Glee 402 Recap: Britney 2.NO

Welcome to the second recap of the fourth season of Glee, a television program which possibly jumped the shark before G-d created the sea and sky and now maintains an entertainment level vacillating between “watching paint dry” and “watching a pot boil and then watching the stove break and then watching the house burn down.”

next week on glee?

Finally this week, our dearest bisexual Brittany S. Pierce was granted her very own episode. Unfortunately, the writers of Glee managed to achieve the unthinkable by devoting an entire episode to a character with a girlfriend without including anything about the girlfriend! Glee employs some sneaky bastards.

I’m sorry this recap is so late! I turned 31 on Sunday and it was just too depressing to write a Glee recap on my birthday, you know? It was also too depressing to write it on Saturday, which’s the day I celebrated my birthday with my girlfriend (by visiting every bookstore in the Bay Area, duh) because she had to leave Sunday for a work thing. This is all terribly interesting to you, I’m sure, so let me summarize: everything is beautiful and nothing hurts. Just wanted to get that out of the way.

Oh also I feel like this recap is not funny. Sorry!

We open in the Hallowed Hallways of Haunted McKinley High, where professional actors/dancers/singers co-mingle with teenaged actors and winners of terrible reality television programs in a mutually sustaining ecosystem that I imagine keeps costs low enough to maintain a rotating roster of random big-name guest stars, like Kate Hudson! I don’t know if you missed the memo or last week’s episode, but Kate Hudson is in Glee this season. Why Kate Hudson? I have no idea. She’s like wallpaper to me. Anyhow! The hallways!

don’t text and drive, kiddos

Bisexual Unicorn Brittany is monologuing regarding her second go-’round at her senior year of high school:

Brittany: “My name is Brittany S. Pierce and I finally know how Jesus feels way up in his house in the North Pole because I am on top of the world. Senior year was awesome, and now I get to relive every minute of it. I’m head of the Cheerios, Vice Rachel of the Glee Club, and now I’m planning a Middle East-style sham election that will install me as senior class president for life.”

After Blaine busts up her voiceover by pointing out that she’s actually just talking to herself while strolling down the hall…

wait did you hear that, it sounds like bats

…Brittany segues into the evening’s first musical number!

hey what’s up we’re just stretching

It’s a rousing rendition of the Britney Spears single “Would You Hold It Against Me?”, a song which displays brilliantly the decline in Britney’s lyricism over the past 15 years and therefore seems like a song Brittany S. Pierce herself could’ve written.

still stretching

Following the musical number we cut to Sue Sylvester’s office, where Sue’s coming down hard on her young charge for failing spectacularly to even earn an “F” on her last exam.

is that pencil edible

Sue: “Your performance on the very same exam unearthed the hitherto undiscovered grade of F minus. You answered every question with “See other side,” where you composed an elaborate crayon-scape called Happyville, the town where Math was never invented.”

to be fair, this looks way better than the storyboard ryan murphy unveiled this morning

Brit-Brit explains:

Brittany: “Yeah, that’s me and that’s Santana and that’s Kurt and Rachel in Heaven and look that’s you!”
Sue: “Brittany, you’re a terrible role model for the Cheerios… the Cheerios grade point average has dropped three full points. My girls no longer see academic achievement as a worthy goal and yesterday I caught one of them trying to marry a squirrel.”
Brittany: “That’s because I believe in marriage equality for all land mammals.”

Sue kicks Brittany off the Cheerios and says she’ll give the esteemed position to Kitty, a.k.a. the poverty-stricken man’s Quin Fabray.


Thus dear Brittany totters home to video-chat with Santana, Queen of Our Hearts and Genitals.

the good news is that she knows how to select and operate a fancy laptop

Unfortunately, Santana’s too busy with cheer practice to talk much or “scissor-skype” later, unfortunately, as I imagine 30 minutes of scissor-skyping would be infinitely more entertaining than what we’ve been witnessing for the past four minutes and 17 seconds.

or we could scissor google-hangout later too, with the muppets

Okay, hold the horseradish: these girls have the stupidest most unrealistic lesbian relationship of all time! What do you think about this, Santana?

this is the same face she makes when thinking about finn hudson doing a naked potato sack race

That’s what I thought.

the unicorn is the most realistic part of this drawing

When Santana’s coming out to her family, Brittany doesn’t even show up in the episode, and when Brittany’s failing out of school and depressed, Santana barely has time to skype and fails to call, write, or come home for a visit? No.

ryan murphy receives the the hitherto undiscovered grade of F minus for lesbian executive realness

This is not how lesbian relationships work. Here’s how they work:

Girl #1 has feelings
Girl #1 shares her feelings with Girl #2
Girl #2 drops everything to completely immerse herself in the miseries of Girl #1 at the expense of everything else in her life
Girl #1 and Girl #2, having dropped everything to attend to Feelings, must re-assess their commitment to the outside world and begin making tentative steps to re-enter it.

