‘Glee’ Recap: Sue Sylvester Is The Ultimate Bitch In “The Hurt Locker,” The Wanted’s Max George Sings “Rock Lobster”
With the grand finale of the series getting closer every week, the writing on Glee has gone from whimsical to downright wacky in tone. For those of you wondering what the show has been desperately in need of, it’s more Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch). And this week, the musical series definitely delivers. Sue’s crowning moment is a solo that has her head popping out of lockers and file drawers. And I say that after also having seen robot drones with high definition cameras float through the halls of McKinley High on this show.
Friday night’s episode, “The Hurt Locker, Part One,” opens with the unlikely scene of Sue and Will Schuester (Matthew Morrison) having lunch in the McKinley High School teacher’s lounge. In a voiceover, we learn that Sue is trying to bury the hatchet with Will, claiming she no longer hates him, even after having to endure him jamming photos of his baby boy in her face and offering up weird inspirational Pinterest-worthy quotes. I will note, however, that he doesn’t once does he mention his wife, Emma Pillsbury (Jayma Mays), whose fate I’m sure we’ll learn in an episode of 20/20.
However, Will unknowingly seals his own demise when he carelessly leaves behind a plastic fork on the table, a slight Sue considers unforgivable. She promptly speeds off with Becky (Lauren Potter) in her tiny car to a storage unit full of strange Voodoo-looking paraphernalia pertaining mostly to former and current members of the glee club. When Becky asks what they’re looking at, Sue tells her, “This is my hurt locker.”
Tucked far in the back is a shrine built to Blaine (Darren Criss) and Kurt’s (Chris Colfer) relationship. Say what? Believe it or not, Sue is a secret Klaine fan and pledges to get them back together so she can be the flower girl at “their fabulous gay wedding.” To be fair, when else is she going to get a chance to bust out the formal track suit?
Sue then pulls Kurt into her office to tell him her plan to reunite him with Blaine. Immediately after dropping this bomb, she tells him that there’s a glee invitational scheduled that day, which has brought all the teams to McKinley. Sue is on a tear, y’all!
Rachel (Lea Michele) and Will bro out over glee club coaching crap. During their conversation, Rachel asks Will to go easy on the McKinley students, dropping a mention of Will’s “wife and beautiful baby” to remind him what a great life he has and why he should take pity on them. Speaking of your wife, Will, where the hell is she? I’ll tell you where she should be: On a milk carton in Ohio.
After this chat, Will tells Vocal Adrenaline, including star singer Clint (played by The Wanted‘s Max George), that he wants them to drop all their rehearsed songs and “improvise” with new songs. Basically, he’s throwing the invitational. As I watch Sue’s drone capture this moment on video, I can’t help but ask myself: Who knew a Friday night show had the budget for drone technology? Also, if we have drone technology, why can’t we locate Emma Pillsbury?
For the next phase of her plan, Sue quickly hypnotizes the village idiot, Sam (Chord Overstreet), to get him to do her bidding. She convinces him he’s in love with Rachel and tells him to kiss her when he hears the word “piano.” I love that Sue obviously picked a word she knew Rachel would use incessantly. A close second was “Patti Lupone.”
As The Warblers prepare for the invitational, Rachel and Kurt get ready to give Blaine the old “go easy on us for old time’s sake” speech, but Blaine is hearing none of it. He is ready to play hardball and lets them know as much, until he’s interrupted by a phone call from his live-in boyfriend, David Karofsky (Max Adler), who is freaking out about an intruder in their apartment. It turns out to be an actual bear cub in their bed, and Kurt suspects he know who the culprit is. Seriously, this show can afford a bear?
Rachel and Sam go out to dinner at Breadstix for a totally platonic meal of candlelit pasta. Rachel talks about missing the fast pace of NYC while Sam stares at her blankly. Not because he’s still under hypnosis — it’s just because he has the brain power of a AAA battery. At one point, however, he manages to tell Rachel to follow her dream and asks her what it is. She says she always wanted to play piano. Code word alert! Activate hypnosis commands!
As it turns out Sue put an actual bear in Dave’s bed to break up his relationship with Blaine because Sue misunderstood what the term “bear” meant in gay male culture. This, despite the fact that she immediately refers to Blaine and Kurt as “blouses.” I prefer to think this means she was actually trying to murder Blaine and Dave via bear cub. Sue gives Kurt a rousing speech about why she is determined to see him married to Blaine and at the high point refers to Kurt as “a mouth-watering, corn-fed, delicious rump roast.” Oh Sue, how we’ve missed ye.
