Glee Recap: It Takes Two to Make It Outta Sight

blaine superhero glee“Dynamic Duets” isn’t going to make anyone’s list of the most memorable episodes in Glee history, but in the spirit of the holiday, let’s just be thankful that we had something other than procedural reruns and pro football to help keep us from fully succumbing to tryptophan comas.

And hey, we got Beiste without a side of Schue, another amusing (and self-deprecating) dig at “Night of Neglect,” and a self-sufficient Finn who’s not just sitting around moping over his on-again, off-again romance with his high-school sweetheart.

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If, however, you got distracted drying your tears after watching Activia commercials, here’s what you missed on Glee:

* Finn got off on a sour note as New Directions’ new advisor, suggesting a “Foreigner” theme (songs by Foreigner sung in foreign languages wearing various national costumes) for Sectionals. Beiste gave her former student some solid advice — “be their hero” — and so Finn put on his tights and cape and suggested a plan B, “Dynamic Duets.” At the same time, he concocted a plan to stamp out bad blood between Ryder and Jake, as well as Kitty and Marley, by forcing them to pair up on homework assignments. When Jake discovered Ryder’s difficulty with reading, Finn took over, got New Directions’ newest member some much needed testing, and found out the kid was dyslexic. Cue a sweet, genuinely emotional scene between Finn and Ryder (complete with a hilariously random shot of a Cheerio strolling by in a neck brace), followed by the New Directions crew full embracing their mentor by gifting him with a superhero tool belt complete with markers, a doll’s head (thanks for the chuckle, Brittany), and antacids (to fend off instances of the “showchoir squirts”). Looks like Mr. Hudson is settling in to the choir room for the long haul, eh?

* Side note: Who else was delighted by Tina’s incensed response to Ryder and Kitty joining New Directions without so much as an audition, and especially her suggestion that Finn call in college freshman Santana to rejoin the club to hit the magic 12-member mark, “Because apparently she’s better than anyone enrolled here”? If she doesn’t get a major moment at Sectionals, girlfriend might want to consider pulling a Yentl and trying on a Dalton Warblers blazer!

* Ryder and Jake began the hour as bitter rivals in their pursuit of Marley. But after getting into a fistfight during their duet on “Superman,” Finn made them sit down and reveal their deepest insecurities (Ryder’s reading woes, Jake’s issues being biracial and Jewish). And since Jake helped Ryder on his path to being diagnosed as dyslexic — loved the comic-book hero edit of the reading test scene, btw — Ryder returned the favor by sticking up for his new pal (along with Becky and the New Directions’ superfriends) in the face of lunchroom bullying. Is this the start of a beautiful friendship?

* Marley confessed to frenemy Kitty that she’s been making herself throw up every day, and while her schizophrenic rival seemed to be encouraging the bulimic behavior, she then pulled a 180, insisted Marley change her hero name from Wall Flower to Woman Fierce, and enlisted her for a rather nifty duet to a Bonnie Tyler classic. Kitty does, however, seem to be having a bitchy influence on the wide-eyed innocent: When Ryder had to postpone their date because of a Saturday morning meeting with a dyslexia counselor, Marley promptly went and made plans with Jake! (Not sure I’m buying that total lack of empathy on the part of Ms. Rose). Meanwhile, Jake sought advice from Puck — lay back, be cool, that’s how I bagged Teri Hatcher, was big bro’s message — and determined to try to stay friends with Ryder while not giving up on his dream of dating Marley. Courting favor with Mrs. Rose (and complimenting her recent weight loss) might not be a bad place to start, bro.

* Last but not least, this week also found Blaine — president of the Secret Society of Superheroes club — going through an identity crisis. After heading to his former stomping grounds of Dalton Academy to retrieve New Directions’ stolen Nationals Trophy — without so much as a mild flirtation with Sebastian (bummer!) — the new head of the Warblers invited Blaine to slip back into his red-trimmed blazer and consider a return to the fold. Sam, however, said Blaine needed to stop punishing himself for his indiscretions against Kurt, and after a day of good deeds (painting over graffiti! participating in a food drive!) Blaine realized he belonged at McKinley. Cue Sam and Blaine absconding with their trophy. Cue their Warbler rivals, totally thwarted. “Blam!” “Slaine!” I approve!

* Hey, where were Rachel and Kurt and New York City? Planning a fall 2013 spinoff series, perhaps?

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Episode’s Best Zingers
“Your name sounds like your parents named you after a cowgirl doll who comes with her own pony.” –Jake, insulting his rival Ryder Lynn

“Last night I teared up at an Activia commercial.” –Beiste, explaining her hormone issues

“My name is Hunter Clarington. I’m the new captain of the Warblers, and I’m not even remotely bi-curious.” –Hunter, introducing himself to Blaine

This exchange, regarding the awfulness of Finn’s proposed “Foreigner” theme.
Tina: “Worse than Funk.”
Artie: “Worse than Night of Neglect.”

