Hello and welcome to the eleventh recap of the fourth season of Glee, an intolerable television program about a bunch of nubile taxidermied teenagers searching for their place in this cruel dark world under the incoherent tutelage of a walking talking barrel of poutine named Finn Hudson. This week, Glee celebrated “female empowerment” by making women look like idiots and celebrated their own lawlessness by stealing Jonathan Coulton’s arrangement of “Baby Got Back” and performing it on television and then selling it on iTunes.
This blatant violation of human decency backfired when Glee asked viewers which of Thursdays’ 44 unbearable minutes were their all time favorite…
…and boy, did they get an earful!
As a fellow victim of Evil Bitches Stealing Your Shit For Their Television Show, I felt this was worth mentioning prior to embarking upon our recap. If anybody involved with Glee is reading this, I suggest you send Jonathan a large check.
Well, let’s get this shitshow on the road!
We open in the hallowed hallways of McKinley High, where Sam’s in heat regarding The Warblers’ sudden ability to land it like Mary Lou Retton all over the show-choir stage and his suspicion that something suspicious is going on.
Sam suspects that The Warblers, everybody’s favorite Blazered Band of Bland Metrosexuals, are using performance-enhancing drugs! McKayla agrees:
Before we can dig too deep into the diseased mud wrestling pit of this subplot, it’s time for a Student Council Meeting starring President Blaine Warbler and Tina Cohen-Chang, who is auditioning her 56th personality transplant since she first bound into our lives via her stunning performance of “I Kissed a Girl” in Episode 101 (were we ever so young?).
This week, Tina Cohen-Chang will play a romantically deprived lonelyheart who’s never had a prom date or an anything date, let alone long-term relationship with that mega-cute 30-year-old dancer from Step it Up 2: The Streets. She’s taking charge of her romantic life, Cosmo-style:
Tina: “It is now officially 142 days until prom, when all the hot girls get immediately snatched up by all the hot guys, then the sort of hot girls get asked out by the sort of hot guys and then all the rest of us have to sit around and wait for all the nerds and the freaks and the burnouts and the losers to work up some courage and ask us out to the most awkward night of heavy petting we’re likely to get till we wake up in a nursing home getting groped by an orderly.”
Ah yes, today Tina will also be playing the role of a Not-Hot Girl, which’s likely a challenge for the Certifiably Hot Jenna Ushkowitz. Honestly, I’m unconvinced. Thus Tina proposes the first ever McKinley High Sadie Hawkins dance, which Blaine’s not into but nobody lets him speak because oppression.
Obviously Sadie Hawkins is the Definition of Heteronormative and it explicitly prevents cute pocket gays and rowdy diesel dykes from pairing up for the soiree because the only way to end up at this dance is to be a girl who asks a boy or a boy asked by a girl. Regardless, Student Council enthusiastically endorses Sadie Hawkins, overriding Blaine’s silent feelings, which probs have nothing to do with being gay ’cause hell, it’s Glee, maybe he won’t even be gay this episode, and then wham bam thank you ma’am we smear on over to a different meeting on a different hour/day/week and look who’s back in town:
For the purposes of this week’s episode, Lauren Zizes is no longer the sassy powerhouse with a bad attitude who Knows What Boys Like. I thought she’d dumped Old Man Puckerman AND McKinley High following Glee’s loss at Nationals Season Two, but I guess she’s been hiding behind the bleachers for the last 33 episodes. Anyhow, now Zizes is playing a romantically deprived lonelyheart with a bad attitude and top bitch of the Too Young To Be Bitter Club.
The Magical Moldable Sugar’s there, too, as is Becky and, obviously, Tina Cohen-Chang, and this girl in a neck brace who’s in love with Ryder Bieber-Strong, and they’re all weak in the knees about the Sadie Heterokins dance!
Thus we bound over lakes, streams, brooks, rivers, oceans, koi ponds, waterfalls and waterslides until we arrive at Fake Julliard, where the newly-enrolled Kurt is a tad lonely ’cause The New Rachel’s busy boning Shirtless Geyerdean Brodybear and college is apparently “just like high school.”
Kurt’s considering hitting up some extracurriculars to round out his social game and a poster for the Adam’s Apples Show Choir catches his eye, probs ’cause of its resemblance to everybody’s favorite party game, Apples & Apples.
Then we plow on through the chilly night air, through snowstorms and heatstorms and glitterbombs all the way back to Lima, Ohio, where guys are walking down the hallway and girls are looking at them, because Sadie Hawkins.
Then something happens and then something else and then we’re in the teacher’s lounge with Mr. Potato-Head, and Beiste says this to him:
Beiste: “Sadie Hawkins is a metaphor for empowerment, and not just for women, but for everyone who is sick and tired of the status quo!”
