Hello and welcome to the 21st episoe of the fourth abysmal season of Glee, a show about what happens when innocent children eat too many meatballs, do a lot of ecstasy, staple their clothes together and cheer like wild hyenas while performing their parents’ favorite songs.
You guys this episode was SO STUPID. Just stupid. Do you remember when Mr. Shue’s wife had an imaginary baby? Here’s the thing: we can handle only one imaginary baby per episode. Just one imaginary baby. This episode was sort of innocuously ridiculous, but really this entire SEASON has been like a nonstop Imaginary Baby Parade. And to what end? Have any of these extensions-of-disbelief lead to fantastic moments of television? Is there still an emotional truth for us to hold onto? We can’t handle an entire episode in which not one single plot point could potentially make sense in the real world. Can just one student — just ONE — abide by the traditional rules of college admission and matriculation? Just one. Honestly, the only thing that happened in this episode that would ever happen in real life is when Burt found out his cancer was in remission. That’s right. Curing cancer is the most realistic thing on this show.
We open with a cross-country mobile-telephone-enabled conversation between The New Rachel in her Barbie Dreamhouse Bushwick Loft and Mr. Schuster, who’s rummaging around the Teacher’s Lounge looking for the afikoman.
Rachel says she’s one of three ladies in the running for Funny Girl and says it’s all thanks to Mr. Shue! because she sang “Don’t Stop Believin'” at her audition.
You know, the song Finn taught the Glee Club to sing at the end of Episode 101 because Mr. Shue, shortly after taking over Glee Club, had swiftly decided to kick it — and McKinley High — to the curb in favor of better health insurance for his lunatic wife’s non-existant baby. That song!
Cut to Glee Club Buena Vista Social Gentleperson’s Club. Mr. Shue shows up to share everybody’s personal details: The New Rachel may just be The Funniest Girl Standing, Will re-proposed to Emma and she re-said-yes, and Brittany’s pregnant! Just kidding, Brittany’s visiting her future college, M.I.T., because why anything. In honor of this “wonderful” news, they’ll be singing Stevie Wonder songs all week!
The squirrels flip out like it’s 1979! YAH STEVIE WONDER!!!!!!!
Back in the Hallowed Hallways, Fake Quinn’s decided to pull a Classic Glee Maneuver by sticking her butt into somebody else’s life so they can see the moon reflected in her eyeballs. This time it’s Artie, who just got into the Brooklyn Film Academy, but isn’t going and he won’t tell her why and doesn’t want her to tell anybody.
We then wrap our entire bodies in Saran Wrap, build a gigantic flume, roll around in a tub of butter, and avalanche ourselves all the way to New York, New York, where Kurt’s packing, OCD-style, for a trip back to Ohio for his father’s doctor’s appointment!
Kurt: “Yes, I’m getting a little OCD leading up to this appointment. Rachel said it was a natural response, just me looking to control my anxiety in some way. I figure I need to cut myself some slack. So what if I have a few new rituals to get me through the day.”
Stress puts OCD into overdrive: true fact.
Ah! Whoops. Sorry, wrong person/episode:
EEK! Wrong show. One sec. Okay…
Yes, that’s right.
Okay, so Kurt says that his Dad got him through his Mom dying, so if his Dad also died that would be THE WORST. Yeah, duh, especially when this plot was used in 404 as a device to get Burt to New York and is now being used in 421 as a device to get Kurt back to Ohio, with really no other purpose besides to make me cry.
(Well, also it makes me think of real life: of friends who are dealing with or who have dealt with this and how one of the hardest parts is that it’s so rarely possible/affordable to be there for the doctor’s appointments. That’s a relate-able struggle. If only we all lived in Glee-land!)
We then board Kurt’s Magical Free New York-Ohio Teleportation Device and zoom on over to Ohio, where Mercedes and Mike Chang are ALSO visiting. What timing!
Also Kurt’s giving Blaine the full-body staredown of eternal lust and true love:
Cut to the Glee Room, where the kiddos erupt into multiple short orgasms of delight when the Alums show up. Then Fake Quinn breaks into “Signed, Sealed Delivered” while rubbing her vagina in Artie’s face.
I think everybody did Whippits before filming this morning.
