You guys, it is ridiculous how many damn characters this show has. Every time I think I’ve got an angle on it, they add one more to the pile.
That said, John Stamos is an excellent addition to this pile. I would not kick him out of the pile for eating candy or offering candy to a big baby like Will Schueser.
Have mercy and follow me into the jump.
What we missed on Glee reminds us of two things this episode:
One, that Schue has a crush on Emma, the germaphobe guidance counsellor who is also a virgin, but that he can’t be with her because she started to see her dentist, Carl. Also, Schue is divorced from his crazy wife who faked being pregnant.
Two (And I suspect this is just Glee’s excuse to show Mike Chang shirtless without working it into the plot), Tina dumped Artie for Mike Chang and his abs because Artie was a bad boyfriend and now he wants to try to win her back by joining the football team.
Christopher Cross. Schue writes this on the board and asks if anybody knows who he is. Brittany says he discovered America. Not quite, but lol for sure. This week, Schue wants the gleeks to really dig shitty adult contemporary music. Nobody else wants to do this. Kurt suggests something a little less adult and a little more contemporary: Britney. Spears. Schue is adamant that they not sing Britney. No. Nope. No way. Not happening. (It is sooooo happening, Matthew Morrison. I love that this episode exists because he didn’t want to do Britney. Sucker. Of COURSE you’re doing Britney.) Brittany pipes up that she doesn’t want to do Britney either. Because she IS Britney Spears.
“My middle name is Susan and my last name is Pierce. This makes me Brittany S. Pierce. Britney Spears.”
Everyone is speechless. AS AM I. BRAVO, MADAM!
Heather Morris, bless her heart, delivers this monologue in a perfect monotone. And YAY! Brittany gets a last name! And a middle name! I thought it was dumb that she didn’t have one, so it’s kind of sweet and pretty smart that this is how they chose to reveal it. Never let it be said that I do not give credit where credit is due.
But Brittany is the only one who DOESN’T want Britney and Schue is frustrated. WHY WON’T YOU YOUTHS LIKE MY BRAND OF SMOOTH ADULT CONTEMPORARY MUSIC? He takes his frustrations to Emma, who does not, for once, just tell him that he’s right and awesome. Instead, she disagrees with him. She thinks Britney is a the perfect symbol for rebirth because she’s really gotten her life back together after her spiral into crazydom. Also she tells him he’s too uptight. Will finds this funny, coming from somebody who buys Purell by the barrel. (God, he’s an ass.) Carl, her dentist boyfriend, has been teaching her how to live a little. Like, last weekend, they bought red AND green grapes at the same time, then mixed them up and ate them. GET OUTTA TOWN! Schue: “WOW.” Hey, Napster, only I’M allowed to make fun of Emma’s OCD.
They are interrupted by the devil himself. Carl bursts into Emma’s office. Hey Uncle Jesse. S’up?
It must be said that although John Stamos is clearly aging (Hi-Def is nobody’s friend) he is doing so gracefully, and at 47, he is still a seriously good-lookin’ man who I would totally bone. Basically, the poor man’s George Clooney. Ahem. Moving on. Something-something dental hygiene, school board, yada-yada Will magnanimously asks him to come talk to his glee kids about teeth to prove how “loose” he can be. And also because “Kids can’t sing without teeth, right?” “No,” Dr. Uncle Jesse punches him on the shoulder. “They wouldn’t be singing. They’d be gumming. Mamamamamamaa!” Ha! They both lol uncomfortably.
Azimio and Karofsky steal Finn’s letter jacket and tear it in half “to represent the obvious duality in your sexuality.” Impressive. Usually, jocks just say “Fag!” and push you into lockers. Finn takes a swing at them. They egg him on, eager for a fight until Artie wheels himself between them and apologizes to Finn for getting him kicked off the football team.
The jocks discuss the ramifications of hitting a kid in a wheelchair and decide to save beating Finn until a later date. This, of course, does not jibe with the fact that they were going to put Artie in a porta-potty and roll it down a hill in the pilot. But that was when I thought this show had the potential to be awesome instead of just the potential to showcase sexy Asian dancers. The dumb jocks leave and Coach Beiste witnesses this display.
The next day (One assumes. There are so many costume changes on this show I can’t keep up. The gleeks are all wearing different clothes, though, so let’s say it’s the next day.) Dr. Uncle Jesse is talking to the gleeks about chewing some capsules that will show the plaque on their teeth. Santana interrupts to tell Dr. Uncle Jesse he hot. And can drill her any time he wants. What’s the opposite of a cougar? ANYWAY. Everybody chews their capsules. Kurt, Quinn, Mercedes, Puck, Tina and Mike (who share a revoltingly cute kiss), all reveal their pearly whites. Finn is startled when he turns to Rachel to see that her whole mouth is electric blue.
