Glee Season 3, Episode 8 “Hold On to Sixteen” Recap: And The Winner of Sectionals Is…
Tonight’s Glee was full of events that we once thought would never happen! Quinn acting nice? Blaine and Finn patching things up (via an apology from Finn)? Sam showing off his abs? Okay, so the last one happens pretty much every time Sam is onscreen, but you sure won’t hear us complaining about it. Fist-bumps for everyone!
The episode, “Hold on to Sixteen,” kicks off with a newly suspended Rachel offering to help coach Quinn for Sectionals (which is about as generous as Rachel gets). Quinn then informs Rachel that she plans to get Shelby fired for hooking up with Puck. Okay, so Rachel and Shelb's relationship may not be the stuff that Norman Rockwell paintings are made of, but that's still a pretty harsh thing to say about someone's biological mother.
Kurt and Blaine grab coffee — seriously, do these two need a caffeine intervention? — when who should pop in but Sebastian, complimenting Blaine on his hair. (Okay, we can’t judge Sebastian harshly for that comment - Blaine’s hair is pretty perfect.) When Blaine briefly gets up, Sebastian informs Kurt that he intends to steal Kurt from him... and so an amazing war of words ensues until Blaine returns to the table.
To be honest, we can’t yet decide how we feel about Sebastian, on a scale from “we really hate him” to “we really, really hate him.” Seriously — Sebastian’s threat to break up Klaine is an example of someone needlessly ruining something that’s perfect, which is sorta like putting Swiss cheese on a sandwich. (We’re not the only ones who think that Swiss cheese is totally gross, right? Good.)
And then it’s time for Glee to trot out one of that those tried-and-true character cliches that we all know and love: The stripper with the heart of gold! Only this time, it’s a guy — Chord Overstreet's Sam Evans (a.k.a. White Chocolate), to be precise. Finn and Rachel want him to return to New Directions, so they track him down at a strip club, where he's working to support his family. Who's got some singles?
Sam admits that he’d rather be singing with his friends than strutting around naked in front of horny old women (gee, we wonder why!), but he still has to convince his parents. So we then meet Mr. and Mrs. Trouty Mouth, who agree to let Sam move back to Lima. Come to think of it, this scene reminds us of a famous Gandhi quote: “You shouldn't judge people who strip, since some of my closest friends have been strippers.” (Okay, so we’re only slightly sure Gandhi said that.)
Tina wants Mike to apply to dance schools, but Mike says he’s going to Stanford for pre-med to appease his father. At this Tina, calls him a coward, and Mike suggests that they should maybe break up, as his dad wants. Yikes! Trouble in paradise for the perfect McKinley High couple? Say it aint so!
Sectionals is fast-approaching, and it’s making New Directions about as stressed out as we get when we’re trying to guess when to press stop on the microwave popcorn. (Is it starting to burn? Are there any unpopped kernels? It’s too much pressure, people!) Sam and Blaine get into a shoving match over whether New Directions should be bringing sexy back, but then Finn tracks down Blaine (who's channeling his inner Rocky) at the gym, and they work out their differences. If only we could get Obama and Boehner to solve their problems with a fist-bump.
And that brings us to Sectionals. Up first are the Unitards (that name sounds pretty offensive, right?) featuring the return of Harmony, as played by The Glee Project’s Lindsay Pearce! And Harmony definitely impresses with her Evita number, although she proves that she’s a fairly big bi-otch when she tells Kurt that she’s amazed by her own talent. If we didn’t know any better, we might have guessed that Lindsay said that exact same thing about herself on Glee Project.
After this performance, Quinn sneaks out of the auditorium to rat Shelby out to Figgins, but it’s Rachel who saves the day, imploring Quinn to let The Troubletones perform and that she at least talk to Shelby beforehand. Rachel helping out the competition? Color us shocked!
The Troubletones are up and blow us away with their fantastic mash-up of “I Will Survive” and “Survivor,” with breathtaking dance moves and shimmering outfits to boot. (And who knew there was actually a Beyonce song that this show hadn’t already covered?) Following them is New Directions, performing their tuxed-out homage to the Jackson family, which we also loved. Who to root for?!
But what really made us teary was when Mike notices his dad entering the auditorium (not that the people on stage would be able to see the audience, but whatever). We doubted whether the two Mikes (Sr. and Jr.) would ever see eye-to-eye, especially after Mr. Chang dismissed Tina and her West Side Story DVD. But we’ve never been so delighted to be so wrong! (Uh, any chance we can get one of those DVDs, Tina? Thanks a bunch!)
So who won? Well, we’re glad that it was Tickles the Clown and not us who had to make the final decision. In the end, New Directions are crowned the champs, with Troubletones in second. And we loved that Quinn helped broker a deal to bring the Troubletones back to New Directions, under the agreement that they can sing one song during Regionals. Now, if only Quinn could work her powers of reconciliation to convince Slash to rejoin Guns N’ Roses.
So for those of you awaiting the return of a tolerable Quinn, tonight was your night. Not only did she talk to Shelby before finally deciding not to squeal on her, she also mentions to Rachel (during their adorable final scene) that she’s applying to Yale’s drama program. Now we could be a Negative Nellie by telling Quinn that Yale has probably the most competitive program in the country and that she should find a safety school, but that would probably just make her dye her hair and go on a baby-stealing rampage (again). So... good luck, Quinn!
As we alluded to earlier, our favorite moment of the night (just barely edging out Sam and his rip-away overalls) was Mike’s dad telling Mike and Tina that he now wanted to help him get into the best dance schools, with Tina then letting them know she had already sent in Mike’s applications for him. (How amazing are those two?) So if this whole singing thing doesn’t work out for Tina, it looks like she can have a fallback career as a black-market signature forger. (That’s a job, right?)
But we must admit that it is great to have Sam back. True, we kinda-sorta got bored with him last season, but he seems to have injected tonight’s episode with a burst of energy and — yes, we have to say it even though it’s obvious — sexiness. We’re also freaking out with excitement cautiously optimistic about the possibility of Sam and Mercedes getting back together, as Sam is clearly still interested (and Mercedes might be, too!). Sure, we like Shane, but where’s the guy been for most of the season?
So happy days are here again for New Directions. And we now realize that it was probably wrong of us to encourage Mercedes to hook up with Sam while she’s still with Shane. Then again, as Gandhi once said, “Cheating on your boyfriend isn’t the worst thing in the world, as long as the guy you’re hooking up with is really cute.” (We know – we're as surprised that Gandhi said that as you are.)