I suspect that if you’re not a 12-year-old girl, you found yourself in the predicament I did while watching this week’s “Glee“: You were sitting there enjoying your fave show when suddenly Sam ominously brushed his hair to the front of his head, and before you knew it, Justin Beiber lyrics were being piped into your living room. Into your home! And you sat motionless, finger poised over the mute button on your remote, wondering what to do. So do you put an end to this nonsense immediately, or do you allow your ears to continue to be violated for the next couple of minutes?
As a purist, I went with the second option. I stuck with them when they sang Color Me Badd last season (who am I kidding, I adored the Acafellas) – I would stand by them through this obscenity as well.
They slipped two Bieber tunes into the first half of the episode, and I will grudgingly admit I don’t hate them for it. I don’t get it, but to each his own, right? I mean, there are people out there who don’t get Glee. Do those people deserve to have televisions? Of course not, but until the day comes when I control what everyone watches, the TV gods will produce material to suit a variety of tastes.
Of the two numbers, the solo one was better. Chord Overstreet is most charismatic as Sam when he’s singing, and while I wasn’t reduced to squeals and flutters, I believed he was having fun, even if it was just a scheme to make sure Quinn’s affections remained his and not Finn’s.
It didn’t work as well when Artie, Mike, and Puck joined the Bieber troupe to bring a spark to their own romantic endeavors. The girls in New Directions flipped for them, but the fancy lighting and choreography just covered up the fact that there was no heart in that song.
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While the boys were looking to ignite their love lives, Sue and Rachel were desperate to rekindle flames within themselves. Rachel refocused all her energy on being the star of the school, and she enlisted Brittany to help her out. Rachel paid Brit to adopt her “sexy-schoolgirl-librarian-chic” fashion sense, only everyone loved it on Brit and assumed she was the genius behind horsey sweaters all along. Foiled again, Rachel! Well not completely, since in the end she stood up for her beliefs about the ND song choice for regionals, and Finn told her she had her mojo back. Sincere Finn works so much better than overconfident jerkface Finn that we saw in the beginning of the ep.
Sue eventually got her spring back too, but it was a bumpy road. In the beginning we saw her OD on gummy vitamins and throwing Tina into a locker; Spongehair Squarechin… er, Schue thought her behavior was dangerous, so what did he do? Invite her to sit in with the Glee club for a week.
First she tried to sabotage the club by manipulating Mercedes and Rachel into a Diva-off. Her plan backfired, but not before Mercedes blessed us with this gem: “I’ve got to go get my cross-trainers. Wanna know why? I’m gonna be doin’ some runs.” And girl, that’s what she did. So next, Schue took Sue to sing with him at a children’s hospital, which perked her up in spite of herself. “I’ll never forgive you for this,” she growled through a warm, genuine grin.
But what finally gave her that deliciously sinister groove back was what? Oh yes, that would be singing and dancing. She requested that the whole group do “Sing” by My Chemical Romance, which they rocked, albeit inexplicably dressed as lumberjacks.
And speaking of funny outfits, we got to see in this who wears boxers (Artie), briefs (Puck), and um, vinyl (Sue). At least that’s how Lauren saw it when she sang her first solo for the group.
This episode ended with a couple of whammies. One was that Sue, now back to her old self, picked up a gig coaching rival club Oral Intensity.
The other shake-up was the demise of Sam and Quinn’s relationship. Sam kind of suspected that things were bad with Quinn (hence the Bieber move), and then Santana beckoned with that oh-so-tender seduction. What was that she said? Oh yeah, “I wants on them froggy lips, and I wants on ‘em now.” Impossible to resist.
Here’s what else worked:
Best musical number: Even though they sort of ignored the intent of the song, “Take Me or Leave Me” from Rent was effin’ fierce.
Best Sue-ism: “I don’t care how adorable those kids are. If I hear one song for that classic rock outfit Journey, I will start pulling catheters. “
Best Brittany line: “I wore a tank top today because I thought it was summer. No one ever taught me to read a calendar.” Runner-up: When asked what an anthem is, “The bottom of an ant’s pants.”
Most motivational pamphlet in Emma’s office to date: “I Am Too Depressed To Even Open This Pamphlet.”
And what doesn’t need to make a comeback:
Worst number: “I Know What Boys Like” was lacking in the vocal department, but it had way more personality than “Somebody to Love.”
Biggest tease: Emma showed up at the beginning of the episode but was quickly forgotten. Those Bambi eyes need more screen time.