Love (and possibly lunacy) was in the air for a special Valentine’s Day edition of Glee. Rachel’s dads (LeRoy and Hiram) returned from the City of Lost Parents and tried to use reverse psychology to overturn their daughter’s engagement to Finn. Artie and Rory battled for Sugar’s affections. Glee Project co-winner Samuel Larsen made his debut as a Christian student adjusting to the non-home-schooled life. And the show’s writers hastily erected a papier-mâché wall to keep apart Mercedes and Sam. (Plus, Karofsky returned! Yay!)
If you were too busy shouting “TINNNNN ROOF! Rusted.” to follow the entire hour, here’s how the central story arcs played out:
* Rachel’s dads popped up at the school auditorium — where these kinds of things tend to happen — to reveal they knew about her plans to marry Finn. Hiram worried his daughter’s teenage engagement would end in divorce — “a fate that befell Liza and Barbra” — but after a Valentine’s Day meal with Finn and his parents (but not Kurt), Hiram was singing a different tune, calling for the commencement of some “teenage lovemaking.” Turns out the kids’ parents were in cahoots — and attempting to put a strain on the NYADA finalist and the “fantastic, husky young man” who loves her by forcing them to live together in close quarters. (This roundabout strategy, it must be pointed out, was at odds with the Berry family’s policy of “Honesty. Respect. Dance.”) Rachel’s lengthy, possibly insane pre-bedtime beauty regimen freaked out Finn, Finn’s desire to use the toilet freaked out Rachel, but after a big spat, they reconciled — and moved up their wedding date to May. Those gay dads had better have a backup plan, preferably one that doesn’t remind Rachel that an early marriage will give her something else in common with two of her musical idols.
* A new transfer student, Joe Hart (played by Larsen) was introduced at a meeting of the poorly attended God Squad (comprised of Mercedes, Sam, and Quinn). When Santana learned that someone had complained to Principal Figgins about her PDAs with Brittany — a problem, she sagely pointed out, with which the school’s straight couples didn’t have to grapple — she suspected it was all Joe’s doing, and challenged the New Guy by requesting one of God Squad’s Valentine’s Day singing telegrams for her lady love. The God Squad kids discussed (rather amusingly) whether any of them had a problem with performing the girl-to-girl duet, but in the end, Joe decided that gay was okay. (Wonder if it could’ve been someone else doing the complaining in the first place? The MIA Coach Sylvester was none too pleased with Mercedes when we saw her last.)
* Mercedes confessed to Shane that she’d kissed Sam, and her boyfriend’s devastated reaction convinced her that her only romantic option going forward was C) None of the above. Soon, Mercedes was singing “I Will Always Love You,” both halves of Samcedes had tears streaming down their faces, and there were no mentions of synchronized swimming, tater tots, Miss Pillsbury’s pamphlets, or the sweat pouring off Ryan Murphy’s brow from setting up obstacles for his latest romantic pairing. Here’s a crazy plot twist he could try: Let Mercedes and Sam explore their relationship sans major problems. Or at least retire Mercedes’ wacky perfume-bottle t-shirt.
* The ever-entertaining Sugar threw a party with one rule — “no single people allowed” — and found herself at the center of a tug-o-war between Artie and Rory. In Sugar’s mind, money is king, and feeling sorry for someone is pretty much the same as loving ’em, so when Rory whined that he might get deported at year’s end, Sugar’s sympathy receptors were activated, and so she chose him over Artie. Oh, and before that, Rory got a big musical number that might’ve had some emotional impact had his character development to date not been limited to “Irish” and “trying to score chicks and sound like Linus on A Charlie Brown Christmas.”
* And finally, Kurt began receiving secret-admirer messages and thinking they came from Blaine, who was recovering from his eye injury. Au contraire, however, it was Karofsky — disguised in a gorilla suit — who wanted to be even more to Kurt than what Sebastian is to Blaine. The Max Adler-Chris Colfer scene was electric, with Kurt tenderly giving the “just friends” speech to Dave, and trying to help the confused former bully (and now closeted gay student) come to terms with his complicated emotions. Too bad one of Karofsky’s new school acquaintances overheard the whole exchange! (Could this spell even more turmoil in Karofsky’s life? Or will he simply disappear from the show for another six months?)
* Another week with no Sue, no Beiste, no Emma, and barely any Schue. #MoreBeistePlease.
Anyhow, now that we’ve covered all the pertinent plot details, let’s review the best quotes from “Heart”:
* This exchange between Rachel’s dads:
Hiram: LeRoy, we agreed to sing it straight, no vocal runs: That’s how Jennifer Hudson got kicked off of American Idol.
LeRoy: I would love to hear you sing something straight.
* Brittany’s Valentine’s playlist for Santana including all novelty hits: “Purple People Eater,” “Disco Duck,” “Monster Mash,” “On Top of Spaghetti,” “Pac Man Fever,” “Osama Yo Mama,” and “Diff’rent Strokes”
* “When’s the baby’s due date?” –Puck reacting to Finn and Rachel’s engagement announcement
* “Horrifying.” –Santana, reacting to Finn and Rachel’s makeout session
* “My guess is Simon because that name’s the gayest.” –Mercedes, pondering which of Jesus’s apostles was most likely to be gay
* Rachel discussing her family’s “nightly tradition of turning plain old dinner into dinner theater!”
* “An ice-water bath, a la Joan Crawford in Mommie Dearest: The height of glamour.” –Rachel describing one part of her intensive nighttime beauty ritual
And now, let’s get on to the grades for this week’s musical numbers:
“L-O-V-E,” Tina and Mike Hard not to like the cute, old-timey organ arrangement or the sweet vocals, but how come our resident Asian-American couple’s rare moment in the spotlight had to serve as a backdrop to the Artie-Sugar-Rory triangle? Grade: B
“Let Me Love You,” Artie Artie finally finds an R&B jam that lets him get his swag on and fits his voice to a tee! (Plus: Mike Chang in chartreuse demim?) Huzzah! Grade: A-
“Stereo Hearts,” Joe (with Sam, Quinn and Mercedes) Was I the only one who found himself paying more attention to Quinn’s hot purple trench and Rachel’s stylish red overcoat (with buttons that went from buttoned to unbuttoned and back again) than the somewhat bland rendition of this Gym Class Heroes hit? Grade: B-
“Home,” Rory I have to admit: I didn’t get Damian McGinty on The Glee Project and I don’t get him on the mothership either. Since when was a squinty pout considered the equivalent of emoting? Grade: C+
“I Will Always Love You,” Mercedes I think it may have been more the melancholy of Whitney Houston’s recent passing than the forced breakup story arc, but Amber Riley’s imitation of the late diva got me feeling awfully sad and sentimental. The “We Will Always Love You” notation at the end felt a little tacked-on, though, no? Grade: A-
“You’re the Top,” LeRoy and Hiram I can assure you, no gay dads in the world would perform this song with their teenage daughter. So ridiculous I can’t even be offended, though I can give it the lowest possible grade. Grade: F
“Cherish”/”Cherish,” Quinn, Joe, Mercedes, and Sam I can’t argue with a mashup of The Association’s oldies-station staple with Madonna’s jaunty pop souffle. Dessert at Breadstix is delicious! Grade: A-
“Love Shack,” Blaine, Kurt, Mercedes, Rachel, and Brittany Thank goodness Kurt took over from Blaine, as Darren Criss just doesn’t have the inner camp required to properly channel (Z) the B-52s clasic. Grade: C-
Now it’s your turn. Hit the comments with your thoughts about “Heart.” And for all the Glee news, views, and interviews your heart desires, follow TVLine on Twitter @TVLineNews.