Chris Colfer is a huge fan of dogs and old people, and he proved it with last night’s Glee. The actor actually wrote the penultimate episode of Season 5 and combined the two things he loves most. But “Old Dog New Tricks” would’ve been better had it aired earlier in the season. There are a lot of plotlines that need wrapping up, and this episode made no effort to tie them up.

The Players:

  • Director: Bradley Buecker
  • Writers: Chris Colfer
  • Cast: Chris Colfer, Kevin McHale, Lea Michele, Amber Riley, Naya Rivera, Jenna Ushkowitz, Matthew Morrison, Ashley Fink, Chord Overstreet, Darren Criss, Jane Lynch, Dean Geyer, Melissa Benoist

Episode Title: “Old Dog New Tricks”

Kurt joins a production of Peter Pan at the Lexington Home for Retired Performers. He has to step in as Peter when something happens to the woman cast in the role. Rachel Berry, seeking to repair her damaged image among the Broadway crowd, starts a charity and hires Santana Lopez to manage her publicity.

The Good:

  • Santana Lopez Public Relations: If Santana decides not to pursue singing, public relations is the perfect fall-back career for her. She was made for it. She’s got the sassy attitude, and looks great in dresses and sky-high stilettos. We support this idea 100 percent. 

The So-So:

  • The Rachel Berry Show: Rachel has become shamelessly selfish that she no longer feels like a real person. Everything she does feels like a parody, and we can’t tell the difference between what’s real and what isn’t. In order to restore her Broadway image, she does some charity work for homeless dogs. But the tone isn’t genuine, and what’s worse is that it doesn’t even try to be. It’s like the writers have accepted this caricature of a character. Also, shame on Glee for not pulling off the dog plot properly. How does one go wrong with dogs?
  • Peter Pan: Kurt as Peter Pan was perfect. He has the voice and if anyone can pull off tights, it’s him. But it’s the way things fell into place for Kurt that make this storyline feel like a sham. He drops by the Lexington Home for Retired Performers to visit his new friend Maggie, played by June Squibb, the exact day Peter Pan dies in his harness. How convenient. Then the retired performers beg him to take the part and he sings “Memory,” from the musical CATS. Good job there, but what’s with Kurt always whining about not having anything going for him? He goes to a top performing arts school, is living in a huge loft in NYC, and is lucky enough to be in love. What more can he ask for?
  • No Dogs Allowed: Sam and Mercedes haven’t been dating for that long, but they’re acting like an old married couple. Can they just breakup already? We’d rather Sam go on dates with the puppy, whose name is McConaughey. 

The Music:

  • “I Melt With You,” Modern English – The gang sings together at an animal shelter.
  • “Memory,” CATS – Kurt auditions for the role of Peter Pan.
  • “Werewolves Of London,” Warren Zevon – Sam and Artie try to teach McConaughey some new tricks.
  • “Lucky Star” Madonna – Kurt and retired Broadway stars perform in the Peter Pan production.
  • “Take Me Home Tonight,” Eddie Money – The gang comes together to help Rachel restore her Broadway image.


“Old Dog New Tricks” was quirky and somewhat enjoyable, but there’s so much left to deal with that it wasn’t what we needed right now. The Glee writers have always done a sloppy job tying up loose ends. They usually try to solve things with a simple line or just not at all. One would think that after five seasons they’d learn to wrap it up, but that’s just not the case.

Rating: 6/10

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

What did you think of last night’s episode?