This week’s episode of Glee wasn’t all about how some B-list gleester was going to turn the beat around and feel the percussion while pursuing some high school dream and finding themself in the process. No. This week’s episode was all about long distance relationships falling apart!
Wait… didn’t Riese have this idea just the other week? Unfortunately Riese’s set list would have been 100% better.
Perhaps this isn’t the best time for me to recap an episode all about long distance relationships and the inevitable breakups that ensue. I’m sitting here ten weeks into my brand new life at med school. Ten weeks of wondering when I’ll start counting in months. Ten weeks of starting over. Ten weeks of watching my and everyone around me’s relationships crumble beneath the med school fist. Ryan Murphy just knew college was far enough in to make this episode hurt. Brava Glee. Brava.
Just for context, here is the email I sent to the team before the episode was even over
We open on the star-studded, whimsical, over-zealous, bully-ridden halls of McKinley High to two of the new characters who I still couldn’t care less about. C’mon writers. Jake is still a lame diluted version of Puck and Marley’s personality still has the fizzle of the Whole Foods brand knock-off of San Pellegrino that’s been sitting in my room for a week.
Nearby, Brittany and Blaine cry alone in the dark about how their lovers are far far away in exciting places doing exciting things.
But what about Rachel’s lover? Wasn’t he supposed to be off serving the country and maybe becoming a character I don’t loath? Nope, he just showed up at Rachel’s door. Starsweep to that New York City Tangential door where Finn explains what the fuck he’s doing in New York City Tangential.
Turns out the Army doesn’t take Mr. Potato Heads. Also he shot himself in the thigh accidentally on day 16 of basic training. Which is actually pretty impressive because I’m pretty sure soldiers don’t even get bullets until week four.
Since his discharge, and apparently instant gunshot wound recovery despite having hit a major artery, Potato Head had just been backpacking across Georgia for four months. I think that is code for dicking off in Hotlanta, since it only takes about 9 hours to get across Georgia. Also, I think it’s a little silly he didn’t even bother popping over to Charleston, South Carolina or Jacksonville, Florida. But then again, who am I to say what a potato enjoys for a road trip.
Rachel appropriately flips a shit at Finn about not speaking to her the whole time, but then rolls over like a puppy and invites him to follow her to all of her classes all week. It is truly painful to think about.
Meanwhile, back in Lima, Santana is back! Huzzah!
She’s home to break the world record for largest pile of laundry. Santana is wicked cute about it and admits she’s not doing laundry at school so she knows she’ll always have to come home every few weeks and see Brittany. She’s also chosen this moment to dress all housewifey. So obviously I generally approve of the situation. The two then proceed to have the most chaste kiss of all time, just to remind the audience that lesbians don’t have hot make-out sessions, they just give each other butterfly kisses.
Brit-Brit is also super sleepy because she’s been up reading Desecration: Antichrist Takes the Throne, part of the Left Behind series, which is apparently about the Christian End Times and the rise of the Antichrist. I was fully prepared to have Intern Grace make a hilarious mock-up of this obviously faux book series until I found out these are actually a real thing. So basically Brittany is in this super-Christian End of Days Book Club thing that’s being run by Kitty aka New Quinn.
Flash through time and space to McKinley where Blaine gets a call from his Fashion Intern Boyfriend!
Unfortunately just as he calls, Kurt gets pulled away on business. And it’s really hard for Blaine. But for me, because I’m a selfish brat, it’s just as hard to see Kurt’s confliction. To see how much it upsets Kurt to upset Blaine, while it simultaneously makes him furious that he has to balance his high school boyfriend with his big new life.
Kurt: Look, I know this is frustrating, it’s frustrating for me too. I don’t want to miss our phone dates, but, you know, this could be a career for me.
Blaine: I get that, I do, I really get it… I… I really miss you. A lot. Okay? I miss talking with you and I miss hugging you and I miss having awkward high school gay sex with you.
Funny, you would think Kurt would be able to keep in touch with Blaine by writing him epically long letters during his two hours commute to work. For his part, Blaine is wearing a shirt from J. Crew that I totally own. I just wanted to throw that out there.
Meanwhile, Finn follows Rachel around school lamenting that he is a potato and there is no place for potatoes at art school. Except perhaps in a interpretive video piece zoomed in on your hands peeling potatoes in order to represent your Irish heritage. Just for example.
Blaine and Finn sing “Barely Breathing” together, which I love because that song was my fucking jam in the 4th grade. While Finn stares at how amazingly better than him Rachel is, Blaine pokes some guy on Grindr. At least I think he pokes him… I’m not really sure how Grindr works.
Me: Um. Do you know how Grindr works?
