Last week's Glee
Britney tribute was the kind of episode you want to take with you out to the club: Fast, crazy, scantily clad and down for whatever, even doing serious narcotics and stripping its own plot bare (in public
no less) for the sake of the party. I'm not saying that episode has definitely
done coke, but it has an obvious "Try anything once, devil may care, let's dull the pain of my serious daddy issues" aura about itself.
episode, on the other hand, is the kind of episode you want to romance, marry and eventually raise a family with. You want to hold its hand while sitting in matching rocking chairs on your wrap-around front porch. You want to pick out matching monographed towels with this Glee
episode. You would let this Glee
episode win at checkers, every time. You're in love with it and you want to have all of its babies forever and ever, amen.
Of course, by "you," I mean me. But I pray, for your sake, that you agree. I wasn't lying when I said last week's Britney spectacle tickled my "Toxic" bone
, but tonight's episode, like a good, healthy meal after a candy binge, had all the heart and poignancy and thought-provoking story arcs and character growth that last week's lacked. And it didn't hurt that we still got killer songs, some stellar Brittany-isms, another major glimpse at Sue's soul (oh, it's there
) and just the right dash of Finchel dysfunction. This really was Glee
at its very best: Touching and in-tune, through and through, thanks in large part to Chris Colfer, who, let's be honest, may as well just get that Emmy right now. Him and his fabulous hat. (So
Christ chic!)But enough! Let's get to the recap, before my heart attacks me from loving too much:
The whole thing starts when Finn sees the face of Jesus in his grilled cheese sandwich and starts praying to it. One big, cheesy joke begets another:
What do they call meetings at the Grilled Cheese Church? ... Kraft Services!
Finn prays to the sandwich that the football team will win their first game, and claims it's to make Artie feel better. One thing you should know before you jump headfirst into the Lord, Finn: He KNOWS when you're lying.
Meanwhile, Burt Hummel tells Kurt Hummel to clear his schedule for their sacred Friday Night Dinner this week, but Kurt blows it off so he can go to his own sacred gathering: Sing-along Sound of Music
. Burt says they need to cherish their moments together while they have them, but Kurt is like, "Screw you, dad! I'm an angsty teen who just wants to get his Julie Andrews on!" And then the sun gets blotted out by so much FORESHADOWING:Kurt:
I'm not missing something I've been look forward to all year just for another dinner. Burt:
I gotta tell you Kurt, I'm real disappointed in you.
Nothing good can ever
come from an exchange like that in the first five minutes of an episode. (I learned that at TV Blogger University.)
To pay back God for the football win, at Glee Club practice Finn asks if they can sing about Jesus. The faces of the Jews in the club are like:
Kurt says, "No church for me, thanks. Remember how I'm GAY?" but Quinn and Mercedes are like, "Let's church it up! Go God!" So Will throws out his original lesson plan (the collected works of Jimmy Buffet) and says "Let's sing about spirituality instead." So then Puck is all, "Your take on spirituality is lame" to Finn, because it is forced, limited, and does not account for religious experiences during awesome make-outs. Puck starts a Billy Joel "Only the Good Die Young" dance party to illustrate his point while Kurt text-pouts in the corner.
So saddened by his son (and clogged by all the jerky), Burt suffers a heart attack at his shop and goes into a coma. Emma and Will go with Kurt to the hospital, where they find out Burt may have suffered brain damage and the doctors don't know if/when he'll wake up. Oh NO, Mike O'Malley! Please don't die! You can live! You've got the GUTS
A younger and happier time.
Finn's back to praying to his sandwich, and this time he's asking his cheesy Lord to make Rachel let him touch her "not that great" boobs (Joobs?). Great prayer, Finn. Very respectful to everyone involved. I'm sure He'll get right on that.
