‘Glee’: Sue and Schu throw down!
And I thought last week’s “Glee” was rich in smackdowns! Turns out that was just a warm-up for the most recent episode, in which newly installed glee co-chair Sue Sylvester plots to destroy the club from the inside with, as she so memorably put it, “a conviction I can only call religious”-- something Mr. Schu and his fine bird's nest of hair refused to take lying down. This episode, perhaps “Glee’s” sharpest yet, was so chock-full of standout scenes, it makes whittling down the list to a Top 5 nearly impossible. But where there’s a Will (Schuester), there’s a way!
1. Matthew Morrison and Jane Lynch bring out the absolute worst in each other, and I mean that in the best of ways. Their numerous scenes together crackled with electric wit, whether Sue was coolly putting Will down (“Hey buddy, I thought I smelled failure”) or the two were forcing a Figgins-ordered hug, complete with sweet nothings uttered into each other’s ears (Schu: “I will destroy you.” Sue: “I’m about to vomit down your back.”) Any moment of their epic feud might deserve a spot on this list, but I feel compelled to go with the hilarious show-opening battle, which set the tone and standard for all those that followed. The whole thing played out in slow motion, their faces contorted in rage, warbled sounds escaping their lips, as they duked it out for the soul of glee club while its members looked on in horror. But what really put the scene over the top were the dueling voiceovers. Dueling voiceovers! Will was embarrassed by his childish behavior (“I look like a crazy person. That’s not me.”), while Sue was empowered by hers (“Look at me. Even in the heat of battle, I’m so elegant”). Those two can’t agree on anything, but I think we can all agree on this: Thank you, Ryan Murphy, for such pure comedic gold.
2. OK, who is this gossip guy Jacob and where did he come from? He’s completely creepy! No more so than when the Perez Hilton-wannabe blogger was forcing Rachel, the object of his obsessive crush, to pay up in a unique way or he’d blow the whistle on Quinn’s pregnancy to the entire school. “I want Rachel Berry panties,” he told her, his voice quivery with smarm. He wasn’t fooled by the brand new neon green pair she’d already tried to pass off as her own. Note to Rachel: Next time, girl, remember to snip off the tags!
3. Didn’t you just love the glee club’s joyous covert jam session? By splitting up the students into two groups, Sue hoped to drive a rift between them, and it was thrilling to see that ultimately, it had the opposite effect. As the kids sang, danced and played instruments -- nice drums, Finn! -- they were more united than they’ve ever been. Being terrified of Sue will do that to you. As Kurt put it, “She told me if I even talked to one of Mr. Schu’s kids that she would shave my head. And I just can’t rock that look.”
4. Can Terri’s fake pregnancy storyline please just go away already? This week, Will scheduled an overdue appointment with her obstetrician, prompting Terri and her equally nutty sis to blackmail the doc into faking an ultrasound for the “expectant” parents. Consider my patience officially .. running ... out. But there was one unforgettable moment, in a good way, thanks to the brilliant Morrison. Upon being told that he’s actually having a girl, Will grew silent as a single tear ran down his cheek. “I don’t care what she is,” he said, awestruck by the fake image of his fake child, his heart nonetheless filled with genuine emotion. “She’s all ours.” Poor guy. It’s gonna be rough when he learns the truth. And yet, here’s hoping that happens sooner rather than later.
5. By the episode’s show-closing number, Sue had relinquished her co-director duties, opting instead to stay on as “consigliere,” and ensured that the Quinn’s-preggers news broke throughout the school. Thank goodness the devastated teen mom-to-be had the glee club to rally around her, sweetly encouraging her to “Keep Holdin’ On.” Quinn struggled to hold back her tears until the music abruptly cut, leaving only the sound of her shaky breaths. It was a beautiful way to end the episode, but also an ominous one. I mean, you heard those lyrics, right? “Nothin’s gonna change destiny.” And surely, Quinn’s destiny includes Finn finding out that he’s not actually her baby’s daddy. Oh, the humiliation that awaits!
What scenes make your Top 5? Where, oh where, did I get it totally wrong? And can there even be a Top 5 without a single Emma scene in the entire episode? Weigh in below!
-- Shawna Malcom