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The Rhodes Not Taken is the fifth episode of Glee's first season and fifth episode in the series overall. It premiered on September 30, 2009.

Will thinks the New Directions desperately need more of an edge, as Rachel thinks about defecting to the school musical, so he brings in his former high school crush, April Rhodes (guest star Kristin Chenoweth) to spice things up. Will's plan seems to be going smoothly until he realizes he may be losing a key member of the club. Meanwhile, Finn flirts with Rachel in an attempt to convince her to return, and although Rachel is angry when she discovers Quinn is pregnant, she ultimately rejoins the club.

The episode was directed by John Scott and written by Ian Brennan.


Preparing for their upcoming invitationals, New Directions rehearse Don't Stop Believin', but with Quinn singing Rachel's solo with Finn instead. However, during the performance, Quinn experiences some morning sickness and several members of New Directions inform Will that they need Rachel to win Sectionals. Will reminds them that Rachel is gone and they cannot look back if they want to succeed. Finn walks up to Will and voices his concern of Quinn's baby with all the dancing she is doing, so Will offers to let Tina sing some of her verses. Will then asks Finn if he's told his mother about Quinn's pregnancy, but Finn says he'd rather handle things himself since his mother has enough things to worry about.

At Breadstix having dinner, Will asks Terri why she hasn't had any morning sickness, so Terri lies and says that she's been throwing up a lot at work. The waiter, Chris, comes by to check on them and Will recognizes him from his Spanish class. Chris reveals that he now goes to Carmel High School now, despite being 24-years old. Vocal Adrenaline has been failing him so he can stay in the Glee Club because he's the only one who can do a triple flip. At this realization, Will concocts a plan.

Emma calls Finn into her office to discuss his plans after graduation, upon hearing from Will that Finn is worried about his future. Emma informs Finn that there are very few students who get athletic scholarships, but there are several who get full scholarships in music. Emma tells Finn that he can generate interest from schools if they win Regionals. Finn wonders if they can win without Rachel, and despite Emma telling Will that it's a longshot, Emma tells him that it's definitely possible. Emma suggests that he talks to Rachel and convince her to come back.

Rachel is interviewed by Jacob about her upcoming performance in the school play, Cabaret. During the interview, Jacob makes a pass at Rachel, which she immediately rejects, disgusted. Sandy interrupts the interview and takes Jacob to get his own interview as Finn walks in to chat with Rachel. He manipulates her into running lines with him and leaves.

Will gets Emma to look up the profile of a former McKinley High dropout, April Rhodes. Emma warns him that reaching back into his past can be dangerous and that April may have changed since then. Will says he can handle it and searches for April on Google, finding her MySpace and tracking her down. Will drops by the address April gave him and she greets him, drunk. She shamelessly flirts with him and offers him wine from a box, when a realtor comes in with buyers and it's revealed that April is a squatter. After getting kicked out of the house, Will offers April to come back to McKinley to gain her credits and join New Directions. After some hesitance, April agrees.

Maybe This Time

Will introduces April to the Glee Club, but is met with cynicism as they believe she is too old and can't measure up to Rachel's talent. However, April sings Maybe This Time to prove she is a good singer. Meanwhile, Rachel is also practicing Maybe This Time for the play. The performance brings some of the kids to tears, making April confident that she's proved her worth.

Later, after his Spanish class ends, Will confronts April that the glee kids are still reluctant to include her in the group, and encourages her to try to win them over. Taking this to heart, April bribes Kurt with alcohol and muscle magazines, teaches Mercedes and Tina how to sneak food and other objects between their legs, and sleeps with the guys on the football team.

Rachel rehearses Cabaret, but is heckled mercilessly by Sandy. After being hurled more verbal abuse from Sandy, Rachel stands up to him and says that she is not quitting so Sandy can play the lead and then storms off.

Rachel and Finn are rehearsing lines when Finn brings up Rachel coming back to Glee Club and then invites her to go bowling with him as a date. The pair are interrupted by April and Will, who have come to teach April the solo for Don't Stop Believin'. Will tells Rachel that everyone's excited to see her in the play. After she leaves, Rachel looks on as Finn and April are practicing together, clearly missing glee.

