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Glee Recap, "Hold On to Sixteen"

Glee-ful Highlights From Episode "Hold On to Sixteen"

Trouty Mouth is back in town, and just in time for Sectionals on Glee this week. The showdowns are abundant, as the Troubletones and New Directions square off for top honors, and Quinn and Shelby have yet another faceoff about Beth's future.

Not only is it good to see Sam again (though I didn't think I'd be seeing so much of him), the episode also nicely ties up some loose ends that should make fans happy before the imminent Winter hiatus. Let's break down the high notes and low notes when you


  • The New Directions aren't just down a singing voice without Rachel; they also need some help in the dance department. Finn immediately wants to recruit Sam, who's just a hop, skip, and a jump away in Kentucky. He and Rachel get more than an eyeful when they find their old friend though: Sam's been making extra cash for his family by showing off his abs under the pseudonym "White Chocolate." It seems like only yesterday Sam was embarrassed to show skin in Rocky Horror. Those kids sure do grow up fast.
  • Blaine always seems so confident and happy, but — surprise! He actually has a bit of a rage problem. He's already feeling insecure in the group around Finn, and Sam's return just puts him over the edge. When Sam tries to teach the guys some of his newly acquired stripper moves, Blaine flips a switch and basically calls him a prostitute. Luckily the situation is diffused quickly with a little pep talk from Finn, who confesses that he was jealous of Blaine and agrees to make peace.
  • It's Sectionals time, which means we're treated to flashy musical numbers up the wazoo. The Unitards go for a selection from Evita, followed by the Troubletones mashup of "I Will Survive/Survivor." I have to admit, the ladies are a bit disappointing — their metallic outfits have more luster than their songs, so it's hard to root for them when it came to picking a winner. On the other hand, it's nearly impossible not to love the New Directions' crowd-pleasing "ABC," which gives each singer a chance to shine (and really makes good use of Sam's body rolls). Though I was less enthused about the cover of Janet Jackson's "Control," they end on a high note with "Man in the Mirror." It's particularly refreshing to see singers like Tina and Quinn get some time in the spotlight, since it seems like they rarely get solos anymore.
  • Though Mike has made progress with his mother this season, Mr. Chang still has final word, which means he's applying for the pre-med program at Stanford. Tina's not ready to give up on Mike's dreams though, even after a brutal fight with her boyfriend. She takes it upon herself to see Mr. Chang, and refuses to let him change her mind about what the future holds for her and Mike as performers. Though Mike is initially upset with Tina for going behind his back, his anger melts away when Mr. Chang comes to Sectionals — and encourages Mike to apply to the best dance schools in the nation. As the icing on the cake, Tina's already done all the work for him! Are these two the cutest or what?
  • Now that Quinn is hip to Puck's secret, she's ready to take Shelby down once and for all. Not only is she fighting to get Beth back, but she sees an opportunity to disqualify the Troubletones as well. Rachel begs Quinn to change her mind, if only because she regrets her own impulsive decision to rig the school election. Quinn goes to Shelby anyway, who echoes Sam's sentiment that Quinn needs to cherish her high school days while she still can. And just like that, the horrible, vindictive Quinn we've seen all season long melts away. Ta-da! She's not crazy anymore (which she announces, for anyone who may have missed it).
  • To further confirm that Quinn is ready to be a regular high school girl again, she seeks out her girlfriends in the Troubletones to spread her new outlook of savoring their senior days. She successfully convinces Mercedes, Santana, Brittany, and that other girl (why is she still here again?) to come back to the New Directions, promising that they'll still get their share of solos. To make it official, the whole gang comes together in the auditorium for a feel-good singalong.

Do you agree that the New Directions deserve to win Sectionals? Are you happy Sam's back — and would you like to see him win Mercedes back? Leave your thoughts in the comments!

Photo courtesy of Fox

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