‘Glee’: The top 5 reasons to rewatch ‘The Rhodes Not Taken’

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I don’t know how ‘Glee’ keeps topping itself -- it just does! If I tried to list all the ways the show makes me happy, we’d be here all night, so I’m limiting it to the top reasons you’ll want to rewatch last night’s episode, ‘The Rhodes Not Taken.’You’ll be conversant on how and why Kristin Chenoweth will win Emmy No. 2. Let’s leave her singing out of this for a minute: What colors didn’t we see from the Broadway dynamo last night?

When we’re introduced to April Rhodes, a boozing glee club has-been, she’s a confident star, welcoming Mr. Schu into a home that it turns out she’s been squatting in. Two minutes later, outside on the sidewalk with a box of wine, she’s drunk and broken, revealing where life has taken her since her high school glory days. Later, in a hilarious montage, she’s back on top at McKinley Kigh, teaching Kurt how to ‘warm up,’ Mercedes and Tina how to steal using their thighs, and the high school boys what an older woman can offer. She goes toe to toe with Rachel when Rachel tries to explain that, in fact, it’s a little pathetic for April to be back in high school. And when she sincerely promises Mr. Schu she’ll nix the alcohol, you want to believe in those big, teary eyes that she will because in spite of everything, you’re rooting for April. But this is ‘Glee,’ and she quickly falls off the wagon.

Then you throw in the songs: Her heart-wrenching, hopeful rendition of ‘Maybe This Time’ from ‘Cabaret.’ A busting out of Heart’s power ballad ‘Alone.’ And the ultimate ode to a bad hangover, Carrie Underwood’s ‘Last Name.’ Writer-executive producers Ryan Murphy, Ian Brenan and Brad Falchuk couldn’t have written a juicier role, and for that, they should be at the top of her list when it’s time to give her thank-you speech at next year’s Emmys.

Who doesn’t want to see Kurt dancing to ‘Last Name’ again? Or for that matter, Finn dancing to ‘Somebody to Love’?

Chris Colfer has developed such a unique style of, um, movement for Kurt, it’s incredible. He’s not fabulous in a Madonna ‘Vogue’ kind of way. Kurt is less refined and slightly hyper. His all-around adorable ‘Single Ladies’ will live on as long as Beyonce’s will, I have no doubt. Even when he’s cast in the background, it’s impossible not to watch him shake his tail feather as only Marc Jacob’s loving Kurt can. Viewing suggestion: Watch him, and only him, in ‘Don’t Stop Believing,’ ‘Push It’ and ‘Last Name’ again. As for Finn, he’s no dancer. And you can tell that Cory Monteith must have rehearsed long and hard to learn those numbers. But watching him gamely lumber around with his big-and-tall frame to the best of his abilities is exactly how it would -- and should -- look for a football-turned-glee club star. Props to the show’s choreographer for pushing it just enough.

There was hardly any Jane Lynch in the episode, it’s true. But Jayma Mays is just as funny.
Emma doesn’t get the zingers Coach Sue gets, but she makes me laugh just as hard. She’s made it Emma’s thing to rapidly talk under her breath when she needs to be lying. Like when she more or less reveals to Finn that Mr. Schu told her all about Quinn’s pregnancy. And her phobia for all things unclean is still working for me. I died laughing when Kurt threw up on her, and, after being hosed down four times at the hospital, she said, ‘I think they call it the full ‘Silkwood.’' Also, I think I’m just a sucker for girl’s pining away for that boy they can’t have. Speaking of which...


Lea Michele needs more attention if we’re going to make her a nominee come awards time.

Yes, at first she was too Tracy Flick for me not to notice. But if there’s any justice in the world, Lea Michele will win a Golden Globe and an Emmy for playing Rachel. She does the satire pitch-perfect, and the heartbroken school girl even more so. And Rachel, beneath all the wannabe diva attitude, is the heart of the glee club. She’s pretty, but you understand why she’d be an outcast. She works hard, but you know why she drives everyone nuts. To dismiss her as a crazy overachiever, well, that would make you look bad. Did anyone not want to kill Finn for coming on to her to get her to come back to the club? (Yes, the logic was there. He wants to win a scholarship so he can provide for the baby he thinks is his. But a girl’s heart is a fragile thing, and like Rachel tells him, he could have just tried being honest.)

‘Somebody to Love.’

Love or hate Queen, when New Directions sings it, it’s magical. And it’s the first time since ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ that I got goosebumps. Something about kids singing songs, raising all those arms, makes everyone -- can’t just be me! -- giddy and hopeful. They’re not as technically skilled as Vocal Adrenaline -- yet -- but that only makes their underdog story more real. I can’t wait until they get to regionals. (Regionals? Why yes, I have a sneak peak of regionals right here. You’re welcome.)

Who has a different Top 5? I want to hear it. I’ll probably agree with you that I left something off! Disagree with something I said, I want that too. Sound off below. Next week, your regular ‘Glee’ Show Tracker Shawna Malcom will be back.

-- Denise Martin

Video: Watch ‘Glee’ guest star Kristin Chenoweth rehearse ‘Maybe This Time’