Then Fake Quinn tells everybody that Artie got into film school, just like he told her not to! Mercedes says Fake Quinn’s performance was “good” but for Regionals, it’s gotta “be great.” While the children try to wrap their heads around the concept of it being important to be great instead of good for a huge competition, Fake Quinn and Mercedes exchange some unnecessary bitchery, via which we learn that Mercedes is in town to be a vocal coach and shoot her first music video (it’s “about home”) and Mike’s there to help Glee Club with choreography.
Tina’s unimpressed by Mike Chang’s insertion into this episode:
Tina: “I love you Mike. I love all my exes. But this isn’t wonderful news, it’s shocking. Now we need some guy to help us dance? Hash tag Glee Hates Girls. And what are you here to lecture us about Kurt, our horrible taste in clothing?”
It’s almost as if nobody at Glee has any idea what women are actually talking about when women actually say that Glee hates girls.
Fake Quinn chases Artie through the hallowed halls and Artie insists he’s skipping film school ’cause his Mom’s too nervous about leaving Artie all alone in a big city.
Cut to Java the Hut, where Blaine’s chattering about the historic and exciting new world of gay marriage in New York, which happened two fucking years ago.
Blaine tells Kurt that he looks sexy. Not just sexy, but “dirty sexy,” which I assume is a reference to a Klaine Sexual Position®.
Mercedes chatters to Mike Chang about her music video, as she’s seemingly hired him as a choreographer and requires moves that are full of “club-kid sickness,” “fresh-fresh-fresh” and “smooth with a v” and Blaine steals stealthy glances at Kurt organizing his sugar packets.
Mercedes asks if Blaine and Kurt are back together and Blaine says they’re just friends but his eyes say “we’re just soulmates forever and in love.” Then Kurt says none of this is important because of his Dad! Mercedes says it’s okay, they’ll all get through it together.
We then kayak all the way back to New York, New York, where Bitchy Gay #1 and #2 tell The New Rachel that she’s up against Sutton Foster and Meryl Streep’s daughter for Funny Girl and she better pray her snowpeas off that Kate Hudson doesn’t find out!
Bitchy Gay #1 and #2 hit up Kate Hudson’s office to give her the scoop. The most important part of this scene is that Kate Hudson’s wearing a VPL bra, which are the bras I wear in my dreams where I’m rich and have abs like Kate Hudson.
See look how cute this shit is, the whole line is super-androgynous. I love it:
We then pump up our Reebok Pumps and gallop back to Ohio, where Mercedes is punching Marley in the gut to teach her how to sing louder and telling everybody that they suck.
Then they do “Superstitious.” It’s an ace performance, full of solid Mercedes/Blaine vocals but also full of actual fun, from Mercedes treating Kurt to his signature dance move to everybody’s super-cute shoes and overall exuberance for life.
I wish this scene was lesbian-inclusive. Everyone’s super-excited about singing and jumping up and down and outfits. At the end of this number, Ryder is so excited that he uses the handlebars on Artie’s wheelchair to vault himself into the air like it’s the motherfucking pole vault.
Back in the hallowed hallways, Mike and Mercedes corner New Puck to give him an offer he can’t refuse.
Mike Chang and Mercedes tell New Puck that he’s Glee Club’s secret weapon because he’s such a fantastic dancer. But New Puck says that he’s only a sophomore! Yeah sure he looks 20, his girlfriend looks 24, Mike Chang looks 31 and Mercedes looks 27, but New Puck’s got like five more Sectional Regional Competition Game Shows Of Supreme Danceittude to go before this show kicks itself to the curb!
Good news: Kurt’s Dad is indeed okay! They exposit about the surgery and how he changed his diet and then the doctor says that Burt’s “in remission” and has the prostate of a 20-year-old! Kurt’s so happy. Burt and Kurt are always so cute and full of love.
Now that he’s in remission, will Burt continue selling meth with Jesse Pinkman? Maybe that’s the big cliffhanger!
Back in the Glee Room, Kurt wants to celebrate Burt’s second chance (actually it’s a third chance, since Glee loves to almost-kill Burt) by wearing orange pants and performing a song they used to sing in the car that always made Mini-Kurt smile. Kurt is joined onstage by The Skinny Girls of Glee.
