“Does this involve the glee club singing a Christmas song in the auditorium with snow falling on an elaborate winter scene?” hissed Sue Sylvester, sworn enemy of New Directions, in Glee‘s final episode of 2012.
The answer, of course, was a resounding yes — both in terms of the final scene in Sue’s story arc, and the overarching theme of the episode entitled “Glee, Actually.”
If you were too busy attending the first (and last) meeting of McKinley High’s Mayan Apocalypse Club, here’s what you missed on Glee.
* After slipping on a patch of ice and suffering a facial laceration, Artie lamented his wheelchair-confined life. But as he napped in the nurse’s office waiting for his mom to pick him up, he had an It’s a Wonderful Life-esque dream sequence (featuring Rory the Christmas Angel and a twist where Quinn “died of a broken heart” post-paralysis) and realized his chair was a part of who he is — and the confident, happy teenager he’s become as a part of New Directions.
* Burt Hummel made a surprise visit to NYC to share news of his (very treatable, early stage) prostate cancer with Kurt. He also brought along a large, awkward Christmas gift in the form of Blaine. And while the two engaged in a warm duet on the cold NY ice, I’ve got to say Kurt never looked completely at ease in the company of his cheating ex-boyfriend. To make matters even more complicated, Blaine dropped the bomb that he wants to apply to NYADA. “Would that be okay?” Um, what did you expect Kurt to say in front of his dad, and put entirely on the spot? Also, from a selfish perspective, Blaine Warbler kinda put the kibosh on the Burt-Kurt dynamic that I adore and genuinely miss this season. So phooey on him — for now anyway!
* Puck brought Jake out to L.A. (via motorcycle sidecar!) but then had to admit he wasn’t living such a wonderful life in the California sun. Dude is lonely! The brothers hightailed it back to Lima, brought their feuding mothers together for a holiday dinner at Breadstix, and formed a reluctantly happy foursome that bonded over pasta and a shared dislike of the absent Puckerman Senior.
* Sam and Brittany, believing the Mayan Apocalypse was nigh, got “married” (not legally, it turns out — thank you Coach Besite for saving the kids from a fate of having their faces blurred out on COPS). But just because they survived doesn’t mean they’re not gonna keep being honest with the people they love! (On the subject of honesty, maybe we could make Sam and Brittany about 15-25% less dumb in 2013? I’m not asking for Mensa, but a basic comprehension of Indiana Jones would be nice…)
* Sue drew Mrs. Rose in the faculty “Secret Santa,” and after overhearing the lunch lady was short on the necessary cash to send Marley for treatment for her bulimia, raised money with the sale of an ill-purchased 7,000 year old tree to give her fellow single mom (and the woman’s wide-eyed daughter) a Christmas tree, some wrapped persents and $800 in cash. And to think they went and paid her back with the gift of song. Man those glee-club kids know how to enrage the Cheerios’ coach, don’t they?
Episode’s Best Zingers
“Talk slowly so I can understand you.” –Artie to the Irish angel played by Damian McGinty
“There’s gonna be a Jesse Tyler Ferguson lookalike contest!” –Rachel, trying to convince Kurt to come join her and her dads on Rosie O’Donnell’s LGBT cruise
“Acting is a pipe dream for you, and your decision to pursue if as a career is both irresponsible and shocking.” –Brittany, coming clean with Tina before the end of the world
“Joe, you haven’t really made much of an impression on me, and I don’t really understand what your deal is.” –Brittany, again dropping hard (meta) truths before the apocalypse
“And you really couldn’t swallow first, could you?” –Sue, after Beiste failed to slow the eating of her lunch to make time for conversation
Letter Grades for Musical Performances
Artie, “Feliz Navidad”: B-
Kurt and Blaine, “White Christmas”: B+
Puck and Jake, “Oh, Hanukkah”: B- (mainly because the boys got Auto-Tuned into submission, but also because the setting was a little absurd)
Marley, “The First Noel”: B (pretty, but oh so brief!)
Sam (flanked by reindeer-inspired Cheerios), “Jingle Bell Rock”: B-
Glee Cast, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”: A- (even though it looked like a Banana Republic flagship store, I can’t be made at it)
And with that, let me turn things over to you. What did you think of “Glee, Actually”? What plot lines worked and which ones didn’t? Sound off in the comments!