Welcome to the second recap of the fourth season of Glee, a television program which possibly jumped the shark before G-d created the sea and sky and now maintains an entertainment level vacillating between “watching paint dry” and “watching a pot boil and then watching the stove break and then watching the house burn down.”
Finally this week, our dearest bisexual Brittany S. Pierce was granted her very own episode. Unfortunately, the writers of Glee managed to achieve the unthinkable by devoting an entire episode to a character with a girlfriend without including anything about the girlfriend! Glee employs some sneaky bastards.
I’m sorry this recap is so late! I turned 31 on Sunday and it was just too depressing to write a Glee recap on my birthday, you know? It was also too depressing to write it on Saturday, which’s the day I celebrated my birthday with my girlfriend (by visiting every bookstore in the Bay Area, duh) because she had to leave Sunday for a work thing. This is all terribly interesting to you, I’m sure, so let me summarize: everything is beautiful and nothing hurts. Just wanted to get that out of the way.
Oh also I feel like this recap is not funny. Sorry!
We open in the Hallowed Hallways of Haunted McKinley High, where professional actors/dancers/singers co-mingle with teenaged actors and winners of terrible reality television programs in a mutually sustaining ecosystem that I imagine keeps costs low enough to maintain a rotating roster of random big-name guest stars, like Kate Hudson! I don’t know if you missed the memo or last week’s episode, but Kate Hudson is in Glee this season. Why Kate Hudson? I have no idea. She’s like wallpaper to me. Anyhow! The hallways!
Bisexual Unicorn Brittany is monologuing regarding her second go-’round at her senior year of high school:
Brittany: “My name is Brittany S. Pierce and I finally know how Jesus feels way up in his house in the North Pole because I am on top of the world. Senior year was awesome, and now I get to relive every minute of it. I’m head of the Cheerios, Vice Rachel of the Glee Club, and now I’m planning a Middle East-style sham election that will install me as senior class president for life.”
After Blaine busts up her voiceover by pointing out that she’s actually just talking to herself while strolling down the hall…
…Brittany segues into the evening’s first musical number!
It’s a rousing rendition of the Britney Spears single “Would You Hold It Against Me?”, a song which displays brilliantly the decline in Britney’s lyricism over the past 15 years and therefore seems like a song Brittany S. Pierce herself could’ve written.
Following the musical number we cut to Sue Sylvester’s office, where Sue’s coming down hard on her young charge for failing spectacularly to even earn an “F” on her last exam.
Sue: “Your performance on the very same exam unearthed the hitherto undiscovered grade of F minus. You answered every question with “See other side,” where you composed an elaborate crayon-scape called Happyville, the town where Math was never invented.”
Brittany: “Yeah, that’s me and that’s Santana and that’s Kurt and Rachel in Heaven and look that’s you!”
Sue: “Brittany, you’re a terrible role model for the Cheerios… the Cheerios grade point average has dropped three full points. My girls no longer see academic achievement as a worthy goal and yesterday I caught one of them trying to marry a squirrel.”
Brittany: “That’s because I believe in marriage equality for all land mammals.”
Sue kicks Brittany off the Cheerios and says she’ll give the esteemed position to Kitty, a.k.a. the poverty-stricken man’s Quin Fabray.
Thus dear Brittany totters home to video-chat with Santana, Queen of Our Hearts and Genitals.
Unfortunately, Santana’s too busy with cheer practice to talk much or “scissor-skype” later, unfortunately, as I imagine 30 minutes of scissor-skyping would be infinitely more entertaining than what we’ve been witnessing for the past four minutes and 17 seconds.
Okay, hold the horseradish: these girls have the stupidest most unrealistic lesbian relationship of all time! What do you think about this, Santana?
That’s what I thought.
When Santana’s coming out to her family, Brittany doesn’t even show up in the episode, and when Brittany’s failing out of school and depressed, Santana barely has time to skype and fails to call, write, or come home for a visit? No.
