Welcome to the first recap of the fifth season of Glee, a show about laughing, dancing around in your underwear and cooking pasta! Just kidding, that’s not what Glee‘s about, that’s what Burt Hummel thought marriage would be about when he was 22 but then he grew up and discovered marriage is actually about fighting in your underwear. Coincidentally, “fighting in your underwear” is also what Glee is about. Furthermore, Glee is about scissoring, rose petals, hair crimpers, horse meat, piggy banks, tongue piercings, seesaws, bacterial vaginosis, failed kickstarter campaigns, women who have sex with bridges, poutine, Ringo Starr and a group of rag-tag musical aspirants forced to toil away at a racist diner in order to feed their pet horses.
Overall, I found this episode to be relatively delightful, especially because there were so many musical numbers that there wasn’t much time for talking, and talking is where this show tends to get itself into trouble. Also, I love The Beatles and am more familiar with their Collected Works than any other band in the universe (runner up: The Indigo Girls) (i know). Sidenote: I think I’m doing my best work in the captions these days. ARE YOU READY TO DIG IN TO THIS? LEZZZZZ GO!
We open in the big bright city of New York, New York, specifically on Angus’ Bistro, a restaurant popular amongst Broadway actors hankering for post-show cocktails and/or lettuce wedges and/or melon balls.
Unfortunately, Rachel Berry’s not on 44th & 8th to get trashed with the cast of Kinky Boots, she’s merely passing by on her way to St. James Theater for her Funny Girl callback, which lasts about thirty seconds.
Famous Broadway Director and Paolo Who Won A Tony tell her they’ve heard enough, but mostly I’m distracted by the fact that Famous Broadway Director is being played by Peter Facinelli, aka MIKE DEXTER.
If, for some surely tragic reason, you’re unfamiliar with the classic teen flick Can’t Hardly Wait, perhaps you are of the generation more likely to associate Peter Facinelli with this travesty of a franchise:
Anyhow! As Rachel sulks in the wings, she overhears Mike Dexter and Paolo Who Won a Tony saying she looks right and acts real good but might be too young to pull it off.
Then, apropros of both nothing and absolutely everything at the same time, Rachel Berry breaks into The Beatles’ Yesterday while we cry softly into our dinner napkins thinking of how hard this must have been for Lea to do because Cory. I used to love this song so much I recorded it from one tape deck to another, over and over again, until I filled an entire 60-minute cassette with “Yesterday.” Then I would sit on my futon and listen to my tape and cry for no reason. Oh, youth.
Rachel walks by Sardi’s, where she formerly dined with Finn Hudson, singing “why he had to go I don’t know / he wouldn’t say,” and she looks at a picture on her iphone of the whole gang…
…and she walks through Central Park where they did that big number with the balloons back in Season Two and your heart breaks a thousand times for Lea and keeps on breaking until…
…the song ends and we’re thrust aggressively into a black-and-white montage of Ryder Bieber-Strong’s pores. But I’m getting ahead of myself here! Did you know that “Yesterday” is one of the most-covered songs in musical history and that it’s also the first recording by the Beatles that only featured one member of the band (Paul McCartney) and that the rest of the band didn’t feel like it really fit in with the rest of their work? Well, now you do.
We then slap on some socks, toss on some Tevas, strap unleavened bread to our backs and plunge our iPod into our eardrums for a grueling hike all the way from New York, New York, to Lima Ohio, home to the Lima Wastewater Treatment Plant, for another thrilling meeting of The McKinley High Super-Winners Glee Club.
This bi-week’s theme is The Beatles, one of my favorite bands of all time (and one of the best bands of all time). Will announces that if the Gleeks can master The Beatles, they’ll win Nationals and cement a Glee Club Dynasty Championship Dynamite Achievement Award Of All Time. Ryder’s into it:
Then Tina nods and smiles a lot while the other children discuss their various connections (or lack thereof) to The Beatles, and then Artie wheels Fake Quinn through the hallways while waxing nostalgic about how she helped him get in to The Brooklyn Film Academy, which sounds like a for-profit scam fake college situation, but whatever, and therefore he wants to take her out to Breadsticks. But she hates Breadsticks!