Blaine starts to give piano lessons to Rachel and Sam, when Sue interrupts, descending upon them on a crane. At one point, she admonishes Rachel for “limping back to Lima with [her] suitcase full of glitter and tears.” Ha! What do we want? More Sue! When do we want it? Now!
Sue then launches into “Bitch” by Meredith Brooks and it’s a delightful montage of Sue terrorizing the school. She even hits up Emma Pillsbury’s desk — for a moment, I hope, looking for evidence to frame Will for her murder, alas, no such luck. Still, I’ve never felt more gleeful than when I watch Sue slam perky, unsuspecting teens into metal lockers. If that’s wrong, then I don’t wanna be right.
Dave and Blaine go out to Breadstix where they run into every guy Dave’s ever dated. Unsurprisingly, Sue set them up and happens to have with her a family tree that shows the two of them are third cousins. “Just remember you’re about to have sex with a family member,” she tells them casually before sauntering away.
Rachel practices piano and Sam walks in to hear her being terrible. At the first sign of difficulty, she quits. Shocker. However, Sam convinces her to keep at it and they have some weird, eyes-closed flirting with hands after which Sam tells her, “You’re pretty amazing.” They share a decidedly non-platonic moment.
Sue pops over to Carmel High to rat out Will to Principal Gunderson, who looks like Janitor Figgins (Iqbal Theba) in a blonde wig. Just when I think there’s going to be yet another gender reassignment bombshell this episode, it turns out the principal is Abigail Figgins Gunderson, Janitor Figgins’ sister. After regaining her composure, Sue then shows the principal drone footage that reveals Will is not loyal to glee club, which is terms for immediate dismissal in crazy TV high school world.
At a meeting before invitationals, the only four glee club kids in New Directions seem nervous, since they are short about eight members. Rachel and Kurt try to pump them up by telling them it’s their opportunity to introduce themselves to the show choir world. The kids seem dubious, as well they should be.
Will storms into Sue’s office after hearing that she ratted him out. Sue doesn’t back down, telling Will it was the plastic fork he left on the table that was the final straw. In a fabulous speech in which she rips him to shreds, Sue tells him she hates him, calls him a “borderline pederast” and rightfully lambasts him for not knowing any members of the glee club’s in-house band. And, he murdered his wife and sold her body parts to creepy German businessmen on eBay, I add quietly in my head. Will retorts that he knows Sue’s about to retire and he makes some glee-club related threat I don’t fully understand, since he no longer works there.
Blaine and Kurt run into each other and have a conversation about that crazy Sue and how she’s trying to get them back together. They share an awkward hug after Kurt says he’s going on a date with a guy he met on the Internet. Hmm, sure thing, Kurt. He sounds real.
After a few hours, Rachel feels she’s making progress in her piano lessons. Sam shows up and suddenly they both know how to play “A Thousand Miles” from Vanessa Carlton. Oh you know, a super complicated song with lots of crazy runs up and down the keyboard. This isn’t “Chopsticks,” people. They both drag a piano all over Larchmont to recreate the iconic music video culminating with a kiss between these two secret piano geniuses.
The next day, Rachel runs into Sam having bro talk with his football guys and asks him out. Sam turns her down because he says he’s still in love with Mercedes. Immediately after this happens, we see Sue sliding sideways through the hallway. LOL! There aren’t enough exclamation points to express how awesome that moment was. Sue quickly pops into the boys’ gym to hypnotize Sam again to get him to steal Will’s utility bills as he continues to gaslight Rachel.
At Breadstix, Harry Hamlin shows up as Kurt’s date, Walter, looking way older than his picture. Kurt is shocked but the more Walter talks about how he was married for 33 years and only came out of the closet the year before, he proves to be charming and sweet and way too good for Kurt, who agrees to give friendship a shot.
Will catches Sam stealing his mail. When approached, Sam tells Will that Rachel put him up to it and Will is furious. He immediately storms off to Vocal Adrenaline, encouraging them to win. Clint and the others barely acknowledge him and tell him, “We don’t like you.” Ha! Once the curtain rises, VA launches into a fabulous rendition of “Rock Lobster” from the B-52s. It’s amazing and the glee club kids are left with their jaws hitting the floor. The drone hovers in the background, taking it all in, when what it should be doing is delivering my package from Amazon.
As if that’s not enough, VA then transitions into an even more impressive performance of “Whip It!” by Devo. Dirty looks are exchanged between Rachel and Will, and even The Warblers and Blaine appear shaken. Next week, we continue with part two, which I hope has just as much, if not more, Sue.
What did you think of this week’s episode of Glee?