Glee Episode 422 Recap: All Or Nothing Or Everything Or Something Or Whatever

Welcome to the 22nd recap of the fourth season of Glee, a show about man-eating penguins, protein smoothies, lawnmowers and earnest teenagers hoping to become the next O-Town. This was the last episode of the season, praise Teen Jesus, so let’s jump right in to this giant vat of lard and secrets!


We open at “MIT,” where all the men dress like dapper butch queers and are intrigued by Brittany’s near-perfect SAT score despite her .02 Grade Point Average. They gave her a math test  and she failed the math test.

brittany, we'd like to have a serious discussion with you about the mathematical probability of you and santana having sex one last time for the nice girls at home

brittany, we’d like to have a serious discussion with you about the mathematical probability of you and santana having sex one last time for the nice girls at home who have suffered through this entire season with minimal rewards

Despite this failure, however, Brittany did manage to doodle a bunch of numbers on a piece of paper in crayon (does she just carry crayons with her everywhere?) (yes) during her test-taking period and these numbers turn out to be like the formula to the meaning of life or an equation for weapons of mass distraction or a mass calculator determining the likelihood that Kristen Stewart is gay or an exact algorithm of how to write something on the internet without getting yelled at. It’s called The Brittany Code and it’s “the most important scientific breakthrough of the 21st century.”

and this here, is this or is this not a drawing of santana's breasts?

and this here, is this or is this not a drawing of santana’s breasts?

Thus the MIT guys would like to offer her “a unique proposition.” It’s probably an offer she can’t refuse.

ugh please don't put your man hands on my illustration of santana's vulva please

ugh please don’t put your man hands on my illustration of santana’s vulva please


We then type formulas into a giant machine that transports us all the way from the Old North Bridge back to good ol’ Lima, Ohio, home of my favorite Cracker Barrel restaurant in the entire g-damn world. Ryder’s all ryled up about katie_xoxo, STILL.

ugh i hate the new iPhone maps app, i can never find the waffle house

if only there was a way to trace phone numbers, if only i could ask my fellow classmates for their phone numbers or something crazy like that

In the Glee Room, Mr. Shue tells the kids that Regionals will be hosted at McKinley because who cares, and therefore they’ve got a “home court advantage, YO!” (-Artie). Mr. Shue emotes that the children are in for “the time of their lives” and also it’s time to “get real.” Oh! One more thing: it’s their “moment.” Some people wait a lifetime for a moment like this!

yay!

yayyyyyyyyyyy fun-dip for everybody!

Then everybody is asked to take a moment of silence to think of all the people who died today from gun violence JUST KIDDING to think about Rachel’s audition for Funny Girl?


We then take a midnight train to Georgia and a noon-time plane to New York City, where Rachel’s auditioning for Funny Girl… with a Celine Dion song? Don’t Broadway people hate Celine Dion, like as a rule? Shouldn’t she be singing like… a funny song?

i'm the one whhhoooo wannttts to  loveeee you throwing a junior mintttt in my moutthhhh!!!!

i’m the one whhhoooo wannttts to loveeee you throwing a junior mintttt in my moutthhhh!!!!

At the end of the number, Rachel is crying, probably because listening to Celine Dion can be an intensely painful experience.


We then abruptly hightail it back to Lima, Ohio, where Blaine and Sam are roaming the hallowed halls while Blaine talks crazy about proposing to Kurt, which Sam points out is crazy.

and then i'm gonna grab both of his testicles and yell "marry me or die, bitch!"

and then i’m gonna grab both of his testicles and yell “marry me or die, bitch!”

Blaine says that “people like him” have been hearing “it’s not time” for hundreds of years, so he has to marry Kurt. Unfortunately he doesn’t mean “people who are 17 fucking years old,” as he should, but “gay people.”


Cut to the Glee Club Room, where Sugar and Teen Jesus suddenly show up, to great acclaim and zero explanation, inspiring the children to erupt into orgasmic cheers!

yeaahhhhh we got away from you motherfuckers for like ten episodes how you like us now

yeaahhhhh we got away from you motherfuckers for like ten episodes how you like us now

Then Brittany shows up with her rolly suitcase and wants to know why they’re doing Marley’s song and not her song, “My Cup.”

or perhaps you'd all like to hear the sequel, "two girls my cup"

or perhaps you’d all like to hear the sequel, “two girls my cup”

Brittany’s got some bitchery to dole out:

Brittany: “Let me break it down: nobody in this musty choir room compares to my megawatt star power. Blaine, you’re shorter than your average lawn gnome, Joe, you look like a Yucatan spider monkey. Tina is… you know, she’s… Tina.”

