Glee Psychotic Episode 309 Recap: What A Long Strange Christmas Special It’s Been

Not for long, though. So, I rise and drink four glases of water like water is going out of style, and then feel woozy and lie down again and this time I wake up in outer space except actually it’s not, and I’m watching Magical Mystery Glee, but in this totally different dream world that is supposed to be “television” and it’s all in black and white but not yet. Because it’s The Past, but it’s also right now, and nobody’s Jewish, and all of these singles will be available on itunes for less than you’d pay to sponsor a child in need.

Unfortunately, if I’m unable to prove that Santana and Brittany are lesbian lovers than I’ll have to send an Autostraddle Team Member to the reaping  — so I’m devastated to see Santana and Brittany introduced as merely the foreground of a gaggle of Other Cheerios. They’ll never make out in front of the other Cheerios. That’s like, the rules of lesbianism.

you'll never guess what we did offscreen earlier tonight (but you'll have to guess, because we will never tell you not ever!)

Like a stab in the subconscious from an axe murderer, we’re shuttled along, Star Tours Style, to Chalet Glee Garland Garden, which’s owned by the OTHER gay couple:

they filmed this part yesterday

Then everything goes black and white, and Blaine and Kurt are suddenly like, the owners of this chalet conveniently located in the backlot of Gold Star Chili, spreading homosexuality to all the young gay boys of the 1960s.

best hallucination ever

The boys are gesticulating wildly, snapping compulsively, and delightfully singing “Let it Snow” from start to finish while Brittany and Santana remain in the dugout, chomping on bubble gum and wondering when Brittana Will Be On. I can’t see that Brittany-Santana part, obvs, I just know it’s happening, because I’m all-knowing.

Clearly the same thing happened to these fellas last year — they were forced to acclimate to the indoors on account of blustery snowdrifts of freezing cold winter wonderlands and subsequently required to sing about their weathered situation — except this time it’s slightly less rapey. Because in my imaginary world, everything’s a lot less rapey.

last year / this year

At the song’s end, Blaine and Kurt turn to the camera and begin to address us directly, which at first looks like this:

… but then it looks like THIS:

how pre-stonewall of them

Kurt: “I’m Kurt Hummel one of your hosts this evening, and this is my best friend and Holiday Roommate, Blaine Anderson.”

Blaine: “Welcome to our bachelor chalet.”

This crazy ass motherfuckery is as fucked as it is funny. There’s some fuss over Kurt’s ebay bid on a laser-powered diamond necklace transporter, which is from a different time period but whatever, it’s just a device to lead us to the next plot twist (aka “message for me from the droids”) which is that THE INTERNET IS DOWN.

Then I’m flipping out like a flapjack because everyone knows Brittana really only actually exists on the internet, we’ll never find them on the show itself, let alone a show-within-a-show-within-an-acid-trip!

indiana jones and the raiders of the lost storyline

Anyhow, so what happens next? Well, in Magical Mystery Glee, Rachel and Mercedes are besties and Rachel is also bisexual, thus the rubber gloves, and then she becomes an old-timey actress I can’t identify but it’s way more delightful than her traditional personality! It’s ten thousand times crazier and funnier than she’s been all season.

an owl ate the top half of my brooch, can you believe it?!

My jaw hurts in solidarity with these children who are sporting smiles as strained as Saran Wrap over a giant casserole. Then there’s this weirdness:

Rachel: “Blaine, this is for you –”
Blaine: “Oh! Why thank you so much, Rachel!”
Rachel: [to us in a funny voice] “It’s a bowtie with little Christmas trees on it!”
Blaine: “Would you look at that?”
Rachel: “Would you look at that!! — there’s a little surprise under the wrapping paper…”
Blaine: “Why they’re candy-cane striped capri pants! You know, what the best part is, I actually don’t already own a pair! If you can believe that!”
Kurt: “Jewels and short pants and bowties and good friends, truly this is an ideal evening.”


We pause for a delightful presentation of “My Favorite Things,” a single you can buy on itunes for only $1.99. Kurt says he forgot to turn on the oven and also, this:

Kurt: “And then I said to Justin Timberlake, that’s not egg nog!”

didn't i tell you not to mix the red pills with the blue pills?

