So what did you guys do over summer vacation? We watched True Blood and then refused to recap its final episode because it was so dumb. There was a fairy chandelier or something. We don’t know. Not enough naked Eric, that’s for sure. But we are here to talk about what went on with other folks. In particular, Lima, Ohio’s resident sucky glee club, New Directions. Apparently, Will has spent some time perfecting his hair wave with an econo-sized tub of Dippity-Do. And look, he made a new friend!
Let’s find out what everyone else is up to after the jump.
In the halls of William McKinley High, intrepid blogger and Perez Hilton disciple Jacob Ben Israel is running around interviewing members of the glee club to see what they were up to over the summer.
Rachel has been dating Finn, who appears to be debating slitting his wrists. So that’s going well. Puck gained a vasectomy, Quinn lost the baby weight and the pregnancy hormones. Santana got a boob job, Artie lost his girlfriend Tina Cohen-Chang to Mike Chang (good job naming the two Asian characters, writers), who deny that they are dating. “Because we’re both Asian we’re dating? That’s racist!”
“Totally racist.” Racist, but true. They slip away holding hands. Aw. Jacob also interviews Schuester, who claims not to know that nobody likes it when he raps. Seriously? Seriously.
Nobody likes it when you rap. Then Kurt delivers an impassioned, self-righteous diatribe against bloggers who find it easy to tear something down online from the comfort of their barca loungers. Like we can afford barca loungers. I think you mean IKEA couches, Kurt. Then Azimio slushies him. That brought a little tear to my eye. And that’s it. Wait, what about Mercedes? Well, nobody needed her to wail on an R&B solo, so she doesn’t get to update us on what she did this summer. Finally, there’s Brittany. Everybody thought she was on vacation, but she actually spent the summer lost in the sewers.
THE BEST! She is the best!
And that’s what you missed on Glee.
So Will is excited about the new year because… why? Sue patiently explains to him that nobody looks upon the glee club kids any better now that they’ve come in third place. Also, nobody wants to be in a club that just anybody can join. Witness the way girls have been lining up since June to be in Cheerios. One girl ate a pigeon. Something, something, they both get called to Figgins’ office because budget cuts because football is important now that Ken Tanaka
had to go back to his home planet had a nervous breakdown. Sue is incredibly upset at the loss of her confetti canons to the football budget.
The new coach, Shannon Beiste (who still wears inappropriate shorts), thinks Sue is “all coffee and no omelette.” She (Yes. She.) thinks that there’s something wrong when the cheerleaders have a bigger budget than the team they’re cheering for. But what about Gleeeeeeeeee? Will is such a whiner. Uh, duh. Why should Glee have a big budget? The coach points out that they came in last place. That’s not something that is typically rewarded, guy.
Will takes the news that everybody thinks they still suck to his Glee clubbers. They ain’t care. “Well I’m glad you’ve all bonded,” he says, all smarmy. Like any adult would when teaching a group of impressionable young people. “But it’s stopping other people from joining Glee.” And since Matt
had to go back to his home planet transferred, they need at least one more member. Will thinks they should have more than one more. They need to go to a small rebel force to a… different Star Wars metaphor that I don’t remember because I have a cold. Rachel agrees with Schue. Finn is with Rachel on this one. Brittany: “Gross.” Hahaha! THE. BEST. So they decide to convince their fellow students that glee is more than a drag queen’s iPod by going public with the song of the year. Glee style. Boyyyyyyyy! (Barf.)
This involves wearing matching T-shirts, backwards baseball caps, gold chains and sunglasses. And whiteboy rapping. To Jay-Z’s Empire State of Mind. They do this in the courtyard and nobody notices or cares.
Look at the expression on Rachel’s face! Haha! So yeah. Nobody cares except one tiny Philipino girl and one giant-mouthed blond jock. Finn and Rachel notice them noticing.
Schue bursts into Sue’s office with the signup sheet for glee that now boasts several madeup names including Ass-Braham Lin-colon. That’s not even funny, Will whines. “Now William, I put a lot of thought into those.” Sue tells him to get his head out of the sand. If Beiste gets what she wants, nevermind finding new glee members, Will could end up cutting current members. They agree to team up to make the coach’s life hell. Good plan, but Sue, I have my doubts about Will as villain. He’s so bad at anything other than smarmy, plaintive, self-involved do-goodery. I don’t like watching Will pretend to be the villain when I’ve already made him out to be the anti-hero nobody likes in my head.
