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Recap / Glee S 1 E 3 Acafellas

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It was this or girls in bikinis.


Will and Terri are entertaining Will's parents. Will promptly spills the beans about Terri's pregnancy, despite previous plans to wait.

In the choir Will has New Directions rehearsing. They're all fretting over how lame the routine is, as we cut to Quinn and Santana engaging in Sue's latest scheme — planting seeds of doubt in Rachel's mind about Will's choreography. Rachel mentions their competition: choreographing for Vocal Adrenaline is Dakota Stanley, one of the best choreographers in the midwest and a former Broadway understudy.

Will points out that understudies don't usually perform. Quinn, however, manages to hit him where it hurts by asking him if he ever performed after high school.

Will later tells Emma he wanted to perform after high school. Will also says he's nervous about being a dad, and wants his kid to be proud of him and what have you. Ken Tanaka is now dating Emma, but she still sort of flirts with Will.

As we're shown into the Teacher's Lounge we notice Sandy. Apparently, being ordered to stay fifty feet away from kids hasn't stopped him from returning to McKinley to help welcome back a friend and the shop teacher, Henri, who found out the hard way that cough medicine plus saws equals loss of thumbs. Howard, the Sheets 'n Things employee Terri bullied in the pilot, arrives with a "thumb" cake. Cake is cake though, and as they eat they lament about their various problems, lack of thumbs of course trumping all and leading to "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow" to cheer Henri up.


Will’s teaching the guys some steps set to "This Is How We Do It". Then, after suggestions of 'Crescen-dudes' and 'Testoster-tones', we get the name of this little guy group: Aca-fellas. Unfortunately for Sandy his dubious rep and dubious tux preclude him from joining. More rehearsing ensues, waking up the sleeping Terri. Will dismisses the guys so he and Terri can get it on — or, give her more chances to pee on sticks, though all of them come back negative.

In Glee Central, Rachel has baked some apology cookies. The rest of New Directions look forlorn, especially Finn. We then see that Rachel took the cookies to Will, who basically blew her off, saying she was right about his lack of confidence and thus leading him to start Acafellas. With the boy band, Will's loyalty to the glee club is faltering.


Finn blows up at Rachel for causing Will to lose his confidence. Quinn then takes the opportunity and puts out the vote to hire Dakota Stanley, to which all but Finn agree. Cut to outside, and we see exactly what Sue's "break them from within" play is. Finn is loyal to Will and considers him a father figure and confidante. Rachel sees a bigger picture, wanting every avenue to win, saying a Nationals win would validate her whole high school career. Finn, however, suspects that her anger also has to do with their kiss last episode. Rachel calls him out, pointing out that he has feelings for her but is too afraid to admit it. Finn threatens to quit if Dakota Stanley is hired.

In Sue's office, Sue orders Quinn and Santana to target the glee members individually. We see this plan begin to take hold as we cut to Mercedes, as she laments over not having anyone and staring forlornly at various couples. Kurt arrives and, realizing Mercedes emotional state, reminds her that their dubious social status severely limits choices for romantic partners; of course, their superiority balances that out.

As Kurt walks away, Quinn and Santana swoop in and plant the seeds of false hope that Kurt has a thing for Mercedes. Evidently they know that Kurt doesn't exactly play for her team.

Cut to the Acafellas' first performance, a little "Poison". We see Will's proud parents, Terri, and Emma. The last of the three is cheering ostensibly for Ken, but Terri begins to suspect Emma might have something for her hubby. After the performance, CDs are handed out as Will's parents praise Will. We also see Figgins show up and praise Will, then offer the Acafellas a slot at the next PTA meeting.

In the teacher's lounge the next day, Will is reading the positive reviews to the rest of Acafellas, each getting praise except for Howard. A bitter Sandy arrives, wanting in by claiming that Josh Groban's coming to the PTA meeting. The Acafellas refuse, but Sandy leaves a hook by mentioning Groban wants an opening act.

Cut to New Directions arriving at Carmel to look for Dakota Stanley. Rachel points out one of Vocal Adrenaline’s stars, neck deep in a trashcan while a neckbrace-clad Vocal Adrenaline member holds the hair back. Rachel asks what's wrong, the Vocal Adrenaline member says Dakota Stanley. We also get an idea of how brutal the rehearsals are; running from 2:30PM-midnight, no leaving for any reason at all.

We catch an end product of those Vocal Adrenaline rehearsals, "Mercy". Afterwards, we also get an opinion of the performance: GET OFF MY STAGE!. Yes, this is Dakota Stanley, your basic Drill Sergeant Nasty. Cut to New Directions in the audience dumbfounded, then to them finding Dakota. He lays down his prices: $8000 a number, plus $10,000 if they place.

In the choir room, Will is teaching Ken steps as he gets a call and we find out that Howard wants out due to not getting any mention in the reviews of the first performance. Emma arrives. After Ken thinks she's dumping him, we find out that the pressure got to Henri, OD'ing on cough syrup and needing rehab. Ken leaves as Emma gives Will a peptalk.

