Welcome to the eighteenth recap of Glee, a show about a fat orange cat who just wants to sleep, eat lasagna, kick his lousy beagle frenemy off a table and mail his adorable little kitten to Abu Dhabi. Riese won’t be joining us this week because sometimes Glee is just, like, too much you know? I’m sorry this is late though, for real, I just already had loads of feelings about it. Don’t worry though, I’ll fill in the gaps for those of you playing at home.
This week’s episode starts off with a viewer discretion warning, because yes yes yes this episode will make you have tons of feelings because it discusses school violence and man is that a loaded topic. I was so furiously warned about the emotional impact of this episode that I literally had my knots in chest the entire episode. Every scene of Shooting Star was framed to convince you that a shooter could burst in at any moment.
There wasn’t even a “That’s what you missed on Glee.”
We open on Will “I can’t believe my solo carrer didn’t work out and I’m still stuck doing this bullshit” Schuester welcomes Glee Club 2.0 to the stage where he announces their competition for Regionals! From Some High School in Indiana it’s the Hoosierdaddies and from Our Lady of Perpetual Loneliness in Michigan it’s the Nuntouchables.
In case this wasn’t immediately clear to you and you had to google it, “Hoosier” is what you call someone from Indiana. The more you know! As for the Nuntouchables, I’d be inclined to believe they must be an all girls Catholic school and not a convent except that school in Gleeland is called Our Lady of Perpetual Sorrow and their team is The Golden Goblets! If they really wanted to do an all girls choir, instead of a convent somehow squirreling a team of nuns into a high school choir competition, maybe it really should have been an all lesbian 1950’s themed show choir named The Titty Boppers! Glee: hire me for the writing team; I’m available.
Just then we get this screen image thing and I think it’s going to be a shooter.
But it’s not, so hold on to your deep stress relieving breathing! Instead, Brittany busts in and announces there’s another astroid/comet/meteor coming directly towards the school. Is it an awesome comet made of lesbians? Nope, it’s the terrible type. The world is going to end soon! Didn’t we already go through this? Y’all need to be more creative.
Blaine:Didn’t we just go through this at Christmas?
Tina:Yeah, and is it true that you and Sam got married? Did that happen?
Either way now Brittany wants to sing songs all about last words to people but mostly to her cat Lord Tubbington. Schue is totally into this idea even though it’s sort of alarmist. At this point you would think he would set up a meeting between Brittany and his fiance/girlfriend/ladywoman guidance counselor about distinguishing between real and imaginary and the effect that declaring the end of the world might have on other students. Nope, he’s gonna have them all sing about all of their feelings towards each other. Which is somehow different than what they do every week? I’d love to comment on that more but I’m too distracted by Artie’s commitment to mimicking Mr. Schue’s body language.
Meanwhile, Ryder-Bieber Strong finally sees That Girl He Met On Tumblr Because They Both Used #Nooneunderstands, Katiexoxo6969.Surprise surprise she goes to McKinley which somehow never ever came up in conversation despite the fact that they’ve told each other absolutely everything and have been in online love for at least three weeks now! That’s okay though, because true love isn’t about know where somebody lives or grew up or about their family. It’s about knowing how they deeply connect to Jimmy Eat World’s The World You Love. Just to clarify, The World You Love wasn’t in this episode but totally should have been.
She’s blonde and perfect, so Ghost Ryder does what any healthy young Frosted Flake eating high school boy would do and goes running to talk to his best friend/worst enemy/equally bland character Puck 2.0.
Either way, you know the blonde girl probably isn’t Katiexoxo6969 even before Ryder-Beiber Strong shows up at her locker about to piss himself. Why do we know she’s probably not real? Probably because she looks confused for every single second that he’s speaking to her.
Ryder-face drags blondie to the choir room to sing her his favorite rendition of Your Song. Blondie is so adorable and honestly I fall in love with her a little bit throughout the song because we all know how much I love a girl in a scarf. She also falls hopelessly in love with Ryder during the song, evident by her shrugging shoulders and occasional smiling, which I find surprising based on the fact that so far his character has basically been presented as 93% bigot, 6% Finn, 1% Goober’s premixed PB&J spread. (For statistical accuracy I’d like to point out that being 6% Finn makes Ryder actually just 3% tater-tot, 2% mansplaining and another 1% Goober’s premixed PB&J spread for a grand total of 95% the worst and 5% lunch.)
