This week's episode of Glee draws inspiration from Madonna, using several of the pop idol's hits strewn throughout the story. From the virginal glee club members deciding whether or not to give it up, to the gals feeling disrespected by the guys, the episode tackles classic high school problems, while maintaining its comedic touch. So why is Glee doing a Madonna-centric episode? We'll let Sue Sylvester answer that one for you:
"Madonna. Simply saying the word aloud makes me feel powerful; even in voice-over. How I have worshipped her ever since I was a little girl. Sorry Angie Jolie, Catherine the Great ... Madonna is the most powerful woman to ever walk the face of the Earth."
So Sue uses her blackmailing of Principal Figgins to get Madonna's greatest hits blasted over the loudspeaker all day. She'd also like to "Madonna" a few of the students, which translates to giving them $35 bucks and shipping them off to New York on a bus. Sue has her own dreamed of emulating Madonna and plans on using the Cheerios to achieve that goal.
Sue ponders: What would Madonna do? "The answer to that question is usually date a younger man," she says. Hence, the Cheerios must look for some younger arm candy — just one step toward acting like the pop idol.
Rachel enlists the help of her fellow female glee clubbers to discuss the matter of virginity. Though she hides that it's Jesse St. James, she wants to know how to stop him from getting mad at her for saying no to sex. "Just do what I do," urges Santana. "Never say no." Tina says they'll have to accept that boys don't respect their feelings, including Artie, who tells Tina she'll have to dress less Goth-like if they're going to be dating.
Mr. Schu overhears how the ladies are feeling disrespected by the guys and suggests they speak to Emma about it. She's not much help, seeing as she's never lost her virginity, either. Will tells Emma he'd like to help her with her confidence, which will then filter down to the students.
After Will leaves her office, he runs into the Cheerios doing a routine to Madonna's "Ray of Light." Though Sue says Madonna would weep if she saw their performance, Will is inspired by it and decides to assign the glee clubbers Madonna songs for their next project. The guys say they'd rather sing something manlier, but Will calls them out for being sexiest and misogynistic. Of course, Finn has no idea what that means, so let's cue a Brittany-ism: "When I pulled by hamstring, I went to a misogynist."
To prove that Madonna has empowered women, Rachel kicks off the song that epitomizes empowerment: "Express Yourself." The ladies put on quite the routine, while the boys, minus Kurt, still aren't digging it.
While Brittany considers going after a 7-year-old, Santana worries that she won't find a younger man, so Brittany suggests that she go after the now-single Finn. "The way to get a man to follow you forever: take his virginity. Madonna, like, wrote a song about it," Brittany says. Santana tries to strong-arm Finn, but he still has feelings for Rachel.
Emma calls Sue into her office to inquire as to why Madonna isn't playing over the loudspeaker in there. "It's simple, Arlene. You don't deserve the power of Madonna," Sue says, also comparing Emma to a panda at the zoo that refuses to mate.
To merge the boys and girls of glee club, Rachel asks Finn to do a duet on a mashup of "Borderline" and "Open Your Heart," with Finn banging away on the drums. Before that, though, Finn asks her point-blank if she's dating Jesse. At first she lies; then she admits it. He says if their relationship goes wrong, not to expect him to be there for her. Did you notice all the Madonnas from different decades in the hallway during the mashup? Finn later decides to say yes to Santana's advances after realizing Rachel has someone else.
For their part in the Madonna project, Kurt and Mercedes decide to remake a Madonna video. Their idea is slightly altered after witnessing a tragic exchange between Sue and Mr. Schu. When she gets mad at Will for stealing her Madonna idea, he bites back: "How's the Florence Henderson look working out for you?"
Poor Sue reveals to Kurt and Mercedes that she emulated Madonna so much as a child by bleaching her hair that it all fell out; she only picks on Will's hair because she's jealous. The kids decide to feature Sue in their Madonna video. (More on that later.)
Jesse finds Rachel in the library and decides to apologize for trying to push her to have sex. He says she deserves epic romance before they do the deed — reverse psychology that she falls for! "I'm ready," she says, though her smile fades. Guess who else agrees to go all the way? Emma! She tells Will that she needs to take control of her body just like Madonna, "which is why I'm planning on doing the nasty with you tonight at your place," she says.
And now the moment you've been waiting for: Sue Sylvester does the "Vogue" video. From start to finish it's a great re-enactment, with her changing a few lines. What's great about Sue doing this iconic video is that Jane Lynch does it such justice. We know she may not be the best dancer, but she vogues like she owns the place, and she's got a pretty good voice. Ryan Murphy, please let Jane sing more!
Elsewhere, the Glee pairs prepare to take the next step in their relationships. While singing "Like a Virgin," Emma and Will, Rachel and Jesse, and Santana and Finn come close to doing the deed. So which of the couples went through with it? We'll come back to that.
Sue tries once again to get Figgins to send away certain students on a bus, just like dear old Madge, but he's not budging. On top of that, he pays Sue a compliment, saying she doesn't need to wear a Madonna-esque pointy bra because she already is unique. Sue then realizes she doesn't need to reinvent herself, but does need to work on everyone else, starting with Kurt and Mercedes, whom she recruits for the Cheerios.
Finn and Rachel discuss their respective dates. While Rachel says "giving it up" wasn't a big deal and Finn says he ended up not doing it, they're both lying. Finn is definitely regretful because his first time didn't mean anything to him. Emma also apologizes to Will for bailing on their sex date. He isn't upset, but he thinks that he and Emma should not date until his divorce is final. Plus, Emma should get help from professionals with her mysophobia.
Because Rachel said she would never fully be with Jesse because they're from rival clubs, Jesse decides to transfer schools and join New Directions. The club isn't too pleased about it because they suspect he's a spy, but there's nothing they can do.
Kurt and Mercedes make their Cheerio debut with a huge choreographed number. Performing to "4 Minutes," the routine includes the marching band, the Cheerios dancing, and Kurt and Mercedes taking the lead on the vocals. Seriously, as Sue has said, why don't these two have a spin-off on Bravo yet? Will calls Sue out for stealing two of his club members, but the kids insist that they'll get more of a chance to shine doing both clubs.
Finally, the boys come together to sing "What It Feels Like for a Girl," though Puck insists that he's still not down with it because he likes being a dude. The guys come to terms with needing to respect the ladies more, especially after Tina went off on Artie, screaming that she is a powerful woman.
To make it right with the girls, each of the guys take turns apologizing to their object of affection. Artie conveys to Tina that she doesn't need to change for him. Finn says he's sorry for his behavior, which drove Rachel away. Jesse interrupts by saying they must have a sing-off to decide the future of New Directions, but Finn acts as the stand-up guy and concedes being second fiddle.
The episode concludes with the boys and girls of glee club coming together to perform "Like a Prayer."
So did Glee do Madonna justice? Are you excited to see Kristin Chenoweth return next week? Sound off on Tuesday's episode in the comments.