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This episode tore out my heart when it opened with Blaine singing “Hopelessly Devoted to You” from Grease, the school musical for which the glee members are auditioning. In traditional Grease fashion, Blaine depressingly walks down the football bleachers and slow-mo moves through cheerleaders and football players doing blackflips, akin to the “Hold My Hand” performance in Across the Universe.
After being dismissed from the army and breaking up with Rachel, Finn is working at his stepdad’s tire shop and is pretty pessimistic about his future, until Artie rolls in and convinces him to co-direct Grease. They offer the part of Danny Zuko to Blaine who rejects it because he doesn’t feel up to playing a romantic role after his breakup with Kurt.
Artie recruits Mercedes and Mike to return as vocal coach and choreographer. They make Finn realize that he has to find someone to play Danny, just like Will went out of his way to recruit Finn for glee club in the series’ first season. By talking to Coach Beiste he finds the new kid, Ryder Lynn (Blake Jenner), who is a pretty good dancer. Finn and Ryder sing “Juke Box Hero,” while imagining that the auditorium is a concert stage with a live audience.
Meanwhile, Wade is conflicted because he wants to play Rizzo but knows that his chances of getting the part as a male are slim. Sue overhears him telling Marley this and gives them a diatribe about what a bad idea it will be. This only gets Wade and Marley fired up about the whole ordeal and they audition together with “Blow Me (One Last Kiss).”
Ryder, the most likely Danny candidate, introduces himself to Marley, who will most likely play Sandy, making Jake turn green with jealousy, something very obvious to Kitty. She convinces Jake to audition with her and they sing and dance to “Everybody Talks” (Neon Trees).
Sue calls Finn into Principal Figgins’ office and confronts him about letting Wade try out for Rizzo. Finn keeps his ground and accuses her of being a bigot. Ironically, Sue is actually worried about Wade’s welfare, predicting that he will become a target of ridicule and possibly violence. Eventually she walks out of the room because of a comment Finn makes about her baby.
Will has decided to take a position on a blue ribbon panel for arts in education. He and Emma argue over it because he wants her to drop everything and go to Washington, D.C. with him for three months. Emma finally gives in until Coach Beiste makes her confess that she doesn’t really want to go.
Finn, Artie, Mercedes, and Mike host callbacks in which they ask Marley, Kitty, Jake, and Ryder to perform “Born to Hand Jive.” The dance that ensues is much like the one in the film Grease when the T-Birds switch Sandy out with Cha Cha, another dancer. Jake tries to get closer to Marley but is always foiled by Kitty’s attempts to keep them apart.
In the end, Finn casts Wade as Rizzo, Brittany as Cha Cha, Sugar as Frenchy, Joe as Doody, Sam as Kenickie, Tina as Jan, Kitty as Patty Simcox, Blaine as Teen Angel, Ryder as Danny, and Marley as Sandy.
Emma admits to Will that she doesn’t want to go to Washington and they come to an agreement. They don’t want to have a marriage in which one person gives up everything for the other person’s dream and they will get married when Will returns from Washington. Will’s next step is to ask Finn to run the glee club during his three month absence.
Songs in this episode:
“Hopelessly Devoted to You” (Grease) Blaine
“Blow Me (One Last Kiss)” (Pink) Unique and Marley
“Juke Box Hero” (Foreigner) Finn and Ryder
“Everybody Talks” (Neon Trees) Jake and Kitty
“Born to Hand Jive” (Grease) Mercedes, Marley, Jake, Ryder, Unique, Mike, Sam, Sugar, Brittany, Kitty
Image credit: Twitpic