And also this:

Blaine: “Geez you guys, it’s really coming out down there.”
Kurt: “Blaine is right, you guys. Global climate change is no laughing matter. Our over-reliance on fossil fuels is causing erratic weather patterns like this one — [gestures towards the window]”

Right? Random, but funny!

Then! THEN! Finn and Puck arrive dressed as Luke Skywalker and Han Solo because that is precisely how much shit is out of hand. Oh also, Santa Claus is coming to town, but you probs already knew that. It happens every year.

heh heh i'm wearing my bathrobe on the tv

Finn knows how to operate a tambourine and is singing a song that’s actually in his range, but it’s mostly a blur, though I do remember feeling like this:

this just gets curiouser and curiouser

Oh, who’s this at the door?! Obviously it’s the Cheerios Rhythm Gymnastics Team, lead by Heather Morris, dressed in porny Santa outfits and white Go-Go-Boots! They’re singing a song I recognize from a recent nightmare and every time the “camera” moseys over to Brittana area, it cuts immediately, and our necks are snapped like owl-necks, but we survive.

thank you, LSD, for this experience

AND then — AND THEN! — and this is when I’m sure this is a drug thing or a fairy thing because my brain could not come up with this complete tomfoolery, AND THEN Irish Breakfast shows up, in an elf outfit, with a miniature book he refuses to read Frosty the Snowman from.

Kurt: “We asked our friend Itchy to stop by and read us a lighthearted, heartwarming, upbeat happy Christmas tale, Frosty the Snowman.”

Itchy the Christmas Elf: “Actually I was going to read that, but I searched my heart and I’m going to read one from a different book.”

I’m 95% sure that he’s gonna whip out Ulysses and we’ll be stuck in this limbo hell until Valentines Day, but instead he reads, I think, The Bible?  Everyone stares at him like they’re really into Jesus.

oh shit this is actually my spanish-english dictionary

In one or two group shots one can see that Brittany and Santana are holding hands, which isn’t enough. Which means I can’t save Christmas. Also that thing about Brittany going to Santa Fe isn’t true anymore, and she’s not too happy about it:

i can't believe they killed dana

When Irish Breakfast says “Christ Our Lord,” Rachel Berry shoots a look at Finn, because Finn is Jesus Christ.


So then that whole part is just over and we’re back in color at The House of Good Deeds, where Quinn and Sam are serving baked ziti to the best-dressed group of homeless people I’ve ever seen. Sam says he’d heard Quinn had a rough year but that she seems fine to him, because in Magical Mystery Glee he didn’t talk to her about her rough year exactly seven days ago and declare her issues #whitegirlproblems.

you know, i used to have to feed finn using this exact same buffet method

Then WHO’S AT THE DOOR? It’s Artie, some more random children, Emma, and a giant turkey! The gang says that Itchy the Elf’s little Sunday School episode inspired them all to come to the Home of Good Deeds, after they were done filming their show, which, like EVERYTHING that happened during this Coma to End and Begin all Comas, has nothing to do with anything and doesn’t make any sense at all!

probably are taking up space that could be occupied by actual people in need

Before anyone else can say something embarrassing, it’s time for another musical number. Finn warbles and everyone pretends to like it because he’s Jesus and Jesus has a lot of power.

hail the herald angels sing this is almost over

Mike Chang is dancing with a twelve-year-old and nobody opens any presents because they are all filled with copies of the Glee Christmas Album. A few kids are listening to Irish Breakfast read a story with no fucking idea what he’s saying. Do they know it’s Christmas? I feel like they don’t.


Rachel is back to being actual Rachel and actual Rachel named the pig Barbara and I’m like, fuck, there are like no minutes left, the countdown is on.

hey dude

Then Finn gives Rachel a star he named after himself, which she hangs up next to the coupons for back massages and other theoretical Finn presents represented by pieces of paper, and then he gives Rachel earrings which she sticks in a Salvation Army bucket.

