by Cassie Title

I can’t believe this was the "Vampire Diaries" mid-season finale, because there were hardly any epic shocks or deaths involving characters fans are truly invested in. Seriously. That death of someone who’s been around since season one? Carol Lockwood. Really sorry, but I don’t care at all. The woman’s only seen at town events anyway, so the only thing important about this is that Tyler’s gonna freak out and become all dark and twisty and have some new revenge development I won’t really care about. That’s all.

Additionally, the episode summary on The CW’s website included this bit: Professor Shane "reveals a piece of ancient history that leaves them all speechless." Um, really? Everyone was speechless? I’m pretty sure that anyone with half a brain could guess that Shane had been to where Silas was buried, and that Silas was connected to the cure. They went "Lost" on us and didn’t fully explain what the cure was (Silas’s blood? A potion buried with him? I don’t know). But, not only was it the opposite of shocking, I’m almost positive that Shane had even said something like it before. And even if he didn’t, IT IS NOT A BIG REVEAL. IN FACT, IT’S SO HEARTBREAKINGLY OBVIOUS THAT I’M EMBARRASSED FOR EVERYONE ELSE WHO’S PROGRAMMED TO BE LIKE OMG WHAT AN AWESOME EPISODE! So, yeah. Disappointment, especially when the mid-season finales are usually incredibly surprising.

Now that I’ve ranted, let’s get down to work.

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Gleeby Melissa Albert

On the heels of Marley's spectacular stumble at sectionals, the Warblers are given the win and the glee club is officially disbanded. Before you can say "Le Car," the Cheerios have taken over the choir room, the accompanist has fled and Finn's handed over the glee club keys.

Finn tries to talk the glee clubbers into getting excited about the upcoming Christmas show, their last performance of the year, but they’re too busy scattering among the various after-school clubs of McKinley, unable to bear the empty hours between last bell and dinnertime. Major traitors Blaine and Tina even go to the dark side, becoming the diversity arm of Sue’s Cheerios squad.

Speaking of Cheerios, did you know that Brittany always forgets to eat breakfast on Tuesdays, because early weekdays confuse her? Well, Sam knows. He lures Brittany to a classroom with a trail of delicious cereal to confess that he’s totally into her. They sing Frank Sinatra’s "Somethin’ Stupid," but before he can catch a kiss, she turns him down, saying she doesn’t want to disappoint the lesbian blogger community that’s been so supportive of her and Santana. But, since he’s a genius whose impressions are amazing, she can’t resist for long: by episode’s end, they’ve shared both a kiss and a trip to the VIP booth at Breadstix. (That is not a metaphor. We don’t think.)

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Vampire Diariesby Cassie Title

So, blogosphere: What have I constantly reiterated about flashbacks? Basically, they’re nothing short of THE. GREATEST. MOMENTS. OF. MY. LIFE. (Yeah, I agree; that was a little intense.) So, I pretty much enjoyed this episode, thanks in part to some interesting flashbacks!

Before I continue from where this intro was supposed to lead us, I want to take a moment to discuss said flashbacks. Damon and Stefan went to New Orleans, and during their trip, we flashbacked back to them hanging on Bourbon Street in 1942. There were uniforms and dapper suits. And there was Lexi! But these flashbacks were qualitatively different than others, in my opinion. They were faster, tighter and more seamless. Great for relating to the present (which I guess is Julie Plec’s plan, according to interviews), but definitely left me wanting more, origin-wise. And let me just say, contrary to someone's potentially popular belief: flashbacks are not just for informing the present. I mean, they are, but not just plot-wise. They’re to continue to grow character arcs, and full characters are what I’m most interested in. Just saying.

Okay. Now for the good stuff!

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Gleeby Melissa Albert

In the time warp that is Lima, Ohio, it’s still Thanksgiving, and "Glee"'s prodigal children are home for the holidays. Look, it’s Quinn! And Puck! And Santana, Mike, Mercedes and Finn! The No. 1 besties (most of whom could barely stand each other in high school) sing "Homeward Bound/Home" (Simon & Garfunkel/Phillip Phillips), while the rest of us consider how this reunion scene would be a lot more moving if 5 out of the 6 kids hadn’t already returned a million times. Still, this is by far the best episode in weeks—partly because of the familiar faces, partly because human sweater vest Finn stayed in the background.

Thanksgiving means sectionals around these parts, and the team is gearing up for victory against diabolical teen geniuses the Dalton Warblers. Finn calls on the graduates to mentor the active glee kids, then announces his sectionals pick: Psy’s "Gangnam Style." Sam "White Chocolate" Evans immediately offers to lend his amazing skills as top dancer, but Finn isn't visionary enough to give him every lead in the show. Would we love Sam less if the show used him more? All we know is, every time he opens his trouty mouth, something awesome comes out.

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by Cassie Title

Before we get into this week's episode, I want to know: Why has "The Vampire Diaries" never done a Thanksgiving episode? I can see its cinematic genius, crystal clear in my head: There’d be turkeys. There’d be blood. And there’d be people who probably did a road (walking) trip to the famed original Thanksgiving dinner, with the Pilgrims and the Native Americans, using the whole episode to tell us all about how things really went down. (Maybe the Pilgrims were vampires! And we already know certain Virginia natives were werewolves. Maybe it’s like "Twilight" and, like, tons of Native Americans are werewolves! THAT PUTS A WHOLE NEW MEANING INTO THANKSGIVING!) Also, because of the hurricane, timeliness doesn’t seem to be a factor: The CW was showing Thanksgiving-themed episodes, like, two weeks after the actual holiday. Besides, we all know that "TVD" can’t do an episode without some sort of festive occasion. So next year, producers, that’s what I’d like to see. Just in case you wanted to know.

