Glee 218 Recap: Born This Way, Everyone is Gay

This week’s episode was super-long and extra-gay because baby we were born this way. I can barely even remember being born because it’s taken me so long to write this recap! I kept thinking “I need to write a really funny recap!” because you know, that’s what you’re here for, right? Laughter? But as I was writing it I was like, “whoa, this isn’t funny” and then I was like “but it’s supposed to be funny” and THEN I was like, “maybe I’ll microwave a thing and stick it in my mouth and that will somehow make me funnier” and THEN I was like, “FUCK!”

Then I thought ‘maybe I should be wearing a zip-up hoodie instead of an over-the-head hoodie’ and so I changed and then I thought ‘did I break my funny bone the other night when i was drunk/sober?’ and then I hung out in downward facing-dog waiting for a joke to emerge from my spiritual center and then I gave up and so now I’m like, “HERE IT IS”

i did not make this gif or any gifs in this post and i don’t know who did

Before we begin, let’s count the number of gay people in this show:

1. Kurt Hummel – gay
2. Blaine Warblersmithinsky – gay
3. Dave Karofsky – gay
4. Santana Lopez – lesbian
5. Brittany S. Pierce – bisexual
6. Sandy Ryerson – gay
7. Rachel’s Two Dads – gay & gay
8. Finn Hudson – lesbian

Okay, let’s begin now.


We open in — WHERE ELSE? — in Glee Club.

Will reminds the children that “Vocal Adreniline takes no prisoners,” and although the children sang so beautifully at regionals, if somebody were to ask the Glee Club “So You Think You Can Dance?” then somebody else would certainly answer, “No you cannot.”

So they must enhance their dance skills. Will calls this “Booty Camp.” (Coincidentally, “Booty Camp” was also the title of the porn flick that first introduced Will to the glorious world of anal strap-on sex, which he’ll never have with Emma, because let’s be real, if it takes her 40 minutes to disinfect an apple, she’d grow old, lose her hair, and die sanitizing an eight-inch stick of purple silicone.)

Note Brittany’s outfit — it’s a little something I like to call “I just fucked a chairlift” chic.

Only three seconds into Booty Camp; Finn, gangling through the jungle in search of berries & meat, clonks Rachel onto the cold cold heartless floor, breaking her nose.

Cut to the doctor’s where Rachel teases us with the prospect of her Two Dads’ impending arrival while Finn does his best Gallant to Rachel’s Goofus and is just as shocked as we are when a medical professional suggests Rachel get a nose job along with her nose repair.

first you break my heart, then you break my nose

Rachel’s concerned that it might be a little costly — JUST KIDDING IT’S GLEE WHERE EVERYTHING IS FREE EXCEPT SALTWATER TAFFY AND HANDICAP BUSSES — Rachel’s concerned that a nose job is a stupid idea, because it is. Finn is also adorkably opposed to the idea, but the Doctor presses on, because he is, clearly, an unethical asshole.dotted-divider2

We return to one of Glee Club’s daily/weekly/hourly emotional processing meetings, in which Rachel floats the idea of a nose job and Santana, who’s just escaped communist Russia by snowshoe carrying only the cake-shaped pelt of her pet rabbit and half a bear coat, argues that everyone in the room is “ugly” and “ethnic” and needs to change.

Exhibit A: My Rack

Santana’s kicking her Brittany-related-desire into high gear with trademark bitchery and it’s brilliant. During her litany of “things you’ve all thought about getting done” she saves a particularly low blow (SEE WHAT I DID THERE) for Artie — “I’ll bet Artie’s thought about getting his legs removed since he’s not really using them anyways.”

Tina delivers a speech about why magazines make her feel pressured to wear color contacts, Mike mutters “Self-Hating Asian” under his breath, and Finn, who becomes sort of unbearably endearing this episode, says he wishes he could dance better. Don’t we all, Finn. Don’t we all.

pink thinks they’re fucking perfect

Will, with his vocal intonations ten notches above Captain Kangaroo level, says he’s “shocked” that his club of losers & outcasts has such low-self esteem. He pulls this one out of his fortune cookie:

First the saltwater taffy idea and then this? Mr. Shue is out of touch and on Sudafred, probably. Mercedes takes on the burden of breaking it down for him, because that’s what Mercedes does:

Mercedes: “At this school… the thing that makes you different is the thing people use to crush your spirit.”

How will the children overcome years of insecurity and self-loathing? Through the power of screen-printing and song! They’re assigned to sing a song about self-acceptance, wear a t-shirt announcing their insecurity, and top it all off with a group performance of Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” because Lady Gaga is “the queen of self-acceptance.”


In the hallways, Santana does some Bansky shit…

and then lustfully eyes Brittany, who’s with Artie STILL for some reason —

she will be mine. oh yes, she will be mine.

Santana: “I should be prom queen at this school. If I was prom queen I could get Brittany to dump that four-eyed loser and go for the real queen. She’s so gullible that I could convince her that by royal decree, I’d made her being with me the law of the land…”

In order to win the crown Santana realizes she needs more than fake tits and a lesbian fan base on tumblr, she also needs a “jock” to get the “jock vote.” That’s when Karofsky shows up in the hallway, like a giant slab of deli meat carved into the shape of a man:

Santana: “I’m a closet lesbian and a judgmental bitch, which means one thing: I have awesome gaydar.”

I wish I had a little sound file or animated gif with text of Omar Little going “indeed” to play at moments like this.

[Oh also? Santana just came out. So put THAT on your fucking clipboard.]


Later on in some other place, various characters including Mercedes, Santana and the already-cute-together Kurt & Blaine, are chatting about how if New Directions is number one then The Warblers must be number two and they’re gonna beat the whoopie out of you/already did.

we do sharesies, today is my day for the blazer and his day for the cardigan!