Then Irish Breakfast asks Sam to be his Valentine’s Day Sponsor because at this part in Magical Mystery Glee, they are both gay.

the day after christmas is always the best day for salvation army donations

I guess this is when it hits me — gradually, and then suddenly — that we’re out of minutes, that my head hurts, that I can’t save Christmas after all. That I’m going to wake up from this fever dream with a gnawing pit of emptiness that can only be filled by fulfilling my mission to prove Brittany and Santana are truly in love. I’ve failed on my mission! I’ve FAILED! And just as I admit defeat, I wake up, feel terrible all over again, and then remember that it was just a dream so it doesn’t matter, and then I remember that actually w/r/t Brittana, that dream is not so different than reality, so then I get sad again.

I roll over on my mattress and there’s my girlfriend, right there, on her tiny computer accessing The Internet, and I wonder if she’s been here this whole time and if I talked in my sleep. But it sounds like she’s watching Glee, which I realize I missed while I was sleeping, but as I strain to see her screen she tells me it’s over and I ask her if it’s worth watching or recapping. She tells me, “The highlight of this week’s episode of Glee was the BevMo commercial.”

So I flip on my own laptop and the only thing I see is this picture of Ryan Murphy, staring right back at me:

how do you like me now

Happy Holidays, Motherfuckers!

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Riese is the 39-year-old Co-Founder and CEO of as well as an award-winning writer, blogger, fictionist, copywriter, video-maker and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and then headed West. Her work has appeared in nine books including "The Bigger the Better The Tighter The Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image & Other Hazards Of Being Female," magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 2945 articles for us.


  1. 1. I thought Rachel was really into being Jewish. So why is she asking for Christmas presents? Shouldn’t it be Hanukkah presents?
    2. Talking about the birth of baby Jesus with Jews & atheists in the room is awkward.
    3. Thank god it’s you instead of us poor kids.
    But Brittany & Santana dancing around in those outfits… Yay.

  2. I thought I was the only one who thought Love Actually was terrible. Everyone seems to love it including my girlfriend. It’s always great to know I’m not the only one. And on a different not I think this recap is awesome as all the other Glee recaps have been and I definitely know I’m not the only one with that thought. Thanks so much Riese!

  3. Annnd THIS is why I’m thankful I haven’t watched any Glee this year. Even is I miss out on their adorable gays, the adorable gays are the only good things now and half of the adorable gays don’t even get the love they deserve.

    Reese, I want to buy you a drink for making through recapping this.

    Oh, and I’m Christian and I’m super pissed there was no mention Hanukkah. Showing respect for your own character’s culture is important. You can even be super progressive and *gasp* show their friends supporting them and celebrating Hanukkah with them. Like lesbians kissing, that may be a little too racy for this show though.

  4. This whole episode, I thought I might actually be dead. Good thing Dr. Finn, Medicine Man, popped up at the end to inject us all with the right dose of piping hot irony. Fuck yeah! There’s Finn Fuckson, way up in the sky, LOOKING DOWN ON US!!

    Finn bless us, every one.

  5. I think I’m just gonna listen to my fave Jewish artists when it’s Chanukkah…I’m subjected to all this Christmas music 24/7 at the mall.
    This episode was so lame. That is all I have to say about it.

  6. I swear, when when that whole thing with Finn naming the star after himself went down, I dry retched.

    This show is written by monkeys. And the worst part is – there are people who think this episode was GOOD.

    P.S. The Naya gif at the top of the page wins all the awards and is an accurate summary of pretty much every episode of Glee these days.

  7. I was bored through a lot of this episode. I kept waiting and waiting for Santana’s “Santa Baby” (I sing it to myself as “Santana Baby”)to come on, even up to the last few minutes.

    Then I was pissed. I had to sit through that original Christmas song w/Blaine and Rachel but no Santana song? Rachel sang a solo, the song with Blaine AND the group number of “My Favorite Things”. WTF? Isn’t that a little much?

    The Star Wars shit was just random and stupid. It served no purpose. Artie was being even more of a pretentious douche than usual.

