Glee 311 Recap: Michael Would Probably Not Do This

This week on Glee, absolutely nothing happened. Brittany spoke maybe twice, Santana was off her game with insults and Sebastian succeeded in flying so far over the top that I’m shocked, really, that he didn’t fall on his head and get eaten by wolves. Furthermore, the agonizingly existant relationship between Finn and Rachel plodded awkwardly through the Idontgiveashit lake of lost lesbian minutes and emerged engaged on the other side. Just like Jane Eyre.

That being said, I fucking loved this goddamn episode! MICHAEL JACKSON GOODNESS!
Also, Brittany and Santana are gonna make out soon — on Valentine’s Day to be exact — so I will wait for my pudding.

Wanna watch it?

Wanna watch this?

Ok, let’s begin!

mercedes stole her outfit from best lesbian erotica of 2003

So, one of the Sectional Judges was “high as a kite” during judging, apparently, which is the reason The Troubletones lost the Contest Show, according to the Troubletones. Kurt disagrees and insists New Directions won because they hogged the stage for like fifteen minutes JUST KIDDING because they did a Michael Jackson song. Apparently this Michael Jackson fella is like the leprechaun of Glee clubs. Irish Breakfast really oughta go home at this point, what does he really bring to the table besides sweater vests.

Also, Kurt gave Brittany’s cat liposuction and turned the excess skin into a “hat”:

prince charming and the pillow princess

Enough of this nonsense talking! It’s time for the first musical number, Wanna Be Starting Somethin’!

Blaine, in the white jacket of an athlete from the past, dances with the sexual confidence of an adult and the joyful expectation of youth. The dancing children follow him through the hallways, into the library, and onto the glittery stage. Now we’re all in flashy costumes and everyone is Lord or Lordess of the Dance, all sex and 80s-style glitz. Santana’s dressed as a Sexy Nutcracker or maybe a Sassy Toy Soldier and Brittany is dressed as her Gentle Dominatrix Friend.

Next we travel to the ever-remodeling Java Joint, where the team is satisfying their never-ending craving for to-go cups and winterwear while discussing Rachel’s inexcusable Michael Jackson ambivalence, everybody else’s Michael Jackson love and Santana’s desire to throw a mocha in Rachel’s face.

also nobody wants to stand in that motherfucker of a line and get a new mocha

Then, like a snake in the Garden of Eatin’ and Drinkin’ Coffee, Sebastian rains on their espresso parade by showing up, lords-a-leaping in tow.

Kurt: “Does he live here or something? Seriously he is ALWAYS here.”

Turns out during one of their many AM phone chats, Blaine slipped to Sebastian that the New New Directiontones would be covering “MJ” at regionals, so Sebastian’s decided to go all Bring it On-ish on their asses and decide that The Woebegone Warblers will also be doing Michael Jackson, who as you may/may not know, is an obscure pop musician from the 80s and 90s and a bit of the ’00s who recently passed away.

man vs. wild

Luckily he sang like five thousand songs, so unless The Warblers plan on pulling a New Directions and hog the stage for three years and an intermission, I think we’ll be okay, but whatever. So then, this:

Sebastian: “Oh hey Kurt, I didn’t recognize you, you are wearing boy clothes for once.”
Santana: “Alright Twink, I think it’s time that I show you a little Lima Heights hospitality –”
Sebastian: “Unless you wanna join your relatives in prison that’s probably not the best idea.”

He goes on to say something about pinatas and really this would be an example of someone being so arbitrarily and bitingly racist that it stops being shockingly funny and starts being another opportunity to say, “OH COME ON, who would EVER say that in real life?” Also, props to Santana for standing up for her fellow Gay.

