‘Glee’ Recap: Rachel Gives NYC Another Chance, Brittany & Santana Enjoy Queso Por Dos

Lisa Timmons | February 7, 2015 8:52 am

After last week’s most zany Glee episode of the season thus far, this week’s installment, “What The World Needs Now,” was a dramatic change of pace. The episode deals with such weighty issues as dating after the tragic loss of a partner, recovering from a career crisis and family rifts. And while Rachel (Lea Michele) delivers an emotionally resonant scene during the climax, I can’t help but wish Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch) would pop out of a nearby locker and kidnap someone.

Rachel and Sam nervously chat about their plans for a “friend date.” Mere seconds later, they burst into a romantic duet. Remember how Rachel didn’t have a song last week? Well, so did Lea Michelle. Consequently, within the first 30 seconds, she and Sam sing “I’ll Never Fall In Love Again” by legendary songwriter Burt Bacharach.

In her childhood bedroom, Brittany (Heather Morris) does complicated math in crayon. Her parents (Jennifer Coolidge and Ken Jeong) take this opportunity to reveal a big secret: the man who raised her is not her biological father. Instead, it’s Stephen Hawking, which explains her mathematical genius…and epic dance skills? In return, Brittany takes this opportunity to tell her parents that she and Santana (Naya Rivera) are getting married and they cheer with happiness.

In the school hallway, Rachel and Sam hurriedly apologize to one another for mutually blowing off their date and in the process, accidentally say, “I love you.” Someone lock these two in a fake elevator until they make out!

Rachel and Kurt (Chris Colfer) gather the glee club kids to announce that it’s Burt Bacharach week and that Mercedes (Amber Riley) is in town to be their mentor. She tells the kids that her single “Shaking My Head” is number 89 on iTunes and I can’t tell if she’s bragging or not. After talking with the kids, Mercedes chats with Rachel about the whole Sam sitch in the teachers’ lounge, and encourages Rachel to get back into the dating world. Mercedes also even more strongly encourages Rachel to audition for a Broadway show being put on by her music industry buddy, Russell Simmons. Rachel is hesitant on both fronts.

To encourage her, Mercedes kicks off a throwback performance of “Baby It’s You” with Brittany, Santana and Rachel singing backup. Despite the encouragement, Rachel admits she’s still too scared to return to Broadway.

Brittany asks Artie (Kevin McHale) to be her wedding planner. She talks about what the theme for the wedding could be, listing off images that Santana evokes in her mind: scissors, sweet lady kisses, tuna and, finally, heaven. Talk about heaven launches her into a rendition of “Wishin’ And Hopin'” complete with a heavenly fantasy in which Artie not only sings, but also dances.

Mercedes enlists the glee club to try and get Rachel to go back to Broadway. I can’t tell if Rachel will be flattered or offended by this campaign.

Santana and Brittany talk about inviting Brittany’s grandmother to the wedding, but Santana is doubtful since she and her abuela, Alma Lopez (Ivonne Coll) haven’t spoken since Santana came out to her and was subsequently shunned.

Cut to Brittany showing up at Alma’s doorstep, dressed as a candystriper determined to win her over.  Brittany kicks off the convo with talk about Lopez’s diverticulitis and asks her about her stool, which unsurprisingly, gives the older Ms. Lopez pause.

But after bonding over some telenovelas and jellybeans, Alma notices Brittany’s engagement ring. This quickly segues into Brittany’s unlikely Univision series, Queso Por Dos on which Alma is a guest. The two ladies talk weddings, marriage and Brittany sneaks in a little Eleanor Roosevelt lady love reference, as only she can. Santana watches the episode, growing visibly upset.

Mercedes brings Rachel into the auditorium for inspiration to return to NYC, handing her a miniature Statue of Liberty. Blaine and the men sing “Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do.)” I can’t help but wonder what Blaine is telling The Warblers he’s off doing during all these elaborate performances at McKinley. Despite the nostalgic NYC montage, men in tuxedos with tails, Rachel is still super nervous about the NYC thing. Mercedes claims she’s not leaving until Rachel’s ready to go back.

Santana pushes her way through Brittany’s new legion of Latin fans to express her frustration with Brittany going behind her back to befriend her estranged grandmother. Eternally optimistic, Brittany remains confident that they can win Alma over. Santana can’t stay mad at her because really, who could?

In the boys’ locker room, Sam sings “They Long To Be (Close To You)” while strumming a guitar, gazing adoringly at Mercedes from afar. Face to face, he confesses to Mercedes that he hasn’t dated since their breakup out of fear of hurting her feelings. Mercedes tells Sam about the new guy she’s dating named Tank and she encourages him to date Rachel. #MercedesIsGettingHers

Mercedes returns to the music room to find a manic Rachel asking if Mercedes will temporarily take over glee club for her. As it turns out, Rachel’s agreed to go on the Russell Simmons audition on Broadway. At the height of her emotional whirlwind, Rachel starts to cry and admits that she’s scared. Kudos to Lea for a really great, grounded emotional moment. Mercedes supports her friend with some good advice.

Rachel’s audition song of Burt Bacharach’s “Promises Promises” starts in the music room and ends with her on stage in NYC, belting out the final strains of her audition.

Brittany brings Alma to see Santana sing “Alfie” in a gorgeous strapless red dress. Brittany joins her on stage to sing background with the rest of the gang before taking her hand. Alma steps to the stage and Brittany reveals her identity as her fiancée.

Santana gives her a heartwarming speech and Brittany begs her to come to the wedding. Abuela prepares to storm off and Brittany basically tells her to eff off. Haughtily, she does.

Rachel, Mercedes and Sam talk about her audition in the teachers’ lounge. Mercedes heads to the auditorium, giving Sam and Rachel a chance to connect. They reschedule their missed date at Breadstix and vow to enjoy their time together at McKinley until Rachel inevitably bails on them all and returns to NYC. Remember how Rachel promised not to bail on Kitty? Promises, promises, indeed.

In the auditorium, Santana and Brittany sit in the front row as the glee club tells them that they will be sitting in the empty chair left by Alma Lopez. The group gather to sing “What The World Needs Now Is Love” and they’re all one big happy family…

…except for Sue, dammit. Where is my favorite track suit-wearing kidnapper? Perhaps next week!

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