So Finn hops, skips and jumps over to Glee Club and announces that this week’s theme is Lady’s Choice, when every lady will choose her favorite brand of tampon and sing to it.
JK! Um, girls are gonna sing songs to boys and ask them to the dance. This is so empowering, I feel like the Statue of Liberty. Maybe next week the girls can pick out their own wedding dresses, and the week after that they can pick out new drapes! Possibilities are endless.
Then we remove our eyeballs from our skulls, drop them into miniature Thomas the Tank Engines, and choo-choo cross-country to The Barbie Dreamhouse Bushwick Loft, where Kurt’s singing and Rachel’s freaking out ’cause Geyerdean’s asleep in the other room because he slept over.
Kurt and Rachel plop their asses onto a sofa and Kurt says he needs new friends and is considering the Adam’s Apples, and Rachel says you can’t do that because show choir is for LOSERS.
Having spent enough time in New York City for this act, we then take the last train to Clarksville but stop in Lima, Ohio, where Finn’s reserved the locker room for a quickie with Glee Club and Tina’s gonna serenade Glee Club with her Pro-Choice anthem, which Artie predicts will be dedicated to “the forbidden love she let slip through her fingers.”
Nope, Artie’s not talking about Unique, because 1) Unique is a girl, 2) Artie is talking about Artie. Surprise!
None of this matters however because Tina’s singing “I Don’t Know How To Love Him” from Jesus Christ Superstar to… Blaine.
As Tina Cohen-Chang emotes, we’re treated to a montage of flashbacks detailing Tina’s descent into madness. For example, that time Blaine bent over in Algebra class…
…and that time she scribbled nonsense in her journal…
Regardless it’s a fitting tune, considering that “knowing how to love him” involves being a dude, and Tina’s not a dude, but she asks Blaine to the dance anyhow, and he’s like “No thank you,” and everybody feels really embarrassed for everybody else.
Thus we zoom back to the East of the Southern Wild, where Kurt’s staring wistfully at the Adam’s Apples poster when the great-great-great-grandson of Lady Edith Crawley and Sir Anthony Strallan pops up in Whitney Mixter’s hand-me-downs, identifies himself as Adam of The Adam’s Apples and corals Kurt into checking out their vocal stylings at a rehearsal.
Thus we skim on over to the auditorium for an assault on my earholes and eyeballs I’m not sure I’ll ever recover from. Prior to learning this arrangement was the work of an independent acoustic musician, I was prepared to rant about how this might be my least favorite musical number in the history of Glee and how bizarre and gross the choreography was but now I feel bad, so. That being said, I bet Jonathan also hated the choreography!
Kurt, however, is essentially creaming in his pants over the performance performed by this motley crew, a group which includes a substantial number of escaped employees of Historical Williamsburg as well as Sherlock Holmes, a fan of Lolita cosplay, Keifer Sutherland circa Lost Boys, Eric Stolz’s long-lost son, Bobby Brady, Susan Powter circa 1992, Jane Fonda and a few extras from a 1995 production of RENT.
Then it’s over and I remove my head from its submersion in a pile of soundproof vanilla pudding.
Cut back to Lima, Ohio, home to eight Subway sandwich franchises, where Brit-Brit is introducing herself to Marley-Kate and then suggesting that Marley-Kate follow her heart towards New Puck and ask him to the dance.
This convo segues neatly into the episode’s next musical number, “Tell Him” by The Exciters, featuring Marley-Kate, Britt-Britt, and the females of Glee Club dressed like Mermaids with brand new legs and killer cleavage:
At the song’s end, Marley-Kate asks New Puck to the dance and he says yes, and Brit-Brit asks Sam to the dance, and he says yes, and then somebody asks me if I’d like these cashews and I say HELL YES.
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I went to Sadie Hawkins in 7th grade. I asked the only gay boy in my Catholic high school. I was his beard and he was mine, although neither of us knew it at the time. Perfect.
High five for accidental beards in catholic school! Mine was in 5th grade, we bonded over our mutual love of Avril Lavigne.
WHY DO PEOPLE KEEP GIVING RYAN MURPHEY MONEY TO MAKE THINGS!?
This recap was amazing. I read this recap and then promptly donated 10$ to autostraddle.
Considering Sam was originally brought on to be gay/Kurt’s love interest, I hope he goes bi and dates Blaine. But WTF, Tina.
Also. Mark Stalling needs to retire. He looks older than Figgins these days.
more importantly, he looks older than ezra fitz
-Kurt’s new bf looks like he’s old enough to be his dad! I knew a lot of gay guys in college who did the May-December thing, but I’m pretty sure that’s not what Glee intends to have happen here.