Much like Santana it’s difficult for me to focus on anything happening in this room besides Brittany being with Artie instead of Santana.

omg that’s so cute but santana is significantly cuter

When Blaine, being very toppy/protective, says he wouldn’t want Kurt back at McKinley because of Karofsky, Santana gets her bright idea for how to win Prom Queen. See Prom Queen is no cakewalk. You can’t just “be popular” or “be good looking.” You have to do things — big, complicated, dangerous, sketchy things — to win. You must scheme and plot and plan and betray.

Santana’s plan? Get Kurt back to Glee Club. Then everyone will love her and she’ll win over the largest most influential voting block in school — the nine or ten allegedly unpopular members of Glee Club.

Santana: I’ve gotta gay — go. I’ve gotta go.”


The Prom Queen tiara is being stored in a glass case in the hallway so that young women like Lauren can stare at it wistfully, recalling their toddler pageant days and wondering when they’ll ever have another opportunity to stand on a stage in a fancy dress while people cheer.

i’ve seen ‘toddlers & tiaras.’ i got this.

“There she is,” Lauren says, eyeing future prom queen Quinn Fabray, who’s postering the school like she’s decorating for a baby shower. “A size-two teenage dream.”

Puck, the father of that teenage dream’s baby, tells Lauren this year is not like other years because this year they will eat unleavened bread and Lauren will be queen. He says this in a really determined voice and he’s the oldest guy in school, so that’s how we know he’s serious.


Rachel takes Quinn with her to the witch doctor to provide an example of the nose she’d like to have and Quinn goes along so that Rachel will vote for her for prom queen.

When the doctor arrives, Rachel almost stumbles on her words calling Quinn a “friend” — like she’s all mixed up and happy inside that Quinn is even going there with her, pretending to be her friend, despite the fact that Rachel probably wouldn’t mind if Quinn fell off a cliff and died. Such is the great, deep wells of lesbian love these two have for… Finn.

This leads into a little delightful mashup of “Unpretty” and “I Feel Pretty” that makes me miss TLC/the90s and also the original version of “I Feel Pretty” which goes “I feel pretty and witty and gay!” not “pretty and witty and bright.” God this show is so homophobic they won’t even say the word gay.

the duet that launched a thousand animated gifs

It’s frightening that Rachel would want to walk around with Quinn’s nose on her face for the rest of her life. She must really really really love… Finn.


Quinn’s pissed at Lauren because Lauren’s campaign is taking up valuable postering space and what the fuck is she even doing, Quinn must be asking herself, trying to create A VOTE FOR NADER IS A VOTE FOR BUSH situation? Or I mean A VOTE FOR LAUREN IS A VOTE FOR SANTANA? I don’t know, are there still actual popular girls at this school? Nobody goes to this school, they’re all at Cracker Barrel which is exactly where I’d be if I was in Lima, obviously. You guys I’m hungry. Do they have Boston Market in California? I’m serious.

Quinn, with her trademark icy bitchiness, tells Lauren if she wins that she’ll get creamed by pig blood JUST LIKE CARRIE and consequently “become more of an outcast than [she] already [is].”

Lauren: “Oh-kay. I don’t know exactly what your problem is, but you best bring it, Fabray. Because I’m hot as hell, I keep it real, and the people at this school want a prom queen that’s like them.”
Quinn: “No, they don’t. They want a prom queen who’s somebody they’d like to be.”
Lauren: “Not everybody can be born pretty like you, but just so you know, who you are inside, and who you pretend to be to the rest of the world? They’re two different people.”
Quinn: “You don’t know anything about me, Lauren, anything. But you know what? You’re about to. Because guess what? It just got personal.”

Unfortunately, Lauren’s not really afraid of anything. It’s hard to hurt a person who has no fucks to give, Quinn.

Cut to the best scene of the episode, notable both for its L-Word-level dominance of homosexual topics and for Santana being so fucking Sassy. Bitch holds her shit DOWN.

Santana’s invited Karofsky on a “date.” Karofsky gloats that he knew Santana would ask him out someday because he looks like a square-shaped brick pasted onto a potato wearing a Varsity Jacket. Santana does not have time for this shit. They’re not even at a bar. They’re like on the abandoned set of Felicity. Some date.

Santana: “Give it up! I know.”
Karofsky: “Know what?”
Santana: “That you’re gay!”
Karofsky: “What? Who told you that?”
Santana: “No one had to tell me. First of all, I saw you checking out Sam’s ass the other day. You know you really need to be more careful with your leering.”
Karofsky: “I didn’t. I was just seeing what jeans he was wearing.”
Santana: “Like that’s any less gay.”

Santana: “Second of all, I know all about you and Kurt. Remember last week before the benefit? About you being worried about “the truth” getting out. Guess what. It’s out.”
Karofsky: “Whatever they told you is a lie to mess with me. I’m going to kick their asses.”
Santana: “Why don’t you just settle down and let Auntie Tana here tell you a little story. It’s about you.”

Santana: “You’re what we call a “late in life” gay. You’re going to stay in the closet, get married, get drunk to have relations with your wife, have a couple kids, maybe become a state senator or a deacon, and then get caught in the men’s room tapping your foot with some page. and you know what? I accept that about you.”

They need each other, Santana explains. Why? Because “we play on the same team.” Santana specifies she’s not ready to eat jicama or get a flat top but (what’s jicama?) she might do it in junior college. Karofsky insists he’s not gay.

Santana: “I’m trying to help you out here. Have you ever heard of the term ‘beard’? It’s when a gay man and woman date each other to hide the fact that they’re gay. Like the Roosevelts.”

Otherwise, she’ll out him to everyone. He chooses the bearding.

Santana: “The only straight I am is straight-up bitch.”

Are you paying attention. I hope so because one day you’ll need to tell your grandchildren where you were the first time you heard the now-famous line “the only straight I am is straight-up bitch.”

