Season 1 Episode 15

The Power of Madonna

Aired Friday 8:00 PM Apr 20, 2010 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
616 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

The songs of Madonna show their power to glee club after Will catches the boys bullying the girls and wants to show them how to be more respectful. Elsewhere, Mercedes and Kurt undergo the hardest make over yet when they teach Sue how to "Vogue."

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  • What Happened Here?

    Okay, I loved the music in this episode. And I still like Glee. But as for the plot and the character development - what went wrong here? Everything was thrown around way too fast and without proper explanation: the sex plot line, the female empowerment, Kurt and Mercedes becoming Cheerios... all of it had much more potential but was handled poorly. Hopefully next episode is better.
  • And you can dance... For inspiration!

    An amazing tribute to one the greatest artist ever existed. She has inspired many generations with her positive attitude towards life and be true to oneself.

    From beginning to end it was a fun show to watch. It was funny, dramatic and insightful. The way the incorporated Madonna's songs into the plot was genious. The performances were top notch and pace was very fast.

    Sue Sylevester was able to show some vulnerability and every character tried to go deeper into their relationships but failed to come out with good results. That's life, you try and try until you get what you want. Like Madonna!

    Everybody did an excellent job.moreless
  • The best episode so far

    I've never been a fan of Madonna... Never. But this episode was excellent, with powerful performances and the great and sarcastic remarks by Sue Sylvester.

    One thing I like about Glee is that the songs performed by the young cast have a very good quality due to the great voices and the experience some of them have, especially Lea Michele. Besides, the cast has a lot of chemistry and that makes the show fun to watch.

    The 'virgins' scenes were hot. I never thought Finn was going to go through it, but well, I guess it was expected, since he is after all, a guy.

    The mash up and the last song were amazing. The choir, the new kid, the cheerios number and the very common boy vs. girl struggle, makes this episode a classic.moreless
  • This made me hate Madonna...and Glee.

    Pre-hiatus, I was obsessed with Glee. Needless to say I was disappointed when the show finally came on again. The last episode was blah, this episode inspired in me such a burning hatred for this show and what it has become and everyone involved with it that I barely understand what I'm feeling. Glee is dead to me, and I refuse to watch another episode of this trash. Gone are the days when the music was solely an aid to the storyline and not just a lousy gimmick. Here, there's a music video every two minutes, a misguided idea by the creators that the reason anyone watches this show is for the musical numbers and so must include a dozen of them each episode in a sad attempt to build ratings, no matter how boring and poorly inserted they are. Characters randomly breaking out into song, complete with scene and costume changes, is not entertainment, its karaoke. I honestly can't remember a single thing they sang. I remember hearing Papa Don't Preach (Madonna right?), but then I realize it was from a much earlier episode. Why do I remember THAT scene? Because it had a point and enforced a solid theme pertaining to a character, which made it memorable. With all these crappy dance numbers, there's no room for development anyway. Numbers like "Express Yourself" falls flat because of how little relevance the song's message has for the characters and the storyline, which brings me to my next point. In their mad dash to "fashion" some character development, they ended up ramming the characters into a wall. The result is artificial and ridiculous. The theme of the episode is feminine empowerment, or something, and like the staff just fished for topics out of a bowl, the entire episode is just one randomly chosen theme that the plot must revolve around (not the other way around) in a desperate bid to be clever and thematic, a trillion times worse than what they did in Hairography by repeating the word "distraction" a gazillion times. The male characters are now misogynistic (they massacred Artie, for no apparent reason), the females are now insecure, and Sue now has a dumbfounding obsession with Madonna that is bolstered to such an insane intensity that we wonder why she never once even mentioned Madonna before this episode, let alone acting like she's the centerpoint of her existence. Not a single thing about this makes sense, and the guys singing about being girls was just bizarre. There's also less logic to go around than usual for the sake of "character development". Sue is an unapologetic psycho who has tried again and again to destroy the glee club, and then someone insults her hair (HER HAIR?!?!) and suddenly Kurt and Mercedes want to be her friends? Even join the Cheerios?? Why??? How could anyone think this makes any sense? This isn't the only leap of logic in this miserable episode, but its by far the worst. Second being Rachel's boyfriend, member of a rival troupe from another school, joining their glee club for TWU LUV LOLZ. Oh yeah, that was an unpredictable, original and completely sensical thing for a person to do and he won't totally become another spy, a storyline we've already dealt with in this show. While the show has never been as witty or as hilarious as it thinks it is, not a single joke in this episode has worked. Its the same brand of one-liners that we've gotten used to with the show, but now they've just become bland and a cheap attempt at giggles. While I'm sure the writers thought it would be amusing (for the audience? who knows) for the show to acknowledge that the "hair gel" jokes have long since passed their expiration date, it doesn't change the fact that they are boring and lazy and really should just die already. The rest of the "humor" are flatliners, going past desperation to mention Ann Coulter. Seriously folks, Ann Freakin Coulter. You do know your main audience are teenagers right? And in what universe is a clearly faked photo of two people in bed (one with clothes on) usable as blackmail? And no, there's no way Sue would EVER consider a furry coned bra as a viable image choice. Its not even funny, so what's the point of this? And finally there's the Madonna theme itself, less a tribute and more'm not really sure what this is. Who under the age of 20 gives a crap about Madonna? Why would they make an episode solely designed to lick her boots? Did she pay them to go on and on about her for 40 minutes on a failing tv show? There's just no way for this not to be a gimmick. Sue's unfathomable obsession that's only decided to manifest itself for this one episode, the idea that playing her songs at all hours through the intercom in a school while kids are in class isn't disruptive and possibly breaking some laws, Madonna impersonators walking around in a high school, an unjustifiably creepy and overlong Vogue video with Sue looking a like a robot with a wind machine that serves no purpose in anything. This is an unbearably bad episode that not even Madonna fans should appreciate. Its gimmicky to the core, and only proves that anything good and original that catches even a bit of attention will have people make stupid choices just to prolong it. Glee was doing fine, I dont understand why they had to do this. It was a fresh show with great characters that used music creatively and purposefully. Now its just another High School Musical. After only two hopeless episodes, I'm done with this crapfest. It was good while it lasted.moreless
  • SELL OUT! Another episode like this and I am OUT.