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by Melissa Albert

Why so cruel, "Glee"? At the very moment the rest of us are staring down our fourth helping of pie, we get an entire episode based around how amazing the glee kids look in spandex. This week we follow the misadventures of Nightbird (a.k.a. Blaine Warbler) and the rest of his secret society of superheroes, as they attempt to solve the Case of the Missing Sectionals Trophy. Will Blaine return to the nefarious Warblers? Will Marley overcome her eating disorder and break free of Kitty’s evil clutches? Will Sam ever truly be clean again, after wrapping a jockstrap around his face to impersonate Bane? All will be revealed below!

In the middle of a superhero society meeting, a state of emergency is called in the choir room. McKinley’s finest go to investigate: Calling Tarantula Head/Joe! Calling Asian Persuasion/Tina! Calling the Human Brain/Brittany! The sectionals trophy is gone, and a laptop's been left in its place...with a video message from a mysterious Dalton Academy Warbler. They’ve taken the trophy, and they plan on taking the victory at next week’s sectionals, too.

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by Melissa Albert

"Glee Geeks Go Grease!" would be my headline, were I the sophomore theater critic of the McKinley Muckraker. But I’m not, so I’ll just break it to you now: the glee kids' production of "Grease" is a major hit! Now, let’s back it up:

The episode opens with Schue’s badly received announcement that Finn will be replacing him till after sectionals. "We’ll all be dead by sectionals!" Tina screams, rightfully assuming that Finn’s going to leave the glee club in a hot car while he goes to get a slushie. Even scarier, Sue uses Finn’s appointment to re-declare war on the arts at McKinley—she’s out for blood after he insensitively referred to her baby’s disability in last week’s episode.

Over at NYADA, Rachel’s bragging to Brody about both her official single-lady status and her upcoming off-Broadway audition. Stars in her eyes, she foolishly suggests that Cassie try out, too. After squinting her eyes into angry little raisins, Cassie suddenly asks Brody to be her new TA. Uh-oh, we smell an evil plot brewing.

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by Cassie Title

I'm prefacing this recap by saying I totally knew that this would be the last episode before a hiatus. I have psychic powers, I just felt it. (I also remembered that, for obvious reasons, they usually skip Thanksgiving.) And yes, I'm pathetic in that a one-week absence has come to equal a hiatus in my soon-to-be "Vampire Diaries"-starved mind.

Also, I’m starting to wonder whether I actually still like this show. (I know: blasphemy.) I mean, okay, I obviously do, but week after week, I am just more and more frustrated with certain things. "We All Go A Little Mad Sometimes" was no exception.

The episode began with Elena, hallucinating all over the place. Connor was here, Connor was there, Connor was actually Jeremy, who she stabbed to shut the pesky ghost/hallucination up. Naturally, Elena being Elena (read: a self-pitying, lame-ass chick) was just feeling too much. I mean, yes, I understand you’re dealing with crazy hallucinations of the first man you’ve ever killed, and you accidentally stabbed your brother, which is horrifying, but I’m just so over how annoying and boring and self-righteous you are. Which is why I’m fairly excited for this new development, that we shall talk about later on.

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Gleeby Melissa Albert

Last time we saw the "Glee" kids, they were singing songs and breaking hearts. But after the hiatus, it seems like everyone but Blaine and his cheatin’ heart has recovered from last episode's breakup fever. In fact, Blaine’s so depressed over blowing it with Kurt that he doesn’t even want to perform in McKinley’s much-anticipated production of "Grease." He auditions anyway, with "Hopelessly Devoted to You," also known as "the Grease song we always fast-forward through." He totally rocks it...but turns down the role of Danny Zuko. He’s just not ready to act like a man in love.

Finn’s still back in Lima, working at Mr. Hummel’s auto shop and longing for a swift death, until Artie asks him to co-direct "Grease." They’re joined by Mercedes and Mike as dance and vocal coach!...because apparently you can take long breaks from a college or musical career without repercussions.

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by Cassie Title

Dear Sandy,

You’re kind of fierce. You were totally raging last week, and I get it—you needed to let loose. But it's been almost two weeks, and I’m over it. You make me powerless. Literally. Because of you, I couldn't watch "The Vampire Diaries" last Thursday night. Which meant I had a one-week hiatus from recapping. Which meant that I was not pleased. So when your cousin Athena or whatever started storming the other day, I’d had enough. Yes, I had two days of electricity after a week without, but I’m back to being powerless today. So I watched "The Vampire Diaries" at a family friend’s house. You will not get the best of me. So there.

Sincerely,
Cathryn I. Title

P.S. I hate you.

(I figured my full name would sound more threatening.)

See what lack of "TVD" does to me? I start writing hate mail to hurricanes. You know who else started writing last night? Elena. And Stefan. (Is this real life?) It was the return of the "Dear Diary" crap, and although I know it’s the namesake of the show, all I want to say is: We’re over that. It’s so four seasons ago. It’s lame and useless and I hate it. Please stop.

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