But she flosses between class! Artie, too, has blue teeth. He blames this on the fact that he can’t see in the mirror. A) So, you’re like, brushing your nose instead of your teeth? B) You should talk to your family about moving a mirror. They’re kind of dickheads if they don’t. C) This also explains his wardrobe. Santana: “There you go blue toof!” Brittany doesn’t brush her teeth. She rinses her mouth out with soda after she eats. “I was pretty sure Dr. Pepper was a dentist.”
I love Brittany, you guys.
Ryan Murphy directed this episode, and as the AV Club has pointed out, he likes to repeat things that have been successful. Like shot-for-shot remakes of videos, Sue rants and Brittany one-liners. So expect a lot of them tonight. Here’s a bunch from Brittany, who is now waiting in Dr. Uncle Jesse’s dental chair as he tells her she has the worst teeth he’s ever seen:
“This room looks like the one on that space ship where I got probed.”
“Please don’t pull all my teeth. When I smile I’ll look like an adult baby but with boobs.”
“I’ll put you under general anaesthesia. You won’t feel a thing.” “Like roofies?” “Yeah, totally.” Um, WHAT? So he turns around, puts some music on and gives her the gas.
And we are treated to a shot-for-shot remake of I’m A Slave 4 U. Heather Morris dances the shit out of it and looks great. She petted a snake.
I basically want to fast-forward through all the music performances this week, because what can you say about them other than “Looks just like the video.” and “Well, Brittany and Santana sing OK.” But I REALLY wish I could fast-forward through the next scene with Rachel and Finn.
How about I do? Here’s the next scene in a nutshell: Rachel is a bitch and Finn is stupid. But I can’t fast-forward. I need to think of my readers! Finn is just now worried about how he’s not cool because he’s no longer on the football team. Rachel thinks it’s great that he’s no longer on the football team. Now she doesn’t have to worry about him being injured to the tune of a coma or cheating on her with a cheerleader. She just wants to be the only thing that makes Finn feel good. Haha! Classic Rachel! More like classic AWFUL. Finn makes a face because why wouldn’t he? Rachel shrugs and says she’s “just trying to be honest.” Santana and Brittany walk by and are also honest by telling her, respectively, that she dresses like a bait girl on To Catch A Predator and that “I am way more talented than you.” Finn laughs. “You could’ve defended me!” Rachel snits. “Well, Santana has a point,” he snits right back. “Just trying to be honest.” And he walks away with this malicious grin on his face like “Yeah! I really zinged my girlfriend!” Rachel stands around looking small and insecure, hiding behind her bangs.
Awesome. I’m so glad these two are together. This is going to be an awesome year, guise. They can sign each other’s year books at the end of term all “I hate you!” “No, I hate YOU!” “Well I hate you more!” “Noooo, I hate YOU more!” GOOD TIMES! I seriously can’t wait to recount more of this shit to you, the viewer. I love that the show runners keep reassuring everybody that Finn and Rachel aren’t going to break up and get back together like you might expect them to. No, instead they’re just going to spend the entire season quietly loathing one another.
Later that day (I guess? Does this show even HAVE A timeline? Does anybody care? Nope? Moving on.) Brittany and Santana are at Dr. Uncle Jesse’s having themselves anaesthetized so they can further fantasize about each other on another plane of consciousness while also singing and dancing to Me Against the Music. (P.S. Santana’s dad is a doctor. Do you think they remember that Mercedes’ dad is also a dentist? Probably too much to ask.) It’s a very good video.
Brittany dances real good and Santana does it all the ways. The video is once again, shot-for-shot, a remake of the actual video with Santana standing in for Madge and Brittany standing in for Britney. Also, the gleeks make cameos standing on the sidelines watching them dance. Everybody except Artie and Quinn is pictured in these two shots. If you squint.
Also, at the end of the video, the real Britney has a cameo. BFD.
Next day. Again. Brit interrupts Schue’s diatribe about how awesome Christopher Cross is (Stop trying to make Christopher Cross happen, Schue!) to say that she demands to have every single solo in glee from now on. Kurt is all “See, Britney changes lives!”
“I’m more talented than all of you. I see that now,” Brittany says in her near monotone. “It’s Britney. Bitch.” Schue puts his foot down just to put it down. Kurt whines about how Britney Spears IS pop culture and yada yada, he calls Schue on his bullshit and gets sent to the principal’s office. Where I am sure Figgins will shrug and side with Kurt. Because Schue IS so freakin’ uptight. Also, when Kurt stands up to leave, it is clear that he is wearing a skirt.
