“Sadie Hawkins is a metaphor for empowerment — and not just for women, but for everyone who is sick and tired of the status quo.” So declared Glee‘s fabulous (albeit underutilized) Coach Beiste, discussing McKinley High’s first-annual “girls-ask-boys” shindig on this week’s episode.
More accurately, though, the hour seemed more about lovelorn teens wading deep into the waters of longshot love (and other emotions).
Tina pursued Blaine. Blaine dreamed of pursuing Sam. And Sam pursued the theory that the Warblers cheated at Sectionals by using performance-enhancing drugs. Kurt pursued a 22-year-old dude at NYADA. Puck pursued an under-age classmate of his younger brother. And Rachel pursued what’s sure to be a disastrous dive into a three-way…rent-sharing arrangement with Brody and Kurt.
It wasn’t the strongest episode of Season 4 — I’ll be needing Beiste to knock some heads together and restore sanity in 5, 4, 3, 2… — but in case you were raging at your local barista on the subject of sugar substitutes, here’s what you missed on Glee:
* Tina, in her role as student-council secretary, proposed a Sadie Hawkins dance — to give McKinley’s ladies (and members of the Too Young to Be Bitter Club, including Lauren Zizes) a chance to assume some power in their romances prior to prom. (Prom, she added, will feature the most awkward petting of their lives “till you wake up in a nursing home getting groped by an oderly.” Yikes!) In the midst of party planning, Tina got the idea in her head to ask her gay pal Blaine to be her date-date, and he responded with a “Thank you but no thank you” in front of the entire glee club. Turns out Blaine didn’t want to attend S.H. because he’d developed an unfortunate crush on his straight BFF Sam, who’s dating Brittany. “I’m not some predatory gay!” Blaine told Tina, but it’s not easy for him with Sam and his pouty trouty mouth borrowing his ChapStick. And it’s not easy for Tina watching Blaine’s derriere up there at the blackboard. (That shot did crack me up, I’ll admit.) In the end, Blaine and Tina attended the dance together, but Tina felt cheated when getting dipped didn’t result in a kiss. And Blaine wound up staring longingly at Sam across the dance floor. Let’s hope these bad-romance arcs turn out to be a one-week-only kind of party, two weeks tops, yes? I realize Tina and Blaine are on the rebound, but I’d rather see them bond as friend, maybe decide to take a three-month hiatus from dating and work on their inner selves, than watch them run down dead-end streets, so to speak.
* Sam, meanwhile, began studying photos of the Warblers members, and realized their faces and bodies were widening. Suspecting performance-enhancing drugs were to blame, he got Artie and Joe to capture footage of a roid-raging blazer-wearing competitor, before he and Blaine trotted out their most damning bit of evidence: Babyfaced Trent from the Warblers admitting Hunter and Sebastian were injecting the rival glee club’s members with steroids. Okay, yeah, this plot line is a daft, but all in the name of getting New Directions back in the choir room and on the competition circuit.
* Marley asked Jake to the dance, even though he’d been ignoring her since her Sectionals collapse. He said yes, but promptly had to deal with the Latest Temptation of Kitty, who promised to go a lot farther (off the dance floor) than virginal Marley. Puck stepped in to try to protect his little bro, and got Kitty to hiss: “I don’t like Jake. I’m a mean hot bitch who likes to get what she wants.” Say what now? Suddenly, Puck agreed to be Kitty’s arm candy, even though she’s not of legal age and he’s a high-school graduate who really ought to know better than to drop lines like, “If you wanna get all up in this, I expect to be fed.” (Then again, Puck has previously slept with his best friend’s girlfriend, and the adult adoptive mother of the child produced from said affair, so his judgment isn’t exactly infallible when it comes to women.) Marley, meanwhile, made Jake promise to be with only her and to take things slow — which seemed like a very clear signal that dude’s gonna stray, or come close to straying, in the near future. And who wants to bet that Ryder, who dreamily stared down Marley as he sang “I Only Have Eyes for You,” is gonna be waiting in the wings? (That Ryder is kinda dreamy, even if he’s become curiously silent.)
* Speaking of wordless characters, Neck-Brace Cheerio made another appearance. She’s got her eye on Ryder now, but whether or not we’ll ever hear them converse is as unpredictable as a Sue Sylvester sighting nowadays.
* Back in New York City, Kurt considered joining the glee club (Adam’s Apples) despite Rachel warning him that its members were “beneath stage managers and carpenters” on the NYADA heirarchy. Did he want to be “doomed to playing a life of a dancing teapot at Disney Land”? Actually, mmmmaybe, since group leader Adam told him he looked just like a young Paul Newman (!). By episode’s end, Kurt had mustered up the courage to ask the upperclassman on a date. Digits — as well as come-hither looks — were promptly exchanged.
* Rachel, for her part, kicked off the episode basking in afterglow of an overnight stay from Brody, but before the credits rolled, she’d become enraged by the fact that he’d shown up 45 minutes late for dinner. “I would wait my whole life for that train if it meant I got to spend my last day with you,” Brody cooed, as I reached for the urp bucket. (Come on dude, that’s laying it on a little thick.) But the line worked, and Rachel reheated dinner, but not before asking her new beaux if he wanted to move in with her. LeRoy and Hiram, you guys better have something to say about this!
* Oh, and at the dance, Sugar boogied down with Artie, while Zizes cuddled up to Joe.
Grades for this week’s musical numbers
“I Don’t Know How to Love Him,” Tina: B- (How come so many of girlfriend’s musical performances have to crash into a wall of awkwardness?)
“Baby Got Back,” Adam and the Adam’s Apples: C- (Ummm…no.)
“Tell Him,” Brittany and Marley and the ladies of New Directions: B+ (loved those blue tulle dresses and the retro choreography on steroids!)
Artie, Blaine, Joe, Sam and Ryder, “No Scrubs”: B+
Unique, Marley, Brittany, Tina and Sugar, “Locked Out of Heaven”: A- (maybe they shoulda performed this at Sectionals…and all gotten dresses to match Sugar’s fierce feathery frock, yes?)
Ryder, “I Only Have Eyes for You”: B+ (I really thought this was a sweet vocal, even if the staging got a little redundant)
Week’s Best Zingers
“As long as you’re happy and I have a white-noise machine.” –Blaine, giving his blessing to Rachel letting Brody stay overnight at their place
* “The music usually starts after I say something like ‘It’s Brittany, bitch’ or do one of my magical turns.” –Brittany, cueing up her cover of “Tell Him”
* “Honor it would be.” –Sam, accepting Brittany’s invite to the dance (in Yoda voice, of course)
* “I’m still gonna Gaslight her every chance I get.” –Kitty, explaining to Jake that her friendship with Marley doesn’t mean she won’t sabotage her
“It’s depressing that you still hang around high school, but you’re just hot enough to pull it off.” –Kitty, sizing up Puck during his return to McKinley
And with that, let me turn it over to you. What was your favorite musical number from “Sadie Hawkins”? Sound off in the comments! And for all my TV recaps and commentary, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!