Welcome to Season 2 of our Gleeful party, where we'll find out just what makes certain members of New Directions who they are, we'll see the hidden sides of those more abrasive members, and eventually, we'll see the beginnings of one of if not the main reason Glee lasted six seasons. Growing the Beard is the order of the day for these 22 episodes, so let's get it on.
After Ian Brennan keeps us up to speed on last year, we start Season 2 with FUCK ME IT'S THE HUMAN COCKROACH ARE YOU TRYING TO GET CANCELLED?! AT LEAST WAIT FOUR SEASONS! Yes, we start with Jacob Ben Israel (dear god) spewing his tall tales of what New Directions supposedly did between seasons; most of which are mere fantasies in his nasty brain. We start with Finchel and Rachel supposedly being hard to work with, Finn trying to deflect but merely confirming her dubious trait. We'll get a better example of it later on. Rachel, after confirming she and Finn are together, admits her attitude, though not amused when Finn thought before he spoke. Then, the human boil slithers to the choir room and finds Will, whose's confronted with accusations that ND's song choices "come from a drag queen's iPod"... dammit that was a good one. WHY AM I PRAISING THE HUMAN PIGPEN?! Will of course simply says he tries to find songs for everyone. Then the sentient slime decides to risk his destruction by daring to ask Puck if he got snipped after knocking up Quinn. Surprisingly, he confirms; however; when pressed as to whether he's over her, he responds by knocking over the camera. Hmm, seems the feelings still lie, at least for now. Speaking of Ms. Fabray, we cut to her at her locker, the other 2/3's of the Unholy Trinity nearby. The poster boy for castration dares to ask how has her life changed since Beth; she says she's ready to start fresh. Sadly, we'll see what that entails later on. We then see the beady eyes caught below Santana's neck; apparently, he spotted something we didn't. Brittany, sweet girl, claims to have spent the summer lost in the sewers, poor Brit-Brit. Next on the hit list are the resident Chang and Cohen-Chang; JBI alleging the two hooked up. Both dismiss as racism, but the clasped hands caught on the sly confirm otherwise, as does Artie wheeling into frame looking perturbed. Back to Will, where apparently, the perverts and peons who inhabit JBI's blog are begging him to stop rapping. Will looks forlorn as we cut to Kurt in manly leathers no-selling JBI's dribble thank god. Again, back to Will who is asked when he started being sponsored by Land's End... GODDAMMIT ANOTHER GOOD ONE DO YOU WANT US TO ROOT FOR HIM?! Will is flummoxed as JBI goes for the gusto, asking Rachel when will she return to the shire, Mike and Tina how they get the white on rice, where Quinn kept the breast milk (GOOD GOD), when finally Kurt stops it by saying it takes a coward to hide behind the internet, insisting things be said to his face. Unfortunately for him, it also takes cowards to throw crushed ice and corn syrup. Yes, for the first time this season, we see the trademark humiliation in play, though not to JBI, fuck me why. A properly humbled Hummel simply asks for editing as, also for the first time this season, we hit the Title Card.
We cut to the bulletin board; while all the other clubs are being filled, glee remains unsurprisingly blank. Will stands glum, this of course being the siren song of the Tracksuit Terror, who swoops in to rub it in. Sue thinks the problem is ND's open door policy; seems Will needs to tighten requirements. Sue produces a summons for child endangerment, we cut to a row of potential minions signing up for derision and insanity. When Will stands firm, Sue invokes the Reverse Sue-Cology: High School's a dry run for life, certain menial positions must be filled. Will remains stubborn as both he and Sue are summoned to Figgins' office. Seems Cheerio! AND Glee budget is cut because Sue wants confetti cannons. We then cut to one of two newcomers for this series; seems poor Ken Tanaka, after realizing Emma wasn't coming back, finally snapped and is gone from McKinley. His replacement: Shannon Beiste (Dot Marie-Jones)note , who will get the money for the Titans. Sue provides the obligatory gender-based insults while Beiste counters with the first of her trademark mixed up metaphors. When Will tries to get Beiste to understand, she correctly points out both the Cheerios! over-inflated budget and the fact that ND came in third. She leaves both Will and Sue flummoxed.
