This week’s episode of Glee was kind of a head-scratcher. Thankfully it wasn’t as bad as last week’s pointless episode, but still when you look back on it as a whole, did this hour help propel any of the storylines forward? Unfortunately not. Of course the New York side is still flawless and fans were treated to a gorgeous rendition of a Broadway classic and Santana is one step closer towards realizing her dreams, but things in Lima have turned stale. It almost seems like Glee is trying to push as many hot button issues as they can before the season comes to a close. Read on for all the shining details from “Lights Out.”
So Here’s What You Missed On Glee
Unplugged: Will enters the choir room with a concerned look on his face and reveals that he went to scout out their Regionals competition and they’re in big trouble. (Side-Note: How about instead of spying on high schoolers, you spend more time with Emma? Also where is Finn? And Brittany? And why haven’t we seen Sugar (or Joe) for weeks now? Maybe you should be more worried about your MIA students and less focused on the competition.) Will says that the Who’s Your Daddys has a secret weapon sophomore who has a voice so big that she could fill an arena and he tells the group that they need to be epically over the top this year in order to win regionals.
All of the sudden all of the lights in McKinley go out and the always monotone Principal Figgins says that there is no need to panic, classes will continue and flashlights and candles will be distributed based on grade point average. (Side-Note: I actually snorted I was laughing so hard at Figgins. I don’t know why, but I absolutely adore that man.) In the choir room, Sam adequately describes the problem as a “zombie apocalypse” but Will quickly comes up with a new assignment: Unplugged week. The New Directions need to rediscover the power in their voices.
Sam volunteers to show the glee club how to unplug and he performs an absolutely gorgeous rendition of “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling” with just an acoustic guitar. (Side-Note: So are we really just not going to get an explanation as to where Brittany is? I’m sure many Brittana lovers were hoping that Sam was going to sing this song to Brittany and it would lead to their relationship downfall but I’m sorry ladies. Looks like Sam just really likes this song.)
Sam tells the group — well more specifically Artie — that everyone is way too connected to technology. “We’re so focused on being plugged into the Twittersphere and the Blogosphere that we don’t appreciate what’s actually in front of us and I think that’s just sad and lame.” Artie comes up with a plan to totally unplug and the New Directions sing “We Will Rock You” using bucket, shovels, brooms, and other everyday objects to make the beat. (Side-Note: Watching Jake show off his tap-dancing and twirling skills was jaw-dropping. We need more of that please!)
Sweating and Singing: We see Sue dressed in a snazzy new track suit and writing in her infamous journal that now that she has left McKinley, she gets to do what she does best: “Dishing out top-tier abuse to trophy wives, and self-hating single gals as a personal trainer.” Over in Sue’s workout room a familiar song fills the air and we see a group of aerobic-gear wearing hotties (and Blaine!) ready for their workout. (Side-Note: I literally squealed with delight and had a HUGE smile on my face during this entire scene. I love the original video for “Call on Me” [watch it right here newbies] so I was thrilled to see this mini homage.)
Blaine survived Sue’s workout class and tells her that the Cheerios are a mess without her and everyone needs her to come back to McKinley. (Side-Note: Wait a minute! How does Blaine now know exactly what happened the day of the shooting? Oh, I know! Maybe it’s because Glee cut out the scene where Blaine dressed up as Nightbird and discovered what really happened the day of the shooting. Lame. But it’s okay. I don’t really care right now because Blaine’s all sweaty. I like it. I like it a lot.)
Over in the bleachers overlooking the football field, Sue is watching from a far as Coach Roz is leading the Cheerios practice. Becky comes up to Sue in a matching tracksuit and begs her to come back to school but Sue refuses saying that she doesn’t want to be around little girls 24/7 anymore. Cue the Annie music and fans get a sneak peek into Jane Lynch’s upcoming Broadway performance as Miss Hannigan. While singing “Little Girls” Coach Sue fantasizes about tormenting and pushing her former Cheerios around. The song ends and Sue tells Becky, “You couldn’t pay me to go back to that, and I don’t miss them at all, not one bit. Not. At. Al.” (Side-Note: I really don’t have an opinion on that scene. It was meh. I would’ve much rather seem more of the NYC stuff, but then again I’m starting to wish that the entire show was just NYC stuff. Sigh… a girl can dream!)