Finn and Rachel put up posters. Finn has a meet cute with the blond jock in the locker room. Sort of. He’s wailing away in the showers to some Poison. Sadly, not Unskinny Bop, but Every Rose Has Its Thorn. (I’d like to take this moment to point out that thorn and dawn do not rhyme. You’re welcome, Poison.)
Finn watches this dude and it’s creepy, so he doesn’t jump in with a killer harmony, instead resolving to talk to him later. Rachel, meanwhile, has no such compunctions when she meets Sunshine Corazon (Sunshine Heart? You are killing me, writers. Killing me.) in the bathrooms. Sunshine is the foreign exchange student who was enjoying their performance in the courtyard. Rachel encourages her to come out for Glee and talks to her like she doesn’t speak English. Not only does she speak English, Sunshine is fluent in Gaga.
She and Rachel autotune along to Telephone until Sue bursts into the bathroom screaming “SHUT UP!” Thank you, Sue. You are, as always, my hero. Rachel’s beady eyes narrow as she realizes she has competition.
Over in Jockland, The Panther (that’s Coach Beiste to you) is none too pleased that Finn has posters up for glee club. He’s saved from really explaining himself when a load of pizzas are delivered to the locker room. Why, this juvenile yet effective prank has Sue Sylvester’s name written all over it! Sure enough, she and Schue giggle about making Beiste pay for pizza right at the scene of the crime like a couple of maroons.
Beiste makes the guys eat the pizza before running wind sprints. Because vomitting is fun. It’s worth noting that while Puck and Finn are back for football, Mike Chang is nowhere to be found. Worth noting because in the next scene, Artie is imploring Finn to help him get on the football team so he can impress Tina, who has dumped him for Mike. They fell in love over the summer at American Apparel Camp. No. Just kidding. The fell in love at Asian Camp. Wish I was kidding. They were counsellors at a camp that teaches tech-savvy Asian kids to appreciate the abs.
I mean, the arts. The art of the ab?
Yeah. That’s it.
I must give this show credit for listening to Internet fans who wanted to see more of fan-favourites Brittany and Mike Chang. Because we get to see a LOT more of Mike as he dances across a cabin, bravely wearing some American Apparel short-shorts, sweat socks and an unzipped hoodie that highlights his sick six pack. He dances right over the little Asian kids and stops in front of Tina, who pauses in her rendition of Getting To Know You so she can throw herself at Mike, who responds in kind.
Finn can’t believe Tina would just callously dump Artie like that. Artie admits that he might have had a little something to do with their breakup. He routinely ignored Tina over the summer, but he tells her he had a good reason: “I was playing a marathon round of Halo, woman!” She also complains that when they did get together, all he wanted to do was watch Coming Home over and over again. Mike tries to be into things that Tina is into. “Like his abs,” she says dreamily as Artie sulks in disbelief.
I know a lot of fans think this plotline is a dumb way to inject some interest in the Artie/Tina relationship while handily giving some lines to a tragically silent hottie. But I think it’s pretty true to life. It’s rare that your first high-school boyfriend is your one true love. High school girls are notoriously fickle when it comes to guys. I know. I was one. Is it so hard to believe that Tina would want to mack on somebody as hot as Mike Chang? I can tell you right now that if my nerdy boyfriend ignored me for days on end to play a video game and never took my interests into account when planning dates, I would happily hop off the Artie Express and board the U.S.S. Chang-terprise. I mean, you saw the guy, right? DAMN. Sorry. All that was just an excuse to post photos of shirtless Harry Shum Jr.
Finn promises to help Artie get a football tryout (now THAT is dumb), but first, he needs Artie to help him score a date with a jock. They corner the blond jock from the courtyard — whose name turns out to be Sam — and drag him to the rehearsal room, where the male glee braintrust (minus Kurt, who is wearing girls’ clothing now, so he might as well be a woman) has gathered. Sam nervously tells Artie, Finn, Mike and Puck about himself.
Puck interrupts to say what we’re all thinking. “Dude. Your mouth is huge.” He wonders how many tennis balls Sam can fit in there. “I don’t know. I’ve never had any balls in my mouth. Have you?” Puck splutters, Mike looks amazed that this guy has been on the show for about five minutes and has already had more lines than he had all of last season. Finn says he likes this kid and Artie agrees but “The Bieber cut has got to go.” Right. Maybe you can take him to your stylist at Fantastic Sam’s. It’s where you go for hairstyles that were popular in the 19NEVERS. Finn asks him to sing something. Whatever song he has in his back pocket. “Billionare?” I am very fortunate that I don’t pay attention to MTV or Much Music or commercial radio. Because I get to avoid songs like Billionaire. Until they make their way to Glee. Good choice, Big Mouth. This gives Artie another chance to rap.
