It’s official: We’re hopelessly devoted to Glee! And now that the show is finally back in our lives — and brought adorable Glee Project winner Blake Jenner with it! — we want to do a touchdown dance to celebrate. So show off your third nipple and grab your weekend gel. We’re now going to do that thing where we recap the episode — what’s that called?
The characters are in a post-"Break-Up” malaise when tonight’s episode, “The Role You Were Born to Play,” begins. Finn is hoping that a car will fall on him (yikes!) until Artie asks him to co-direct Grease. Finn is shocked that Artie would ask him that, but not as shocked as we are at how Finn manages to do the impossible: Look yummy in coveralls. How does he do it, people?
Meanwhile, Blaine is having a tough time dealing with his break-up (and rocking some yellow pants — with excellent results, we might add). He tells Finn and Artie that he can’t play Danny Zuko. He’s like, “I just can’t play the John Travolta role in Grease. The only John Travolta role I would feel comfortable playing would be his role in Pulp Fiction, where he gets shot a bunch of times.”
Okay, so we’re going to try not to go on a tangent about how Blaine doesn’t deserve to sulk since, uh, he’s the one who cheated. Granted, everybody hurts in a break-up, and break-ups can feel like the end of the world, and uh, [insert another lyric from an REM song here]. So we get that he's entitled to grieve.
But what we are miffed about is that we didn’t even get one scene with Kurt and Blaine at least talking to each other. You can’t expect us to quit Klaine cold turkey, Glee! We’re not made of stone.
Since Blaine has taken himself out of the running for the male lead, Finn turns to the football team for recruits. Apparently, looking for singers on the McKinley football team is the equivalent of looking for coins in your couch cushions when you need quarters for laundry. Translation: You’re always bound to find something.
And find something he did, in the form of lazy but well-meaning Ryder, played by beloved Glee Project winner Blake. And we're totally proud of Blake for knocking his scenes out of the park (to mix up the sports metaphors).
Ryder claims to not want to sing, but Finn somehow convinces Blake that he’ll become a better student if he adds another extracurricular activity to his busy schedule, which is logic that only Finn could come up with.
But that’s not the only way that Ryder’s life is changing for the better. The guy also starts chatting up Marley after he tells her that her mom hooks him up in the cafeteria, and these two are seriously cute together. “Meatballs: They aren’t only delicious — they also bring people together” is what we would come up with if we were the spokesperson for meatballs. (Do meatballs have a spokesperson? Well, they should.)
Ryder is an awesome character, and we love that he's sweet and little bit of a showboat, which distinguishes him a bit from Sam and Finn. And we can't wait for him to become even more different from those two guys, since we must admit that Kitty’s comment about Ryder having Beiber-esque hair automatically made us think of Sam with the Bieber bangs. (Not that picturing Sam as Bieber is ever a bad thing, mind you.)
Jake isn’t pleased that Ryder and Marley are flirting, so Kitty — who is a seriously unpleasant individual, no? — convinces him to try out with her for the musical. Those two, along with Marley and Ryder, are the finalists for the two lead roles, with the roles going to — drumroll! — Marley and Ryder. And Unique ends up with the part of Rizzo, even though Sue is ready to freak out about it not pleased.
So what did we think of the episode? Well, it's clear that we missed Rachel, Kurt, and Santana — but you probably already knew that. But the things that the episode did right, it did really right. For example, it’s great that Finn finally has a purpose — as we can’t wait to see him leading the glee club! — and the Grease songs were a blast. Also, Blake Jenner is as much fun to watch as he was on Glee Project, and his dance moves — along with Jake’s — were killer.
We loved Blaine’s song, and we loved watching Ryder and Marley get to know each other — they're gonna be so great as Danny and Sandy. But our “Favorite Scene of the Night” is kind of a no-brainer: How awesome was that hallway reunion with Mercedes and Mike? New Directions for life!
Also, it had been a while since we'd had a truly memorable Wemma moment, so it was touching to see the two of them connecting at the end, with Schue deciding to head off to DC on his own for three months. (How awesome was Beiste this week?) Whether or not their relationship can survive the time apart, we shall see.
That said, there were a few things that kind of bugged us. First of all, why did Finn have to say “retarded”? Sue was already an antagonist for him, so it didn’t really seem necessary from a storyline standpoint, and it also doesn’t mesh with the open-minded Finn whom we’ve grown to love over the years.
And Kitty had some amazing lines and nicknames for people, but we're worried that she may start to feel a tad too one-note, unless we get to her know another side to her. Coach Roz from last season was able to be mean and still have fun with it, but we don't quite get that from Kitty.
But with those quibbles out of the way, tonight's episode really was a blast. It seemed to be one of the funnier episodes of the season, and we can't wait to see everyone in their '50s garb next week. In the meantime, we're going to replay Ryder's touchdown dance scene about a thousand times. Don't judge.