Finally, Artie scores a date with is suggestion that they hit up the local Carnival instead, which segues neatly into yet another musical number, “Drive My Car!”
This riotous fun-filled motion-sickness-inducing freewheeling musical situation cartwheels us through a number of terrifying but allegedly fun amusements with the perpetually orgasmic Gleek gang.
After the song, some bitchy Cheerios tell Fake Quinn they’ve uploaded some pics of her and Artie canoodling to instagram, which inspires Fake Quinn to tell Artie they should def go out but totally in secret, “like secretly gay conservatives do.”
Artie: “So you like me but you don’t wanna be seen with me?
Fake Quinn: “I need status at this school to survive.”
No you don’t, you just need food, water and shelter. Kids these days are so entitled.
We then board a PT Cruiser and crank up the Jewel and speed all the way back to New York, New York, where Santana’s gotten Rachel a job at The Spotlight Cafe, aka Fake Ellen’s Stardust Diner, by showing Gunther her left side-boob, a scene unfortunately not included in this week’s episode for the whole family to enjoy. But damn do those little Sexy Majorette costumes look hella cute!
“I wanna be grown up and living and making it on my own,” says Rachel in her best grown-up voice. “We’re basically working actresses,” notes Santana.
We then fire up the FTL drives and jump on back to Lima, Ohio, where Kurt and Blaine are enjoying a relaxing picnic in McKinley’s luxurious outdoor dining area, replete with confusing neckwear and shiny silverware.
Blaine, likely impressed by the muscle Chris Colfer’s acquired in the offseason, begs his butt-buddy to re-boyfriend him, promising that he’ll never ever ever never cheat again. Then they can be together forever like Will and Jada and send their adorable talented children to Scientology school to learn about being aliens for a million trillion years! Why hasn’t anyone made a Scientology sitcom.
Good news: Klaine is back ON. Thus Kurt, rocking Full Petal Jacket chic, leads the nubile youths, Colonel Blaine Mustard and the McKinley High School Marching Band into a celebratory production of “Got To Get You Into My Life.”
It’s twinky and bright and big and sprightly and goofy, topped off with a celebratory kiss WITH FULL TONGUE led by a suddenly super-sexy Kurt Hummel.
Meanwhile on this sprawling scenic campus, Sue Sylvester’s back at McKinley High and she’s principal ’cause she planted a bunch of porn and Hitler in Figgins’ office and because this is Glee.
Sue: “Jesus said it best: the end justifies the means.”
That explains so much.
Elsewhere in the hallowed halls of McKinley’s Home For Wayward Homos, Artie and Fake Quinn are singing “You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away” to each other, but mostly to themselves because they can only communicate directly in private. Did you know that some people think John Lennon wrote this Bob-Dylan-influenced song for Brian Epstein, The Beatles’ closeted homosexual manager? Now you do.
Apparently Fake Quinn’s been using her undoubtedly acrobatic high-jump skills to write Artie secret messages on the ceiling about meeting her in the boiler room JUST KIDDING WRONG SHOW the science room. a.k.a., “under the stars.”
We escape our starry starry nightscape and beeline into the Glee Room, where Blaine’s got a “very special” and arguably “very personal” announcement to make:
Blaine: “As most of you know already, Kurt and I are officially back together.”
Everybody yells wildly as if Schuster just announced it was Diva Week and everybody’s pet gerbil would get free taffy or something. Seriously we’re talking unbridled ecstasy here.
Blaine follows up this announcement with yet another; he’s recently suffered a nasty head wound on the King Cobra and therefore thinks it’s a swell idea to ask Kurt to marry him. He didn’t say the part about the head wound, I’m just guessing because why else would a 17-year-old boy think getting hitched to his high school sweetheart is a bright idea.