Coach Roz barges into Principal Figgins’ office with Becky and then goes off on the best rant of the episode: “Sue’s adult baby is being a belligerent pain in my booty and I am not going to take it any more! First she started making farting noises every time I bent over. Then she started making farting noises every time I blinked. Ain’t nobody fart every time they blink that’s just crazy! Then Robin Sylvester called me Coach Chocolate Pie and I marched her down here so you could decide what to do with her. It’s your problem! (Side-Note: Goodness gracious that was amazing! Nene makes me smile.) Becky tells Figgins that the only reason she was acting out is because she wanted to tell him something about the day of the shooting.
NEXT: Ryder and Kitty Sitting in a Tree…
Ryder and Kitty Sitting in a Tree: The episode opens in the choir room and we see that all of’ the Glee clubbers are busying playing on their phones, including Ryder who is still talking to “Katie.” (Side-Note: Seriously Ryder? Seriously Glee? Just tell us who is it already! It’s kind of a bummer that the most interesting storyline in Lima is about someone being catfished.) Ryder asks “Katie” why she has stood him up twice and she eloquently responds, “IDK.” Kitty is right next to Ryder with her phone out and he questions who she is talking to—but she immediately calls him a weirdo stalker and says she’s playing a game.
Ryder and Jake are walking down the dimly lit halls and Ryder is once again talking about how “Katie” blew him off. (Side-Note: Oh my gosh dude get over it! That was two weeks ago! If it was really that important to you, then you would’ve mentioned it last week, but noooo you were too busy singing those awful original songs.) Jake then once again points out something we’ve all been screaming at our TV screens, “How do you know this person is even a she?”
Ryder quickly defends his cyber sweetheart and says that he cares about this girl and he has told her deep dark important things about himself — things that he has never told anyone before. (Side-Note: Life Lesson from Leanne: Do me a favor Glee-bees, do not tell your deepest darkest secrets to strangers on the internet — no matter how cute their fake pictures may be. Thank you for your time.) Jake points out that Ryder already had a big secret this season — his dyslexia — so what else could he be hiding? Ryder quickly refuses to say anything, but he’s worried that it will somehow get out because “Katie” might tell people.
Ryder gathers up some of the McKinley high orchestra and tells the group that he wants to unplug his feelings with this song. “I want to really reveal myself through this song and frankly I’d like to dedicate this song to all of us for all the slushies real and proverbial that we’ve taken over the years.” Ryder sings a lovely version of “Everybody Hurts” and viewers witness multiple flashbacks of the group’s slushie attacks over the past few weeks. (Side-Note: I’m kinda over the whole slushie thing. Does anyone else feel the same? Sure it was interesting in the first two seasons, but are we really supposed to believe that they’re still losers at that school? They seem pretty cool to me…)
As the song comes to a close Ryder reveals that he wants to tell the group a deep secret that not even his parents know about. “When I was 11 I was molested by my babysitter. She walked in on me in the shower and she touched me a bit.” The guys in the glee club suddenly don’t see what the problem is. They says because his babysitter was a female that he should be excited that an older girl fooled around with him. (Side-Note: Guys can be such idiots. When Sam wouldn’t let it go and started naming all of the ‘80s movies about youngers guys being with older girls I wanted to seriously punch him in the face.)
Ryder says that this traumatic experience has affected his view on girls and that he has difficulty trusting them. As Ryder took his seat fans saw that Kitty looked like she was going to throw up and we immediately know that she is hiding something. The scene quickly changes and we’re back in one of our old favorite places: Breadstix! (Side-Note: Let’s take a look back at one of the best Breadstix moments brought to you by the one-and-only Brittany S. Pierce: “There was a mouse in mine.” Classic!) Kitty asked Ryder to come to dinner with him and casually reveals that she and Puck broke up. “He dumped me when he went to off to live at a college that he doesn’t go to.”
Kitty reveals that she has had terrible luck with guys because she comes on strong and pretends to be slutty but then she suddenly freezes up and gets distant. She also, drops weird hints that her vagina has teeth. (Side-Note: Ugh! That was the worst visual that Glee has ever imprinted into my mind. Like a damn Venus flytrap…) Kitty says that she doesn’t want Ryder to feel like he was alone in glee club so she tells him a deep secret as well.