Emma passes by a drunk Kurt in the hallway and notices that his breath smells like rubbing alcohol. After a delusioned Kurt vomits on Emma's shoes, Emma confronts Will, after having undergone four decontamination showers in the emergency room. She tells him that Kurt was drunk and suspects that April was behind it. Emma expresses her concerns about April's influence on the Glee Club and pressures Will to get rid of her.

Rachel is crying in the bathroom, distraught after Sandy's harsh treatment of her during rehearsal. April suddenly walks in and Rachel confronts her on her inappropriate behavior, but April tells her that she used to be the biggest star at McKinley and now that she's back, she's not going to let it go.


At the bowling rink, Finn teaches Rachel how to bowl, who is shown to be a terrible bowler. Several lanes down, April and Will are also bowling. when Will brings up April's behavior in Glee Club and April agrees to quit cold turkey. She then drags Will to sing Alone with her on the karaoke machine.

Back to Rachel and Finn's date, the two are enjoying pizza together when Rachel asks how glee is and Finn replies that they miss her. Rachel counters that they miss her talent, but Finn tells they're her friends. Rachel then says that she loves glee but doesn't see a point in being in something where she's not appreciated. Finn tells her that he appreciates her and offers her one last bowl. With all the teaching, Rachel finally bowls a strike. Excited, the two share a kiss and Finn asks her to come back to glee. Rachel agrees, but Finn starts feeling bad for manipulating her.

Artie, Kurt, Mercedes and Tina are in the choir room, speculating what is wrong with Quinn. After several bad guesses, Puck reveals that Quinn is pregnant and tells them that Finn is the father. Rachel returns to glee, but everyone is too wrapped up in the Quinn scandal. They reveal to her that Finn is the father of Quinn's baby and Rachel confronts him, slapping him and calling him a liar. Finn begs her to stay in Glee Club, but she tells him that her dreams are bigger than him. Rachel then walks up to Sue and demands that changes be made on the Cabaret situation, which Sue agrees and grants her full-artistic control.

Last Name

On the night of Invitationals, the New Directions are warming up when April walks in, completely drunk. Will is disappointed that she hasn't changed at all and Emma pulls him aside to tell him that April almost ran her over with her car and pressures him to not let April perform. Will is divided because if April can't perform, then New Directions can't perform at all, which disappoints Emma. Despite being intoxicated, April successfully performs Last Name with the New Directions. Will confronts April again and tells her that she can't go back on. He expresses his disappointment in her and April tells him that she loved her moment in the spotlight, but the moment she was done with the performance, she knew that her time had already passed. She becomes remorseful of the way she's acted and tells Will that she's screwed up and knows that Will would never let what happened to her happen to the

Somebody to Love

glee kids. As New Directions get dressed for the second act, Will breaks the news that April is gone and that he made a mistake bringing her to the club. When Will tells them that they're going to have to cancel the rest of the show, Rachel walks in and asks if she can step in for April. Will takes his seat next to Emma as the New Directions perform a show-stopping rendition of Somebody to Love.


Song Title Original Artist Performer(s)
Maybe This Time Cast of Cabaret April Rhodes and Rachel Berry
Alone Heart April Rhodes and Will Schuester
Last Name Carrie Underwood New Directions
Somebody to Love Queen

Unreleased Songs

Background Songs

  • Desafinado by Ronnie Pleydell. Played when Will and Terri are eating dinner at Breadstix.
  • Heart of Glass by Blondie. Played when Will meets April at her squatting grounds.
  • You Make My Dreams by Hall & Oates. Played during a montage of April being a bad influence on the glee club.
  • I Want a New Drug by Huey Lewis and the News. Played during the bowling scene.
  • Heartbreak Beat by the Psychedelic Furs. Played when Rachel and Finn share a romantic moment in the bowling alley.