Sam rushes to her aid frontstage, also requesting that she stop texting him because it’s rude, but she has some important texts to send:

Sam: “Did you just break up with me? By a text?”
Brittany: “Yeah. As fascinated as I am by your down-filled pillow-soft lips that are ten times too big for your face, I really miss my sweet sweet lady kisses.”

as you can tell by this lazy hat / denim sleeveless vest combo, i'm moving to weho to muff-dive forever

as you can tell by this lazy hat / denim sleeveless vest combo, i’m en route to a new lesbian commune in the catskills

SWEET SWEET LADY KISSES? Ah yes, we miss those too. I love it when ladies become lesbians and then leave the show! Maybe Brit-Brit will go to that magic place in the sky with that lady from Law & Order. But first Brit-Brit has to light her Cheerios uniform on fire and coat the hallway with her crayon-drawn list of 95 reasons she’s quitting the Cheerios.

reason #52: the cheerios have not been seen cheering at an actual sports game since season one

reason #52: the cheerios have not been seen cheering at an actual sports game since season one


Cut to yet another scene in the Glee Club Room, where the children are sitting peacefully with their sheet music when Ryder Bieber-Strong flips his shit, yelling at the class about his Catfish Situation. Ryder screams a lot and kicks things violently until Marley stands up and says, “It’s me! I’m Catfish!”

also i was the second shooter on the grassy knoll, i'm so sorry

also i was the second shooter on the grassy knoll, i’m so sorry

But first the camera zooms in on Unique’s face of shock, thus revealing the true catfish to all of us here at home. At which point my stomach fell out of my body and splattered all over my shoes.

Marley-Kate: “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean for this to happen.”
New Puck: “Look take it easy Ryder, okay? It was just a little joke and things got out of hand.”

and here i thought we had a real homosexual connection, new puck, and it was your silly girlfriend all this time??

and here i thought we had a real homosexual connection, new puck, and it was your silly girlfriend all this time??

Ryder tells everybody that they’re all fucked up. Valid.


Cut to the Lima Mall, where Blaine’s taken Tina along to help him pick out a ring with which to propose to Kurt.

and that's the magic ring that will enable you to summon captain planet's powers!

and that’s the magic ring that will enable you to summon captain planet’s powers!

Personally, I’d suggest this ring, because not only is it attractive, it tastes delicious!

ring-pop

Alternately, you can never go wrong with a Mood Ring:

mood-ring

 

If he wants the moment to be super-special though, there’s only one choice, amirite Tina? –

Captain-Planet-Planeteer-Ring-1

Anyhoosers, Blaine clearly has no taste, but luckily there’s a super-cute old lady working at the jewelry store and not just any cute old lady, but a LESBIAN who met her partner Liz at a Styx concert when they were 18!

Jan: “Doesn’t matter how young or old you are. True love is true love.”
Blaine: “My friends have been giving me so much flak.”
Jan: “If we all had listened, we wouldn’t be moments away from the Supreme Court telling us that we are just as crazy and awesome as anyone else!”

is thinking about holly near

is thinking about bloomers

Then Sam busts into the shop, declaring that he’d like to help Blaine pick the ring. Jan asks if Sam is the boyfriend and Sam’s like, nah, Blaine wants to ride me bareback, but we’re just friends. It’s cute and evolved, just like this scene in general.

ok ok slow down don't tell her about the clown fetish thing

ok ok slow down don’t tell her about the clown fetish thing

Jan asks if Blaine has anybody to advise him on this because you know, if not, she’d like to show him what’s possible when two people really love each other! She’s probably gonna show him their joint checking account or the couch they picked out at IKEA, this is gonna be good.

then she looked at me like this and i knew we'd be together forever

then she looked at me like this and i knew we’d be together forever


Cut to the McKinley High Office Room, where Mr. Shue and Sue have summoned Brittany to discuss the fact that they are worried about her, but she refuses to discuss anything anywhere besides Fondue For Two, duh. So, cut to Fondue for Two:

now kiss

now kiss

Brittany knows the true identity of Sue Sylvester’s baby’s father! It’s Michael Bolton and Sue Sylvester attests that he is a “fantastic lover.” Har.