Here’s Elton John’s original:
And here’s the Glee version:
And here’s the version from Moulin Rouge that I listed to in the back of a tour bus on repeat for two weeks during my Bat Mitzvah vacation with my grandmother:
After he finishes singing his littler floppy-haired heart out, Ghost Ryder announces his undying love for Katiexoxo6969 and– whoops, her name is Marissa. Unlike Marissa Cooper (the One True Marissa) she isn’t involved in a romantic relationship involving a secret identity. Actually someone just stole her picture to “Catfish” Ryder. What is catfishing? I only knew the word from that movie Catfish where a young man gets tricked into thinking he knows a girl from Facebook only to find out it’s someone just deceiving him– oh wait. I figured out what catfishing is.
Marissa’s is like, “Ryder, I know you just called me by the wrong name but I’m so attracted to your bigoted face that you can call me any time day or night if you want to hook up and be in love forever.” I sort of wish she could have been secretly crushing on Brittany and mortified by Ryder’s advances, but still I’m a little emotionally attached to this Marissa girl now. Ryder, on the other hand, literally could not care less about her feelings and just leaves to figure out who’s katiefishing him. Slick move dick.
Mostly I’m just really scared this is going to be a terrible, stereotypical awful “transgender entrapment” type plot line with Unique. It would so stupid if that’s where they’re going with this since:
1. Unique is hot and perfectly capable of finding a boyfriend without tricking someone
2. It would be really out of character for Unique to want to hide who she is since basically her entire plot line has revolved around being proud of who she is
3. It’s even more out of character for Unique to choose pretend to be white
4. Why on earth would Unique even be into a bigot who openly misgendered her like two episodes ago?
The most important take away from this scene is this hawt violinist who probably follows Autostraddle and DapperQ on twitter IF YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN.
The shakey-cam follows Ryder through the halls of McKinley and he confronts Marley-Kate and Puck 2.0. He’s convinced up and down that they’re the ones pretending to be Katiefish.
Ryder is pissed. Real pissed. Like so angry. he storms off mumbling to himself and leaving us all with that queasy feeling that this was going to turn into Ryder bringing a gun to school but, spoiler alert, I was wrong.
Starsweep to the Gleesters in the auditorium where Brittany gets the kids together to sing More Than Words. Is it to each other? Nope, it’s to Lord Tubbington. Either way I find this song insipid.
Here’s the Original:
Here’s the Glee version:
Time warp to when classes end, and in the dark hallways of the school, Will whistles while he walks. Rewatching it now I feel silly, but on the first round through I was just sure this would be a shooting. Instead Will heads into the locker room for… a dinner with Coach Beiste?
Anyways looks like Coach Beist set up a romantic dinner for two. Of all place in the school/town/country why on earth would Coach Beiste plan this for inside the school? I think in any other episode this would have taken place at Breadsticks fabulous Italian restaurant. The only reason this was set in the school was to heighten the drama regarding a shooting. Ugh. Either way, Coach Beiste proclaims her love for Will and his epic collection of sweatvests. Will’s not interested. I find this whole scene repulsive. Not because of heterosexual sex and stuff, but because of Glee‘s treatment of Coach Beiste. I mean, Coach Beiste isn’t some hideous undesirable woman with a horrible personality. Dot Jones is hot! She has a hot girlfriend and everything! Let’s stop pretending that this is realistic. Whatever.
The next day at school, Ryder is still pissed about the whole Katiefishing situation. He and Katiefish decide to meet later. You can really tell their texting conversation was written by someone who has never met a teenager. Not just because of their language, but because Ryder seems to own a BlackBerry.
Elsewhere, we’re treated to this thing again.
This time we enter the Young Astronomer’s Club meeting. Brittany’s oscillating intelligence is once again explored without explanation. Hilariously the Young Astronomer’s Club has more members than the New Directions. If only we were watching a show about them entitled Astro.
She announces that the astroid/meteor/comet/cheeseball is actually just a ladybug. Hooray we’re all saved! She also disbands the Young Astronomer’s Club which I feel weirdly sad about, despite the fact that we’ve never been introduced to the club prior to this episode.
Becky hangs around after class to talk about feelings and stuff. She’s worried about what her life will be like after she leaves McKinley, and tells Brittany they should make a pact to never graduate together. Brittany tells Becky that if she really prepares herself the world won’t seem like such a scary place. This is actually really good advice and the reason why you should all go out and get a Roth IRA retirement savings account. This could have been a really interesting plot line for Becky, had they continued to develop it over the remainder of the season. Unfortunately, as I discussed immediately following the episode, Glee airballs it.
Starsweep to the choir room where the Glee kids, Will and Coach Beiste hold a “The World Isn’t Ending” Glee Club session. Just as Will says, “Let’s get started,” a gunshot goes off. Then another.
