Welcome to the fourteenth episode of the fifth season of Glee, a gentle and tender mini-series about a Jewish beautician from Queens who becomes a nanny for the three children of a British Broadway director who looks a lot like Pierce Brosnon but isn’t. This heart-jerking and tear-warming tale is an allegory for the ages, weaving together instrumental plot elements including but not limited to Rainbow Brite, second cousins, severe psoriasis, apple juice, Sally Struthers, Athlete’s foot, coconut cream pie, churros, goat-milkers, cocoa butter, LSD and free makeovers.
This week on Glee, the writers decided to start all over with a slightly different kind of show! Also, apparently Santana and Brittany are on vacation and for some reason they decided against making this entire episode into a Tropical Vacation Episode featuring Brittany and Santana drinking margaritas out of coconuts and doing big beach numbers like in Gidget Goes Hawaiian and the most underrated movie-musical of all time From Justin to Kelly.
We open in New York, New York, home to the world’s best cinnamon sugar candied nuts, where it’s apparently been six months since we last checked in with these sociopaths. An old white-haired man named Sidney is delivering exposition to Rachel in the guise of conversation! Here’s what we learn: They opened Funny Girl out of town, and they had to re-stage the entire show, and then everybody went duck hunting and bought themselves new Reebok Pumps. Actually that last part I just made up.
The moral of this story is that Rachel has been gifted with her very own 24/7 Town Car & Driver to take her “wherever, whenever” like the BIG star she is. “Where would Miss Berry like to go?” asks Sidney. FUNNY YOU SHOULD ASK, SIDNEY!
The lady would like to go “downtown”! The driver doesn’t ask for specifics. He just knows. You know, downtown, where all the downtowny folks hang out with their drugs and their poetry.
Thus we launch into the evening’s first musical number, “Downtown,” featuring Kurt emerging from the West 4th Street subway station like he didn’t just emerge from the West 4th Street subway station, Sam and Artie walking breezily through Washington Square Park and Blaine buying lattes. Witness:
Now it’s time for more exposition! Turns out Rachel moved back into the loft after her out-of-town run and didn’t help with the box-moving, even though as I’ve mentioned 400 times, she could afford a much nicer place and a mover (or several!) with her Broadway salary but whatever.
In celebration of her weird boss getting her a fancy car and her friends being so lovely and patient, she’s gonna take all of them to the Odeon for side salads!
Just kidding, she’s gonna take all her friends except Artie, ’cause the town car isn’t wheelchair accessible. Artie and Sam will meet them at the Odeon and will hopefully spend the entire journey there talking smack about Rachel being self-centered.
Cut to the very next morning in the Barbie Bushwick Dreamhouse Loft, where Blaine’s preparing a gourmet breakfast for his man-love.
Blaine starts gushing over the thrills and chills of living with Lady Hummel, including but not limited to: waking up together, walking to the subway together, going to lunch together, curling up in bed under the covers together and performing musical numbers together. It’s just a dream! He can’t get enough of it!
Kurt wonders if they’re turning into an old married couple but they quickly counter this concern by signing a song only familiar to very old married couples, “You Make Me Feel So Young”!
It’s super fucking gay.
Just as Kurt and Blaine are about to settle in for some deep dicking, Sam shows up. Apparently, Sam’s been crashing on their couch all this time and Kurt wants him to move the fuck out.
Meanwhile, Artie’s monologuing about he’s adapting to wheelchair life in the city, building up his biceps, and always taking the subway like a real New Yorker because there is music and life underground in the beating throbbing heart of the city!
Then a dude on crutches steals his backpack and NOBODY HELPS ARTIE!!! NOT ONE SINGLE SOUL. I FIND THIS SCENE OFFENSIVE AS A FORMER NEW YORKER.
Back at the Barbie Bushwick Dream Loft, Sam is playing video games instead of living the life he deserves to live as a premium male model because he’s gotten zero modeling auditions and doesn’t want to get a new haircut. Then Blaine shows up and wants to broach the “maybe you should move out” conversation, which sets Sam off on a rant about how much he hates New York: It’s crowded, it’s loud, it smells like garbage, “everybody here is basically paid to be rude to you” and Riese doesn’t live there anymore. “Sometimes it’s just easier to stay inside,” says Sam. I hear you, brother.
