When the power goes out at McKinley High, Will forces the members of New Directions to "unplug" and perform acoustic numbers. While this happens, Ryder continues his long quest to discover who Katie is, along the way revealing a secret to the Glee Club leading to Kitty and Ryder's friendship to grow while Sue finds herself living a great life after being fired, becoming a training coach at a local gym, but Becky awaits her return and decides to tell Principal Figgins what happened. Meanwhile, in New York, Isabelle Wright asks Kurt to volunteer at the Vogue.com charity event, with Rachel and Santana in tow and while there, Santana finds herself.
Next Time: The most wonderful of tributes.
- The Star-Spangled Banner by Francis Scott Key, performed by Frida Romero.
- You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin' by The Righteous Brothers, performed by Ryder and Sam.
- Call On Me by Eric Prydz feat. Steve Winwood
- Everybody Hurts by R.E.M., performed by Ryder
- We Will Rock You by Queen, performed by Artie, Blaine, Jake, and Ryder with New Directions, including Will and the band.
- Little Girls from Annie, performed by Sue.
- At the Ballet from A Chorus Line, performed by Santana, Isabelle, Rachel and Kurt.
- Longest Time by Billy Joel, performed by New Directions
- 30-Second Blackout: The episode manages to use aspects both of this and Big Blackout.
- A Cappella: One of the few times New Directions does it (successfully, with "The Longest Time").
- Actor Allusion: Sue singing a song from Annie when Jane Lynch was at the time rehearsing to play Miss Hannigan on Broadway, and the actress who played Sue's mom on the show had already played the role.
- Naya Rivera also worked at Hooters, like Santana works at Coyote Ugly.
- Actor-Inspired Element: Sarah Jessica Parker was the one who wanted to do "At The Ballet". The idea to play music with instrument-substitutes came from Cory's audition tape once he couldn't be in the episode any more.
- Big Blackout: Well, throughout the school, anyway.
- Call-Forward: If you break Kitty, she is unlikely to give you another chance. She tells this to Ryder this episode, and it will serve as a main part of the final season.
- Double-Meaning Title: the blackout, and several elements of the rape sub-plot.
- Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male: The guys' reaction to Ryder's secret is that it must be awesome for an older girl to have been interested in him. Tina and Mr. Schuester try to point out what a bunch of idiots they're being, but they don't get it.
- Everything Is an Instrument: Taken Up to Eleven when the students form a Trash Can Band for their rendition of "We Will Rock You."
- Kids Are Monsters
- Nightmare Fuel: Kitty's sexual abuse story. To get him to leave her alone, she just had to stay still.
- Ties into an Alternate Character Interpretation that Kitty's gay, but the trauma caused her to retreat deeper into the closet and reinforce the door. Her behavior towards Marley is almost note-for-note the same behavior Quinn had towards Rachel. Future events could be seen as Kitty accepting that she's at least bi.
- Non-Indicative Name: "Lights Out" sounds like someone might die in the episode, but it just refers to the blackout. Of course, with where Glee has been going, the first option was actually more likely.
- "Not Important to This Episode" Camp: Finn, Emma, Beiste, Sugar, Joe and Brittany. As we've mentioned, Heather Morris was pregnant with her first child. Therefore, she needed to cut the workload, so she gets this and the next episode off. She'll return for the season finale.
- Shown Their Work: The girl who plays young Santana isn't Latina, she's African-American. Though this could have been because you can't always be highly selective with child casting, it reflects the fact that Naya Rivera is half black and looked distinctly more African-American than Hispanic as a child (well, up to 2006 and beyond, really).
- What Could Have Been: Before going into rehab, Cory Monteith recorded some parts of this episode and the music for it (including a solo in WWRY). However, due to the aforementioned rehab, his parts were cut because his US work permit was revoked and they couldn't even broadcast what they already had filmed. Finn was completely edited out.