    Honestly, my biggest feeling during this was boredom. I blame the writer. I’m looking at you Marti Noxon. It’s hard to remember you were a writer for “Buffy”.

  8. I am so glad that I was not the only one who did not understand this episode … well, I mean, I usually don’t understand but this time I thought maybe I missed a scene or something. None of it made sense! I watched half of it then changed the channel and watched something else. You’re brave for recapping it!

  9. No lie, I would have been totally thrilled if the episode was nothing but the Gay 60’s Black and White Holiday Show. That was hysterical and adorable. … Everything else made my brain hurt. Even the musical numbers outside the special within a special were shite.

  10. The holiest and merriest of shits. I wasn’t prepared for this magical reading experience. My strait-laced, sober, capri pant-wearing brain will need some time to handle and process it all.

    I really liked it (the experience) and I thank you (Riese) for it, is what I’m (awkwardly) trying to say. And, in the spirit of Christmas, I would like to contribute to the erasure by wishing everyone a very joyous and Christmas-y Christmas. Christmas.

  11. Aside from the horror crapfest that has been Glee’s offensive anti-female and anti-human writing lately, there’s been something ELSE bugging me about it. But I couldn’t put my finger on it until this episode: IT’S EMPTY. Glee is just a husk.

    Long gone are the days of Glee with heart. When it’s not having ADHD on plot development, It’s all just one big overly saccharine mess (a la Artie’s vision). I seriously had to mute half the songs. Has the boy never made a mix tape?? You have to alternate some sad WITH the happy to make it bearable! You’d think a kid in a wheelchair who managed to woo a cheerleader would be a pro at mix tapes.

    I think I have glee-abetes.

    • I agree with this. One of the first things you learn in screenwriting is that your characters have to have a personal stake in whatever drama is occurring, otherwise it gets really uninteresting really quickly (see: Santana, Quinn, Sugar). One of the (many) problems Glee is having this season is that all of the characters are detached from real issues; whenever something beyond “OMG GLEE CLUB” arises, it’s dealt with in an overly convenient way or completely forgotten about. Each episode is self-contained in the worst possible way. It’s some of the weakest writing on television, in my opinion, and since they’re intentionally using fewer songs this season, there isn’t anything to cover up their mistakes.

  12. So at this point can we all just agree that either Ryan Murphy has a huge boner for Cory Monteith, or is living out some kind of weird fantasy where he’s actually Finn and is encouraging story lines that reflect his own teenaged (current?) shortcomings in a sort of hyper-complimentary light in an attempt to justify them to the world?

    Or both.

    Or I’m putting entirely too much thought into what is clearly best viewed as a frustrating but pretty fever dream.

  13. oh brother i hate love actually so much. i still remember sitting in the theater totally disgusted after it ended and looking at all my friends crying like babies and feeling totally confused. i just shot out of my seat muttering “that was some bullshit and i cant be seen with any of you” and then having to endure an entire evening of being called heartless. we are still friends, but we cant talk about love actually.

    i never watch glee and i always love your recaps. i would read a love actually recap too if riese wrote it.

  14. The Burl Ives-as-a-snowman-narrator Christmas specials are BOSS. The Island of Misfit Toys had the most awesome toys and I wanted all of them for myself, Clarice the reindeer was fucking PRECIOUS, there’s one with like a lady circus ringmaster who seemed incredibly fucking gay to me, the Kris Kringle origin story is admittedly kind of half-assed but I liked that his version of Christmas started as this underground resistance akin to the Rebel Alliance, and the one with Mother Nature and her boys has INCREDIBLY CATCHY SONGS.

    Apparently some douche stored all the figurines to make these movies in a cardboard box in his attic and they got moldy and mouse-chewed. I hope Santa brings that rat bastard a huge pile of coal, a gallon of lighter fluid, and a lit match.

  15. Thank you for pointing out that Brittany no longer smiles. I felt like there was just something off with her character lately, and I hadn’t been able to figure out what it was.

    And awesome recap as usual, ladies. This was definitely the trippiest ever.