Choir Room. Will reads down some of JBI's mongrel's comments, Kurtcedes dismissing it while saying ND have bonded. Will points out that while it's good ND's together, the bad vibes are keeping others from joining, and with Matt gone, they need 12. Finchel rallies the troops as Will plans to bring ND to the people; this leads to the debut of a new setting, the McKinley courtyard, where we get the first number of the season, some Jay-Z & Alicia Keys to set the mood. As they perform, we cut to two particularly interested students, one of which will serve to have a rather long lasting purpose. They conclude, but it was like they were invisible, such is the collective ennui of the student body. We cut to Will entering the the Sylvester Saloon, revealing a Sue-defaced signup sheet. Sue calls Will to arms, common enemies breeding the strangest bedfellows as she proposes taking down Beiste. Cut to the locker room where Finn V/O's about helping make posters for ND recruitment as we invoke Deja Vu and see Finn hear some Poison something from one of the showers. We pan to reveal one Samuel Evans (Chord Overstreet), new transfer student and one of the two enjoying the courtyard performance. The wheels in Finnegan's head start spinning as we cut to Rachel in the bathroom putting up a recruitment sheet tinged with an ego we thought she'd shed over the summer, emphasizing herself over the group. As she leaves, the other student who enjoyed the performance enters, one Sunshine Corazon (Jake Zyrus note ). Rachel slides over and makes the inaccurate assumption about a language barrier; Sunshine is of Filipino ancestry. It seems Rachel got stalkerish as she did her research on the girl, offering up a recruitment pitch that is in no way all about her. Looks like we're getting some Flanderization for this episode, as even Rachel wouldn't act this stupid. Sunshine looks nonplussed as Rachel keeps putting up posters, only for Sunshine to flex vocals and Rachel immediately looks to pounce as a new challenger appears. Sadly, this duel falls to Musicalis Interruptus, a rare sight for Glee, as Sue barges in with the big "SHUT UP!". Sunshine knows not what she did, as Rachel flexes claws when asked about auditions.
Cut to the locker room, where Beiste is tearing down the recruitment posters. Finn owns up to it, getting the expected chuckles, while Beiste responds by cutting the whole team and starting fresh. We then see part of Sue & Will's play, the classic "order many pizzas" gag; Sue saying it would bring back childhood traumas and force her to quit. Beiste flips it by handing them out, then ordering the team on the field for wind sprints, cutting the first 10 who puke. She exits to see Will and Sue nonchalantly hanging out by the door, offering them slices as she conceals a smirk. Cut to Artie and Finn, seems Artie wants on the Titans to impress Tina, who is then confirmed to have dumped him for Mike. We see how they got together; both of them volunteered at summer camp, Mike flashed abs, the bottom fell out of Tina's undershorts. Then we get the actual dumping, Tina telling Artie he ignored her all summer while he was playing Halo. Cut back to Artie pointing out he'd basically be a battering ram and Finn agreeing to help him as long as he helps Finn get Sam into ND.
Cut to Sam introducing himself to the ND men minus Kurt. Puck immediately points out Sam's defining feature, namely a pronounced oral orifice, asking him how many tennis balls he's stuffed in there. Sam retorts with the same question, drawing a smirk from Puck as a guitar is presented for a proper audition, a song that would provide some ironic poignancy later on. Sam is given props as we cut to Kurtcedes at the piano. Rachel swoops in and laments Sunshine being a musical equal. She then reveals her latent insanity, paying the resident McKinley boogeymen $100 for a triple slushy to try and scare Sunshine away. Kurtcedes are aghast, saying they've got egos, but will put them aside for the greater good. Rachel acquiesces too quickly, a sure tell she has a backup plan; we soon see it as she walks up to Sunshine at her locker and produce an address for the audition and yes, we can see the inevitable from a mile away. What we didn't see is Rachel's pensive face as she walked away.
Lounge. Sue enters and announces to Will a plan B; Bieste enters with her lunch, tries to find a place to sit only for Sue and Will to refuse and not so subtly shun her. Bieste knows the game and lays down her "The Reason You Suck" Speech, saying she thought Sue was the bully, not Will. She exits as Will sits forlorn. Cut to her in the locker room shedding tears as the team enters, she tries to put on a brave face, only for Finn and Artie to enter and say Artie wants to join. For bad timing, Finn, you're an idiot. Bieste unloads, accusing Finn of using Artie to make Bieste look evil by her inevitable rejection; him using his usual Verbal Tic not helping. We end scene with Sam looking morose.
We return from break to see auditions for the Red and White. Now, remember last season when Quinn seemingly rejected Cheerios!, saying she'd rather be in glee club, and the spoiler tag saying to remember that scene because it'll hurt later? Here's what we mean. When Sue attempts to rebuke, Quinn plays the ego, saying the story of the pregnant girl reclaiming her spot would make Sue look good. As Q leaves, we see Becky appear startled; we cut to Will looking perplexed as we cut back to none other than Finnegan trying out and why why why why why. We see why; a trickle down effect as Beiste kicked Finn off the Titans; Finn lamenting about how without sports, he's nothing. Becky simply calls this embarrassing. Cut to Figgins' office where Will tries to plead Finn's case, only for it, once again, to be blown back on him as Bieste bellows.
Back to Sue's office where more trickle down occurs. In this case, the human waste that is JBI caught something we didn't; namely, that Santana got enlarged jugs. Sue prefers all natural, plus a boobjob at 17 is unnatural. She has a point there, and she also has one in saying anyone who goes under the knife just to feel good about themselves lacks self-confidence and thus shouldn't be head cheerleader and thus is demoted to the bottom of the pyramid. This apparently tips Santana off as to who spilled and we get the confrontation; seems Q's need for control has collateral damage as a catfight ensues.
