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Gleecap - The Power of Madonna

GLEE MADONNA  Hey everybody! It's your old pal Miss Banshee, pinch hitting for Snarky Amber this week, for our ALL Madonna ALL the time eppy! Are you excited? I know I'm preposterously excited. And this is a Banshee recap, so, ya know, get comfy and pack a lunch. So enough jibba-jabba. On with the show! Madonna Madonna Madonna!!!!!

We open with a Sue voiceover, yay! She's got a Bedazzled Madonna page in her journal, and VOs "Madonna. Just saying her name makes me feel powerful." Is there anything in the universe that doesn't make our Sue feel powerful? She goes on to say that she worships Madonna, has ever since she was a small girl. Catherine the Great? She can suck it. It's all about Madonna. So she's off to Figgins' office to add another stipulation to her blackmail. She wants Madonna's Greatest Hits blasted over the intercom system at the school at all times. Figgins, of course, moans that it will make it impossible for the children to learn with Madge singing all the time, but Sue pish poshes this, reminding all of us that Madonna never finished college, that she went to NYC with $35 dollars in her pocket and look at her now. Sue also reminds him via flashback of their blackmail deal, with the photo of them in bed together, and the fact that she has Figgins' wife's number on speeddial. Figgins looks pained.

WWMD? What Would Madonna Do? That's what the bracelets the Cheerios are wearing say. According to Sue, the first thing Madonna would do is date younger men, so everyone has to get some arm candy. "Sorry, Freshmen" Sue asides, they'll have to go troll the middle schools. If they want Nationals, they have to start thinking and acting like Madonna. No more last names, either. Hey, it's Becky Jackson, or just "Becky" now, our Cheerio who has Down's Syndrome! Good to see she's toughing it out. How ANYONE can put up with Sue as a coach is beyond me, but then again, I've never understood cheerleaders and I never will! SO on we go. We end with a quote from Madonna that Sue says Madge stole from her back when Sue played the Palladium in '87. (hee)  "I'm tough, I'm ambitious, and I know what I want. if that makes me a bitch, okay." 



Cut to title card and we're now in the chorus room. Rachel's turn to look pained. She asks them (the rest of the girls in Glee)  if she can pose a question. "Yes, you should move to Israel" Santana snarks. That's not the only Jewish joke tonight, kids, so get used to it. ANYWAY, Rachel gets in front of the group and bemoans a "hypothetical" dating situation. What if, hypothetically, because we all know she's not dating Jesse from Vocal Adrenaline, (wink wink) and she ditched Finn, WHAT IF two hypothetical people went to a Wiggles concert (HA!) and when they got home her two dads weren't home and they went up to her hypothetical room and started making out. What if then, the boy then said "We should do it?" "It" being the underlying theme of the show, bee tee dubs. Now the girls are interested. Quinn even looks up from the mean cartoon of Rachel she's drawing with the word "Loser" scrawled across the top. Rachel goes on, saying what if she said no, that she had never done "it" and that it's a big deal for a girl, and then he got crabby and left, not even taking the Care Bear she won for him at Skee-Ball. Quinn interrupts, begging Rachel to stop, because she's grossing out Quinn's baby. She's grossing me out too. I mean, if I really hope that Jesse is the spy we think he is, because if he's really going on dates like this willingly, he's the biggest weenie in all the lands and into the seas. 

Anyway, how DOES Rachel keep a guy from getting all crankypants when she says no? She knows this is all part of growing up, but she's just not ready. Santana chimes in with "Do what I do. Never say no." Oh that Santana. Such a delightfully bitchy tramp. Wisdom From Brittany adds "What's the worst that can happen?" and we cut to Quinn. D'oh. Mercedes has had enough, saying the last guy she had feelings for was the mayor of Gaytown (meaning Kurt) and she can't wait for a dude to get pissy when she says no. Tina adds that they just have to get used to the fact that guys don't care about their feelings. Were I not such a bitter singleton, I would take pause with this, but...Seriously, Tina. Boys suck. We flashback to her pushing Artie's chair as he lectures her that he forgives the fake stutter bit, but she's gonna have to ditch the goth look and get some tight-fitting clothes. She's going to have to work it more if they're going to be an item. Oh ARTIE. Not you too! 

