Glee S6 Ep6 “What the World Needs Now”

Rachel gets challenged by Mercedes to stop hiding and let her star shine.

Rachel gets challenged by Mercedes to stop hiding and let her star shine.

Fox’s Glee hits the almost mid-point of its final season with a Burt Bacharach tribute, “What the World Needs Now.” The music of this legendary singer, songwriter, composer, record producer, and pianist (with a score of number ones, Grammy’s, and Academy Awards!) might not be known to the younger folks in the audience, but chances are they heard a song they know in this lively episode.

Thematically, this season is about reinforcing the core lessons of Glee’s history – and that includes the idea of chosen family.

We kick off immediately with Sam and Rachel being cute/awkward in the hallway. Do they want to get together? Do they want to cancel? Okay, so…yeah. Laters! Let’s just go with a song because that seems easier.

Dionne Warwick’s “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again” accentuates the fact that while these two like each other a lot, they’re both reluctant to take the plunge and fall in love. They walk the school, surrounded by couples in love, only to meet in the courtyard – and quickly scurry away. Nope, the duet didn’t help at all (even though they sound sweet together). Is this a misfire or do they just need more time?

Britt’s hard at work in her room on a cuboid (in a cat shape), when her heretofore unseen parents drop in for a chat. Ken Jeong (yes) and Jennifer Coolidge (of course) somehow convey “yes, these people raised Brittany, we can see it” in about ten seconds, but they have some dramatic and shocking news to deliver.

It seems Pierce Pierce (were you expecting anything less?) is NOT Brittany’s real father! What?! Turns out Britt’s mathematical genius is from her real dad – Stephen Hawking – the result of an ill-conceived (sorry) honeymoon indiscretion between Mrs. Pierce and “the robot.”

So much now makes sense.

Brittany has her own news: she’s marrying Santana! Mom and Dad are thrilled.

Back in the hall, Sam and Rachel mutually apologize for mutually blowing off their date. He isn’t sure what to do about his thing for Rachel, which could grow into a big thing, or his thing for Mercedes, which is also big and…he needs to run and teach a class. Sam blurts out that he loves her and she responds and then looks really, really super confused.

They might need to sing this out again.

In the choir room, co-teachers Rachel and Kurt celebrate their win by announcing their theme of the week: Burt Bacharach! His success and his uplifting music are things that the New New Directioners should be soaking up, because Sectionals is in five weeks and their competition is going to be gunning for them.

But fear not! They have a secret weapon: Mercedes Jones! Currently charting on iTunes and here to mentor them.

Oh, and she’s also going to mentor Rachel.

Girl Power!

Girl Power!

First off, Mercedes gives her blessing to Sam and Rachel doing romantic things. Secondly, the more important endgame in the conversation is Rachel in New York City doing Broadway. That’s where she belongs, and while it’s totally noble for her to be working with the kids, it’s a temporary stop. But Rachel is scared to take the opportunity Mercedes is dangling in front of her: a chance to audition for a new Broadway show.

That’s okay, all good mentors have a song in their pocket.

With Rachel, Santana, and Brittany backing her up, Mercedes belts out “Baby, It’s You” (another Burt Bacharach hit – recorded originally by The Shirelles) – in sparkly pink 60’s dresses. Good stuff and great girl power moment – Rachel, this has to convince you!

Nope, didn’t work. Rachel misses New York City and Broadway but she’s not ready to go back. Not being convinced by duets and group numbers? What’s going on here?!

Back in Brittany’s room, Britt has an offer for Artie, since he’s not really doing anything (did he get a teaching internship from film school as well?), and because he’s a director who will bring her vision to life… Would he like to plan she and Santana’s wedding? (For free?)

Sure!

Brittany’s list of ideas: Scissors, sweet lady kisses, tuna (Lord Tubbington snuck that in). Artie vetoes them. How about…heaven?

Dusty Springfield’s “Wishin’ and Hoping” is Britt’s narration in a darling fantasy sequence; a heavenly stage of clouds, angels on swings (Blaine and Sam), and a dancing Artie in a top hat and wings plus a chorus of pretty brides. If this is how the wedding is going to look, it’s going to be a blast!

Heaven is perfect! Or the underworld. Either/or.

Side bar: This isn’t a group we’ve heard harmonize before but Heather Morris, Kevin McHale, Chord Overstreet, and Darren Criss sound delightful together. If you’re looking for a happy song to keep in your pocket, this is the one to have.

Mentor Mercedes is determined – in fact, she’s putting together yet another musical number to convince Rachel to go to New York. And sorry Kurt, Blaine is invited, along with all the other guys, because it’s time to break out the big guns.

Since the boys are busy with Rachel, let us check in with the ladies, shall we? Crayons at the ready, Brittany and Santana are writing out the guest list for the wedding. Less than probable? Joan Baez and Johnny Weir. And possibly Santana’s disowning Abuela, who Brittany wants to invite.

Santana remembers a time when she and her beloved grandmother would play wedding – and more than anything, she wants the woman to wise up, accept Santana’s life and be there, crying her eyes out during the ceremony. But Santana doubts it’ll happen (as the woman seems to be spending most of her time trolling for sympathy on Facebook for her diverticulitis).

Santana: “Having her at my wedding means not marrying you and I choose you over everyone.”

Brittany: “I choose you too.”

Side bar: These ladies are getting a really lovely story, after not having much to do since season three. A nice send-off for the fans, that’s for sure.

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