At Glee Club, everyone yaps about Blaine being a Warbler-4-Lyfe and a Traitor until Finn The Mighty Sensei opens his piehole and spews out some cheesy nonsense about teams. “Couldn’t have said it better myself,” says Will because, of course, he never says anything for himself anymore anyhow. Finn should be on salary.

they're growing up and becoming homosexuals so fast

Will’s magical whiteboard word of the week is WWMJD, which stands for “What would Marion Jones do?” and the answer is, she’d win three Gold Medals at the Olympics and then get in trouble for taking performance-enhancing drugs. It’ll be like the Sudafed episode, redux.

Time out: The way Glee talks about Michael Jackson this episode is so oddly arbitrary at times, like they could’ve stuck any pop star’s name into these kids’ easy sentences: “Michael Jackson would fight back!” and things like that, these intense generalities. “If Michael had listened to all that shit people said about him, he’d never have made all that music!”

Now, I’m no Michael Jackson superfan or expert, but aside from Artie’s Wikipedia Facts, nobody gets specific about Michael, and that’s unfortunate because Michael WAS specific. He was such a strange specific human being, specific in his beauty and in his decay and also in his talent. In other words, it’s obvious whoever wrote this episode is not a Michael Jackson fan but whoever choreographed this episode knew EXACTLY what they were doing.

Anyhoo, moving on…


The Warblers and the New Directions rendez-vous in a secluded parking garage to sing and dance. Santana and Blaine are like bugs-in-a-rug/bank robbers in their street clothes and black hoodies. The Warblers only have one outfit, like dolls. It’s time for BAD! Here’s Michael Jackson’s version, for your reference:

The number is hot and dark and punchy. The kids throb with the postured malevolence of mean baby birds as they play-kick the air and mock-fight with clenched fists and strained faces.

the shot of all those warblers jumping in the air reminds me of "totally fucked" from spring awakening

Then Santana has sex with the song and parts the sea and leads everybody to Egypt, where Sebastian throws a slushie at Kurt but gets Blaine instead. So now Blaine is basically blind or something. What a weird fucked-up Ohio these kids live in.

sebastian is taking cues from the pepper spray cop

So, back at Glee, Detective Finn surmises that Slushie had rocks or darts or maybe an atomic bomb in it. Will morphs into a doormat and insists the children let the consistently reliable “system” to handle it. It’s Artie’s turn to give the “we’re always bullied we have to stand up for ourselves” speech this week and he ends it with “and don’t give me any of that It Gets Better crap because I’m not interested in it getting better. I want it to be better, like, right now.”

I'd be happy to die for a taste of what Angel had -- someone to live for-- unafraid to say i love you

Guessing Murph hates the D-Sav. Anyhow it’s all a ploy to set up for SCREAM MOTHERFUCKERS! Here’s the Michael Jackson version:

Scream, for those of you who just got born, is Michael Jackson’s version of the Lindsay Lohan classic “Rumors,” regarding unfortunate press attention.

for your entertainment

When Scream  debuted in ’95, I was one of the 64 million viewers glued to my set ready to have Janet Jackson blow my face off with her artsy makeup and crazy hair and middle finger. It’s a song about aliens who live in a pressure tank who want to hide or destroy things. It was Janet and  Michael’s first duet so it was a big big deal. It’s such a hot fucking song.

Mike Chang’s got Adam Lambert all over his eyeballs and hair and Artie’s kicking his wheelchair and covering his ears and screaming and doing slick robot-like dance moves. Mike Chang is dancing, like really dancing, and they’re both dressed like alien space-warriors. They look like kids singing a song they barely understand or kids who want to be tougher than they are — but both of those ideas work for this song, too, maybe.

But part of what made it work, obviously, is that Michael Jackson’s entire life up until that point made him want to scream, especially the few years leading up to it. Meanwhile Artie has been upset for like two minutes.


We zip on over to the Ladies Room for a Lea/Dianna rendez-vous heart-to-heart that’ll enable Faberry shippers to write new lines to go with these graphics without having to pull from a bunch of different scenes.

it's just that the door won't stay shut? so if you could just like -- i dunno. hold it for me? i know it's weird but is that ok? I just don't want anyone walking in--

Rachel seeks Quinn’s advice on her stupid potential marriage to Finn because she’s completely lost her mind and NYADA is the absolute final one-and-only way to “make it” as a singer/actress EVER and her voice isn’t remotely Broadway-caliber WHAT?!

