Welcome to the second episode of the fifth season of Glee, an after-school special about jungle gyms, training bras, witch hats, cotton balls, double-headed dildos and ponies who smoke too much dope and the doe-eyed maidens who like to ride them through the meadow!
This week’s episode was uneven, for sure, vacillating from cheerful heartwarming highs to dull uncomfortable lows — wacky in bits, then heavy-handed, then dark and then back again. My affection for The Beatles is so intense, and my relationship to these characters so confusing, that I found myself on the verge of tears at surprising moments.
The New York crew right now is fucking killer. Kurt’s shed the cranky entitled diva in favor of confidence and even charm, Rachel’s grown up six months overnight and Santana’s finally getting a story instead of a series of one-liners. Brody was hunky, but one-note, and Adam was forgettable, but Dani will, at least, be interesting. I mean — I mean, she makes Santana sweat under her boobs!
The newer class back in Lima pales in comparison, and I think that’s bad casting, but also the writing just hasn’t been that ambitious thus far. We’re just getting adults and children picking on each other in newer, grosser ways at differently-themed dances. The writers seem scared, almost, to give Unique any lines, let alone a storyline, and she’s the only new kid who doesn’t come off as a pubescent version of those mini-original-cast-Gleeks from “The Substitute.”
Even the Shamed Prom Queen Who Shows ‘Em has been done before, and this rendition, while admirably bringing it back around with slushies and giving a famed ’70s horror flick a wink/nod, just kinda loops back in on itself. We’re not actually getting anywhere with any of these people, except maybe Kitty, who’s currently outshining the rest of the newbies by far.
And that’s how I feel about this episode! NOW ONTO THE RECAP!
We open in the Glee Room, where Blaine’s transformed a Gymboree smock into a short-sleeved blouse and Sam’s pondering the naming rituals of Married Homosexuals and lamenting his status as “unlucky in love.”
Mr. Shue busts in to deliver an emotive lecture about “Rubber Soul” and haircuts, but he’s interrupted by an announcement from Ultimate Principal Sylvester regarding Prom Queen and King nominations. Once again, the allegedly unpopular Glee Club dominates the ranks: we’ve got Blaine and Artie up for King and Fake Quinn and Tina Cohen-Agitator vying for the lady-crown.
Tina does a little interpretive Tae-Bo, announces that prom queen is her chance to be “bigger than Jesus” (a reference, I assume, to John Lennon’s “more popular than Jesus” gotcha moment) and therefore she’s gotta ditch her un-nominated date Sam and instead attend with a group of single ladies, thus cinching the dejected wallflower vote.
Fake Quinn says Tina’s got her vote ’cause she’s only a sophomore which means, in Glee years, she’ll have at least 18 more proms to snag her tiara.
Tina launches into “Revolution” but is foiled by the bell, unfortunately, because the first six seconds held great promise. I’m serious.
We then extract our dusty pony play gear from beneath the guest bed, strap on our saddles and pin luxurious manes to our headbands and gallop all the way over acres upon miles of fresh american soil until at last arriving at Fake Ellen’s Stardust Diner in New York, New York, where Santana’s filling the sugars while thinking about how the new girl Dani would feel inside her sweet sweet sugar walls.
Rachel’s freaking out ’cause she’s not heard back from the Famous Broadway Director Mike Dexter or Paolo Who Won a Tony about her Funny Girl audition. She tells Santana she wasn’t just auditioning for herself, she was auditioning on behalf of all McKinley High School students, aiming to prove once and for all that Lima children can make it! Santana’s like, well, I’ve already made it, say hello to the new star of the best yeast infection commercial of all time.
Santana: “I like yeast in my bagel, but not in my muffin!”
Rachel says she’s super proud and not remotely jealous even though it’s obvs she’s super jealous and not remotely proud.