    SELL OUT! It's official, FOX has ruined one of the shows I have really come to enjoy watching with my wife. This episode was merely one loosely tacked on plot fragment to not always correctly tie into a Madonna song. Not only that, but the "Vogue" music video was already shown LAST week so it felt really wasteful of screen time this episode. Lastly, Sue has really somehow become a caricature of herself these past two episodes and I fear that this show is running on borrowed time now that they have decided to turn the show into an itunes music sales commercial. Sadly, even Fox stated they would be ramping up the number of songs and promoting of artists with the show. Somewhere in a villa in Europe, Madonna is asking her agent why he/she ever talked her into this debacle.moreless
Jose Cueva

Jose Cueva

Stilt World/Cheerleader #1

Guest Star

Rob Crites

Rob Crites

Stilt World/Cheerleader #2

Guest Star

Tonya Kay

Tonya Kay

Stilt World/Cheerleader #3

Guest Star

Iqbal Theba

Iqbal Theba

Principal Figgins

Recurring Role

Naya Rivera

Naya Rivera

Santana Lopez

Recurring Role

Heather Morris

Heather Morris


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (6)

    • Goof: When Santana and Brittany are discussing a younger man for Santana to date, Brittany suggests Finn because his birthday is three days before Santana's. That would make Finn three days OLDER, not younger, than Santana.

    • This is the first episode Santana sings a solo ("Like A Virgin")

    • When Will and Emma are in Will's office, he pulls out her shoes and places them on his desk. She never picks them up and in the next shot of the desk, the shoes are gone.

    • Sue Sylvester claims to be 29; she was born on June 30, 1980.

    • The pamphlets in Emma's office include the titles "Congratulations You're Pregnant!", "My Mom's Bipolar and she Won't Stop YELLING", "Help! I'm in LOVE With My Stepdad!", "I Still BREASTFEED …but How Old IS Too Old". Other titles begin with "LOOSE", "Radon: The Silent", "Toxic Shock", "YUK! My Privates", and "Why is There Blood".

    • Music featured in this episode:
      • "Borderline" by Madonna
      • "Open Your Heart" by Madonna
      • "Burning Up" by Madonna
      • "4 Minutes" by Madonna
      • "Like A Virgin" by Madonna
      • "Like A Prayer" by Madonna
      • "What It Feels Like For A Girl" by Madonna
      • "Vogue" by Madonna
      • "Express Yourself" by Madonna
      • "Frozen" by Madonna
      • "Ray of Light" by Madonna
      • "Justify My Love" by Madonna

  • QUOTES (13)

    • (about telling Jesse sex is a big deal for a girl)
      Rachel: Then he got really crabby and left and didn't even take home the Care Bear I won him playing Skee Ball.
      Quinn: Would you please stop talking? You're grossing out my baby.