Shue, who has been eavesdropping the whole time, finally has had enough. He puts the kibosh on the "sorority meeting" and asks if they're having that much boy trouble. They slam him down for not understanding, being a dude and everything, so he tells them to see Emma, cause, believe it or not, that IS her job when she's not cleaning her office with a toothbrush. Rachel says she tried that, and we see in a flashback that Emma staggered and fell over her words and said this was perfect for her mom (but Rachel has two gay dads) or how about her rabbi? (Rachel isn't comfortable talking about sex with Rabbi Greenberg.) Isn't Emma the guidance counselor? Rachel asks. "Uhhhhhhhhh." Emma replies. 

The bell rings and the girls file out, but not before Quinn reminds Shue that women still earn 70 cents on the dollar for every man, and that they've given up on chivalry. Shue now looks pained. Cut to Emma's office, where she's filing brochures ("Help! I'm In Love With My Stepdad" being the most prominent) as she pains to Shue that she doesn't know what to say, that she's totally inexperienced and a virgin, and has no idea what to do when the girls come to her with problems of a sexual nature. Shue wants to help. Not that he wants to have sex! No! Of course not. Emma says that the problem is with their role models (Britters and her shaved head, LiLo, who looks like Gollum, and Ann Coulter, hee) so they'll work together to help the girls and maybe help Emma too. 

Cut to the Cheerios, doing a SMOKING rendition of "Ray of Light." as Sue scowls on. Some of them are on stilts, for chrissakes, and they are, and this is coming from a non-cheerleading fan, amazing. Shue hears the music and comes in to watch. They finish the routine and Sue bellows "Sloppy freakshow babies! Somewhere in a stately manor home in England, Madonna is WEEPING." Sue sends the Cheerios to the showers and sniffs the air, saying she can smell cookies from the elves that live in Shue's hair. Shue ignores this and tells Sue that he's impressed. "Nothing like Madonna to empower my Cheerios" she states. Empower, you say? Empower women through Madonna, you say? Why, Shue has an idea! He's out, but not before Sue takes another crack at his hair. Back on the megaphone, she howls to the Cheerios "You think this is hard? I'm passing a gallstone RIGHT NOW, that's hard!" I love her with every fiber of my being.

Cut to the chorus room, where Shue scrawls "Madonna" on a whiteboard. What do we think of when we see that name? Icon. Genius. Hall of Fame MILF (that's Puck, obvs.) So with those words in mind, Glee's mission is to put together a Madonna number. The girls and Kurt are thrilled, the guys less so. Can't they do Pantera instead? (Snort, I'd pay American money to see the Glee kids take on "Cowboys From Hell") Shue lectures that the guys have been insensitive, sexist, and misogynistic (Finn has no idea what that word means, and Wisdom From Brittany says: "When I pulled my hamstring, I went to a misogynist." I'm dying over here. What this means is Madonna's songs are about being equal, and the guys sorely lack in that knowledge, so they're getting smacked with the learnin' stick this week. Kurt volunteers to do a multimedia project with barely contained reverence, saying that "Ms. Ciccone's" image is as important as her music." Puck's not down. Rachel snarks that she couldn't disagree more, and leads the ladies in a flashforward to a performance of "Express Yourself" where Quinn and Mercedes get to sing! Hooray! The girls KILL it, in suits and lingerie. The guys look exceptionally bored as they watch, except Kurt and Shue, who are totally into it. 


Commercials! I refuse to believe that The Backup Plan is getting good reviews. I'd rather remove my eyes with a spork than shell out ten clams for that dreck. 

We return to Santana and Brittany who are applying makeup (Brittany's hair is curled and huge, with a big black bow, circa 1985 Madonna) and Santana congratulates herself on being so hot while Wisdom From Brittany says that there's the cutest boy? Who plays soccer with her sister? He's seven. Santana, used to this, ignores her and says they have to get stupid, young arm candy, and fast. What about Finn? They already tried, he hates them. Wisdom From Brittany has other ideas. Santana's going to take Finn's virginity, which all dudes want to do, and that will make Sue HAVE to name her head cheerleader. Santana proposes this to Finn, and even though he hems and haws, after Santana spills that Rachel is totally dating Jesse, Little Finn takes the bait, and they make a date. A date for the sexing! 

