Things were both awkward and familiar during the first part of the big “Glee” 100th episode celebration, much like an actual high school reunion. We were able to see what our favorite non-regular former New Directions have been up to since graduation — Puck’s in the military, Quinn’s dating a preppy Yalie, Brittany’s a math genius at MIT — while they tackled classic glee club songs from over the years.
Mr. Schuester got the past and present members of New Directions to come back to Ohio to celebrate the glee club as its final year of existence came to a close. The assignment for the week: To re-do past “Glee” numbers in a new way.
Will kicked off things by bringing back April Rhodes, who now owns her own island, to sing “Raise Your Glass” — which was already different from the original “Glee” version since that was sung by the Warblers and this one was a simple but fun duet (with some inexplicable auto-tuning).
Among the returnees were Puck, who got his own opening walking-down-the-hallway monologue as he informed us he’s now in the military and a changed man — and also is in love with Quinn, who was also back with her new boyfriend, rich Yalie Biff Mackintosh (a.k.a. “Gossip Girl’s” Chace Crawford), whom she tried to shield from her checkered past.
Brittany returned as “the most gifted mind in a generation,” according to her MIT colleagues, and performed a fun trio version of “Toxic” with Santana and Quinn, which included a sexy burlesque style dance number that Chace Crawford paid NO attention to. Come on, Nate! There were sexy girls dancing in front of you!
The class idiot-turned-math genius was stressed about her dance being off by a fraction of a second. Her only fun came from still hosting her hit web series “Fondue for Two,” with guests Mercedes and Rachel (and a cute nod to “Dancing With the Stars” winner Amber Riley’s dancing skills).
Rachel continued her bratty streak by keeping up her mini-feud with Mercedes about who should get the best solos in the glee club, so they decided to hold another diva-off (with Kurt) to see who should have the right to sing it.
Meanwhile, Santana tried to get Brittany out of her un-creative funk — which included playing human chess with the chess club — by singing an upbeat version of “Valerie” (and getting Mike and Jake to dance with her). But then Puck brought down the mood by dedicating an acoustic guitar version of “Keep Holding On” to Quinn, who started crying because she’d forgotten about that special moment in time.
It was halfway through, so time for lessons to be learned! Mercedes helped Rachel realize that adulthood is totally the same as high school, so she needs to get used to it and stop being so insecure. They decided not to have the vote, but they’d already tied.
While all of this was going on, Will and Rachel tried to save the glee club, to no avail. Sue was just too good at thwarting their efforts. April wasn’t able to use any of her ill-gotten money to help, but she did bring back Holly Holliday for some reason (so they could sing Pharrell’s “Happy” with Will, maybe?).
Quinn decided to confess her sins to Biff, and he totally showed his true colors. Surprise, he was a d-bag. But his departure allowed Quinn and Puck to reconnect as they paid tribute to Finn in a sweet moment at the end, as Puck told her she was his soulmate. He walked out, but she chased after him and sweetly kissed him and asked him to stay.
Brittany and Santana shared an ill-advised kiss, which dredged up some old feelings and Brittany told Santana she was sure they could be together. That reconciliation was left up in the air, though. We’ll have to wait a little longer to see if Brittana get back together for real — and if Holly and April succeed in their quest to save the glee club.
While the first half of the two-episode celebration focused on the old New Directions members, it seems that the second half, “New Directions,” will focus on the current ones. What did you think of part 1?