Will someone please tell me why this past week’s Glee dose was a double episode? I imagined, like any sane person, that this was the season finale. But no, apparently there’s one more pile of Glee for us next week. Regardless, because no one should have to recap two hours of Glee in one week, I’m stepping in for the recap of “Props” and Riese will hold your hand, as usual, through “Nationals.”
We open on the “That’s What You Missed On Glee” Guy reminding us all that Tina exists and, because Glee is at times painfully self-aware about how no one gives her any attention. I imagine the way the conception for this episode went down was someone in the writers room was like, “Shit. If we don’t do an episode about Tina Cohen-Chang soon, Jenna Ushkowitz might quit leaving us without any female characters who aren’t graduating.” Then, I assume, everyone realized that they forgot to give Tina any backstory whatsoever beyond a fake stutter and rounding the bases with Mike Chang. Then Ryan Murphy stood on top of a chair and announced his spectacular idea to do an episode that seems like it’s going to be about Tina but is actually about Rachel. I’m getting ahead of myself. We’ll get there. Let’s do this.
Sue, who the show would like to remind you is helping the Glee Club in order to keep her position as coach of Cheerios or something, is furious about Unique’s success as a high school show choir sensation. Unique, keeps being referred to as a he/she — which makes me want to curl up and die — because clearly Ryan Murphy never thought to pin down whether Unique was a drag queen or a transwoman and take the time to Google the vast difference between the two.
So that’s going on. Sue has decided that Unique is basically a great “prop,” which is a strange mix of erasure and objectifiction (OMG IT’S THE TITLE), and therefore Kurt has to wear a dress a perform as “Porcelina.”
Even though Kurt has repeatedly expressed interest in drag/high fashion/breaking gender norms/wearing a kilt, this is just too much. Show choir drag? Nuh uh. Cue cute flashback to Kurt & Blaine as Snookie & that other guy for Halloween
Back on Rachel Berry 2.0 (the Rachel who wouldn’t come up with six back up plans and also is getting married to some dweeb) sings Jason Mraz’s “I Won’t Give Up” about losing out on NYAYAYAYDADA. I’ve never actually heard the original but I dig this song and Lea kills it. Unfortunately I spent most of the song thinking about how similar her hair is to mine in college. Maybe I should grow it out again. Or cut it. I’m tired of being in this middle place with my hair, you know?
Oh and Rachel called Whoopi Goldberg for the millionth time to invite her to Nationals in Chicago instead of just asking her to, I don’t know — look, I don’t actually know how performing arts colleges work, but I’m confident that this isn’t it.
Right so, in the magical land of the Choir Room, Mr. Schue writes NATIONALS on the whiteboard (which is a total waste of school resources) and everyone cheers. Instead of letting Brittany and Santana sing “Somebody to Love,” the New Directions are going to (duh) do a whole new set-up of songs. “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” will kick the team off, followed by Rachel singing “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now” and (thank god) a Troubletones song. Don’t worry, this is just a teaser, none of these songs get sung in this episode.
Sue suggests Kurt sing in drag for a Troubletones rendition of “What a Feeling” complete with welding face shields and leg warmers. ‘Cause you gotta get a gimmick. Right girls?
Sue’s idea to get some props is not only awful and terrible but also totally original. No one at McKinley High has ever dared used props.
Mr. Schue wants to make sure everyone is putting in their damned hardest work to win at Nationals because, well if there are 98,817 high schools in American and let’s say one-tenth of them have show choirs, then that’s 9,882 show choirs around the country. If Sectionals are a competition between three schools then 3,294 sectional winning schools go to Regionals. Thus, since Regionals is also a competition between three schools, 1,098 schools must be competing at Nationals. Holy shit! Everyone better have their team work game face on.
Womp womp. Tina does not have her game face on.
She’s pissed because she never gets solos (which is true), not even in the bullshit “weekly assignments” that the kids waste their valuable sec/reg/nationals prepping time on. Rachel always gets the solos! Unfair! “I’m just a human prop.” Oh my God there’s the title again!