“Deal do we have here?” –Finn, after Ryder and Jake tell him he sounds like Yoda

Grades for This Week’s Musical Numbers
* Blaine and the Warblers, “Dark Side”: C+ (this felt a bit like a retread, and lacked the zippy energy of the best Warblers numbers, no?)

* Ryder and Jake, “Superman”: B (whether or not you’re feeling the new New Directions’ story arcs, it has to be said these two are awfully cute)

* Marley and Kitty, “Holding Out for a Hero”: B+ (upgraded a notch for Kitty’s opening split move and subsequent whip play)

* Sam and Blaine, “Heroes”: A- (I’m digging this unexpected friendship, even if the “let’s paint over graffiti” montage was a wee bit ghastly)

* New Directions, “Some Nights”: B (hey, they let Tina sing a line!)

What did you think of “Dynamic Duets”? What were your favorite moments? Are you developing a soft spot for any of the Season 4 newcomers? Sound off in the comments, and for all my Glee recaps and commentary, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!

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. Jason says:

    Just give us 60 minutes of Dean Geyer. That’s all I’m asking.

  2. Charpa says:

    I keep seeing Starkid references everywhere :)
    I wish Hunter or whatever his name is had broken into a rendition of “Kick it up a notch” from Starship after that line :D or that they had sung “Super Friends” at the end!
    Anyways, great episode!

  3. This was the Jumped-the-shark-episode for me, I’m afraid. I also fear I won’t be able to stop watching anyway, cause I wanna see the New York storylines play out.

  4. KevinJ says:

    Glee sucks so bad, please someone cancel this used to be good show. If they can make Kitty be such a nightmare way over the top, why don’t they push it further and have a “who Shot Kitty” episode. Awful Awful Awful

  5. sgsdgsd says:

    Just give me the NYC spin off. Then this version of the show can go off an die in the woods and I don’t have to care about it.

    • Kay says:

      The NYC part is boring right now. If Kurt gets into NYADA then at least we will see Kurt and Rachel’s struggles with that. The part is not interesting to me at all. If Santana would be in NY then we could have her storyline as well. But right now, just Rachel and Kurt is not enough to hold my interest. Besides, this show is supposed to be about the Glee Club of McKinley and that should be the main focus. The NY part is just supposed to be a side-line story, not the main focus.

  6. jm says:

    I do love better Glee without NYC. And i like it better as a comedy.
    I think Sebastian will join Blaine anytime soon… it was funny when he told Blaine that he is now ncie…
    I said before, but the guy who cheated Blaine with will be Hunter…

    • Kay says:

      Blaine did not cheat with Hunter.

      • jm says:

        well, u are maybe 90% true about that, but it will be a interesting plot twist. It is curious how he mention him that he was not even bi-curious… in my country we say “Excuses not asked, Guilty proved” It could be interpretated at please dont “outing me” I have to re-watch that scene with the flashback… but his voice was too similar to Hunter…
        But who knows…

        • Kaley says:

          Blaines hookup was played by a different actor.
          Not that Glee and its fail-continuity would bother much, though…

        • Kay says:

          jm: Eli, Blaine’s hookup, was played by an actor named Ian Gilligan. The actor who plays Hunter is named Nolan Gerard Funk. Two totally different actors.

  7. fiona says:

    Tina deserves better than how glee is treating her. She deserves to be in the spotlight. It`s supposed to be HER senior year moment (and Artie, and Sam, and Blaine, and Brittany though we can probably agree Artie is headed to a more directorial direction, Sam is having a good storyline as he seems to be the friend everyone can turn to, and Blaine already has a big role, actually we might need a bit more britt but she already has had many storylines this season as well). Seriously Tina can sing the pants off of the new girls

    • Beanni77 says:

      How do we know she can sing that well? They’ve never given her the chance to! Seriously, though, you are so right, these newbies come in and grab the solos and Tina is in the background once again. WTF?!

  8. Lauren says:

    LOL @ everyone telling the people who don’t like the new kids to stop watching. If that happened, Glee would be cancelled by February.

  9. Tru says:

    God I hate Blaine so much! This episode was awful. I didn’t realize until this episode that all the new characters were just pale impersonations of the Glee seniors they replace. I mean puck’s brother is the bad boy, the mean girl is the new Santana and Marley is the new Rachel. I mean think about it for a second. It’s true and that why the ratings this year have been the worst and why none of the songs have made it on to the top 10 of itunes

  10. libby says:

    Blaine is aware that uniforms are not required at McKinlley, right?! If I see those same god-awful red pants again I’m gonna lose it.

