If there’s anything I love more than sticking my face in a bucket of gumbo — and boy do my eardrums appreciate a good shellfish scrub — it’s white gay men writing stories about Latina lesbian women, filming them, and putting them on my television set!
This week on Glee, tiny mockingjays continued their vicious attack on Kurt’s sweater drawer, Sue stole Beast’s Balding Boyfriend from Beast and lost the election to Burtbear, inappropriate teacher-student relations exploded in Puckelby’s pants, Quinn changed personalities six times, Rachel & Kurt fretted over admissions to a conservatory acting program that by definition cares way more about their auditions than about grades or student government positions, and Santana and Brittany didn’t kiss.
This is similar to how nobody had sex for the first time in the “First Time” episode.
Before we begin with the recap I’d like to point out that it’s clear (to me) that in preparation for this week’s Lezstravanganza, this episode’s writer, Matthew Hodgson, marathoned Season One of The L Word. I think this ’cause sometimes what I’ve just read/seen finds its way into my writing in insidious unconscious ways and I assume this happens to other writers too and having memorized all six seasons of The L Word, I can authoritatively state it happened to Matthew this week.
You can skip this part if you’re not as deranged as I am, but I’m just gonna refresh your memory of a few key L Word moments before we hop into this episode of Glee. Just keep these scenes IN MIND, grasshoppers:
Lara: You have to at least take some steps towards being out.
Dana: I will.
Lara: Because you’re going to be miserable being in the closet.
Dana: I know.
Lara: And you are really… really gay.
Dana: (whispering) I know.
Lara: You know, it’s one of the things I like so much about you. When you hide that, you’re hiding the best part.
Cherie: In this fucking ugly world, that kind of love does not exist.
Dana Fairbanks appears in an ad campaign which, much to her surprise, references her sexuality. Dana then must come out to her parents before Subaru does it for her. They don’t take it well:
Dana: I didn’t do this to hurt you.
Sharon: We all have feelings for our girlfriends, Dana. It doesn’t mean you have to act on them.
Basically, these writers trying to write this episode is like me trying to write about vampires. I’m not a vampire. I like True Blood but I hate Twilight. So I’m pretty ambivalent on the whole vampire situation. You should only ever write about things you care about passionately! Otherwise don’t bother. Is what I think. As you can tell by that amazing paragraph you just read. Fuck. Jesus.
Anyhow! This recap won’t be getting any better, I suggest getting a box of Teddy Grahams and saddling up to the laptop for a long long night.
This episode I’ll only be recapping the lesbianish scenes, because my vadge lesbo angry ragefuck womyny feminista powerpuff anger is already so extreme re: this episode that I can’t even get into things like, um, this:
We open in Principal Figgins’s Lair of Inconsistent Leadership, where Santana’s battling patriarchal oppression in the form of a two-week suspension for bitch-slapping Finn with two cheeseburgers after he outed her to all of Northwestern Ohio. Figgins cites a recently-invented zero-tolerance violence policy, but seriously, look at Finn, the kid isn’t exactly bleeding from the eyeball, this ain’t waterboarding.
We pause for someone to point out that outing someone also warrants a jaunt to the office, but nobody does, so Santana then proudly introduces us to her unstoppably feisty alter ego, Snix:
Santana: “You don’t get it. When I get really pissed off, Santana gets taken over by my other evil personality. I call her ‘Snix.’ Her wrath of words is called ‘Snix juice.’ I’m kind of like the Incredible Hulk. You can’t blame me for anything Snix does.”
Figgins: “I’m suspending you and this Snix two weeks.”
Finn, hiding in the back in his flannel, debating whether or not he could enhance the gender identity diversity of Autostraddle’s 2013 Calendar by offering to model for it, suddenly lumbers into action. “She didn’t slap me,” he announces.
