Tuesday, May 17, 2011

GLEE Redux - Funeral

Otis Redding
Amy Winehouse Barbra Streisand
Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka Liza Minelli
Top, Clockwise: Otis Redding, Barbra Streisand, Liza Minnelli, Gene Wilder, and Amy Winehouse.

After the usual recap, Mr. Schue introduces the new Show Choir consultant, Jesse St. James. He has a cut-throat mentality, and immediately goes on the attack on Finn. He wants to take the star of the choir and put them center stage, molding the program around them. So everyone needs to audition. Cut to Mr. Schue and Miss Pillsbury organizing his things, as he will be going to Broadway with April Rhodes after nationals. Miss Pillsbury thinks he could be gone for some time, and needs to keep that in mind. He thinks it will not last, and he will be back quickly. Cut to Sue lactating with rage! She breaks into the Figgins' office with Terri and a computer hack, all to mess up the airline reservations of the choir. Sue would like to route them from Ohio to New York City via Libya, and perhaps they would be kidnapped, and maybe even worse... Rachel is excited to sign up for the choir auditions. Finn, on the other hand, is distraught, and doesn't even want to audition. He has been broken by Jesse. Sue fires Becky from the Cheerios, and Mr. Schue goes to argue with her, only to discover her sister, Jean, has passed away. Sue is cold and attacking, and Mr. Schue is trying to be understanding. We see the commercial for Chevrolet the kids done earlier, much like an old commercial done regularly by Dinah Shore.

Kurt and Finn bring flowers and to console Sue, only to be met with her venom. She is angry, and is taking it out on everyone. They make a decision to do try to help her. They offer the services of the Glee Club to plan the funeral. Jesse wants none of the distraction, but Finn will have none of it, and puts his foot down. They are going to do it. The first to audition is Santana, and she picks Amy Winehouse's song Back To Black.

Next to take the stage is Kurt, who will sing Some People from the musical Gypsy. (Although she never played Mama Rose on Broadway, I felt the need to use the clip with the one and only Liza Minnelli).

Jesse questions Kurt about the masculinity of the song, and then tells him he falls short of (Ethel) Merman, (Patti) LuPone and Bernadette (Peters). Thus far, his Simon Cowell antics are not making Mr. Schue happy. After a tiff with Rachel about the relative merits of Jesse's ability to judge anything - Kurt's "Jesse St. Sucks" is priceless - Mercedes goes out loaded for bear, ready for the fight. She nails Otis Redding's Try A Little Tenderness.

Mr. Schue flips out, and tells her how great she was. Jesse calls her lazy, for she didn't practice, and had no choreography. She reminds him she isn't too lazy to climb up there and let him taste her fist... Rachel comes out to sing Barbra Streisand's final song from the movie Funny Girl, My Man.

Of course, Jesse thinks she was brilliant, and has nothing bad to say. And he winks at Rachel. The rest of the kids bristle. Mr. Schue will make his own decision, but will take a few days to do so.

Finn and Kurt go to the hospital to help Sue clean up after Jean, and she want to throw everything out but one stuffed animal. Even the copy of Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory, which Jean watched at least three times a week. The boys try to get her to take a look at some other stuff, but Sue won't have it. Kurt asks why she has them involved at all, and Sue tells them her fear no one would show up and the club would at least make it seem full. The boys are touched.

Sue is sitting at the funeral home, looking at a picture of Jean. Mr. Schue fetches her and brings her into the full parlor, which has been decorated to look like the land of the Oompa Loompas. Sue is moved. When she speaks at the service, she cries. Mr. Schue must finish the touching speech. The kids are quite moved. The kids get up to sing Pure Imagination, sung by Gene Wilder in Willy Wonka.

In the middle of the song, Sue grabs Mr. Schue's hand. At the end of the song, she tells them "Thank you." In the car afterward, Quinn tells Finn she is proud of the job he did with the funeral. He is crying. Because he is breaking up with her. Quinn thinks it is his feelings for Rachel that are talking, but he says no, it's not. Sue's speech about love moved him to action. He wanted to make it right after the confusion of last year, but it just isn't happening. She leaves, crying. Finn sits in the car, and sees Rachel coming out of the funeral home.

Brittany is filming Jesse as if he is rehearsing for a reality show, and Mr. Schue is put off by the camera. Jesse thinks the only answer is Rachel, the only way to win. Mr. Schue is listening to him. We cut to the Cheerios room, where Sue hires back Becky, and gives her a big hug. It's almost like her heart grew three sizes that day. She goes to talk to Mr. Schue, to apologize to him, and mentions that she rerouted the airline tickets to New York. Terri steps up, having gotten the airline to pony-up first class tickets for the kids. She tells him that, as well as the fact that she is moving to Miami. He chats with Miss Pillbury. She is wearing the sweater vest he wore when they met. They chat as the walk down the hallway and out of the shot.

Jesse tells Rachel he has arranged her win. She is ecstatic, and they embrace. Finn is standing in the wings with a flower, despondent. The kids all gather to see the posted notice about who won the competition, and there is a call for an urgent meeting. The kids snipe with one another non-stop, and Jesse is pleased. They get to the meeting, and Mr. Schue tells them the competition was the wrong thing to do, and they will be going as a team, not a star and her entourage. Jesse is disheartened by the news, but the kids immediately get along and compliment one another. Jesse is confused. Finn thanks Quinn for not quitting Glee, and she tells him it has nothing to do with him, but it is for the trip to New York and her big plans. The show ends as he asks about what big plans...


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