Could Santana possibly be any more flawless? Yes, she could she could be fingerblasting Brittany, but beggars can’t be choosers.


Finn tells Quinn that she shouldn’t be encouraging Rachel to fix her nose, Quinn tells Finn he should stop talking about Rachel.

Then Finn and Mike do a Sammy Davis Jr number but watching Finn lumber around like a lesbian is just way too gay for me to handle today. I’m embarrassed for him and had to close my eyes.


Rachel — girlfriend loves to give an announcement, right? — wants to show everyone the photos of her potential new nose. She argues that the procedure will help her Broadway career, which is funny, because there’s this actress named Lea Michele who was a big Broadway star and she had that exact same nose Rachel Berry already has!

Tina admits this potential procedure has been a Hot Topic this week in the halls of McKinley High, they’ve got a facebook group called STOP RACHEL BERRY’S NOSE JOB. Also, Rachel’s self-hatred has helped Tina see the light and love herself, without contacts.

Finn, like the good strong hearty crunchy lesbian that he is, knows the only way to fix this problem is to affirm Rachel as a woman/womyn and  tell her how beautiful she is, which Quinn probs doesn’t appreciate as she’s trying to sell the room on her nose being atop someone else’s face as her nose is both superior and [expensive]?

Finn: “Rachel please don’t do this. You’re beautiful.”

Who IS everybody this week? Are they trying to make up for wasting my time last week? I bet Helena Peabody’s gonna show up in the next musical number, all fancy and ret-conned and shit.


If this episode wasn’t 90 minutes long and therefore a bitch to recap and if I didn’t find Mr.Schue’s very existence offensive to my very existence, I’d break my “skip the adult parts” rule to entertain this compelling storyline with Emma’s OCD. But it is, and I do, so. Sorry.


Karofsky has been pulled from class or football practice or lollygagging in the hall or whatever it is people do at this school to apologize to Glee Club. Sorry let me re-state that, but more clearly: Karofsky has been pulled from class or football practice or lollygagging in the hall or whatever it is people do at this school to apologize to Glee Club?

i wish i was at home shifting tabs between deadspin and manhunt

The principal is there too so Artie will have a sweater-vest to borrow later when this one gets mistaken for a paint-by-numbers and subsequently gets dirty:

The kids still wanna punch Karofsky in the face for bullying their homo-friend Kurt, which, as I said at the time, is one of this show’s greatest achievements — setting the example that standing up for your gay friend when he gets gay-bullied is the only reasonable response any real friend or peer could have. As is holding a grudge.

Karofsky wants to apologize for being such an asshole because now he realizes that when you’re an asshole, people fucking die, and surely his self-loathing should really only kill him, not rando gay guys just trying to wear bowties or fuck Blaine. Santana has shown him the light.

Karofsky: “She showed me all these stories online about kids jumping off of bridges and hanging themselves because they were being bullied so bad. I couldn’t believe someone could make another person feel that awful, but she helped me accept that I was one of those bad people, and I don’t wanna be anymore.”

Santana, dressed as nothing less than The Nanny from Flushing, Queens, joins him in front of the room in the area usually taped off for Rachel’s announcements about her personal life/feelings and Mr. Shue’s brilliant financial ideas.

Santana & Karofsky hold hands like two people who want nothing to do with one another’s private parts.

Satana’s Hand: The Closest Karofsky Will Ever Get to a Vadge

The gang is confused/disgusted/hilarious and also, are collectively dressed for Odyssey of the Mind, the Kentucky Derby, and a Britney Spears concert.

The most important reaction is, of course, Brittany’s, and without actually remembering what that expression was, I’m gonna guess, “disturbed and in love with Santana.”


The Bully Team will roam the halls in shiny red Little League jackets and berets, saving the district tons of money by policing the hallways so the staff doesn’t have to.

But seriously these outfits. I mean, can Glee Club try figure skating because this shit is hot and needs ice.

When Z tells a kid that finding new pants to wear is an “YP–your problem” not an “MP-my problem,” the Stellar Santana/Karofsky duo break that shit up.



Next up we have a team meeting between Kurt and his kickass Dad and Karofsky and his Dad, in which Karofsky must agree to let the gay boy return to school sans constant bullying in exchange for the gay girl not outing him to the entire school. Being gay is so complicated, amirite?

Kurt’s Dad is not so sure and thinks Kurt’s only entertaining returning to the lion’s den ’cause he misses his friends so bad. Mr. Karofsky has feelings.

Mr. Karofsky: “You understand how understanding I was about this when it all began. I didn’t come to David’s defense. I believed your son. That’s beacuse the David I was seeing was not the young man I knew. the boy I raised was a Cub Scout, he was kind, he was a good citizen. I still don’t know what was going through his mind when all this bullying started but I can tell you that the David I’m seeing now is my son back again. This — this is real.”
Mr. Hummel: “Do you have any idea how much stress this has caused my family? My son having to leave his friends. My wife and I spending money we don’t have on private school ’cause of your son?”

Mr. Karofsky: “Burt, were you always so accepting of homosexuals? We’re the same age. I remember what we used to say about the gays when we were younger. Now it’s taken us a long time to figure out what’s right. Why can’t you just allow David to have the couple months it’s taken him to figure it out?”
Mr. Hummel: “Because he said he’s gonna kill my son!”
David: “I never actually meant that, though. It’s just a figure of speech”.
Mr. Hummel: “How’s he supposed to know that?”
Will: “Your words still matter, David.”

Considering that David’s bullying is prompted, we know, mostly by internalized homophobia, it’s hard to analyze the impact of these various powerful statements about evolving attitudes towards homosexuals and so forth as they don’t necessarily bear on the actual motives at work here.

The most striking element of this scene, besides Kurt’s Dad’s eternal commitment to being awesome, is how newly confident and self-assured Kurt seems, right down to the sheeny shime of his Chuck Bass outfit. He asks to speak to Karofsky alone.