Carmen: hahah. I think you put up your pic and then men in your area tell you to come over. And you are like ~yes ok. And they are like ~you are so hot. And then they fuck you and give you jobs!!
Back over in the middle of nowhere loft, Rachel, Finn and Kurt prepare for a night out at Callbacks, the local bar that all the NYADAADADDADADA students go and sing at on Fridays. And by local I mean all the way across the city. Finn is appalled to discover that in NYC you’re supposed to get dressed up and pay a $20 cover just to go and buy $15 drinks.
And while I was pretty appalled to discovered the same thing, Rachel and Kurt are completely unable to identify the very basic signs of depression in their boyfriend/step-brother. Like his obvious feelings of worthlessness and/or helplessness. Or how about his difficulty making decisions and being pessimistic. How about the big red sign that flashes on his forehead that says “Loss of Interest in Activities Once Enjoyed” when Finn mentions he hasn’t sung since Nationals. Or, of course, his chronic diarrhea. You think they would have noticed that.
And then Blaine shows up!
So the quatro (the quad?) roll up to the oh-so-classy piano bar, Callbacks. There’s no mention of fake IDs or how the hell they got in, assumingly because an index card that said, “These four kids are 21” would probably be sufficient ID to get them into any bar in New York. Rachel orders a virgin amaretto sour. At this point I’m seriously considering making myself a non-virgin amaretto sour, and then pouring it down the drain after one and switching to Jack. Just a thought.
Brody rocks up all hip and completely boring so he and Finn can awkwardly meet. Seeing Rachel with Finn in tow just makes me think of all those girls I knew freshman year who would drag their high school boyfriends to campus parties just to ignore them all night and come out when they were juniors.
Rachel really wants to sing with Finn, but in Finn’s most passive aggressive moment ever he insists that Rachel sing it with Brody. Just kidding, there’s no way that was Finn’s most passive aggressive moment.
Rachel and Brody hop on stage and sing Demi Lovato’s song with that nifty giving your heart a break wordplay situation. It’s one of those awkward moments when Lea Michel sings a song 100% better than the original artist. Finn pouts the whole time like he didn’t just tell Rachel to do it. I’d like to pretend that Finn’s totally constipated look is from the realization that he needs to let Rachel fly free like a butterfly. Except, um, didn’t he already figure that out at the end of last season? Am I dumb for thinking that was the breakup episode?
Let the record show that Rachel looks awesome in that white blazer with shorts.
Blaine then proceeds to do a Damian Rice version of Teenage Dream. For the record, the lyrics seem way more sexxxxx relating when you sing them slowly. Oh right also Blaine starts crying and just repeats the chorus over and over.
But Darren Criss absolutely sells it and for two minutes and 28 seconds I had the terrible awful no good feeling that I was actually watching a 17-year-old kid train-wreck style embarrass himself in front of all of his boyfriend’s friends. It was a long two minutes and 28 seconds.
As they walk home, the couples pair off to talk about All The Feelings. Finn hounds Rachel about how he doesn’t fit into her life and voila manifest destiny she admits she and Brody kissed. Finn is not pleased. Doesn’t Rachel know that he gets to leave for four months without a word and pretending to be the army, that his little woman is just supposed to hang around her apartment, chaste, washing her hair every night?
At just exactly the same moment, Kurt confronts Blaine about his uncomfortable on-stage feelings explosion. Blaine admits to having “been with someone.” In the biblical sense. And poor Kurt looks like someone stabbed him with his favorite oversized hippo broach right in the heart. Blaine explains that this is really all Kurt’s fault for not being there. For being the horrible bad guy who wanted more from his life than the same town he’d been living in for years. The bad guy who forced Blaine to follow his dick to the nearest dick for some feelings-free Grindr man action.
Blaine: What matters is that I was by myself. I needed you. I needed you around and you weren’t there…. and I was lonely. And I’m… really sorry.
Kurt: You don’t think that I’ve been lonely? You don’t think that I’ve had temptations to get some lovin’ down at the Metropolitan? To get my Grindr sex on?!
But you can see why Blaine would be interested in this. The Grindr sex, that is. I mean, how is a young man with raging hormones supposed to say no to that? I mean, those teen gays, they are just hormone deviants who can’t keep it in their pants. Not like those docile lesbians who just fold laundry and link pinkies and kiss from four feet away from each other.
If you couldn’t already tell, I think there is something problematic going on here in the difference between the way the lesbian and gay couples are being presented.
So yeah. Everyone fessed up to their cheating and everyone blamed each other.
And then they sang “Don’t Speak”. Because they are a bunch of middle school students in 1999. Finn sings lead and it is literally the most tragic of all tragic kingdoms.
We conclude with Finn sneaking out in the morning. How fucking mature.
Ugh let’s take a page break.