She’s off the hook! Back in the hallway, Santana’s mystified by this sudden twist of personality and presses Finn for his rationale. Finn responds in a tone so condescending only tiny birds and ferocious Snixes can hear it:
Finn: “I kinda feel bad for you. Look, I know we’ve been at each other a lot over these past couple of years, but the truth is I think you’re awesome. And when you hide who you are, I feel like you hide part of that awesomeness with it. And that’s why you act out, because you hurt inside every day.”
Oh so wow. Nobody loves anything more than being told who they are and what they think by a six-foot-five hunk of brisket whose been photographed in public with Taylor Swift. Furthermore this riff isn’t Finn’s problem to fix — Santana hated him first and doesn’t need his pity, psychology, or penis.
Santana: “That’s sweet, but if you think that in exchange for keeping me from getting suspended, I’m gonna come…”
Finn: “Back to the Glee Club? Exactly!”
Finn’s obsessed with Glee Club now, he’s absorbed all of Rachel’s most insufferable personality traits. However, lacking Berry’s intelligence and talent, this absorption leads to Finn seeming deranged whereas for Rachel it just makes her seem selfish and ambitious.
Finn: “It’s up to you. Either you can come back to the choir room and embrace your awesome or take a two week vacation and enjoy your seat in the audience for Sectionals.”
Finn oughtta write that down, screenprint it onto a Hallmark card and sell that shit for National Coming Out Day because BOY am I inspired. Flip-Flop-Flin thus leaves Santana, and the audience, confused, nervous, and a little bit scared.
Also in the hallway, perhaps on the same day or perhaps next week or yesterday, Rachel Berry is treading with frustrated fear, monologuing: “I haven’t been this worried about a vote since Lambert versus Allen.”
I personally spent that fateful June 2009 evening drinking vodka out of a water bottle while interviewing D-list gay-or-gay-friendly celebrities in the 85 degree bath of lower Manhattan, and though the vodka numbed my apathy towards The Paradiso Girls it did not come close to easing my anxiety over the American Idol Election. By the way, Lambert “lost” the popular vote, but he won overall. Let that be a lesson to you Kurt — even if you lose the contest to get into NYADA, you can still make out with hot boys onstage and paint your nails for money.
Rachel casts a leer over at Brittany, heretofore known as Bi-Brittany, ’cause someone’s gotta say it and this show sure won’t — Brittany’s bisexuality, that is. Yup. If it’s Brittany and Santana’s relationship that technically outed both of them, it’s so strange, yet predictable, how invisible she and her story becomes. Anyhow —
Bi-Brittany: “If elected I will be sure to have sugary treats available at all times. It helps the concentration. That’s what George Washington said.”
Anyhow, Rachel’s stressing that Kurt won’t get into NYADA without a student council win on his resume, which’ll leave her gay-less in New York City, stranded without easy access to makeovers and, apparently, souffles, neither of which she’s picked up from 18 years of living with Two Gay Dads. Now she’ll have to troll craigslist “gigs” when in need and will probably get killed just like everyone did in that Lifetime movie about the Craigslist killer.
Oh but first some Classic Rachel® perfection:
Rachel: “Nobody cares. They’re all so lost in their own worlds that they can’t see how important this is to me.”
Rachel locates Kurt and zeroes in on his blazer/bandana otherwise known as a “blezanda.”
Killjoy Kurt refuses to let in Lea’s sunshine:
Kurt: “What’s the point. I’m gonna lose unless I pull a JFK.”
Rachel: “You’re gonna shoot Brittany?”
Apparently JFK stuffed the ballot boxes somewhere along his rise (that’s what she said) to the presidency. Obviously Rachel’s already scheming, having seemingly forgotten what happened when George W.Bush cheated. I’ll remind you — 9/11. 9/11 happened.
Rachel and Kurt go together like peas and carrots, but only if “Machiavellian” is a word you can use to describe vegetables.
Will Schecter has given up on securing Finn’s body or his ego to his chair for the entirety of a class period and figured if Finn’s always standing up he may as well do something. Like teach!