Quinn serves up a steaming platter of the truth, which’s Rachel absolutely CANNOT marry that giant monument to Play-Dough and Penis known as Finn Hudson because she’s got a big bright beautiful FUTURE and is a HUMAN.

besides i've got six vibrating dildos that'll give you a better ride than finn ever will

Oh, PS when she wasn’t ditching class with the other goth steampunk kids, Quinn was applying to Yale and got in. Hey-O!  Since we’re talking about New Haven, I’ll be on a panel at Yale this Sunday February 5th at 6pm about sex-positive writing! It’s for Sex Week 2012. LIVE IN THE FLESH! I even cut my bangs for you! You should COME!

Quinn: “I’ve dated Finn, Puck, Sam — even thought I loved some of them, but by the time the snow falls in New Haven next winter, I won’t know why.”

Speaking of feminism, Quinn and Rachel have pulled a switcheroo, as Quinn’s impending feministy song will cement. Quinn’s going to Yale and Rachel Berry’s pondering whether or not she ought to commit forever to a gigantic slab of Venison named Finn Hudson. Huh. Quinn reminds Rachel that her whole life-thing lies before her and she’s mega-talented and I mean WHAT THE FINN FUCK?!

Quinn: “Women are finding themselves in their 30s now! Every magazine says it! We hardly know what we’re gonna want in fifteen years.”

I refuse to make the obvious lesbian joke. I REFUSE. However, I will point out that Quinn & Rachel spend a lot of time in the bathroom and that my only distinct memory of talking to Lea was when she was asking me for boy advice in the bathroom at New World Stages. ANYHOW, Rachel’s acting like a psychotic baby lamb on tranquilizers AND uppers.

Quinn: “You can’t change your past. But you can let go and start the future.”

Quinn always expected a man would ultimately define her and that she’d exist in relation to him. And then there’s Rachel, who never considered that possibility and now, in a moment of fear, is blindsided by this deceptively safe choice because its a popular choice — getting married, staying put. But Rachel’s supposed to be more than that.

Obviously this is all Finn’s fault.


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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 3182 articles for us.


  1. During the morphing, I was totally remembering how mind-blowing and cool it was to see it for the first time when Black and White premiered.

  2. This reminded me of that one skins episode where Pop Idol winner Will Young played a school counsellor who was like, “What would Michael say?” “I’m bad?” “No, he’d say, gotta be starting something.”

    I like Will Young.

  3. I agree with your girlfriend. Kurt’s dad kills me… His speeches turn me into a crying, sniffling lil girl… every time.

  4. I remember watching the premiere of the Black and White video. You’re right, it was really special.

    also watching those Michael Jackson videos made me remember that I have the Michael Jackson: The Experience Wii game that is totally rad and I need to play it more.

  5. is 26 old? cause i remember all these videos and it just hit me that for others its all new…..bloody hell



    • i thought to myself ‘i bet paper-oh-flowers (that’s how i pronounce your name in my head) really liked this episode/bathroom scene’

      • Awwww you thought of me!?!? Yessssss. Life mission accomplished.

        Not gonna lie, I almost started crying because I thought they were going to forget that Quinn was a feminist and make her tell Rachel to marry Finn. That was so unexpected O_O

  7. They should stop pretending to not steal L Word plot lines and rename the coffee place The Planet. Santana can sing riot grrrl songs and Finn can further embrace being so lesbigay. Also, Sebastian needs a My Lover Cindy.

    • I pretty much watch this show the same way I watched The L Word the last few seasons. I tune out all the dialogue and instead of paying attention during sex scenes I pay attention during song numbers.