Sam, who’s hair this season thus far looks like he either just got out of the shower or hasn’t showered in a week, is the only Gleek enthusiastic about Blaine’s announcement, and his reaction is honestly perfect and hilarious, reflecting as it does the sort of clunky but well-intentioned enthusiasm the straights often exude for our brand-new rights:
Sam: “Yeah, guys, come on! Get up guys! Yeah, come on! He’s my best friend! Gay marriage — good! It’s good, it’s good things. They’re all happening so fast. Let’s go!”
Blaine’s big plan is to get as many extras as possible involved in this Spectacular Spectacular Gay Marriage Proposal by inviting Vocal Adrenaline, The Warblers, and The Haverbrook School for the Deaf to participate. Unique says “no ma’am” to Vocal Adrenaline and Tina goes on a little unhinged “are you crazy?” rant and Sam’s like, calm down and let my Down-Low Lover speak:
Blaine: “I want this to be more than just an ordinary proposal. I want this to be a statement… hey, our generation is at a turning point. People everywhere — except like, Russia — are beginning to see that it doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re from or even what G-d you believe in, they’re beginning to see that people really aren’t all that different. And honestly, if we can get a bunch of cutthroat show choirs to stand side-by-side and unite in something, then anything is possible.”
If Blaine can get all the Glee Clubs to sing together, then anything is possible! World peace! Apple Damn Sandwiches! Rich men investing $6.5 million dollars in Autostraddle! Universal health care! Glee using the correct terms to refer to transgender people! Me owning a car! Me renting a car and not driving it into a pole! Clean underwear forever without doing laundry! Santana and Demi Lovato starting a Selena cover band and scissoring for 23 minutes on our teevee screens! Faberry! For Target to re-stock my size of workout pants because mine have holes in them!
No but really I think by “make a statement” he means that he’d like this proposal to go viral, like that lesbian who got her cute friends to dress up like Warblers to perform for her proposal to her girlfriend and you watched it five thousand times. The Warblers = YouTube Goldmine. BRB I have to watch the Mini-Warbler again.
Anyhow, thus we leap snazzily into Help!, a raucous athletic journey throughout all of Southwestern Ohio’s Finest Showchoir Hot-Spots punctuated by lords-a-leapin’, girls in spandex and boys in blazers!
Did you know that John Lennon wrote HELP! for the movie HELP! and that the topic of the song is basically about him feeling insecure? Well now you do.
The last place they hit up on their magical mystery tour is Dalton and then the whole situation becomes sort of like a gay porn but with more clothing and women.
Everybody agrees to participate in this shenanigan, because they also want to go viral.
Zoom on back to the Hallowed Hallways of McKinley High School For The Forever Young, where Tina’s flipping out about Artie’s consent to a secret affair with Fake Quinn. She’s like, “where’s your self respect?” and Arite’s like, IDK GTG, butt “the hells out”! And that’s that.
We then traverse over the river and through the woods in chic cowboy boots, landing at last at Fake Ellen’s Stardust Diner, where Rachel’s excitement over a text from Blaine is interrupted when she sees the Famous Broadway Director and Paolo Who Won a Tony lunching in Santana’s section. Because that’s where Broadway folks lunch, is tourist traps staffed by semi-talented aspiring actors and actresses who could break into song at any moment. Anyhow, because there are no rules at this restaurant, Rachel insists on delivering their meal.
Rachel: “Yes it’s me, and yes it’s awkward, but I don’t care, because I am a professional. Even when people are calling me too young or too green — which for your information, I’m not, I am —”
The Famous Broadway Director cuts her off, like “you wanna be a star?” Join the Wanna Be a Star Club. Besides, he adds, they’re not saying Rachel’s not a shiny shiny bright shining star or a pretty pretty perfect princess, they’re just saying she might not be a shiny shiny bright shining star or a pretty pretty perfect princess YET. Rachel says she’ll show ’em by doing a coy-sexy version of Hard Day’s Night with the whole Fake Ellen’s Stardust Diner team.
I love how now that Rachel’s in college, they’re letting her unleash her Sexier Side, which matches up neatly with Santana who’s been rocking her Sexier Side since the Pilot and who now lacks a Quinn or Brit-Brit to employ it with.