Kurt: “What’s your angle here, David?
Karofsky: “I’m just trying to make things right.”
Kurt: “David, I know. Remember? And I haven’t told anyone.”
Karofsky: “Why? It would have made your life a lot easier.”
Kurt: “I don’t believe in denying who you are, but I don’t believe in outing, either. But still you owe me the truth.”

Karofsky explains Santana’s scheme and Kurt responds:

Kurt then bends over, opens Karofsky’s gaping wound of internalized homophobia and pours a big jar of PFLAG salt right up in it. If Kurt comes back he’s gonna make Karofsky start a chapter of PFLAG with him. This will probably make Karofsky Slushie himself, let’s be real.

Kurt: “You need to be educated, David. You may not have to come out, but you need to be educated.”
Karofsky: “Oh man, just kill me now.”

does this get me any closer to esera tuaolo’s ranch house


Puck busts into the ladies room to speak to Lea and immediately reveals that he’s drilled rapey holes into the walls of the bathroom which nobody cares about but me. He tells Rachel to keep her nose because just like a free trip to Israel, her nose is a “birthright.” Basically the point of this episode is Be Yourself or your friends will get really pissed at you.


Kurt, with a Mr.Peanut top hat, descends the marble steps of McKinley High’s coliseum outdoor auditorium to announce to a now-very-accepting student body that KURT HUMMEL IS BACK AT MCKINLEY. Wouldn’t it have been funny if someone had slushied him right at that moment?

Lest you think things have gotten a tad too cheesy, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. Blaine arrives, and says that even though he’ll be making sweet love to Kurt after school AND on weekends, the other Warblers won’t be, so they’ve all gotten hall passes, taken a bus to McKinley, and have prepared this KEANE number to officially bid goodbye to that sort of weird boy who sang Blackbird real cute that one time:

One time I was having a preliminary breakup conversation with a boy and he was explaining why he needed me to commit to being interested in marriage/children and then he said — “it’s like that song you always listen to —I’m getting older and I need something to rely on” and I was like “I have not even fucked a girl yet are you insane.”

I wonder if the keys on Kurt’s lapel unlock this “somewhere only we know” that Blaine speaks so highly of.

I bet it looks like this:

Kurt, who’s warm welcome rivals Odysseus’s, gets hugs all around. This part makes me cry a little. But all things as they are, he totally got a super cute boyfriend out of this deal. Not too shabby.

Sidenote: Why do The Warblers almost exclusively sing the most annoying, overplayed, stupid pop songs in the world? Every time a song makes America want to smash its head into the wall, does Ryan Murphy think “LET’S DO THAT ONE A CAPELLA!” I mean Train, Maroon 5, Katy Perry, Jesus Lord.


Kurt announces The Return of The Gay to McKinley High by putting on a big solo Barbara Streisand number on the set of The Pirates Penzance.

“As If We’d Never Said Goodbye” eventually rolls around to Glee Club, where his performance is intermixed with shots of the Glee Club Children looking like they’re stoned and just met a cute baby. It’s excellent, by the way. The song.

i can’t believe i ate the whole thing!

It all feels very theatrical and lovely.


Meanwhile, Lauren and Puck have taken a break from what we can assume is a very heated sex life to go all Harriet the Spy on Quinn’s size-2 ass.

Lauren, inspired by her father’s famous friend who I think was in the FBI, has dug up some dirt on Quinn. Well. Not Quinn. Lucy.

See, Quinn did not, as formerly attested, transfer to McKinley High from Fairbrook Middle School. She lived in a special township and went to BELLEVILLE MIDDLE SCHOOL. And you know who goes to Belleville Middle School, right? VAMPIRES.

Lauren: “So I took a little field trip.”
Quinn: “You didn’t.”
Lauren: “I did. And you know what? They didn’t have a record of anyone named Quinn Fabray, either. They did however, have someone named Lucy Fabray — Lucy Q. Fabray to be exact, and she looked like this –“

Lauren: “You can kind of see the resemblance if you look past the nose job and subtract, eh, 70 pounds.”
Quinn: “Stop, okay!”

Quinn’s all flustered and exposed and we’re kinda relieved — sometimes her bitchiness is so toxic it’s downright disappointing to imagine someone for whom life has been so easy has turned out so petty. But the life she wants — now, and later with Finn — that’s the life she changed everything to have and the illusion on which she’s based her reputation. So no wonder she holds onto it so fiercely.

Quinn: “That’s me. My middle name is Quinn. I stopped going by Lucy because kids made up a mean nickname.”
Lauren: “Juicy Lucy?”
Quinn: “Lucy Caboosey.”

“Too-Thin Quinn” is now on the table, if anyone’s interested.

Quinn: “I hated the way I looked. I had zits. I was chubby. I felt terrible about myself. I didn’t have friends. Nobody would talk to me. I was the only kid at school who had to dissect their own frog because nobody would be my lab partner. And then I joined ballet, lost a little bit of weight, found out I was athletic, joined gymnastics and then cheerleading. Went on Proactiv for my acne. And when my dad got transferred and got a raise, I asked him if I could get a nose job. And he said yes. Then I asked them to call me Quinn.”
Lauren: “So you hate yourself.”

The First Rule of Glee Club is No Self-Hatred.

Quinn: “No, I love myself, and that’s why I did all those things — I’ve been that girl, and I’m never going back. I was a miserable little girl. And now I’m going to be prom queen.”

Not so fast, says Lauren. She should check out the bulletin board because Lauren has pulled a card from Mini’s playbook.

There she is, Lucy Fabray, on the board. Quinn tears it down but it’s too late — everyone already knows that she wasn’t born that way! WHAT NOW.

