Glee Episode 607 Recap: I Know Where I’ve Been

Previously on Glee, Brittany tried to convince Santana’s grandma to reconcile her centuries old religious piety with her modern day love for her lesbian granddaughter and RSVP to their gay wedding, but Santana’s grandma couldn’t/wouldn’t do it. Kurt and Blaine continued to be in deep and abiding love with each other but kept telling themselves they were only kissing for “science” and so “Sue’s demonic murder puppet didn’t chop them into pieces.” Mercedes came to town and pep talked Rachel into trying out for a new Broadway show because Rachel + NYC = OTP. And but most importantly, there was an Emma Pillsbury stunt double that we only ever got to see from behind and it was one of the top ten moments in Glee history, easy.

Will Schuester is livin’ The Life, y’all. Being the coach of Vocal Adrenaline means that he’s got a massage therapist, a nutritionist, a company car, a million dollar paycheck, sweater vests made of real gold, champagne in his coffee mug, sharks in his swimming pool. And best of all, he doesn’t even have to come up with lessons on the spot anymore because Vocal Adrenaline starts and finishes practice before he ever even arrives at Carmel High. Unfortunately, The Life is not everything Will thought it would be. Sure, he was poor at McKinley and Sue was always trying to systematically destroy his life, but at least he felt like he was making a difference with New Directions. He tells Emma he wants to figure out how to have all the money and power and get treated like a hero for his insufferable and mostly offensive lessons on morality. She tells him to become a United States Congressman.

Glee607-2015-02-14-15h04m11s237

Haha. Eggsterminate. Very funny. I look like Doctor Who, I get it.

Their conversation is derailed when Blaine and Rachel show up at the park covered in breakfast. Turns out the Vocal Adrenaline kids ambushed them in the parking lot with eggs like the Jessie St. James-led days of yore. Like some hoodlums from an ’80s movie about karate, or dancing your truth.

Glee607-2015-02-14-15h07m04s170

Listen up, fives. A ten is talking.

Mr. Schue decides to teach Vocal Adrenaline a lesson by singing “Same Love” and it’s as awkward as you’re imagining, and only made bearable by the voice and presence of Unique, who walks onto stage looking fierce as hell and warming the cold, cynical cockles of my Gleecapping heart. Unique! I thought you were gone forever! Vocal Adrenaline doesn’t care, though. About Unique or Will or having a soul or not being 45 years old and in high school. The leader of the group — an elderly man named Clint whose accent keeps changing from like Australian to a caricature of a person from to the Bronx to maybe Ukranian to Bostonian back to Australian — is inspired by Will and Unique’s performance. He says they’ll stage some kind of intolerant act to sabotage New Directions’ preparation for Regionals.

Glee607-2015-02-14-15h09m04s91

Have you heard the latest teenage gossip? Do you want to get over-involved in it?

Glee607-2015-02-14-15h09m10s157

I transitioned. I didn’t get Will Schuetser’s brain transplanted into my head.

Coach Bieste returns to McKinley, presenting as male, and is met in the hallway by Sam, who is eager to begin guy talk with Sheldon immediately. Topics include: His crush on Rachel. His crush on Mercedes. The list of pronouns he wrote down to make sure he doesn’t misgender his favorite football coach. Bieste feeds him a treat and pets him behind the ears until he falls asleep on the floor, all tuckered out from such an exciting morning. Sue also meets Bieste when he arrives, wrapping an arm around him and talking about how she has destroyed the scourge of cis-normativity and trans misogyny at this school because she has always stood firmly against bullying. (HA!) And then she scampers off to do the morning McKinley High fat-shaming ritual.

As promised, Vocal Adrenaline shows up to act like a bunch of assholes, covering Beiste’s car with jock straps and spelling out slurs and screaming ignorant, offensive shit at him. So Sue calls Will into her office to explain the situation. And Will apologizes and promises that no one gets away with going after his friends. And Sue LOLs at that because she’s been going after his friends and getting away with it since literally the pilot episode.

Glee607-2015-02-14-15h11m43s131

Honestly, is anyone even going to watch this show after Brittany and Santana’s wedding is over?

