Glee Episode 603 Recap: To Infinity And Beyond

Previously on Glee, The Original New Directions returned to Lima, OH to coach various show choirs and mend their broken hearts. Rachel’s heart was broken because her TV show flopped. Blaine’s heart was broken because Kurt broke up with him. Kurt’s heart was broken because he broke up with Blaine (and also Blaine started dating Karofsky). Sue’s heart was not broken because the place inside Sue’s chest where her heart should be is just a series of intricate nuts and bolts and wires because Sue is the former robot president of the planet Dunamis and she is slowly learning what it means to be a human on the earth through the power of song.

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Kurt, no! You can’t give yourself a sports almanac from the future! You’ll rip up the space-time continuum!

 

At the world’s only sheet music store, Blaine and Kurt bump into each other while looking for the soundtrack to Smash. Karofsky is there too, wrapping his arm around little Boo-Boo Warbler, talking about how he’s trying to help Blaine plan for Sectionals but you can’t get this guy off Broadway or even off Off-Broadway. Kurt manages not to throw up this time, looking at those two guys touching each other, but he does spiral into a maudlin performance of Carole King‘s “It’s Too Late,” which her performs with his former self and Blaine’s former self and also Blaine’s current self, while flipping through photos of the Good Ol’ Days.

(Does anyone over the age of 25 hear Carole King and not think about Gilmore Girls? I kept imagining Lorelai showing up and shaking Blaine like, “If you’re gonna throw your life away, he better have a motorcycle!”)

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Are you drinking a beer? Did you get that from Mr. Schue’s old office? If so, it explains a lot.

 

The next morning, Kurt and Rachel plot the weekly glee club lesson, and I must say: looking for music months prior to big events and planning lessons before class even starts is such a kangaroo-sized hop forward from Mr. Schue’s fly-by-the-seat-of-your-khakis brand of preparation that these four new kids whose names I will never remember (except for dear Jane, of course), might actually have a chance at winning … whichever of the choir competitions comes first. Sectionals? Regionals? Provincials? Factionals? Oh, man, you know what would have made this show one hundred times better? If it was called Factionals and it was about these warring factions of teenagers who compete against each other in singing and dancing and hand-to-hand combat. Like High School Musical meets Mortal Kombat. Sue could have taken over New Directions and, finally, Quinn could have had the heroic storyline she deserved!

Kurt wants to do Carole King’s Tapestry album this week, because of breakup feelings but Rachel says if they’re going to do heartbreak albums it should be something more modern, like Alanis Morisette‘s Jagged Little Pill, which, according to my calculations, was probably released the year Rachel was born? So, “modern.” Kurt and Rachel decide to do mash-ups instead of fighting with each other about who is right. For now.

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Sorry I’m late, I’ve been runnin’ all over hell’s half acre like a one-legged cat in a sandbox!

 

In the football field house, Sam is ironing jock straps when Coach Bieste storms in and starts yelling at everyone and throwing out those bizarro colloquialisms we’ve grown to know and love. Like something about how you can bake a pie with rhubarb but you can’t eat the moon? Beiste is cool with Sam but rageful at Postmodern Gay, who thinks he deserves the start as QB1 this week, but Beiste thinks he deserves to get eaten by a pack of wolves. It’s all very erratic and troubling and after Beiste is gone, Sam, who has spent the last ten minutes using the reflective surface of the iron to fix his hair, says it’s a tough break because Postmodern Gay is a majestic knight on a unicorn and deserves a shot.

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And that’s why, even though she is obviously a musical genius, we should not allow Alanis Morissette to be our role model when it comes to defining the word “ironic.”

 

The real majestic knights on a unicorns, however, are the Unholy Trinity’s faces on her heads, and they have returned this week in all their effusive glory to judge Kurt and Rachel so hard for their first attempt at teaching glee club together. What Kurt and Rachel try to explain is: Choose Tapestry or Jagged Little Pill and then perform a mash-up with someone who picked the other album. But what happens is: They talk over and around each other about Reese’s Pieces and sandwiches and how the true splendor of New Directions is that you get to play inside the full spectrum of musical history. The children look confused; they thought the true splendor of New Directions was about playing inside the full spectrum of queer sexuality. But okay. They also look confused because all the grown-up people from last week are still lounging around in their old high school choir room.

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Keep calm and remember we’re still better than you.

 

Brittany explains it away by saying she can bend time and space with her mind, which: seems as valid as any other plotline on Glee.