When Kitty was in sixth grade she was at her friend Julie’s sleepover and in the middle of the night Julie’s older brother climbed into Kitty’s sleeping bag. “At first I thought it was a joke, I didn’t know what was happening but then he started to feel me in places.” Kitty waited a while but she eventually told her parents what happened and her mom called Julie’s parents.
Julie told all of Kitty’s friends to stop talking to her and Kitty decided that it would just be easier to switch schools. Ryder is so glad that Kitty opened up to him and he held her hand at the dinner table realizing that they are more alike that he thought. (Side-Note: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: If you lovely ladies out there ever need someone to talk to, tell your parents or a trusted a teacher or you’re more than welcome to reach out me. No one should ever feel like they’re alone.)
NEXT: At The Ballet and The Episode’s Best Moments
At The Ballet: Santanna shuffles into the NYC loft dragging in an old arm chair and looking 27 different kinds of fierce in the process. (Side-Note: Santana is here!!! Oh how I have missed her wanky ways, blunt behavior, and pretty pretty face.) While Santana is looking jazzed about her new dumpster treasure, Rachel and Kurt calmly yet firmly ask her to take a seat because they need to have a conversation. Rachel jumps right in saying, “We think you’re throwing you life away.” (Side-Note: Sheesh Rachel way to sugarcoat it!)
Kurt chimes in, “It’s bad enough you let those horny tourists grope you for tips at that awful Coyote Ugly bar but Tina just informed me that you’re now a bouncer at a lesbian beer garden?” (Side-Note: So is that all Tina is good for now? A blabbermouth who needs to stir up drama from hundreds of miles away? Goodness gracious Tina get a hobby!)Rachel tells her roomie that she needs to stop being a go-go dancer and put her talents to good use. “You’re so talented Santana. You’re like the most talented person I know — Obviously with the exception of me and Kurt... So I’m telling you what you told me which is that you just need to stop and focus on your talent.”
(Side-Note: I’m all warm and fuzzy right now because I love how much HummelBerry cares about Santana and how badly they want her to discover what her dreams are.) Santana brushes off their attempts to help and tells her roommates to stop pushing their Broadway dreams onto her. “I don’t think I need to be taking any advice from TV’s Blossum and lady Elaine Fairchild.” (Side-Note: Fact: Santana is all kinds of perfect and she can do no wrong. Do your thing girl and dance your ass off.)
Over at Vogue.com we see that Kurt is actually still working there and the lovely Isabelle is just as unexpectedly kind and sweet as we remember. She immediately asks Kurt how his father is doing and Glee fans everywhere cheered with delight because we’re finally going to get some answers about the world’s best dad. Kurt responds, “He’s doing good. He’s back at work and all of his treatments seem to be working.” (Side-Note: Yaaaay! Burt’s okay! Thank you so much for asking Isabelle! It’s a shame we’ve had to wait this long for any kind of an update—something this serious should have been mentioned a lot sooner.)
Kurt apologizes that ever since he got accepted into NYADA he has not been putting in as much time and effort into his internship, but Isabelle graciously tells him, “Though NYADA’s gain, is Vogue.com’s loss, I will never stop anyone from perusing their passion.” Kurt quietly and adorably tells her, “Bless you fairy godmother.” (Side-Note: I second that!) Isabelle tells Kurt that she needs his help at the New York City Ballet Gala and he’s allowed to bring a few friends along to help him.
Back in the loft Kurt enters the room looking like he’s going to pee his pants from excitement and he tells Rachel and Santana that they all get to attend the event of the year. As Kurt and Rachel jump up and down and shriek with glee Sanatana quips, “And just when you thought it couldn’t get any gayer, it does.” Kurt and Rachel recall their first ballet classes and fans are treated to flashbacks to mini versions of our Glee favorites. (Side-Note:How adorable was mini Kurt with that pink tut and wand? Absolutely adorable!) After trying to bail, Santana is convinced to stay when she is promised a designer gown from the legendary Vogue.com vault.
At the gala, Kurt looks oh-so dapper but Rachel and Santana are absolutely breath-taking in their floor-length designer gowns. Rachel politely asks Isabelle if there is any way they could watch the performance from the audience but Isabelle flat-out refuses. She then smiles saying that they are going to watch the ballerinas rom the wings with her. Santana then reveals to the group that she loves ballet just as much as they do — if not more. “I only took a few lessons but it helped me escape a little. It was the first time I danced and I felt safe there and not different and part of something… beautiful.