Sue enters Emma's office, where she asks why Madonna is over the intercom in every office but hers. Sue, with much disgust, says that Emma doesn't deserve Madonna, that she has the sensuality of one of the pandas at the zoo who refuse to mate. Plus, Sue disconnected her intercom. Emma looks pained. 

Chorus room. Finn comes in, scowling, and Rachel's all up in his grill, saying she knows the guys are uncomfortable with the whole Madonna thing, so as co-captains, why don't Finn and Rachel do a mashup to rouse the crowd? "Sure, whatever," Finn grumps. He confronts Rachel about Jesse, and says that she wouldn't lie to him. She confesses, and asks Finn, as her friend, to trust her. Fine, but don't expect that friendship to last if this whole thing screws the group. 

Rachel starts with "Borderline" and Finn sings "Open Your Heart" and they do the whole "dancing through the school" thing as they flirt and sing. Frankenteen's singing voice REALLY improved over hiatus, yo. It's great, if not really a mashup, as "Borderline" is abandoned 1/3 of the way through. Nitpick. It's what I do.

Commercials! Another Shrek movie. I'll be sure not to see that one either. 

"Morning Kabbalah, is it too much?" Kurt ponders to Mercedes as Shue approaches them to see how the multi-media project is going. "It's going to be magical. Madge-ical" Kurt spirit-fingers as Mercedes and Shue look confused. Madge. It's Madonna's nickname, Kurt explains, looking disappointed in Mercedes. Shue tells them to keep up the good work, and is interrupted by Sue, who says she heard a vicious rumor that Glee is doing her beloved Madonna, and it says in her contract that she will not be copied. She rants on, until she's distracted "by the amount of margarine in your hair," but Shue will not be swayed! He says Madonna is public domain, that Sue has to suck it up, and enough with the hair jokes. He then makes a crack about Florence Henderson hair and suggests Sue use a different setting on her Flowbee. ZING! Our Will is very proud of himself. Kurt and Mercedes look on as a chagrined Sue is left speechless by the attack on her hair, and expresses herself by pushing kids into lockers and yelling. Sore spot, Sue? 

AH, but it is, and Kurt & Mercedes, that daring duo, know it. They peek into Sue's office and say they saw the whole hair smackdown. Sue orders them to close the door. She grew up with a handicapable sister and absentee parents (they were Nazi hunters) and when 'True Blue" came out on her sixth birthday (that would make Sue 29,) she and her sister used all the household chemicals (including napalm) to bleach Sue's hair. The resulting damage is why she has to keep it short to this day. She makes fun of Shue's luxurious locks because she's jealous. Fascinating! But why is Sue telling the duo this? A sign of weakness? This isn't our Sue. Such is the power of Mercedes and Kurt. Anyway, what can they do for her? Kurt: "Mercedes is Black. I'm gay. We MAKE culture." Sue is interested. They promise her a makeover in exchange for the use of the Cheerios. "Interesting." says Sue. 

Entering the music library, Rachel looks furtively around until a biography of Stephen Sondheim falls from the shelf. It's Jesse, who picked this section of Sondheim books to "properly express his melancholia." Oh retch. He feels bad about what happened at her house. He was wrong the other night. He'll wait for her. But she has something to say too. She's ready. They embrace, Jesse's face looking like he just won the Evil Sweepstakes. So now we have Finn losing it to Santana and Rachel losing it to Jesse. That only leaves...

Emma, who catches Will in the hallway, and announces (in front of students, for criminy's sake) that SHE'S ready too, due to the Madonna and her awesomeness, and that foreplay at his house will begin exactly at 7:30 that night. Shue? Is having a very. Good. Day. 

Commercials! Sex and the City 2. Just because the first one didn't suck enough ass, they had to drag out the girls for a second one. You know, I just give up on movies, I swear. 