We then load ourselves into human cannons and skyrocket across the expansive landscapes of at least four lovely States of America until landing smack-dab in the middle of the Hallowed Hallways of McKinley School For Recycled Characters, where New Santana and her Gaggle of Girls confront Fake Quinn in the hallway about her alleged intent to support Tina Cohen-Agitator’s nomination for Prom Queen despite the fact that Cheerios never win prom queen ever and therefore Fake Quinn should be fighting for her own.
New Santana: “Now, I know what you’re thinking, “But oh em gee Bree, I love the Asian girl from Glee Club. Well, punch yourself in the face so I don’t have to. I do not give a flying fart, and the Cheerios do not give a flying fart, about how much you love your sisters from Glee Club. You have 51 weeks out of the year to love your sisters from Glee Club and this week is not — I repeat, NOT — one of them. This week is about winning prom queen for the Cheerios and that’s not gonna happen if you’re off campaigning for Kimchi Cohen-Barf or whoever. Are you an idiot, Kitty? That’s not a rhetorical question, I literally want you to tell me if you’re mentally slow so I can be sure you’re not nominated for future prom courts.”
This, of course, is a brilliant spin-off of The Best Sorority Girl Email Of All Time. And I quote:
If you’re reading this right now and saying to yourself “But oh em gee Julia, I’ve been having so much fun with my sisters this week!”, then punch yourself in the face right now so that I don’t have to fucking find you on campus to do it myself.
I do not give a flying fuck, and Sigma Nu does not give a flying fuck, about how much you fucking love to talk to your sisters. You have 361 days out of the fucking year to talk to sisters, and this week is NOT, I fucking repeat NOT ONE OF THEM… Are you people fucking retarded? That’s not a rhetorical question, I LITERALLY want you to email me back telling me if you’re mentally slow so I can make sure you don’t go to anymore night time events.
Cut to the Glee Room, where Sam’s hanging out with his guitar and moaning to Mr. Shue about not getting nominated for Prom King and getting dumped by his date, who he describes as “not hot” which means Sam is “not to be trusted” because Tina is super-hot. GOD MEN UGH.
Then Ultimate Principal Jesus Sylvester enters to announce her initiative to vaccinate the entire school for polio. Sam’s alarmed ’cause he hates needles. But does he hate needles more than he hates polio? Stay tuned to find out!
We then affix stylish yet affordable superhero capes to our backs, slip into a pair of relaxing spandex leggings and soar back to Fake Julliard, located smack-dab in the liver of New York City, where Rachel’s playing with pianos when Kurt shows up wearing the entire metropolis on his vest.
Rachel’s so jealous she could explode:
Rachel: So did you hear about Santana’s good news?
Kurt: That she doesn’t have a yeast infection?
Kurt thinks Rachel’s depression over not hearing back from Funny Girl has led to Rachel losing her “mojo.” Unfortunately, there are no single men around to fix the situation, so a song will have to do.
The Terrific Twosome have decided to demonstrate their alleged mojo by singing “Get Back” while a bunch of extras dressed in Pregnancy Chic push pianos around.
Despite complete exhaustion and overwhelming malnutrition, we then fill our waterproof sandproof windproof swamp-proof pack-a-sacks with whole grains, bite-sized vegetables and string cheese and then walk a billion million miles through the rain and snow until we return to Lima, Ohio, birthplace of comedienne Phyllis Diller, where Sam’s gonna get poked in the ass by Anna from Spring Awakening!
Anna was my favorite ’cause she always really set the bar for how exuberantly the cast members would leap and stomp all over the stage. Ugh I miss that show.
Anyhow, the whole Sam/Nurse Penny plot interests me about as much as eating paste with Jacob Ben-Israel. So onward into the Hallowed Hallways of McKinley High, where Tina’s XO is bringing her Binders Full of Single Women and her latest prom poll numbers.
Tina’s dismayed to hear that her numbers are down due to a spike in Fake Quinn’s popularity, which is obviously a result of the really fantastic sexy photographs of Fake Quinn now plastered all over the hallowed walls of the hallowed halls of the hallowed McKinley High School for hollow holes.