Rachel’s Dads sold her childhood home, despite the fact that she has been actively sabotaging all the realtors by dressing up as that woman from The Ring and hanging around in the shower growling. She is kind of losing her mind about it. In the teacher’s lounge, Sam tries to explain that home isn’t really where the house is, and he should know because there were plenty of times when he was living out of his car, but Rachel will not let him shame her into feeling guilty about moving from one fancy house to another fancy house just because he was a homeless teenager who was forced to strip to buy food for his family at one point. #ThatsSoRachel

And so Sam calls for an intervention hosted by himself and Kurt in Rachel’s basement to help her let go of being a child and embrace being a grown-up. Mercedes rolls her eyes like a Liz Lemon, but agrees to join in on the shenanigans. Artie too. And Blaine. There’s no explanation for why these three are hanging out at their old high school but the current students have accepted it as fact and have stopped asking about it. When Kurt announces in choir practice that afternoon that this week’s lesson is about helping Rachel move past her hangups and transition into adulthood, the kids are like, “So, this week’s lesson is for … Rachel?”

Glee607-2015-02-14-15h16m56s208

Psst, you’re the only character on this show who hasn’t had a crush on me. What’s up?

Clint’s plan worked! All Vocal Adrenaline had to do was commit a hate crime against a trans teacher at McKinley and immediately New Directions stopped preparing for their upcoming competition and began practicing songs about a how the theme of that crime is very loosely related to a thing going on in the life of their teacher! Diabolical!

Pages: 1 2 3 See entire article on one page

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 803 articles for us.

29 Comments

  1. I am really disappointed, Autostraddle. I was really looking forward to coming here and reading the critique of the treatment of Beiste vs. the treatment of Unique. But no, there’s nothing but the praising of the transgender choir that was brought out for Beiste.

    Don’t get me wrong — the transgender choir is amazing, the support for Beiste is amazing. But why didn’t Unique get this treatment? Why didn’t Unique get the unwavering support from Schue WHEN HE WAS HER TEACHER? Why didn’t Unique get the transgender choir to come support her? Why was Unique brought back as a supporting detail to Beiste’s story – she was literally used as a step for Beiste to stand on and shine.

    One article said that Beiste’s story is a “storyline that will make a difference.” What’s wrong with Unique’s storyline? Why is it the white trans man that gets the choir and the label of a “making a difference storyline” and not the black trans woman?

    Why are the voices of trans women of color continually ignored? And why isn’t Autostraddle commenting on this?

    • Hey, Jenn. Our trans editor Mey wrote a whole article about the difference between the way the show has treated Unique and the way the show is treating Bieste.

      I am never going to be one to give Glee the benefit of the doubt, and I have called this show out repeatedly for its transphobia — every time that I have seen it happening, in fact, over these zillion seasons — but I do think in this episode Unique was portrayed as the ultimate hero. As a triumphant, confident trans woman who has overcome every bit of bigotry and ignorance and violence that has been leveled at her. I think having her talk Bieste through his loneliness (instead of Will or some other cis white dude on the show) and having her lead the choir of trans people with a show-stopping musical number was a huge step for Glee. Unique as the voice of wisdom. Unique as the voice of strength. I think the literal voice of a trans woman of color was being showcased here as heroic.

      I agree that there’s an enormous problem in our society with silencing trans women of color, especially black trans women. And I loathe to my very core the way the show treated Unique. LOATHE it. But, like I said, I feel like this season is an apology tour in a lot of ways. I feel like they’re taking at least some of the very valid criticism to heart and trying to find a way to send off their queer characters triumphantly. And I think this was that for Unique. It doesn’t make up for what came before, obviously, but I felt really moved to see Unique as the hero here. I felt really moved to see trans people speaking to trans experience.

      What do you think? Obviously I’m a cis white lesbian woman, and so my my feelings are colored through the lens of my own very limited experience. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

      • I have… very mixed feelings on this. On one hand, I did love seeing a bunch of real trans people have the opportunity to be on TV, including some I recognized (Cherno Biko!) and it was… nice? to see glee specifically mention the word transmisogyny and to point out that the t-word is terrible. And I was really happy that Unique wasn’t bullied this episode.

        On the other hand, it did make me mad that they used a trans man to teach that that word is terrible. The vast majority of the time it’s used against trans women and it’s roots are in transmisogyny specifically. Also, glee has used it before as part of a joke! (in the rocky horror episode that they even bring up in this episode!) And the show has continued to make transmisogynistic jokes about Unique as recently as several episodes this season. So it’s kind of hard to forgive and forget when Sue and Rachel keep calling Unique “crossdressing Mercedes” and a “transvestite.”

        So I was definitely angry for a lot of this episode. But I also don’t see any other show on network tv having multiple trans characters, using the word “transmisogyny” or inviting hundreds of real trans people on the show.