Back to the choir room, where ND waits for newcomers and gets none. Finn, not seeing Sam's face in the locker room, insists he'll show up, only for Kurt to say him no longer being quarterback means he has no sway. Cut to Sue ramping up efforts to get Bieste out of McKinley; namely, having Brittany accuse her of bad touching. Will arrives with a crisis of conscience, and tries to subtly persuade Brit out of the plan. It works, Bieste storming out as Sue figures out Will's backing off and lashes out at him, the timely arrival of Mike and Tina interrupting the rebuttal as we cut to ND having Rachel in for interrogation. Seems that her ego got so far out of line that the address she gave Sunshine is for an abandoned crack house. Rachel offers the token excuse of not wanting anyone to disrupt the group dynamic, but Will tells her to make amends. We cut to her finding Sunshine and attempting to do just that, offering her a proper audition in the auditorium where she kills, naturally.
After the break, we start the first home stretch of the season with Will and Bieste in the lounge where he offers an apology; seems his ego was in play despite coming in third, him expecting to turn kids away. Sue then arrives with cookies as a peace offering, made with flax-seed oil as an heart agent for a "burley" American. Real subtle Sue. She draws battle lines as we cut to the locker room, where Finn sees Sam. When asked why he didn't show up for audition, Sam reveals he figured out ND's at the bottom of the social totum pole and wanted to protect himself. The knife is slightly twisted when Sam then reveals he's the new quarterback. We then get a knife twisted for Will; when he goes to welcome Sunshine to New Directions, we see that Vocal Adrenaline got hooks in first, new director Dustin Goolsby (Cheyanne Jackson) arriving to pick her up, a condo and a green card being the carrot. They leave, Kurtcedes looking on in despair.
We cut to Rachel in the same state as Finn approaches, chastising her accordingly. Rachel immediately thinks he's gonna dump her, only for him to state that since he's off the team, she should be dumping him. Rachel says she'll never break up with him, future events confirming it for her. Him? Not so much. They liplock, Rachel offering one more excuse before admitting she sent Sunshine to the crackhouse because her talent threatened her. Finn suggests groveling to make amends as Rachel heads to the auditorium to close out business by belting out her feels with some Chorus Line, intercut with a dancing Mike and Tina, a forlorn Artie, Quinn immediately looking like she regrets ratting out Santana, and said Lopez grimacing at her position in the Red and White, the last shot of the episode being Rachel entering the choir room for her supposed apology.
Strap in gleeks, this is gonna be a ride.
Next Time: Another tribute episode, this time celebrating the work of the namesake of our resident The Ditz.
Songs in the episode
- "Empire State of Mind" by Jay-Z and Alicia Keys, performed by New Directions
- "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" by Poison, performed by Sam Evans
- "Telephone" by Lady Gaga and Beyoncé, performed by Rachel Berry and Sunshine Corazon
- "Getting to Know You" from The King and I, performed by Tina Cohen-Chang
- "Billionaire" by Travie McCoy and Bruno Mars, performed by Sam Evans and the boys from New Directions
- "The Power" by Snap!, performed by Finn Hudson
- "Listen" from Dreamgirls, performed by Sunshine Corazon
- "What I Did for Love" from A Chorus Line, performed by Rachel Berry
Tropes appearing include:
- Berserk Button: Don't call Beiste "Dude." Becomes Hilarious in Hindsight.
- Blatant Lies: Rachel claims she doesn't want the other Glee members overshadowed by Sunshine's talent.
- Cat Fight: Quinn and Santana
- Did I Just Say That Out Loud?: When Finn agrees with Jacob that Rachel is controlling.
- Distracted by the Sexy: Santana's new chest, for both Jacob and Sue.
- Intrepid Reporter: Jacob Ben-Israel's newscast, which opens the episode.
- It's All About Me: Rachel's explanation to Sunshine that the other Glee club members are there to sway in the background while she (Rachel) sings.
- Lame Comeback: Beiste's nonsensical replies to Sue's insults.
- Musicalis Interruptus: Rachel and Sunshine's duet of "Telephone." Sue walks in and yells "Shut up!"
- Pædo Hunt: One of Sue's ploys to get Beiste fired is to pretend Brittany has been a victim.I kind of want to touch her boobs.
- Practical Joke: Sue and Will order a bunch of pizzas and have them delivered to the locker room. Beiste turns it around by making the football team stuff themselves and run windsprints.The first ten guys to puke are off the team!
- Reset Button & Status Quo Is God: With Quinn's nature being one of control, you knew once Season 2 started, she'd be back on the Cheerios like nothing changed.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Rachel gets one from the club after she sends Sunshine to a crackhouse. Will gets one from Beiste after he and Sue are just awful to her.You think I don't get this everywhere I go? Everyone told me that Sue was the school bully and that you were really cool. I see they got that last part wrong.