Tina immediately fingers Fake Quinn… as the traitor who feigned allegiance only to turn around and photoshop her head on Olivia Munn’s body from the February 2011 issue of Maxim (thanks, Artie!).
Obviously this was the work of New Santana, but everybody’s certain that Fake Quinn’s lying, which she realizes is probably because she usually is lying.
We then put on our boogie shoes and dance like crazy kats all the way to Fake Ellen’s Stardust Diner in New York, New York, where Santana’s doing sidework with Dani The Magical Lesbian.
Santana: ”So do you think that you knew your parents were gonna be a lesbian, giving you a boy name?”
Dani: “I’m not a lesbian.”
Santana: ”Oh, uh…You just wear so much eyeliner… I don’t…”
Dani: ”I’m totally kidding. I love lady parts.”
Ah yes, those magical “lady parts.” So specific, so illustrative. Personally, I go for whole entire ladies, and whichever parts go along with said lady, but Dani’s not like that. Dani’s different. Dani just likes the lady parts. An arm, the ears, a leg, one hand, two toes, a finger or eight, a nose, maybe just one nostril, perhaps a shoulder blade or two? You never know with Dani, that girl LOVES. HER. PARTS. I mean, why buy the lady when you can get the parts for free, amirite?
Taming Santana into emotional submission is no easy feat, but Dani’s got that shit done and they’ve only been chatting for a few minutes. Santana’s thinking about what to say before saying it while clearly all lit up over the prospect of talking about being gay with a girl who isn’t her best friend and lover of many many years. Dani’s had this whole entire life behind her! They talk about their parents — Dani’s parents caught her scissoring with a chick in the basement and freaked out, inspiring Dani to snag her guitar and make a run for it.
Dani asks if there’s any chance Santana might reunite with her bisexual ex-girlfriend’s lady parts, but Santana assures her its over, to which Dani delights that it’s time for Santana to date a “100% Sapphic goddess.” I was so hung up on her actually using the term “Sapphic goddess” that I didn’t think about the “100%” until like ten minutes ago, and then I made a face.
Santana nervously skitters away to Rachel, who’s been sensing a serious energy exchange and is concerned Dani might be a Cylon.
Santana: “I’m getting that stinky panic sweat under my boobs.”
Rachel: ”Why? She’s cute, she’s sweet, she’s gay, ask her out!”
Santana: ”Ok, I’ve never been with an actual lesbian. It’s been all bisexuals like Brittany or college girls trying to experiment.”
Rachel: ”You’re scared. I’ve never seen you scared before. It’s cute.”
This is the part where I confess that back in my bisexual maidenhood, which was many moons ago, I also said “I’ve never been with an actual lesbian” while experiencing panic sweats in my “cleavage” area, so I can’t really judge Santana saying the same thing. See, I’d started dating this lesbian-identified girl Haviland (who was BFFs with Lea Michelle at the time, because it’s a small, small world) and all my experience thus far had been with straight girls or other bisexual girls, none of whom had been with more than a few girls, if any, before me, let alone dated one or gone to gay bars or read AfterEllen or marched in a pride parade or read Tipping the Velvet. Meanwhile, Haviland had had a full-blown girlfriend for many years and had been out since she was a teenager. I was like, Haviland is gonna be like a Professional Lesbian Sex-Haver, and here I am, a Professional Straight Sex-Haver but an Amateur Lesbian Sex-Haver, and I will be terrible in bed and she’ll hate me! It’s stupid, of course, and the distinction I was making at the time wasn’t –lesbian vs. bisexual vs. straight–, it was –women who’ve had long term relationships with women vs. women who haven’t– and –women who’ve been out for a long time vs. women who just came out–, and it just-so-happened that I’d never hooked up with anybody in the former categories until Haviland, but her sexual orientation has nothing to do with that, ultimately. Anyhow we dated for like two months and then decided to be best-best friends instead, and THEN the first girl I’d ever had sex with e-mailed and said she and her boyfriend had broken up (she was bisexual) and did I want to go out and I was like YES and we dated for a couple months and it was all great, and then this one night I took an ambien and woke up the next day in a tunnel of darkness and drank an entire bottle of wine before this party her modeling agency was throwing at a bar downtown and then I said terrible things and messed everything up. Anyhow, where were we? Ah yes: one day you grow up and realize most of the things you said and did back then were misguided, but it’s okay, because you were just a little bird and now you’re grown up and you can take your little wings and fly. Here.
