Glee Recap: Girl, Look at That Body!

It was a muy (pronounced moo-ey) bueno time on Glee this week — at least whenever Ricky Martin appeared on screen as unspeakably sexy night-school Spanish teacher Dave Martinez. The rest of the hour, alas, was a case of livin la vida broke-down, as Will Schuester reached new levels of annoying; Sue Sylvester got saddled with a story arc that was supposed to be touching, but mostly played as patently ridiculous; and Madonna, Elvis, and the ballads of Gloria Estefan were somehow passed off as building blocks of an authentic Latino experience.

If you were too busy reading Emma’s “Taint Misbehavin'” pamphlet — I can’t even bring myself to say another word about that particular plot development — here’s how the central story arcs played out:

* Mr. Schuester, suddenly dumb as the cardboard box that Finn winningly turned into a robot head, was stumped when his rendition of “La Cucaracha” — complete with giant sombrero — failed to inspire his Spanish class. Principal Figgins informed him that a student complaint threatened to derail his chances at an open tenure slot — ¡apparently, he hadn’t even mastered the basics of the language! — and so he enrolled in Mr. Martinez’s night class. (Naturally, this led to the former tooth model swinging by the New Directions rehearsal room for a lesson in performances “filled with Spanish passion,” and a subsequent PG-13 performance with a high-school senior.) The frustrated Schue mocked Emma’s reliance on pamphlets to counsel her students, dressed as an “authentic Spanish matador” (not Kurt) for a Spanish teacher-off, and drew fire from Santana for his cultural cluelessness. “Why don’t you dress up as the Taco Bell dog and bark the theme to Dora the Explorer?” she hissed. “You don’t even know enough to be embarrassed.” (Slow clap: San-tan-uh! San-tan-uh!) Schue wound up snatching an open history-teacher position, bequeathed his Spanish class to Dave (because, yeah, that’s apparently Schue’s decison), and made up with Emma. Oh, and BTW, Miss Pillsbury earned the tenure spot. (The shoes on her feet? She bought ’em.)

* Sue, suddenly maternal, decided that despite her advanced age, she wanted to conceived a biological baby (instead of exploring adoption or fostering). Her eggs were frozen back in the day at her local Kroger, but alas, the guys down at the sperm bank looked like the cast of Ice Road Truckers, she lamented, before hitting up Schue and the New Directions boys for their “nog.” (Amazingly, this didn’t result in her automatic termination!) We did, however, get a particularly abhorrent assessment of Sue’s reproductive abilities courtesy of Roz Washington — capped off by references to Sue birthing a “full-grown adult” with a briefcase and a cellphone, and discovering sand coming out of her breasts instead of milk. (R.I.P., Feminism.) Sue later told Emma she spent most of her life “vibrating with a palpable sense of wild, irrational rage,” but decided to recommit herself to the Cheerios (and destroying her enemies) after finding out Becky had reported her to Figgins for a lack of focus on the job.

* In other news, Sam and Mercedes took a one-week break from conversation (at Emma’s advice) to come to terms with their feelings, but Shane interrupted what I’m guessing was going to be silence broken by the sound of their smooching. Kurt gave Finn an inspiring speech that his getting engaged to Rachel was absurd, and that a “hot, straight football player who can sing, and sort of dance” shouldn’t be so quick to give up on his dreams. And also Rory was there.

Anyhow, with the plot recapped, let’s get to the week’s best quotes:

“I won’t stop till it’s trending.” –Sam to Mercedes, after she notes he’s Tweeted that she smells good

“I’m sure you have something moo-ey amazing planned.” –Santana, mocking Mr. Schue’s Spanish skills and his planned attempt to out-perform Mr. Martinez on the McKinley High stage

“Have a seat, Ladybird Hollow-pelvis, and be careful: Those chairs are hard. I know how fragile your bones are.” –Sue responding to Emma saying her request for Will’s sperm donation was “so inappropriate”

Sue’s zinger about Will wiping his “wooly behind” with the American songbook.