  16. this was an amazing recap although I’m not exactly sure what was happening.
    Also I didn’t watch this episode because I am officially done wasting time watching Glee. There are too many other better things to watch.
    If Brittana ever get down to it let me know.

  17. This was the best recap of this week’s Glee I could’ve asked for. I watched it with my Klaine-shipping friend who was pissing herself laughing and I’m just sitting here like, “…What the fuck even.”

  18. Oh god, what has happened with Rachel!? She’s so fucking spineless now with Finn around; I was literally shouting at my computer screen with every Finchel scene. Christmas list: “BUT YOU’RE JEWISH!!” But I’m a vegan “YOU’RE ALSO JEWISH” I named her Barbra “BUT YOU’RE STILL A VEGAN JEW OMIGOD.” I wanted to tweet Lea and ask what the fuck is wrong with her to think this was one of her favourite episodes.

    Anyways. The only good thing about this episode was that Quinn has a soul.

    • I’m not sure why I’m going to address Glee like any of it makes sense ever or should be somehow socially conscious or aware, but I don’t think there’s anything inappropriate about giving a vegan jew the “african sow pig” because she isn’t supposed to eat the damn thing. It’s for a family in Africa who need some fucking protein in their lives and therefore I think it’s a nice gesture. Minus being totally random and pretty fucking weird in terms of actually being a gift to somebody else.
      Also, I watched this episode drunk so I thought way too much about that part. And all of it really.

      • I agree, and most the charities that donate animals to families aren’t necessarily meant to be eaten, they’re supposed to be bred and used to turn a profit…and then eventually eaten. I donated a flock of geese for my sister this year. I researched this shit.

        • Finn specifically said the pig was to be raised to be butchered for food. And Rachel objected initially because she’s vegan, but later recounted because she’s fucking spineless. Obviously if she objected to the pig on the basis of her being vegan, it’s a legitimate feeling.

      • As a vegan I wouldn’t really be cool with being “given” an animal for a family in a developing country to eat. There are plenty of other organizations to donate to that make a difference on behalf of the vegans in your life.

        • Yeah, I’ve heard a lot of other people being upset with this aspect. I mean, yes, I understand that it’s for charity, but why couldn’t Finn have donated money in Rachel’s name to building a well or school supplies for girls?? Why did it HAVE to be a pig which happens to go against two very important beliefs that Rachel has. I don’t give a fuck if it was charitable; Finn was still being his usual insensitive self and yet AGAIN Rachel just accepted it with a grateful smile.

        • I understand where you’re coming from, and obviously it’s an insensitive gift. However, as somebody who is living in a developing country and sees families who don’t have enough protein in their diets, especially for the kids, ESPECIALLY for the girls, I still don’t think you can get that upset about it. But I’m neither vegan nor Jewish so this is just my humble opinion.
          Now I’m going to stop arguing about this ridiculous plot point in an even more ridiculous episode.

  19. Those cats are effing terrifying.

    Also, I thought I saw Brittany and Santana in close proximity early on in this episode, but instead of rewinding 8 times and prolonging the torture that was the glee christmas special I said to myself, “autostraddle will have a screencap.” I can always count on you.

  20. I only watch Love Actually because of the Beach Boys. True story. Glee’s not worth the aggravation anymore. I will continue to demand your recaps though, Riese, cause they make great drinking games. Every time Riese speaks the truth, one finger.

  21. why would they even be raising money for the salvation army? they don’t support your gay friends kurt and blaine and santana and brittany and quinn and rachel and finnbian and artie ‘judy garland christmas special’ abrams and rachel’s invisible dads and that sandy guy and evil sebastian and karofsky and now apparently sam and irish guy

  22. I think I had some sort of rage black out when that Irish dude (does he HAVE a name??) started quoting from the bible and everyone just sat around like they were Christians spoon fed that from birth and it was like, the best thing he could ever read. The whole erasure of the established non-Christian beliefs of characters in this episode was appalling and it would have been baffling if it hadn’t been Glee.