Rachel wants to know why Puck has brought her to the mall —  “Why did you bring me here? Is there a sale at Claire’s?” (Best line of the episode not delivered by Santana, hands down.)

Kurt has a better plan than 3-for-1 earrings to make Rachel love herself for real.

Also I wore this tank top to 4th of july on fire island but now it’s a vest

Kurt explains she can’t disappoint Barbara Streisand but Rachel argues that she’s “one in a billion” and Kurt points out that Rachel is also one in a billion, as evidenced by the fact that she’s on this show to begin with.

Kurt, red fedora oh-so-slightly askew, has taken a cue from Will “a song solves everything” Schuster and prepared a musical number! Kurt cues Puck, who’s on the mall floor with giant 80s speakers to represent all the 80s/90s movies which took place in malls and especially those which included giant mid-mall gatherings and Puck hits the beat at which point an unexpected shopper suddenly breaks into breakdancing and Rachel giggles delightfully.

“What are you doing?!” Rachel squeals with glee akin to Cindy Loo-Who’s on Christmas morning.

What is he doing? Only coordinating an Ohio Mall Takeover Dance Number! Only gathering a bevy of bright-eyed corn-fed youths wearing primary colors like a Back-to-School Gap Ad! Only making all these children sing and do crazy complicated dance moves right outside of J Dew!

Also, the Glee Clubbers are there, decked out in fall’s greatest fashions, and to be honest it’s such a lovely gardenparty multicolored rainbowflavored dance-dance-revolutionary FLASH MOB that even the Wicked Witch of the West would turn down a nose job if asked when it’s over. Even Finn’s there, hoping tenderly like a lesbian at a Blink 182 concert.

Everybody loves a flash mob. Flash mobs are the new kittens.

See for yourself:

Then Emma goes to therapy and the whole thing is very emotional and hits a lot of serious notes that are important to me on several levels, but as aforementioned, I cannot. Also I cried a little bit.

Then Finn lezzers out again and tells Quinn that he likes her just the way she is and that her old photo is “the first one where you can really see her” and I sort of cried a little bit.

(So Quinn lied to Finn about being pregnant with his baby as well as how the male/female reproductive systems functioned when in contact with tubs of hot bubbly water, and she also lied to him about what school she went to, what she used to look like, and her real name? And he’s still with her? That’s lesbian dedication for you.)

Lauren, who’s just been to the nursing home and forced to borrow her grandma’s sweater ’cause it got so cold there, lets Quinn know that she’s up by 40% in Jacob Ben-Israel’s poll.  For a second I was like “huh? that guy I had to do a report on in Hebrew School?” but then I remembered NO THAT’S DAVID BEN-GURION.

swing voters in the swing state of ohio

The girls that wanted to vote for Lauren are now gonna vote for Quinn because she used to be fat and now she isn’t, which is problematic as it seems to endorse the “you need a diet and a makeover to get better” trope and they really should aspire to love themselves as they are, not as they would be with surgery and the South Beach Diet.

ANWAY back to Lauren’s look, I am 60% sure that she’s making Grams‘s hairdo happen in a major way and I LIKE IT.

Lauren: “It’s not cool what I did to you and I apologize.”
Quinn: “I respect you. I had to get a nose job and go on a crazy diet to walk around this school like I owned it. And you just do it.”

Lauren nods like, “Welcome to the wonderful world of the evolved.”

FINALLY we get another interaction between Santana and Brittany and Brittany looks especially cute today, and also kind and slightly sad.

Brittany: “Hey. Do you like my shirt for glee club?”

Santana: “It’s perfect. Check out mine.”

Santana: “What? This is perfect. Legend has it that when I came out of my mother, I told the nurse she was fat.”
Brittany: “Well, I made a different one for you.”

Santana: “I’m Hispanic. Wait, was that supposed to be ‘lesbian?’”
Brittany: “Yeah, isn’t that what it says? When you told me all that stuff the other week, it meant so much to me, to see you be so honest, especially ’cause I know how bad it hurt. I was so proud of you.”
Santana: “Yeah, well, don’t get used to it. And certainly don’t even think about telling anyone.”

Sidenote children – Ellen DeGeneres pioneered the “Lebanese” joke in 1996, see!

Anyhow back to GLEE!

Brittany: “Why not? You’re like, the most awesomest girl at this school. Why would you try to hide any of that?”
Santana: “I’m dating Karofsky now.”
Brittany: “It’s gross.”
Santana: “You don’t get a say in who I date anymore.”
Brittany: “Why not, because I’m dating somebody? Because you’re Lebanese and I think I’m bi-curious?”
Santana: “No. Because I said I love you. You didn’t say you love me back.”
Brittany: “I do love you. Clearly, you don’t love you as much as I do or you’d put the shirt on and you would dance with me.”

Ok so what I’m gonna do with that is totally run with it. Like if we were on a football field, I’d be running so far with this that we wouldn’t be on a football field anymore.

Basically obviously what this means is that Brittany is conflicted and her feelings for Santana are so pure that she doesn’t understand why they’re so gravely misinterpreted — as a turndown, as a discrediting of the future and its endless possibilities — because to her, they’re so real they must be obvious, right? And basically they should be together forever.


The big finale to “Born This Way” reminds us why Glee Club needs Kurt and how much we maybe forgot we missed him because he’d become so bitchy for a while. I mean this cannot be beat.

Here’s the full performance:


The moral of the story is that although everyone claims to love themselves, they’re actually lying and hate themselves on the inside and usually insecurities about the outside are really insecurities about the inside but admitting who you really are can free everyone and cure everything, including indoor/outdoor allergies.

Here’s what I love about the Santana storyline: it’s all her. It’s all Santana. Being a lesbian doesn’t change who she is. She’s not even wavering on her discovery — Santana does not pussyfoot around this shit. That’s Santana. It’s always been. She’s a girl who likes to be right about things. She’s a girl who, if ever proven wrong, will change the evidence afterwards to save some semblance of appearing to be right. She’s a girl who wants what she wants even if what she wants isn’t a thing she’s ready to subject to everybody else’s judgment just yet.