You know, I don’t think this show understands that when people complained about Schue rapping, it wasn’t JUST because it was Schue. There are, like, four white people I will accept “rap” from. Three of them are Beastie Boys and one of them is Eminem. None of them are the white boys on Glee. So STOP IT. There are probably a lot of very good rappers who can act as well as any of these foobs and use Glee as a chance to break out. But that would be interesting and challenging and it’s so much easier to have all these white boys rap. Their impromptu audition session ends with Sam agreeing to sing this shitty song in front of everybody to try out for glee club.
Later, in the exact same rehearsal room, Kurt and Mercedes have just finished rehearsing their version of Ebony and Ivory as Mercedes asks him “Is that a MEN’S sweater?” “Fashion has no gender,” he responds defensively and haughtily. Haha! As if Kurt has any other way of responding!
What he should have said was “And you, darling! Is that a hot pink sleeveless hoodie?” Seriously, Mercedes. Kurt might be wearing a ladies sweater, but you are wearing a sweater that can only be described as YIKES!
Anyway. Rachel and her bangs barge in and interrupt this teachable moment to warn Kurt and Mercedes that she has paid two dumb jocks $100 to brutally slushy them in front of SUNSHINE CORAZON (that name!) so she’ll be too frightened to try out for glee, thus cementing Rachel’s status of solo queen. Waste of money, Berry. Obviously those jocks would’ve done that for free. Maybe they’ll invest in slushy futures! Kurt and Mercedes admit that they are self-invovled, but more than anything, they want to beat Vocal Adrenaline, so anybody who can help them do that should totally be in glee club.
Realizing she is fighting a losing battle, Rachel lies that they are right and that she’ll just go tell Sunshine (SUNSHINE!) how truly welcome she is. She bangs up to Sunshine and bangs her some bangs to get to the bangs. Um. You know what I mean. Rachel’s bangs look terrible.
Sue and Schue torment Beiste by pretending all the seats in the teacher’s lounge are taken. Well hey, sometimes, you have to make room for all your ghost friends. Beiste makes Will feel guilty because he’s supposed to be the cool one. WRONG! Haha! SO WRONG!
Apparently, their antics are working, though, because Coach Beist is applying some lipstick and drying her tears in the locker room when the guys wander in for practice. Finn wheels in Artie and tells the coach he wants to try out. She erupts, all “Are you serious? Is this some sort of joke?”
They tell her it’s not in earnest, but that doesn’t calm her down. She growls and pulls Finn over and he’s all “Dude!” And she’s all “DUDE!?” And Artie’s like “I want abs!” Pathetic, Artie. No abs for you! She cuts Finn and Sam and all the other football players are like “o_O” Coach Bieste, you mad.
Cheerio tryouts see Sue and Becky listen as Quinn sweetly manipulates Sue into letting her back in. It appears not to work as Sue has a heart of stone.
The better to stare at Finn in disbelief as HE tries out. What? Becky and I are very confused.
He predictably dances terribly and says since Coach Beiste kicked him off the team, he’s not the quarterback anymore. He’s nothing. “This is really embarrassing,” says Becky. No kidding. Sue tells Schue and he is never one to let an opportunity to meddle go to waste. So they take their argument to Figgins, who could not look more bored if he tried. Will tries to tell Beiste not to make a snap judgement about Finn and she’s all “ORLY?” It’s ridiculous. Because Will says “I get it. This is about me.” Rhetorical question: Is it ever NOT about Schue?
Meanwhile, another office conference is taking place. Sue has been alerted about Santana’s summer surgery. Because Sue is all about young women having a positive image of themselves (What? I should check my files on this, but I am pretty sure that Sue has a no fatties policy. Oh, I just rewound to earlier in the episode and it’s true.) and she can’t have her head cheerleader pumping her chest full of silicone to feel better about herself. So Quinn is back to being Head Bitch In Charge. I really love Naya Rivera. I think she’s a great little actress. Her reactions to Sue’s accusations were priceless. Also, if her character did indeed get a boob job, it is the most understated boob job ever. It’s not like her boobs are so big that she can’t, you know, lay a beat down on Quinn’s ass for snitching to Sue about said boobs.
The best part of their hallway cat fight though, was, as always, Brittany. “Stop the violence.” Will intervenes just in time to save Quinn from being beaten to within an inch of her life. Santana FIERCE.
Neither Sunshine nor Sam show up to auditions, so everybody leaves practice early. The next day, Brittany has to go because she has an appointment with Sue, Figgins, Coach Beiste and this cheerleading doll.
