In the latest episode of Glee, the New Directions head to the “City of Angels” for Nationals. For a lot of them, it’s the last time they’ll perform on a stage with their peers. But there’s a lot more than nostalgia riding on this trip. Principal Sue warned Mr. Schue at the beginning of Season 5 that, in order to keep the glee club, the New Directions would have to win first place.

The Players:

  • Director: Elodie Keene
  • Writer: Jessica Meyer
  • Cast: Chris Colfer, Kevin McHale, Lea Michele, 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, Dean Geyer, Melissa Benoist

Episode Title: “City Of Angels”

New Directions goes to Los Angeles to compete in the National Show Choir Championships. They dedicate their performance to their late co-director Finn Hudson, and take along his mother Carole Hudson-Hummel and stepfather Burt Humme to see them compete. Former member Mercedes Jones, who now lives in Los Angeles, also attends.

The Good:

  • Throat Explosure: Skylar Astin (Pitch Perfect) guest stars as Jean-Baptise, the leader of Throat Explosure, a team you can read about on show choir blogs. Jean-Baptise is fierce, cute, talented and very intimidating. Astin was a great choice for this role, since he’s already a hit amongst musical-based crowds. Unfortunely, we probably we won’t be seeing him again. He would’ve made a great on-going rival.
  • Principal Sue (SPOILER!): In previous seasons, Sue has always been the bad guy, trying to destroy the glee club for whatever reason. But this time she was dead serious. Sue’s the principal now and she has to make tough choices that are grounded in reality. All of the clubs that don’t come out on top have to get cut in order to make space for new things like computers. She tells Mr. Schue that she likes him and she’s sorry that they lost. She also tells him that he didn’t actually lose, “the game was just over.” It was a nice and sincere scene, and one of the few times we’ve seen Sue forgo her bully persona.
  • The Finn Tribute: The kids dedicated their Nationals’ performance to Finn. It was a beautiful tribute, albeit a cheesy one too. The real treat were the flashbacks, that showed Finn as happy as ever.

Best Lines:

  • “He smells like a winner.” – Blaine
  • “You didn’t lose William. The game’s just over.” –Sue

The So-So:

  • The End of An Era (SPOILER): The New Directions are no longer champions, and it’s very disappointing. Yes, we knew this day would come, but it felt too planned out. The show is trying to make a transition to New York, and having the glee club lose Nationals was crucial because that meant that they would be disbanded (hence no more McKinley stuff). But did anyone else feel robbed? Their performance was beautiful, deep and dedicated, and they just lost.

The Music:

  • “I Love L.A.,” Randy Newman – Mr. Schue sings “I Love L.A.” and the glee kids head to Los Angeles and go on one of those Star Tours.
  • “Vacation,” The Go-Go’s – The Oklahomas sing “Vacation” in weird burlesque outfits.
  • “Mr. Roboto/Counting Stars,” Styx/One Republic – Throat Explosion performs “Mr. Roboto” and more in strange masks, then switch into cool blue outfits.
  • “More Than A Feeling/America/I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” Boston, Neil Diamond, U2 – The New Directions pay tribute to Finn by performing his favorite songs. 


“City Of Angels” was an emotional episode for a lot of reasons. It featured the very last time the New Directions would perform at Nationals, not only because the seniors are graduating, but because the club is being disbanded.

Rating: 7/10

Glee airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on Fox.


What did you think of last night’s episode?