Three episodes are all that’s left for the third season of Glee. Actually, two once you count the 20th episode out. For its third-to-last episode of the season, Glee delivers a very peculiar episode that starts out as a complete gimmick and then builds up its premise to become one of the best episodes the season has delivered and possibly one of the best written episodes of the series.
Beginning with Tina throwing a fit over her always being on the background while Rachel hogs all solos for herself and then hitting her head and having a particularly odd hallucination where everyone in New Directions had switched places with somebody else, the episode at first seemed like it would be yet another “filler because of filler” episode. However, once the admittedly funny hallucination was over several proper plotlines started to appear.
First, Sue learns that Unique has gone on to become a phenomenon, making Vocal Adrenaline the favorite to win Nationals, something that puts Sue’s leadership over the cheerleaders at stake. Her idea to counteract them, however, isn’t exactly a popular one – She insists that Kurt should perform a number in drag as “Porcelina”. After that, she starts insisting that the judges simply love props and therefore they need to do something else if Kurt refuses to dress like a woman, giving the group all kinds of crazy suggestions, ending with Will deciding they’ll just practice their choreography rather than go with cheap tricks.
Trying to take one for the team, Puck offers to go in drag to Nationals to help them win after Kurt refuses, making Sue ditch the idea due to how terrible he looks. This act, however, has its effect on Pucks popularity, who now finds other guys picking on him at school due to him flunking senior year and dressing up as a woman for Nationals. After he threatens with killing one of the guys with a knife after a fight where he loses and is thrown into the trash, Beiste stops him and takes him to the dressers, where she explains him he could be arrested even when the knife was fake.
After that, Puck vents his frustrations with Beiste about feeling worthless. Beiste, who had recently been talked to by the cheerleaders to get her to leave her fiancé, sees herself in puck and soon enough decides to leave the guy after noticing just how much it all is affecting her and how she needs to stay away from the bad influence he represents.
Meanwhile, Tina convinces Rachel to go talk to the judge from NYADA after she doesn’t answer or responds to her calls. They take a trip to the school she’s teaching in to ask her, where they both board her and, though initially she refuses to give Rachel any special treatment, Rachel eventually gets through to her with her persistence and Tina’s help – The latter one admitting Rachel to be a pain in the ass, but also assuring she’s got what’s needed to triumph. However, what really makes her doubt her position is when Rachel states that she read somewhere she’d auditioned for Julliard four times – And though she doesn’t agree to go watch Rachel sing in Nationals, she stays silent with a doubtful expression.
After this, we see how Beiste decides to finally leave her fiancé – Going with New Directions to the nationals as a third chaperone at first, without any hint of what she’ll do later. Then, she joins with Puck and, after singing a song together, tells him she got him a second chance at the geography final he’d failed for the following week and that she’ll help him prepare for it. The episode closes as Tina and Rachel perform a song together, fulfilling a promise Rachel had made Tina during their road trip.
Musically, the episode was nothing special – though with nice songs overall, there wasn’t anything in the repertoire that actually shined and, though a few of the songs were sung by unlikely characters (Tina, Beiste, Puck) they did make me wonder just how much autotune went into those songs – Particularly after Dot-Marie Jones’ voice actually sounded decent while her previous attempt at singing (With Jolene) had been a disaster of all kinds.
Final review rating: 4/5