‘Glee’ Recap: “We Built This Glee Club” Takes Us To Sectionals Ahead Of Next Week’s Series Finale
This penultimate episode of Glee seemed to once again lock Will Schuester (Matthew Morrison) and Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch) in a final (this time they mean it), epic battle that ends with the New Directions inexplicably victorious and able to sing yet another day. But in a twist straight out of a bad M. Night Shyamalan movie, we learn that Sue was actually somehow helping the glee club the whole time? However unlikely it is for that to be true, I choose to believe Sue, since I’ve not-so-secretly been rooting for her from day one.
It all starts with Will coaching the kids through some of his favorite choreography. The New Directions, who absorbed The Warblers last episode, seem perfectly content to take a break after barely breaking a sweat. However, the displaced Dalton Academy singers want to keep going because they’ve seen Sue’s brutal training for Vocal Adrenaline, which includes having them run over hot coals. Per usual, the Warblers are deemed the bad guys because they actually want to win their upcoming competition by doing well, rather than relying on tugging at the judges’ heartstrings.
However, when talk turns to who to feature in the front and hide in the back, the whole group grudgingly agrees that the two worst dancers, Roderick (Noah Guthrie) and Spencer (Marshall Wililams) should be kept hidden. This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, since there’s been barely any character development of Roderick since we first met him. After Spencer and Roderick fumble poorly through the routine on their own, they decide to ask the two best dancers they know for help, Kitty (Becca Tobin) and Will. Really? Him?
Sam (Chord Overstreet) approaches Rachel (Lea Michele) to push her to finish college over taking the job on Broadway, which is terrible advice. They go back and forth with lists of people who either did or didn’t go to college. It’s about as sexy as it sounds. After Sam preaches to her and storms off, Rachel is free to sing “Listen To Your Heart” by Roxette.
She’s joined magically by McKinley alumnus Jesse St. James (Jonathan Groff) in a duet. He’s in town to help his mother recover from plastic surgery. Jesse tells Rachel he’s the one playing opposite the role intended for her in the Russell Simmons Broadway production and pushes her to take the job, which she should. This is the dumbest non-argument. Jesse then ups the ante when he drops a truth bomb, that her biggest mistake wasn’t leaving NYADA; it was leaving Funny Girl for a random-ass TV sitcom. Has he been reading my recaps?
Will and Kitty coach Roderick and Spencer on choreography until Spencer busts his ankle. Coach Beiste (Dot Jones) warns him that he could permanently injure his ankle if he performs. But, ever the competitive athlete, Spencer wants to take a cortisone shot so he can get on stage and potentially ruin his ankle for life even though he’ll likely be hidden behind the rest of the entire glee club during the performance anyway.
Kurt (Chris Colfer) and Rachel have a heart-to-heart and he vaguely encourages her to just be happy. He then gives her a long speech that I can’t really summarize, because I don’t feel like he actually said anything.
In the music room, mystery boxes explode with glitter. One of them is a bomb and it explodes the piano in half. Myron Muskovitz (J.J. Totah), who is being woefully underused these last episodes, screams, “It’s raining glitter!” Suspecting Sue at the heart of these violent shenanigans, Will storms out of the music room and right into Sam throwing up. He runs into the teacher’s lounge to see everyone throw up. Sue admits to poisoning the entire school just before Will spots his mini-van on fire, also one of her exploits. But Will gets her back when he’s wearing a wig at Sue’s beauty salon and shaves her head. Hmm.
In the gym, a bald Sue has Vocal Adrenaline in the boys locker room to practice. Crazy Sue has a run-in with Coach Beiste, who promptly kicks her out.
Sectionals kick off with an introduction from the three judges, each local celebrities. The first performance is by some group called The Falconers and I marvel at the realization that there were multiple falcon handlers on set for the episode. So, I see where this week’s drone money went. Sue takes a moment to quietly threaten Will and Rachel.
Carmel High’s Vocal Adrenaline busts onto the stage with “We Built This City” from Starship and then “Mickey” by Toni Basil. It’s silvery, perfectly-choreographed and all-around fabulous, but I’m already trying to imagine how the New Directions are going to rustle up a pity vote to win. It literally ends with students being shot out of cannons and perfectly sticking all their landings.
Before their performance, Rachel gives a pep talk about how great they all are but still somehow manages to make it all about her. Spencer is about to get a cortisone shot and commit some potentially life-changing dance moves when Roderick interrupts to say he has an idea. Kicking off the song, Roderick takes center stage for Hozier’s “Take Me To Church.” Apparently, at the last minute, he went from being in the background to leading the number. Spencer is nowhere to be seen the first song.
Their second song is Sia’s “Chandelier,” in which we are treated to the best part of the episode, which is Baby Myron dancing like Maddie Ziegler in the audience. Finally, we see Spencer, who is swinging precariously from a chandelier above, which I’m assuming is somehow less dangerous than the cortisone shot and dancing? Then, taking their customary extra song over all the competition, New Directions finish with “Come Sail Away” by Styx. They, of course, get a standing ovation.
The judges deliberate and Comptroller Donna Landries (Patricia Forte) speaks out as the only voice of reason that all of it was totally bogus. “You gonna point a cannon at me? Hell no.” Rod Remington (Bill A. Jones) gets creepy about a minor. Butch Melman, appears to have no opinion and questionable acting skills, leading me to suspect this is because she’s doubling as a falcon handler to save the show money.
The Falconers win third place and somehow, The New Directions win the top prize. Eh. They were OK. I didn’t feel like they were shockingly better than Vocal Adrenaline, but it’s a happy ending, after all. At least we can see that there’s no rhyme or reason to the judging process.
On his way out of the school, Will encounters Sue, who claims she has been secretly helping the glee club all these years. Her detailed description of her song choice and choreography was to sabotage Vocal Adrenaline. But, as it turns out, she blew up his car for fun, so kudos to her.
In a final moment with Jesse and Rachel together in the audience alone, she finally admits that she turned down the part and has decided instead to continue at an imaginary performance school in NYC. To his credit, Jesse is encouraging, even though she obviously made the wrong choice. They flirt and kiss, as the thought bubble floats over Rachel’s head, “Sam who?”
There’s a final toast in the music room from Will and a slow motion of the gang putting the trophies into the case along with a reminder of the moments when they won in past seasons. Sue peeks in with a satisfied smile because she knows that without her, it never would have happened.
There’s only one more episode left! Check back here next week where we’ll be recapping the big two-hour finale of Glee!