The AV club, all Artie clones, intro the "Vogue" number with Sue from last week. Amber already posted that, so just watch it again. You know, I'm really pissed that they spoiled this last week. I didn't realize they'd just replay it in the Madonna eppy. It takes away from the SCREAMING AWESOME of Sue Sylvester as Madonna. Just watch.

Cut to Rachel in a demure granny nightgown looking at herself in the bathroom mirror, as Jesse VO's "Are you ready?" Cut to Finn, also staring himself down in a bathroom mirror, in a ratty bathrobe and pajamas. "In a minute!" He calls out. "Like a Virgin" starts as Emma, Rachel and Finn all foreplay and sing with their respective partners. Everyone remains entirely clothed, except Santana, who is actually wearing something sexy. Oh! But Emma, Rachel and Finn are nervous! The song ends and it was all a fantasy sequence as all three continue to stare themselves down in their mirrors. Rachel, looking quite terrified, tells herself "I'm ready." Blackout. 

Commercials! I don't have an iPhone. Or an iPad. Or an iAnything, other than an old iPod, and yes, Steve Jobs, I feel iNferior. Happy now? 

Mercedes and Kurt are in the hallway congratulating themselves on the AV project, and wonder which look Sue is going to rock. But here she comes, looking as Sue-like as ever, and greets them as "Whoopi" and "Don Knotts" respectively. She's come to a realization. That Madonna's awesomeness comes from within, from being herself, and Sue Sylvester doesn't have to be anything other than Sue Sylvester. Plus, there was a little incident with Figgins wherein Sue was in her track suit wearing a cone bra (she's already poked out some kids' eyes before second period) wherein Figgins told her to (please) just be herself. Also, her plan to ship some Glee kids to NYC with $35 in their pocket is nixed as well. But it's time for Mercedes and Kurt to get some makeovers, Sylvester style. Uh oh.

Chorus room. Finn asks Rachel how her "date" (sex) went. She says it was fine, it wasn't a big deal, really (she's lying, but that's EXACTLY how I felt about doing the deed the first time. No big deal.) and how was Finn's "date?" (Sex.) He couldn't go through with it. He's waiting for the right girl. Now they both feel like shit. Ah, but the TRUTH is revealed. Rachel was the one who said no. She'd be sleeping with the enemy, and she wasn't ready. It was FINN who did it, who we flashback to him saying he doesn't feel anything because it didn't mean anything. Santana just wants a burger. 

Of course Emma didn't go through with it either. Emma freaked, and Will's had enough. He says that Emma took control of her body when she said no (I'm sure it was a bit more dramatic than that) and that he's been preaching to the guys about treating the girls with more respect, but he hasn't been acting on it. He's a hypocrite. So no worries. He's filed for divorce today, so no dating till it's finalized. BUT, says he, the school's insurance covers therapy, and Emma is going. Emma doesn't have a TEAM of shrinks already? That's an odd choice, writers, but I'll go with it. She thanks him and exits as one Jesse St. James enters. He has something to talk to Shue about. 

"What the hell!?!" bellows Finn. "Now it seems like people are doing things JUST to hurt my feelings!" Aw. Long story short (way too late) Jesse's parents moved to Bali and he's staying with his uncle, who lives in their school district. He's out of Vocal Adrenaline and wants to join New Directions. He's doing it for Rachel. NO ONE is fooled by this, except goo-goo eyed Rachel. Everyone yells and complains about Jesse being a plant and a spy, but Shue knocks them down, saying that everyone who tries out for Glee gets in, so put up or shut up. Wisdom From Brittany: "Mr. Shue, is he your son?" 

We cut to the marching band and the Cheerios, and who is ROCKING a Madonna song I don't recognize? Kurt and Mercedes! They were furious with Shue for bringing in Jesse when Kurt never gets solos anyway and Mercedes only gets pulled out at the end for wailing notes. Truth! So they've joined the Cheerios, much to the despair of Shue, who demands to know what's going on. Well "The Center Square" and "His Hag" according to Sue, are now the vocals for the Cheerios. Kurt and Mercedes were sick and tired of being second tier, and they want to do both cheerleading AND Glee. Shue looks properly chagrined, and I go deaf from the scores of Kurt/Mercedes fans screaming "FUCKING FINALLY" at their televisions. I know because I am one of them. Sue makes fun of Will's hair again as we go to...

