by Melissa Albert
So it seems Mr. Schuester has been spying on teenage girls. Teenage girls who will be singing for other glee clubs in regionals, that is! And he discovers a competing team’s secret weapon: Frieda Romero, a tiny thing with a gigantic voice.
Inspired/afraid, he tells the kids they’ll have to sing amped-up stadium-sized songs to take home the regionals Grail. But just then, McKinley High’s power goes out. Instead of taking it as a bad omen, he declares it unplugged week in glee club.
We vote that Ryder be the first to unplug. He’s still hung up on his mystery internet “girl,” “Katie.” Even though she lied to him, and keeps refusing to meet him, he can’t stop thinking about her. He performs a heartfelt "Everybody Hurts" in a sea of candles, like an extremely handsome Phantom of the Opera. Then, he shares a secret with the club—one that he’d never told anyone before telling Katie.
At age 11, Ryder was molested by his teenaged babysitter. Sam and Artie don’t get it, congratulating Ryder for achieving what they deem the ultimate fantasy: hooking up with a hot teenager. Weirdly, nobody hammers into their heads what an epic fail this response is, and Ryder just decides to drop it.
But Kitty doesn't. She asks Ryder to dinner at Breadstix, and reveals that she, too, was molested as a kid, by a friend’s older brother. After the two of them connect, Kitty starts letting her feelings for Ryder show, but he rejects her in favor of Katie. But is Katie actually Kitty, as Ryder once suspected? And if so, what kind of game is she playing?
Sam performs an unplugged version of "You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’," the song he was (gulp) conceived during. But Artie rudely texts through it, leading to Sam blowing up over his friend's inability to truly go unplugged. To make amends, Artie suggests they go “unplugged squared”—no electricity, no instruments—for a Stomp-style, trash-can-powered "We Will Rock You."
But what’s Sue been up to? The last time we saw the disgraced Cheerios coach, she was leaving McKinley High for good, to be replaced by Coach Roz. Her new title? Freelance champion! Also, world’s cruelest trainer. After working a room of '80s-leotard-clad supermodels to tears, she’s waylaid by Blaine, who wants her to tell the truth (whatever it is) about what happened the day the gun went off at McKinley.
But even when Becky begs Sue to come back, she refuses. In the (spoiler alert!) Song of the Episode, she chews up the scenery singing "Little Girls," in celebration of finally escaping her high school charges. But Becky’s not giving up: She torments Coach Roz with fart noises until the coach is forced to turn her in to Principal Figgins—all part of Becky’s plan to tell him the truth about the gun.
More truth-telling in Bushwick: Kurt and Rachel throw an intervention for Santana, deciding that her current occupations (cage dancer, bouncer, Coyote Ugly bartender) aren't good enough. And when Kurt’s long-absent boss Isabelle gives Kurt the opportunity to help plan Vogue.com’s gala for the New York City Ballet (really? An intern? Planning New York’s hottest event of the year?), Santana reconnects with her childhood love of ballet. She and Isabelle sing "At the Ballet" from "A Chorus Line" (we loooove when “Glee” does classic musicals), then Santana signs up for a class at NYADA’s extension school. Hell yeah! We want to see her win a Broadway role right out from under that showboating Rachel.
The show closes on an a cappella version of "The Longest Time." Not even close to good enough for regionals, Schue.
Song of the episode: Since we already covered this above, can we just talk about the fact that Sam has a mounted wall of Chapsticks in his locker? Awesome.
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