Rinse, wash, repeat.

nope, no lesbians here (via


We smear briefly to New York City where Rachel is auditioning to be the fourth member of Hunter Valentine I MEAN sparring with her dance teacher, who is basically a trope in the body of Kate Hudson, forced to excrete an endless stream of cliches regarding the now-totally-cliche idea that Rachel Berry isn’t sexual, or whatever, and therefore can’t dance the tango, because this is totally how the world works and I already want to die.

oh yeah? if i’m so non-sexual then why am i so good at squirting, huh?


We then transition back to the spunky offices of the esteemed McKinley High, where Brittany’s been called into the counselor’s office because Will & Emma wanna re-ignite her dimming flame by forcing her to attend counseling. Brit-Brit shows up with Cheese Puffs and a shirt she snagged from the very fashionable McKinley High School Lost and Found:

grandma don’t need no maths

Brittany refuses the counseling offer, citing her busy schedule of eating cashews and bacon while watching Client List marathons.

you should see the un-airbrushed version of this sucker

We then smear over to Glee club, where Will’s decided the best way to get Brittany “back” is to dedicate an entire week to songs by the only musical artist Brittany S. Pierce has ever explicitly stated distaste for, Britney Spears!

basically it’s britney spears but with social media

Regardless, Glee‘s often at its best when it does a single-artist/group episode — some of its greatest musical numbers are from episodes devoted to one specific ouvre, such as Michael Jackson, Fleetwood Mac, Lady Gaga, Whitney Houston and Britney 1.0. I feel, genuinely, that “Touch of My Hand” would be a relevant group number for Brittany, Rachel, Kurt and Blaine. Here’s a refresher:

How do the rest of the children feel about Britney 2.0?

dudes and dudettes this is totally my moment to finally put together that “e-mail my heart” cover i’ve been sitting on all this time


is thinking about earlier that day when he saw jesus on a piece of toast


if somebody else takes “If U Seek Amy” then I might have to switch schools


rachel’s not here!

As Brittany noshes on Oreos in her nightshirt, Blaine and Artie perform a disturbing rendition of Justin Bieber’s “If I Was Your Boyfriend,” which I preferred as performed by Shannon at the A-Camp Talent Show on the last night of A-Camp two weeks ago.

once more, with snapping

Brittany’s reaction to this sweatered situation is as follows:

it was in that moment that brittany discovered the only sure-fire method for ceasing the emotional eating: this nauseating performance

Honestly, that’s way better than Britney’s reaction, though:


We thus starsweep cross-country to burly Bushwick, a Brooklyn neighborhood in which one can purchase a plethora of narcotics and also, apparently, find an affordable apartment for two wide-eyed 18-year-olds from The Hinterlands. Yes, it appears Rachel and Kurt are moving into the set of RENT, but in Bushwick, and on bicycles.

don’t get used to those bikes, kiddos, it’s not long before they’ll be stolen

The duo lavishes praise upon their new digs, brushing off potential concerns about the neighborhood being unsafe or far away because if there’s anybody who can weather a sometimes-dangerous neighborhood, it’s a flaming homosexual boy who often dresses like the lovechild of Major Magic and the Easter Bunny and a smokin’ hot nubile Ohio-bred songstress who, in addition to frequently donning an irritating beret even a saint would want to tear off her head, regularly sports Sexy GapKids Chic with Jailbait heels. Oh, youth!

i forgot to put this screencap in earlier but i think it would look really good here

No really, my friend Julia got her laptop stolen within like days of moving to Bushwick and it took at least five hours for me to get there from Harlem this one time. So, anyhow, who cares, this is TELEVISION! Let’s grab some wine and sit on the windowsill to discuss life, love, the future, cats, fedoras, gremlins, tweezers, dishtowels, water bottles, scabies, rabies, sofas, oak trees, gangrine, bleach, magazines, license plates and dingos.

I just keep wishing that I could think of a way to show them that they don’t own me, if I’m gonna die, I wanna still be me.