Their response won’t shake her resolve. It’d just take a really long time for her to kick everyone’s ass and she doesn’t have the fucking time for that just yet. It’s like she got vulnerable by being honest and everything opened up and so now it’s just Santana on BLAST.

And so there she is in the episode’s final frames — she’s got her shirt on, but she’s not wearing that anything but “Bitch” on stage ’til she’s good and ready and can have it just how she wants it. ‘Cause baby… she was born that way.

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Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, 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! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3183 articles for us.


  1. Thanks for the enjoyable recap!

    I am so looking forward to more Brittany and Santana interaction (Brittana is endgame).

  2. jicama is like the most awesome fruit vegetable thing, sort of like if an apple and potato had a baby and best eaten with lime and chili. ahem.

    • I laughed so hard when I heard the jicama reference, because I am the only lesbian I know of who even knows what it is.

    • My mother used to feed me jicama as a kid. That’s because she is the gayest straight person I know.

        • my best straight girlfriend is the gayest straight person i know, she does tennis and theatre and loves on her kitten, she’s also a vegetarian who loves humus, and does not believe in God but instead goes to a sanctuary where you meditate and find your spirit animal.

  3. I haven’t finished reading the recap, but I’m pretty sure Mike mutters “self-hating asian” to Tina, which makes more sense.

    • I wasn’t upset, but I thought it was a bit… odd? But, then again, they usually cut the songs for the aired version and the sexuality verse is in the iTunes version. Also: the aired version prominently featured a boy in a “Likes Boys” tshirt, so it was still pretty awesome.

    • Yes. I immediately noticed it. And for a show with such a solid track record, I felt like that was an odd choice. I want to assume it was just for timing…

      • that’s what i wanted to think as well, except they didn’t just stop the song before that verse, they just repeated the “black white or beige…” one where the sexuality one should have been. i’ve been trying to figure out why they would do that after 90 minutes of “acceptance” and “self love” and the only reason i can think of is that fox wasn’t okay with the transgender part, continuing the trend from the rocky horror episode. (“sensational transylvania”? really?)

    • i don’t think i’d listened to the song all the way through ever, i didn’t know there was a sexuality paragraph. however i was surprised they left in the contentiously racist paragraph that everyone had feelings about on our open thread, i thought for sure they’d throw that one out

    • I think it was more to emphasis the Lebanese part than to exclude that lyric in particular (what with Santana’s shirt).

    • YES.
      First I was upset that they were even doing the song, because I don’t like the song anyway, but if they’re going to do it, they shouldn’t cut it, ESPECIALLY that verse.

  4. yea i loved this episode aka santana but having a mercedes wearing a “no weave” shirt while obviously either a. having a weave or b. having a super expensive michelle obama perm really pissed me off. why is there only one black person on this show and she is relegated to being sassy and having aretha solos and it bothers NO ONE ELSE :(

    • also dear ryan murphy: instead of having tina say that there are no asian lady sex symbols you could just have her pledge to aspire to gong li’s hottie status and then you’d have a boob job plot thread for two.

    • It bothers me. It’s like they try and put ironic racism in by suggesting she date the only black guy and everyone just rolls with it. She seems like she’d have more of a personality than Aretha & Sassy. It’s like, Rachel is a jew so of course she loves Streisand and Mercedes is black so of course she loves Franklin. Come on guys. Give us (the audience) a little more credit. Why can’t one of her idols not be black? Or even, and this is better, have maybe one of the white or asian characters have a black role model. You don’t have to colour code your mentors, Glee.

    • It bothers me that race does bother people. They are caricatures and stereotypes. Isn’t that the joke? Brittany is a dumb blonde. Mercedes is ghetto black girl. Kurt is the most flaming of homosexuals. Rachel’s super Jew… Etc. I don’t get what makes their character stereotypes anymore unacceptable than the others.

      • Personally, I think what separates Mercedes’s race issue with the other caricatures is that every other stereotype has a personality.

        – Brittany is dumb, but she’s an enormous sweetheart and is the root of so many hilarious one-liners on the show.

        – Kurt is flaming, but originally he wasn’t a sainted character: he was sassy, bold, and sometimes even a little mean.

        – Rachel has a tremendous voice, but her character is more about her obsessive drive towards stardom and her tunnel-vision in regards to the people around her.

        – Tina has always had self-esteem issues (her stutter from last year, her clothes/image) that go beyond her ethnicity.

        – Mike can dance and is often one of the more level-headed characters in a swarm of melodrama and teen angst.


        With Mercedes, I feel like the ONLY things that define her character is that she’s black and resents her underappreciation. That’s it. Considering how big of a character she was in the first season, it really is disappointing how she’s the most underdeveloped main-Glee-member except for the same 3 hashed storylines: Mercedes is black. Mercedes has a great voice. Mercedes has body issues.

        • I think Mercedes does have personality though. She has the same personality as Kurt, except more churchy. Which is the reason why I always thought they were best friends. Sure, her storylines suck, but I think most of the storylines besides Brittana suck.

  5. I loved Santana in this episode. My dad and I were literally on the floor about the tshirt thing with Brittany.
    I did think her explanation about what a beard is what a bit misleading though. A beard can be a straight person it’s not always just gays covering for gays. Sometimes people are unwilling beards as they have unknowingly married a gay person. Sometimes it’s a straight guy e.g. Niki with Greg at the premiere. I thought that should’ve been explained simply because the non-LGBT/LGBT aware section of the audience would take Santana’s explanation unquestioned. Not a big deal of course but yeah. Loved loved loved this episode. And I also really liked Burt in the parent/kids sitdown. I thought he was very reasonable but firm.