After this fantastic musical number, Rachel tells Santana they’ve gotta go home ’cause she’s got something special to show her. What about her tables? She has open checks! Shouldn’t she do a cash drop? Who’s gonna take her tables. Nobody even knows what the status is of her tables. She’s being a Dear Catastrophe Waitress and this is giving me anxiety, I feel like I’m in the weeds.
We briefly interlude for some Adult Parts, wherein Sue informs Schuster he’s gotta win Nationals to keep his job or else “you’ll be forced to build creepy relationships with teenagers on your own time.”
Back in Glee Club, Tina desperately attempts to tie this week’s Beatles theme into her concern over Artie’s Down Low Lover:
Tina: “Would you say that the early Beatles looked out for each other even when they didn’t want to be looked out for?… In that case, I’m sorry Artie but this is for your own good. Everyone, Kitty and Artie are dating, but Kitty’s making Artie hide it because she’s embarrassed about it and that’s emotional abuse. Artie is a great guy and he deserves to be loved openly and proudly and without conditions.”
Fake Quinn’s like yeah duh, but before coming out as being Artie’s No.1 Squeeze, Fake Quinn had to be extra-super-sure she was willing to deal with instagram bullying, night sweats, and the vulnerability of her human heart. But now she’s super-sure they can be in true love forever ever and is ready to be wide open about it. So there: problem solved!
A few hours, minutes, days or eons later, Blaine has called a special meeting of the Too Old To Be On This Show Club to discuss Tina’s solo status in the Too Young To Be Bitter Club and other evidence of her mental unraveling, like eating a lot of snack cakes alone under the stars.
Blaine: “One of our own has turned into a mean, bitter and angry person.” [everybody says “Tina”] “She didn’t used to be like this. She was a sweet girl who dated Artie. Until he dumped her because he found out she was faking her stutter. And then she dated Mike Chang until he dumped her because she wasn’t Asian enough, or something. “
Oh no! What is Tina going to do?
How can we make Tina better?
What will fix Tina’s sad loneliness?
I cannot WAIT to see what these geniuses have in store.
After blaming Blaine for Tina’s sorry state, the boys get together and decide to cure her ennui by fixing a bunch of tires or something.
Then Sue tries to annoy Figgins by dropping a bunch of meat slurry in the hallway, it’s gross.
Who cares about that though really when we have MEN SCHEMING to pay attention to!
WHAT HAVE THE MEN PLANNED??!!!!
Oh. A song.
Tina’s been summoned to the auditorium for “I Saw Her Standing There,” for which Tina, Marley, Fake Quinn and Unique play the role of Crazed Beatles Fangirls and the Boys of Glee play the Boys of the Beatles, and Tina goes super wild and dances all over the stage like the Easter Bunny on ecstasy, which’s actually super cute and fun, but also whatever.
This was the first Beatles song I fell in love with, I think I was just seven at the time. Also, Tiffany did a cover I enjoyed for some reason. If you remember Tiffany, then you win the day.
Tina’s like, thanks for the song boys, but what’s the point. Blaine explains that Tina’s seemed awfully lonely lately. You know, because this show’s never given her a best female friend, her Year of Shining Tina hasn’t yet come to fruition, and she lost the lead in the school musical to an alum. JUST KIDDING it’s because she doesn’t have a prom date! Once again, the answer to what’s missing is…
Thus Blaine is offering up the services of his bandmates to be Tina’s “arm candy” at Prom. Who will she pick? The gay guy proposing to his boyfriend this weekend, the floppy-haired transphobe in love with Marley-Kate, Marley-Kate’s boyfriend Puck Junior or Blaine’s down-low secret-stars boyfriend Sam? Except then Puck Junior removes himself from the running because Marley-Kate, making this situation even stupider than it already was.
Tina: “Well, it’s hard to pick. Ryder has arms, and Blaine is my boo, but I think I’ll go with Sam because he’s the least gay and the least Asian of all of you. And thank you guys, I really needed this.”