This is not how lesbian relationships work. Here’s how they work:
Girl #1 has feelings
Girl #1 shares her feelings with Girl #2
Girl #2 drops everything to completely immerse herself in the miseries of Girl #1 at the expense of everything else in her life
Girl #1 and Girl #2, having dropped everything to attend to Feelings, must re-assess their commitment to the outside world and begin making tentative steps to re-enter it.
Rinse, wash, repeat.
We smear briefly to New York City where Rachel is auditioning to be the fourth member of Hunter Valentine I MEAN sparring with her dance teacher, who is basically a trope in the body of Kate Hudson, forced to excrete an endless stream of cliches regarding the now-totally-cliche idea that Rachel Berry isn’t sexual, or whatever, and therefore can’t dance the tango, because this is totally how the world works and I already want to die.
We then transition back to the spunky offices of the esteemed McKinley High, where Brittany’s been called into the counselor’s office because Will & Emma wanna re-ignite her dimming flame by forcing her to attend counseling. Brit-Brit shows up with Cheese Puffs and a shirt she snagged from the very fashionable McKinley High School Lost and Found:
Brittany refuses the counseling offer, citing her busy schedule of eating cashews and bacon while watching Client List marathons.
We then smear over to Glee club, where Will’s decided the best way to get Brittany “back” is to dedicate an entire week to songs by the only musical artist Brittany S. Pierce has ever explicitly stated distaste for, Britney Spears!
Regardless, Glee‘s often at its best when it does a single-artist/group episode — some of its greatest musical numbers are from episodes devoted to one specific ouvre, such as Michael Jackson, Fleetwood Mac, Lady Gaga, Whitney Houston and Britney 1.0. I feel, genuinely, that “Touch of My Hand” would be a relevant group number for Brittany, Rachel, Kurt and Blaine. Here’s a refresher:
How do the rest of the children feel about Britney 2.0?
As Brittany noshes on Oreos in her nightshirt, Blaine and Artie perform a disturbing rendition of Justin Bieber’s “If I Was Your Boyfriend,” which I preferred as performed by Shannon at the A-Camp Talent Show on the last night of A-Camp two weeks ago.
Brittany’s reaction to this sweatered situation is as follows:
Honestly, that’s way better than Britney’s reaction, though:
We thus starsweep cross-country to burly Bushwick, a Brooklyn neighborhood in which one can purchase a plethora of narcotics and also, apparently, find an affordable apartment for two wide-eyed 18-year-olds from The Hinterlands. Yes, it appears Rachel and Kurt are moving into the set of RENT, but in Bushwick, and on bicycles.
The duo lavishes praise upon their new digs, brushing off potential concerns about the neighborhood being unsafe or far away because if there’s anybody who can weather a sometimes-dangerous neighborhood, it’s a flaming homosexual boy who often dresses like the lovechild of Major Magic and the Easter Bunny and a smokin’ hot nubile Ohio-bred songstress who, in addition to frequently donning an irritating beret even a saint would want to tear off her head, regularly sports Sexy GapKids Chic with Jailbait heels. Oh, youth!
No really, my friend Julia got her laptop stolen within like days of moving to Bushwick and it took at least five hours for me to get there from Harlem this one time. So, anyhow, who cares, this is TELEVISION! Let’s grab some wine and sit on the windowsill to discuss life, love, the future, cats, fedoras, gremlins, tweezers, dishtowels, water bottles, scabies, rabies, sofas, oak trees, gangrine, bleach, magazines, license plates and dingos.
So, Kurt says that Rachel’s dance teacher, Kate Cassandra Count Hudson July Something, was once a Thing on Broadway. Then, one day, during a heart-stirring performance of Damn Yankees, Kate Cassandra Count Hudson July Something went ballistic on a dude whose cell-phone went off mid-performance and her entire breakdown was captured on YouTube forevermore. So I guess she attacked the wrong guy with a cell-phone.
Cassie July’s no longer welcome on Broadway. Instead she must toil away her glory years at Fake Julliard, teaching Rachel Berry how to dance like her vagina is singing.
Kurt suggests Rachel Berry give Kate Hudson the “sexy” she so clearly yearns for. In other words, Rachel’s gotta dig deep down into her allegedly repressed cervix and let Lea Michelle, Mistress of Innocent Raunch, burst forth from her womb and Vagina Monologue all over the tango.
