When it was first announced that Glee‘s McKinley High would do a rendition of Grease, red flags were raised. Their last production was good, but only because Rachel and Kurt were still around. The current state of the glee club is vastly different. Marley has sort of become the new Rachel, but she hadn’t made an impact until now. The new girl went through an emotional roller coaster on last night’s “Glease,” and she finally stood out.

The Players:

Episode Title: “Glease”

The McKinley High production of Grease opens starring Ryder as Danny Zuko and Marley as Sandy Olsson. Santana returns to Lima to help out with the show. So do Kurt and Rachel, but things get awkward when they run into Finn and Blaine. Kitty hosts a sleepover for the girls in the musical, using it as an opportunity to undercut and bully Marley.

The Good:

  • Marley’s Weight Struggle: Previously, Glee tackled weight issues with Mercedes, when she refused to eat because Sue told her she had to drop a few pounds to be on the Cheerios. But that’s as far as it went. Last night, Glee handled bulimia and low self-esteem. And it was good. Kitty bullies Marley into thinking she’s gained weight and that she’s destined to be a great big woman like her mother. Obviously, Marley freaks out (because there’s this thing called the fat gene). And so, Marley goes through this heartbreaking experience where she feels fat, and thinks the only solution is to stick her fingers down her throat. There’s this moment when Marley is on her knees, with two fingers in her mouth, puking into a toilet bowl, and Ryder barges in to stop her. She’s got tears rolling down her face. It’s such an emotional moment. Melissa Benoist did a tremendous job of tackling Marley’s low self-esteem, and she won us over with her performance.
  • Chemistry Between Marley and Ryder: One of the major problems we had with the new kids was the lack of chemistry between them. The writers thought they could just throw Marley and Jake at us, and we’d buy it, but it didn’t work. However, Marley and Ryder? That works. Their kiss was magnetic, and yeah – Team Ryder! Also, we’re digging this love triangle.
  • Kitty Becomes a Bigger Bully: Kitty is basically this year’s Karofsky, except she’s not a homophobe, she’s a fatist. What can we say? Glee has great bullies. They are necessary to keep things interesting, and people insecure (on TV, not real life).

Best Lines:

  • “I’m confused. Are you playing the lead in Grease, or Hairspray?”
  • “Lady boy can come, but if I catch you hiding your dinky between your legs and prancing around like Silence of the Lambs, you’re out.”
  • “Let’s be real. You weren’t just born with the fat gene. You were born with the circus fat gene. No offense.”

The Bad:

  • Cassandra July’s Intentions: Kate Hudson returned last night to do some more damage. She hurt Rachel right where it hurt. We understand that Rachel needs a villain in her life to spice things up and keep her trying, but is this realistic? It just seems immature for a grown woman to be messing around with a teenager. And now that Rachel knows Cassandra’s intentions, is she going to pull away from her? Because that would be the correct (and sensible) thing to do.
  • Sue Is Still The Bad Guy: Sue hasn’t changed. She’s still going up against the Glee club and making life impossible for everyone. We love her snappy comments, but Glee is four seasons in, shouldn’t we get a new villain already?

The Music:

  • “Greased Lightnin,” Grease – The boys get down and dirty at Finn’s car shop, and give an uncanny performance of “Greased Lightin’.” 
  • “Look at Me, I’m Sandra Dee,” Grease – At her sleepover, Kitty mocks Marley by singing Rizzo’s famous number. 
  • “Beauty School Dropout,” Grease – Blaine does Frankie Avalon justice. He’s got the voice of an angel.
  • “There Are Worse Things I Could Do,” Grease – Santana’s emotional rendition of this song evokes the spirit of Amy Winehouse.
  • “You’re The One That I Want,” Grease – There’s a fun twist to this final number. Marley and Ryder start it off with lots of energy, but all of sudden, Finn and Rachel are onstage. It’s a very stylized number, but it works.

Overall:

Last night’s episode belonged to the new kids. They shined, especially Marley. There’s a new love-triangle at McKinley and although we’re all about Ryder, this should make for an interesting plot. Also, did you guys catch that bit with Tina and Mike? They might get back together! And as for Finn and Rachel, well, it just seems like they need some time apart. We can’t wait to see how Rachel deals with the Cassandra situation. If she doesn’t retaliate, we can’t respect her. She must do something!

Rating: 8.5/10

Glee airs Thursday nights at 9 p.m. on Fox.

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What did you think of last night’s episode?