'Glee' Recap: The Clubs Go to War
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
This week Saturday Night Live did a sketch about how people love listening to Adele's "Someone Like You" so they can have a good, cathartic cry. Glee
ended this week with a mash-up of that song and Adele's "Rumour Has
It," and if it didn't reduce you to tears, you're not human.
I've criticized Glee's dramatic moments in the past, but what I should've criticized was the acting. While I don't find Cory Monteith, Lea Michele or Chris Colfer particularly real or authentic, Naya Rivera is another story. She has done such a great job of building up Santana's walls that when her humanity starts to show, like it did this week, it's positively devastating.
Santana vs. Finn
The feud between the two glee clubs is personified by Santana's increasingly cruel verbal attacks on Finn. The Troubletones get her to apologize, but Santana's "apology" is just a series of even more terrible insults about Finn's doughy body. She's definitely going too far, but what Finn did next was a little bit much.
He called her out in the hallway for being a closeted lesbian, saying that she's in love with Brittany and her insults are her way of dealing with her own cowardice for not confessing. He's right, and it cuts Santana deeper than anything else, but he should know better. After all, Finn has a gay brother now, and if someone did this to Kurt, he'd rush to his defense.
Worse yet, one of the random students who overheard Finn's comments has a father running for Congress. Sue, Will and Burt call Santana in to reveal that he's running a new attack ad against Sue for having a lesbian cheerleader as co-captain. That's right, it's a political ad that outs a teenager. Yes, this is repugnant and far-fetched, as no human being is truly evil enough to do this, but I don't care. Santana's emotional breakdown and ensuing performance of "Someone Like You" channels that sadness beautifully. When it's over, Santana confronts Finn about what he did and slaps him. Sure, she was inappropriate with her attacks, but I support Santana, because what he did is 100 times worse.
Rachel vs. Kurt vs. Brittany
Moving away from the things I loved most about this week's Glee, the speeches for student class president were held, and it was very disappointing. Despite getting into the race to promote female empowerment, Brittany's speech is about banning tornadoes and going topless. I really hate how Glee defaults to making Brittany an imbecile every other week after episodes like "I Am Unicorn" start to show her growing as a person. It's a travesty what the writers are doing to her.
Then Kurt promises to ban dodgeball because it's bullying and Rachel drops out of the race to get Kurt back as a friend, and because she doesn't really need it for her NYADA application. That's the part that bugs me. Kurt might be trying to do something good, but the entire reason he got into the race was just to pad his college resume. That's not a noble cause and shouldn't be treated like one.
Puck vs. Shelby
Finally, in the most inappropriate storyline ever, Puck thinks he's in love with Shelby and does everything he can to get her to be with him. She tries to resist, but not nearly hard enough, and their very unethical relationship grows as Puck comes over to build a crib and be a sweet, sensitive dad. Shelby needs to shut this down, ASAP, but at least Puck tells her about Quinn's plot and Shelby bans Quinn from seeing Beth anymore.
New Directions vs. The Troubletones
Both groups learn they'll compete against each other at Sectionals, but I have a problem. As established in season 1, a club needs at least 12 members to compete. From what I can tell, New Directions has 10 and the Troubletones have 7. I think they should spend less time with mash-offs and dodgeball games and more time trying to recruit enough people so they can actually compete.
"Hot for Teacher" (Van Halen) by Puck: It's nice to see Puck do something other than a wussy, emotional song, but Rachel was right, this was so inappropriate for school, and the fact that Will didn't realize it just makes him an awful teacher.
"You and I" / "You and I" (Lady Gaga and Eddie Rabbitt with Crystal Gayle) by Shelby and Will: I wasn't really feeling this mash-up, probably because I've never heard either song. And as much as I love Idina Menzel, her voice doesn't mesh that well with Matthew Morrison's.
"Hit Me with Your Best Shot" / "One Way or Another" (Pat Benatar and Blondie) by New Directions and the Troubletones: There was something so outrageously delightful about this brilliant mash-up sung by both groups during their epic dodgeball fight. I was laughing the whole time I could hardly hear how awesome it really was.
"I Can't Go for That (No Can Do)" / "You Make My Dreams" (Hall and Oates) by New Directions: I can't decide who to blame for this musical abomination: Finn for thinking Hall and Oates would be a good idea, or Will for supporting him. Someone in New Directions should've known better.
"Rumour Has It" / "Someone Like You" (Adele) by the Troubletones: Mercedes rocks out, but Santana's performance is so heartbreaking and magnificent. There aren't enough positive adjectives in the English language to describe Naya Rivera.
(Image courtesy of FOX)