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Heather Hogan is an Autostraddle managing editor who lives in New York City with her partner, Stacy, and their cackle of rescued pets. She's a member of the Television Critics Association, the Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer critic. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Heather has written 800 articles for us.

32 Comments

  1. Yes, misogony, homophobia, and effemiphobia are glorious, as long as they’re delivered by a lesbian…except that they’re words written by a straight white man for a lesbian to deliver and tear down another queer character. I don’t find that level of nastiness cathartic, myself, especially when it’s that offensive and cruel. Stuff doesn’t get to go unchecked just because it’s said by someone you like.

  2. I’ve been waiting for this recap. I love what you said about the Brittana fandom, you did an amazing job.
    And the part about Dianna Agron- I’m a certified adult and I still want to throw myself out a window every time I hear her talk, or sing, or see her smile, or frown, or….

  3. I wish I liked Brittana but I don’t. i used to hardcore ship them in series 1 and most of series 2. I cried when I heard Santana was going to be a lesbian and in love with bisexual Brittany. It was my dream come true. Also that Glee was not going to continue that disgusting stereotype of straight girls using lesbianism to manipulate boys like her and Brittany did with Finn.

    But then Brittany started talking and she’s such a vile character, even more than self-certified Bitch Santana is sometimes. i really started falling back in love with Santana in series 4 and I had MASSIVE hopes and dreams for her relationship with Dani (no seriously what the hell happened between Demi and Fox? They pushed that relationship so hard before series 5 and then suddenly…nothing)

    And their relationship was just so poorly written or not written at all (series 3 anyone?). I really wish the lesbian community lost this obsession with Brittany and campaigned for a healthier representation. She can’t even say she’s busexual and Santana has never confronted her alarming biphobia!!! But whatever this is what we got stuck with. Santana, with her biphobia and manipulation and Brittany with just…urgh everything else. She used to be funny in series 1 and 2. Even if the blonde stereotype is annoying. But her being called a genius is even worse *shudders*

    Also that proposal was probably the worse proposal on Glee. “This place is as best as anything” “sure why not”. Even Finchel’s prosposal was better and that’s saying a lot. Santana’s rant at Kurt was longer and more passionate than her proposal was.

    At the same time, Ill concede a lesbian engagement (and indeed wedding) even if it is a ship I loathe could only be a good thing.

    And I know it will have made Brittana fans happy, which I don’t begrudge. Happy Brittana fans are happy, but I will always personally view Brittana as something that should’ve been great fall flat by bad writing (bad acting too tbf), bad chemistry and awful awful awful characterisation.

  4. “The only people I want to know in my life are the ones who will stay up all night, nearly coming out of their own skins, because they’re so excited to be told a story they love.”

    This. (and everything you wrote about love, tbh)

    I liked three episode in a row, what is happening?!

  5. I actually quite enjoyed this episode. I was expecting to only like the part where Britt and San get engaged but I liked quite a bit of it – Becky’s whole storyline, the music, the fact that Kurt and Rachel are actually putting in effort to be teachers. Glee has actually improved this season from the last IMO, at least in terms of how they handle difficult topics, so I’m tentatively optimistic about Coach Beiste. He’s one of the characters I so desperately want to be happy, and even though this wasn’t where I hoped they would go with his story (masculine women are definitely needed on TV), as long as they do it right, I’ll be content.

  6. “If I were a closeted gay youth watching this show, thinking I was straight, every time she came on screen and opened her mouth I would hurl myself out a window. I would writhe around on the floor and cry and vomit.”

    I thought I was straight when the show started. I remember thinking that Quinn was so pretty, and I would rewatch the scene in season 1 when her and Puck had a food fight because I loved her smile (I rewatched many scenes she was in for similar reasons, for example her scenes in Theatricality where she was wearing her Gaga costume *swoon*). I didn’t cry or vomit but I think that was because I was completely and utterly oblivious that my feelings could mean something other than what I assumed.

    Also, one of the reasons I could never give up on Glee is Brittana. I love them so much, and Glee has really screwed them over many times, but I have such a big emotional attachment to them. I remember watching the episode in season 3 when Santana was outed (I found out I was gay just before season 3 started), and I had to hide my face from my parents because I was crying and I didn’t want them to suspect why it was affecting me so much.

    • Your last sentence – yes. My sister semi-threatened to out me right before this storyline and I was already in a bad place mentally so it really messed with me!

      I hope life has treated you better than Glee has treated Brittana <3

  7. You are completely right in your analysis about the fans calling them out on not letting queer women have a seat at the table. However, sitting there didn’t result in more than slightly bigger crumbs that someone kept steeling from our plate.