Most of the Gleesters were in the choir room, but Brittany, Tina, Sugar and Teen Jesus were suspiciously absent. Will flicks off the light and tells the kids to hide, Blaine pushes the piano in front of the door and the kids all scatter and crouch on the floor terrified. The kids cry in the dark and a few sort of make amends with each other and video tape themselves for their parents. It’s heart wrenching and that’s about where I started losing my shit and crying. Don’t worry, Glee even took the time to have Sam try to play hero trying to save Brittany and having to be restrained by Mr. Schue and Coach Beiste.
After a few chaotic minutes, they show Brittany hiding alone in a bathroom. Honestly, I thought Heather Morris gave one of her best performances in Glee history.
A bit later we see Tina outside the school panicking and crying, which I thought was a nice touch in terms of representing how scared and helpless people on the outside of the school might feel.
The scene goes on for about 11 minutes which is a lot for a show that can’t seem to focus on one character for more than 45 seconds. Everyone is okay. Obviously I cried a whole bunch. The whole thing was pretty emotionally manipulative and intense, though this was deflated later for a lot of reasons. I’m not going to get into this too much because I already had a lot of feelings about Glee missing the mark on gun violence..
I’m really trying not to make jokes here, because this is a serious issue, but why does no one asks where Sugar or Teen Jesus are? Also, why it would be safer for Artie to be out of his wheelchair and therefore less able to evacuate swiftly if needed?
We come back to McKinley an ambiguous number of days later where there are now metal detectors and cameras. Cameras probably should have/would have been there in the first place. Either way the teacher mull around the teachers lounge worrying about which student brought the gun. I guess no one was shot and no guns were recovered. No one even seems to really know what happened. I feel like a high school probably wouldn’t reopen without that sort of information, but okay.
Sue announces that it was actually her gun that went off. She walks directly to Figgin’s office and tells him the gun she keeps at school went off while she was safety checking it and then again when she dropped it on the floor. This reasoning makes absolutely no sense since the two shots took place minutes apart, but oh well. There’s also some stuff in here about feeling safer with a gun from parents who might feel safer with a gun? I think it was a message about not being reactionary about carrying guns and the importance of gun control, but it was a bit muddled. Sue also monologues about how she’d had such an amazing career, but all she’ll be remember for is bringing a gun into a high school. At the time I was kind of like WTF is Glee trying to make us feel bad about this for?
It’s because later, when Will confronts Sue about bringing a gun, the big plot twist is revealed. Will claims it just doesn’t seem like her. Sue flashesback to the previous day where Becky sits in her room. It’s explained that Becky was scared and brought a gun to school which accidentally went off twice. Again, feelings feelings feelings feelings.
While all this is going on, Blaine and Tina have a friendship moment. Aww.
In the library, Will breaks every single high school computer rule and shows Beiste her new online dating profile her made for her.
For heaven sake a middle aged woman knows how to create an online dating profile if she wants one. This is some patronizing mansplaining bullshit. Then, of course, Ken Tanaka immediately contacts her because, according the Glee logic, the only person who would love a gym teacher would be another gym teacher. And there’s only two in the country.
In the hallway, Sam brings Brittany a second kitten, thus solving whatever relationship problem I guess they were supposed to be having. It’s pretty gay but I don’t want to announce Sam and Brittany as a totally lesbian couple because I don’t really want Sam on our team. Also someone explain to me why he brought a cat to school when they hang out together after school all the time?
Also, Ghost Ryder is still pissed that someone is Katiefishing him. Oh did I mention he tried to call Katiefish during the shooting scare and someone in the choir room’s phone went off? Because yeah that happened. But also Ryder said it couldn’t be Unique’s phone “because her ringtone is Bootylicious.” Why did any of them even have their cell phones on in class? Maybe it was Mr. Schue.
Kitty: I didn’t catfish you. I’m not into guys who look like lifesize cartoon weiners. Now excuse me, because just thinking about you and me dating makes me drier than the cast of Hot in Cleveland.
At 3pm Ryder paces the halls in the sport where he’s supposed to meet Katiefish. She doesn’t show. Meanwhile, the other Gleesters sing Say, another song I’m no so crazy about, while cutting a required assembly that is for some reason not held in the auditorium. I do think the violinists in the background are hot though.
Here’s the Original version:
Here’s the Glee version:
Ryder joins the crew mid-song and I realize that I literally don’t care about any of these Glee club members anymore. I wonder what this episode would have been like if instead of feature gun violence in a school they’d chosen to show gun violence on campus at NYADADA. I can’t guarantee I would have felt differently, or that Glee wouldn’t have still found a way to fuck it up, but at least I would feel invested in Rachel, Kurt and Santana. Oh well! They didn’t even get reaction shots of the TV footage of the gun scare! If they had it would have looked like this:
See you next week when maybe we’ll all have fewer feelings (but probably not).