|This article is about the episode. You may be looking for the EP of the same name.|
|Old Dog, New Tricks|
|Season Five, Episode Nineteen|
|First Aired||May 6, 2014|
"The Back-Up Plan"
"The Untitled Rachel Berry Project"
Santana attempts to help Rachel perform damage control on her flagging public image, with mixed success. Kurt tries to help a home for retired Broadway performers with their production of Peter Pan, but is upset by the lack of concern that his friends show. To prove he is responsible, Sam adopts a dog - despite Mercedes’s objections.
Kurt, Santana, Rachel and Blaine meet up in a New York cafe. Kurt invites the group to come with him to see a movie, but they all decline for various reasons. Rachel, upset, discovers a Broadway blog that has leaked the news of her secretly skipping a show to pursue other career paths. She emotionally explains that she cannot be branded 'a problem child' this early in her burgeoning career. Rachel insists that she's not a bad person, but Santana maintains that she needs a cause to stand behind in order to save her rapidly plummeting publicity. While arguing, Rachel spots a dog being roughly forced into a handbag on another table. She goes over to remonstrate with the owner, and returns to the table enlightened, explaining that she thinks she may have found her cause.
At the Spotlight Diner, Kurt offers to serve an elderly patron. However, she explains that she is here to advertise for the retired performers home's production of Peter Pan. Impressed with her panache, Kurt offers to put it up in the window without even asking his boss. While he searches for sticky tape, the woman asks why he looks so down. Kurt says that he doesn't usually like to bother others with his problems, but she presses him. They sit at a table, and Kurt explains that he feels like everyone in his life has moved on - apart from him - and no one cares. The woman explains that she can sympathize with him, as most of her friends can't hear. They introduce themselves, and Kurt finds out that the woman is Maggie Banks, a Broadway legend. As they are discussing her history, two medical orderlies enter the diner to pick her up. They reveal that they followed the trail of Peter Pan posters that she left through the streets of New York, and begin to help her up to return to the nursing home. Before she leaves, she invites Kurt to come to a rehearsal. He happily accepts.
At the rescue dogs' home, Rachel, Sam, Mercedes and Artie look around. Rachel explains to an employee that she wants to organise a publicity event for the home's benefit. Without question, the man says that he's on board with the idea. Rachel is delighted. At a cage, Mercedes and Sam have found a dog that Sam is infatuated with. He suggests that they should get it, but Mercedes stops him, saying that he is all that she can handle at the moment. The dogs begin howling uncontrollably, but the employee reassures the group that it's a regular occurrence. He explains that he used to pipe music through the PA system to calm them, but it recently broke. Sam grabs his guitar, and performs I Melt with You with Rachel and Mercedes.
At the Bushwick Apartment, Santana reveals to Rachel that she has the perfect plan to get her campaign up and running. She explains that she has organised for Rachel to get photographed taking rescue dogs for a walk around New York, while wearing a designer dress. Rachel is happy with the idea of 'Broadway Bitches', and begins to excitedly explain it to Kurt when he enters. Kurt offers to perform with the girls at the event, as One Three Hill is on hiatus, but they awkwardly refuse, Santana unconvincingly arguing that his brilliance would draw attention away from Rachel, who is meant to be the star of the show. Bitter, Kurt leaves for the old people's home, publicly wishing that someone would throw him a bone, for a change.
At the nursing home, Kurt walks into a dress rehearsal of Peter Pan. Maggie is both acting and directing, and instructs him to sit down and enjoy the performance. However, there is a gap in proceedings, as the actress playing Peter misses her cue. She eventually flops onto the set on a harness, dangling limply. A man inspects her and announces she's dead. Kurt watches, shocked.
As the deceased 'Peter' is wheeled out, Maggie bemoans the poor timing of her expiration, explaining that opening night is only a week away. Another actor feels that they have no choice but to cancel, and Maggie sadly explains that the Peter Pan production was the only thing that was motivating her to carry on. Kurt offers to fill in for the only performance, as he is a counter-tenor and has the score pretty much memorised. However the two organisers say that they must hear an audition first - they can't just hand him the part. Kurt performs Memory, watched by a nostalgic audience. At the end, Maggie happily announces that they have found their new Peter.
As Artie and Sam play video games in his apartment, they are interrupted by the playful yet badly behaved rescue dog, which Sam has secretly adopted. Mercedes arrives home and discovers the mess. Angry, she chastises Sam for his lack of responsibility, but Sam wins her over by parading McConaughey's cuteness. She relents, and says if the dog is that important to Sam, they'll try to keep it. However, she finds more household tasks that haven't been done, and positions herself in front of the TV to continue telling him off. In mid flow, she sees McConaughey come down the stairs with some of her weave in his mouth, and becomes incandescent with rage. Rushing up her bedroom, she discovers a destroyed pair of high heels, and orders Sam to take the dog back to the home.
In the streets of New York, Rachel uncertainly leads a dozen dogs on leads through the street. Blaine and Artie have positioned themselves among some lunching paparazzi, and loudly announce her arrival. Rushing over to her, they begin to take pictures, and Rachel announces her charity 'Broadway Bitches' to a mock-delighted Santana. However, the dogs spot a man eating a sandwich, and eagerly pursue the food. Rachel is dragged behind them, with the paparazzi following. Watching a dog trying to mate with a photographer's leg, Santana covers her mouth at the abject failure of the publicity stunt.
Back at the apartment, Rachel unhappily reflects on the disaster of the morning. Santana tells her to stick to the plan, and stay at her guns. Kurt arrives, and announces his part in Peter Pan. The girls are unimpressed, and despite his requests that they are there for him, insist that they are too busy with the publicity event to attend his performance. Kurt angrily tells Rachel that he's done with being her friend only when it's convenient for her and storms out, leaving her disgruntled.
At a dog agility course, Sam explains his plan to Artie. He means to train McConaughey before Mercedes gets home in the evening, whereupon he can melt her heart with his puppy-dog eyes. Artie is unconvinced, but they both set about attempting to house-train the dog, while singing Werewolves of London.
At the old people's home, Kurt attempts to rehearse with the other actors. However, the performance is fairly shambolic, and they begin to question whether they should have chosen Peter Pan at all. Kurt suggests updating the music to make the performance fresher. While they are debating their next move, flowers for Maggie arrive from her daughter, with a note explaining that she won't be able to make opening night. Although she's clearly upset, Maggie does her best to shrug it off, and leaves. Kurt asks a nurse about her daughter, and is told that she hasn't visited in years - Maggie sends herself flowers twice a week to keep up appearances. Kurt listens, concerned.
Back at the apartment, Sam cuddles the dog on the sofa. Mercedes arrives home, and tells him that she is at her last nerve - the dog has to go. She tells Sam that he isn't going to be able to look after it properly, but Sam says that he didn't get McConaughey on a whim - he's prepared to look after it, and moreover, will need some company when Mercedes goes on tour. He reveals his anger about Mercedes' patronising attitude over his ability to care for a dog. He tells her that he plans to marry her, but only if she takes him seriously - and that starts with letting him prove he's able to look after McConaughey. Mercedes tells him that she does take him seriously, but doesn't want to involve McConaughey into their own relationship - which they're still working out. Unhappily, Sam affixes her with an upset gaze.
Kurt visits Maggie's daughter in her legal surgery. Although she's initially wary of him, she opens up after he tells her about his role in the production of Peter Pan. She reveals that the reason that she has such a poor relationship with her mother is due to Maggie's negligence of her when she was a child. Kurt urges her to forget and forgive, telling her about Maggie's obsession with her and obvious loneliness and regret. However, Clara remains staunch in her refusal to go. Kurt tells her that she has a final chance to heal all of the hurt between her and her mother, before leaving.
At the event, Rachel thanks Santana for all her great work in organising the event. Santana gives her a three legged dog to hold for the photos later, telling her that it will make for great publicity. Meanwhile Mercedes tells Sam to hand McConaughey in, but he continues to refuse. Artie spots a problem - a woman and her son are trying to adopt the three legged dog, but Rachel refuses to let it go before her publicity shoot. Realising her ulterior motive, the woman chastises Rachel for her self-obsessed motives. She angrily boards a bus, and despite Santana's advice to Rachel to ignore her due to her unfashionable footwear, Rachel remains concerned with her own behaviour.
At the Peter Pan performance, Blaine helps Kurt with his costume. Kurt reflects that for the first time since he came to New York, he feels that he has something that gives him purpose. Blaine wishes him good luck and leaves, leaving him to find Maggie. He offers to become her family, saying that he needs someone to talk to since his friends are so busy. She happily accepts, and they share a hug before walking on to perform. Just before he goes on, Kurt rings Rachel to wish her good luck with the benefit. He tells her that his life would be very dull without friends like her, and she thanks him, but tells him that she has to go - her best friend's show is about to start. Shocked, he looks into the audience to see Blaine, Rachel, Artie and Sam. They share smiles and waves.
During the performance, Kurt performs Lucky Star with Maggie and the care home residents. During the performance, the elderly members imagine themselves as their younger selves. Kurt's friends watch, smiling. During the performance, Clara arrives and happily watches her mother perform. After the show, Clara and Maggie speak together and reconcile. Kurt watches them happily, before being congratulated by his own friends. Sam and Blaine announce that Artie has managed to get a bus loaned from the film school, and the cast are invited to perform at Rachel's 'Broadway Bitches' event. Kurt asks Maggie if she has a second act in her, and she tells him that she never used to believe in second acts - until he came along. They all leave for the bus.
At the event, Rachel introduces the performers. As the song begins, she gives the three-legged dog to the mother and her son. Sam suggests to Mercedes that they give McConaughey to someone at the event, but Mercedes tells him to not bother - they're keeping the dog. However, McConaughey is eventually adopted by an old couple. The elderly residents, the friends, and the Spotlight Diner staff perform Take Me Home Tonight.
At the end of the song, Rachel gives an interview. She credits Santana and Kurt for the idea behind and success of the project, but Kurt is quick to point that it was a true collaboration, and that they're just happy to be giving back. The three friends share a group hug, happily.
|Song Title||Original Artist||Performer(s)|
|I Melt with You||Modern English||Mercedes Jones, Rachel Berry,|
and Sam Evans
|Memory||Cast of Cats||Kurt Hummel and Maggie Banks|
|Werewolves of London||Warren Zevon||Artie Abrams and Sam Evans|
|Lucky Star||Madonna||Kurt Hummel and Maggie Banks|
|Take Me Home Tonight||Eddie Money||Alumni and Maggie Banks|
- Old Dog, New Tricks is an EP accompanying the music of this episode.
Special Guest Stars
- June Squibb as Maggie Banks
- Billy Dee Williams as Andy Collins
- Tim Conway as Marty Rogers
- Amber Riley as Mercedes Jones
- Melinda McGraw as Clara Banks
- Sean O'Bryan as Roric
- Mia Barron as Mother
- Brittany Renee Finamore as Beverly Stevens
Absent Cast Members
- Jacob Artist as Jake Puckerman
- Melissa Benoist as Marley Rose
- Blake Jenner as Ryder Lynn
- Jane Lynch as Sue Sylvester
- Matthew Morrison as Will Schuester
- Alex Newell as Unique Adams
- Becca Tobin as Kitty Wilde
- Jenna Ushkowitz as Tina Cohen-Chang
- This episode was watched by 2.10 million viewers and received a 0.8 rating.
- This is the fourth episode not to feature any solos, just group numbers and duets. (The first three were Vitamin D, The First Time, and I Do)
- Some events from this episode (such as Santana dyeing her hair blonde) were mentioned by Brittany in What the World Needs Now.
- This is the second time a main cast member takes part in writing an episode, after The Quarterback, which was assisted by Lea Michele.
- This episode features the last appearance of Santana in Season Five.
- This episode is also the only one to feature Santana with blonde hair.
- Although we saw Santana with blonde highlights in All or Nothing.
- This is also the last time Santana is present as a main character.
- This is the last time Santana sings this season.
- This episode is also the only one to feature Santana with blonde hair.