Blaine thinks what Sam really needs to cheer him up is performing a hokey musical number with a bunch of extras in the gaping hellmouth of Times Square!
And he’s right!!
At the song’s conclusion, Blaine erroneously declares that if you can sing in the middle of Times Sqaure, you can pretty much do anything, and then a freshly empowered Sam delivers the best line of the episode:
Sam: “I don’t know why they call it Times Square, I don’t see any clocks.”
Cut to Fake Julliard, where a cognac commercial extra is teaching Kurt how to use his body like an instrument.
Kurt’s laying in to a deep rope pull when who should he spy out of the corner of his eye but Gay Blaine!
Kurt: “What are you doing here? This is a winter master class taught by Marcel Marceau’s illegitimate son Alain. You — you’re a freshman!”
Blaine: “I got special permission from Madame Tibideaux. Turns out I’m in six of eight of your classes.”
Kurt: “How is that even possible?”
Yup, Blaine’s sticking to Kurt like glue on a thing that needs to be glued to another thing, and it’s driving Kurt bonkers! Blaine asks Kurt if he’s sure that it’s Sam, not Blaine, making their apartment feel so suffocating, and Kurt’s like “oh, no,” which is a lie, and Blaine says ok great then they should go get lunch before Theatre History class.
This is a good mime exercise for all you aspiring actors to practice at home:
Alain: “And now we will move on to the mime’s most tragic expression of the pointlessness of man’s existence. We are walking down the street, without a worry, a care in the world, and suddenly we begin to notice that we are walking in place but we are not going anywhere… and now we will stop to pick a flower. And in front of your eyes, the flower dies.”
IN FRONT OF YOUR EYES, THE FLOWER DIES!!!!
Meanwhile, Kurt dies inside while him and Blaine are forced to pantomime being stuck in a box.
Then Sam goes on a great big journey to a super-hip hair salon and gets a haircut!
Back in the Barbie Bushwick Dreamhouse Loft, Artie is upset about his laptop and Kurt wants Blaine to stop using the soda-stream and Rachel would really really love it if Blaine could make her some hot water with some lemon because that would be really great.
Artie says he doesn’t feel safe going in the subway anymore and he feels super vulnerable, which is totally valid. From here forward Rachel is basically the collective lovechild of all four main cast members of Girls.
Rachel: I am so sorry, but I know exactly how you feel okay? When I first moved to New York I gave this homeless person ten dollars when I only meant to give him one? And then when I asked for it back, everyone hissed and they booed at me, and I felt so violated and vulnerable… but the next day I just got right back on that subway, because overcoming experiences like that is what makes you a real New Yorker.
Artie says that Rachel isn’t even a real person anymore and he has to go! To wherever he is living and whatever he is doing!
Cut to Adam Lambert and Kurt Hummel’s #1 After-School Hangout: THE GUITAR SHOP!
Glambert wants to discuss a musical number, but Kurt’s having trouble focusing ’cause he was up all night dealing with a bizarre case of bedbugs — Blaine picked up a couch from the back of a truck and brought it home only do discover it was crawling with insects! The winsome duo then had to spend the whole night washing all the things, because why anything. At least it didn’t have a dead mouse in it.
“I know that I sound like a Bravo show, but I’m starting to think that that couch was an omen of our relationship,” Kurt tells Glambert. Kurt’s starting to feel like there is too much Blaine all the time and he is losing his identity. Glambert suggests they set some boundaries. Good talk!
His first step as an independent man will be to sing a song in the guitar shop!
Meanwhile, Rachel’s riding around in her fancy car thinking about how cut off she is from the world now that she has Town Car Privilege. She’s not sure if she can be a great actress without engaging in daily full-body sparring with the entire population of Manhattan.
Rachel decides to break free of her popemobile and go shopping for herbs in Chinatown! Okey doke.
