Holy crap! Glee brought it hard this week, like thirtysomething EXTREME brought it. The drama was up, the tension was great, and everything was perfectly set for next week's fall finale, the show's final ep until April.
"Mattress" opened in the teachers' lounge, with Ken (hey look he's back!) sitting with Emma and Will when Sue drops her latest bomb: She's blocked the glee kids from getting a page in the yearbook. Because why not? Kurt convinced the kids that they've been given a blessing, since the yearbook photo is annually defaced and will only heap more scorn on them. But Will -- curly-haired, idealistic Will -- lobbied for a photo, even though he had to buy out the ad space for it himself.
Will let the kids elect Rachel as the glee club captain, so they could send her as the sole rep for the photo. Emma and Will also talked about their relationship (or whatever) and Will's belief that Ken scheduled the wedding on the same day as glee sectionals just to screw with Emma and Will. Which, duh.
Rachel conned Finn into being co-captain, which for some reason meant they had to sing. They did Lily Allen's "Smile," though the auto-tune on Rachel's voice was over-the-top. She didn't even sound like she was in the same room! Ease the hell up on that, guys.
But Finn, of course, bailed on the picture after being harassed by football players. That left Rachel alone come picture time, but she pulled it together by singing "When You're Smiling" to herself. It was a nice parallel with the first number. When Rachel found out that the photographer had to shoot a local commercial, the bloodthirsty look in her eyes was priceless, as was the way she sold herself by claiming, "Aside from nudity and the exploitation of animals I'll pretty much do anything to break into the business." That's what I used to tell myself, too. But oh, how times changed.
Anyway, she lands the ad for a mattress salesman. The glee kids do a fantastic, high-energy version of "Jump" while bouncing around on mattresses. It's one of the most fun numbers of the season, right up there with the girls' "Halo/Walking on Sunshine" mash-up and "Don't Stop Believing." And what better inspiration for a glee club than the spandexed insanity of David Lee Roth?
But buckle up kids because HERE IT COMES. Glee is getting good at making the hairpin turn from funny to oh shit, and they did it by going from "Jump" to a scene with Will at home looking for a tie square and FINDING THE FAKE BELLY. You know. Terri's "I'm totes having a baby and not being an unrepentant bitch to my husband" belly. That one. And the whole thing was amazing. Matthew Morrison and Jessalyn Gilsig ramped up the acting and it totally worked. Like, Will gets violently angry and confronts Terri, she gets terrified, they're both crying. It's heartbreaking. Will said he wanted to be happy, and Terri replies, "This marriage works because you don't feel good about yourself," which is the darkest thing ever. And Will's tears! Shit, this was killer. Terri cops to the whole plan with Quinn, and Will grabs his keys and leaves. Glee, you snuck up and hit me good.
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Will headed to school and found a stack of mattresses the kids were given as payment (the wide shot of his discovering them was hilarious), so he slept on one. However, Sue saw the commercial and got the glee kids DQ'd by claiming their paid appearance violated their amateur status. The principal sided with Sue and told Will that glee is basically done. Dude! I knew the club would be up against the wall, but this is tough.
But Quinn double-crossed Sue, saying she'd rat out Sue's habit of taking swag unless Sue gave up some yearbook space. Will also resigned (I think?) from the club since he's the one that technically accepted the mattresses by sleeping on one, so he told the kids they have to pull off sectionals without him. Again: DUDE! Fantastic way to make the kids rally.
Everything ended with a great montage of photos being taken to "Smile" -- the old one about doing it even though your heart is breaking. Really nice tie-in with the others. It was a sweet, sad number, and a beautiful way to set the stage for the showdown. This ep almost single-handedly made up for most of the filler from earlier in the season. You better believe I'm pumped about next week.
Line of the night: The mattress salesman: "We here at Mattress Land believe that mattresses aren't just for sleeping and fornicating anymore."