    Although many have rightfully abandoned the series and the characters, it’s still a win. Mainly because they managed to destroy everything else with terrible writing so what hadn’t been shown or written yet, could still be saved and finally enjoyed at the very end. I can’t really believe it happened, or that I still care, but I’m oddly happy about it.

  8. I totally cried when santana proposed (even thought it was in the previews last week) and now you made me cry again reading this. There’s so, so, so much that I hate about this show (but also a lot that I love) and even so much that I hate about how the show treated brittany and santana, but as soon as I heard that the two of them would be back this season I knew I was going to be watching it. And Heather, you wrote about this so wonderfully and amazingly and I love it so much.

    This was the first show I ever watched regularly that had a lesbian latina character (i only watched the L Word [where they were played by non-latinas] and Grey’s Anatomy [where there’s a bisexual latina] later) and it meant so much to me to see her story.

    Also, total amen to what you said about every time Dianna Agron is on screen.

  9. That person on tumblr clearly has not been paying attention. Santana says in her proposal that she talks a lot when it’s negative and less when it’s positive. (Which I thought was strange because her proposal was pretty long. It’s just that her diatribe against Kurt was longer.)

  10. I haven’t been invested in Brittana as a couple since probably season 2 (I prefer other partners for Santana, thank you fanfiction) but I agree that they were completely adorable in this episode. I also actually liked how they handled both Bieste’s and Becky’s storylines. The only thing I could do with a whole lot less of is Kurt pining over Blaine, like please let that be over now.

    Also, word to everything you said about Dianna Agron. She is an angel unicorn princess who has clearly put us all under her spell.

  11. I honestly, honestly don’t get, and never have gotten the hype around Brittana. To me Santana and Brittany might have never been planned, per se, but I don’t think that the fandom magicked them into existence either because they were holding pinkies, and Santana was sticking up for her before Brittany made the ‘sex isn’t dating’ comment. In the beginning, Heather Morrison was never a good enough actress to sell Brittany. Her throw away lines were fantastic but when it actually came to real depth, it was never there. Prior to the last season, she’s never sold a scene with her and Santana convincingly as far as I could see. And as for Santana, over the years, TPTB have done absolutely everything to make Santana as hateful a character as possible. Her coming out episode she bashes Finn horribly, she and Rachel get along and people like her, she takes it too far, she has this sweet moment with Brittany, and then she goes into this minute long tirade on Kurt. I love Santana (in fanfiction, where she grows, and develops and has depth). But I don’t like her on Glee. I don’t think that she’s a representative of ‘all lesbians’. And I think having her considered a representative of ‘us’ is completely damaging. It seems like, to me, the writers have gone out of their way to make her an unlikable character, but because she’s all we’ve got, we’ve accepted everything she’s done, over and over again. I would rather have a good, well written and involved lesbian character and only get to see her a handful of times, then to have a character that is despicable and see her every week. That doesn’t help our struggle at all. Santana is a bad person, with few redeemable qualities, (except in fanfiction, where she’s awesome), and that she was paired up with a woman who was originally projected as so barely aware that she hardly knew her name, just seems like a slap in the face to the lesbian and bi fandom. I want real representation, not bread crumbs. If they could do that for the gay audience, they could do the same for the lesbian and bi one. It’s like with Rizzoli & Isles or with Faking it. It’s not enough for them to just be on screen, we deserve more than bread crumbs, and I’ve never been able to figure out why we’ve not asked for it.

  12. I remember listening to the Jagged Little Pill cassette over and over on my walkman like it was yesterday. One of the most brilliant albums ever written and performed.

    It came out twenty-years ago this coming June. I am so very old…

    I really like Carol King and didn’t realise she had so many great hits, but I don’t think either of those brilliant singers needed to be crammed into a clumsy mash-up.

    Oh, and something happened between Santana and Brittany in this episode? Right…

  13. First off who thought it was a good idea to mash up Carole king and Alanis….

    Am I the only one who thinks Brittany and Santana seems so forced this season. I am getting a weird vibe from Naya Rivera this season like she is so over this show. There’s not the same punch or passion with her character. Her scenes with Brittany just didn’t seem genuine not like in the past seasons. I feel this way about Heather Morris too. It’s almost like they have grown up and the dialog does not reflect that.

    Even her rant at Kurt just seemed like she was reciting lines.