        • I also really liked the re-framing of Unique in this episode and do feel they’re trying to learn from their mistakes. And I also feel like the whole thing would’ve felt 500 times more awesome if any character at all — but ideally Sue or Will — had said, “we messed up with Unique, treated her like shit, refused to use female pronouns, made her a jokey port-a-potty, let her be bullied, and we’re not going to make that mistake again.” If I’d been in that writers room I think that’s what I would’ve suggested — don’t just do better, acknowledge that you’ve done poorly in the past. Make it apparent. As it stands, we’re forced to draw that conclusion on our own, and not everybody will, they’ll just see a black trans woman treated poorly and a white trans man treated well and think it’s all part of the same set of ethics. When Sue said the word “trans misogyny” out loud I was like OMG! But I also would’ve liked her to acknowledge that trans misogyny isn’t about trans men, it’s about trans women?

          • Yes! I think this hits it right on the head. I would have looooooooved some sort of apology to Unique. or at least some sort of acknowledgement that they had treated her poorly.

            And I pretty much had the same reaction, at first when she said “transmisogyny” I was like, “yay!” and then a second later I was like, “hmmm…” because, like you said, they made it seem like it somehow applied to coach beiste.

          • “we messed up with Unique, treated her like shit, refused to use female pronouns, made her a jokey port-a-potty, let her be bullied, and we’re not going to make that mistake again.”
            yes.

          • Yeah, definitely. I was like, look at you, saying words and things. How nice. But the writers seem to not actually understand what transmisogyny is…so…ok. Or they do understand and the joke is on Sue, but NO ONE GETS THAT JOKE except people who already know what transmisogyny is. And I agree with Mey that I can’t forget that as recently as this season, Sue has dismissively called Unique a “transvestite” and “cross-dressing Mercedes.” So it’s hard to take Sue fawning all over Coach Beist seriously.

            Also, I wanted to throw something at the TV when Will was all like, “I’ve been working all week helping assemble this trans choir.” SHUT UP, WILL. GO AWAY.

            Oh, also also, why so much emphasis on Coach Beist’s first name? It was such a struggle to get anyone to call Unique by her name, but here, for a character who doesn’t even go by his first name on the show, it is important to say it multiple times? To what…drive home the point?

            I was moved by the all trans choir with Unique at the front. I set the bar real low in my head so I could make it through the episode. It was not as bad as it could have been, but I wasn’t thrilled. Definitely felt like “being thankful for crumbs” as Heather wrote.

  2. Could there be a spinoff series about Unique? I would watch. I just desperately want her back on the show. Maybe just Santana and Brittany and Unique and Jane and everyone else goes away. That is my ideal Glee situation.

  3. I’ve never understood why it’s fashionable in the Brittana fandom to hate on Klaine. I’ve been shipping them both since the beginning. With all the Klaine and Brittana this season, I’ve been a very very happy camper. Great recap! Tumblr really will break with the next episode!

  4. I think the dislike of Klaine has more to do with some loud Klaine shippers and the vitriol that gets hurled at queer women (read: Brittana fans) online. Many Klainers (many of whom identify as straight women) will be all about LGBT representation and the epic love of Klaine but then turn around to shout down and erase Brittana and their fans as “stupid dykes” who are just “gal pals” when Brittana gets any focus at all. While obviously both Klaine and Brittana have ample space to exist in the same world (it shouldn’t ever be a competition), it’s hard to sometimes wrap my head around this–and by extension get behind Klaine–when so many fans of the gay male couple are all too happy to erase the value of queer women on the screen and in real life.

    • I’m so sorry you’ve had bad experiences with the Klaine fandom. I’ve been active there (and in the Brittana fandom) for years, and once you weed out the very loud straight girls, you’ll find that many Klaine shippers are queer and feminist too. The obnoxious straight girls that fetishize their precious gay boys…. they are just the loudest.

  5. I cried like a baby when the trans choir was revealed. It was so beautiful!!!

    Dot Jones has done an excellent job with this storyline. She’s always done a great job with this role. I agree that, Glee did good this week.

    Random comment: If folks can, please support my lesbian-geek-comic-book movie: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1335851532/geek-loves-punk-comedy-about-a-lesbian-geek-and-he

  6. Glee managed to not be offensive shitheads towards trans people for an episode?? Oh my god, maybe Faberry CAN happen after all!!

    Per usual, now that I’ve read the recap, I will watch this episode. Still supremely disappointed that the transmisogyny towards Unique was not acknowledged or repaired, but impressed that Glee seems to be learning -some- lesson about trans characters.

  7. That choir blew me away. So powerful. Glee has been so good this season! I don’t think I’ve gone through so many of their shows in a row without getting pissed off. You can tell that they are doing this for the fans. If only Glee was this good in the previous seasons.

    Also I cannot deal with how cute Kurt & Blaine are. It’s ridiculous. They should have their own movie, or TV series or something.

Contribute to the conversation...

You must be logged in to post a comment.