In “The Back-Up Plan” On This Week’s ‘Glee’ No One Comes Out Smelling Like A Rose

Photo courtesy of Fox
Photo courtesy of Fox

I miss season one Glee. Everything was so full of potential then. The characters weren’t hot messes. They were genuine and felt like a dysfunctional family.

Now several things have held over from season one: Kurt’s love for fashion, Schue’s relentless slightly out of touch optimism, Santana’s snark, and Rachel’s love of Broadway. From the beginning, it is all we have heard about. She is going to move to New York City and be a big Broadway star.

That has been one of the very, very few constants of the show.

Well instead of showing her struggle to the dream, she’s snagged it. She is in her dream role in her dream play on Broadway with glowing critical reviews.

Also Shirley MacLaine is on the show tonight! It just seems important enough to notice but I don’t really have any material on it. Honestly I’m more excited to see June Squibb next week.


Wake Up (The Biggest Star Is Falling): Rachel is living her dream life. She’s a Broadway star: toast of the town, stage door autographs, glowing reviews, her face on bus benches, and signing with a Top 5 talent agency. All this in the three weeks since the show opened. Her shiny new agent, however, tells her that he sees her staying on Broadway. While Rachel, despite Broadway being her dream for years and years, wants something more for herself. So when a TV Producer, Community guy, comes backstage and offers her an audition for a pilot; she says of course she’ll audition. Of course when she tries to bring it up to Rodney Dangerfield 2.0; he says that the show depends on her and she needs to do this. She has commitments. So Rachel decides to fake sick and sneak out to L.A. for the audition, since that is always a good idea. Kurt tells her that she’s an idiot. Rachel asks if Kurt would do the same thing. Of course Kurt would go audition for a TV pilot, Rachel. He’s not involved on Broadway right now! HE CAN DO THIS STUFF! The project, Song of Solomon, is not a musical show. Instead, it’s a terrible sci-fi space opera that Fox keeps trying to push on us since they were morons and cancelled Firefly. So Rachel embarrasses herself by singing for her audition and having a shitty read with her partner. She leaves the audition embarrassed. Then Rodney Dangerfield 2.0 calls her and tells her understudy is injured and they need her. So she tries to rush back but gets stuck in traffic. Kurt, instead of letting her rot in her mistake, goes to get help. Santana covers for Rachel as she was also trained to be her understudy. She does the first act and Rachel is back for Act II. Rodney 2.0 and Carlisle Cullen are both told the truth by Rachel. In a meeting with Sydney (who has earned my respect so he gets his name back), he tells her that he wants to fire her. Her actions were not good in the slightest. He, the investors, and others agree that she is an “ambitious, irresponsible child” and she doesn’t think of her consequences. She gets to stay on, but only because of the good press. She does this again however? She’s fired and sued for breach of contract. He’ll make Rachel Berry’s name in the Broadway community because she doesn’t have the star power yet. She leaves the office and is immediately called by the Community guy. She didn’t get the part but, instead, Fox offers her a development deal for a television show based around her.  

The Song Of June Dolloway: Kurt is thrilled. Absolutely thrilled because June Dolloway, socialite and maker of careers, is coming to a dedication ceremony for a dance studio in her honor. Kurt has been asked to perform. He tells this to Blaine, who is thrilled for him, and also asks Blaine to perform with him. Why? Because Kurt really does believe that they should be equals and that they should share their successes together. They perform the night of. Kurt is having a bit of trouble toning down his excitement and is trying just a touch too hard to impress June. June, however, is more interested in Blaine. She talks to them both after and right in front Kurt tells him that she’s not interested in him but his fiancé. Kurt convinces Blaine to go to a gala that June is hosting as her escort. Kurt tells Blaine that yeah he’s a bit jealous but he’s not going to go stop him from having an amazing opportunity. Again, Kurt is one of the few sane and mature people in this show. Blaine goes to the gala with June where he is introduced to famous people as her new pet project. He takes Kurt’s advice and starts spending a lot of time with her. June reveals her plans to Blaine, which is that she wants to do a one night showcase featuring him. Blaine wants Kurt to be in it with him, at least for a song, but June tells him that first love never lasts. She advises Blaine to cut the strings because Kurt is dragging him down. Having time together later, Kurt tells Blaine that he misses him and Blaine tells Kurt about the showcase for him. Kurt is thrilled for his fiancé because he is not an easily jealous psychopath. He is even more thrilled when Blaine promises him a role in it even though June clearly does not like Kurt. Poor Kurt.

Do That Thing (Sing With Me): Mercedes album is due soon. Her producer (who I am calling Warwick), however, is not that thrilled with it. He says that she is missing single potential. So she asks Santana for the assist. Why? Because Santana is her girl and they always sound amazing together. Also Mercedes is just a nice person. In the studio, however, both of them are not feeling it. Santana says that they need to get out of the studio and go somewhere new. Warwick thinks it’s a great idea and they find a place in the a basement of a building by singing a Lauryn Hill song. Mercedes wants to help Santana out since she is still struggling a bit in finding herself. She says that she wants a duet with her girl. Warwick looks at this practically and two unknowns on a single? No. This is supposed to be about her. This is her solo album. Santana agrees saying that Mercedes should do this with someone more famous then her. Later, Mercedes tries to convince Santana to sign a contract for the single but Santana refuses. Even though they were the baddest bitches in glee club, Mercedes needs to do this herself. After covering Rachel’s ass, Rachel makes Santana dinner to thank her and ask her what she wants. Santana tells her that she is trying to be a better person. In the end, she doesn’t want anything. She wants to work for her own dreams and for her friends to have theirs. Awww. Santana grew up a bit.