Finn’s got the magic marker and scrawls “Lady Music” onto the vision board, announcing to the class that in order for Santana to embrace her identity (not that Santana’s actually displayed a reluctance to do so, she’d just rather do it on her own terms and not on television ’cause Finn OUTED HER), they’ll spend a week demonstrating exactly how men are capable of ruining beautiful things created by women by dedicating the set-list to “Lady Music.” It’s redic enough that “Lady Music” counts as a theme at all, seeing as we clock in at 51% of the population and are well-represented in the World of Music and therefore should be similarly represented in weekly setlists BUT SORRY HERE I GO AGAIN thinking women are real people.
Flip-Flop-Finn: “Santana we’re worried about you.”
Santana: “Worry about yourself, fetus face.”
[That fetus reference is foreshadowing for the position you’ll be in while cowering in the corner in about 15 minutes when Finn breaks into an barbaric low-key version of “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.”]
Finn: “Glee’s about learning how to accept yourself for who you are, no matter what other people think. And that’s what this music is all about.”
Santana: “So wait, I don’t even get a say in this? Not cool.”
Yup! Even when it relates to the sweet sapphic sounds of lesbian folk-rock music, a genre of music universally despised by every man I’ve ever shared a car with, Finn’s the decider. He decides when/why/how Santana should come out, he picks the music, he’s the decider. He decides things.
Finn: “Everybody in this room knows about you and Brittany and we don’t judge you for it. We celebrate it because it’s who you are. I know not everybody outside of this room is as accepting and cool as we are, but we’re doing this assignment this week so that you know in this rotten, stinking mean world that you at least have a group of people who will support your choice to be whoever you wanna be.”
First, Kurt, clearly tired from the sword-fight that resulted in his diagonally damaged sweater-like-thing, chucks his past beliefs and prior personality out the fake window and condescendingly says coming out was hard for him, too.
Kurt and Blaine are ready to kick off Manslaughter Lady Music Week with “Fuckin’ Perfect,” a song written by two men and one woman with an exclamation point in her first name. Blaine says Kurt and Blaine always sing this song to each other in the car which is REDONK adorbs, and you know it.
As Klain hop around performing their Spectacular of Sanctimonious Bullshit, the entire Glee Club flips out and begins smiling and opening their mouths like kids catching snowflakes on their tongues but thank the lord of all that is glorious in the world of character consistency, Santana remains fairly icy throughout.
Meanwhile, Finn’s grinning like a cheetah who just got fistfucked by a five vegan turkey dogs. At one point, his entire head begins to expand, like a balloon.
Santana: “Thank you guys, thank you Finn, especially. You know, with all the horrible crap I’ve been through in my life, now I get to add that.”
You know, with all the horrible crap I’ve already been through in this episode, at least Santana said that.
Some other things happen involving, I think, a Will/Emma scene in the Teachers’ Lounge or maybe an office-related event involving a journaling voiceover re: Sue Sylvester’s madcap race for the senatorial seat via Cooter’s cooch:
Butttt anyhow, back at Manslaughter Lady Music Week, Puck is slaughtering fields of unborn lesbians like a Roto-Rooter by “singing” one of Melissa Etheridge’s many Odes to Stalking, “I’m the Only One.”
Puck is making a breast cancer survivor cry gay tears, which is against all the rules for all the things:
COME ON DUDES — you’ve already taken government, the world economy, television, movies, literature, religion, sports, Logo and prison, can’t you let us keep our lesbian folk-rock music?
Cut to the hallway, where Quinn attempts to seduce Puck into a weekend sleepover to play hide the salami which relates, somehow, to whatever enigmatic plotstravangza the writers gifted Dianna Agron this week, but Puck turns her down because Quinn is approximately ten years short of the minimum required age for any passengers interested in riding Puck’s pony.
Later and/or simultaneously in the heedful hallways of Finn Hudson High, Finn the Decider is ambling over to Santana to vomit some words in her face. Finn’s probably bored, he’s already been to Wendy’s twice and Rachel’s compulsively micro-managing the electoral process and brushing her hair. He just watched Ke$ha’s “It Gets Better” video and has a lot of feelings:
Finn wants to know how she likes his “lesson” thus far.