    • Will: Hey, guys, how's your assignment coming along?
      Mercedes: Amazing! You know how Madonna reinvented the video, right?
      Will: Right.
      Mercedes: Well, we got Artie and the A/V Club to help out. We're gonna make a Madonna video of our own.
      Kurt: It's gonna be "Madge"-ical. (Kurt chuckles, but Mercedes smiles blankly) "Madge"... (Mercedes shakes her head) You know, Madonna's nickname. Girl, you really gotta get up to speed with this.

    • Brittany: The way to get a man to follow you forever, take his virginity. Madonna, like, wrote a song about it

    • Kurt: Mercedes is black; I'm gay. Together we make culture.

    • Will: Where have you been? I've been calling you all weekend?
      Emma: I was kind of embarrassed. I really wanted to go through with it, Will. You were so gracious and gentle and... handsome, and it felt so good to be close to you in that way. I just, I don't know why I always freak out like that.
      Will: Stop, stop-stop-stop. You don't need to sleep with me to prove anything. You took ownership of your body on Friday when you told yourself you weren't ready... and then ran out of my apartment with no shoes on.
      Emma: They're my favorites. Did you bring them?

    • Emma: You know when we were talking about Madonna the other day and how her music was being blasted like an intimidating cluster bomb into everybody's office except for mine because, apparently, I lack a shred of sex appeal? Well, it struck me that the Big Mo is always in control of everything. Her life is her own.
      Will: Okay.
      Emma: So I need to take control of myself... and my body, just like Madonna. Which is why... I'm planning on doing the nasty with you tonight at your place. Foreplay shall begin at 7:30 sharp. So, what do you think? (she pauses) Not that it matters.
      Will: I couldn't agree more.
      Emma: Great.

    • (Will writes the name "Madonna" on the whiteboard)
      Will: What comes to mind when you see that name?
      Rachel: Genius.
      Kurt: Icon.
      Puck: Hall of fame MILF.

    • Sue: You think this is hard?! I'm passing a gallstone as we speak! That's hard!

    • Sue: (after the Cheerios put on a Madonna-inspired routine) Sloppy freak show babies! Somewhere in the English countryside in a stately manor home, Madonna is weeping!

    • Sue: (writing in her journal) Madonna. Simply saying the word aloud makes me feel powerful. Even in voice-over, how I have worshiped her ever since I was a little girl. Sorry Angie Jolie, Catherine the Great... Madonna is the most powerful woman to ever walk the face of the Earth.

    • Will: You know, it's come to my attention that many of you haven't been treating the young ladies of our group very nicely lately. You're disrespectful, bullying, sexist, and I hate to say it, misogynistic.
      Finn: I have no idea what that means.
      Brittany: When I pulled my hamstring, I went to a misogynist.

    • Emma: (about having sex for the first time) That's a hot-button topic, isn't it? I mean, when to do that... This is the perfect chat to have with your mom.
      Rachel: I have two gay dads.
      Emma: Right, right-- you, um... How about your rabbi?

    • Rachel: Can I ask you guys something private?
      Santana: Yes, you should move to Israel.

  • NOTES (6)

    • The episode won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Comedy or Drama Series (One Hour).

    • International Episode Titles:
      Czech Republic: Síla Madonny (The Power of Madonna)

    • In a recent behind-the-scenes interview, Chris Colfer stated that due to the material, and the large amount of song and dance numbers (nearly twice as many as a standard Glee episode), this episode is so far the cast's favorite (as well as their most demanding).

    • For the final "Like A Prayer" scene, Tim Davis (the show's vocal arranger) asked Amber Riley (Mercedes) if she knew any people that could sing and portray the large choir in the background. Amber contacted several people from home to come to the shoot, including her mother (who in several shots near the end is standing right next to Amber).

    • Although credited, Jessalyn Gilsig does not appear in this episode.

    • Original International Air Dates:
      Canada: April 20, 2010 on Global
      United Kingdom: April 26, 2010 on E4/E4 HD
      Australia: May 6, 2010 on Channel Ten
      Latin America: July 22, 2010 on FOX
      Slovakia: April 10, 2011 on JOJ
      Germany: April 11, 2011 on Super RTL
      Bulgaria: June 18, 2011 on bTV Comedy
      Czech Republic: June 25, 2011 on Prima LOVE


    • When Finn and Rachel are singing "Borderline"/"Open your Heart", you can see girls, in the school, dressed as most of the characters Madonna has incorporated during her career and videos.

    • "The Power of Madonna" is an allusion to Madonna's 1998 single "The Power of Goodbye."

    • Sue: It's been the biggest dream of my career to pay homage to Madonna, the woman most responsible for my take-no-prisoners attitude and my subconscious tendency to always be desperately looking for someone named Susan.

      Desperately Seeking Susan was a 1985 movie starring Madonna. Throughout the movie, different characters searched New York city trying to find Susan, played by Madonna.