All of the sudden Santana, Rachel, Kurt and Isabelle are up on stage and Santana breaks into a flawless rendition of A Chorus Line’s “At The Ballet.” Complete with flashbacks to their childhood and dancing ballerinas in the background this performance was both emotional and exquisite to watch. (Side-Note: Does anyone else have chills right now? Goodness gracious this is one of the most visually stunning performances we’ve ever seen on Glee. I absolutely loved it! Oh and Sarah Jessica Parker’s voice was just lovely.) At the end of the song Isabelle gives Santana some perfect advice: “It doesn’t have to be ballet or Broadway, just as long as it’s something that you love. Something that feeds your soul and Santana, baby-steps are okay.”
The Final Five: The power is finally back on and we see Ryder in the library having another online conversation with “Katie.” Ryder tells “Katie” that he tried to look for any signs of who she could be in glee club, but even when he was revealing his secret, he wasn’t able to figure out who she really is. “Katie” asks Ryder why he’s even still talking to her considering the fact that she has stood him up twice and completely lied about her identity. Ryder quickly types back that she has opened him up and he likes the way that she makes him feel. (Side-Note: For someone with dyslexia, Ryder can type awfully fast…)
“Katie” says that she’ll be right back and then ever so conveniently Kitty pops up out of nowhere and tells Ryder that she wants to take him out to lunch. He politely refuses saying that he “kind of has a date.” Kitty is hurt that Ryder would pick and online girl over the real deal and tells him that she never warms up to people easily and she was really starting to like him. Ryder suggests that maybe after he sorts out all this “Katie” nonsense they can go out then, but Kitty quietly says, “I don’t think so” and walks away.
Right as she leaves the room, “Katie” sends Ryder a message that says “Hi babe,” and he excitedly starts typing her back. (Side-Note: Come one! Are you honestly going to make us wait another episode before you officially tell us who is catfishing Ryder? This is absolutely ridiculous. The McKinley side is officially lame.) The New Directions end the episode with an a capella cover of Billy Joel’s “For The Longest Time and it was a light-hearted and fun number filled with longing glances from Kitty.
Back in New York we see that Santana has decided to enroll in NYADA’s extension dance program. After a few snappy exchanges, the teacher asks Santana what’s she’s doing in the class. Santana replies, “I love to dance. I’m an artist but I’ve sort of lost touch with that part of myself lately and I’m here to do some reintroducing.” The class begins and Santana sees her five-year-old self dressed in the most adorably little tutut. Tiny Santana tells grown up Santana not to forget her again, and Sananta promises she wont. (Side-Note: Well wasn’t that just all kinds of adorable. I’m thrilled that Santana is finally finding her place in life, she deserves the best.)
Most Heartwarming Moment: Knowing that Kurt and Rachel care deeply about Santana and want her to find a dream and be the best Snix she can be.
Most Heartbreaking Moment: Learning Ryder and Kitty’s dark secrets and not being able to give them a hug because they’re stuck inside your TV screen.
”Alright Rachel if you are still obsessing about what you are going to sing at your Funny Girl callback may I suggest your best jame ever, “Run Joey Run.”” — Santana
“We’re so focused on being plugged into the Twittersphere and the Blogosphere that we don’t appreciate what’s actually in front of us and I think that’s just sad and lame.” — Sam
“Citizens of McKinley the power has been restored. Congratulations to all of us for refusing to resort to idol worship or rampant cannibalism.” — Principal Figgins
”Sue’s adult baby is being a belligerent pain in my booty and I am not going to take it any more! First she started making farting noises every time I bent over. Then she started making farting noises every time I blinked. Ain’t nobody fart every time they blink that’s just crazy!” — Coach Roz
What did you think of “Lights Out”? What type of dancing do you think Santana about be best at? Are you irritated that we haven’t officially learned the identity of the catfisher? Sing your thoughts in the comments below!