    Also, did anyone else find the song selection for the homeless shelter offensive? First of all that song itself is terrible, but you sing it in a room full of needy children? I understand they were trying to emphasize the charity angle and whatever, but lets talk about a famine in Africa and how they don’t have snow and we all need to band together because we’re more fortunate than they are IN A ROOM FULL OF HOMELESS PEOPLE.

    This is the first time I can think of that I’ve fast-forwarded through a Glee episode. It was far more tolerable at 20 odd minutes without any songs from guys (other than the Blaine Rachel duet). Still, I wish I could blame what I did see on a drug trip.

  23. so at this point you just have to treat each episode as a singular entity, huh?

    they make no effort to establish (let alone maintain) continuity at all

    the only thing that is consistent in plot chronology or character establishment is their names.

    i wouldn’t be surprised if they all had popped up with different names later in the series

    • It’s pretty much like in comics, where it is perfectly logical for a character to be dead but there’s someone else using their superhero identity but then the character isn’t dead anymore except maybe they’re a clone or a shapeshifting alien or a zombie or maybe they’re just alive again for no reason, and all the while there’s still another alternate continuity happening where none of this ever happened. Or something. I don’t know, it feels like that. Also because Harley and Poison Ivy are probably together but who knows because they never kiss.

      I don’t know if any of that makes sense, but luckily I’m (tangentially) talking about Glee so I don’t actually need to make sense.

  24. does anyone else think Ryan Murphy was watching the Charlie Brown Christmas special while he was writing this episode? picture it: Rachel is Lucy, Sam is Charlie Brown, and Irish Breakfast is Linus.

    • yeah basically rachel said a line from the special and all irish breakfast needed to say before he broke into the bible verse would be lights please. lame rip off. at least last year when they ripped off they grinch they stuck to it more.

  25. I’m just pretending that the “Glee Christmas Spectacular” was the entire episode, because that shit was hilarious. When Amber somehow managed to say, “I think these are the end times,” with a straight face I laughed out loud for at least 30 seconds. And then Lea followed it up later with something about, “Due to climate change and end times…” and I LOL’d harder. Also, all of Lea’s facial expressions.

  26. My favorite part of Glee each week (besides the itsy-bitsy tiny pieces of Background!Brittana, where hand-holding is the new making out and head-touching is kissing–like a less-talkative Otaliaverse) is definitely reading your recaps.

    It’s quite possible you’re my favorite person on the Internet.

  27. My first thought when Finn gave Rachel the star named after himself: “Riese is flipping her shit right now.”
    Also Rachel’s song about the river made me appreciate Community: “Everything’s cooler when cameras are spinning” Actually can we just talk about how Community made a better episode about Glee than Glee did?

  28. the best part of this episode was the moment I realized that I literally devour and obsess over every single thing ever posted on AS. this moment happened to be at the five minute mark at the beginning of Irish Breakfast’s depressing song, when I noticed Artie wearing the same atrocious cardinal snowflake sweater as Carly in this article:

    Take A Look, It’s In a Book: Autostraddle’s 2012 Calendar Could Be Yours Forever

    I literally fell off my chair and then realized the extent of my pathetic-ness.

  29. This episode was so bad, almost as bad as I Kissed A Girl. The whole tribute to Judy Garland’s Christmas show was too long, too unfunny, too cringey. There was too much Blaine and too much Finn and I honestly cackled when he gave the star to Rachel and she was like “did you name a star after me?” and he replied “no, I named it Finn Hudson”. I paused the episode and laughed until I cried.

    The writing is so epically shit, all the new writers need to be sacked.

  30. i feel like a bad gay today because:

    a. i love love actually so much i cant even explain it. i think its partially because i love hugh grant and colin firth SO SO SO much and keira knightely is so hot. but the truth is i could watch it over and over on repeat and actually have done that maybe…….i watch it a lot. and cry. a lot. (too many feelingz)
    b. despite this episode being shity and ridiculous for all the reasons mentioned in this recap, i laughed so much at most of the lines during the b&w christmas special. like, way too hard.
    c. i had sex with the straightest girl i know last night (condoms on her nightstand kinda straight) and this isnt relevant to this recap but it is relevant to me feeling like a bad gay. so.

    alright i am done.

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