‘Glee’ Recap: Brittany Makes a Comeback As ‘Britney 2.0’
This Britney Spears/Brittany Pierce (Heather Morris)-centric episode of ‘Glee’ is all about comebacks and the often-fickle nature of fame and notoriety ... not to mention a parody on all things Britney.
The episode opens with Brittany excited to begin her second senior year. Despite her joy at having another chance, it seems like forces are aimed against her. She and her fellow Cheerios perform ‘Hold It Against Me’ and Brittany is called into Sue’s (Jane Lynch’s) office. The coach talks to her about an F- minus she received on a recent exam (which was filled out in crayon) and kicks her off the team. Kitty (Becca Tobin) is named head-cheerleader and Brittany pouts about the situation to Santana (Naya Rivera) via Skype.
Things aren’t better for Rachel (Lea Michele), whose megalomaniac teacher Cassandra July (Kate Hudson) makes her sit out on the tango for not having any “sex appeal.” Meanwhile, Mr. Schuester (Matthew Morrison) and Ms. Pillsbury (Jemma Mays) worry about Brittany and her recent depression and identity loss. The glee club is told to come up with Britney songs to perform to cheer up their peer. Artie (Kevin McHale) and Blaine (Darren Criss) perform the Britney and Justin Bieber mash-up ‘Boys / Boyfriend’ for their slightly happier friend.
Kurt (Chris Colfer) and Rachel find a studio apartment and discuss life. Armed with new purpose, Kurt tells Rachel he plans to reapply to NYADA and work at Vogue in the meantime. He also reveals Cassandra July’s back-story to a stunned Rachel. Apparently, the dance teacher earned the nickname “Crazy” July when she attacked an old man during her Broadway preview when his cell phone started ringing, signaling the end of her career.
Unique (Alex Newell) learns that Marley (Melissa Benoist) is attracted to bad boy Jake (Jacob Artist) and tries to talk her out of it -- through song -- that he’s not dating material. What follows is a montage of Jake flirting set to Unique, Sugar (Vanessa Lengies), Tina (Jenna Ushkowitz) and Marley singing ‘Womanizer.’ Marley proves to have learned nothing from the song when she still agrees to hang out with Jake after her performance.
Rachel meets up with Brody (Dean Geyer) in the park so she has someone to tango with, and Tina, Sam (Chord Overstreet) and Joe (Samuel Larsen) perform ‘3’ for Brittany. This does not have the desired effect and the former cheerleader tries to buzz off all of her hair and then runs into the hallway attacking pseudo paparazzi in the process. Artie realizes that in order to help her, they need to get Brittany back in the spotlight.
With other troubled youth, Mr. Schuester continues to try to get Jake on the right track and Jake continues to fight him every step of the way. He meets up with Marley at the bleachers and the pair sing the Aerosmith and Britney mash-up ‘Crazy / (You Drive Me) Crazy.’ By the song’s end, a happy Marley is wearing Jake’s jacket.
The New Directions try to have a Brittany intervention, inviting Brittany to perform at the pep rally. She agrees on the condition that she is allowed to lip sync her song. They reluctantly agree.
Rachel shows up to dance class in a tiny black dress to prove to Cassandra that she can be sexy. She performs ‘Oops! … I Did It Again’ in an intricate table dance routine complete with smoke. Afterward, she calls out a non-impressed Cassandra for being jealous of her future and she is kicked out of class.
Back at the school, Marley steps in when some boys make fun of her mother (the school lunch lady) and Jake also helps out (with his fists). Mr. Schuester breaks up the fight and takes the boy to talk to someone: his brother Puck (Mark Salling), who flew in from L.A. Noah gives the boy a pep-talk, telling him that things can get better, through glee club, in hopes it will help change his half-brother’s negative attitude.
At the pep rally, Brittany gives the school a disastrous performance of ‘Gimme More,’ stuffing her mouth with cheese snacks and missing all her cues. Kitty calls the club out on their lip syncing and Brittany collapses onto the ground with her snacks. Inside the glee room, Mr. Schuester yells at the group for the stunt, telling them that it could cost them the ability to perform at future competitions. An even more upset Brittany resigns.
Rachel takes the high road and apologizes to Cassandra, who gives her some parables on the difficulties of being in the spotlight and the true nature of fame. Despite her desire not to let her back into her class, she admits that school policy only allows her to give Rachel a warning and she assigns Rachel laundry duty for her actions.
In the auditorium, Brittany tells Sam she was only acting out so she could have a comeback like her idol Britney. Glad to have a new friend in Sam since she hasn’t heard from Santana recently, she proceeds to get her position back in the Cheerios. Using the class charter, Brittany tells her ex-coach that she is being tutored and already receiving better grades. Sue gives Brittany her place on the team back.
On the east coast, Kurt and Rachel discuss Finn (Cory Monteith) with Rachel, still upset that she has yet to hear from him while she paints his name on the wall inside a heart. Brody shows up at the studio with housewarming orchids for Rachel while Kurt slips out. Despite that she has a boyfriend, Brody tells Rachel he has feelings with her, feelings that he promises will not change. A confused Rachel turns him down.
Jake reveals to Marley that he plans to join the glee club after his talk with Puck, and the pair promises to help each other out. This touching moment is immediately broken when Kitty arrives to tell Marley that she and Jake are dating as she takes the boy’s jacket from Marley. In the glee room, Marley sings the ballad ‘Everytime’ to express her feelings. As she sings, we learn that Cassandra has allowed Rachel the opportunity to participate in class, Brittany has still not heard from Santana, and Marley is hurt by Jake and Kitty’s relationship.
The episode ends with Rachel painting over the heart with Finn’s name in it, symbolizing that she is ready to move on.