After three-plus seasons of watching Glee — and its myriad jaunty guest stars — I couldn’t help but wonder: Was it possible for Ryan Murphy & Co. to bring in one more bold-faced guest star who’d fit seamlessly into the fabric of Fox’s high-school musical while bringing it some much-needed dazzle and luster?
Tonight, that answer arrived from behind a rack of clothing, sporting a black, paneled minidress and a killer smile: Sarah Jessica Parker’s Vogue editor Isabelle Klempt rescued the fair Kurt Hummel from a life of serving coffee to beastly high-school cheerleaders and began the process of turning his penchant for “rather…bold clothing choices” into a possible career path.
Meanwhile, THAT FINAL SCENE! Finn arriving at Rachel’s apartment, smack in the middle of Rachel’s first kiss with Brody! I’ll confess two things: First, I have no qualms with the Glee writing team having Finchel explore other options — they’re kids, for cryin’ out loud! But on the other hand, wouldn’t it have been more interesting if Finn had knocked before Brochel (?!) made it physical? For me, it would’ve been a more layered and possibly unpredictable fallout if the show’s central couple was grappling with an emotional betrayal, or rather the seed of infidelity and not an actual sprout. Who’s with me? Also, was this actual infidelity in the wake of that heartbreaking scene in the car in the Season 3 finale?
But let me back up for a moment. In case you were trapped in the Vogue “Couture Vault,” here’s what you missed on Glee:
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* Kurt landed himself an internship at Vogue, and while I could easily rail against the preposterousness of a recent high-school grad landing himself this kind of coveted gig based mostly on a portfolio of his homemade outfits, I just can’t bring myself to do it. I mean, with Ugly Betty off the airwaves, why object to any story arc that gives us weekly opportunities for hot fashion montages/she-beast editors/bitchy one-liners? (Side note: Is it too early for an America Ferrera guest spot? Of course not!) (Other side note: J’adored hearing SJP use one of my fave words — “verboten” — in a brainstorming sesh.)
* Turns out, though, that Kurt’s Ohio-born boss was filled with insecurities: She’s an artist, not a manager, and her inability to say “no” has led her to a point where she doesn’t feel like she can tell the difference between a good idea and a crazy one. But wide-eyed Mr. Hummel might be on the brink of reversing her fortunes. His makeover concept video — where he and Isabelle transformed Rachel from country duckling to city swan — scored Isabelle her first “Great” (via email) from an exquisitely succinct Anna Wintour. But Kurt’s work successes came with a price: Porcelain was so busy going to Grey’s Papaya for hot dogs and attaching hideous animal tails to his back belt loop that he completely ignored Blaine’s pleas for help selecting a bowtie for an important McKinley event. (More on that in a moment.)
* Oh, and the subject of that makeover — one Ms. Rachel Berry — began to feel a little more body confidence after rocking an insanely gorgeous tulle wedding gown and ablack dress with the sequined bodice and ruffly skirt (among other fashion confections). A hot rehearsal with suddenly omnipresent Brody led to an impromptu afternoon touring New York City’s Highline (with a momentary hand-hold in the street) which led to Rachel cooking, well, burning dinner for her new guypal, and the aforementioned smooch that he said he wasn’t going to plant. Oh the look of shock on Finn’s face when he saw Brody in repose over Rachel’s shoulder. But does Mr. Hudson have a right to feel hurt? Wasn’t he the one championing the whole “if you love someone, set them free, then don’t respond to their phone calls or emails for two whole months” philosophy?
* Meanwhile, back in Lima, OH, the kids of New Directions were involved in a class-president election subplot that was, in essence, the bland cracker designed solely as a vehicle for future plot developments. (“Who in God’s name gives a wet, hot, steaming dump about student government?” asked Sue, in a message approved by my inner grouch.) Still, the showdown between a bored-without-Kurt Blaine and incumbent repeating senior Brittany — with Sam and Artie as their respective running mates — yielded some innnnteresting developments. Sugar asked Artie on a date (proving his theories about women liking men with power). Brittany and Sam had their second “moment” in two weeks (they really do make sense as a couple, no?). And Sam and Blaine planted the seeds of a beautiful bromance.
* Oh, in case you were wondering, Blaine and Sam prevailed, thanks to the former’s pithy indictment of the Pierce Administration’s first term; the latter’s impromptu striptease (girl, look at that body; Sam works out!); and Brittany’s proposal to outlaw summer vacations and weekends.
* And finally, Mr. Schuester, out of ideas and out of inspiration, decided to apply for a Blue Ribbon Panel to improve arts education. Sue wrote his enthusiastic (if not entirely truthful) letter of recommendation, while Emma offered nothing but support despite the possibility that her man might have to leave Lima for a few months, and delay their nuptials. Will that come back to haunt her?
And with that, let’s recount the episode’s best zingers:
* “Unexpected leather should be in the back pages of the Village Voice.” –Kurt, reacting to a fruitless Vogue pitch meeting
* “Filipino: They’re very hard workers and family is important to them.” –Brittany, in response to the question “What’s your favorite color?”
* “Lose the bowtie: It makes you look uptight, or like a young Orville Redenbacher.” –Blaine, offering solid (and long overdue) fashion advice to Blaine
* Becky refusing to hype the announcement of the election results with a “xylophone flourish”
* “They prefer to lay their eggs in couture!” –Isabelle, explaining her long absence from NYC movie theaters
* “I thought you said you were straight.” –Rachel, reacting to Brody’s confession that he used to be a huge fan of Ace of Base
Before I hand things off to you, let me also grade this week’s musical numbers:
“Everybody Wants to Rule the World”: B+
“Celebrity Skin”: C
“The Way You Look Tonight”/’You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile”: A-
“A Change Would Do You Good”: C+
What was your favorite musical number from “Makeover”? Were you thrilled with the arrival of SJP? And how about that final kiss? Compelling? Disgusting? Confusing? All of the above? Take our poll below, then hit the comments with your thoughts!