New Directions To Pay Tribute To Finn According To “City of Angels” Episode Summary

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While this current hiatus has felt almost as long as the current school year at McKinley High, and lately we’ve been receiving pics, spoilers and promos to satiate us till Glee finally returns to our screens next Tuesday.

One of the key episodes in the past few seasons has been that all important Nationals episode and today the extended synopsis of season five’s “City of Angels” has been released.

We already know a fair bit about this episode. We know that Nationals takes place in Los Angeles (and we get Artie, Jake, Blaine, Sam & Will singing Randy Newman’s “I Love L.A.” just in case we missed that). We’ve seen pics of guest stars Marlee Matlin and Skylar Astin on set. We know that Burt (Mike O’Malley) and Carole (Romy Rosemont) are going to be in it. We also know that New Directions will be up against Throat Explosion with their powerhouse lead singer Jean-Baptiste (Astin) and The Amazonians. However, the extended synopsis sheds some light, and also raises some questions, about the episode.

“The gleeks travel west to Los Angeles for Nationals, dedicating their performance in the all-important competition to Finn’s memory. Once in L.A. and following the requisite sightseeing, New Directions meet their main competition, the cutting edge “Throat Explosion.” As Blaine is most familiar with the stellar reputation of the revolutionary show choir and its intimidating and enigmatic star, Jean-Baptiste, ND’s de facto leader is the first to fall victim to their opponent’s psychological warfare. Heeding Will’s advice, Sam steps up to rally the troops. While a seemingly able leader in his own right, Sam’s greatest asset – his infectious optimism – is threatened when one of his lucky charms goes missing.

Meanwhile, chaperones Burt and Carole offer inspirational words on their late son’s behalf, and look forward to sharing the experience of Nationals with Finn’s friends in the hopes it will bring back fond memories of their son… but their recent and devastating loss may still prove to be too painful. And when Ryder learns that a deflated Marley has given up on songwriting and has decided to quit glee club for good, he and Jake enlist the help of a former gleek who has had plenty of experience with adversity.”

At the time that “The Quarterback” was about to air last year, Ryan Murphy spoke about how Finn’s death would “resonate throughout the year” and that they would keep mentioning him. We’ve seen this in episodes like “The End of Twerk” when Kurt and Rachel get their tattoos and “A Katy or A Gaga” when Kurt first attempts to get Rachel to join his band. The New Directions dedication of their Nationals performance to Finn is another example of this and a fitting tribute to his character and the role he played in getting them to this point in the competition season (remember way back in season 4 when Finn was actually in charge of Glee club and took New Directions to Sectionals).

So onto the other things revealed in the extended synopsis. Is Blaine going to have a meltdown of some sort? I like the idea of Sam coming into his own and proving his leadership capabilities, though it does seem a lot like a re-run of Finn’s role in season one’s “Sectionals”. I’m a bit confused as to why Burt and Carole would be chosen as chaperones for the event. Neither of their sons is in New Directions let alone at McKinley High anymore, but hey we get to see Burt and Carole and I’m always in favour of that. Also Faye Dunaway is appearing as herself… is this another of the National judges revealed?

Along with the above mentioned Randy Newman cover, the other songs in the episode include:
“Vacation” by The Go-Go’s sung by The Amazonians
“Counting Stars” by OneRepublic sung by Jean-Baptiste and Throat Explosion
“Mr. Roboto” by Styx sung by Jean-Baptiste and Throat Explosion
And the New Directions performing:
“More Than A Feeling” by Boston
“America” by Neil Diamond
“I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” by U2.

The Nationals episode “City of Angels” airs on Tuesday 11th March on FOX.

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Clare Sidoti

Clare Sidoti is 4 Your Excitement's Editor-at-Large. Clare has a BA (Theatre and Film Studies) from the University of New South Wales, Australia and an MA Theory and Practice of Human Rights from the University of Essex, UK. She currently works for an NGO that runs human rights training in the Asia Pacific region. You can find her on twitter with her eclectic musings on the arts, entertainment and human rights. Some of her favourite topics to cover include Darren Criss, Chris Colfer, Glee and Star Wars.
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