Guest blogger Jen Broadwater here, filling in for L'Oreal, who is otherwise occupied this evening leading her fabulous life.
When L'Oreal asked me to pinch hit for her tonight on Glee, my first thought was, "Uh oh, I guess I need to learn the new characters' names." (Heretofore I thought of them as "Rachel 2," "Quinn 2," "Puck 2" etc...)
Though resistant to change as I am, I will admit that the new characters are growing on me ... slowly. Just like a high school graduate floundering to find new purpose in the world, the show itself has been challenged to forge a new foundation. We'll never really get to know the new New Directions if the graduates are constantly hanging around McKinley High.
But, I digress. We're here to recap the "Grease" episode aka "Glease." Last week's episode set the stage with auditions and casting, but left me wondering how much I'd like the show since last week already featured my personal favorite song from "Grease" performed by my favorite Glee character: Blaine's rendition of "Hopelessly Devoted." (Blaine needs to snap out of his post-breakup funk asap because I'd like to hear more of his voice soon.)
This week, Mr. Schu announces his upcoming sabbatical to the New Directions, leading to panic and general lack of confidence in Finn's ability to lead the group through sectionals.
... Which reminds me of one of my pet peeves about this season. I thought Mr. Schu's move to DC to support the arts was a permanent thing until last week when I somehow realized he's only going away for a few months. And that's causing stress to both his marriage and his students? Really? A few months? False drama.
But more drama ensues when Sue finds out Finn might be around McKinley High on a regular basis, leading to a destructive rampage in which Principal Figgins calls her a "menace to the state of Ohio."
Finn tries to smooth things over with Sue from the disrespectful remark he made about her baby last week, but she rejects his attempt and tries to derail the production by convincing Unique's parents to pull their child — cast as Rizzo — from the musical. (Don't worry, Santana will swoop in to save the day and play Rizzo because, like so many other grads, she has some extra time on her hands it seems.) Sue also books the auditorium for Cheerios practice so that Finn will conveniently take his guys to the auto shop for a "Greased Lightning" rehearsal.
Meanwhile, Kitty continues to bully Marley, namely by sabotaging her Sandy costume to make her feel fat. Then comes the Pink Ladies' sleepover at Kitty's house, where Kitty prods Marley to become bulimic, setting the stage for a "Sandra Dee" number.
Over in NYC, Kurt and Rachel (who is preparing for her first off-Broadway audition in "The Last Menagerie," btw) decide to visit Lima to see the musical, since Kurt is desperate to reconnect with home and is "living off Ambien and 'The Notebook.'" Rachel's instructor Cassandra July encourages Rachel to take the weekend trip home so she can find a way to bed Rachel's new interest, Brody, in her absence. Mission accomplished.
All the grads seem to have a bout with nostalgia during Marley and Ryan's "You're the One that I Want" piece and envision themselves back with their respective ex and back on the McKinley stage.
After some awkward encounters with Finn and Blaine, Rachel and Kurt decide that Lima and the halls of McKinley High are no longer "home."
Overall, I think the Glee treatment of "Grease" was pretty good. Perhaps the most iconic "Grease" song — "Summer Nights" — was notably absent since the cast performed it during season three when Sam and Mercedes recounted their summer romance.
Up next week? Superhero Glee.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun