Whenever a television show reaches its 100th episode, there’s always some sort of special celebration. Well, Glee has decided to put all of those celebrations to shame with its 100th episode spectacular on March 18th. In addition to allowing the fans to choose their top 10 favorite Glee songs to be remixed and re-performed on the night – think of it as the Glee tribute episode to Glee – creator Ryan Murphy has confirmed that he invited all of the original cast members to return to the show, so that everyone can celebrate together. Among those confirmed to reprise their roles are Amber Riley, Mark Salling, Harry Shum Jr., Kristin Chenoweth, and Heather Morris, who left at the end of last season to have her son, Elijah.
Most notably, Dianna Agron, who played cheerleader Quinn Fabray, confirmed via Twitter that she would indeed be returning for the 100th episode, despite not appearing in the show’s tribute episode to Cory Monteith. There have been rumors of bad blood between her and Murphy for some time now, and her absence from “The Quarterback” only seemed to fuel the fire. However, it seems that the two have managed to bury the hatchet in order to give the fans what they want, and to celebrate Glee.
Of course, this is Glee, so no matter how many original cast members or old school performances the show gets together, there’s always the chance that things could go terribly wrong and the 100th episode spectacular could turn into a 100th episode train wreck. In order to give the writers a helping hand, we’ve come up with four things that the March 18th celebration should include, and 4 things that should be avoided at all costs.
Focus on the “Originals”
Glee currently juggles two separate shows: one in New York, with Rachel, Kurt and Santana, and one in Ohio with Mr. Shue and the McKinley High glee club, and the adventures in New York are always far more entertaining than anything going on back in Lima. This is partially because we are more familiar with Kurt, Rachel, and Santana and therefore more invested in what happens to them, but it’s also partially because we’ve sat through so many of those Ohio plots before. Therefore, the best thing for the writers to do on the 100th episode is to focus on all of the original cast members, rather than attempting to shoehorn the new kids into the plots. It worked well for the Monteith tribute episode, so it should work just as well this time around. And be sure to let us all know just what everyone’s up to now, and why they came back to McKinley in the first place. It seems obvious, but those are details that Glee tends to leave out.
Strip Back the Performances
Sure, it wouldn’t be Glee without an over-the-top array of costumes, dancing, and numbers that would put even the most expensive Broadway show to shame. But some of the show’s best moments occured when the songs were quieter, simpler, and made sense in terms of the story they were telling. Rachel’s pilot performance of “On My Own” was a touching look into who the character was and what made her tick. Santana’s use of Fleetwood Mac’s “Songbird” to tell Brittany how she felt about her was both moving and memorable. Artie singing “Dream a Little Dream of Me” as he came to the realization that he would have to give up on his dreams was one of the most underappreciated numbers that Glee has ever featured, and one of its best, the Rachel/Quinn duet of West Side Story’s “I Feel Pretty” and TLC’s “Unpretty” is proof that sometimes less is more. Glee shouldn’t be afraid ot go big for their 100th episode, but they should remember that their strengths often lie in their smaller moments.
Give Mercedes an Actual Plot
This one might just be a personal opinion, but it always seemed unfair that Mercedes never got a proper story arc to herself. Her leaving New Directions to form a new glee club was presented, resolved and forgotten about in only a few episodes, and the show spent much of that time painting her as the villain, rather than using it as a way to create a compelling story for an underused character. Similarly, her relationship with Sam was ignored and practically retconned, even though it was one of the most interesting plots the show has ever developed. So, Glee, why not put Sam and Mercedes back together for the 100th episode so fans can find out what really went on between them. Sam was never more interesting than he was with Mercedes, and it would be the perfect excuse to give her plenty of perfectly-sung diva numbers.
Bring Back Matt
Way back in Season 1, there was a character named Matt Rutherford, played by Dijon Talton. Despite being both a football player and a member of the glee club, Matt only spoke two lines over the entire season, and then disappeared without ever being mentioned again. There would be no character return that would excite the fans more than bringing back Matt for the 100th episode. Besides, everyone’s dying to know where he went, why he left, and why nobody ever brought him up again. The characters may have forgotten Matt, but the fans never will.
Making It Schue-Centric
When it comes to Glee, there is no character more universally reviled than the head of the glee club, Will Schuester. He’s not only creepy towards his students and far too involved with their day-to-day lives, but he’s also a terrible teacher. Remember how he used to be a Spanish teacher, but couldn’t actually speak the language? Has he even stepped foot into an actual classroom since the first season? He not only had his students help him propose to Ms. Pillsbury, but he also had Finn be his best man. A move that should have been sweet just turned out weird. He even stole Finn’s letterman jacket – that never belonged to him in the first place – from Santana while she was sleeping, and then blamed it on Puck. He’s the worst. It’s probably tempting to make Mr. Schue the focal point of the episode, for the narrative’s sake, but it’s better for all involved if he just stands in the background and occasionally writes a word on the whiteboard.
Too Much Singing, Not Enough Story
Glee was originally intended to be a television show that featured musical numbers, then it became a televised musical, but now it’s just an excuse to shoehorn in as many random songs and productions numbers as possible, without any regard to the story going on around them. We’re not sure when the Glee writers forgot that songs do not magically make up for a lack of plot, but we sincerely hope that it’s a lesson they remember when it comes time to write the 100th episode. Otherwise, it just becomes blatantly obvious that someone heard something on the radio and just decided to work it into an episode so that it would run a full 45 minutes.
Love Triangles on Love Triangles on Love Triangles
We get it; love triangles are a super easy way to add conflict to a show. But Glee has featured so many that they’ve run out of every single possible combination. Seriously, there’s been Will/Terri/Emma, Finn/Rachel/Quinn, Finn/Rachel/Jesse, Finn/Quinn/Sam, Sam/Mercedes/Mercedes’ Football Boyfriend, Santana/Brittany/Artie, Artie/Tina/Mike, and Blaine/Kurt/Creepy Dalton Guy to name – literally – only a fraction. For the 100th episode, why not take a break from all of that romantic confusion and focus instead on the kids who made up the glee club, and the friendship that bonds them together. Or, if you prefer, have them all fight each other. Just make sure it’s not over a romantic rival.
Anything Even Remotely Resembling This:
No offense to Jane Lynch, who is often one of the show’s best elements, but everything about this was a terrible idea. This may be the worst performance the show has ever done. Watch it, learn from it, and never speak of it again.