Back at school, the Gleeks are sad for Kurt. Brittany gives him her crayon-scrawled book report about heart attacks, "if you want to give it to the doctor." (It feels wrong to laugh in this moment, make-believe as it is, but it's literally impossible
not to.) Finn makes it all about himself and gets pissed at Kurt for not calling him ASAP about Burt. He thought they were "kind of a family." First of all: Religion is making Finn kind of a dick. And secondly: NOW who's picking out matching vintage princess beds?
Mercedes looks to two almighties (God and Whitney Houston) for help singing her support to Kurt, and she sings "I Look to You" in front of everyone. If songs could cure, Mercedes' voice would be the cancer ward. But even Mercedes' Jesus-infused vocal chords can't convince Kurt that God is real: "I think he's kind of Santa Claus for adults. Otherwise, God's kind of a jerk, isn't he?" Why would He make Kurt gay and then tell His followers to mock and tease him for "choosing" to be gay? That's an evil teacup moon dwarf move. Kurt gets up and leaves Glee practice: "I appreciate your thoughts, but I don't want your prayers."
Sue finds out through her extensive array of hidden cameras within the school--an admission that Principal Figgins conveniently tunes out--that Will is teaching a lesson about spirituality, and gets all "separation of church and state" on him. No one points out to Sue that using her Big Brother cams as evidence that high schoolers should have personal freedoms is at all ironic. Guess it's MY JOB.
Rachel goes to Finn's room and literally says, "Let's discuss your newfound love for Jesus, and how it's affecting me." (How does she have time to read self-help books in between all the singing and sweater-set shopping?) Here's how it's affecting her: When she's a 25-year-old Tony winning virgin, she wants to know that her impending offspring will have the freedom to worship in exactly the way their domineering diva mother chooses for them. Finn agrees that the kids should go to "Jew church and wear those hats and eat that salty orange stuff with their bagels" so that maybe Rachel will let him get a handful. So while she thinks he listened or understood anything she said, he sings "Our God is an Awesome God" in his head about a cheese sandwich while feeling her up. These two are so
perfect for each other!
I'm lucky I'm so cute.
Sue grills Brittany and "Jugs the Clown" on what's going down over in God Town (AKA Glee Club). Aside from Brittany's card that said, "Heart attacks are just from loving too much," (uh oh, I think I'm getting chest pains of my own from loving BRITTANY too much!) the girls don't have much to say: Kurt's "not even into it" anyway. So Sue decides to call Kurt into her office and tries to coerce a "student complaint" out of him, so she can take Will's God-loving teach-ass in front of the school board for proselytizing to minors. (Like last week's "Toxic" performance wasn't enough to get him fired/jailed?)
Emma gets word that Sue is exploiting Kurt's personal crisis to take out Will, and storms into Sue's office all brave and righteous (her new confidence is surely thanks to Hot Dr. Carl, WHERE IS HE? I want more Stamos!) to ask Sue, "What happened to you to make you such a miserable tyrant?"
Sue actually tells her the truth: She worshiped her older sister, and had to watch as other people mocked and laughed at her. So she prayed for her to get better. When nothing changed, she realized that no one was listening. "Asking someone to believe in a fantasy, however comforting, isn't a moral thing to do. It's cruel." She just wants Kurt to be free to believe what he wants to believe, and to be prepared that he could lose his father. Taking down Will is apparently just a convenient bonus.
Will breaks the news to the club that they can't sing about God on "school time," and Santana turns into a real bitch and says, "I hope you're happy, Kurt." WOOF. Hey remember his dad? Being in a coma? Turns out the whole club is mad at Kurt for siding with Sue, but he stands strong beside his evil queen so he doesn't have to sing along with the God-loving "mental patients."
Finn kneels in the locker room to praise his cheddar God's wisdom ("turns out Rachel's boobs are really awesome"--THAT'S A RELIEF!) and asks for another favor: To be quarterback again. He wants to turn into McKinley's resident Tom Cruise and use his popularity to preach. Puck catches him praying to a week-old sandwich and unintentionally makes Finn realize that he's been praying like a selfish idiot, but it's too late: Sam (Hi, Sam! Welcome back, Sam!) dislocates his shoulder on a play that Finn
convinced him to change--making Finn the new quarterback. UH OH. EVIL MONKEY'S PAW ALERT!
