McKinley High is hosting Sectionals for the first time since 1963! This is a big deal for the New Directions, who are eager to win, but also nervous about the competition because they are lacking their biggest star (Miss Rachel Berry), leaving the club feeling desperate. Meanwhile, there’s also the Troubletones, who are determined to win some respect as a legitimate show choir and to prove themselves as more than just leftovers of New Directions. Most importantly, last night’s episode of “Glee” was filled with some exciting performances; also, we see the return of one of New Direction’s most memorable characters! Let’s go over the ups and downs of ‘Hold on to Sixteen.’

The Players:

  • Director: Bradley Buecker
  • Writer: Ross Maxwell
  • Cast: Dianna Agron, Chris Colfer, Kevin McHale, Lea Michele, Cory Monteith, Heather Morris, Amber Riley, Naya Rivera, Jenna Ushkowitz, Mark Salling, Matthew Morrison, Ashley Fink, Chord Overstreet, Harry Shum, Jr., Cheyenne, Darren Criss, Jayma Mays, Jane Lynch, and Mike O’Malley

Episode Title: “Hold on to Sixteen”

As McKinley High prepares to host sectionals, Finn tracks down Sam (Chord Overstreet) and persuades him to rejoin the glee club in an effort to beef it up. Meanwhile, Tina comes to Mike’s defense and encourages him to pursue his dream.

The Good:

  • The Return of Trouty-Mouth (SPOILERS!): Not even the wonderful Blaine could fill the void that Sam’s absence left. It took eight episodes, but Sam, a.k.a. Trouty Mouth, is back. Finn and Rachel took a trip to the Bluegrass State, and found Sam working it for the ladies. The two convince Sam to move back to Ohio to follow his dreams of being a singer and rejoin the Glee club. Once back, everyone is happy.
  • Mike Chang’s Father Comes Around (SPOILERS!): It took a while, but Mike Chang’s father came around. Mr. Chang played a big role in last night’s episode. He shared a great scene with Tina, and later with Tina and Mike.
  • Troubletones’ Performance: The Troubletones performed a mash-up of Destiny’s Child “Survivor” and Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive.” Santana and Mercedes were the shining stars in that number. They sang from the heart, delivering a passionate performance. 
  • “Rich White Girl Problems”: Quinn finally gets over herself . She almost went off the edge during last night’s episode, but thankfully, she had Rachel to pull her back. Hopefully now she can live a normal life, enjoy her teen years, and let go of the past. We’d love to see her find a guy, go on a date, win prom queen, get into Yale… whatever! The world is her oyster.
  • Best Line: “I don’t like your obnoxious CW hair.” – Kurt

The So-So:

  • Santana’s Humor: While the New Directions were celebrating Sam’s return to McKinley, Santana dropped by to say hello. We get it, Santana’s humor is suppose to come off as dry and witty, but sometimes, she goes too far (and she speaks way too fast). Her little gag was not funny and not cute. It’s getting harder and harder to understand Santana’s humor, or enjoy it.
  • Who are the new guys? There’s a couple of new guys in New Directions, did any of you notice? What’s up with that?

The Bad:

  • “Red Solo Cup”: Sam has one of the greatest voices on “Glee,” hands down. He can do any song justice. It had been a while since we last saw or heard him sing, which is why we ask ourselves, why would his first song, upon his return, be “Red Solo Cup”? It felt so out of place, and awkward.

The Music:

  • “Red Solo Cup,” Toby Keith – Sam’s first performance since he left the show at the end of season 3. The New Directions celebrate by drinking sparkling cider inside red cups.
  • “Buenos Aires,” Evita – “The Glee Project’s” Lindsay Pearce returned to “Glee.” Pearce performed this Evita number during her number at Sectionals. She was great, though not as great as when we first met her.
  • “Survivor/I Will Survive,” Destiny’s Child/Gloria Gaynor – The Troubletones gave a strong and passionate performance of this mash-up.
  • “ABC,” The Jackson 5 – Mike and Tina lead New Directions in their opening number at Sectionals, and kill it!
  • “Control,” Janet Jackson – Quinn dominates during “Control.”
  • “Man in the Mirror,” Michael Jackson – The New Directions finish their set (and apparently, Michael Jackson tribute) at Sectionals with “Man in the Mirror,” lead by a quintet of strong male voices – Sam, Arty, Finn, Blaine and Puck.
  • “We Are Young,” Fun – The New Directions and The Troubletones come together once again, and sing an adorable number by fun.


There was a lot going on last night. For the most part, the performances were great, especially The Troubletones’ mash-up. Of course the best part of last night’s episode was Sam’s return to McKinley.

Rating: 8.5/10

“Glee” airs Tuesday nights at 8pm on FOX.

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What did you think of last night’s episode?