Mike Chang is like WTF TINA SHUT UP because Rachel is a senior and seniors get the solos. Hm. That didn’t seem to matter a lick when Rachel was a sophomore.
Real talk, Jenna Ushkowitz has an excellent voice. She really should be getting more solos. Unfortunately when Lea Michele sings even the birds stop to listen. You know who should actually be having this freak out? Blaine or Kurt or Puck! Because Finn, who we know will be given the male solo, really actually, technically, can’t really sing. And I hate his face. Honestly though, it’s high school, and if I learned anything from Pep Band, Jazz Band and Wind Ensemble, it’s that teachers play favorites and seniors get solos. Duh-done.
Rachel storms out after Tina (because nobody storms out like Rachel storms out) and drops some old school Rachel Version 1.0 by offering Tina $50 to sit down and shut up. Also Rachel’s like wah wah wah you have no idea how hard it is it run a million clubs we’ve never seen, sing every day and keep her boyfriend happy and stuff.
She also has to blow dry and flat iron those bangs every day. Every single day. But Tina’s all, “Nah, I just want to be you for a moment” which at least explains her transition from punk/goth to sort of retro.
Now let’s go to the mall! Kurt and Blaine are enjoying chair massages and reiterating once again that being gay doesn’t mean you also want to do drag/are transgender (because Glee continues to conflate these identities or something, I mean, whatever they’re doing, they’re doing it wrong). Also they’re going to enjoy a hot pretzel which just really makes me want a hot pretzel. Funny how pretzels work like that.
Meanwhile Tina is texting while walking (DANGER DANGER) and falls in to a fountain and bumps her head which looks like the most painful shit ever and I had to look away every time I watched it. The bump triggers a Glee Freaky Friday switcheroo.
So now Tina is Rachel and also wet.
Same dealio for Santana and Artie, Blaine and Puck, Kurt and Finn, Mercedes and Brittany, Mike and Teen Jesus, Quinn and Sugar, Trouty Mouth and the Glee Project Irish Kid and, of course, Will and Sue.
Most importantly/revoltingly the Santana/Artie switch results in Artie sporting a ponytail that reminded me of when you see a dead squirrel on a back road in Western Mass that was just maybe killed with a BB Gun. Also it meant that Santana had like a weirdly sexy/cut menswear getup on. Santana can do no wrong. Also she totally looks like Rashida Jones in Our Idiot Brother which I didn’t see but Grace assured me had lesbians in it.
Also I feel like Puck/Finn’s interpretation of Blaine/Kurt’s relationship reminded me that I love Darren Criss now and forever.
Now that she’s the star of the Glee Club, Tina-as-Rachel sings “Because You Loved Me” by Celine Dion which I totally loved because, guys, I’m a secret Celine Dion fan. Totally and completely. Technically though, the real Tina still hasn’t had a substantial singing moment since “ABC” in Hold on to Sixteen.
Quinn’s version of Sugar is totes adorbs and slightly gay.
Also Tina’s wig totally has me thinking about my own hair again. But that’s neither here nor there. So cue the crowd loving it and a standing ovation.
Post-standing-ovation, Tina-as-Rachel goes up to Rachel-as-Tina and tells her all about what a wonderful back-up singer she really is and how much she means to the group. Rachel-as-Tina tells Tina-as-Rachel to follow her NYAYAYAYDAADADA dreams and stalk that music professor some more. Lea makes a weirdly hot goth beteedubs and her imitation of Tina is very subtle and also perfect.
With that, the dream sequence ends. I thought it might go all episode. So yeah, Tina didn’t actually need a genuine apology from anyone to make her feel better, just like a weird self apology from herself to herself sort of. I think this is sort of like how sometimes when you’re really mad at someone and want them to apologize, sometimes if you apologize to them it makes you feel better anyways.
I think it’s time for me to switch from green tea to lemon zinger and for a page break.
Pages: 1 2See entire article on one page
I love how Rachel-as-Tina looks like all the Avril Lavigne fangirls I knew in middle school. And, also, really hot.
Naya as Artie = Gasp + Swoon.
My elaborate scheme to work a picture of Rashida Jones into a recap was flawless.
