[Editor's Note: Regular recapper Heather Hogan has the holiday off, but will be back next week. Kindly filling in for her this week is guest writer Elaine Atwell]
An analogy: Glee is like a box of chocolates. A box of chocolates you find sitting unattended at a bus station, and which you open because you have low blood sugar and a totally unfounded faith in humanity. And with each bite you wonder: will this be filled with razor blades, planted by someone who apparently wants to punish chocolate lovers? Will it be stuffed with so much beauty and heart and truth that it makes you cry with its sweetness? Or is it perhaps laced with LSD, which will cause you to hallucinate puppet versions of your friends, pirouetting madly to old school Janet Jackson? This week’s episode of Glee was that last kind of chocolate: sure it was a cold-blooded attempt to move singles on iTunes, held together by only the thinnest of narrative threads, but at least it wasn’t strawberry cream.
Okay, so: we open in the choir room. Blaine strolls in to announce that Mr. Schuester is otherwise occupied this week, which comes as a relief to America and the glee club, who are anxious to skip Mr. Schue’s wildly off-base lesson-of-the-week, and actually prepare for Nationals. Because Nationals are coming, you guys. For serious. Whether it’s in one week or twenty, or whether we have fallen into a black hole in which time has ceased to exist, you can always count on Nationals sneaking up on you. Blaine suggests they brainstorm ideas for songs–which is in itself laughable because we all know they will come up with the songs at the last minute and on the sage advice of a special guest appearance by Ann Reinking–but is then appalled when the rest of the New Directions have the temerity to voice their own opinions. You see, Blaine’s vision of the brainstorming process involved all the ideas coming from him while the rest of the glee club nodded sang backup. He tells them this, while none-too-subtly mentioning that he has won the most nationals championships of anyone in the room, which makes Sam’s face do this.
The only person who takes Blaine’s side is Jake, who really just wants someone to share the doghouse with him.
Fifteen minutes away, in New York, Kurt is facing his own control issues. He insists that Pamela Lansbury (the name of the New York folks’ band, which you can be forgiven for forgetting all about) makes its debut at Callbacks.
Starchild: Hold up, isn’t that where that impossibly handsome guy once had an emotional breakdown to “Teenage Dream”?
Kurt: THAT IS BESIDE THE POINT.
Starchild: I’m just saying, it’s not really our crowd. And as EVERYONE KNOWS, a band’s first gig determines its entire career trajectory.
Santana and Dani: Yep, yep, that is definitely a fact.
Kurt: Look, if you think the same audience won’t be drawn to heartbreaking renditions of adolescent angst, stirring show tunes, and campy homages to pop songs, then we really do have problems.
Dani and Santana: (Are contractually forbidden to speak more.)
They do make the best of their faces though.
Over his bandmate’s objections, Kurt takes them through a fantasy sequence where they wow the Callbacks audience with “Get Into The Groove”, led by Kurt and Starchild. It’s nothing fancy, but since this song has aged like a fine wine, they pull it off, in spite of Kurt’s over reliance on shoulder shimmies as his primary form of choreography. ALSO, and most importantly, I detected zero flirtation between Kurt and Starchild, which came as a great relief.
Let’s save our exploration of polyamory for next year!
Kurt’s fantasy is interrupted by a split-screen phone call from Blaine, who complains that the glee club is suddenly accusing him of being “controlling.”
Kurt: What? The man who insisted on four singing groups being present for his marriage proposal is being called controlling? This is an outrage!
Kurt: Oh honey, I can take your puppet master stuff because I trust that power is distributed equally in our relationship, but the rest of the world is going to push back sometimes. Anyway, I’m mailing you a Jet Blue voucher* so you can come see my band perform, okay?
Blaine: I’m sorry, I stopped listening at “puppet.”
*A magical plane ticket found at the ends of rainbows.
Oh god, you guys. Sue’s storyline this week. I just don’t even know what to do with it, which I suppose is how Heather Hogan feels all the time. Sue is under review to go from “Interim Principal” to “Supreme Benevolent Leader” at McKinley, and quickly develops a crush on the superintendent, which is slightly hampered by the fact that he mistakes her for a guy, which:
She flashes back to the time when she first donned her signature track suit, in an effort to get students to respect and fear her more. But now she wants to embrace her feminine side, which Becky encourages, telling her to “girl it up.” Glee, you sure know how to make a recapper nervous with all this talk about gender presentation.