Rachel takes Finn into the forest and sets up a two-person prayer circle, complete with altar, for Burt Hummel and sings "Papa Can You Hear Me" from Yentl
while wearing a plaid cape. All appropriately dramatic for both Rachel and the situation.
Mini Barbra. Major cape.
But then all of a sudden she's dramatically sing-praying in the hospital room with everyone else while touching the head of the father of her classmate who explicitly said he didn't want any prayers. Turns out Rachel, Mercedes and Quinn were hedging their God-bets by taking turns sing-praying for Burt in their different faiths. Kurt tells them to leave and brings in a sikh to perform acupuncture because "needles pierce the skin better than songs."
Kurt gets up in front of the Glee Club and tells the story of his mother's funeral, when he looked up at his dad, wanting to hear words of comfort, "and he just took my hand and squeezed it" and he knew everything would be OK. He sings "I Want to Hold Your Hand" for his dad. We see flashbacks of them together at tea parties and her funeral. He makes serious sad faces while singing beautifully. All the tissues in all the world are not enough.
:( I love you, Kurt. Your face hurts my heart. In a good way.
Mercedes convinces Kurt to come to church with her because she's dedicated the service to his dad. He's still not on speaking terms with Jesus, but then he hears the words "You get to wear a fabulous hat." SOLD.
Finn stumbles through a confession to Emma that his prayers to a sandwich got Sam injured. Emma explains to our adorable gorilla-man that all of the things that happened have logical explanations, and that God doesn't speak through sandwiches. Finn goes back to the club and performs R.E.M.'s "Losing My Religion."
Kurt IS religious ... about his brilliant accessorizing.
Kurt goes to church with Mercedes, where he wears a TRULY fabulous black feathered hat. Mercedes asks her church ("Hi, Church!") to pray for Kurt and his dad, and tells Kurt that even though he doesn't believe in God, he needs to believe in something, because life is too hard to go through it alone and without something sacred. AMEN, SISTER. She and her gospel choir sing "Bridge Over Troubled Water." Between the song, the lady sitting next to him who holds his hand and the lady across the aisle wearing exactly the same hat, his experience at church is what finally gets to Kurt.
While visiting her sister, Sue asks if she believes in God. Janie says she does and that "God doesn't make mistakes." Underneath Sue's hard and bitter outer shell lives this soft, gooey creature with the ability to make genuinely affectionate facial expressions:
WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH SUE?
I love when we get a glimpse at Sue's humanity. It's so weird and confusingly vulnerable. Like seeing a cat in the bathtub. Or a politician in shorts.
Kurt goes to the hospital and talks to his father, still in the coma, about how sorry he is that he took him for granted. Kurt still doesn't believe in God, "but I believe in you, Dad. I believe in us. You and me. That's what's sacred to me." JUST GIVE CHRIS COLFER THE EMMY NOW! That face. That FACE!
If there was a "Best Most Heartbreaking Face Award" at the Emmys, this episode would earn Chris Colfer a lifetime achievement award.
Compelled by the power of Kurt's confession, Burt's hand starts moving ... He's ALIVE!
The club sings "One of Us" while the stories wrap up: Finn uncovers his week old Grilled Cheesus and eats it (as some sort of self-punishment? One last communion? Or is he just hungry?), and Sue, inspired by her sister's faith in God, tells Will she won't turn him in for letting the club sing a religious song. What did you think of tonight's Glee? Did you fall in love with it as much as I did? What was your favorite song? All these questions and more ... that's what the comments are for!Next Week:
A duets competition in Glee Club. Sam joins the club (Yay!) and almost kisses Quinn, which pisses off Finn (Boo!), even though he's dating Rachel. Plus, Brittany's really into Artie (apparently), and Santana and Mercedes are going to team up to become the school's "top bitches."
(Images courtesy of Fox)