And now, let’s get on to the grades for this week’s musical numbers:

“La Cucaracha,” Mr. Schue and the New Directions Guys
I know this was intentionally awful, with the sombreros and the Mexican ponchos and whatnot, but it was also just awful-awful, y’know? Grade: F

“Sexy and I Know It,” Mr. Martinez and New Directions
Everything I need to say about this can be summed up with Kurt’s response to Santana requesting a Mr. Martinez performance: “Oh dear God, please yes.” Bonus points for Mike and Brittany’s chairography, Kurt’s leg throw, Finn’s stripper moves, and Sugar’s generally awesome ridiculousness. #TeamSugar Grade: A

“Don’t Wanna Lose You,” Mercedes
Even as a fan of “Hell to the No,” I have to say Mercedes’ musical moments in Season 3 have been really strong. This bilingual ballad was no exception, and I loved how she boldly got all up in Trouty Mouth’s gills/grill at the finish. Grade: B+

“Bamboleo”/”Hero,” Sam and the New Directions Guys
Generally speaking, I have issues with bolo ties and “Hero,” but even putting that aside, there was something a little generic and underbaked about this musical moment. Grade: B-

“La Isla Bonita,” Santana and Mr. Martinez
I loved that Mr. Schue verbalized my burning question — because I, too, was confused about Mr. Martinez’s participation in Santana’s number — but the harmonies were sweet, and the dancing was sexy without crossing the line into disturbing April-October territory. Grade: A-

“A Little Less Conversation,” Mr. Schue
As I said last week about “Ben”: No. Grade: D

Now it’s your turn. Hit the comments with your thoughts about “The Spanish Teacher.” And for all the Glee news, views, and interviews your heart desires, follow TVLine on Twitter @TVLineNews.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Lorena says:

    I’m not mexican, but I do have an issue with this topic. Why, when it comes to Spanish, in the US only Mexico exist? The proximity is key, I know, but Spanish is a language, not a country. I am a native Spanish speaker, but from Spain (which is in Europe, by the way – just in case) and every time I see something remotely Spanish on TV, it usually involves a sombrero (which, by the way, it’s not even the proper word, since it means just “hat”).
    Less stereotyping, more culture.

  2. just me says:

    Sooooo happy Rory finaly got a little more screentime (though its nowhere near enough.) I did miss Tina but I agree with someone who said there are just too many characters to get deeper into their story’s.
    I liked I’m sexy and I know it a little… probably the best number of the episode, but the ep in general just sucked… (hello there must be better Latin songs to perform right?)
    Kurt talking to Finn was the best acting part but I’m a total Finchel fan so… Hope they get married somewhere. Like someone else said: promise ring.
    Rachel has taken a step back from her prominent position and that’s good for the others but this episode was just swinging way too much to the other side. Like… no Rachel at all?
    And all though I love Santana, Glee producers have to ease up on her screentime…
    Sue was just her great self!!!

  3. Elijah says:

    My “favorite” part of the aspect was the writers’ failed attempt at a genuine Sue Sylvester moment. It was supposed to be touching when Sue tells Emma she wanted Will’s sperm because he’s such a nice guy who reacts optimistically and respectfully no matter what is thrown his way. REALLY??? Sue, do you not remember when Will seduced you with the sole intent to dump you and break your heart? Remember when he slept around with Shelby while dating Emma, and you had to encourage Emma to confront him for the slut that he was? And those are only the things Sue knows about it. She doesn’t know that Will forced Finn to join Glee Club by setting up a drug bust for which he wasn’t guilty. She doesn’t know about Will’s near abandonment of the glee club, without any warning, to join a Broadway production. If Will Schuester is supposed to, in the writers’ eyes, be such a great role model, all I can ask is: Are you serious??? Nice try, guys, but Sue can’t honestly believe that Will is such a good guy, given the few (but egregious) actions she knows about on his part.

  4. Mel says:

    I thought this episode was okay. The songs were terrible. The only bright spot was Roz, her monologue was hilarious .

