‘Glee’ Recap: The Club Tries to Implement ‘Props’ Into Their Nationals’ Routines
Sometimes all you need is talent to stand out, but in this episode of ‘Glee’, the singing group attempts to use props to beat out nemesis Vocal Adrenaline. Tina (Jenna Ushkowitz) learns a lesson about Rachel (Lea Michele) when she suffers a freak body-swapping incident and Puckerman (Mark Salling) and Coach Beiste (Dot Jones) discover that there’s nothing wrong with asking for help.
In the episode open, Sue (Jane Lynch) wants Kurt (Chris Colfer) to wear a dress during Nationals to compete with Vocal Adrenaline’s cross-dressing Unique (Alex Newell), who managed to score a recent magazine cover. Meanwhile, Rachel continues on her path to gain acceptance into NYADA, appropriately singing ‘I Won’t Give Up’ by Jason Mraz. After she peps herself up she calls NYADA judge Carmen (Whoopi Goldberg) and invites her to Nationals to see her perform again and win an MVP award.
Will (Matthew Morrison) and Sue discuss the Nationals’ song selections, with Sue giving the club welding helmets and leg warmers so they can properly perform Irene Cara’s ‘Flashdance,’ hopefully getting props for their use of props. An angry Tina storms out after Rachel receives yet another solo. In the hall, Mike (Harry Shum Jr.) tries to reason with her that Rachel, as a senior, deserves a solo and Rachel herself argues that she needs it to get another shot at NYADA. She has worked too hard to give up this opportunity and Tina will be able to get more solos next year.
Tina is at the mall buying fabric for Glee club costumes when she trips and falls into a nearby fountain, hitting her head. Don’t text and walk kids! When she emerges from the fountain, she is dressed like Rachel, and Blaine (Darren Criss) and Kurt who rushed to check on her are now played by Puck and Finn (Cory Monteith), worried for Tina — as Rachel’s — well being.
The body swapping continues at school with Mercedes (Amber Riley) and Brittany (Heather Morris) switching bodies, and Artie (Kevin McHale) and Santana (Naya Rivera) trading places. Inside practice, Will and Sue have also switched places, and Tina as Rachel is forced to sing Rachel’s solo, Celine Dion’s ‘Because You Loved Me.’ Tina is finally able to bask in the glow of a standing ovation and she goes to thank Rachel as Tina for all her hard work and promises she will get attention next year. In response, Rachel as Tina tells Tina as Rachel (confusing, I know) not to give up on her dreams and go find Carmen and try again. After this exchange, Tina wakes up in her own body at the mall.
At practice, the New Directions are trying to work through their ‘Flashdance’ song, complete with power tools, but they cannot perform their dance moves because the heavy props detract from their routine. Even though the props make them stand out, they refuse to use them and Kurt stands his ground, saying he will not dress in drag.
Santana, Mercedes and Brittany go to talk to Coach Beiste about her marital troubles, specifically that she is still living with and wed to her abusive husband. Cut to a memory of Coach Beiste listening to Cooter (Eric Bruskotter) verbally attack her while she clutches a knife. The girls invite her to Nationals so she can get out of the house, but she refuses their request, arguing that she’s fine.
Inside the locker room, Sue gives them a pep talk with Kurt revealing a video he took of the Vocal Adrenaline practice, which features a difficult dance move called the Human Centipede. Sue tells the group that Unique is the “ultimate prop” of Vocal Adrenaline, and Rachel cannot hope to compete with her. In an effort to cheer Rachel up, Tina finds her practicing and tells her about her body-swapping dream, in which Rachel as Tina advised herself to seek out Carmen.
Sue tries to continue with her plan by giving the group even more props, having ordered enough little people for each of them. Puck enters in a dress and Will puts and end to the props. In the hall, Puck is being bullied by the hockey team for coming to school in a dress and not being able to graduate. His insecurities ultimately get the best of him.
Meanwhile, Rachel and Tina are headed to see Carmen, and the two agree they will sing together before graduation. Puck’s fight reaches a head when things are literally taken outside and he pulls out a knife as the assembled crowd chants the word “loser” at him. Coach Beiste intervenes and she discovers parallels between herself and her student, who tells her that he feels useless. The two break down together and admit how much pain they’re both in.
Rachel arrives to talk to Carmen, who expresses dislike for Rachel repeatedly, bothering her with presents and voicemails. Not only does it take time away from her own day, but it is unfair to the other kids who want it equally as much. Tina speaks up for Rachel, and despite Rachel’s passion, Carmen asks them to leave. They do, with Rachel promising to try out every year until she is accepted.
After getting some confidence from Puck, Coach Beiste goes home to break things off with Cooter. He promises never to lose it again, but ultimately she leaves so she can start loving herself. In celebration of their growth, she and Puck sing Taylor Swift’s ‘Mean,’ and she reveals she obtained permission to get him to retake his failed test. He may graduate after all.
Tina proves she learned a lesson by briefly walking in Rachel’s shoes and Coach Beiste asks Will and Sue if she can join them at Nationals. She reveals she left Cooter and an emotional Sue gives her a hug. Rachel and Tina share a song, singing ‘Flashdance / What a Feeling’ by Irene Cara together as they dance onto the Nationals bus. Will the third time be a charm for the New Directions?
Watch Puck and Coach Beiste Perform Taylor Swift’s ‘Mean’