Glee never ceases to surprise me with its ability to go from the ridiculous to the sublime, then back to the ridiculous with a couple more pitstops at sublime, in the course of a single hour.
You can knock its occasionally inconsistent character behaviors or complain that it should be giving more airtime to its New York City story arcs (while moving us away from Lima, OH) (and, yeah, it should), but how many shows can deliver a TKO Mommie Dearest reference, an inarguably guffaw-inducing Nicki Minaj sendup, a compelling Manti Te’o-esque subplot and a genuinely stirring salute to the transgender community all in a single episode? (Okay, probably The Real Housewives of Somewhere at Sometime Somehow, but I’m talking scripted programming, okay?)
If you were too busy stealing your friends’ pillows and comforters tonight to tune in, here’s what you missed on Glee:
* The kids of New Directions gave Schue and Finn an assignment — to perform songs by dueling artists — to defuse the tension caused by the latter advisor kissing the former’s runaway bride. The guys seemed to work it out in an N’Sync-BSB faceoff, but in the end, Will just couldn’t forgive his former student/erstwhile best man/forever protégé. (Not a very good example to his students, bee tee dubs! And anyway, it was just a quick kiss — and hardly the reason Emma didn’t go through with her vows!) Is it wrong for me to be Team Finn? I think not, especially when Schue continues to say things like, “You broke the code of a brother, Finn!” and “In the 1990s, the media pitted two of America’s hottest music groups against each other in an epic clash for pop-culture supremacy.” Um, way to talk like a 10th grader’s C- English paper.
* Later, as Finn cleared out his belongings from McKinley, Marley told him he needed to sack up, stop looking for Finn’s approval, and continue his path to being a great teacher. It proved an a-ha moment for the guy (even though said lightbulb should’ve gone off about three months ago) — now look for him to go get his teaching degree.
* After accompanying Rachel to the doctor’s — Ms. Berry’s home test was a false positive, whew! — Sanatana continued to pry into Brody’s shady activities. After La Lopez gave him the business at his place of work — Kurt: “Did you confront him at NYADA with a Paula Abdul song?!” — Rachel and Kurt asked her to move out. But Santana’s “psychic Mexican third eye” is never wrong! After stealing Brody’s pager, she “hired” him as an escort, confronted him upon arrival, and then produced an angry hidden Finn from inside the bathroom. Rachel’s former and current beauxs wound up having a fist fight — and trashing what had to be a fairly pricey hotel room — but we won’t get resolution on the blowout till next week. Up for debate: Was Finn’s exclamation — “Stay away from my future wife!” — hot, creepy or a little of both?
* Sue managed to coerce Blaine back on to the Cheerios squad with a forged contract, but it turns out Blaine’s a double agent, and his cheerleading stint is part of his and Sam’s plan to bring down the evil Cheerios coach. I don’t think I care about this story arc much, but if it gives us more opportunities to see Jane Lynch channeling her inner Nicki Minaj (or other OTT divas), I say bring it on! I haven’t laughed so hard during a Glee episode in 2013!
* Elsewhere at McKinley High, Marley convinced Jake that she was faithful to him — and that Ryder kissing her meant nothing. (Kudos to the show’s writers for not making her grovel — and for being honest that both she and Jake, as teenagers, are allowed to occasionally be flirty.) Unique and Ryder fueded when he wouldn’t refer to her as a girl. And Ryder eventually came around when his new online girlfriend told him he needed to respect Unique’s truth. Anyone else thinking what I’m thinking? That it’s actually Unique who’s been posing as saucy blonde internet paramour Katie?
Grades for this week’s musical numbers…
Brody & Rachel: Marina & The Diamonds’ “How To Be A Heartbreaker” | Grade: A- (loved those stairway shots!)
Ryder vs Unique: Elton John’s “The Bitch Is Back”/Madonna’s “Dress You Up” | Grade: B
Santana: Paula Abdul’s “Cold Hearted” | Grade: A- (Santana kind of wins always, yes?)
Will vs Finn: N’Sync’s “Bye Bye Bye”/Backstreet Boys’ “I Want It That Way” | Grade: C+ (I’m all for JT/JC puppetry, but the vocals lacked oomph, and I felt like the songs could’ve been meshed better)
Blaine vs Sue: Mariah Carey’s “I Still Believe”/Nicki Minaj’s “Superbass” | Grade: A
Ryder and Jake: Tegan and Sarah’s “Closer” | Grade: B+
Episode’s best zingers…
Santana complaining about Rachel being torn between “your flop high-school ex and that terrifying waiter with a pager.”
“In fact, your wide-eyed, Keane-painting approach to life makes my teeth hurt and my breasts ache with rage.” –Santana, leveling with Kurt and Rachel
Rachel (commenting on Santana’s dramatic exit): I’m pretty sure she stole my comforter.
Kurt: Bitch took my pillow.
“Nobody ever said life was fair, Tina.” –Sue, after Tina agreed with Kurt that Sue cheated in their sing-off by using dancers, props and special lighting
Unintentional double-entendre: “I fumbled the ball this time, but you know I have good hands.” –Ryder, apologizing to Jake
“The real world is nothing like glee club, where you can join and rejoin, quit and requit, when you’re not crying or throwing confetti at each other.” –Sue dropping life lessons on Blaine
And with that, I turn it over to you. What did you think of “Feud”? Which story arcs worked best? Take our poll below, then sound off in the comments!