We then galavant gayly back to the Bushwick Barbie Dreamhouse Loft, where Santana’s taking off her clothing and putting other clothing back on when Sam calls her to talk about Brit-Brit.

oh wow that is a great nip-pic

oh wow that is a great nip-pic

Unfortch, Santana’s about to jet to a hot date with a choreographer and I’d really like to see that entire situation played out on camera, ideally with both of them in sports bras, but alas:

Sam: “You also know that I’d help you if you ever asked me to. Something, something’s wrong. I’m asking you for help.”

just wanted to share this i guess

but there is nothing wrong with this


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Profile photo of Riese

Riese is the 33-year-old CEO, CFO and Editor-in-Chief of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, blogger, fictionist, copywriter, video-maker and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York City, and now lives in The Bay Area. Her work has appeared in nine books including "The Bigger the Better The Tighter The Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image & Other Hazards Of Being Female," magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are!

Riese has written 1795 articles for us.

36 Comments

  1. Thumb up 6

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    I’ve never seen this show – just read the recaps – and the simultaneously hilarious and horrifying thing is that sometimes I can’t tell if some of this stuff is actually happening or just Riese being sarcastic.

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    I was pretty mad when Unique turned out to be the catfish. goddamnit.

    Also seriously I know that the Brittany thing isn’t supposed to be that serious but it’s a litttttttle fucking ridiculous. This is not how MIT works.

  3. Thumb up 7

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    Your analysis of the Unique situation is spot on, naturally. It’s so fucked up that not only did Ryan Murphy use that problematic trans* trope, but the only storyline we get for either black female characters is revolving around their body image and/or whether they are worthy of the attention from the white guy. Fuck this show.

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    I knew that Unique was going to be the catfish, but, in spite of glee’s predictability, I was hoping that Lord Tubbington would be the catfish.

  5. Thumb up 5

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    Little known fact about MIT: There is a huge music/dance scene on campus. Brittany will have a great time, even if this was just a throwaway-write-her-off-the-show situation.

  6. Thumb up 2

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    Riese, when the show ended and before I started feeling all the feelings, I thought, “Huh, where was Finn? I bet Riese will be happy about that but then we don’t get any fun potato jokes!”

    But really though– yeah. Just– yeah. All of what you said. I was naively really surprised when Unique was first suggested as Catfish way back and then also kept holding out hope that a show that pretends to care about bullying would not go down such a putrid road. Wrong. I was wrong and the show was even more wrong.

    (Thank you for quoting Serano too, she’s so good at just breaking it down tho not for everything, she’s less awesome at intersectionality).

  7. Thumb up 5

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    Remember that time when Tina mentioned that #gleehatesgirls but it was in the absolute wrong context? I couldn’t help but feel the same way about the advice from the (undeniably adorable) Lesbian couple. No one is telling Blaine not to get married because he’s gay; they’re saying it because he’s like 17 and he and Kurt aren’t even together!
    Also, did Lima suddenly move to the other half of Ohio? Or maybe even one of the coasts? They’d been doing such a good job of representing the difficulty of navigating sexuality in a small, conservative, middle American town, but now everyone in fake olive garden wants to cheer for that proposal?
    I know there’s no point in complaining about the inconsistencies of this show, but come on now, I thought Ryan Murphy at least still cared about the cis-gendered, white, gay men. What’s left now?

  8. Thumb up 11

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    First of all, I just have to say that, Riese, your analysis is perfect, and you’re the best fucking cis ally ever, and I love you for it.

    Second of all, ever since Unique was first introduced, I’ve had this sneaking suspicion that the writers have been deliberately trying to be as transphobic as they could get away with, while being just sympathetic enough to trick gullible cis audiences into believing they were doing something groundbreaking. I’m probably being paranoid, but can anyone really be this stupid on accident?