The opening chords open and I’m transported back to my orthodonist’s office in ’93, listening to light rock. I mean honestly yes, I have this song on my iTunes and everything Stevie Wonder does is wonderful, but also it’s like a light rock radio staple. I hear it and I think “how did I end up in an elevator?”
Back in New York City, Kate Hudson is really bitchy to Rachel, and it’s too stupid for me to even talk to you about it, honest.
Over the river and through the rainforest, back to Glee Club we go, ’cause Mike Chang knows the way, for New Puck to sway and dance around the roooom! It was pretty awesome.
He you know what I found on YouTube during this number? Jacob Artist doing modern dance to “Hide and Seek,” aka A Love Song to Marissa Cooper. Kid is talented:
Mike says he wishes Mercedes were here to see New Puck’s Moment in the Sun but obviously Mercedes is in the auditorium, wearing this horrible shirt situation and having a heated phone conversation with her producer.
Apparently, Mercedes was shooting a Celene-Dion-in-a-perfume-commercial-style album cover and the producer wanted her to reveal her shoulders or elbows or lean in for some extra cleavage or something, to which Mercedes was like, Hell-to-the-No.
Kurt and Mike Chang are horrified by this horrifying news. She says the producer volunteered to just scratch her picture altogether and use Milli Vanilli, but obviously Miss Jones is not having any of that bullshit.
Mercedes: “I’m gonna be dealing with this the rest of my career. Everyone is gonna want me to look like Beyonce, and no one is gonna be satisfied with me, Mercedes Jones.”
This is a valid and interesting point to explore! I’d love to have a storyline digging into the horrible hegemonic racist sizeist beauty standards of the recording industry! But in this case, the producer asked her to take off her fucking shawl, not starve herself or get completely naked with Marc Jacobs on the cover of Vanity Fair. Selling albums does involve a little sexiness, and everybody getting into the industry knows that. Why can’t this show just MAKE SENSE. It’s literally not one ounce harder to make this storyline work than it is to make it stupid, yet they went with stupid. Sometimes I feel like I spend more time on the recaps than they spend on the script. I know I sound really annoyed during this recap, I CAN’T HELP IT. (For the record, I sense equivalent if not greater degrees of frustration emanating from my favorite Glee recapper, Demian at TWOP.)
Kurt’s like, omg, you’re not considering revealing your shoulder are you? And she’s like, I don’t even know, I better go talk to my mom “about this hot mess.” Also when did Glee become so oddly prudish about so many things? It’s progressive one minute, and sort of shockingly conservative the next. We’ve already had three sex-worker-shaming storylines and none of the kids have even turned 19 yet.
Luckily for Artie, Fake Quinn the Able-Bodied Ambassador does not need to understand or know how it feels to be in a wheelchair in order to tell him how to live his life! Not only that, but she’s so prepared to school his mother on her alleged insecurities about sending her son off to an enormous and not-very-handicap-accessible city that she will track his mother down and show up at her house in order to do so!
Of course, Fake Quinn discovers that it’s not Artie’s Mom putting the breaks on Fake Tisch, it’s Artie. Artie says he’s afraid to leave his Mom and his sheltered world but Mom tells him it’s okay and he’ll be fine because it was his idea to build a ramp. Also, New York City is 500x c0oler than Lima, he’s been there before, and he’ll have “copious amounts of kick-ass fun” in New York City, and I know that because that’s what I said I was gonna do in New York City when I wrote my very first MySpace profile.
Also! Artie’s Mom is John Locke’s girlfriend, Helen from LOST! I think this means that John Locke is Artie’s Dad.
Back at Fake Julliard, Kate Hudson is being bitchy to The New Rachel again for no reason, but JUST KIDDING all this bitchery has just been a cover for the fact that she’s throwing her a surprise party because we are Fake Julliard and we are the best of the best, but we’re also family and we celebrate each other when there’s big news?
For real though — nobody wants to celebrate a second callback in such an enormous manner! The last thing you want before a huge audition is for everybody to already know about it, thus putting gallons of pressure upon your wee head, thus making it even worse if you don’t get it. THIS IS IDIOTIC.