We then lumber menacingly through tall weeds and dark swamps until we arrive back in the hallowed haunted hallways of McKinley High School For Gladiators, where Sam’s faking sick to spend more time with Nurse Penny.
Mere steps down the corridor, poor Nurse Penny drops her caboodles and Sam shoots a lusty glance in her direction, thus launching into “Something,” which follows Sam through the classrooms of McKinley High, intercut with some bizarre black tie slow-dancing in the April Rhodes Memorial Pavilion with Nurse Penny.
Unfortunately, we return from a commercial break to find that Nurse Penny’s been fired for injecting a Cheerio with urine or something, maybe she injected cement into somebody’s thigh, but Sam’s determined to save the day by letting Penny do him in the butt and then telling Ultimate Principal Jesus Sylvester all about it.
Ultimate Principal Jesus Sylvester agrees to keep Nurse Penny around, noting the following:
Sue Sylvester: ”Nurse Bumble McQuirkypoops will remain at McKinley High. I could use a new plaything. You know, yesterday I asked her for two aspirin, and she accidentally gave me steroids. Which means I can finally stop buying from Mark McGuire. (groans) He always wants to hang out, and I just want to get the hell out of his house.”
I’m sorry but Sue Sylvester is the best principal of all time. They should’ve kicked Figgins outta that chair and replaced it with this tall drink of water in a tracksuit eons ago!
Elsewhere in the hallowed halls, Tina’s XO is distributing “Tina for Prom Queen” propaganda while informing the students that not casting a vote for Tina Cohen-Chang means they’re racist. The students are like, um, everybody at this school says crazy racist shit all the time including the principal and nobody does anything about it so what’s the big deal.
Tina’s XO is confronted by New Santana and Her Lovely Ladies mid-hallowed-hallway, and told she could snag a spot on the Cheerios by
auditioning and performing a cheer or dance doing something evil to Tina!
We then hop aboard our segways and zoom back across the country, stopping briefly in Pennsylvania to hit up the Amish Experience Theater at Plain & Fancy Farm, where Santana’s congratulating her tiny friend on making it through her first graveyard shift.
Rachel’s super-busy combing Backstage for audition notices, including the very enticing prospect of auditioning for the Cape Cod Players production of “Midsummer Nights Dream” as Bottom, a role she had plenty of practice for when she and Quinn used to have secret sex in New Haven. HEY-O! Rachel skips out on her sidework, leaving Santana behind with Dani, who basically steps out of her body, fucks Santana on the bar, and then crawls back into her body, goes back in time, and then makes a little nod in Santana’s direction meant to deliver all of the emotions that happened during her out-of-body experience. You follow?
Dani’s sticking around the diner to make love to her guitar and watch the sun rise in the morning. She likes how it goes from dark to glowing, like being really depressed and then having an orgasm. Maybe Demi’s just a stronger actress than Heather Morris, but the chemistry between these two is incredible.
They then radiantly perform “Here Comes the Sun,” starting in the restaurant and transitioning into a stroll down the streets in an Imaginary New York where struggling actors have apartments in midtown mere steps from their place of employment.
You know in musicals how sometimes a song will span a huge expanse of time, like all the way from meeting to falling in love? That happens here. Then, alas, our morning must come to a close.