    From the very beginning Unique’s entire personality has read like a caricature of what ignorant gay cis men think trans* women are like. Not that it’s impossible that some trans women might be like that(and there’s nothing wrong with acting that way), but for the most part even the straight and femmey ones among us don’t act like overzealous drag queens, and that’s a misconception that really needs to die.

    Then they force Unique to present as male to “protect her from bullies” and act as if that isn’t totally messed up. They still let her perform as a girl though, thereby subtly implying that being a drag queen is acceptable, but being trans is too extreme. Then, when it is confirmed that she wants to physically transition, and is taking the steps that are available to her to do so, they imply there’s something problematic about it. They intentionally leave it vague as to whether it’s the physical transition or the non-prescription method they object to, in order to preserve their illusion of acceptance (just a theory), but they imply that she is just following an unhealthy trend by having her say “all the trans kids are doing it”. Again the subtle implication is that changing your body/full-time gender role = bad, but performing in drag is left as the acceptable alternative, which is a common belief among transphobic gay cis men.

    And now there’s this masterpiece of transphobia. I’m not going to talk about it because Riese pretty much nailed it. I will say that I absolutely do not ship Rynique under any circumstances. Ryder is boring and I hope he leaves for good. I can’t fathom why Unique would crush on him. Literally any other human at that god forsaken school would be a better match for her than him.

    Wow, this turned into a rant. I may just be being paranoid, but if Unique, in the end, decides that her desire to be a girl was merely the product of internalized homophobia and her true dream is to be a world famous drag queen, then my transphobic gay male conspiracy theories will be proven true!

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      I know there are plenty of people calling Unique “he” and “Wade/Unique” still, so clearly, Glee has failed on even covering the basic trans issues. And Unique’s portrayal as a drag queen-ish type has always bugged me. From my limited interactions with trans women, they’re nothing like Unique. I wish they had given her a slightly more mellow personality, because I know the more ignorant people are going to have a complete misunderstanding of what being trans is. -shakes head-

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      i love you niki! and yes, everything you said is so so so true you’re so right.

      it’s funny — what you describe feeling about gay cis men playing out their transphobia all over unique is similar to how i imagine a lot of trans guys felt about lesbian cis women playing out their transphobia all over max in “the l word.” everybody on the l word team gave themselves a big round of applause for introducing a trans male character to the show, but by the last season it was grossly evident that visibility was never ilene chaiken’s intent, she just wanted to further marginalize, “other” and distance the community from trans guys. and what’s scary about that is that a lot of us drank her kool-aid because it was the only kool-aid delivered to our homes once a week and we were ignorant. at no point did it seem like an actual trans guy had been consulted on anything they did. (and! considering it was a show about women, why didn’t they ever have a trans female character, yannow?)

      and so a part of me is cringing and panicking that the same thing is happening here, and that there will be gay guys who will drink Glee’s kool-aid, and that it will only get worse from here (like it did with max), and similarly, they’ll never get called out on it in a serious way. which is just to say that i don’t think you’re being paranoid at all.

  9. Thumb up 4

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    I was waiting for this recap as soon as I found out Unique was the catfish and I’m really curious to see what some of the lovely/articulate trans* autostraddlers have to say about this.

    I know I should stop giving a shit about continuity because uhh http://glee.wikia.com/wiki/List_of_Things_With_Little/No_Continuity

    but I just feel like this whole trope is not only super problematic, but doesn’t even make sense for her character. Like Riese mentioned why would she intentionally misgender herself and be crushing on a boy who bullies and misgenders her all the time and is ALSO THE WORST. Ryder has the personality of partially cooked spaghetti. Plus Unique has always seemed to be pretty confident and I just feel like she knows she deserves better than him? Maybe her confidence is overcompensating/covering up insecurity, but this shows writers cannot handle the complexity of this storyline, and like, why can’t we have some self-confident body positive fat loving trans woman of colour realness on our teeeeveeees. Is that too much to ask for!?

    But also this does kinda further reveal Ryder as a huge jerk so maybe he will learn a lesson? I don’t really want them to end up together though because Unique IS beautiful/sexy/amazing and she deserves someone who wants to be with her and knows that, not wants to be with her despite of that. I’m also tired of the queer and trans people on this show being used as Very Special Lessons so the cishet white dudes can EVOLVE. Nope nope nope.

