Glee Episode 603 Recap: To Infinity And Beyond

Best (not-romantic) line of the night:

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Oh, Tina. You always manage to put a fake smile on my face.

Tina: [rushing out of the choir room after Quinn] Quinn, can I talk to you for a sec? Artia said that you told him Brown is not an Ivy League school?
Quinn: [without even looking back over her shoulder] That’s not what I said; I said it’s barely an Ivy League school.

Becky also is back, roaming the halls of McKinley High. She’s got a boyfriend named Darrell and she’s also got a problem: She told him she was president of every club in high school, including glee club, which fact should give Sue a real thrill. She was able to fake being an astronaut, a surgeon, a speaker of Latin, a beekeeper, but Becky cannot fake the ability to swagger to song, so she asks Quinn and Tina to help her impress Darrell. And I don’t want to blow your mindgrapes right open on a Monday, but let me tell you a spoiler so you don’t pass out from shock in a little while: No dudes swoop in and fix Becky’s problem in the most offensive/patronizing way possible. Becky’s gonna get some hard truths from some ladies, and then she’s going to fix her problems herself. Like what Jane did when she left Dalton last week.

Glee, are you — I’m sorry, I need to sit down — are you learning? In your last season, are you finally getting it? Too soon to tell. I won’t believe! Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me three thousand times, a plague on your house for all eternity!

Or, like, no. Not a plague. That’s mean. I’m sorry. Just please stop. You’re stopping, right? You’re stopping. You’ve got this.

(If Rachel ends up marrying Mr. Schue like some theory I saw on Tumblr, Glee, I am going to set you on fire.)

ANYWAY. Becky looks at Quinn and goes, “Thanks, Kitty” and scoots on down the hallway.

Santana and Brittany are canoodling in the bed where Santana one time claimed she liked to lay on top of Brittany like a lizard to help digest her food.

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I’d bend over backward or forward for you, you know.

Santana: Do you think human beings evolved from fish just so they could have legs to scissor?
Brittany: That and to have mouths to eat pizza, probably. I think I want to mash-up two Alanis songs and no Carole King songs because I spent too much time being boxed up inside that choir room by Will fucking Schuester.
Santana: Well, but if we do it the way Kurt and Rachel said, we might actually be able to help New Directions win Factionals.
Brittany: I like how you can be a kitten with me, you know that? I like how you don’t feel the need to skulk around like a panther and murder people when it’s just me and you.
Santana: I’d like to be a kitten with you in New York, actually. I’d like to go back to college. I’d like you to go back to college with me. I know a diner we can work at where we can earn enough money to afford an enormous loft in Bushwick and all the vintage furniture we’ll ever need.
Brittany: Yeah, duh. That’s the dream. Do you think the whole world is jealous of us?
Santana: No, but they should be. Coming home to you is like my soul docking up at its charging station. Like that feeling you get when you sit down in a hot bubble bath after a whole day of being on your feet. Like putting on pajamas, and every morning is Christmas.
Brittany: I’ve built my life around you, too, Santana; I should have said it a long time ago.

My girlfriend watched this episode of Glee with me, her first episode of Glee ever, actually. The only things she really even knows about the show are what she hears our friends talk about which is Faberry stuff, mostly. (An actual thing she said during the show was, “So Santana fucked Dianna Agron’s character, right, and everyone was like ARRRGH why didn’t Quinn Fabray fuck Rachel Berry?!?”) She asked me to explain the deal with Brittany and Santana, and so I said, you know, about how they were best friends and then Santana realized she’s a lesbian and was in love with Brittany, and Brittany helped her come out, and Brittany just loves who she loves, and they weren’t together and then they were together and then they broke up and then they got back together and now here we are.

I could tell my girlfriend wasn’t very impressed because when you say it like that, it does sort of sound like, well, like Buffy and Degrassi and South of Nowhere and Skins and Faking It and and at least seven teenage lesbian movies I can count off the top of my head.

Talking to her made me realize a thing I’ve always known but never been able to put into words: The magic of Brittany and Santana isn’t just the story — though that is part of it; you can watch the same narrative unfold ninety-nine times and have the hundredth one click into place in your soul for reasons you’ll never be able to quantify — but more even than that, the magic of Brittany and Santana is the way we experienced them. It was the genesis of brand new world, a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.

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And some people think Sugar Motto is our kid from the future.

During one of the bleakest moments of modern gay history, Brittany tossed out what should have been a throwaway joke: “Sex isn’t dating; if it were, Santana and I would be dating.” But she didn’t say it into a vacuum; her words didn’t get lost in the fourth wall vortex. Prop. 8, an enormous emotional blow to marriage equality, had passed only a year earlier in California. A rash of gay teen suicides were being reported around the country due to an increase in homophobic bullying. Despite President Obama‘s campaign promises during the 2008 election, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and the Defense of Marriage Act were still going strong. The mood was dark and there was a since of dejection and hopelessness everywhere you looked in the world of queer pop culture. And then, a crazy thing: Twitter began to connect us to each other and to the people who make television in ways even the Jetsons couldn’t have imagined. (In 2008, the year before Glee started, Twitter reported 400 million total tweets; by early 2010, Twitter was reporting 50 million tweets a day. Astronomical!)

That’s the world Brittany spoke her throwaway line into, a world where queer women felt a lot hurt and a little helpless, and suddenly found themselves with access to the people in charge. And so Brittana fandom stepped into the darkness and seized a brand new power and began talking to the culture until the culture had no choice but to listen and to respond.

Santana didn’t come out as a lesbian because a bunch of writers holed up in some cabin in Vancouver between seasons one and two to toss around ideas about creating authentic and organic queer female characters. Santana came out because lesbian fandom demanded representation. Clearly, Glee wasn’t scared to tackle the gay thing and clearly Fox was giving them license to do things most broadcast networks at the time wouldn’t have dreamed of and clearly they had two female characters whose chemistry and storyline made perfect sense — and so queer women decided this was the moment they were going to stop eating crumbs off the floor and demand a seat at the feast.

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Oh, shit. Being a Time Lord is genetic.

Every one of Brittany and Santana’s relationship milestones has happened because fandom never stopped fighting for them. Throwaway jokes weren’t enough. Holding hands wasn’t enough. Canoodling in the background wasn’t enough. If Finn and Rachel could make out with their mouthparts, Brittany and Santana should be allowed to make out with their mouthparts. If Kurt and Blaine got ten duets a season, Brittany and Santana should get ten duets in a season. The show’s writers and producers antagonized Brittany and Santana fans on social media, mocked them with meta commentary inside the show, and scorned them in interviews with mainstream and LGBTQ media outlets. I will never, in all my life, forget Brittana fandom having to explain to Glee‘s creative team the difference between two people kissing and two people rubbing their necks together like giraffes.

But the theme of Glee from the very beginning was: when strong popular guys toss weak minority guys into the dumpster in the parking lot, the only way to win is to climb out and dust off the trash and Don’t Stop Believin’.

And so lesbian fandom took Glee at its word. Brittana fandom came together and held firm and relied on each other not to let the upside-down world convince them they were the ones who were walking on the ceiling.

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Heather Hogan is an Autostraddle senior editor who lives in New York City with her wife, 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 Twitter, and Instagram.

Heather has written 1221 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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