$100 bucks if you can work Rashida Jones into every Glee post going forward. Thx!
I try to read the ambiguity surrounding Unique’s identity as their own confusion. It’s probably just Glee effing things up, but it makes me feel better to think it’s Unique not being entirely sure what they are. Gender identity is something I struggle with too, some days I feel like I’m just a wannabe drag king, whereas other days it’s more of a, yeppp I’m definitely bigender. So I can relate to that part of Unique’s character, even if it’s just me applying wayyyy too much queer theory to Glee’s abuse of pronouns.
Yeah, but constantly throwing around He/She is super offensive. Haven’t the writers ever heard of using They as a gender neutral pronoun? Jesus Christ seriously.
I agree. This is sloppiness from Glee, and He/She is straight out not OK, but aspects of the character weirdly relatable from a teenage bigender perspective.
I enjoyed about seven seconds of this episode and they were Kurt and Blaine as Jersey Shore people and Santana saying wanky when Sue used the word “grinding”.
1) Re: Your hair. Cut it. Summer is coming. Also, global warming.
2) Every time Jane Lynch mentioned Jennifer Beals/wore a vest, it made me think of Joyce Wischnia, her weird uterus game, and that time Alice called her “Mr. Wischnia.”
There wasn’t enough of HeMo’s legs in this episode.
This episode surprised me because it was like OMIGOD GLEE IS BACK WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED WHY COULDN’T THEY HAVE DONE THIS ALL FUCKING SEASON?? And I was in tears when Puck and Bieste had their scene in the locker room. Legitimately. Oh god my heart.
p.s. Lizz – Santana said wanky because of a “grinding” comment that was made. It was pretty obvious why she said that.
yep… an episode that was supposed to highlight some of Jenna Ushkowitz’s talents… becomes all about Rachel.
as long as I can count the Britanna kisses on one hand, I’m not cool with one of them being actually between two hetero characters. if not for the kiss in the next ep, I would have been actually pissed off about that.
I wish the switch thing had lasted longer though. Brittany and Mercedes did a good job, I thought, and Santana all dorked out as Artie was awesome/hot.
google dr. she bloggo’s review of the episode. i actually really like her take of this episode as basically acknowledging that tina is more than talented and capable enough to get the solos, but in order to do that she needs to be rachel berry. bonus points to the episode for highlighting how much of an idiot finn is. dr she bloggo: http://www.drshebloggo.com/2012/05/rbi-report-props.html
honestly, this is the only episode all season i’ve not been enraged about or bored by, and have actually emotionally reacted to in ways unrelated to offended anger. and all those puck/bieste scenes? solid gold. maybe it’s just that i haven’t seen good will hunting since it was in theatres, but watching both scenes side-by-side, i think mark salling out-acted matt damon there, and i feel for puck. this storyline, and that ranting/crying scene in the locker room, have been so long coming, and however mad i am at the show for putting it off so long, at least the payoff was well worth it. if only that puck/shannon relationship had come sooner.
yes, i’m finally mature enough to judge an episode, and individual scenes within the episode, independent of the general offensive mess that this show has mostly become. honestly, i wish the whole season had been this good.
THAT’S WHY I LIKED SANTANA AS ARTIE
oh my heart
Also, “Grinding Union” #wanky
I liked this episode! Every time they manage to do an episode that isn’t a complete train wreck my reaction is WOOOOOO and then to excitedly talk about it for a week until they manage to do another shitty one.
ahh refri(d)gerator. oft googled, i’m sure.
This felt like 43 minutes of teaching Tina to give up the fight to be noticed and accept the status quo. Congratulations Glee.
But Lizz you are more hilarious than you could ever know.
Whoopi Goldberg is almost – ALMOST – enough to make me watch Glee instead of just reading the recaps, on account of how when I was a baby gay (in Catholic school!) I saw Sister Act and REALLY REALLY wanted Mary Clarence and Mary Roberts to be BESTEST FRIENDS forever and ever and they could go to Reno together and minister to the hookers and sing together and everything!
(I was twelve and I hadn’t heard of shipping yet).