Santana: “Why are you getting so worked up about this?”
Finn: “Because I don’t want you to die.”
OH FOR CRYING OUT LOUD OVER THE GRAVE OF ALL THE REAL PEOPLE FOR WHICH THIS IS A REAL ISSUE JESUS CHRIST ALMIGHTY GODDESS IN HEAVEN ON A CRACKER FUCK ME IN THE EAR.
Finn: “A few weeks ago, some kid who made one of those “It Gets Better” videos killed himself. You deal with your anxiety surrounding this stuff by attacking other people and some day that’s not gonna be enough and you’re gonna start attacking yourself.”
Okay, firstly, have some motherfucking respect for the fact that Jamey Rodemeyer was an actual person — a person very unlike Santana Lopez — an actual human being, not a little trick you can pull out to infuse a lackluster episode with faux-emotional-weight ’cause you can’t actually be bothered to think about anything more complicated or character-specific than that.
Santana: “Thanks but that’s not gonna happen. I’d miss me too much.”
Next: IT GETS WORSE
Santana, clearly tortured by the possibility of not being fully embraced by all the straight and/or white guys in her class, is serenaded by a stripped-down version of “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” which is a song written by a man. At some point, Finn literally sits in front of Santana’s face, directly serenading her, and at some other point I believe Artie wheels over to penetrate her cheek with his eyeballs and honestly it’s all quite unbearable.
Finn’s angling to make his point about Santana’s latent desire to stab herself in the heart by doing something so patronizing, sanctimonious and obnoxious that even I wanna kill myself by the time the song’s over. To stave off those temptations I spent the scene in child’s pose:
Although the jury’s still out on why Finn’s so convinced that Santana’s got a screw loose, if we accept his inference as remotely true (which I don’t, but whatever), then this song shouldn’t be Finn’s! It should be Rachel, Tina, Quinn and Mercedes singing “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” to Santana and Bi-Brittany. Ideally in boyshorts and white tank tops. But having the boys do it? A complete total overall unforgettable waste of time.
Santana, possessed by anthrax or tracker jacker juice, actually thanks Finn…
…and then she hugs Finn.
(I actually was in Child’s Pose during this, I’m just going off the screencaps)
Cut to Finn Hudson High’s expansive auditorium, where the students are gathering to cast their votes for Senior Class President. Who will they pick? The hockey player, Bi-Bi-Brittany with the candy or Gay-Gay-Kurt with the salad bar? The fate of approximately ten minutes of follow-up three weeks from now hangs in the balance.
Santana and Brittany cavort boisterously and cutely in the background of Jacob Ben-Whatshisface’s Internet Page Video, largely obscured by his giant melon, and Brittany says she’s voting for the hockey player.
“Team Brittany all the way,” says an uncharacteristically delighted and not-remotely-psychologically-damaged Santana Lopez. It’s true she never looked this happy with Sam or Finn or Puck or whomever.
Kurt says he feels like a lamb waiting to be slaughtered, but Finn helpfully reminds him that it’s not over ’til all the votes are counted. That’s just how time works. Finn is so smart and helpful!
There’s a brief and very funny voting montage which includes Puck writing in Ross Perot, Mercedes voting for Kurt ’cause “if Santana’s girlfriend wins, I’ll never hear the end of it,” Quinn voting for the one who is “most girl” and Santana adorably plastering her ballot with a sweet lady-kiss, which’s the most girl-on-girl action you’ll be getting this episode so lap it up like a 44 cent stamp, girls.
Also I have this in my notes:
“Cooter likes to take it up the butt, is what’s happening here.”
Now that Santana’s ad has implicitly hit the airwaves, the men of Finn Hudson High look at Santana with dramatically unbridled male-on-lesbian lust. The slow-cam suggests that this is a new special situation, incredibly unlike the male-on-straight-girl lust habitually cast her way for the entirety of her adolescence.
