So, did you catch Glee’s 100th episode and Pretty Little Liars' season finale last night? Hanna Marin summarizes my feels about Glee pretty well: “I want to hug you and slap you at the same time.” But like what Hanna does to Alison—who’s really, really alive now—I’m giving this episode a hug if only for the nostalgia.
Rachel, Kurt, Mercedes, Quinn, Santana, Brittney, Mike, and Puck are all back for their final glee club assignment, never mind college or work. When Mr. Schue says you come home and reinvent old songs of the New Directions, you do.
"Raise Your Glass," Season 2
"Raise Your Glass," Season 5
Then: Back when Blaine and Kurt were Warblers, the all-boys group sang “Raise Your Glass” at Regionals, where they finished in second.
Now: April Rhodes (Kristin Chenoweth) takes the lead as practically everyone from the new and old New Directions fist pumps and jumps to the song.
Winner: I love me some Kristin Chenoweth, but Darren Criss (and his eyebrows) and the Warblers were in fine form in the first one, so I’m going to have to go with the original. I do love the throwbacks in the new one, though, like Blaine’s “fakeout” during the bridge and the Unholy Trinity’s “I Say A Little Prayer” moves.
"Toxic," Season Two
"Toxic," Season Five
Then: The New Directions and Mr. Schue do a racy performance at the school assembly and cause a “sex riot,” according to Sue Sylvester.
Now: The Unholy Trinity a.k.a. Santana, Quinn, and Brittany bust out their old uniforms and some itty-bitty lingerie for a smokin’ number, only to be ignored by Biff McIntosh—a.k.a. Nate Archibald from Gossip Girl! Chace Crawford’s characters have the snobbiest names.
Winner: Love the harmonies in the first one, but I’m glad Mr. Schue is on the sidelines this time. I mean, an NSFW number with your teacher? No, thanks. Also, can the Unholy Trinity never ever be apart again? And one last thing, how about them abs of Heather Morris who gave birth just a few months before taping?
"Defying Gravity," Season 1
"Defying Gravity," Season 5
Then: Kurt and Rachel compete for a solo at Sectionals, which Kurt throws at the last minute for his dad. If you can recall, Burt had received an anonymous phone call from a homophobe attacking Kurt just before the diva-off.
Now: It’s still a diva-off—this time between Rachel and Mercedes, with Kurt as, I dunno, a buffer between the two?
Winner: What’s with subduing the three powerhouse voices? The producers might’ve been going for a different feel than the original but Rachel, Mercedes, and Kurt could’ve easily reached and sustained those high notes like that. In spite of (or maybe because of) Kurt purposely blowing the first diva-off, it had the weight and spectacle that a song like “Defying Gravity” demands.
"Valerie," Season 1
“Valerie,” Season 5
Then: At Sectionals, Santana belts out her first solo in a competition, while Brittany and Mike dance their butts off.
Now: Santana brings it on once again, but this time she (and Jake) joins the dance party.
Winner: The second one if only because Santana gets to dance with Brit-Brit, too.
"Keep Holding On," Season 1
“Keep Holding On,” Season 5
Then: After the school gossip outs Quinn and her unplanned pregnancy, Finn and the New Directions offer support in the form of an Avril Lavigne song.
Now: This time it’s Puck leading the pack for Quinn, who’s burying her past to please her new snooty boyfriend.
Winner: Let’s take a minute to hold our pearls like Quinn and soak in the parallelism between Finn and Puck. Finn must be clapping his buddy on the back for taking care of the gang, well specifically Quinn, in his absence. Tears, you guys. Everybody wins!
Glee airs Wednesdays, 4 pm via satellite and 8 pm on primetime, on ETC.