I KNEW IT I KNEW RYDER WAS GAY. Just kidding Ryder’s not gay. For some reason I really want there to be a bisexual male character on this show. Ideally Sam. Sam seems super bisexual to me. You know what Tina really needs though? A sleepover with the girls and probably also an apple damn sandwich…. and a solo.
Cut to the Hummel Hummer, manouvering through the scenic green-screens of the Paramount Lot on their way to the airport, when Kurt’s like cut the crap Dad, I know you’re driving me to Blaine’s secret proposal situation.
What will Kurt say when Blaine pops the question? Well, Kurt la-la-la-loves Blaine and doesn’t think he’ll meet somebody who makes him feel that safe and loved ever again, but also he’s so young and hasn’t even been to happy hour at Posh yet or slept with Brian Kinney or marginalized the needs of gay women in a large national LGBT rights organization or worn a g-string to a Pride Parade!
Burt points out that he and Kurt’s Mom married when they were super young, and you think it’s gonna be all laughing, dancing in your underpants and boning, but marriage is actually super hard. Kurt asks if Burt wishes he’d waited and Burt was like HELL NO ‘CAUSE THEN SHE DIED. So obvs Kurt has to say yes to Blaine in case he dies. I really hope they wrote the script for this episode a long long long time ago.
Anyhow, LET’S SING AND DANCE!
Luckily, Blaine and Kurt have come dressed for their traditional Thursday Night Colonel Mustard / Professor Plum role play, although the lead pipe’s nowhere to be found, and thus we launch into All You Need Is Love, starring BLAINE with backup from several drummers drumming and many horns ‘a blowing.
Blaine’s even teleported in the crew from New York, New York and wherever Mercedes is living these days!
Once inside this magestic mountain proposal castle, Kurt hugs everybody and the Warblers dance around and Unique and Marley both look super hot and Rachel’s pulling off a very strange outfit which I think means she’s totally ready to be a star, because that’s what stars do: they pull off patterns and stripes and knee socks all at the same time.
Then the kids from The School For The Deaf, including lots of chicks in blazers (hello, ladies!!!), sign things about love and rose petals fall from the sky because probably Blaine also got G-d involved.
Then Blaine launches into his big proposal speech, which means it’s your turn to cry like Mrs. Soames:
Blaine: “We met right here and I took this man’s hand, and we ran down that hallway and those of you who know me know I’m not in the habit of taking people’s hands I’ve never met before —”
[that is absolutely not true at all.]
Blaine: “—but I think that my soul knew something that my body and my mind didn’t know yet. It knew that our hands were meant to hold each other, fearlessly, and forever. Which is why it’s never really felt like I’ve been getting to know you; it’s always felt like I was remembering you from something, as if in every lifetime that you and I have ever lived, we have chosen to come back and find each other and fall in love all over again, over and over for all eternity. And I just feel so lucky that I found you so soon in this lifetime because all I wanna do and all I’ve ever wanted to do is spend my life loving you.”
Here, see for yourself:
Kurt says yes.
Did you know that in 1988, a scene in Thirtysomething featuring two gay men in bed after sex incited an “uproar,” 400 phone calls to the FCC, and $1.5 million in lost advertising revenue? And in 1994, advertisers were so upset about a potential gay kiss on Melrose Place that the show decided to pull the camera away instead of showing it? Also in 1994, ABC declined to air a Roseanne episode featuring a lady-on-lady kiss, because they stood to loose $1 million in ad revenue and felt it would be “bad for the kids to see,” but Roseanne threatened to switch networks if they didn’t air it, so they did. Did you know that in 2000, Kerr Smith, who played Jack McPhee on Dawson’s Creek, was one-half of the first prime-time romantic gay kiss on network television — but he then told Entertainment Weekly about the kiss: “It’s not the most fun thing in the world, but I agreed to play this role, and [producer] Greg Berlanti does want to take it that far….That’s as far as I’m going to take it. I don’t think teenagers need to see two guys kissing on a weekly basis.'”? Well, now you do.
Look at us now!