Extraordinary Merry Christmas
Glee celebrates its holiday special with “Extraordinary Merry Christmas” this week. The episode opens with Mercedes trimming their rehearsal room’s Christmas tree, singing Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas is You.” The rest of the New Directions’ members join in as they decorate their Christmas tree. Finn and Rachel kiss under Mercedes’ newly-hung mistletoe. Rachel asserts that they are all going to have the best Christmas ever.
Finn has been struggling on the perfect Christmas gift for Rachel. Back at the locker room, he gets a lot of lousy gift suggestions from other boy members of the glee club. Kurt tells Rachel that Finn needs guidance on the perfect gift for her. Rachel then comes up with a holiday wish list. Out in the hall, she hands Finn a list of her five most wanted presents for Christmas, which consisted mostly of beauty products that she can later on use for her auditions. The list includes a tanning spray and a teeth whitening product. Finn’s not particularly pleased with Rachel’s seemingly persistent vanity and display of materialism, exclaiming that he’s dating a Kim Kardashian.
Sue wants to keep herself busy through the holiday as she won’t be able to celebrate it anymore with her beloved sister, Jean. She calls Artie, Kurt, and Blaine in a meeting to let them know that she’s letting them off the hook for messing up the American Songbook, especially this Yuletide season. But here’s the catch. The boys have to convince the rest of the glee club to volunteer at Lima Homeless Shelter and perform for the charity’s children. This is Sue’s way of keeping her mind off the death of her beloved sister. They agree to help.
During rehearsals, Rory shares his homesickness to the glee club and sings his rendition of Elvis Presley’s “Blue Christmas,” to cheer himself up. Suddenly, the group finds themselves reminiscing how awful their Christmas turned out the previous year. They want to up the Christmas spirit this time around. As if on cue, Will Schuester arrives and announces to the group that they have been offered an opportunity to showcase their talent at a cable TV Christmas special. Artie is given the chance to direct the special due to his commendable work on “West Side Story.”
Still downcast over missing his family, Sam offers to be Rory’s Christmas sponsor and invites Rory to attend his upcoming family gathering. Elsewhere, Artie meets with Mr. Borowski, the local cable station manager, to discuss his plans for the Christmas special. He’s excited to hear Artie’s plan but makes a faux pas when he starts comparing him to Tiny Tim. Artie plans to have a Star Wars-themed special with Chewbacca having a huge role in it. He adds that he wants the performance captured in black and white to pay tribute to one of the greatest holiday shows of all time, Judy Garland’s Christmas special.
Rachel auditions for Artie’s special by singing the song “River” by Joni Mitchell. Artie thinks the song is quite depressing and instead asserts his vision of an upbeat Christmas special with Blaine and Kurt hosting for friends, who are singing jolly Christmas songs. He wants to end their performance on a happy note by letting Rory dress in an elf costume and reciting “Frosty the Snowman.” Sam insists that it’s all right to add a melancholic element to the holiday proceedings. Adamant to Sam’s suggestion, Artie stresses to the latter that it should be a “Merry Christmas,” not “Morose Christmas.” Sam then decided to do volunteer work rather than participate in Artie’s special. Rory, who chooses to stay behind, obviously disappoints Sam.
As Finn comforts Rachel for Artie’s dismissive response to her audition piece, she begins hinting to Finn about receiving her Christmas gift earlier, particularly the pair of earrings. She’s thinking of using them during their TV debut special. She’s confused though when Finn hands her an envelope with an African pig photograph inside – with no jewelry. He tells her that he is out of budget and that he has elected to sponsor an African sow in her name to fatten for a year and give to a poor family. Rachel sarcastically tells him that she appreciates the gesture but that he should have stuck with the list so as not to embarrass himself.
As Rachel and Blaine perform the original song “Extraordinary Merry Christmas,” Sue barges in to the choir room and reminds them to be at the homeless shelter on Friday. Realizing that it will be in conflict with their TV performance, Artie tells Sue that they won’t be able to make it and will have to reschedule their visit. Sue proceeds to guilt tripping the whole group, saying they are going to disappoint the children.
The holiday special begins with a Star Wars theme, which is followed in full black and white scene, where Blaine and Kurt perform a duet of Frank Sinatra’s “Let It Snow.” They are joined by Mercedes and Rachel as they sing “My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music. Puck and Finn enter the scene to perform “Santa Clause is Coming to Town.” Mike, Brittany and the “Santa” Cheerios sing the “Christmas Wrapping.” Rory comes in, dressed as an elf, and reads the story of the Nativity instead of Frosty the Snowman.
Meanwhile, at the Lima Homeless Shelter, Quinn and Sam are busy serving food. Sue is worried that they might be short on food. To Sue’s surprise, Emma, Will, and the rest of the glee club arrive with additional food and decorations to cheer the whole event. Artie tells Sue that they are going to sing their final song for the Christmas special. Thus, they sing Band Aid’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas.” All the children joyfully watch them perform.
Later, Finn and Rachel reconcile. Rachel tells Finn that she has accepted his pig gift by naming it Barbara. Finn surprises her with a second gift; that is, naming a star after himself and that if Rachel ever needs support, she can always look to the sky and know that Finn is watching over her. He surprises her even more with a pair of earrings that he bought after selling his letterman jacket. Moved by Finn’s gesture, she insists on giving back.
At the street-corner charity pot, Finn and Rachel join Rory and Sam by donating some money and ringing the bell to encourage everyone to spread the spirit of Christmas.
Title Original Artists
“All I Want For Christmas is You” Mariah Carey
“Blue Christmas” Elvis Presley
“River” Joni Mitchell
“Extraordinary Merry Christmas” Original
“Let It Snow” Vaughn Monroe
“My Favorite Things” The Sound of Music
“Santa Clause is Coming to Town” Bruce Springsteen
“Christmas Wrapping” The Waitresses
“Do They Know It’s Christmas?” Band Aid