  11. Vetle says:

    I’m liking Glee and I’m liking Blake. I just wish Ryan had implemented Aylin from the Glee Project aswell. I think Aylin could’ve been a more original character than Blake (but I do think Blake is one of the best actors, so they made a good call with that).

    • karenb says:

      Michael and Nellie, too! Loved all of them.

    • Hannah says:

      Blake’s acting is amazing considering how he got on the show. I thought Sam Larsen was good for a reality show contestant, but Blake is very strong and I can see him taking a long term leading roll on the show. Sam, Damien, and even Alex are more B story actors based on their acting abilities. I love Aylin. She was my favorite to win The Glee Project. I hope she has the opportunity to come on at some point, but I am not holding my breath. Lifetime wanted one winner.

  12. Kaley says:

    While I’m glad Glee remembered its comedic roots, I just can’t get on board with the newbies. It’s always been the originial (season 1) cast that made the show for me. Not the choir room concept. So just exchanging the characters for a set of obvious but pale copies and letting them re-enact all the storylines I already watched a better version of with the old cast doesn’t do anything for me.
    I hope to see some funny scenes and uplifting storylines with the original cast soon, too. Otherwise I might just call it quits. Neither the 2.0s nor the contrived drama of the old cast tempt me to continue watching.

  13. Haley says:

    Okay, Ryder being tested for dylexia is super cool, and yes, dylexia sucks serious balls, but the person who most needs to be tested is Brittany. That girl has problems which cross the line from intellectual impairment to intellectual disability.

  14. Hannah says:

    Last year Rachel got a solo because Tina had another year to be the IT girl at McKinley. What happened to that? I am getting tired of all the attention to Marley and Kitty. But I don’t miss Rachel. I do like the Glee still focuses primarily on the high school. I am not as interested in Rachel’s college days or Kurt’s fashion career.

  15. Angelina says:

    Jake shouldn’t praise Marley’s recent weight loss, because that will encourage her to continue making herself throw up.

  16. Kobe Busia says:

    WOW!!!! I just gotta say, what a real standout from season 4 of Glee, this episode truly was AMAZING!!!! I thought there were so many aspects of it that were so well played out and conveyed, it was just really enjoyable, although I thought the superhero theme seemed a bit random and that there was no real reason for doing it, but it proved to be entertaining. Ryder’s storyline was incredible, and they way he expressed his vulnerability and despair in regards to being dyslexic, was an emotional scene, and it reminds you of why Blake Jenner won The Glee Project(which is because he was the most experienced actor out of all the season 2 contestants). I also really enjoyed the plot points of Finn really showing his true leadership skills and I’m glad he’s pulled away from wallowing in self-pity, and I’m glad he got Ryder and Jake Puckerman to really understand each other. Also, I’m glad they finally delved in on what truly happened with Blaine’s affair; It was a one-night stand, and omg, I never thought Blaine was the type to do this kind of thing, but I understand where he’s coming from, he feels like a bad person because of the way he broke Kurt’s heart, but I’m even more proud that Blaine didn’t give in to temptation and go back to the Warblers, all thanks to Sam’s uplifting pep talk. Now, I noticed that Rachel and Kurt weren’t around for this episode(2nd time in a row that the writers have done this), but it didn’t bother me at all, I’m glad the focus was primarily on the new characters, but hey, I still enjoy the New York scenes, and the cameo from Puck(Mark Salling) was funny and the brotherly advice he gave to Jake was really nice. Now here’s one of my pet peeves about this episode; I’m really appalled that Kitty just joined the Glee Club like that, she’s the most irritating of the new characters, and this so-called new “friendship” she has going on with Marley seems a bit contrived to some degree, and she’s not that pretty, I feel like she has Quinn’s body and Santana’s overall personality, and for those who said that Ryder just got in without an audition, that Foreigner song he sang with Finn in “the role you were born to play”, WAS HIS AUDITION!!! Although I will say, that Vanessa Lengies and Samuel Larsen are barely utilized, especially since Samuel was one of the 2 winners of the Glee Project season 1, and his character just faded into obscurity, while Alex Newell’s character Wade “Unique” Adams is getting an awful lot of screen time and story focus, and he was a runner-up, not a winner, that doesn’t make sense, and all Samuel gets is one-liners, usually referring to God.

    Now, one thing I’d like to express is that Glee season 4 is not even half as bad as people think it is, the balance between Ohio and New York works incredibly well, and the new characters are a joy to learn more about them as people and give their backstories on how they came to be, and it’s a major improvement over last season for sure; sure it can be confusing to describe to people who don’t watch Glee at all, but at least the storylines get you really hooked. Great job Glee, keep it up, and I can’t wait to see most of the graduates get together for a thanksgiving celebration!!