Glee recap: Performance Anxiety

Rachel and Finn take a back seat as New Directions heads to Sectionals, while Kurt tries to fit in at Dalton
Ep. 09 | Aired Nov 30, 2010

SECTIONAL CHEER(IO) Santana (Naya Rivera) got her moment in the spotlight singing "Valerie."

Justin Lubin/Fox

It’s beginning to look a lot like Sectionals on Glee!!! How did this annual holiday come so fast? I mean I know that it’s not long after Thanksgiving, but it seems like it’s occurring earlier and earlier every year. I haven’t even gotten my shopping done yet…and by shopping I mean purchasing some wine at my liquor store to imbibe while recapping this show. (Said beverage also pairs nicely with watching Glee in the privacy of my apartment and weeping).

So clearly tonight’s episode was all about New Directions going back to Sectionals and attempting to reclaim victory. First of all, the Glee writers were once again being self-referential—which I totally enjoy: Basically, Emma called out Will for ignoring some of the team's major players, which definitely parallels what's happening on the show. (In defense of Glee's creative team, though, with such a huge and talented ensemble, it must be hard to give all of these folks major storylines). So, Will decided to buck the trend and pass over favorites Rachel and Finn for solos and give the major songs to underdogs Quinn, Sam, and Santana. Obvs this brought out jealousy amongst the group, particularly with Rachel. Well, Santana then chose this inappropriate moment to announce she and Finn had sex. Whoops. Not the best timing. Still, it gave a reason to have Lea Michele in more scenes, which I appreciated. She’s been underused this season, and I miss Rachel’s aggressive arrogance.

In Will’s defense, Mike and Brittany are incredibly talented dancers and it definitely does make the numbers come alive when they're busting moves. But I kinda feel like Mercedes and Tina were totes undervalued too and they didn’t really get any love until the very end…and that wasn’t even part of the big showcase. Oh well. There’s still the second half of the season, I guess.

One fun development of the Finn/Rachel estrangement was her return to the land of Puck. Yes, Puckleberry made a brief but welcome comeback. Why can’t these crazy kids just start dating? Probably because they’re both kinda delusional and self-absorbed, but whatever.

Despite Kurt moving over to Dalton Academy, he and Rachel had some really lovely moments in this episode. I’ve always really enjoyed their relationship—they’re both outcasts, but for different reasons, and they still share the same love for singing. Also, I love that Rachel fantasizes about her own funeral, but for purely egotistical reasons. Perfect. Much like their duet on “Defying Gravity” last year, the pair did a really beautiful cover of “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina.” Their voices are so oddly complimentary. One of the best moments was when Blaine subtly motioned to Kurt to stop being so theatrical during his tryout for the Warblers. Loved.

NEXT: Hey, Mr. Schu! Get a new love interest!


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