Suddenly, Jughead Jones corners Santana with a friendly offer to fuck the gay right out of her and before she can enforce a zero tolerance asshole policy on his face, Mercedes and The Girls pop up like a tiger pack. Mercedes is alllllll up in his face. “Move your busted creeper ass. Now.”
“Easy girls, I’m just trying to make her normal,” he protests.
“She is normal,” says Bi-Brittany.
Quinn, drawn to the action by the scent of a smackdown, shows up to say “It’s not a choice, idiot. But even if it were, you’d be our last choice.”
Lest the Men of Finn Hudson High suspect Santana’s lesbianism is just another example of a nubile young female experimenting with faux-lesbian-action for male entertainment before ultimately returning permanently to Hot Heterosexual Man Meat, The Girls break into a song about nubile young females experimenting with faux-lesbian-action for male entertainment before ultimately returning permanently to Hot Heterosexual Man Meat.
Glee’s glittery version of Katy Perry’s insufferable “I Kissed a Girl” (written by three men and allegedly one woman) is still hard to dislike, because it’s pretty and poppy and fun. Possibly the highlight of the episode, even — but also, who choreographed this, Punky Brewster?
The boys present looks of approval and other positive emotions while the girls do lots of things. None of those things are kisses. However, those things are “dance moves” and those “dance moves” include mock-petting Santana from both sides, assembling a butt-to-butt train, clumsily developing a Chorus Line, tapping each other repeatedly on the shoulder and shaking their hips like many many bon-bons.
At the song’s end, Santana throws out, “I told my parents last night, and they were actually okay with it,” and despite the consistent lady-patience and compassion we’ve exhibited throughout Kurt’s 56 Coming Out Episodes, 75 Magic Dates and 5,452 Dad-Son conversations, that’s it. Just that one magical line.
Rumor has it Ricky Martin and Gloria Estefan may guest as Santana’s parents, which’ll be fun but also possibly awkward for Gloria because she’s also secretly gay. You’ll see.
Figgins then summons Kurt to his dark chamber of arbitrary judgment to accuse him of stuffing the ballot box (that’s what she said). Brittany won, sidenote, but regardless Kurt did no such thing (he’s a bottom, duh!), which means, clearly, Rachel Berry did, because that’s what Rachel Berry does: she prioritizes the ends over the means every time, though it seems almost noble this time, because even though it was kinda about her, it was mostly about Kurt.
Finn, Chief of the Morality Police, scolds Rachel for stuffing the ballot box and potentially condemning Kurt to the annals of suspension. God, I’m so glad men exist to stop us ladies from killing and suspending everyone with tampons, salad tongs and inferior judgment!
I gotta admit this episode made me miss episodes that were mostly about Rachel, which is insane.
During a really long commercial break, I forgot that I was watching Glee in the first place.
Cut to Santana’s Abuela’s Cocina, where Santana’s ready to spill the lesbian beans, no salsa.
Santana summons all the confidence and eloquence everybody but Finn knows she’s always had and says, with her whole entire heart:
Santana: “I’ve watched you my whole life and you’ve always been so strong, done exactly what you believe and never cared what anybody else thought of you… I love girls, in the way I’m supposed to love boys. It’s just something I want to share with you because I love you so much. I want you to know me. When I’m with Brittany, I finally understand what people are talking about when they’re talking about love.”
Santana: “And I’ve tried so hard to keep this locked up inside, but everyday just feels like a war. And I walk around so mad at the world, and I’m really just fighting with myself. I don’t wanna fight anymore, I’m just too tired. I have to just be me.”
We’ve just taken a giant step into Santana’s special heartspace — and yes, in that place I cry a special tear, both for this scene and for all the scenes just like it that we’ll never see. Then things get ugly.
Santana so rarely offers her truth, it seems so harsh to refuse it.
Abuela: “Everyone has secrets, Santana. They’re called secrets for a reason. I want you to leave this house, I don’t ever want to see you again… you made your choice, now I have made mine… it’s selfish of you to make me uncomfortable… the sin isn’t in the thing, it’s in the scandal, when people talk about it aloud.”
