Glee-cap: New Directions takes Regionals by storm

GLEE: New Directions performs at sectionals in the "We Built This Glee Club" (FOX)

If you are a self-respecting Gleek, you were glued not only to your TV for the penultimate episode of the series, you were also glued to your computer monitoring the cast’s final Paley panel in LA. Watching the purple carpet photos go up on social media, I had a small pang realizing once again that Cory Monteith wasn’t going to be with them.

That pang echoed at the end of this week’s Glee as we had flashes of past Sectional competitions won. And again, when the scenes from next week aired and we saw Monteith’s Finn as the voice over teased the ep’s story: see how the original New Directions all met.

But let’s press pause on next week’s finale and the inevitable tears, and focus on the new New Directions and their first trip to Sectionals. There were roses, thorns, and a couple squeal-y moments of joy:

Thorns: There are too many cooks in this glee club. Four coaches! That’s 25% of the required membership.
Roses: “You dance like a blind man with a back brace who hasn’t taken a dump in three weeks.” – Super gay Warbler (Kitty’s words, not mine!) had a decent burn there.
Roses: More development in the Roderick and Spencer bromance! Now bonding over their lack of dance moves. Yay newbie plots!
Feeeeeeeeels: Sam and Rachel’s lists. He’s just being so adorable, Rachel. LET HIM LOVE YOU.
Squeeeeeals AND feeeeeels: RETURN OF JESSE ST. JAMES! Roses, roses, roses to Glee for bringing back Jonathan Groff for one last Rachel and Jesse duet (even if the Roxette song “Listen to Your Heart” is a little heavy-handed). Naturally, Berry’s dreamboat ex is the pro-Broadway voice to counter Sam’s sensible “Finish school!” pleas.
Roses: This extra dance practice session is adorable.
THORNS, THORNS, ALMOST PLAGERIZING THORNS: Yo, Glee writers, this whole “cortisone shot to a badly sprained ankle to let a football player get back to business” B-plot? RIPPED from the pages of the 1999 hit teen film, Varsity Blues (starring Paul Walker and James Van Der Beek). Time to get an original idea, because the end lesson here is that covering up an injury, instead of letting it heal, will END your football dreams.
Roses: Naturally, Kurt is pro-NYADA in this great “What Will Rachel Berry Do Next?” And he’s a little – a lot – more articulate than Sam’s list(s). #TeamTroutyMouth
Roses: Prettiest prank ever! Look at all the glitter!
Thorns: Eeeeeew…followed by the grossest prank ever. Vomit, vomit, everywhere.
Nightmares: Schuester in a wig. Sue Sylvester bald. Can’t sleep. Glee characters might eat me.
Thorns: Finally we get to Sectionals, and the first glee club is a total snoozefest. Sure, they have female popstar capes-as-wings and actual falcons, but The Falconers redition of “Broken Wings” was ‘80s power ballad sans power. NEXT!
Roses: Vocal Adrenaline’s combo of “We Built This City” and “Mikey” was batsh!t crazy and totally awesome. It also made me want to watch Bring It On! Apparently, this week’s episode is all about movies from 1999-2000.
Roses: It’s unsurprising that Roderick killed it taking the lead on Hozier’s “Take It To Church,” right?
Roses and thorns: Excellent use of the girls and the Warblers’ collective dance abilities – and an actual chandelier – on Sia’s “Chandelier” but I have to ask why the FOUR New Directions coaches were so surprised by the mini Sia cameo from their own group. Is this whole performance ad-libbed and not what they’ve been practicing for weeks on end? That level of absurdity would mean mega thorns.
Roses: “Trixie, Racist Poodle” needs no extra context. It was the only entertaining 2 seconds during the judges’ deliberations.
More glitter and roses: New Directions FTW! You knew it was coming. You couldn’t believe they’d actually take it. But there it is. New Directions: Sectional Champions. (Will this season even get to Regionals or Nationals? No, right?)
Show of hands: Who believes Sue set-up Schue and the New Directions kids for a win? Hit the comments if you believer her story. Or not!
Decisive roses: Rachel picked NYADA. And Jesse’s sad she won’t be his co-star on Broadway.
More SQUEALS: Kiiiiiissssing! (I’m basically a 13 year-old girl right now.) I’m still #TeamTroutyMouth, but I am nostalgic for the Berry-St. James romance of yesteryear.

Blaine’s bowtie tally: Three, which rounds the tally to 40 for the season.

The two-hour season finale of Glee airs Friday, March 20 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on FOX and Global.