'Glee' Recap: Getting Naked Makes Everything Better
'Glee' Recap: Getting Naked Makes Everything Better
John Kubicek
John Kubicek
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
For the second week in a row, I'm in love with Glee. The magic is back in 2013 as this week's episode is very funny, very sweet and very inspiring. It also has hot dudes taking their shirts off.

What's not to love? The musical performances are all top-notch, "Fondue for Two" and Lord Tubbington return, Santana gets to be sassy and, oh yeah, the guys take their clothes off. Even Brody.

Sam Gets Naked

The New Directions are heading to Regionals after the steroid scandal at Dalton. Sure, there are a dozen major plot holes, but just go with it. To pay for the trip Tina suggests a Men of McKinley calendar because this is the cutest group of glee guys ever. And because she wants to see Blaine take his shirt off so she can cut out his picture and paste it next to a picture of herself in a wedding dress.

Later Brittany learns she accidentally got a near-perfect score on the SATs while Sam did worse than a monkey. Brittany tries to cheer him up by saying he doesn't need college because he's hot.

Sam takes this to heart and starts roaming the halls of McKinley without his shirt on. He goes into overdrive teaching the guys his hot stripper moves to make the calendar super sexy, leading to an amazing montage that is equal parts smoking hot and supremely funny. The best part is Jake's reaction when a Cheerio tries to spray tan him.

Sam takes the photo shoot extremely seriously because he now thinks his hot body is all he has, but Blaine sits him down and convinces him that he's special. A quick video montage of testimonials about the many, many great things Sam has done reveals that he's more than just sex on a stick. He inspired Mercedes to pursue singing by posting her performance on YouTube. He saved Sectionals (twice) and took back the Nationals trophy. And he took care of his family when his dad lost his job.

In other words, Sam is the best person ever, which is something I've been saying for a while. I'm glad Glee finally realized it too.

Elsewhere, Artie isn't so enthusiastic about the calendar, opting out of the calendar because body issues aren't just for the ladies (a lesson we already covered in the Rocky Horror episode, but whatever). In the end, Sam convinces him to do it by posing with his shirt on for the calendar too. That's a nice gesture, but if I bought a Men of McKinley calendar and Sam's abs weren't in it, I'd demand my money back.

The episode closes with a stunning rendition of A Great Big World's "This Is the New Year," an amazingly catchy and anthemic song. It kicks ass and I can't decide if my favorite part is Brittany dancing with Lord Tubbington or Joe Hart going totally berserker while Kitty shakes her head in disdain. I know she's boning Puck, but could we please try a storyline where Joe tries to make Kitty a better person by dating her?

Marley and Jake Get Naked, Emotionally

Marley shows up as a guest on Brittany web show "Fondue for Two," which makes a hilariously triumphant return. Brittany, always insightful, points out that Marley needs to strip down, emotionally, for Jake by telling him how she really feels. She sings Christina Perri's "A Thousand Years" with Jake, but at the end she can't actually say "I love you."

Jake goes off to bro out with Ryder. As always happens in high school locker rooms, they talk about their arms, take their shirts off for a pose-off, then talk about their feelings.  Ryder encourages Jake to be the first to say "I love you" because girls dig that kind of thing and it's what he really feels.

Instead, Jake sings the Ne-Yo song "Let Me Love You (Until You Learn to Love Yourself)." That's a little too on-the-nose, but it's damn romantic. Still, he can't bring himself to say those three little words, probably because doing it in front of all your friends is super awkward.

Still, the magic moment happens when Jake gives Marley a Men of McKinley calendar signed with "I love you" and she says it back. Aww, young love! I'm sure something will come along to ruin it, but for now I'm basking in the sugary sweetness of Jarley.

Sue Gets Naked

In a minor subplot, Sue tries to stop the porn-peddling Finn from profiting off teen boy flesh, but he outfoxes her by taping her confession about her old Penthouse spread. I guess we have to pretend Finn is a worthy adversary for Sue.

Rachel Doesn't Get Naked

Rachel gets offered a role in a student film, but it requires her to be topless. This causes an existential crisis where new, confident, sexy College Rachel comes face-to-face with sweet, naive, insecure High School Rachel. The direction is quite remarkable as her performance of "Torn" cuts between the two Rachels, and I find myself liking this storytelling device. Can Rachel develop a permanent split personality?

Kurt isn't on board with Rachel going topless, especially since Brody is now hanging out in the buff to show solidarity. Wait, Kurt is AGAINST Brody being naked? Are we sure he's gay?

Anyway, Kurt calls up Quinn and Santana to fly in for an intervention because...um...because Amber Riley wasn't available? Like the whole Regionals thing, you just have to go with it because it allows Santana to be awesome.

Even after Quinn and Santana make good points Rachel goes to the set of the film but, at the last minute, refuses to go topless. Are we supposed to be impressed by Rachel? Because I just feel bad for the poor girl whose senior thesis was just ruined because she wasted all this time with the wrong actress.

Either way, Rachel sings with Quinn and Santana and Santana even makes a comment about possibly staying in New York. Good, maybe that way the NYADA storylines will start to be funny.

Next week on Glee: It's all about divas.

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(Image courtesy of FOX)