Glee‘s 100th episode, cleverly entitled “100”, is a reminder of what’s been missing since most the original New Direction members graduated. What could have been, in turns, a little too sweet and fake ends up being a fun episode with enough bite to keep most of the tears at bay. Seeing the gang back together in the choir room singing the classics is nostalgic and unsurprisingly, everyone is back to their high school antics.
Rachel and Mercedes have a diva-off yet again with “Defying Gravity” from Wicked. This number was originally sung by Rachel and Kurt in another of Glee‘s famous diva-offs, which Rachel won after Kurt threw the competition. Strangely enough he’s the third wheel in this number, even though he isn’t really involved in the friction between his two friends. They do let him take the high note at the end of the song, proving his season one claim once and for all.
Shocker, Rachel and Mercedes have a heart to heart in the bathroom, where all important conversations should and do happen, and end up in a tie when the votes are tallied. The composition of this musical number is masterfully done. It bobs and weaves through the vocal runs of each performer and switches back and forth expertly. The possibility for confusion and poor transitions is a clear and present danger, but one they manage to avoid. They also manage to keep it simple visually, staying in the choir room, but it might have been more seamless had they used the auditorium with a dark, uniform background.
Once again, Valerie ends up being spirited and down right fun. It would have been nice had they done something different from the original performance, but Harry Shum Jr. spinning around as his alter ego, Mike Chang, is more than enough to put the performance on the top of my list for the episode.
April Rhodes, played by Broadway’s own Kristen Chenoweth, is back as everyone’s favorite train wreck, complete with arrest warrants, false promises, and a menagerie of alcoholic beverages which she happily gifts to underage drinkers. Basically, nothing has changed, and yet her charm remains. Her rendition of “Raise Your Glass”, complete with plastic champagne flute, is energetic and the vocals are obviously stunning. If we are lucky, they will keep finding ways to write Kristen, I mean April, into future episodes.
I would like to be the very first to welcome the Unholy Trinity back from the dead and applaud their ability to squeeze into their cheer outfits nearly a year after graduation. Their waists aren’t the only things that haven’t changed- goodbye, Demi Lovato. We should all start saying our farewells to Dani as we phase back into the inevitable Brittany and Santana reunion. Will the resident math genius slash Fondue for Two host make her way to the big apple? It’s going to be a very crowded loft come fall.
Quinn has taken her obsession with becoming prom queen to a whole new level. Her attempt to lure in socialite Biff is making her take a swift turn towards becoming her mother. Luckily, Air Force Puck, no longer a Lima loser, swoops in to save her from her pretentious mistake. It’ll be interesting to see if and where their storyline goes.
Glee‘s 100th episode is an homage to the history the show has created in the past 99 episodes. It does what it should, which is bring together the characters and the narrative into a cohesive story that is sweet and funny, a catty wave of nostalgia with the promise of better things to come.