So, Kurt says that Rachel’s dance teacher, Kate Cassandra Count Hudson July Something, was once a Thing on Broadway. Then, one day, during a heart-stirring performance of Damn Yankees, Kate Cassandra Count Hudson July Something went ballistic on a dude whose cell-phone went off mid-performance and her entire breakdown was captured on YouTube forevermore. So I guess she attacked the wrong guy with a cell-phone.

you — how do you get reception in here? do you have t-mobile?

Cassie July’s no longer welcome on Broadway. Instead she must toil away her glory years at Fake Julliard, teaching Rachel Berry how to dance like her vagina is singing.

mckayla’s not sure about the sexy tango

Kurt suggests Rachel Berry give Kate Hudson the “sexy” she so clearly yearns for. In other words, Rachel’s gotta dig deep down into her allegedly repressed cervix and let Lea Michelle, Mistress of Innocent Raunch, burst forth from her womb and Vagina Monologue all over the tango.


Smear to the ever-inclusive hallways of McKinley High, where Unique is informing Marley that as the “new girls,” they’ve gotta stick together.

and then i was like “i’ll show you a lizard face, lizard!”

Thusly –

Unique: “First order of Bestie business: boys. Who have you got your eye on?”
Marley: “Jake’s kinda cute…”

ultimately, he’s not cuter than tegan or sara so everybody should really move on

Unique: “Oh honey no. Bad seed.”

you should see the face she makes when someone says they’re voting for romney

Marley: “Come on, he’s an artist…”
Unique: “You mean pick-up artist. Marley, everywhere you go in this school you see the wreckage of girls’ hearts who thought the same thing as you. And he’s only been in this school for two weeks. He’s even been known to troll the girl’s gym class.”

Um, if he’s got all these girlfriends on his manly arms, why does he need to “troll” “gym class”? Whatever. The point of this convo is for Unique to use the word ‘womanizer’ so we can segue into the Britney Spears classic, “Womanizer.”

gap commercial or musical sequence from glee? you decide.

Have you noticed that even the backup dancers on this show are usually all white? Anyhow, a bunch of girls in kneesocks do a school tour while singing “Womanizer,” sauntering through various rooms to observe Jake putting the mack on a variety of gullible gidgets.

yes, we’ve followed you here and are singing at you. idk, it’s just this weird thing we do

The number climaxes in a tug-of-war…

his first mistake was wrapping the rope around his own waist

…and ends with Marley all up in Jake’s face, at which point Jake asks Marley to “hang out sometime” and Unique is like “Girl, no” and Marley is like “okay!” because that’s Marley’s spirit. Marley is Okay.


Thus we zoom Eastward towards New York, New York, home of the dinosaurs, where Rachel Berry is galavanting around a sanitized Washington Square park dressed like a slutty version of Molly the American Girl doll.

and then i saw these guys playing chess and i was like “oh my god, i also play chess!”

Rachel quickly spots her brooding admirer, Brody, doing situps off a park bench. Completely ignoring the fact that he’s probably contracted West Nile virus from all that skin-to-bench contact and will likely be dead by the end of the week, Rachel asks him to dance sexy with her at dance class and he’s like, YAH TOTES LEZ DO IT!!

you totally remind me of that chick from spring awakening who had sex right before intermission

I mean it’s that or watch Dancing With the Stars: All Stars, you know?


The next number is possibly one of the worst I’ve seen on this show, because it takes a sort of bad but fun and semi-risque pop song about fucking and threesomes and makes it acoustic, adds a lot of snapping and clapping and actually lets Tree Frog Teen Jesus participate and sing and move his arms and reptile fingers and stupid hair all over the screen.

Acoustic covers work most easily for songs with good lyrics. But when you’re arranging an acoustic cover of a pop song, you’ve gotta understand irony and parody, too. This arrangement just takes itself too seriously and lines like “living in sin is the new thing” fall flat.

even the extra with the guitar is over it

Therefore I really can’t blame Brittany for getting up to leave, probably to go listen to nails on a chalkboard or any of the 2,566 things that would sound better than this song.

i feel like santana would really want to give her a hug right now if she could just get another page of this teleplay

False alarm! Brittany is not leaving the Glee Club room, she’s just reaching for a razor and threatening to shave her head because without her high pony, she’s got nothing. Luckily Mr.Schuster stops her before she makes the first swipe.

oh don’t you dare talk to me about how to do my hair, mr schuster

It’s not a big deal though!