Back in The Barbie Bushwick Dreamhouse Loft, Blaine has decided to remodel the entire apartment as an apology for the bedbugs and also to make the house feel like it is also his house.
Then Sam arrives with his new hair and announces he’s booked his first modeling gig for “Bubble: booty-contouring underwear for men.” Furthermore, Sam will be moving in to one of those infamous model apartments where poor scrawny boys lie about looking devastated and handsome all the time.
Then Kurt shows up, and before Blaine can share the good news about Sam’s onion butt, Kurt goes off about how Blaine didn’t consult him before embarking on an interior decorating journey. Kurt mentions that “Elliot was right” about how they’re losing their boundaries.
Blaine: “I’m sorry, Elliot? What does Elliot have to do with any of this?”
Kurt: “We were talking.”
Blaine: “I bet you were talking.”
Kurt: “He’s my friend.”
Blaine: “I bet he’s your friend.”
Kurt: “Calm down, psycho, all right? And stop being so pouty and weird. It’s annoying. Let’s just be adults and put everything back where it’s supposed to go.”
Elsewhere in this torrid troubling city, Artie’s about to brave the subway when a passing car showers him in dirty gutter water! This episode is SUCH a downer so far.
Some minutes or hours later, Blaine has traveled all the way to Glambert’s super-hot bachelor pad in the city to have a psychotic episode in his living room — he accuses Glambert of crimes including: not accepting Blaine’s friend request on Facebook, trying to steal Kurt away from him and taking weird cinnamon roll selfies with Kurt.
Blaine: “I get to New York and all of a sudden it’s like “Elliot thinks this” and “Elliot thinks that” and “Elliot’s hair is so full and thick that he doesn’t have to rely on hair gel.” Well, I may not be a cool, steampunk, glitter-rock vampire with like, tats and guyliner, but you know what. I love Kurt. I love him, he’s my fiancee, not yours, so back off.”
Adam Lambert is like, listen Blaine, I don’t think of Kurt in that way, and Kurt loves you, and here hold this guitar and maybe think about your life and your choices for a minute.
Blaine apologizes and says that he’s going through this weird thing where he’s been apart from Kurt for so long and now that they’re together he just wants to make it real, but the more he tries, the more he pushes Kurt away.
Adam Lambert: “I mean look, New York is a really crowded place and people need a little more room to breathe here than usual.”
Blaine: “You’re right, I guess I always think of boundaries as walls, instead of places to grow in.”
Look at that! Emotional growth in ten seconds or less! Then Glambert invites Blaine to stick around and JAM on the acoustic guitar!
Elsewhere in this crowded city, Rachel tells Artie he was totally 100% right about everything and she doesn’t want to be in her bubble anymore, she wants to be IN THE WORLD! Furthermore, she wants to be in the world with Artie, riding the subway with all the fine humans of this fine city.
Okay, I love the subway, I honestly do, but I kept waiting for the scene where Artie pulls up to an elevator and discovers it’s out of service and a family of raccoons have been living in it since the’ 80s. Instead, we do a musical number! It’s your favorite Jay-Z song, “Don’t Sleep on the Subway!” No just kidding, it’s your favorite 1967 Petula Clark hit, “Don’t Sleep On The Subway!”
Sam heads to wherever to check out his model apartment and meet his new roommate, who is also named Sam. But this Sam is A HUMAN FEMALE!!!!! (Editor’s note: I spent the entire episode wondering what else Girl Sam had been in, and it turns out the answer is American Horror Story and also The Newsroom, so you can tuck that tidbit in your back pocket until trivia night, I guess.)
Back in Bushwick, Kurt’s been waiting for Blaine to get home and have a serious heart-to-heart emotional conversation about their souls and loins. In the six hours since they’ve last spoken, Blaine has hung out with Glambert, taken a water taxi to the Statue of Liberty and Kurt has gone to the High Line and they’ve both thought lots of thoughts.