Smear to the ever-inclusive hallways of McKinley High, where Unique is informing Marley that as the “new girls,” they’ve gotta stick together.
Unique: “First order of Bestie business: boys. Who have you got your eye on?”
Marley: “Jake’s kinda cute…”
Unique: “Oh honey no. Bad seed.”
Marley: “Come on, he’s an artist…”
Unique: “You mean pick-up artist. Marley, everywhere you go in this school you see the wreckage of girls’ hearts who thought the same thing as you. And he’s only been in this school for two weeks. He’s even been known to troll the girl’s gym class.”
Um, if he’s got all these girlfriends on his manly arms, why does he need to “troll” “gym class”? Whatever. The point of this convo is for Unique to use the word ‘womanizer’ so we can segue into the Britney Spears classic, “Womanizer.”
Have you noticed that even the backup dancers on this show are usually all white? Anyhow, a bunch of girls in kneesocks do a school tour while singing “Womanizer,” sauntering through various rooms to observe Jake putting the mack on a variety of gullible gidgets.
The number climaxes in a tug-of-war…
…and ends with Marley all up in Jake’s face, at which point Jake asks Marley to “hang out sometime” and Unique is like “Girl, no” and Marley is like “okay!” because that’s Marley’s spirit. Marley is Okay.
Thus we zoom Eastward towards New York, New York, home of the dinosaurs, where Rachel Berry is galavanting around a sanitized Washington Square park dressed like a slutty version of Molly the American Girl doll.
Rachel quickly spots her brooding admirer, Brody, doing situps off a park bench. Completely ignoring the fact that he’s probably contracted West Nile virus from all that skin-to-bench contact and will likely be dead by the end of the week, Rachel asks him to dance sexy with her at dance class and he’s like, YAH TOTES LEZ DO IT!!
I mean it’s that or watch Dancing With the Stars: All Stars, you know?
The next number is possibly one of the worst I’ve seen on this show, because it takes a sort of bad but fun and semi-risque pop song about fucking and threesomes and makes it acoustic, adds a lot of snapping and clapping and actually lets Tree Frog Teen Jesus participate and sing and move his arms and reptile fingers and stupid hair all over the screen.
Acoustic covers work most easily for songs with good lyrics. But when you’re arranging an acoustic cover of a pop song, you’ve gotta understand irony and parody, too. This arrangement just takes itself too seriously and lines like “living in sin is the new thing” fall flat.
Therefore I really can’t blame Brittany for getting up to leave, probably to go listen to nails on a chalkboard or any of the 2,566 things that would sound better than this song.
False alarm! Brittany is not leaving the Glee Club room, she’s just reaching for a razor and threatening to shave her head because without her high pony, she’s got nothing. Luckily Mr.Schuster stops her before she makes the first swipe.
It’s not a big deal though!
In the hallway, Brittany assaults Jacob Ben-Israel with an umbrella, which is kinda awesome.
As you’ve gathered, this episode is attempting to re-create the downward spiral of Britney Spears. Unfortunately for me, I have genuine feelings about Britney Spears and found this chapter in her life more depressing than hilarious, so this whole episode kinda makes me feel weird. Have you read Between You and Me? YOU SHOULD.
Then Jacob runs into Will on his scooter, Will tells him that there’s no scootering, he’s failing all his classes, and that Puck was even stupider but at least he had friends.
Somewhere else on the McKinley Yards of Lima, Ohio, Marley and Jake meet up on the bleachers to toss cliches back and forth at each other!
You know, walls feelings bla bla he’s brooding she sees right through him yadda yadda mreerrppppp puppies snowfall sweet-tea kittens and baby monkeys!
Marley: “At all my other schools I got picked on I tried so hard to be what I thought they wanted me to be, it just made it worse. For the first time at this school I feel like I can just, be.”
Jake: “Glee club is so lame.”
They sort of sing at each other and clomp around on the bleachers and after I realize that the wombats I thought were eating my earlobes were actually just the effect of this situation upon my sensitive ears, I wake up in another scene.