  8. That Santana gif!! Icanteven. It’s hypnotizing. Anyways, part of me dreads the upcoming Valentine’s Day episode because I’m sure it’ll involve a disgusting amount of Finchel, but I seriously can’t wait for Brittany and Santana to have some sexy screen-time. Also, for my mental health, I think I need Jane Lynch to be in every episode.

    • Spoiler alert! Valentine’s day is supposed to make all the good fandoms happy because the annoying ones aren’t focused on.

      (Also, Sue wanting a baby? What the fuck is this show doing with her…? Ugh.)

  9. I’m so glad I’m not the only one who was creeped out by “Ben” (it also didn’t help that every single time my brother put on the cassette he would sit on the floor, hugging Teddy Ruxpin all depressed for no reason.)I literally had to leave the room when they sang to Blaine.

    This is the first Glee in a while where I wasn’t completely bored or upset the whole time. Quinn was great this episode (finally a solo!)and you can’t go wrong with Santana in a skirt and blazer.

  10. Am I the only one who seriously enjoyed the RENT reference, then proceeded to sing it at the top of my lungs? Yes? Okay.

  11. *raises hand sheepishly*

    I, um, totally did not get that reference. I’ve never seen the video for Black or White. So for me that scene was frightening and uncomfortable and dated-looking but mostly just frightening.


    HUMAN NATURE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    MAY HAVE JIZZED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I’ll calm down now.

    • Sam’s my favourite dude, and that intro he had with: “We’re going to be seeing your name in lights for the rest of our lives, so we might as well start now!” made me vocally ‘awwww’.

        • I wish I could take credit for it ’cause it’s awesome but I can’t. I heard it after the Nationals episode last season when they first starting dating.

  13. As soon as Santana called Sebastian a twink, all I could think was, “People who are not ‘in’ on queer slang are gonna Google that now, and might be a little taken aback by the explicit results they will receive on their search if they don’t have the SafeSearch setting on.”

    Though I didn’t like that Mercedes somewhat cheated with that kiss with Sam, I really like Sam and Mercedes now. I think they’re sweet together. Loved the Burt and Kurt scene. Really touching.

  14. Holy flying fuck “Scream” was from ’95? I thought it was from ’98! Also the Faberry scene is FAB.

  15. my only complaint: why wasn’t Blaine dancing more during this episode? I’m still confused as to why producers decided to remove him for what could have been the mother of all Blaine 80’s cute dancing episodes.

    • They had to write him out for the time he stepped in on “How To Succeed” on Broadway. It overlapped with the end of the shoot of the Michael episode, 3×12 and 3×13. Personally, I think surely they could’ve come up with something better than rock salt in a slushie…

    • Blaine?! You’re worried about Blaine, of all people, not dancing? What about Heather fucking Morris? Where was *her* dance solo?

  16. Brittany only spoke once. She was supposed to speak twice. The first being a response to Schu’s WWMJD? –“Probably lead the Bulls to another championship” Although the one line she did get was definitely epic Brit, and I’ll take it. I didn’t think Santana’s insults were too off this episode. I actually liked her a lot. She can’t stand Blaine-at all. Yet, because someone else tried to mess with her fam, she took it upon herself to defend it’s honor (nvm Kurt completing flaking in the end…). She would’ve never done this a year ago.

    I love the character that is Santana. Mainly because she went from being “Cheerleader #2” in the Pilot, to essentially a headliner for Season 3. Her entire storyline was never supposed to happen. Brittana was never supposed to happen. As most do, I have a love/hate relationship with this show, but I will definitely be going down with this ship!

  17. I liked the episode too. Writing wise it was better than every episode since “Mash Off”. I was underwhelmed by the music, it sounded demo-ish at times, but Scream and Smooth Criminal were great, and I was pleasantly surprised with Never Can Say Goodbye.

    There was some serious foreshadowing going on during that Rachel/Quinn scene and I loved it. I don’t know why they do this but hey, not complaining!