-Wait, so we spent multiple episodes breaking up Rachel/Finn and Kurt/Blaine, and like 15 minutes on Brittana. But the other two “one’s still in Lima and one’s gone” couples get…nothing? I figured people just didn’t give a shit about Sam or Mercedes, but we don’t get anything about Tina and Mike either? Dafuq?
-Haven’t we already done the “straight girls get crushes on gay guys” thing TWICE over? Do we need to do this again? Can’t we just have straight girls become friends with gay guys without having to fall in love with them first? It happens all the time IRL, you know.
And by “people” who don’t give a shit about Sam and Mercedes, I mean Glee writers. I for one was really happy to see Mercedes get in a long-term relationship after waiting way, way, WAY too long while all the thinner girls went through multiple boyfriends. And I was glad we got one that had build-up and from a character we previously knew, rather than just a new character where their only connection was that they were both black.
Also, I have a feeling that either Sam or Blaine will turn out to be bi. I would prefer it be Sam, but if it were Blaine, it would be funny because Blaine’s denial and then realization of his bisexuality would parallel mine when you throw in the events of “Blame It On The Alcohol.” (Long story short: When I was 15 and questioning my sexuality and really wishing I wasn’t, I was at a slumber party where we played Truth or Dare and I had to “stage-kiss” another girl. I didn’t enjoy it, so I decided at the party that I must be straight because obviously, not enjoying almost-kissing one particular girl in front of tons of squealing other girls, is totally the same as not enjoying kissing all girls anywhere.)
By the way, my analysis is based on the fact that some other recaps I read seem to think that Blaine was into Tina. I didn’t watch the episode.
Maybe I should to form my own opinions?
Nah….this is Glee.
I also think it’s worth noting that this episode about “female empowerment” was written by a man, and directed by a man. All six producers are men and all four executive producers are also men. #justsaying
god damn i feel so empowered i think it’s leaking out my pores
Aria was the best part of this episode.
Real talk: I hate Sam’s impressions.
LOL I thought it was just me!
THEY’RE ALL THE SAME, they’re all gruff dumb men with audacious lip expressions
They are pretty realistic in terms of what teenage boys think are funny, but are not actually funny.
I actually had to sit through this because my mother records Glee on her DVR and I was at home from school this weekend and managed to be there when she watched it. But at this point I’m convinced she only watches it so she doesn’t hurt the DVR’s feelings.
Watching this also meant having to listen to my father ask ‘is he gay? is she gay? aren’t they all gay?’ and my mother explaining to him what Britanna is before asking if he’ll be quiet so she can go back to finishing the episode.
I liked the montage of them singing The Name Game while pansexual aliens impregnated the Pope’s most faithful underling, Sister Mudy Winters!!!
[My Glee days are over, and my cleanse now includes not reading about it, but sometimes when I see a new recap published I remember the sense of uneasy togetherness brought to me by communally hate-watching a show, and I feel the need to comment. Sorry about that.]
When i first saw Ryan Murphey’s hands holding the check I thought they were dildos. I’ve been here too long.
True story, I was like “didn’t the other team get disqualified for having a high schooler on their team and then they got to move on?”
“oh wait no that was Pitch Perfect.” I’m getting my show choir total bullshit confused.
Ok, three thoughts.
1. Crystal Cleat Pepsi was totally the shit.
2. I legit thought Finn was Schue in the scene when Blaine and Sam present the roids evidence to him. They have merged in my mind.
3. I think I saw Unique laying and singing on top of the piano in that Ryder song at the dance, and if I’m right about that I’m very upset they didn’t really show it.
I think I might just start watching Pitch Perfect every time a new episode of Glee comes on so I don’t subject myself to this but still get to enjoy the singing of adults playing teenagers. Plus yes please Anna Kendrick/Brittany Snow sexual chemistry.
The funniest thing about Tina crushing on Blaine is that she was the one who told Mercedes she needed a gay intervention when she was crushing on obviously-gay Kurt! yay continuity! yay Glee!
THIS! Glee and its continuity is making me crazy!
i get mad at myself for being mad that the show doesn’t make sense
but yes a sadie hawkins dance–as defined so rigidly by the characters on this very show–would not be feasible at blaine’s all boys’ school
plus–wasn’t his school known for its zero tolerance policy toward acts of bigotry and seemingly kinder student body? are we to believe that the new batch of students and warblers suddenly changed the entire culture to the point that he’d have to leave?
see, i’m mad at myself for analyzing it again. it’s better if i just think of it as a sketch show where each week the actors play different characters
this is actually something that drove me a little crazy about this recap but that’s just cause I’m detail oriented and things drive me crazy easily and I was hoping someone else would be as crazy as me and comment. Blaine wasn’t always a Dalton boy. He transferred to Dalton from some public school somewhere because he was bullied for taking his little boyfriend to a Sadie Hawkins Dance and that was the last straw. Then he went to Dalton where he met Kurt and fell in love and transferred to McKinley. The only thing he didn’t like about Dalton was the fact that Kurt was no longer there. The episode even stated that the Sadie Hawkins incident was why he transferred TO Dalton not FROM.
