“Glee” aired part one of its landmark 100th episode, titled “100,” on March 18.
In a single word the highly emotional, star and music packed installment is spectacular. It's great seeing old favorites like Quinn (Dianna Agron), Puck (Mark Salling), Mike (Harry Shum Jr.), and Brittany (Heather Morris) light up the screen in song and dance, along with fabulous recurring guest stars Kristin Chenoweth (April) and Gwyneth Paltrow (Holly).
The two-part tribute says goodbye to life at McKinley High and following next week’s March 25 graduation ceremony, “Glee” ushers in a new era set in New York City for beloved characters Rachel (Lea Michele), Kurt (Chris Colfer), Santana (Naya Rivera), Blaine (Darren Criss), Sam (Chord Overstreet) and Artie (Kevin McHale).
Old flames flicker between former couples Quinn and Puck and Brittany and Santana. However, Quinn stirs the pot by bringing her new arrogant beau Biff (Chace Crawford) and we pine as Puck watches his lost lady love make a huge mistake.
Quinn and Puck’s reunion at the end is a standoout moment in the emotionally-intense episode. Here’s a closer look at that, as well as five more "Glee"-ful things to love about “100.”
Mark Salling looks wonderful and extremely “grown up” as Puck returns to McKinley dressed in his military uniform. Puck and Quinn share a tender moment as she admires the change until her preppy but positively horrible boyfriend Biff appears to break the spell.
Chace Crawford does a great job annoying us as he criticizes poor people and basically everything Quinn holds dear. He obviously doesn’t know her well and it’s sad to think she doesn’t have more respect for herself.
Puck’s auditorium serenade of “Keep Holding On” makes our pulses pound and our hearts ache as Quinn clearly remembers all she’s lost. Plus, we can’t help but think of the original season one performance with Finn (Cory Monteith) singing the song to Quinn when he thinks he’s the father of her child.
Mark’s rendition is heartfelt and beautiful. Quinn’s resolve clearly starts to crack through her tears and we’re thrilled when she finally tells Biff who she really is. We’re even more thrilled when he reacts badly and berates Quinn and Puck steps in to firmly put him in his place (in the dumpster)!
It’s simply a series-sweet moment when Puck tells Quinn “I know who my soulmate is” and she finally surrenders to her feelings and they seal things with a kiss.
It’s wonderful how Finn and Cory Monteith have been remembered in last week’s incredible episode and again in this milestone tribute. Cory Monteith was arguably just as much the heart of “Glee” as his on and off-screen love Lea Michele.
It’s impossible not to get emotional when Quinn and Puck stand in front of Finn’s football jersey, wondering if he forgave them. And, it’s still so sad to see Finn’s picture/plaque hanging in the wall in the choir room, whose days seem sadly numbered.
The real tear-inducing moment comes when Mr. Schue (Matthew Morrison) stands with the kids in the auditorium, Finn’s picture now transferred and thanks the group for all they’ve done and all they’ve meant to him. Everyone is crying, especially Lea Michele, who takes visible breaths through her tears. Cory Monteith’s sudden death may mark the most globally felt loss on the face of a television series from his cast members, to critics, to the gigantic worldwide “Glee” fan base. Plus, the parallel disbanding of the glee club seems like the heart muscle of the show has atrophied with the charismatic New Directions leader’s death.
While the New York storyline is exciting, Gleeks around the world will forever mourn the beautiful life and talent ended much too soon.
Raise Your Glass
The revamp of this original Warbler’s take on Pink’s feel-good anthem is fantastic with the incomparable Kristin Chenoweth leading the gang. We love seeing April-the-firecracker-Rhodes return in all her glory! It’s fun seeing the old gang and the new gang like Jake (Jacob Artist), Marley (Melissa Benoist) and Unique (Alex Newell) joining in the fun. It’s a great way to open the show. Glasses accordingly raised in gleeful congratulations for a job well done!
The “Toxic” Unholy Trinity
Brittany’s back! Yay! It’s wonderful to see new mommy Heather Morris join her “Glee” family in this amazing tribute episode. How fun is it that Brittany is a mathematical genius at MIT? Apparently, she’s not having too much fun there and her former love Santana tries to draw her out by getting her to revive her role in the Cheerios “bad girl” trio that we all grew to love despite their sometimes wicked ways.
Heather Morris, Naya Rivera and Dianna Agron never missed a beat in their totally electric delivery of “Toxic.” Seriously. How much hotter could a number get?
O.M.G.! What an awe-inspiring performance from the three best singers on this award-winning and critically-acclaimed show. Lea Michele, Chris Colfer and Amber Riley teaming up for a “diva off” with “Defying Gravity” is spellbinding.
Another touching moment ensues when Rachel and Mercedes meet in the bathroom and realize they shouldn’t work so hard to “best” each other. They should celebrate each other’s incredible gifts instead. We couldn’t agree more!
Dance-Tastic “Valerie” and “Happy”
Props are rarely given to the outstanding choreography on “Glee.” The amount of work that goes into producing just one musical performance, let alone the entire episode, is mind-boggling. While the overall tone to this installment is somber (the threat of an “ending” looming large in the room), “Valerie” and “Happy” provide some feel-good dance-tastic moments.
We’re reminded just how good Heather Morris, Harry Shum Jr and Jacob Artist can dance. They make us want to jump up from the couch and dance right along with them. And we love us a little injection from the utterly happy Holly who proudly proclaims “When Holly Holliday’s in town, this hot b**tch is not lookin’ in the rearview mirror, she’s lookin’ forward.”
This marks another more energetic metaphor for the fact that “Glee” is moving forward as a series and Holly’s blissfully hot performance reminds us that change can be good and the future should be something we all look forward to with happy anticipation, instead of dreading the mistakes or grief in our past.
Pretty much everything we ever needed to know we learned somewhere in “Glee,” right? So, let’s savor the magic in every moment, lesson, and feeling we’ve drawn from this groundbreaking series so far. And instead of fearing the end of an era, let’s look forward to experiencing the rest of our beloved “Glee” characters’ story.
“Glee” airs in Flint on WSMH FOX66 on Tuesdays at 8 pm ET on WJRT ABC12. Click here for a local channel guide.