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Glee - The Rise and Fall of Sue Sylvester - Review - "Review & Fav Song Poll"



Glee, “The Rise and Fall of Sue Sylvester,” was written by Jessica Meyer and was directed by Anthony Hemingway. I was a little surprised to see them bring in a new director so close to the end of the show’s run, but Hemingway also worked on American Horror Story and his other long list of credits includes Shameless, The Newsroom, and Treme, so he definitely gets a quirky tone. This was a very Sue-centric story and Jane Lynch really brought her A-game! The episode was also chock-full of guest stars. There were five musical numbers which somehow felt light to me. However, I really liked two of them, and we got some decent choreography.

Sue finally gets her comeuppance when she tries to block the Warbler from joining the New Directions to form a super-show choir group after Dalton Academy burns down. While I like that they’ve now dispensed with the problem of how not to have New Directions beat the Warblers – and thus Blaine (Darren Criss) being beaten by Kurt (Chris Colfler) – and the rest of his friends – I was very sad to see such a beautiful building written out of the show! It also presents an interesting problem because now there are FOUR Glee Club directors – Blaine, Rachel (Lea Michele), Kurt, and Will (Matthew Morrison)! So far it seems clear that they are all stepping back to let Will be the clear leader.

Will is the one to go to the Superintendent (Christopher Cousins) to clear the transition for the Dalton students. I still love Will calling Sue “Suzie-Q” and how mad that makes her! Of course, Will doesn’t have anything to do with the Superintendent calling Sue to fire her over the hurt locker. This then leads to the hilarious Geraldo Rivera interview. This was a really nice way to have a look back at Sue’s history – and really a bit of retrospective on the show itself. It was hard not to feel badly for Sue as her whole life gets torpedoed. Great guest stars here and kudos to the show for getting Michael Bolton and Carnie Wilson.

Sue’s comments on Fox News were hilarious – and more so because Glee airs on Fox! It was quite shocking to have Becky (Lauren Potter) turn out to be the one to tip of Geraldo. It was nice to see that at least Bieste (Dot-Marie Jones) and Will stand up for the good Sue had done. I also liked her pointing out the success of Brittany (Heather Morris), Quinn (Dianna Agron), and Santana (Naya Rivera) – well, sort of in the case of Santana! I loved Beiste telling them to stop hiding his identity – a nice nod to his coming out. Will of course, points out that Sue’s “not a nice person but an outstanding teacher – who deserves a second chance.” Of course, once Sue learns about Becky she misses this from Will and ends the interview by punching Rivera – hilarious! – and leaving him with a bloody nose – almost identical to the one he got in the infamous chair incident!

My favorite guest star, however, was Carol Burnett as Doris Sylvester – Sue’s mom. She reveals that she and Sue’s father weren’t Nazi-hunters and never loved Sue – explains a lot, doesn’t it? They manage a sort of reconciliation through song – and this will go down as one of my all time favorite song numbers as the perform “The Trolley Song.” I’m always a sucker for a movie-musical number, but it was mostly outstanding for actually showcasing that Lynch can sing. It’s been nice to see so much of that this season.

It was very, very sad to see Becky turn on Sue. I was also sad to see that Darrell (Justin Prentice), Becky’s boyfriend, may not be the positive influence/good guy we thought he was. There was something sinister about him translating what Becky said – we’ve never needed that before. And why was he wearing such an incredibly dirty shirt in the last scene with him and Becky??
Sue in typical Sue fashion mostly lands on her feet. She becomes the new show choir coach for Vocal Adrenaline – and doesn’t that seem like the perfect fit?! She works them until they barf, which leaves Clint (Max George) eating out of her hand. She does burn all the evidence from the hurt locker – is this truly a break with all her hopes and dreams for McKinley? And finally, she has to throw down the gauntlet with Will, telling him, “Will Shuster! You have crossed me for the last time!” Will hilariously asks, “Any idea how many times you’ve said this?”
        This leads to a terrific “Europe-off” And a surprise appearance from Brad Ellis on the organ! This was also a terrific number as Sue and Will battle in their best hair-band costumes. The best part was the kids coming in and catching them – their faces are all priceless. But even better was we see what they see when they look at the stage – Will and Jane locked in an air-guitar contest making silly faces – not the huge production Will and Sue are imagining.

We actually see very little from the rest of the group. Not surprisingly, Rachel is back to focusing on herself, giving almost no thought to the Glee club. She now has to choose between going back to Nyada or going back to Broadway when she both gets the part and an invitation to return from Madame Thibideau. Sam (Chord Overstreet) urges her to accept the offer to Nyada to fulfill her desire for a second chance to make it right. Of course, she has to make it right on Broadway too. Practically, turning down a part on Broadway is going to cement her reputation as a diva. Does Sam have an ulterior motive for not wanting her to go back to Broadway? Does he feel like he’ll lose her to fame in the same way that he lost Mercedes (Amber Riley)?

It’s not an easy transition to combine the Warblers and the New Directions. It’s especially difficult for Jane (Samantha Jane Ware) who was turned down by the Warblers after all. In the end, they do manage to settle on a new uniform that combines the tribute of the Warbler uniform with the McKinley colors. At least now half the kids can dance! Actually, the New Directions are doing much better in the opening sequence to the episode anyway. The episode ends with the reminder that the stakes have been upped for sectionals. Now, if New Directions loses all the arts programs will be dropped from the district.

Did everyone else love when Mason (Billy Lewis Jr) grabbed Myron (JJ Totah) during the first song sequence and pulled him back to where he was supposed to be? What did you think of the episode? Did you think Sue got what she deserved? Were you at all surprised that Rachel is doing the selfish thing again? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below – and who your favorite guest star was!! Also, remember to vote for your favorite song in this episode!

About the Author - Lisa Macklem
I do interviews and write articles for the site in addition to reviewing a number of shows, including Supernatural, Arrow, Agents of Shield, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Forever, Defiance, Bitten, Glee, and a few others! Highlights of this past year include covering San Diego Comic Con as press and a set visit to Bitten. When I'm not writing about television shows, I'm often writing about entertainment and media law in my capacity as a legal scholar. I also work in theatre when the opportunity arises. I'm an avid runner and rider, currently training in dressage.

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