"Glee" brought back a bunch of awesome old faces for the first part of its two-part special.
The episode starts by pitting two of its most successful grads, Rachel and Mercedes, against each other. One is a future Broadway starlet; the other, a successful singer/songwriter.
As they sashay down the halls of McKinley we’re treated to their thoughts as one clearly states she's better than the other. Once in the choir room, Mr. Schuester expresses his sincerest happiness that Puck (1.0), Mercedes, Brittany S. Pierce, the New York Crew and Quinn are all back to say goodbye to New Directions.
Mr. Schue tells everyone that their final project as a group will be to take songs they’ve already done before and to reimagine them and brings back the super fun (and super drunk) April Rhodes (Kristin Chenoweth) to help New Directions go out in style by leading them in Pink’s “Raise Your Glass.”
It turns out that April might have the capital to save McKinley’s Glee Club until Sue does some digging on Wikipedia to discover that April got said capital from her latest flame. We all know him better as Bernie Madoff. Needless to say, the assets have been frozen by the American government and Will is once again let down by his old high school crush.
Quinn has been at Brown trying to reinvent herself and comes back to Lima with new beau, Biff McIntosh who’s played by "Gossip Girl’s" Chace Crawford and is basically a more exaggerated version of the character he played IN "Gossip Girl."
Hey, did you know every time you eat a McIntosh apple, his family gets a nickel? That’s pretty sweet, eh? Anyway, Quinn is trying to leave her crazy ways in the past (which might explain her absence from Finn’s memorial episode.) Biff knows nothing about her rebellious phase light by her hot pink hair, the texting and driving accident that put her in a wheelchair or the kid that she had with Puck who was adopted by Rachel’s birth mother.
I forgot how crazy this show used to be.
While Puck is trying to make Quinn remember what they had, Santana is trying to get Brittany out of her MIT funk. She’s being used as a brain monkey and it has completely drained her of her creative juices. Quinn, Santana and Brittany reunite the “Unholy Trinity” and do a very sexy, "Chicago"-esque version of Britney Spears’ “Toxic.” It truly is a sexy remake!
Puck later attempts to win Quinn over with his version of Avril Levigne’s “Keep Holding On,” which is a song that has never been on "Glee" but was used as the swan song of Oxygen’s “The Glee Project” which found the likes of Blake Jenner and Alex Newell, who play the characters of Ryder and Unique, respectively.
In what I found to be a pretty ridiculous part of the episode, the Rachel-Mercedes competition came to a head when they asked the class to decide which one was truly the best singer. Why is this important anymore?
They decide to have a Diva-Off using the Wicked song “Defying Gravity,” and somehow manage to include Kurt. After one of Santana’s verbal lashings, Rachel runs off to the bathroom and is followed by Mercedes to console her. Mercedes tells Rachel that it’s important to use these things as power to continue on and strive to be better.
I personally love when Santana knocks Rachel down a rung or two, she really annoys me sometimes. Raecedes decide to kiss and make up and head back into the class room to let everyone know that a group vote will no longer be necessary as they both are great in their own right! The group, however, have already cast their votes and what’s the verdict? IT’S A TIE! One is no better than the other, now they have the validation of their peers. Yay!
The final surprise of the episode is Gwyneth Paltrow’s Holly Holiday! I loves me some Holly. I was so excited to see what song she’d bring back! Cee-Lo’s “Forget You"? The epic mashup of Rihanna’s “Umbrella” and “Singin’ In the Rain"? Of course not!
Holly Holiday doesn’t get down by reusing so she hits us with a little bit of Pharrell’s current No. 1, “Happy.” I loved having her back and I thought it was a great choice of song. At the end, Will and the kids are gathered backstage with the pictures of both Finn and Will’s old Glee Club teacher from McKinley of the past. Will states that he no longer has pep talks for his students but wants them to fully enjoy the rest of their time as New Directions. Noticing how sad everyone is from the rafters, April and Holly vow to save the Glee Club. But first ... they had to finish their wine.
Next week is "Glee’s" 100th part 2! Let’s find out what will become of Quinn and Puck, Santana and Brittany, the fate of the New Directions and what is sure to be an amazing recreation of the song that made us all fall in love with "Glee" — Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’.” Until next time, Gleeks!Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun