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What the World Needs Now is the sixth episode of Glee's sixth season and the one hundred and fourteenth episode overall. It aired on February 6, 2015. It was written by Michael Hitchcock and directed by Barbara Brown.
As Brittany and Santana plan their wedding, Artie is recruited to be the wedding planner. While Santana struggles with the fact that her disapproving grandmother – with whom she hasn’t spoken since coming out as a lesbian – refuses to attend, Brittany takes matters into her own hands. Fresh off their unexpected win at Sue’s Show Choir Invitational, Rachel and Kurt give the gleeks their weekly assignment: the music of Burt Bacharach, and recruit reigning diva Mercedes to act as a mentor for the new singers. While Mercedes is supportive of Rachel’s new career path, she is committed to convincing her to not abandon her dreams of something bigger and better… namely Broadway. To that end, she tells Rachel she’s arranged an audition for her for a new, upcoming Broadway musical, and tries to inspire a resistant and gun-shy Rachel to take another shot at her dreams of stardom. Meanwhile, despite agreeing to stay just friends, Rachel and Sam try to negotiate bigger feelings they may or may not have for each other, but it takes the advice of an interested third party to move things along; and Brittany learns a shocking family secret, including the origins of her remarkable mathematical prowess.
Sam catches up to Rachel, in the hallway, with an impression. He tells her its a conversation starter, when she asks if he always does that. He questions her if their date is still, to which they both reply to each other hastily, and decide to move it to that afternoon. As Sam walks away, Rachel begins to sing I’ll Never Fall In Love Again. When she passes Sam, he also begins to sing with her, walking the opposite away. In the courtyard (that afternoon), in different places, they walk to each other, passing couples dancing, as walk to each other. They reach other and then look at each other uncomfortably. At the end of the song, they walk away, cancelling their date.
In Brittany’s room, Brittany’s mother and father walk in, stating they want to talk to her. Brittany’s mother, Whitney, asks what she’s working on, to which she informs them, that she’s working on integers. They sit down, and Whitney asks if she’s ever wondered why she’s so smart, stating that she’s average intelligence, while her father is below average intelligence. She continues about how dumb he is, but have decided they want to tell her the truth. Brittany discovers, that Pierce, her father, is not her biological father, to which both Pierce and Brittany are surprised. Whitney utters to Pierce about how they talked about it, for 19 years, to which he then remembers. Whitney continues that her real father is Dr. Stephen Hawking, to which they both gasp, Pierce calling him a robot. Whitney explains, that when they went on their honeymoon, to England, Pierce told her that he can’t have kids. Whitney states how she cried, and went to go pub, getting drunk, where she then had sex with Stephen Hawking, having her 9 months later, in an Indiana Barn. Brittany, shocked by this slightly, Whitney apologising. Britney says she also has something to say, to which her parents look worried. She assures them that its not something bad, and tells them that she’s getting married to Santana. They both exclaim at this news, Whitney calling Santana “Yeasty Girl!” happily.
The next day, Sam and Rachel both walk up to each other, both apologising about blowing their date off. Sam states how he does a little feeling for her, but still likes Mercedes. Rachel states that she also likes him, but tells him she has to look after her kids. Sam, remembering, states he has to go, to teach his health class, rushing away, saying he loves her. She says it too, without thinking. Realising what she said, she’s confused for a moment, then walks away.In the choir room, the New Direction members sit, with Artie, Brittany and Santana already there, as Kurt and Rachel walk in, the latter stating she’s still happy about their win in Invitationals. Kurt then states they want to celebrate another champion, revealing it to be Burt Bacharach, Brittany believing it was Katniss Everdeen, from The Hunger Games. Kitty whispers to Spencer, saying how its a good time to the bathroom or get food, as Kurt lists Burt Bacharach’s achievements, from winning awards, to his song being featured on shows. Rachel states how his music is uplifting, theatrical and optimistic, so they have those attributes in Sectionals. Kurt states how Vocal Adrenaline and The Warblers are training for it too. They then bring in Mercedes, as their secret weapon. She tells them that she’ll mentor them and states her achievements too, where everyone then hugs her.
In the staff room, Mercedes talks to Rachel about whats going on with her and Sam. Rachel, surprised that she knows, asks who told her. Mercedes informs her that Kurt did. Rachel tells of what happened the day before, bailing so they didn’t hurt her. Mercedes states that she does love Sam, but their just friends, already talking to Sam about it, telling her she needs to back to where she belongs. Mercedes states how its weird being in the staff room, Rachel saying she’ll get used to it. Mercedes explains that she needs to back to broadway, already having an audition for her. Rachel says that she’s not ready to go back, but Mercedes tells her the best thing about them, is their gifts, and how its always with them. Rachel begins to talk about the kids, but Mercedes cuts her off, saying she's doing good, and Sectionals is after a while, but wrong that she’s not on stage, beginning to to sing Baby It's You. It cuts to them, with Brittany and Santana, performing in the auditorium, in pink dresses, Mercedes and Rachel making eye contact with each other throughout the performance. When the song ends, they both hug. Rachel thanks her, saying she appreciates it and does miss NY, but believes she’s not ready.
The following day, Brittany invites Artie to her room, forgetting that they dated. She declares that she wants him to be her and Santana’s wedding planner, Artie honoured, but asks why him. She states how he hasn’t done anything for the year and he’s a director, to bring her vision to life. She lists of themes that remind her of Santana: “Scissors,” “Sweet Lady Kisses” and “Tuna” (the last one being Lord Tubbington’s idea). She then says “Heaven,” Artie asking her to elaborate on that. She states how when she spends time with Santana, she feels like she’s in heaven, and angel wings reminds her of Santana. It goes to a daydream performance, of Brittany, Artie and Lord Tubbington in heaven, singing Wishin’ and Hoping. Blaine and Sam also sing, swinging. At the end of the performance, Artie throws Brittany a bouquet full of flowers. Artie believes thats perfect for the wedding, but Brittany disagrees, saying the “Underworld” might be.
Mercedes walks in to the choir room, where the New Direction boys are gathered (as well as Kurt and Sam), saying she wants to talk with them. She explains that its great that glee club is up and running again because of Rachel (Kurt grunting, to which Mercedes also thanks him). She continues, saying that its Rachel’s destiny to go back to Broadway. Roderick and Spencer ask how they’re supposed to do that, Mercedes stating they need to make her home-sick. Mason says that she is, but Mercedes says she needs to be homesick for NY. She says how Artie’s already there, and she will be too, Kurt astonished that he didn’t get a mention. Mercedes apologises to him, then beckons them to follow her.
In Brittany’s room, Santana and Brittany plan who’s going to their wedding. Santana asks why she’s inviting her abuela, to which Brittany says, because Santana isn’t, she will. Santana explains to her, that when she was little, she’d play “Wedding” with her grandmother, dressed up, her abuela asking who’d she’d marry that day. They both share a sad silence. Santana continues, saying she’s dreamt of having her at their wedding, bawling. She would forgive her, and have her, because she’s her grandmother. She states how her abuela is constipated, and it won’t kill her. She says having her at the wedding, would mean not having Brittany. She states how she’ll alway choose her, before everyone. Brittany says the same, and they both kiss.That night, Alma Lopez, Santana’s abuela, opens the door to Brittany, saying she’s been sent to the agency, inviting herself in, as Alma looks confused. Brittany talks on the phone, about medicine, then hangs up. Alma states how she’s uncomfortable with a stranger in her house. Brittany talks in Spanish, that she understands, to which Alma looks impressed. When Alma tries to say something again, Brittany interrupts, saying she never misses her Spanish soap opera. Alma, taken in by this, smiles. They both watch it, commenting on the show. Alma looks at Brittany’s hand, seeing her ring. She asks if her husband is a good man, to which Brittany says their only engaged, Alma exclaiming with happiness. She asks if their passion in their relationship, (Brittany saying there is), and asks her questions of their future. Brittany states how she wants them to go outside, and have fondue. It is revealed that she meant her show, Fondue for Two (now known as Queso Por Dos). She introduces Alma, and sees Lord and Lady Tubbington hitting a piñata. Brittany talks about her marriage and mentions how she learnt who her real father is. Brittany asks Alma how she meant her husband. Alma states how he died in Vietnam, but met her second husband, and was happy with it. Brittany compares her relationship to Alma’s one, without the Vietnam part. She then explains how Eleanor Roosevelt, and her friend, were close. She states how there’s a legend that Eleanor Roosevelt would kiss her friend’s picture every night. Alma, oblivious to what she said, stares at Lord and Lady Tubbington reading. Brittany ignores this, saying she and her fiancé should elope, Alma saying she’ll skin her alive. She states how its a day of celebration, and that they should be surrounded by family, and share the joy, as Santana watches the show on her laptop, in a café, in disbelief.
In the auditorium, Mercedes leads Rachel to a seat, saying that New York is for her. On stage, Blaine begins to sing Arthur’s Theme, with Artie, Sam, Kurt and the New Direction boys. Rachel begins to have flashbacks of when she first went to New York for Nationals, her broadway show and when she lived there. At the end of the performance, Rachel and Mercedes clap for them. She states how amazing it was, but still believes she’s not ready. Mercedes says she’s not leaving till she is.
In the hallway, Brittany is surrounded by a bunch of students, as Santana walks past. Santana pushes her way to Brittany, asking her what’s going on. Brittany tells her that she’s meeting her latino fans, and tells them, in Spanish, that her show has been picked up for two more seasons, all of them jumping happily at this. Santana sends them away, and asks her why she went behind her back. Brittany states how times have changed, but Santana argues that they haven’t, and she won’t. Brittany wisely says that people are afraid of what they don’t know, and its up to them to inform the older generation about it, and that she’ll understand they’re just like everyone else. Santana gives in, and gets a signed picture from Brittany, both giggling. They kiss and hug.
In the boys locker room, Sam begins to sing They Long To Be Close To You, walking through the hallway, looking through the window of the choir room, looking at Mercedes and ends up in the auditorium, singing to Mercedes, who sits across from him. At the end of the performance, Mercedes states it was beautiful, but questions on the song choice. He states how they’re not just friends, to which she says they are, saying they broke up months back. He explains that its hard to move on. She asks him if he’s dating, but he says he hasn’t, and thought that if he did, it would hurt her and they wouldn’t be friends anymore. She goes closer to him, and tells them they need to test that their friendship is stronger than that. She gives him an example of her dating someone new, to which he looks surprised. She asks him how it makes him feel. He responds that he’s a bit jealous, but he’s happy for her. Mercedes says that he needs to go out with Rachel now. When he asks her if she’s not sad about it, she states that he needs to help Rachel, but says that she is a little jealous, to which Sam looks happy about. He asks about her boyfriend. She responds that they call him “Tank,” Sam stating he’s not ready to be one-upped by a more bigger guy than him, to which Mercedes laughs at.
In the choir room, Rachel is pacing, as Mercedes walks in. She asks whats happening, to which Rachel states that she needs her to look after the club. Mercedes asks why Kurt can’t do it, to which Rachel replies that she doesn’t want him to a musical lesson. She gives her the pamphlet of the broadway show. Realising that she’s doing the audition, Mercedes exclaims happily. Rachel thanks her, and begins to cry about how she might not get it or mess up, and sits. Mercedes sits beside her on the piano stool, and asks whats going on. Rachel states she’s scared, explaining that when she was in high school and was laughed at, she would ignore it, and show that she’d show them that she’s not a joke, but believes that she is now and doesn’t want to fail. Mercedes reassures her that she’s not a joke, especially when she’s singing and that the hardest part of failing, is getting up again. Mercedes makes Rachel stand up, and mentors her for audition, stating the things she needs to remember, and Rachel begins to sing Promises, Promises. She walks out the choir room, with her luggage, waving goodbye to Mercedes. In New York, she goes to her audition room, walking in while singing the song, performing in front the judges. At the end of the performance, they clap for her, as she feels happy at what she has done.
In the auditorium, Brittany leads Alma to the auditorium, Alma asking if her fiancé works there. Brittany tells her that its a surprise, as she sits her down. The curtain opens up, with Santana standing in the middle of the stage, in a red dress, singing Alfie. Alma begins to become emotional, as Santana sings to her. The lights dim, revealing that the ND, as well as Artie, Mercedes, Blaine, Sam and Kurt are singing back-up. Brittany walks up to the stage and sings back-up as well. At the end of the performance, they all walk off-stage, except Santana and Brittany, Alma walking towards them. Santana and her abuela make conversation before she asks how they know each other. Brittany reveals to her that Santana is her fiancée. Alma angrily states that she came to her house, to trick to see her granddaughter. Brittany says she did, because she loves Santana. Santana talks to her abuela about how she taught her about being a strong independent woman, and that to not just exist. She explains that she can’t exist without both of them. Brittany pleads for her to come, but Alma states that she won’t. She explains that she loves Santana, but not her sin, stating that she’s sorry for disappointing her, but she disappointed her first. She begins to walk away, but Brittany stops her by saying that the NY times state the reason why gay marriage is going up, is because of the older generation passing away. She tells her that they’re just being normal, and waiting for them to go, because their annoying. Alma, taken aback by this attitude, asks Santana directly that she would let Brittany talk like that to her. Santana locks hands with Brittany, replying that what they have is love, and does love her. She continues, saying Brittany’s her family now, and if it means that she goes, she’ll take that trade. Alma marches out of the auditorium, as Santana lays her head on Brittany, both of them saddened by the turn out.
The following day, in the staffroom, Rachel explains to Mercedes and Sam about how she felt alive in New York, and her performance, missing her old life. Mercedes states how “Broadway Berry” is back. Sam asks her if they gave her the part, (Mercedes kicking him under the table), Rachel saying she doesn’t know. Mercedes says it doesn’t matter, because she did what she was supposed to do. Rachel thanks her again. Mercedes gets text, going to auditorium, saying she’ll meet them later there. Sam tells Rachel she doesn’t need a mentor to get back to Broadway because nothing can stop her. He states how he’s happy she’s staying, and they both happily decide on their date.Santana and Brittany walk arm-in-arm, through the hallway. Brittany asks what she’s thinking about, Santana saying her abuela. She states she feels pity for her, rather than anger. She asks what Brittany is thinking, to which Brittany says she’s also thinking about her, believing and regretting what she said to Alma. Santana says that she’s proud of her, saying she’s her lady-knight in shining. She continues about how she wanted to believe people can change, and already has a lot of love in her life, referring to her. They walk to auditorium, already knowing that everyone is gathered there. They are surprised when Spencer escorts them to their seat, both Brittany and Santana saying hi to the four other new members of the club. Artie rolls on stage, telling them, as their wedding planner, they have a problem. Since Alma’s not coming (both Brittany and Santana looking grim), he states how there is an empty seat. He states how the problem is adding more chairs for more members of her family, both the girls looking confused. Kitty, Will, Rachel, Sam, Kurt, Blaine and Mercedes walk out, giving definitions of the word “family.”
Mercedes begins to sing, singing with all the people on stage What The World Needs Now, as the 5 other members walk onstage. Mercedes beckons to Santana and Brittany to come on stage. In flash-fowards, Will opens his apartment door, with Daniel, to Brittany and Santana. As the pass, it is revealed that everyone is already gathered for the celebration. Sam and Rachel talk (Mercedes watching them happily). Artie and Kitty share a moment, when he hands her food, where Emma talks to Brittany. Kurt opens the door to Blaine standing alone. He walks in and Kurt sees the Karofsky isn’t there with him. Back to the auditorium, they finish the song, where the all gather around Brittany and Santana, in a group hug.
|Song Title||Original Artist||Performer(s)|
|I'll Never Fall In Love Again||Cast of Promises Promises||Rachel Berry and Sam Evans|
|Baby It's You||The Shirelles||Mercedes Jones with Brittany Pierce, Rachel Berry, and Santana Lopez|
|Wishin' And Hoping||Dionne Warwick||Artie Abrams, Blaine Anderson,|
Brittany Pierce, and Sam Evans
|Arthur's Theme||Christopher Cross||Alumni Men and New Directions Boys|
|They Long to Be Close to You||The Carpenters||Sam Evans|
|Promises, Promises||Cast of Promises Promises||Rachel Berry|
|Alfie||Cilla Black||Santana Lopez with Alumni and New Directions|
|What the World Needs Now||Jackie DeShannon||Alumni and Will Schuester with New Directions|
- The songs from this episode are accompanied by Glee: The Music, What The World Needs Now Is Love.
Special Guest Stars
- Heather Morris as Brittany Pierce
- Naya Rivera as Santana Lopez
- Becca Tobin as Kitty Wilde
- Ivonne Coll as Alma Lopez
- Samantha Marie Ware as Jane Hayward
- Noah Guthrie as Roderick Meeks
- Marshall Williams as Spencer Porter
- Billy Lewis Jr. as Mason McCarthy
- Laura Dreyfuss as Madison McCarthy
- Amanda Balen as Angel Bride #1
- Sarah Beymer as Angel Bride #2
- Samantha Abrantes as Angel Bride #3
- Aimee Otte as Angel Bride #4
- Brittany Parks as Angel Bride #5
- Jenny Robinson as Angel Bride #6
Absent Cast Members
- This episode was watched by 1.57 million viewers, making it the lowest watched ever.
- This is the eleventh episode named after a song sung in it, the others being Home, Dream On, Silly Love Songs, Blame It on the Alcohol, Born This Way, I Kissed a Girl, Extraordinary Merry Christmas, Diva, All or Nothing and Movin' Out.
- Alma Lopez appears for the first time since her first and only appearance back in Season Three, in I Kissed a Girl.
- Pierce Pierce and Whitney S. Pierce, Brittany Pierce's parents make their first appearance in this episode. However, Brittany's mom was supposed to appear in Pot o' Gold, but was cut out of the episode for unknown reasons.
- This episode contains the show's 700th musical performance, What the World Needs Now.
- This is the first episode of Season Six, in which Rachel sings a duet, a solo and has a solo in a group number. The last episode that happened was New New York in Season Five.
- This episode features Santana's first solo since Frenemies.
- This is also Santana's final solo in the entire series.
- This episode marks the last time we see Brittany's internet talk show Fondue For Two.
- The show is mentioned to be renewed for two more seasons on Univision channel as Queso Por Dos, as it got positive reception and gained a lot attention from Brittany's latino fans.
- This also means the last appearances of Brittany's recurring cat Lord Tubbington as well as Lady Tubbington.
- With the exception of Baby It's You, all the songs in this episode have been covered at some point by Dionne Warwick.
- This is the first time Will sings this season.
- This episode marks the first time where Sam sings four times.
- This is the first and only episode of the season in which Sue is absent.
- Emma makes a brief appearance towards the end of the episode, though it is played by a photo double, and not Emma's regular actress, Jayma Mays.
- Brittany telling Santana "you sometimes dye your hair blonde for no reason", and telling Alma that she could be in a retirement home production of Peter Pan are both references to the episode Old Dog, New Tricks.
- During I Kissed a Girl, Santana mentions Brittany to her abuela, implying that Alma has already met her. On this episode, Santana's grandmother doesn't know who Brittany is, but it may have been that she only heard about her or doesn't remember her.
- Mercedes telling Sam she's "all about that bass" foreshadows a song she will sing in the next episode.
- This is the last tribute episode of the whole series.
- This is the last episode to show Artie out of his wheelchair.
- With eight songs, this episode has the most released songs in this season.
- This episode makes it the first and only time the "Fox Presents" sign is not present in an episode.
- Kurts and Mercedes´ clothes during the What the World Needs Now performance are the one, they wore in the Glee Season 6 photo shoot. Blaine wears his in Will and Emma's apartment.
- Brittany mispronounces Leonhard Euler‘s name when referring to an Euler Brick. Euler is pronounced “Oiler.”