Commercials! So now I have to feel even MORE insignificant because I neither have an iAnything NOR a Droid? Why do you hate me, technology?

The boys stand in a circle around the piano and recite "What It Feels Like For A Girl." They are MISERABLE, except Kurt, who is smug as all get out. They start singing the song, and Puck says no way. He likes being a dude. Finn says it's because being a dude is easy. Puck volleys with "We're going to need a new baritone, because Finn wants to become Finnessa" which is a drag name if I've ever heard one, and Shue shuts Puck down and agrees with Finn. The guys have been terrible to the girls, and morale is low. Artie can attest to this as we flashback to Tina giving him the verbal feminist beatdown in the hallway, and stomping off with her fists in the air. It's pretty awesome. Artie is chagrined. Finn says they've been objectifying ("Mr Shue, is that the right word?") objectifying the girls. Kurt speaks up "as an honorary girl" to say that the group works because of mutual respect. They really have to respect each other as individuals and come together to take the team to the next level. It's Shue who is now chagrined, saying that he had to learn that lesson too. 

Cut to Artie apologizing to Tina, and saying he'd get on one knee if he could. He mea culpas for being a sexist pig, and she accepts his apology, giving him a big ol' smooch, yay! Finn apologizes to Rachel for being an ass, and says he really likes her and he blew it. Enter Jesse, who knows there's going to be a rumble between Finn and him, so how about a sing-off in the parking lot at 5:00? I die. Finn takes the high road, though, and makes peace with Jesse as well, walking off with him to walk him through the new Madonna number the guys have been working on. Rachel looks conflicted. So many men, so little time. I have the same problem, Rach. (Ha.) 

Cut to the big group number, where Rachel starts "Like a Prayer." It's a standard awesome Glee performance, back in their red shirts, with equal solos for Finn, Kurt AND Mercedes, yay! And then!!!! The curtains open and it's a gospel choir!! YAY!!!! It seriously gives me chills. Blackout as the kids and the choir celebrate. 


And that's the power of Madonna, folks. I loved the episode and I loved recapping it for y'all. Snarky Amber will be back next week. Now if you'll excuse me, I have some songs to download. 

. . . . .
Miss Banshee holds the lock if you hold the key. (Dirty!)

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I was so happy to see the red shirts back. The Rachel/Finn dates made me so sad. I was proud of Rachel, but felt so bad for poor Finn.

Fawn Amber

My favorite re-capper covering my favorite show?? Am in heaven. Love Love LOVED!!!!!!

The song Kurt and Mercedes did with the Cheerios is "Four Minutes" and features JT (I think) on the Hard Candy album. Fantastico!

I could not be a bigger Gleek.


*whisper* I think I'm in love with Jesse St. James.


I am now a firm believer that besides Sue Sylvester, Brittany is the funniest freaking person on the show. Her quiet one liners seriously bring me to tears. GOOD STUFF!


You know, I didn't love this episode, I don't know why. I read that next week's episode is awesome though.


Was I the only person bothered by the fact that they didn't even bother with a fake belly for Quinn during the "Express Yourself" number??? I mean, last time I checked she was showing BEFORE hiatus, and now she looks like THAT in a corset?
Otherwise, loved the ep (except when my PVR cut off the end including the group number *sob*).

Suzy Q

@Tiffany: You're not the only one puzzled by the lack of belly on Quinn.

Great recap, Miss B! I disagree on one point, though: I liked seeing Sue Sylvester's Madonna video again. It was just full of so much awesome. However, we agree on that new JLo movie. I would rather flush the $10 down the toilet.


So, what was up with that stupid capelet that Rachel almost had sex in. Really? A capelet?


@Jessi - so glad I'm not the only one who wondered about the capelet!

Great recap and awesome ep!

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