Where’s Brody, I thought he worked here.
We return to Glee Club for Mercedes to tell everybody about how this producer wanted her to do everything his way but she decided to do everything her way! Cut to Mercedes on the phone, telling her producer that this is her life and her songs! He can’t just slap any old hussy on the cover of Mercedes Jones’ first album!
So now Mercedes doesn’t have a record deal, but she luckily worked with a producer who was somehow willing to sink thousands into producing her album, apparently sans-actual-contract, and then hand it over to Mercedes free of charge for her to release by her own damn self on Righteous Babe Records.
Mercedes: “Whatever happens, at least I was true to myself.”
Mercedes than breaks into “Higher Ground” and I got so excited because I was pretty fucking sure that this would be the big Mercedes-Unique duet and I’m so excited for it. But it’s not, because nobody ever does what I want them to do on this show!!! Luckily Unique has written herself some lines this episode because nobody else did.
Here’s the performance:
Then Mercedes takes off her jacket and shows EVERYBODY HER SHOULDERS. It’s super scandalous. Also: awesome.
Cut to the auditorium, where Blaine gives Burt a really ugly rainbow pin and asks Burt if he likes gay marriage, and Burt is like HANDS DOWN TOTES I LOVE THAT SHIT, DUH! But does he love it enough to wear a rainbow pin (which, btw is not an actual thing for anybody besides Rainbow Brite)?
Blaine’s then like, okay good, because I am 17 and somebody removed my brain, stuffed a basketball full of lip balm and then stuck it into my head, and I’d like to propose to your son.
Burt: “Are you joking or are you nuts?”
Blaine, undaunted by the fact that he and Kurt are not even dating, would like Burt to consent to providing Blaine with Kurt’s soft hand in marriage. Burt explains marriage to Blaine, because gay people don’t know anything about marriage because it’s not natural you guys. Marriage is between a man and a woman.
Blaine: “I don’t think you understand how good it feels to finally be able to get legally married.”
Mhm, tell that to Edie and Thea.
Anyhow, this scene could work, actually, if they wanted to raise the issue that personally was on my mind for a while after Prop 8 passed, which is the fact that a few times before — like in San Francisco in 2004, and then in California as a whole in 2008— gay marriage was legal for a brief period of time and then re-outlawed, which meant when gay marriage was getting legalized elsewhere, couples often sealed the deal immediately simply out of fear that they might not be allowed to after the next election cycle. But that’s real world stuff so, back to Glee and Blaine’s insanity!
Burt: “And you don’t really get what it is to be married. Straight, gay, whatever. It’s not the same as living together.”
Burt tells Blaine that it’s gonna be okay, because when two people love each other like Kurt and Blaine do and are as popular on tumblr as they are, it works out.
We then take the choo-choo train all the way back to New York City, where Rachel has purchased a new sex toy for her and Quinn and wants to try it out with Kate Hudson first.
The New Rachel thanks Kate Hudson and Kate Hudson says that she knew The New Rachel was special and might make it and that’s why she was so relentless. Rachel wants to know what fucking Brody had to do with all that:
Kate Hudson: “Well that was because of his abs.”
Rachel: “But yours are so much better.”
Back in the hallowed hallways, Kurt’s strollin’ around being Kurt and Blaine says he’s gotta ask Kurt something and it might take courage. Kurt’s eyes get real big like Blaine’s about to ask him to marry him…
…but instead Blaine asks if Kurt will stick around for regionals. He’s like oh yeah totally, I wouldn’t miss it for the world. You know how it is when you’re a student at the world’s most exclusive theater school and an intern at the world’s most exclusive fashion magazine — so much free time, so few places to go!
We end this wonder-ful episode, as we so often do, with a big group number in the auditorium.
Are Artie and Fake Quintana getting together? Did this week’s writer talk to last week’s writer, because last week there was this shit with Ryder and I’m not sure what to think anymore about anything. Besides that I’m so glad this shitshow will be over soon!
Next week is the season finale of Glee, wherein the children will compete at Regionals. Also, Meredith Baxter and Patty Duke will play a lesbian couple mentoring Kurt and Blaine about their impending nuptials? I don’t even know.