As Will puts out an ad for a singer, Finn arrives, planning to quit glee yet again. Will tells him to stick around a little longer. Looking at the unplaced ad, he then gets an idea. Puck offers to join the Acafellas. Ken promptly threatens him if he screws it up. We then see Puck's backstory, or at least some of it: he loves cougars, and uses his pool cleaning business to bang them. That's about it.

As we montage all this, we cut to Santana breaking up with him over his credit score.

Will teaches Puck and Finn the steps, to some success. Lack of coordination and infighting ensue, and Will gets the idea to use baseball analogies and it seems to do the trick. Cut to Mercedes' locker as Rachel and Tina arrive, both of them telling Mercedes that Kurt doesn't want her. Mercedes dismisses it as jealously on both their parts.

The Cheerios! hold a car wash while Emma and Sue stand guard. We then see Mercedes and Kurt working on the Lincoln as Mercedes asks when she and Kurt can tell everyone they're dating. Kurt is like say what now? He claims to be in love with Rachel so that he doesn't break Mercedes' heart. She responds with a rock through Kurt's windshield. A musical number to the aptly named "Bust Your Windows" ensues.

Evidently, this raised enough to hire Dakota Stanley, only for the glee kids to immediately regret it: assigned meals, kicking people out for their disabilities and skin tones, all your basic Jerkassery. Mass exodus ensues, but Rachel, realizing she made the mess, commences to fix it by firing Dakota.

Backstage at the PTA meeting, Will gives the Acafellas a peptalk. Sandy crashes through, claiming Josh Groban is in the front row. This leads to "I Wanna Sex You Up", complete with Puck mastering the pelvic thrusts. We cut to the audience where once again Will's parents, Terri, and Emma cheer him on. Terri glares at Emma, who is not so subtle at cheering outrageously for Will. Also not liking what she sees is Sue, both for said pelvic thrusts and realizing she failed again.

After the performance, we see Sandy tell Figgins about his ambitions as Josh Groban walks in, both to praise the performance and hand Sandy a restraining order for stalking. Outside, Terri apologizes for not being more supportive. Will says he had fun, but he's exactly where he needs to be right now. Will's dad says Will inspired him to go to law school, saying it's never too late to go after your dreams.

Mercedes arrives at Kurt's locker to apologize to him, only for Kurt to officially come out.

We conclude business for the week with New Directions rehearsing and Rachel praising the steps.

We see Sue punishing Quinn and Santana for failing to break up New Directions by revoking their tanning privileges. This causes Santana to comically weep like a small child. However, a pep-talk from Rachel provides her with the strength to declare that when you believe in yourself you don’t have to bring people down.

Songs in the episode

  • "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow" performed by Acafellas.
  • "This Is How We Do It" by Montell Jordan, performed by Acafellas.
  • "Poison" by Bell Biv Devoe, performed by Acafellas.
  • "Mercy" by Duffy, performed by Vocal Adrenaline.
  • "Bust Your Windows" by Jazmine Sullivan, performed by Mercedes Jones.
  • "I Wanna Sex You Up" by Color Me Badd, performed by Acafellas.

Tropes in this episode include:

  • Affectionate Nickname: Will's dad refers to Will's mom as "Doodle."
  • The Alcoholic: Henri is addicted to cough syrup. Doodle is also a heavy drinker.
  • Amusing Injuries: Henri losing his thumbs Crosses the Line Twice, particularly when he's trying to eat his "thumb cake."
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Quinn to Will: "Did you ever perform after high school?"
  • Artistic License: Will tries to comfort the glee club by explaining that their rivals' choreographer might not be that scary because he was only an understudy and they don't perform. Except it's usually a legal requirement for everyone hired to a show to perform, so all understudies actually do (often by just taking shows, they do rarely get to perform because of lead's illnesses) — with half the cast being on Broadway, you'd imagine they'd know. Then again, the writers never were.
  • Big Eater: Ken Tanaka.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: "Smell your armpits. That's the smell of failure, and it's stinking up my office." Sue then revokes Quinn and Santana's tanning privileges, which causes Santana to weep like a small child.
  • Curse Cut Short: "Bullshhh!"
  • Divide and Conquer: Sue's tactic to take out the Glee Club.
  • Funny Background Event: During the "Bust Your Windows" performance you can still see the rest of the glee club, wrapped up in their sweaters and coats, idly washing cars.
  • Hit You So Hard, Your X Will Feel It!: Ken to Puck. "I will stick my fist so far down your throat you will taste my armpit hairs."
  • Hood Ornament Hottie: The Cheerios at the car wash fundraiser.
  • Incompatible Orientation: Mercedes' crush on Kurt and attempts to woo him.
  • Likes Older Women: Puck reveals his attraction to "cougars." Also Josh Groban, who corners Will's drunk mom.
  • Mythology Gag: Mercedes' crush on Kurt is a spillover from the original drafts where Kurt was a straight character who would have ended up dating Mercedes.
  • The Napoleon: Dakota Stanley.
  • Tacky Tuxedo: Sandy shows up wearing a powder blue one early in the episode.
  • Take That!: "You don't need talent to perform, just ask John Stamos."


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