  5. DCwriter says:

    This episode continued Schue’s long march to bitter-old-man-emotionally-abusive-husband status. He was the biggest d-bag yet to Emma as he undermined her work. And he clearly thinks she’s a total idiot that he needs to “take care of.” Puke and a half. RIP feminisim indeed.
    I hate Will Schuester and everything about him.

  6. JoseMa says:

    Well, It is not the first time that a person who doesnt speak spanish teaches spanish…I know a couple of them… They are great in grammar, and they can say a couple of words… but they are not able to keep a conversation. I had also some english teachers with the same problem… you got a book, you had the solutions of the exercises and that is all.
    Mr Schue didnt know spanish at all. From moment one, his level of spanish was zero. So it was hight time a student complain. Santana´s spanish is awful… so it great she takes spanish. I met once a guy whose mother was from Chile, but he didnt speak a word of spanish. He told me that he wanted to be cool… so cause he was “White” he were with the cool guys, and he didnt tell anyone about his spanish heritage. Funny thing, his mother was a spanish teacher… and his sister is fluent in spanish but he was not interested…
    The episode was awful… i feel very upset and insult with all this “latin” idea of non latins has about us… and there are such great songs… and they took “Bamboleo” from a french group… really??? come on…

  7. Sammy says:

    Costar and others:
    It’s not BUEÑO or BUENO, it would be BUEN if you were refering to everything else but not in this expression because you shoud also know that the expression “Have a good time” does NOT NOT NOT translate literally in spanish. And when you do, it sounds f******* bad and it also kind hurts fisically and mentally fiding it here.
    Just saying…..

  8. jennypenny says:

    Was anyone else kinda disturbed by Sue asking for the guys in the glee club to be her donors??
    The whole tenure thing disturbed me so much, so unrealistic of what the process is….. the ridiculousness of what the writers/producers think happens in a school is amazing. I have to remind myself that this is obviously unrealistic (remember when Terry filled in as the school nurse?) but sometimes things are just beyond comprehension. it’s no wonder why people have such a poor view of the teaching profession….

  9. Mary says:

    I can’t believe no one’s mentioned Brittany’s “Ooh, I’m bilingual…”

    • AAC says:

      haha that was quite funny!I am sad she doesn’t talk more these days, so I have convinced myself that her time machine building is distracting her.

  10. CZ says:

    Glee perpetuating stereotypes and Naya’s character as Santana calling the adults out on (some of) it. Beautiful.
    All things aside, that 30 seconds shined in the episode.

  11. Margo says:

    Worst Glee episode!

  12. Nia says:

    I wouldn’t say this was their worst episode ever, but they were pretty close to it. Even though I LOVED Ricky, he’s caracter was kinda inconsisten… Your parents are from Chile but you speak spanish in a caribbean accent? Bad information research, you writers.
    And that applies to the whole Latin-related thing you showed on the episode.
    – Spain and México are 2 differents countries. Latin America does not only consist of spanish speaker countries. You have Brazil, for example.
    – Latin Music isn’t just salsa, cumbia and flamenco. We actually have the most amazing songwriters you’ll ever find. But, well, I guess I can give you that. You just picked up the most commercial and known songs for you, although I would have prefered the macarena instead.
    – Do you realize that you said that “la cucaracha” couldn’t walk because she was out of weed , right?
    – I’m not American and even I know that you can’t jump from one teaching department to another without being certified. That was very rude to all the people who study their asses off to become a good teacher.
    – I lost count of how many grammar mistakes the kids made while singing in spanish. I felt like I was being punched in the face.
    – “ÉL ES CALIENTE, SOY CALIENTE” doesn’t mean “HE’S HOT, I’M HOT”, so you know.
    -Loved “La isla bonita” ’cause Ricky danced like a king! But I hated Santana’s pronunciation.
    One thing I surely enjoyed was the dialogue, some parts of it reminded me of good old season 1. Oh, how I miss you S1!
    Well, that’s all.