In the hallway, Brittany assaults Jacob Ben-Israel with an umbrella, which is kinda awesome.

this is an action shot, will probs win a photography prize this year

As you’ve gathered, this episode is attempting to re-create the downward spiral of Britney Spears. Unfortunately for me, I have genuine feelings about Britney Spears and found this chapter in her life more depressing than hilarious, so this whole episode kinda makes me feel weird. Have you read Between You and Me? YOU SHOULD.

excellent cinematography

Then Jacob runs into Will on his scooter, Will tells him that there’s no scootering, he’s failing all his classes, and that Puck was even stupider but at least he had friends.

maybe somebody should call santana


Somewhere else on the McKinley Yards of Lima, Ohio, Marley and Jake meet up on the bleachers to toss cliches back and forth at each other!

what’s up i’m just waiting for rocky, wanna join me

You know, walls feelings bla bla he’s brooding she sees right through him yadda yadda mreerrppppp puppies snowfall sweet-tea kittens and baby monkeys!

Marley: “At all my other schools I got picked on I tried so hard to be what I thought they wanted me to be, it just made it worse. For the first time at this school I feel like I can just, be.”
Jake: “Glee club is so lame.”

tell me about it, stud

They sort of sing at each other and clomp around on the bleachers and after I realize that the wombats I thought were eating my earlobes were actually just the effect of this situation upon my sensitive ears, I wake up in another scene.

blow job face


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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.

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  1. Something happened… I actually liked this episode?

    My only quip is that they made Brittany call lady sex “interesting.” And for some reason I couldn’t glean the exact sentiment of that particular use of the word. In my head Ryan Murphy sees a picture of a girl and yells “cooties!,” so grain of salt, grain of salt.

    Other than that, this episode made sense.

  2. if britney can get through 2007, i can get through this episode of-

    nope, fuck it. ryan murphy has destroyed everything i ever loved about pop music and singing.

  3. I might have facebooked Shannon while watching this episode to tell her that they were singing Boyfriend on Glee and that I missed her.

    I’m glad I’m not the only one.

  4. I didn’t even make the connection between Britney’s shaved head and the razor thing with Brittany before this recap.

    I used to be educated before I watched Glee.


    Come to think of it, Finn Hudson is essentially the embodiment of a naked potato sack….

  6. I don’t know if I have the constitution to read this yet, having just made it through this disaster of an episode last night. My number one feeling while watching was “why is the Jesus guy singing a song about threesomes?”

    Britney Two Point Oh-My-God-Why-Is-This-Happening

  7. i wish the orchid dude gave rachel was actually a symbolic vulva and he’s actually saying enjoy all the vaginas of new york.

    i also wish we could have a playlist called songs that glee did that other people did better.

    i’m actually quite frightened of gangrene, as well as scurvy and rickets. i realize these are not rational fears.

  8. Oh god, this show looks so terrible. I have so many feelings from this recap alone:

    a) Seeing the side-by-side of Quinn and Kitty just punched me in the feels because I miss Dianna’s face SO FUCKING MUCH. Ugh.

    b) How the hell did Kurt and Rachel buy wine? I mean, nevermind the fact that they can suddenly afford rent in New York, but they’re underage, amirite?

    c) Every Britney joke is offensive and just sad.

    d) Why does Glee think they can get away with reusing the same songs in virtually the same scenarios? And like. It wasn’t even good.


    f) Shannon singing Bieber won Camp 2.0. End story.

    • YES

      Just because they bought the rights to Britney’s music doesn’t mean they have the right to mock and rehash a very difficult time in her life. Especially since she was ON THE SHOW two years ago.

  9. Oh fucking god the inconsistencies are so fucking annoying. So the dance teacher’s video went viral on youtube ten years ago- 3 years before youtube was founded? You’d think they would at least attempt to make sense.

  10. The men in this show spend so much time making men out of each other, I’m surprised they haven’t already gotten down to business to defeat the Huns.

  11. Also, guys, I still don’t get the scene in which Blaine (GAY!) and Artie (HER EX, for god’s sake!) sing BOYFRIEND for our favorite bisexual, who is for the recods in a happy relationship with our all-favorite super-lesbian Santana.

    I mean, it just doesn’t make sense :S

    • it doesn’t have to make sense, it’s just Blaine and he has to sing in every episode, the end. That’s how it goes in Murphyland.

  12. Last time Rachel tried to be sexy by singing a Britney song it was “…Baby One More Time,” not “Oops I Did It Again.”

    This episode just made me feel really uncomfortable and sad. It felt kind of mean-spirited too, like the writers just decided to make fun of Britney after she was so cool about the show when it started.

  13. I’m just going to go ahead with my super pessimistic predictions and say that they’re going to break up Brittany and Santana and Britt is going to start dating Sam. Because that’s the kind of bitch move I’ve come to expect from ryan murphy.