Unfortunately, comparing Sister Act to Glee is sort of like comparing a fine Camembert to the stuff between your toes after a ten mile hike.
When I was telling my friend about this episode I invented loads of false spoilers and then she watched it and was really disappointed none of this stuff actually happened. My favourite is “spoiler: Mr Schue is now bald because your mom wanted her chest hair back”
I really liked this episode to be honest. By the end of it I felt like crying about the 18* previous episodes that could have been as good as this one and weren’t.
*I exclude “Heart” because that one was good too.
Same same same same same
Lizz, this recap was wicked excellent. Your wit did not go unnoticed, you should write more recaps! Of anything!
Well first off, Glee had two episodes on one day before the finale because they didn’t want to interfere with the American Idol finale next week. So they doubled up before hand.
I loved everyone’s switch and impressions of each other. It was hilarious. :)
Check out my glee blog <3
Ohh!! Thanks for clarifying. I thought I was watching the season finale all night.
Sometimes life is hard.
This recap was really great! I’m glad I’m not the only one that hears nyayayadadablahblah every time it’s mentioned, which is a lot.
Also,when Puck and Bieste started singing Taylor Swift I almost died.
Good job on the recap, buuuuut isn’t Pucks exam European Geography? #geek
And doesn’t she let him try it because she wants him to I dunno… Try, not shag her?
Also: “selfish little twat who is no more entitled to her attention than the other billions of people who come on to Hollywood Squares.”
It was kind of a relief seeing Rachel knocked off her high horse of entitlement… Knocked off Finn.
“And after we finish her costumes we’re all going to take turns making sure Rachel is emotionally and physically satisfied”
I can has Naya.
Schue is that tracksuit was even more pervy than usual, he cannot pull off Sue’s snark
Look at Santana as Artie. She is by far the cutest.
I also think that Quinn looks ‘totes adorbs and slightly gay’ every episode, if by ‘slightly gay’ you mean ‘really gay for Rachel’
I understand this was a good episode, but I was still too bored to watch beyond the switcheroo part.
Also, Artie with a ponytail was creepy, but bespectacled Santana was totally adorable!
First and foremost… Salve Regina in Sister Act is potentially my favourite scene in any film, ever. You could’ve posted that alone and this recap would be the best ever.
As for this episode:
My dislike for Finn has (surprisingly, but rightfully so) not transferred to Cory Monteith – as I liked him as Kurt.
I agree re: the Puck/Bieste scene – they did do well with what they had. I also realise that I will probably always respond emotionally to kids-being-messed-up-by-their-parents storylines. IT’S RELATABLE.
Most significantly… what stood out to me was Tina’s line after she sang: “My first standing O”. I feel like I may be the only person whose mind went to a dirty/that’s what she said kinda place after hearing that.
I hate to say it (because Rachel can be really annoying) but Rachel is incredibly hot as Averil Lavigne, er I mean Tina (and Lea does a really job playing her).
And the thumbnail picture of Puck as Blain scares the hell outta me. I keep thinking he’s going to appear at the end of my bed and stand there smiling creepily at me the whole night.
Dear Autostraddle: PLEASE stop using the word ‘lame’.
I especially love how after Tina fell into the fountain, the guys were like, “We think you hit your head pretty hard. We need to get you back to the Glee club!” I’m pretty sure none of the members are nurses.
Santana could kiss me where it hurts any day…
So I was looking at the screenshot of Puck in that horrendous drag and then got sad because that dress just so happens to be sitting in my closet, though now when I look at it i feel all gross and dirty and it doesn’t look pretty anymore….
maybe i’ll just lock it away and try to wear it a again in a few months?
I have so many feelings about that dress existing in real life. So many feelings.
You can be gay and transgender and in to drag but I think it’s a given that I don’t trust Glee to understand any of the words I just said.
This is the first glee episode I’ve really enjoyed all season. The switcheroo was adorable and I actually found myself caring for the characters by the end of the episode.
(Also, Jane Lynch was smokin’ in menswear, DAMN)
I love a lady in menswear, and Jane Lynch is no exception.