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Monday February 7, 2011 12:32 pm

Glee’s Super Bowl Episode Kicks Off New Drama


Few events have been as highly-anticipated as the Glee Super Bowl episode, titled “The Sue Sylvester Shuffle.”

Jane Lynch, who plays Sue, featured heavily on the show -- and that would make any episode a success. But since Glee also gave us an epic musical number, a big guest star and an eye-popping twist, we’re glad to say the wait for the next new episode won’t be quite as long as the last one.

The show opened with the original audio of Katy Perry’s “California Gurls” set to a new Cheerios routine featuring pyrotechnics, blue wigs . . . and an angry Sue Sylvester. Unhappy with the routine, Coach Sue made some of the girls hit themselves with chicken cutlets to try and cheer herself up. Sue’s problem is not that the routine is bad -- it’s that she has to find a way to top herself, as Quinn Fabray (Dianna Agron) pointed out.

Tensions among the football team were explored near the top of the episode as well. Karofsky (whose first name is David) taunted Finn Hudson (Cory Monteith), which led to a loss for the team and  huge argument about the school Glee club in the locker room. Coach Beiste (Dot-Marie Jones) managed to keep the team from breaking out into a full-fledged fight.


Mr. Schue (Matthew Morrison) and Beiste collaborated to bring the two opposing forces together. Per Beiste, the football team was assigned to one week in the Glee club. To demonstrate how great Glee is (and to satisfy Puckleberry fans), Rachel Berry (Lea Michele) and Puck (Mark Salling) performed a beautiful rendition of Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now.” Sadly, their duet didn’t seem to impress the football players much.

Meanwhile, Sue found a way to make her new routine super-exciting: human cannon. But Brittany (Heather Morris) balked at being shoved into the cannon, as Sue clearly didn’t know how to operate it. After being told by Principal Figgins (Iqbal Thera) that she can’t shoot a cheerleader out of the cannon without her permission, Sue went on an epic rampage through the school that extended to two scenes. At the end of her tirade, Coach Sylvester told Coach Beiste that she’s pulling the Cheerios from the big championship game.

But what about the halftime show? The gap was nicely filled by the Glee club, of course, and the football players still obliged to participate in the club. As they practiced together, they began to come together -- just as Schue and Beiste intended. Even Karofsky (Max Adler) began to enjoy himself, which led to the team performing a great version of The Zombies’ “She’s Not There.” But the minute the hockey team appeared (evidently, William McKinley High … in Ohio … has a hockey team) and one of the players took a jab at Karofsky by calling him gay, all that was over. The non-Glee football players lost their nerve and pulled themselves out of the big game.

Yikes. The three Cheerios who belong to the Glee club (Quinn, Brittany and Santana, played by Naya Rivera) were forced to make their choice: Glee, or cheerleading. The three sadly went to Mr. Schue to tender their resignations. Finn confronted Quinn about her fear of losing her popularity, which made Sam (Chord Overstreet) quickly step in to defend his girl. He openly challenged Finn, suggesting that he, Sam, would be a much better leader. And, for reasons you’ll discover soon, we have reason to believe this is only the beginning of the tensions between these two.


Somewhat randomly, we were treated to another fantastic number from Kurt Hummel (Golden Globe winner Chris Colfer), Blaine (Darren Criss) and the Dalton Academy Warblers. This time, they performed Destiny’s Child’s “Bills, Bills, Bills,” and it was fantastic -- so we don’t care whether it fit the episode or not. Thanks to Blaine, the championship game was saved. It was he who told Rachel and Mercedes (Amber Riley) that only four more bodies were needed, in addition to the five football player-Glee clubbers already on the team, to play in the game.

“We want to join the team!” Rachel announced during Glee practice. It seems that Lauren Zizes (Ashley Fink), Tina Cohen-Chang (Jenna Ushkowitz) and Mercedes decided to pad up for the big game. “When they snap the ball, we’re just going to lie down on the ground. We’re just doing to lie there,” as Rachel explained. “I’m going to bring the pain,” Lauren promised.

And that’s how almost the entire Glee club became the entire football team for William McKinley. If only we all went to high schools like this one.

The girls were true to their word -- mostly. Lauren knocked a few guys around on the field while the other three ladies faceplanted into the field . .  .until Tina saw an opportunity to pick up the ball and run in a touchdown. But Tina never completed the play. She was brutally knocked down on the grass, which led to a few heart-stopping moments of screaming at the TV. But Tina’s fine, and so is the football team. Finn took matters in hand. He promoted Sam to quarterback, made Puck to main recruiter for their still-to-come halftime show, and ran off to go find three cheerleaders.


He made them see the light, of course. Brittany, Santana and Quinn, encouraged by Finn, left their coach at the bus to the cheerleading competition and went to the big game instead. His speech helped Quinn overcome her fear. Puck’s speech helped convince the football players-turned-spectators that it’s better to try something than to be nothing -- why not participate in the halftime show, get back in the Coach’s good graces, and win the big game? It was a compelling argument, and everyone (minus Karofsky) took to the field to perform the fantastic, much-anticipated “Thriller”/“Heads Will Roll” number.

Led by Artie (Kevin McHale), the number was fabulous. From the make-up to the choreography to the vocals, it was perfect . . . even perfect enough to get Karofsky out on the field. Midway through and wearing a smile, he jumped out onto the grass to join his fellow football players. The team won their big game thanks to unity (in full zombie make-up, they chanted “brains” to the opposing team to psyche them out).

But don’t think that means he’s changed at all. When Finn offered to escort Karofsky to Dalton to square things up with Kurt so Karofsky can join the Glee club, enmity was born anew. Karofsky, who can’t possibly square things with Kurt without admitting to the world that he’s gay, laughed in Finn’s face and walked away.

Katie Couric (as herself) interviewed Coach Sylvester after she lost what would have been her seventh consecutive national cheerleading title . . . and, though it may be argued that Sue got what she deserved, we’re a little sad to see her failure. There is a silver lining, however: perhaps the loss will make Sue more devilish than ever.

And still, the show had yet one more twist for it. In a you-had-to-see-it-to-believe-it moment, Quinn walked up to Finn and kissed him at school in the final moments of the episode. And thousands of Finchel fans the world over are still screaming at their television sets.

That’s how they left it -- ripe for Tuesday’s Valentine’s Day episode. Love is in the air, music is in the heart . .  .and our DVRs are set.



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