Last Gleecap of the year. Let’s wrap this thing up, shall we?
We last left our de facto heroine of the episode, Rachel Berry, doing what talented teenage girl singers do best: duetting on “For Good” from Wicked with their talented teenage gay boy singer friends. It’s just like when you and 7 other couples sang it at your high school theater festival competition, except with less linoleum and rotten 20-year-old carpet, and more, um, the actual sets of Wicked. So there’s that.
Meanwhile, back at the hotel, which is still utterly devoid of any adult supervision, there unfolds a scene that may have been scripted by William Golding himself: the girls pound on the bathroom door, screaming like a pack of bloodthirsty harpies, while Santana runs around, waving Lauren’s glasses in the air and yelling “I GOT PIGGY’S SPECS!!” Tina and Brittany are in the process of hanging a decaying boar’s head from the ceiling fan, when Quinn finally storms out of the bathroom in a hormonal rage. The popular girls then turn against the others and decide the only way to settle this power struggle is to….CUT QUINN’S HAIR. It’s presumably super dramatic and liberating, but suddenly Quinn’s not an important enough character this week to show the resolution of her plot line on screen. Oh well.
And just when you thought the episode was veering back into “unsalvageable” territory, in walks Cheyenne Fuckin’ Jackson. As soon as he catches the eye of Mr. Schu (who has only just now managed to find his way back to the hotel after sleeping in a gutter in Chinatown), it is ON. They head to the bar, ostensibly to have a celebratory drink about Will’s Broadway debut, but really, they just wanted to talk about whips and crying and stuff. Kinky. Cheyenne’s bluetooth glints in the candlelight. Will licks his lips. The homoerotic tension is finally too much for them, and Will is SO uncomfortable that he heads off to the cold, cold shower that is Chaperoning.
Finally, we arrive at Le Nationals! Rachel exposits: 50 teams are here, 10 will make it to the final showcase, and finally we will be left with one winner. The Highlander of glee clubs, if you will. We can only assume these numbers mean that each one of the 50 states has sent one group to nationals…and DC, Puerto Rico, and Guam didn’t get to enter…and actually neither did Montana because Ohio is apparently so awesome that they got to send two teams. Great, makes total sense. Also, this means the first round will be at LEAST five hours long (assuming a very conservative 5 minutes per set and 1 minute per set change…). Get ready to tucker in for an ENTIRE DAY of show choir, folks!
About 2 1/2 hours in, while some talented ladies bring us the joy of skinny teenage girl rap, Cheyenne Jackson subtly gets up and leaves. Will catches his eye and immediately interprets its meaning: “Bathroom. 2 minutes. GO.” He basically sprints out of the auditorium after him. After some suggestive banter about whether Cheyenne’s t-shirt size is large or EXTRA large (wink, wink) and some light making out, they come to an impasse. Sadly, they part as enemies, never again to share a tender moment backstage at a high school nerd competition. SIGH. And thus, the episode descends into YAWN.
Meanwhile, in another bathroom, Rachel encounters Charlene. Their ultimately frivolous conversation seems to drag on for eons, because for some strange reason Charlene is not yet singing. See? YAWN.
Finally, we get to see the defending champions Vocal Adrenaline blow us away with their mind-exploding talent and thoroughly rehearsed dance moves. However, as the camera zooms in on Charlene, we see—no! can it be? Yes! The BedazzleMic plague has spread to Vocal Adrenaline! BedazzleMic is a sure symptom of New Directions-itis. Other effects include not being able to sing without a band, loss of a cappella vocals, making everyone else backup singers at the lead vocalist’s solo show, unimpressive choreography, and heavy reliance on triangle clump formation. It is truly a sad day for us all. Remember, kids: make sure to vaccinate your glee club equipment, or you, too, could end up like Vocal Adrenaline 2011—a sad shell of its former self.
And finally, it’s time for the Nude Erections to perform. It turns out Finn’s a secret musical genius, because he spontaneously composes a song backstage and telepathically sends it to the other musicians’ heads AS THEY’RE PERFORMING. I mean, he must, right? Because it’s not like they rehearsed at all. Or wrote a song before RIGHT NOW. Pretty smart for a slack-jawed yokel. Alas, by the last chord, this level of concentration overwhelms Finn’s remaining neurons and he face-plants….into Rachel’s face. SMOOTH. Without their composer/leader, the Gleeks stand on stage, helpless, not knowing from what form of witchcraft their second song shall arise…
Suddenly, like a glorious trumpeter swan, the Spirit of New York swoops down upon Nationals! “Never fear!” she cries, “I have spent all of the time you were being utterly useless human beings writing a song for you! It’s generic, monotonous, and autotuned within an inch of its life—in summary, it expresses how much I loathe you all for prancing will-nill on top of me this weekend!” And then, in a breath of cosmic putridness, she blows the song into their ears and grasps the marionette strings above their heads, jerking them around in a grotesque dance. “See?” says Quinn, “I knew New York would write our song for us. Just like some mysterious outside force always does.” The Spirit of New York makes her dance extra bad, out of spite.
Outside the auditorium, they are all awash in elation over their utterly mediocre performance. This is the moment they have all been waiting for! The top 10 list is posted! They’re super confident that they’ve run away with it. However, the audience is aware of another very important “10” that the gleeks are not: there are only TEN minutes left in this episode. As in, no freaking way are they doing the final round in ten minutes. Also, they already sang both of the songs that they wrote five minutes ago. And thus, the Nude Erections’ dreams are shattered before our very eyes. Jesse St. James pops up out of nowhere and gives each one of them a slap in the face. The End.
THIRTY YEARS LATER: After the Glee Club was run out of New York for not paying their astronomical hotel bill (destroying $500 feather pillows and ordering a metric ton of foie gras and caviar at 2am will do that…), they returned to Lima and fell into disrepute. Some of them have since managed to lead respectable lives. In our closing montage, Kurt and Blaine sit having coffee in Gay Utopia, reminiscing their younger, hair-poofier days…Santana paces the block outside, pulling razor blades out of her hair and cursing at pedestrians…Sam and Mercedes pass by, nodding knowingly at their former friends as they board the boats to the West…Brittany drives by, picks up Santana, and the last we see of them is their convertible soaring into the Grand Canyon…Mr. Schu exits the coffee shop, and we watch him from behind as he holds up one fist in defiance and walks away singing “Don’t You Forget About Me.”
And in short, it came to pass that all that seemed wrong was now right, and those who deserved to were certain to live a long and happy life. Ever after! And we never heard from them ever again. Ever.
Ah, my Gleeky Tumblr friends. We’ve laughed, we’ve cried, we’ve cringed. Mostly cringed, I think. This may be the last of the Gleecaps, as this season has sadly been rather abominable and I don’t have high hopes for next season. As far as this summer goes, I’m thinking that True Blood might just be campy enough to recap properly…any Truebies in the house? Have a great summer, y’all, and I’ll see you soon :)