Santana: “So you’re saying it would have been better if I would’ve kept this a secret?”
Abuela repeats that she’d like Santana to get her lesbian ass out the door but Santana has to break down and cry a lot first, which I mean — duh — but she’s likely just as confused as we are. God seeing Santana cry is the worst.
This’d be an opportune time to show us how she feels when she’s with Brittany instead of just telling us about it — in fact, this ENTIRE EPISODE is a nonstop opportunity to delve into Brittany and Santana’s relationship — but we’re all dying to know what’s happening with Puck and Quinn so let’s get to that!
[I can’t wait ’til next week when they’ll probably drop abuela like a hot potato. Papas fritas!]
In the next scene, there’s some heterosexual action, interrupted by Quinn’s weirdo attitude, called out by Puck:
At some point Puck becomes smart for approximately two minutes during which he bestows the Male Gift of Psycho-analyzation to her:
Puck: “You don’t need a baby or a dude or anyone to make you special. If there’s one person I’m sure is gonna get the hell out of this town and make something of herself, it’s you.”
Despite the GAH ANOTHER WISE MAN factor, I think that’s all Quinn needed to hear — ’cause she’s been declaring her inevitable Lima Barefoot-and-Pregnant Binging-on-Rice-Krispie-Treats future to everyone who will listen and nobody ever disputes it, or tells her that she could be more than that. And as soon as he says it, it seems true. She asks if maybe they can just cuddle now. So they do.
Kurt, wearing an afghan/poncho/turtleneck/abomination and, I believe, grey leggings, addresses the class to “personally and publicly congratulate President Brittany” because he likes to hear himself talk.
Brittany hugs him and says he’s still a unicorn, which’s all that truly matters to anyone except, apparently, NYADA. Blaine squeezes Kurt’s encased thigh and says they’ll “figure it out” (or something) because Blaine is perfect and sweet like that.
Also, Sugar Fucking Motta’s truly the most unicorn of them all, look at that bitch, she’s wearing anal beads around her neck and a gypsy scarf and a fuzzy white sweater weaved out of Mrs.Claus’ beard:
Now it’s Santana’s turn to address the class:
Santana: “So I picked a song that gives me strength and gets me through. The same way all of you do. The struggle continues, but at least I know I’m not alone.”
And ain’t that the truth. She’s got her gay allies, Kurt and Blaine, and she’s got her bisexual girlfriend Brittany, and she’s got Rachel with her embedded gay-dad-sensitivities and she’s got her old friend Quinn, doesn’t she? So it makes perfect sense that directly after saying, “at least I know I’m not alone,” Santana promptly locks eyes with…
Brittany’s pretty busy watching paint dry, I guess:
If you’ve got one ounce of a “will to live” left, it’s time for a rousing rendition of the kd Lang classic “Constant Craving,” starring Santana and three other storylines that aren’t Santana.
Post-musical-number, Rachel arrives, tear-stained, and announces she’s been suspended and can’t compete in sectionals. This is devastating, because this ups the chances that Finn and his autotune will be prominently featured at sectionals. LORD HAVE MERCY.
My favorite part of this episode was reading The Hunger Games during the commercial break, thinking about making this playlist, and eating this Amy’s Pizza I just baked in the oven.
No but really, in conclusion — when Santana came out I felt like I had my girl. I got her. I was like that, a razor-tongued slut who hated everybody, who built emotional walls like they’d magically become a fortress one day and not just a giant moat, who never understood why my feelings about boys were so fucked up and my feelings about girls were so scary but also easy but also so far away. And so I’m let down. I never expected Glee to give me the only coming out speech I ever related to, but then it did and then it went back to being just like everything else, which is to say — lackluster.
I hope that every girl reading this knows in her deepest hearts of hearts and also in the forefront of her brain that the only way this will ever change is for us to do it for ourselves. Is for women to be the writers, the producers, the CEOs. We are the only ones who know how to tell our own stories. We’re the only ones paying attention.
In other words: when all their promises are gone, we’re the only ones.