    I just feel like her being the one trans feminine character on the teevee PLUS her being a woman of colour has so much potential and so much responsibility and glee isn’t living up to either, ya know?

  10. Thumb up 1

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    You really nailed all the reasons this storyline/characterization sucks. I always thought the two main trans woman characters on Nip/Tuck fell perfectly into that deceptive/pathetic charicature dichotomy. Unique actually kind of embodies both sides now. She was painted as confident at first (I guess in kind of a superficial, drag-queeny way), but she rarely speaks up when characters who misgender her or demean her, she even gratefully accepts their friendship. Not that other characters stand up for her much either which also sucks.

    Anyone remember the episode of Popular where their teacher transitioned? Very condescending and afterschool-specially. Yet probably pretty groundbreaking for a teen show in the 90s. It’s frustrating that one of the few creators with power willing to create (multiple) trans characters does so in such a problematic way. RM (and any other writers responsible for these depictions) clearly believe they are doing so with sensitivity… and it must mean a lot for some young trans and questioning girls out there to see this *relatively* decent representation, but at what point does a representation start doing more harm than good? Maybe we’re there right now with Unique…

  11. Thumb up 1

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    It’s funny that you mentioned hamburgerology, Riese, because my dad proudly displays his PhD (Pampered Hamburger Degree) from Lawry’s in the kitchen. His big brother got a PhD in something tougher but much less delicious—physics—and the die-cut, gold-foil seal makes it clear that they are equals.

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      YES! the only reason i even know about it is because my mother had the same phD hanging in her office! she was a mcdonalds manager in chicago for some years, including while she was pregnant with me. HAMBURGEROLOGY FOREVER

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    Jan is pretty much the reincarnation of Ninny Threadgoode and therefore she is the best thing. I could not stop watching because hello, Jessica Tandy come back from the dead as another cute old lady lesbian! And then she proposed…oh my goodness fucking gracious.

  13. Thumb up 0

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    Fast forward thru episode – watch greys – wait for recap.

    But you guuuuys! Did anyone watch the last episode of greys anatomy? No spoiler alerts butbutbut WHAT a disappointment.. I mean hot… but no.. but really hot.. but nonoNO.

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    Ok, maybe pointless coment but im happy i was not the only one that notice Brittany fixing her dress and Santana throwing her hands in the air (as she did it when goin with Quinn to the hotel room) as she walked to the “wedding”

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    Riese!

    You hit the nail on the head on the Unique-Ryder-catfish storyline! I hated that storyline. Also that was the lamest story ever. And so predictable. And boring.

    Also, this

    “That she and Landry killed that guy who attacked Tara? That Dawn is the key?” — I laughed so hard. I actually enjoyed your recap more than the season finale.

    I tried to watch it but I just…I just couldn’t. It was just too painful to watch. :-( Except for Santana and her abs. And her scenes with Brittany.

    You continue to have the most kickass recaps ever. Thanks for being the voice of reason throughout this season of crapfest Glee.

    Thanks and see you next season.

    Or not. ahaha!

    Cheers!

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      A person only needs to be gay to experience internalized homophobia, and only needs to be trans* to experience internalized transphobia. The two are deeply related and often exist side by side, but can also exist independently of each other. For example, I(a gay trans woman) have experienced an enormous amount internalized transphobia but almost no internalized homophobia.

      It’s a common misconception that trans people only transition because they have so much internalized homophobia that they would rather be straight women/men then gay men/women. It’s a misconception that I suspect the writers of glee may have bought into.

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    I’ve realized from reading these recaps you (Riese) and the AS readers aer all for Brittana, but I’ve personally never liked the pairing, and I feel like the only one.

    In fact for a while I hated the pairing. Not necessarily because of Santana and Brittany *themselves,* individually as characters, (although Brittany’s storylines do just annoy me now because they’re so impossible), but I hated the pairing because of the way their relationship has always been portrayed.
    Idk I guess some people can get past the problematic stuff enough to see the good in it, but with this, I just haven’t been able to. (Maybe it’s too personal for me to weigh in on, or maybe I’m right about something, I don’t know)

    I’ve always been really, really disappointed by their relationship because of how carelessly it’s been dealt with. Even at the tail end of season 2, when the Brittana scenes were the strongest (i.e. the whole “I love you” spiel), I had a big issue with the fact that Brittany seemed to be trying to force Santana out of the closet before she was ready. She didn’t seem to understand the very real reasons Santana didn’t want to come out. She seemed to just get irritated every time Santana would get scared, and it came off as unfeeling and careless to me (in pretty stark contrast with how much Brittany says she cares about Santana).