Guest Cast

Special Guest Star

Guest Stars



  • This is the first episode to feature a character's name in the title.
  • The title of this episode is a reference to the famous Robert Frost poem, The Road Not Taken.
  • This is the first time the "Here's what you missed on Glee..." segment is used.
  • Kristin Chenoweth stated that she was actually nervous to sing a song with Matthew Morrison because she wasn't much of a pop singer.
  • The performance of Maybe This Time and some of the dialogue from the Cabaret scenes are actually taken from the film version and were not included in the stage musical.
  • After this season, having to compete in the invitationals before the sectionals isn't brought up until Season 6.
  • While Will talks with Emma about finding April, she mentions how she used to have an online relationship with a guy named "Andy", and months after breaking up with him, Versace was murdered. Coincidentally, Darren Criss, who joined the cast in Season Two as Blaine Anderson, would later play the role of Andrew "Andy" Cunanan in the FX's series The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story.
  • A scene in this episode would depict Sandy standing across the dance studio from Rachel with a cane telling her that she sucked. This would foreshadow (intentionally or not) Rachel's time learning under Cassandra July at NYADA in Season 4.


  • Even though Will says that "Lord Google demands my attention," the search engine he is actually seen using is called "Foozle," a loose parody of Google.
  • While having a conversation with Emma about bringing April back, Will states to Emma that "she was only three credits shy of graduation," and he later references that she only needed the Spanish class to graduate. Unlike the college and university level, most high schools do not issue more than one credit for each class.
  • During the bowling scene, Rachel compliments the pepperoni pizza. However, in Funk, it is revealed that she is a vegan.
    • Considering the considerable gap between the two episodes, it is possible that she became a vegan sometime after the events of this episode.


Kurt: Can we please talk about the giant elephant in the room?
Santana: Your sexuality?

Kurt and Santana

April: So, did I sleep with you?
Will: I was a freshman when you were a senior.
April: So, did I sleep with you?

April and Will

April: If you can master this, you can sneak anything out of a store between your knees. Shoes, prom dresses... I once got a cake out of a kid's birthday party. With the candle still lit.

April to Mercedes and Tina

(rehearsing lines)
Rachel: I'm sleeping with him.
Finn: So am I ... This play is weird.

Rachel and Finn

Finn: Do you know what we should do?
Rachel: Elope?
Finn: What?
Rachel: Nothing.

Rachel and Finn

Kurt: Oh, Bambi, I cried so hard when those hunters shot your mommy.

Kurt to Emma




Behind The Glee The Rhodes Not Taken


v - e - d

Glee Episodes

Season One
PilotShowmanceAcafellasPreggersThe Rhodes Not TakenVitamin DThrowdownMash-UpWheelsBalladHairographyMattressSectionalsHell-OThe Power of MadonnaHomeBad ReputationLaryngitisDream OnTheatricalityFunkJourney

Season Two
AuditionBritney/BrittanyGrilled CheesusDuetsThe Rocky Horror Glee ShowNever Been KissedThe SubstituteFurtSpecial EducationA Very Glee ChristmasThe Sue Sylvester ShuffleSilly Love SongsComebackBlame It on the AlcoholSexyOriginal SongA Night of NeglectBorn This WayRumoursProm QueenFuneralNew York

Season Three
The Purple Piano ProjectI Am UnicornAsian FPot o' GoldThe First TimeMash OffI Kissed a GirlHold on to SixteenExtraordinary Merry ChristmasYes/NoMichaelThe Spanish TeacherHeartOn My WayBig BrotherSaturday Night Glee-verDance with SomebodyChokeProm-asaurusPropsNationalsGoodbye

Season Four
The New RachelBritney 2.0MakeoverThe Break-UpThe Role You Were Born to PlayGleaseDynamic DuetsThanksgivingSwan SongGlee, ActuallySadie HawkinsNakedDivaI DoGirls (and Boys) on FilmFeudGuilty PleasuresShooting StarSweet DreamsLights OutWonder-fulAll or Nothing

Season Five
Love, Love, LoveTina in the Sky with DiamondsThe QuarterbackA Katy or A GagaThe End of TwerkMovin' OutPuppet MasterPreviously Unaired ChristmasFrenemiesTrioCity of Angels100New DirectionsNew New YorkBashTestedOpening NightThe Back-Up PlanOld Dog, New TricksThe Untitled Rachel Berry Project

Season Six
Loser Like MeHomecomingJagged Little TapestryThe Hurt Locker, Part OneThe Hurt Locker, Part TwoWhat the World Needs NowTransitioningA WeddingChild StarThe Rise and Fall of Sue SylvesterWe Built This Glee Club2009Dreams Come True