Chronicling How The Muscle Over Bec’s Eye Twitches

Three weeks in? Signed with a Top 5 talent agency? Potential Tony nomination? Adoration and adulation? Yes of course this is happening.

Movie and TV career? Where did that come from? Are we really talking about this here? Yikes fifteen years of Fanny Brice. This guy is freaking shit, Rachel.

Kurt picked for something good? Yay! And now he is going to share this with Blaine. Is Santana living with Mercedes?

Mercedes and Santana singing together on Mercedes album? Yes!

Wow. I like the endless loop of Rachel’s to convey her BOREDOM WITH HER DREAM ROLE!

God. I hope that this was all in her head because that Funny Girl audience would be confused.

Hey! Community fans look!

Jesus I hope they replaced Santana as the understudy.

Hey Rodney Dangerfield 2.0 still gets no respect at all.

Oh! Warwick from CSI! Again little material.

Kurt continues to be the only sane man in New York. He wouldn’t say no because Kurt has no big break of his own!

Well at least they know how to make a guest star feel welcomed.

Oh honey. You’re trying too hard, Kurt. This is pretty good. Oh Kurt honey. Of fucking course June hates Kurt and loves Blaine.

Wow. This is more mature then Blaine’s shit in “Tested.” Good job on maturity Kurt.

Oh hey it’s Eric Roberts. Again surprisingly little material.

…Um…I am unsure how to feel here. I think “Give Us Your Money” from Avenue Q would be more appropriate.

Mercedes also being legitimately kind and sweet. Damn the real world sucks sometimes.

Rachel you’re kind of a sociopath. Also I kind of hope that she was supposed to bring something to sing for this thing.

Bette Midler did this better. You look like you wanna cut her off. DO IT! Wow everyone in this room looks uncomfortable.

Is that someone from The Facts Of Life? All these people here and I have no material for jokes. This is a horrible audition.

Oh wow. We’re watching Rachel’s career implode. Karma? Yes this is karma.

And Blaine gets a show to showcase himself. Wow June. Kurt is him settling?! What the hell?! Holy shit Santana.

Rachel is so screwed. Santana is a better person than you.

I can believe you screwed it all up, Rachel! You should feel bad.

“An ambitious irresponsible child” is very, very true. Damn right Sydney! No longer Rodney Dangerfield.



“Wake Me Up” sung by Rachel Berry: It’s one of those instances where I love the cover and hate the context here. I just hate that she’s singing this about her dream role. That she suddenly finds this boring even though it is her dream. I do, however, really love the cover. It’s very soothing and orchestral. I love the string section in the middle. Listen to the cover is my advice here. A-

“Doo Wop (That Thing)” sung by Mercedes Jones and Santana Lopez: Naya Rivera and Amber Riley need to do an album together. I would listen to the hell out of that album. This song was great. I also loved Mercedes and Santana rapping. They sounded amazing and like they were having fun. Even Warwick looked like he was enjoying himself. Excellent job for a (kind of) Troubletones reunion duet! A

“Story of My Life” sung by Kurt Hummel and Blaine Anderson: Let me be real for a moment. This song? I think this song is one of my favorite songs ever. I have like eleven different covers of it on my iPod. I am not lying here. I love this song that much. My favorite is Scott Bradlee’s cover of it sung by Miche Braden. Flawless. So I take this song seriously. Chris and Darren? They did a pretty good job on it. The vocals were fine. They sound good together as they often do. Kurt’s over enthusiasm kind of took a bit of the shine off it for me though. I think this would have done with a bit more tweaking. Maybe make it a piano ballad or something? That would have been cool. Otherwise, I enjoyed myself well enough. It was good. B

“Piece of My Heart” sung by Blaine Anderson and June Dolloway: Oh. Shirley MacLaine…no honey. No Darren. Bad. Both of you bad. Again I have liked some really weird stuff on Glee. I have a list of guilty pleasures songs from this show. This? This was just not good. These weren’t the right people for this song. Oh Shirley I’m sorry they did this to you. I did not need to see you straddling that guy and digging for money though, Shirley. Janis Joplin I’m REALLY sorry they did this to your song.

“The Rose” sung by Rachel Berry: Bette Midler did this better. This was one of the most awkward things that I ever had to sit through. And I sat through a lot of awkward songs on this show. C

Next week, Chris Colfer is ready to show the world his writing talent. Kurt Hummel makes a theater debut with retired actors. June Squibb is there and I bow to her. Also Rachel trips over some dogs in from of cameras and makes a fool of herself. Santana, in her newfound optimism, says that hey she was at least wearing underwear.

Bec Heim