Follow Leanne on Twitter @LeanneAguilera
MORE:'Glee' Recap: Sweet Dreams And A Lot Of Deja vu 'Glee' First Listen: The Songs (and Scoop!) From 'shooting Star' 'Glee' Tackles A School Shooting: Did It Work? — Poll
From Our Partners15 Nude Photo Scandals (vh1)33 Child Stars: Where Are They Now? (Celebuzz)
In a post-Harry Potter Avatar and Lord of the Rings world the descriptors "sci-fi" and "fantasy" conjure up particular imagery and ideas. The Hunger Games abolishes those expectations rooting its alternate universe in a familiar reality filled with human characters tangible environments and terrifying consequences. Computer graphics are a rarity in writer/director Gary Ross' slow-burn thriller wisely setting aside effects and big action to focus on star Jennifer Lawrence's character's emotional struggle as she embarks on the unthinkable: a 24-person death match on display for the entire nation's viewing pleasure. The final product is a gut-wrenching mature young adult fiction adaptation diffused by occasional meandering but with enough unexpected choices to keep audiences on their toes.
Panem a reconfigured post-apocalyptic America is sectioned off into 12 unique districts and ruled under an iron thumb by the oppressive leaders of The Capitol. To keep the districts producing their specific resources and prevent them from rebelling The Capitol created The Hunger Games an annual competition pitting two 18-or-under "tributes" from each district in a battle to the death. During the ritual tribute "Reaping " teenage Katniss (Lawrence) watches as her 12-year-old sister Primrose is chosen for battle—and quickly jumps to her aid becoming the first District 12 citizen to volunteer for the games. Joined by Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) a meek baker's son and the second tribute Effie the resident designer and Haymitch a former Hunger Games winner-turned-alcoholic-turned-mentor Katniss rides off to The Capitol to train and compete in the 74th Annual Hunger Games.
The greatest triumph of The Hunger Games is Ross' rich realization of the book's many worlds: District 12 is painted as a reminiscent Southern mining town haunting and vibrant; The Capitol is a utopian metropolis obsessed with design and flair; and The Hunger Games battleground is a sprawling forest peppered with Truman Show-esque additions that remind you it's all being controlled by overseers. The small-scale production value adds to the character-first approach and even when the story segues to larger arenas like a tickertape parade in The Capitol's grand Avenue of Tributes hall it's all about Katniss.
For fans the script hits every beat a nearly note-for-note interpretation of author Suzanne Collins' original novel—but those unfamiliar shouldn't worry about missing anything. Ross knows his way around a sharp screenplay (he's the writer of Big Pleasantville and Seabiscuit) and he's comfortable dropping us right into the action. His characters are equally as colorful as Panem Harrelson sticking out as the former tribute enlivened by the chance to coach winners. He's funny he's discreet he's shaded—a quality all the cast members share. As a director Ross employs a distinct often-grating perspective. His shaky cam style emphasizes the reality of the story but in fight scenarios—and even simple establishing shots of District 12's goings-on—the details are lost in motion blur.
But the dread of the scenario is enough to make Hunger Games an engrossing blockbuster. The lead-up to the actual competition is an uncomfortable and biting satire of reality television sports and everything that commands an audience in modern society. Katniss' brooding friend Gale tells her before she departs "What if nobody watched?" speculating that carnage might end if people could turn away. Unfortunately they can't—forcing Katniss and Peeta to become "stars" of the Hunger Games. The duo are pushed to gussy themselves up put on a show and play up their romance for better ratings. Lawrence channels her reserved Academy Award-nominated Winter's Bone character to inhabit Katniss' frustration with the system. She's great at hunting but she doesn't want to kill. She's compassionate and considerate but has no interest in bowing down to the system. She's a leader but she knows full well she's playing The Capitol's game. Even with 23 other contestants vying for the top spot—like American Idol with machetes complete with Ryan Seacrest stand-in Caesar Flickerman (the dazzling Stanley Tucci)—Katniss' greatest hurdle is internal. A brave move for a movie aimed at a young audience.
By the time the actual Games roll around (the movie clocks in at two and a half hours) there's a need to amp up the pace that never comes and The Hunger Games loses footing. Katniss' goal is to avoid the action hiding in trees and caves waiting patiently for the other tributes to off themselves—but the tactic isn't all that thrilling for those watching. Luckily Lawrence Hutcherson and the ensemble of young actors still deliver when they cross paths and particular beats pack all the punch an all-out deathwatch should. PG-13 be damned the film doesn't skimp on the bloodshed even when it comes to killing off children. The Hunger Games bites off a lot for the first film of a franchise and does so bravely and boldly. It may not make it to the end alive but it doesn't go down without a fight.