    • Apparently all couples are breaking up, but some “make it” later on. We know Rachel will date Brody and they’ve casted a hot guy for Kurt, so maybe, maybe there’s hope for Brittana…

  14. i liked “3” best of all the songs. what’s especially amusing was teen jesus singing about threesomes because it just goes to show how absurd their songs choices are- which made me a whole lot less annoyed about artie singing boys/boyfriend to brittany. apparently there’s a lot of rationalizing when i watch this show.
    i’m surprised that this re-cap was missing the hudson/berry stretchy scene. that seemed particularly gay.
    also, brittany performing with her cheetos brought me a lot of joy.

    let’s skip episode 3 and go straight to 4.

  15. A girl you’ve known for years spirals into a depression? Have a theme week in Glee Club! You wouldn’t want to meddle by calling her “girlfriend,” am I right? But hey, a kid you barely know needs to learn a thing or two about being the manliest man oh what a man?! Call the guy’s long-lost brother who doesn’t even know he exists to come across the country tell ’em a thing or two!

    Will Schuester, YOU truly are Teacher of the Year.

    (ALSO, Puck came from LOS FUCKING ANGELES TO OHIO to have this conversation?! Did Will pay for that plane ticket?! That shit is prohibitively expensive, and by prohibitively I mean it is the thing PROHIBITING Grace from discussing her many lady admirers while sitting on my couch in West LA at this very moment! I AM JUST SAYING.)

  16. I liked how brief this recap was. It was funny, it was sad, it was awesome (a-camp mention!) and it seemed like maybe it was completed in one bottle of whiskey or less.

  17. Why do both the Teenaged Bully Dudes and the cheerleaders all look like extras from Pleasantville?

    In what high school can Brittany wear a bikini in a performance like that? (seriously my school wouldn’t even let us wear tank-tops)

    Why do they think they can recycle the Season 1 love triangle plot with new characters and think we won’t notice?

    Why does Tina’s fashion sense change every season (especially when they made such a big deal about her “not changing” in the Madonna episode in Season 1)?

    How exactly does one “scissor-Skype”?

    So many questions!

  18. “where Rachel is auditioning to be the fourth member of Hunter Valentine.” <- I laughed so hard I scared my niece.

  19. I was really hoping brittany would get to shave a little of her head before they stopped her, then at least she’d have a sweet undercut. if only…

  20. Of all the offensive/ridiculous/badly-done things that happened in this episode, the thing that stood out to me the most was Puck’s “I had my first threesome when I was 7”. That’s not witty nor funny. Are rape jokes going to be next, Ryan Murphy?

    • You seem to be forgetting that Puck’s character was introduced as a rape story. See: Quinn’s impregnation.

      • Although they’ve tried to go back and retcon story that a couple of times later, since they got such angry feedback about it. As they are wont to do from time to time; revise their own storylines. See also: Rachel’s birth via surrogacy/adoption.

          • Quinn totally blamed him during Season 1 because he had claimed they were safe, but they weren’t, so i’d say at least that part was non consensual.

            But then in S3 that became “the reason I fell in love with you” so i just wanna stop trying to make Glee make sense and just kick these writers a few times somewhere

          • Yeah, the S3 retcon is what I was referring to: Quinn may not realize that Puck raped her (by plying her with alcohol and lying about protection) and claim that it was “love”, but that doesn’t undo the reality of the situation.

    • Plus Ryan Murphy is proud of his own introduction to sexuality via statutory rape by a much older high school football player, so the notion that this is okay is something that gets dropped into glee from time to time.

  21. Am I legit the only one who noticed that there is now a SECOND alternative lifestyle haircut Cheerio joining the other one from last season? I feel like that is reason enough to rejoice and forget how otherwise terrible this episode was.

  22. Apparently the episode after next is called “The Breakup” (at least my Ryan Murphy-worshipping gay roommate’s boyfriend says so). Maybe, if we’re lucky, New Directions will break up and the show will end.

    Or Rachel Berry will break up with Gap. On second thought, doubtful.

    Also, what happened to the guy who tried to commit suicide? Why did we never hear anything about him again? That was actually a semi-admirable plot line.

  23. Oh, Marley…why are you letting stupid Ryan Murphy set you up as straight? & so early in the season, too! I hardly had time to hope…

    But seriously, am I the only one that thinks Marley is cute/a little bit gay? I mean, Dianna Agron is still the first & foremost possessor of my heart, but Marley’s definitely gonna be my eye-candy of choice this season.

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