    • I agree. I had to clarify to my friend who was watching the show with me that it’s not just between two homosexuals.

  6. i was upset/annoyed about all the hetero cuddling/kissing/pda in this episode. kurt and blaine didn’t even get a peck on the cheek!

  7. Odyssey of the Mind? I did that in middle school, in Gifted & Talented! Whoo!

    Also: “Clearly, you don’t love you as much as I do or you’d put the shirt on and you would dance with me” is possibly the smartest thing Brittany’s character has ever said.

    Riese I love your Glee-caps. :)

  8. Self-hating nation? wtf? O.o
    Next time watch the show with the caption on.
    It’s “self-hating Asian”

  9. Thoughts on this episode:

    Why did they not mention Santana’s boob job? They were sort of going in that direction with her speech about changing what you don’t like, but it was never explicitly mentioned and is clearly one of Santana’s many insecurities.

    Quinn’s backstory was a little bit offensive to me. Why is she only the “real” her to Finn when she was fatter and pimplier and crooked-nosier? The show seems to treat her transformation like it was some terrible, terrible thing to do. Losing weight through proper exercise is not unhealthy, and should actually be encouraged. The nose job was a little extreme, yes, but dyeing her hair was again, no big deal. She’s no longer Lucy Fabray, she’s grown into Quinn Fabray and to insinuate that everyone is really only their awkward teenager self and that anyone who pretends otherwise is living a lie is offensive.

    • I think the idea was to have Santana’s boob job be implicit in her being in favor of people changing things about themselves. The critical way she views the world is being put forth as an extension of the way she is critical of herself. I’m going to stop there before I start sounding like the person who rationalized the Friday song as a teenage angst anthem, but that is what I think the writers were trying to do there.
      I agree with your assessment about the awkward teenage phase. I was going through airport security the other day and the TSA officer checking my license remarked “wow you’ve lost weight!” I just stood there stunned for a second…like yeah i’ve lost 15 pounds in the 4 years since that picture was taken, but I wasn’t particularly overweight in the picture. Awkward teen years are luckily a thing of the past and should stay that way. I’m more the real me now than I ever was then.

    • yeah i felt like that whole thing was a thing we just were supposed to suspend our disbelief for. when we were watching the episode we were both like “uhhh so fucking what?” i mean everyone has fucking awkward middle school pictures where they look nothing like they looked later. it’s like super normal

    • Well, 1. Finn is stupid.
      2. I think the show was saying that her motives were bad and her superficial attitude, not her actual different appearance. When she changed her name and dyed her hair, it was her trying to be a different person; inside and out. Idk.
      3. I hate Finn.

  10. YES!!! I was waiting for this recap all day. Had to comment first, then I’m going to read it. Can I just say Santana my BAMF hero?!

  11. This entire week I have been waiting for this. God I love you autostraddle. In these dark times where no one will allow me the opportunity to watch glee, you come through.

  12. Actually I approve of their choice to cut the gay lyrics.

    This episode was SO GAY. Kurt’s shirt was SO GAY THE ENTIRE SONG IT DISTRACTED ME.

    I mean, they were probably like, we need to pay some credence to the other points we’re trying to make here…gay is not the only thing that can make you different/ashamed of yourself (tho you totes should embrace it).

    I believe there was a good balance (uh, if by good, you mean totally awesomely more gay than necessary) of different elements, so it made sense to me that they decided to emphasize the other parts of Lady Gaga’s song in what I imagine was an attempt to not end on a 100% gay note lol (just like, a 95% gay note instead).

    • I totally agree. I mean, I love the gay storylines more than anything (I’m in love with everything about Santana, truth) and they had to cut something, that song is like 8 minutes long. The “Lebanese” part was a nice nod to it, haha

  13. Riese, amaaazing Glee recap as always. You make me laugh so hard I probably sound like a crazy person to my neighbors.

    Also, G. Gordon Liddy (the dude referenced in the whole digging up info on Quinn thing) was the guy who ran the Watergate break-ins of the Democratic headquarters for Richard Nixon… maybe only us politics / history dorks thought that reference was funny…

  14. First, great recap Riese!

    Second, can I get Pretty Witty and Gay stacked in big block letters on a T shirt?

  15. Crap, I thought “pretty and witty and bright” was just another verse in the song!! They changed it… well in my high school Glee Club we sang both verses. ;)

    Anyway, great recap Riese, funny and spot on as usual!

    • Just a note, “pretty and witty and bright” was the original lyric, it was changed to “pretty and witty and gay” in the movie of West Side Story when they changed the scene from nighttime to daytime and the bright/night rhyme didn’t make sense anymore. So don’t get too up in arms about it… I actually prefer the “bright” lyrics because of how beautifully those syllables ring out!

  16. I can’t be the only one who is seriously considering purchasing a “Lebanese” t-shirt.

  17. i actually really liked emma’s storyline and is it weird that i find her super attractive?

  18. Yes, we have Boston Market in California. Your recaps almost make me want to watch this show.

    • Yep, like your mom, I got it but the 22 year old gay man I was watching with had no clue why I was laughing.


  19. Actually, a Lesbian/Lebanese joke was made on the Golden Girls, before Ellen did it in 1996. Goes something like…

    “Jean is a lesbian”
    “That doesn’t bother you?”
    “No. I mean, I’ve never known one personally, but isn’t Danny Thomas one?”
    “Not LEBANESE, Blanche. LESBIAN.”
    “Lesbian. Lesbian. LESBIAN?! Isn’t that where one woman and another woman…”
    “We already know what it means.”

    … and I’ve just outed myself as the biggest nerd ON THIS ENTIRE SITE.

  20. One thing I noticed about Santana is that she called Brittany “gullible” and not stupid or dumb. I liked that.

    Oh, and someone mentioned to me that the West Side Story piece had the lyrics to the original Broadway version, in which the song was set during the evening, thus the bright/night lyrics. I dunno, she’s a Broadway nut so I’m taking her word.

