GLEE: “What the World Needs Now” Review

This episode of Glee was fairly middle of the road and simple, with a lot of musical numbers and less plot, which is a welcome change after the last two weeks. In fact, there were more musical numbers in this episode than in the last two weeks combined. But, honestly, that’s how I like my Glee: more music, less plot. And while it is a theme week, which I don’t love, the theme is Burt Bacharach, whose songs are rather generic in theme and lyric and can be made to fit any situation, so it kind of works.

The simple plot of this week is thus: Mercedes (Amber Riley), Artie (Kevin McHale), Santana (Naya Rivera) and Brittany (Heather Morris) are all back this week and the episode focuses on the old gang far more than the new kids…which doesn’t really make sense in the grand scheme of things, since there are only a few weeks left before Sectionals, but hey, I’m not super invested in the new kids anyway.


Mercedes is on a mission to get Rachel (Lea Michele) back to NYC and auditioning again, and enlists all the boys (but not the girls for some reason) to entice her, singing “Arthur’s Song”, and despite her fears, she gets on a plane to NYC and gets on a stage to sing for a big Broadway audition. The ironic thing is that she sings “Promises, Promises” while she’s clearly breaking her promise to Kitty (Becca Tobin) to see the New Directions through to the end. After the audition, she’s glad she did it, though she’s sure nothing will come of it.


Sam (Chord Overstreet) is still in love with Mercedes but she’s able to convince him that they really are just friends and that he and Rachel should give it a go. Thank the gods. Sam and Mercedes never made sense and there’s a lot of chemistry between him and Rachel, so I’m glad they’re finally moving forward with that storyline.

The other big plot of the episode centers around Santana and Brittany, who are starting to plan their wedding. We’ll skip over the strange scene where Brittany’s parents (Jennifer Coolidge and Ken Jeong in a hugely underused but hilarioius cameo) reveal that Brittany’s father is actually Stephen Hawking. Sure. Ok. Anyways, when Santana came out to her Abuela Lopez (Ivonne Coll), her abuela disowned her. In an attempt to sway her opinion, Brittany works her way into Abuela’s life, tricking her into listening to Santana sing (“Alfie”). But Abuela remains steadfast in her belief that homosexuality is wrong. Brit goes off on Abuela, and she leaves.

There wasn’t really a standout song from the episode (Bacharach is not really known for flash), except perhaps the final number, where EVERYBODY sings (“What the World Needs Now”), moving from the stage to Mr. Schue’s (Matthew Morrison) house for an engagement party. I did enjoy the fact that “Emma” was there, but we only saw her back, since they didn’t have Jayma Mays back to play the role. Also telling is that Blaine (Darren Criss) shows up to the party without Karofsky (Max Adler), a fact that does not go unnoticed by Kurt (Chris Colfer).

All in all, a decent episode. A little dull, but I’ll take dull as long as it means the plot doesn’t go haywire again. But I’m not holding my breath.

What did you think of this episode?

The Author

Mike Bowers

Mike Bowers

Mike is a TV-obsessed actor and writer living in Los Angeles, California.

Previous post

ARCHER "Vision Quest" Episode Recap

Next post

HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER: "Best Christmas Ever" Review