Following a summer dominated by The Avengers
and The Dark Knight Rises
, it only makes sense that Glee
would do an episode all about superheroes. The unexpected part is how unbelievably great, hilarious and enjoyable it is.
Yes, stripped of the sentimentality of Kurt, Rachel and Mr. Schuester, Glee: The Next Generation
gets a chance to shine, as do Blaine and Finn as they struggle to find their new identities. The result is the best episode in at least two years, an episode that is funny and enjoyable, thanks primarily to writer/director Ian Brennan.
Blaine, aka Nightbird, has started a secret superhero society to stop bullying in the schools (perhaps this is the new incarnation of the Bullywhips). We meet all the superheroes and learn their powers. Among the best are Sugar's Sweet and Spicy (her super power is money), Sam's Blond Chameleon (who does impressions and dresses like Robert Wagner's Number Two from the Austin Powers movies) and Brittany's Human Brain.
The whole thing is silly, but it serves as a theme for the entire episode which uses comic book imagery and a brilliant score worthy of a movie. As the name of the band that sings the big final number from this episode says, it's fun.The Warblers Want Blaine Back
The Warblers steal the glee club's Nationals trophy, so Blaine goes to get it back. He discovers that Sebastian has been de-clawed, but the new captain is Hunter, who is truly villainous and not even remotely bi-curious. He pets his white cat like a Bond villain would and perfectly embodies the kind of cerebral, threatening villain Glee needs. He's not mean-spirited or violent, just evil.
Hunter thinks Blaine should rejoin the Warblers because it's where he belongs, and an impromptu song helps his cause. Blaine is still lost after his break-up with Kurt, and since he cheated on him, Blaine sees himself as the villain and decides that he should just play that role.
Blaine actually decides to transfer (does that mean he gives up being student council president?). Luckily Sam is there, and Sam is awesome. He gives Blaine a big pep talk about how he's not really a bad guy so he should stop trying to "villainize" himself just to rationalize his cheating. Sam is smart and people should always listen to him, except when he has a jock strap over his head so he can do a Bane impression. Sam and a song cheer Blaine up and convince him to stay with the New Directions.
Additionally, a flashback reveals that Blaine friended "Eli C." on Facebook and met up with him for a hook-up, though as soon as Blaine started putting his clothes back on, he was already regretting it. In some ways this makes his cheating even worse. If it was just a drunken accident after a night at Scandals, that might be more easily forgivable, but this involved planning and preparation.The New Will
Finn takes over as director of New Directions, complete with a new wardrobe that resembles Will's. If he starts rapping next week, we may need to have an intervention. The problem is no one takes him seriously, especially when his big Sectionals idea is Foreigner. They'll sing Foreigner songs in foreign languages while wearing costumes from around the world. Tina immediately looks for the nearest window to jump out of.
With one failure under his belt Finn uses the superhero theme to force the kids to perform dynamic duets to prepare for battle. Eventually this works out for the best and everyone seems to be getting along and gelling (thanks to Blaine's hair). Maybe, just maybe, Finn can actually pull off a win. Especially if they do fun.'s "Some Nights" at Sectionals, because that last performance was killer.The Love Triangle
Here's the thing: either you're into the new Ryder-Marley-Jake love triangle or you're not. If you're one of those fans who are angry that Rachel isn't in this episode or if you're still wondering where the hell Quinn Fabray is, then you probably aren't giving the new kids a chance.
But you should. Marley is a delightfully sweet starlet and the two men literally fighting over her are hot and cool. This week Jake is incredibly jealous, but gets some advice from half-bro Puck in L.A. to just let the magical Puckerman pheromones win her back for him. Ryder, on the other hand, learns that he's dyslexic, which explains why he's so bad at school.
It seems Marley has chosen Ryder, but when he cancels their date because he needs to focus on his new dyslexia, she decides to ask out Jake instead because she's a strong Woman Fierce. Something tells me Ryder and Puck's superhero brawl won't be their last fight.What's Up With Kitty?
If I had to point out one problem with this episode, it's Kitty. I still don't understand her motivation. She joins New Directions over Tina's objections and is still encouraging Marley to binge and purge (which Marley is actually doing, which is wrong on so many levels). But what is the point? Obviously she's trying to destroy Marley, but what does that achieve? Does she want to win back Jake? If so, she inadvertently sends Marley back into his arms, so that failed.
Kitty would benefit greatly from a little character development, just enough so I could understand why on Earth she's spending all of her time and energy turning Marley into a bulimic.
Next week on Glee
: It's Thanksgiving (a week late). And Sectionals. And the return of formerly paralyzed teen mom Quinn Fabray.
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(Image courtesy of FOX)