Figgins asks Brittany to say where the coach touched her using the doll. She points to the chestological region. “Here and here.” Sue is aghast. As is Coach Beiste. Will shows up and figures out what’s going on right quick because he’s practically Sherlock Holmes in these matters. He tells Brittany this is a serious allegation and she admits she made it up. Coach Beiste did not touch her boobs. But Brittany kind of wants to touch her boobs. WHOOPS! Meeting dismissed. Sue chases after Schue to rag on him for trying to ruin her schemes, but they’re interrupted by The Asians. Mike and Tina urgently need to talk to Mr. Schue.
They corner Rachel and ask her about sending Sunshine (SUNSHINE!) to bangs. I mean, a crack house. She wants to know how they even found out about it. “The Asian community is really tight.” Mike, I am sad that they are finally giving you lines only to have them be duds like that one. But I guess somebody had to find out somehow, so why not? Rachel continues to insist that she did it for the group. “Tina, Mike, what if Sunshine’s a good dancer, too?” She suggests this will mean their already miniscule contributions to glee will be further lessened. Tina glares. Mike looks incredibly insecure and awkwardly folds his arms over his chest.
Aw. OK. OK. Between that little move and Santana’s stuttering, angry response to Sue confronting her about her chest size, I really have been enjoying the tiny moments they’ve been giving to the supporting cast. It is WAY more interesting than the shit we get about Rachel. Like now. She continues to insist she’s doin’ it all for the club. It’s cartoonish and annoying because everyone sees through it and I don’t know, Lea Michelle oversells everything. I like her OK, but she doesn’t know the meaning of the word subtle.
Anyway, Will sends her off to apologize to Sunshine (SUNS- OK. You get it. Her name is ridiculous.) Charice really acts it up. Not really. She sort of stinks. As an actress, I mean. As a singer, she sings great. I guess. Who am I to judge? (Just kidding! I am lord high inquisitor as far as these gleeks are concerned! She’s pretty good.) She belts out Listen.
Will humbles himself enough to apologize to Coach Beiste. The two form a tentative truce. Everybody’s back to being an outsider. Sue comes in and offers them some dog poop cookies. Will gets all high and mighty and Sue throws down. She tells him he’s making a very big mistake. Hmm. I think the show made a big mistake by throwing away Sue and Schue’s unholy alliance in the first episode.
Finn confronts Sam about not showing up to audition. Sam says he couldn’t do it after seeing what Beiste did to Finn. Shucks, it’s not so bad gettin’ razzed all the time, Finn tells him. This is not good enough for Sam, who offers up a sports metaphor, at which Finn nods sagely. He understands. Until Sam reveals that he made it on the team. In fact, he’s the new quarterback. ICE BURN!
Will waltzes up to Sunshine (!) to officially welcome her to glee. Not so fast, noodle hair! Vocal Adrenaline, lead by new coach Dustin Goolsby (AKA Danny Baker, on break from TGS with Tracy Jordan) is here to steal her away. Sue, still upset that Will rebuffed her culinary efforts with Beiste and the poop cookies, called Vocal Adrenaline and told them about Sunshine. How’d SHE find out, you ask? Oh, you know. Let’s say Brittany told her. Vocal Adrenaline got Sunshine and her mom a new condo and a green card, so she’s going to sing for them instead. Besides, Sunshine thinks that Rachel would’ve made her life a living hell.
Speak of the devil.
Finn et. al. are really angry about the Sunshine/Crack house affair. Rachel is like “just break up with me already!” Finn is like “I’m not popular anymore, so I can’t.” WHAT A PRINCE! Seriously. He tells Rachel that he’s just another glee loser now, so he won’t break up with her because he has no options. Be still my heart. They both agree not to break up with each other and Rachel continues with the eye-rolling excuses for her treachery. She just loves everybody sooooo much! She didn’t want new people coming in and interfering! WOOF! What a load.
Finn: Knock it off.
Rachel sing/cries to What I Did For Love. A song choice that I do not understand, since we just established she did not do anything for anybody except herself, but whatever. It’s time to wrap this shizz up and somebody has to wail over a montage. We see Mike and Tina dancing in the rehearsal room while Artie watches creepily from the sidelines looking like he wants to STRAIGHT UP MURDER them.
And also, Quinn feels bad for putting Santana on the bottom of the pyramid.
There you have it! The first episode back. Kind of OK, but also kind of disappointing. We didn’t expect anything else and we’re just in time for tonight’s episode: Brittany/Britney.
Oh yes, bitches. It is on.
I can’t wait!