    The Santana underboob scene, with the consequent remark about Kurt was the show taking a jab at themselves, I loved it. And Rachel sobbing at the lockers was kinda heartbreaking, she cries so well, hahaha.

    • Homegirl, they’ve been foreshadowing Quinn/Rachel since Season 1. It’s ABOUT TIME they brought it to the forefront.


      • hahaha, they are my OTP too! Yeah, they’ve had cute moments before but I think this week’s episode was specially obvious in the foreshadowing department!

  18. “Then Santana has sex with the song and parts the sea and leads everybody to Egypt”.

    The first of many that tickled, bravo *wipes tear*.

  19. I was in a room full of people where I had to explain the morphing scene from the “Black or White” video. They had never seen the real version. We are the same age. I am 26.

    This makes me feel either very cultured or really old.

  20. this episode made me feel, even more so than usual, like i had missed a very important part of my childhood. i’m the kid who never gets references to most 90s movies and tv shows because my parents gave me books instead. so anyway. never got the whole michael jackson thing. my girlfriend was super excited about this entire episode and sang along to all the songs…and i think i knew maybe one of the songs. sort of. and i had no idea ben was about a rat (was it really? i don’t get that).

    so tuesday night clearly brought up all sorts of emotions for me.

  21. I feel a tiny bit like a bad gay for not immediately getting the Rent reference. My thought process went something like : “Angel? I mean, I guess Buffy counted as the love of OHGOTITRENT.”

  22. Janet Jackson in the Scream video. Really. Wow.

    If I was Artie imagining this video I would pick Janet over Mike Chang. That’s the great thing about imagination.

  23. I love Finn and Rachel and am happy that Rachel said yes. They both deserve to be happy and with each other nthey will be happy.

  24. Riese, you totally nailed this entire episode in this one paragraph! This is why I only ever need AS for the recaps:

    “Now, I’m no Michael Jackson superfan or expert, but aside from Artie’s Wikipedia Facts, nobody gets specific about Michael, and that’s unfortunate because Michael WAS specific. He was such a strange specific human being, specific in his beauty and in his decay and also in his talent. In other words, it’s obvious whoever wrote this episode is not a Michael Jackson fan but whoever choreographed this episode knew EXACTLY what they were doing.”

    Disappointing, show.

  25. Did anyone else notice that Tina was 100% not present in the entire episode? Was anyone else bothered by that? Just me?

    Also, I liked the Samcedes number, and I was profoundly confused and a bit offended when Artie just like – got up and walked around.

    Glee handles pretty much 100% of all minority issues horribly, with the exception of like, explicitly gay stuff. Le sigh.

  26. Oh, apparently she was present in the first number, and the dance off with the Warblers, but I didn’t see her picture in Black and White.

    She is way overdue for a storyline, hmph.

  27. 1) Recap was, as usual, awesome. Every time I read one, I remember why I rely solely on Autostraddle for Glee, as opposed to the emotionally draining process of, y’know, actually watching the show.

    2) Some of the comments on that article about Santana and Brittany actually kissing (FINALLY) are ridiculous. Seriously.

  28. just fyi, here’s the video of 2Cello’s version of “Smooth Criminal:”

    So basically the sole creative re-intrepreation of a Michael Jackson song in the episode was not actually from the minds of the folks at “Glee.” I know it is incorrect to say they “stole” the arrangement and visual presentation, since the 2Cello’s guys were in the number, but it bothers me that most people watching probably marveled at the abilities of the Glee creative team. Also, it explains the random room full of chairs…turns out the room had nothing to do with Dalton!


    And that’s why this blog is the absolute best ever.

  30. I know it’s been 10 years but that caption of Santana not accepting facials anymore lives in my head rent free. I still think about that AT LEAST once a week. So on this day of Naya remembrance I wanted to say thank you for your amazing Gleecaps. They truly were the best thing about Glee – after Naya of course <3

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