Glee recap: Poor Little Broadway Girl

Rachel gets bored with her dream of being a Broadway star and entertains other ideas of entertaining; Mercedes and Blaine both push the boundaries of generosity and logic to accommodate Santana and Kurt, respectively
Ep. 18 | Aired Apr 29, 2014

Tyler Golden/Fox

The camera pans in on that close-up we’ve been told Rachel/Lea Michele shouldn’t have (puh-lease, give me all the Lea Michele close-ups) as she applies her Funny Girl makeup and starts singing a sadder, slowed down rendition of Avicii’s "Wake Me Up." I like that it’s kind of an undoing of the great scene from last week where Rachel made her way from dressing room to stage to for her first performance of "I’m the Greatest Star." I had a little more trouble, however, getting down with the writers trying to have us feel bad for Rachel because she’s up to 40 Funny Girl performances and... I guess she's bored? Wake her up when it’s all over, because she’s kind of done with this whole starring on Broadway night after night thing. I don't think I can feel sorry for this girl achieving her dreams. Wait, maybe I can. Let me just -- nope, no, not an ounce of sympathy. But the episode never really helps me figure out if I’m supposed to feel bad for her, or if I’m supposed to be annoyed that she’s not appreciating all that she’s achieved.

If it’s the former, that’s ridiculous; if it’s the latter, that’s interesting, but ultimately too unrealistic (I know, I know) that Rachel would be bored of the dream she’s had since she was a toddler after less than five weeks of shows. It sounds great, it feels weird. B

But who cares what I think, because guest star Jim Rash, playing a Fox executive, thinks Rachel is fabulous and is dying to capitalize on her childlike boredom. He's inviting himself into her dressing room, telling her to come to L.A. to audition for his new show, Song of Solomon (which I swear is already a show on CBS). He suggests Tuesday might be a good day to come to L.A.. and to let her understudy give "People" a try. Rachel tries to feign exhaustion with Sydney the Producer to arrange just such an opportunity and he tells her she can pass her job over to her understudy when aliens invade Manhattan or her head falls off…and even then, she might just need a steroid shot.

According to the timeline that Glee continues to treat like a chew toy, Santana is back in New York permanently again and living in Mercedes' Giant House of Bedrooms. Mercedes returns home and says that her producers have listened to her album and didn’t hear a single single -- er, a song they think could be a single. Then, staring into Santana’s beautiful face, Mercedes realizes that the two of them have always been bad bitches together -- which, yes. Why not give it a try in the recording studio? They head over to meet with Mercedes' Crime Scene Investigator producer, but quickly realize they’re not feeling inspired by the setting.

Santana reminds Mercedes that the reason she came to New York was to capture the spirit of the city. Then they just go sing in different parts of the building, namely, the bathroom and the basement. NOTHING MAKES SENSE! But it is a diva-tastic Mercedes/Santana number, and it does bring some Lauryn Hill into the mix with "Doo-Wop (That Thing)," so thank-yous all around from my pre-teen self. I don’t quite understand what singing a cover accomplishes as far as the producer feeling like they found a single, but "Mercedes Jones, you got yourself an album!" seems like pretty positive feedback. B+

Over at NYADA, which is a school that some of these characters still go to, Kurt is buzzing because "the coolest socialite in the world," June Dolloway -- widow of a mineral baron, muse of Helmut Newton, peyote tripper with Joe Kennedy -- is coming to the school for the unveiling of a dance lab that’s being dedicated to her. Kurt has been selected to perform at the ribbon cutting. He asks Blaine to perform with him, because they’re getting married -- so if something happens for one of them, it happens for both of them. Good lord, is that how it works? May I never fall in love with a musical performer, fire breather, or anyone particularly "sporty."

June, played by Shirley "A-f---ing-mazing" MacLaine,  arrives to the unveiling. It's fun to see Kurt finally excited about a storyline of his own again (don't get too attached). He hits the stage with Blaine in coordinating jewel-tone suits to perform One Direction’s "Story of My Life." It sounds perfectly good in their two-part harmony, but it's mostly just hilarious watching Blaine casually nail his spots while Kurt stares like a maniac because he’s so excited to be performing for June. It took me a while to understand why Kurt had all the lame verses, while Blaine had the much more exciting bridges and higher harmony on the chorus. June could only be impressed by one half of their "youthful energy" -- and since Kurt was given a small sliver of Blaine’s charmed life last week, we're being set up for the golden boy to get back in the throne-like saddle. B

Apparently, June has "an eye for the extraordinary" and asks Blaine to accompany her to a big upcoming fundraiser. Only Blaine. And just when these two had started making their mouths into smile-shapes toward each other again...

NEXT: A sneak peak at Fox's 2016 upfronts...

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