    I see a hot dance number in Brittana’s future, Brit’s last line at the lockers about if Santana loved herself as much as Brit loved her she’d dance with her. The lebanese shirt could make a comeback for it.


    • Yes! this is correct re: lyrics; it was changed to “gay” later. I was a complete musical theatre nerd in early high school… haaaah

  21. Yesss I have been waiting for this ever since the credits rolled on my teevee Tuesday.

    First thing: there are boston markets in CA and in the bay (I know of one in San Jose myself).

    Other things: SANTANA ONLY GETS BETTER. “The only straight I am is straight up bitch”- HOLLA. Also I am superficially so excited Kurt is back, because I love the outfits he gets. Mildly annoyed that there was no kiss after the Blaine serenade (I mean really?! F&Q kiss like every scene they’re in)
    Kurt’s back-in-public-school song was broadway brilliant, loved how into it he got at the end.
    Flash mobs are always amazing, I had to buy that song because it wouldn’t get out of my head. (Did anyone else notice the high quotient of cute dancer girls in that number? Sa-woon, I have a thing for dancers forreal…)
    Born this way was totally epic, I need a “likes girls” tee stat. (Although tonight I went to a drag show and saw an amazing performance of born this way that even rivaled glee). I too thought it was interesting they included the racially problematic verse and not the sexuality one, I guess they thought the sensitivity was swapped?

    All in all this episode made up for last week’s utterly pointless one and I thought performance-wise Kurt won everything (though Brittany killed it on the dancing as usual)

    & As usual major props to you, Riese. Effing hilarious summaries/captions. :D

  22. thank you SO MUCH for this recap and all the other recaps you’ve written. i love how the introductory portion detailed the incredible amount of anxiety/stress/paralyzing self-doubt that you experienced in the process of producing the piece, because writing, especially when you deeply care about quality and you acknowledge your potential, is really such an agonizing, tooth-pulling experience. My mom used to say that watching me write was like watching someone give birth. And as Maddow the Wise once said, “Writing makes me want to blow my head off.”

    Also, this recap had me howling and clapping my hands as I sat alone in my little postage stamp of an apartment.

  23. But obviously Quinn planted that evidence to take Lauren’s votes as well… because that is the most bullshit, overused backstory I’ve ever seen (in a while).

    Also, Riese? This was awesome. All the future power lesbians of the world thank you.

  24. yes they do have boston market in california I don’t know in oakland/sf but if you drive 45 minutes to san jose there are like 5

    so good…

  25. I forgot to mention my very favorite part of this recap. The counting of the gays included “Blaine Warblersmithinsky”. It took a second for me to notice but it stood out for me as one of those ‘only riese’ things.

    Excellent job.

  26. Finn most likely models his dancing after computer graphics such as the sims. Not the sexiest, but the shimmy works.

  27. Actually, I believe that the amazing Blanche Devereaux pioneered the “Lebanese” joke back in the ’80s.

  28. Can I just say that I’m in love with Kurt’s vests? Especially the outfit he wore while talking to Karofsky. VEST. BOWTIE. LOVE.

  29. Santana = WIN! Fuckin’ brilliant, she is. I love love love that she hasn’t magically transformed just because she likes girls now. Can we just have like a spin-off with her? She’s the only reason I keep watching.

    I, too, was disappointed that they used “bright” instead of “gay” in the (Un)Pretty mash-up (which was all kinds of awesome), but considering the characters, I think it would’ve been confusing for non-WSS lovers to use “gay”.

    p.s. Is it bad that the entire episode, whenever Quinn and Rachel were on screen, I kept thinking about Dianna and Lea making out? Like, seriously, the Glee characters no longer exist in my mind.

  30. So when I was 9, I broke my nose by running into some kid and destroying my nose on his forehead. I ended up having to get my nose realigned because my nose was literally UNDERNEATH MY EYE, and my face was bruised everywhere. It was horrible. Then, after they realigned it, they stuck two extra-long tampons up my nose while I recovered. Apparently, the only way to remove these tampons was to rip them out with metal pliers. As soon as they gripped the first string, I started screaming hysterically and the doctor got freaked out because he had never dealt with kids before, and left the room. The nurse finally calmed me down, and then they ripped them out.

    Sorry if that was a stupid story, haha, but it seemed relevant.

  31. I like that last episode they could only get Sue’s hecklers to come to their show but this week they could get hundreds of people to pull off a flash mob. I guess one of the Glee kids got a lot of twitter followers over the past week.

  32. Someone needs to point out Kurt’s t-shirt. And that someone needs to be me. What, he’s suddenly uncomfortable with his sexuality?

  33. Am I the only one that thinks calling Finn a lesbian is uncool? Does Finn really need to be de-masculinized for his sensitive and conscientious character?

  34. This was a good episode they shouldn’t have bothered with the one the week before. It’s crazy how much this show can fluctuate, just stick with the gay storylines already.

    Also, Santana is channeling Jebediah Springfield.

    Now all i can think of is Rachel trying to crack seeds with a beak, awesome visual.

  35. I loved this episode. And so did my 9 year old daughter! It was MUCH easier to explain a lot of the things I’ve had so much trouble explaining to her when it comes to the GLBT world.
    Now she doesn’t have to wonder why Mommy is the only one who does things a certain way.

  36. when watching this episode with my mom last night, i told her i wanted a LEBANESE shirt
    cause i really do

  37. omG! i was waiting for this recap for forever and two hours! riese is officially my new god and neurosis is the altar. Love you! snorting over here! cheetos that is…hey, it ain’t easy bein cheesy.

  38. Pingback: In 1986, Golden Girls Created the Most Enduring Lesbian Joke on Television - - SILVER GLO TUBE CO

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