, last seen being sent to a crackhouse by Rachel, shows up in nerd support and wants to use the power of her 600 twitter followers to join the fundraiser. Charice is a slightly better actor this appearance, but that’s not saying very much. Of course, on “All By Myself” she kills it. She’s like a magical singing robot. Puck is sitting front row and looks like he’s going to cry, adding another enjoyable moment in the catalog of Puck Reacts To Music moments we’ve had this season (see also: his glare at Sectionals and when he almost cried during the Kurt/Blaine duet at Regionals). The group convinces Rachel that Sunshine isn’t out to sabotage them, and that they need her to make this work, but when she gives in she strong-arms Mercedes into bumping herself further back in the program away from the big show-closing number, setting up the first non-food-related Mercedes storyline we’ve had on the show in a while.
Lauren corners Mercedes in the library and calls her out on taking a back seat and letting Rachel step all over her. She says Mercedes needs to get respect like a diva, and to do so she needs to make ridiculous demands of her fellow Glee clubbers, like having fresh puppies to dry off her hands after each performance. When met with these demands, Finn and Quinn shrug Mercedes duties off to a knowledgeable diva, Rachel, who fulfills them to perfection, only to be met with more demands from Mercedes. You just can’t win with divas.
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