Kurt and Blaine decide that maybe they rushed into living together without thinking about it or whether they were ready for that kind of commitment. Therefore, they think it would be smart and mature for Blaine to move out. This is actually a really emotionally mature decision, go Team Klaine!
Kurt: “We can’t go backwards.”
Blaine: “We’re not going backwards, I think we’re being smart.”
Kurt: “By protecting something that is very precious to me. You know that right?”
Kurt: “No matter who we become, even if we do need alone time, which is completely valid, we’ll always belong to each other.”
Then they start making out and Kurt says that even though this wasn’t an official fight but really an adult grown-up conversation, they’re gonna have super hot make-up sex!
Meanwhile at The Model Apartment, Sam is telling Sam that he does the best impressions. Then she gives him pills to take so he won’t retain water, but Sam likes retaining water so he just makes a face. Then Sam says she has Adderall and Maria has Ambien but she prefers Lunesta and whatever he does, DO NOT take what Gavin has because that shit is pig tranquilizers.
Sam has Pharma Panic and moves out immediately.
Back at the Barbie Bushwick Dreamhouse Loft, Artie and Rachel arrive home with a tall tale to tell: Artie spotted his robber right there on the subway and confronted him before he could steal this nice old lady’s Berkin bag and the flashback is hilarious because Rachel is being perfect and it has a happy ending which is that Artie gets his laptop back!
Then Kurt and Blaine announce that they’ve decided that Blaine is gonna move out but they’re not breaking up, they’re just growing as people who have to find their very own favorite pizza places. Sam and Blaine decide to find a place together, but before they can start shopping for matching thigh dildos, look who’s here?! IT’S MERCEDES!
Cut to an improbably affordable brownstone I believe is in my old stomping grounds of Harlem, approximately 1.5 hours away from Bushwick, where Kurt and Blaine have a couch and a flight of stairs and it’s just a lot. Upstairs in Mercedes’s new apartment, Mercedes and Sam are walking around with pieces of wood and their feelings.
Mercedes explains that even though Los Angeles is super nice and Whitney Mixter is super fun to hang out with, she missed all her friends in New York and therefore convinced her label that her album needed a “Harlem, East Coast, bee-bop vibe, uptown kind of vibe.” Good news: Sam and Blaine can rent her other bedroom! Obviously they can share a bedroom because they are lesbian lovers.
Sam: “What are we gonna do about our sexual chemistry because it’s –”
Mercedes: “Uh-uh, no, been there, done that. No, Sam.”
Sam: “Okay, yeah, just friends, just friends.”
Then he tries to kiss her and she says that she will bite his wax lips off. They’re totally gonna do it.
Back outside, Rachel does her funny diva thing and Artie laughs because everyone is so gay and happy and young and in New York together with all their talents and feelings!
Then we transition into the evening’s final musical number, “People” from Funny Girl, during which time Blaine and Kurt buy flowers for themselves, Mercedes and Sam walk around with their hands in their pockets and Artie rolls around with a big grin on his face.
Next week on Glee, Kurt is going to get hate-crimed! I bet you think I’m kidding but I am definitely not kidding, this is a thing that’s actually gonna happen. Here, read the description from Futon Critic, apparently composed by somebody who hasn’t read the GLAAD media guide for talking about homos:
NEW YORK HAS NO SHORTAGE OF DRAMA AND TRAUMA ON AN ALL-NEW “GLEE” TUESDAY, APRIL 8, ON FOX
Rachel takes the next step in committing to her role in “Funny Girl.” Meanwhile, Kurt is the victim of an attack because of his sexual preference in the all-new “Bash” episode of GLEE airing Tuesday, April 8 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (GLE-515) (TV-14 D, L, S, V)
Cast: Lea Michele as Rachel Berry; Chris Colfer as Kurt Hummel; Kevin McHale as Artie Abrams; Naya Rivera as Santana Lopez; Darren Criss as Blaine Anderson; Chord Overstreet as Sam Evans.
Guest Cast: Amber Riley as Mercedes Jones; Mike O’Malley as Burt Hummel; Whoopi Goldberg as Carmen Tibideaux.