    And I have issues with coach bieste…. It came out of left field and completely negated her character arch. They were a proud butch straight woman who then was turned into the stereotype that seems to be happening lately that butch or masculine of center women are just transmem. While there needs to be more gender variant people on tv to do it at the expense of supporting a stereotype helps no one.

    • Yes, I disliked this development for this same reason –> “They were a proud butch straight woman who then was turned into the stereotype that seems to be happening lately that butch or masculine of center women are just trans men.”

  14. um…these chicks are how many MONTHS out of highschool? I mean, I don’t watch this show, so I literally don’t know. What I do know is getting married during or straight outta high school (to Brittany?!!) is the height of retarded, especially if the show is set in a state that it would actually be legal. It’s good TV though. And I guess if it’s good enough for the bible-belt it’s good enough for…glee? On the other hand getting “married” straight outta highschool IS actually a raaather baby dyke thing to do though isn’t it.

  15. I just have to say that I am SO, SO GRATEFUL for this online Glee recap, because I watched this episode from Channel “Star World” in Southeast Asia and THEY CUT JUST ABOUT EVERY QUEER REFERENCE.

    Like, literally – When Santana and Brittany were sitting on the bed, there was this moment where Brittany moved toward Santana and then – FLASH – we’re onto the next scene. The proposal? Thank you for transcribing it word-for-word because THEY EDITED OUT THE WORDS “ONE TRUE LOVE,” how f’d up is that? So I was going, “huh? She’s what?” and “Will you marry me?” became “Will you…?” – no shot of the ring – just Brittany with her hands over her face and the other guy asking what’s going on and me thinking, “Did I just miss something, here? I think I missed something huge…” Um, yes.

    Star World, you piece of shit channel.

  16. Bieste’s coming out pissed me off. As a transperson, I’m tired of cis writers and actors just getting it wrong, trying to oversimplify trans experience to make cis folk understand.

    Gender identity is far more than “who you want to go to bed as”. It isn’t sexual, it’s personal, it’s social, it’s an all-encompassing facet of identity. Sex is such a small part of what makes up a person. Gay people struggled for a long time to be seem as more than just their sexuality, now they throw the same crap out there for trans people. Leave it to Ryan Murphy to get it wrong again, just like he did in Nip/Tuck and with Unique. What a wasted opportunity.

    While everyone is busy patting themselves on the back for being inclusive, they forgot to consult with actual transgender people. Again.

  17. I am beyond angry about Coach Bieste.

    Some people are trying to excuse their desire to be seen as a woman as just being deeply closeted, but the writers have completely erased one of their only good characters.

    As a trans guy, I myself went through a phase during which I tried to be as femme as possible. Being feminine was not important to Coach; they wanted to be accepted as a woman while still presenting in the way they liked. I do not see Coach Bieste as a trans man.

    This portrayal is also a bit toxic to the trans community, because it’s saying that all trans men were masculine when they were living as female and that all trans women presented femininely when they lived as men. This is not even sort of a thing. I’m nearly indistiguishable from my pre-coming out self, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love looking feminine, but I’m still a guy. I have several trans lady friends that present themselves in a butch fashion, and are proud of their strong features.

    It’s too early in the morning and I’m too sick to be this worked up.

  18. I went crazy literally everytime Quinn had a scene. I mean I wasn’t very crazy about her before bc Britanna but hot damn, I need her to be in my life forever and ever. Petition to have Dianna Agron her own show where she’ll sing and shimmy and be perfect and complete my life, please. Also, (I tweeted about this too) will somebody turn Quinn’s (sorta evil) laugh into a ringtone (when Sam told the club about her having sex with a Latina lesbian) bc I’m srsly up for that haha I gotta say, I gave up on Glee around S4 and didn’t see the entire S5 but so far I’ve liked S6 episodes. And I agree on your thoughts RE Coach Beiste – “They were a proud butch straight woman who then was turned into the stereotype that seems to be happening lately that butch or masculine of center women are just trans men.” THIS!

  19. Whoa, am I on the right website? I swear I PM’d HH on another lady-site about the wonders of faberry back in the day. Happy that these recaps (on any site) still have A familiar voice behind them even though I haven’t kept up with the show in ages.

  20. 1. I love when you write about your girlfriend.

    2. I’m glad they gave Becky a storyline, but I hate how they write her. It’s like she’s a puppet or a cartoon character. We’re supposed to think it’s hilarious that she curses and knocks things over, but why? Are they trying to show that people with DS can curse and be emotional like “normal” people? Because to me it feels like we’re meant to laugh AT her, not with her, and it rubs me the wrong way.

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