    The Born This Way episode comes to mind specifically…the episode where Brittany made Santana the “Lebanese” shirt and then got offended when Santana (obviously) didn’t want to wear it. While I understand *why* Brittany would be upset, it wasn’t *right* for her to be, and I think that should’ve been addressed. I think that later on, Brittany should have apologized for trying to make Santana feel bad for not do something she clearly wasn’t comfortable doing. (There was’t a scene where an apology happened, right? I could be drawing a blank).
    To me, this was kind of an attempt to out Santana. That most likely wasn’t Brittany’s intention, but still, Brittany should’ve tried to understand Santana’s POV instead of trying to force *her* POV on her partner. Guilt tripping somebody because they’re not out yet, or because they’re not as comfortable with their sexuality as you are, is never the way to go in my book. Everyone has to come to terms with it on their own timeline, and accepting your loved one’s right time is key to truly being there for them.
    Brittany didn’t do that. At least not at first, and at least not initially, when it was probably most important for her to.

    Also as far as outing goes, Brittany outed Santana another two times without it being properly addressed–on Fondue For Two (on accident, but still, the rest of the school got the message that Brittany didn’t mean to send), and in season one on a group phone call with Merceds, Artie, and Tina (also an accident, but again–never addressed). Santana’s face during the group phone call threw me off (and resonated with me) the first time I saw it…she was obviously really upset by Brittany mentioning something about their sex life, but Brittany didn’t even have to own up to doing that or take responsibility for it, and it was just never *taken seriously.* In fact the entire moment was used for comedy purposes, and that bugged me.

    From all of those scenes on, I saw a pretty weighty communication problem starting to form between them, and to me that miscommunication has continued ever since. They’re never quite on the same page; they get close here and there, but they’re never quite on the dot. Santana is way more serious about the relationship than Brittany is, and even when Brittany does start to get a little serious, I think she still somewhat misses the points Santana is trying to make to her. Jane Lynch said it best, while season 3 was still airing – “”Well I don’t think Brittany’s in it. I don’t think Brittany’s in love with Santana. I think Santana needs a girlfriend. Brittany loves her, but she’s not her girlfriend.”

    I feel like Ryan Murphy and the powers that be have never allowed Brittany to seriously address her relationship, or her bisexuality, or anything she’s ever done, and I’m sad for the development of her character. I think they make Brittany come off as so obtuse that she really does just think that she and Santana are still just “best friends who have lady sex,” and not “girlfriends” or anything else more intimate. To me the two of them still haven’t had that (on screen, at least) moment where they sat down, heart to heart, very seriously, and said, “Look, what are we?” And I think that with how emotionally invested Santana has always been, Brittany owes her that conversation. Brittany doesn’t ever *think* about what she’s doing. They always write her decision making processes so simply and so rushed, especially now…she just has no depth to me in canon. I’ve always felt like that “What are we?” moment has been missing from their story line, and without it, I just canNOT get into the pairing or take it seriously at all.
    Whenever I see them together romantically, it just makes me sad for Santana because I see it as her being in a relationship with someone who can’t properly communicate with her. As best friends they seemed to understand each other very well, and I do really like their moments of friendship…but as lovers, they’re off beat. I don’t think they do well at all in a romantic or sexual relationship together.

    The two of them are cute together at times, yes, but like I said, I can’t get past what is, in my opinion, a really problematic element to their relationship: Brittany doesn’t understand Santana as a lover. Maybe I missed a scene or missed a “moment” or something and that’s why everyone else ships Brittana way harder than I do, but as much as I love(d) this show and wanted to love its token lesbian relationship, all of the stuff I just listed wouldn’t allow me to.

    Sorry this was so long (lol), I just wanted to leave it here for Riese or anybody to weigh in on it if they want to?

    Like I said, I really wish I could get on board with Brittana, since apparently it’s going to continue on at this point, and I wish that I could’ve gotten on board back when I used to actually watch this show…but I just can’t.

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