I still don’t understand why he can just transfer to some public school willy nilly without being in their district. I mean I know his parents have money because they were paying for Dalton and all but did they just up and move to another part of Lima or something? Ugh. This show just making shit up as it goes.
well, you and tina have a much better memory than i do! that being said, how the hell did tina remember something i didn’t, they’ve been friends for like one episode
also, sidenote, i found reading the following satisfying, also includes dalton-talk;
I have a feeling that they’ve been friends longer than that it’s just that Ryan (I feel like I know all his shitty work well enough to be on a first name basis) and the rest of the Glee team don’t care enough about Tina and they only really started caring about Blaine now that Kurt is in NY because they have to have a token gay at McKinley so they didn’t show any of their friendship.
Also, that was amazing. I did always wonder about the vegan thing (mainly cause I’m a vegan and I thought it was cool that Rachel was too but then she wasn’t and then she was and now she’s not?).
thanks i was informed of my mistake soon after posting but alas there is no edit feature
but my statement about it resembling a sketch show with whole characters changing week to week still stands
i agree with this statement aden
Good luck to Lauren Zizes applying for that non-existent wrestling scholarship at Harvard. It’s like they go out of their way to make every single part of the episode unbelievable.
I wonder if it’s from the same donor who made possible Thomas’s running scholarship to Harvard in Skins?
Riese, I know you hate writing these, but reading them is truly a highlight of my week. And I have to read them at home alone otherwise I’d be dying laughing every 2 seconds at work.
Also may I say that Intern Bren was on FIRE with the captions this week!
awww, thank you! and I write the captions, silly! intern grace makes the actual pictures and names the jpg files, but she didn’t do that this week, they just have generic names because she had the flu. but i always write the captions!
Ooooh crap, I was toooooootally wrong on that! Well, high five Intern Grace, double-high five to you because the captions seriously kill me every time.
“OH HEY ISN’T IT WEIRD HOW WE’RE ALONE IN THIS EMPTY HALLWAY FOR NO REASON”, captions 1 and 2, were brilliant. Why did it never occur to me before that this was weird?? Teachers in my high school nabbed truants alone in the hallways in 2 seconds.
I also love Intern Bren anyway!
So glad I stopped watching this. The awfulness seems to have reached new heights…
Thanks for the recap as always.
This episode was so bad, it’s like they’re trying to get the show canceled.
Weirdly, the A.V. Club only gave it a C-.
(I often wonder what their grading scale is, because Downton Abbey got a D+ last week, but I think the writers would agree that even the worst episodes of a show like Downton Abbey are better than the best episodes of Glee.)
First off….I just have to say.. I LOVE reading your Glee recaps. And I have to admit that I have a love/hate relationship with the show.
I loved it during its earlier seasons and was mostly happy with it during Season 1 and Season 2…season 3 drove me somewhat insane and annoyed me A LOT (Spanish teacher episode — don’t even get me started).
I usually don’t comment…but just want to say this (and I know that this will reveal that I am in fact a Glee fan…ooops) regarding Blaine:
Blaine transferred to Dalton Academy from his other school (name of which was never mentioned) because he was bullied at said school and the faculty didn’t do anything about it. To quote Blaine “I mean, they were sympathetic but you could just tell that they were like ‘you’re gay. life is just going to suck for you. deal with it'”
Blaine didn’t transfer to Dalton because of what happened to him in the dance at this former school (which is probably one of the many instances of bullying he had to deal with).
Blaine did transfer to McKinley for Kurt.
1) lolita isn’t actually cosplay, it’s just a fashion style. not a criticism, just that my girlfriend loves lolita and i feel like if i don’t point this out i will be in trouble with her.
2) you missed ‘ron weasley/a guy with a talking dick’ from the list of adam’s apple’s curious assortment. poor joey. he finally gets on glee and it’s that fucking performance.
3) i am really upset about the whole joco affair. apparently glee literally contacted him and told him he had no rights. bluh.
4) i did not know zizes had returned and now i am really upset. can she get a spinoff? can pm everyone but finn and shoebox get a spinoff?
Loved the recap. Loved the new guy for Kurt; always hated Blaine and Darren Criss, and it’s refreshing to see someone actually compliment Kurt and not be an attention whore all the time.