Nicely done, Chris Colfer.
Later that day, Dr. Uncle Jesse is checking Schue’s teeth. WHY would Schue go to him as a dentist? Seriously. He plays nice. Well, not nice, but passive aggressive. Dr. Uncle Jesse calls him on it and he confesses that he still has feelings for Emma. Strong feelings. Dr. Uncle Jesse is like “Uh, yeah, I know. That’s kind of creepy. You should back off. Because we’re dating.” “What if I told you I didn’t think I could do that?” Ugh. William. You are seriously terrible. Dr. Uncle Jesse tries to reason with this 12-year-old. He finally says he’ll back off, but “the second she starts leaning my way, I’m back in. Deal?” “Deal,” says Dr. Uncle Jesse, not sounding particularly worried about that highly unlikely (and yet totally inevitable) scenario.
The good dentist shoves his entire hand in Will’s mouth, prescribes him some candy and tells him to loosen up, get crazy. He talks about how he had a nice, safe, hybrid, then traded it in for a penis mobile. He says he takes Emma out in the convertible and she doesn’t even care if her hair gets messed up. Zoom-zoom, as they say. “You follow me?” Oh, Will more than follows you, Dr. Uncle Jesse.
Schue leaves the exam room to see Ol’ Blue Gums herself sitting in the waiting room. “Hey Rachel, you all set? You need me to stay with you or anything?”
You guys, I have a crippling fear of dentists. I seriously hate them. It stems from a childhood trauma I endured after a dentist slapped me. I’m not kidding. I haven’t been in four years and before that, I hadn’t gone in ten. And even I would not want my high school Spanish teacher to “stay with me” at the dentist’s office. And not just because I took French. Speaking of… Merde, are Rachel’s bangs hideous.
Dr. Uncle Jesse must have given her gas immediately after she sat down in his chair (be honest, wouldn’t you?) because right away we’re transferred into Rachel’s fantasy: Hit Me, Baby (One More Time).
Ugh. No need to recap this since every frame of this video has been burned into our collective subconscious. Let me just say this: Lea Michelle can really sing. And that’s why this doesn’t really work for me, her singing Britney. Because she sings it really well. And Britney can’t sing. At all. She has a nasal voice that is further distorted by autotune. It really worked for Brittany and Santana since we haven’t heard much from either of them, so it was a pleasant surprise that they both knocked it out of the park. But Lea Michelle sings the shit out of this and it just sounds weird. I mean, what? Am I supposed to be impressed? I GET IT. Rachel can sing. Believe me, I get it. I am reminded of it every episode when she sings two plus songs. I long for one episode of this show where Rachel does not sing one note. I really do. She emerges from her haze by slurring the David after the Dentist line: “Is this real life?” This show is largely cobbled together from old Internet memes. I can’t wait until we get Rick Roll’d.
Anyway. Having been so empowered by the queen of pop, Rachel shows up at school the next day dressed even MORE like a To Catch a Predator bait girl. That is, exactly like schoolgirl Britney. She struts her stuff down the hall and Finn does a hilarious double take, then tries to cover her with his hoodie.
She claims it’s just like her normal look, but with the volume turned up. OK, but people are going deaf, Rachel. Turn it down a skotch. They have a little fight about double standards. And also, who is the worst. (It’s a tie!) Rachel gives him her “blessing” to rejoin the football team. “If you can.” Ouch. You got ZINGED, Finn! Rachel flounces off and Jewfro Blogger Jacob Ben Israel slouches over to ask Finn what he wants for Rachel. “I’ll give you my house. I’ll kill my parents and give you my house. WANKY WANKY.” OK. That is enough. I get it. He’s a creep.
Next: Emma and Will are hanging out in his bangin’ new car. Which is… exactly like Dr. Uncle Jesse’s car. Except yellow. LAME. SAD. NEXT. Emma points out how lame and sad it is, but before she can GTFO, Will suggests they go for a ride. He starts up his penis and Christopher Cross’s Sailing blares over the stereo. “Aww yeah! This is my JAM!”
Excellent choice for a jam. Good job, Schue. Emma looks extremely uncomfortable. And even moreso when Terri shows up to bitch at Will about spending so much on a car. Oh, riiiiiiiight! I almost forgot about you! You need to be here, why? Will acts like a five year old caught staying up past his bedtime. She tells him to take the car back, or at least not make any more major purchases because one day, they’re going to get back together and she doesn’t want him to blow through all their savings. Guh. She is so annoying. Emma runs off and Schue pouts.
Later, in glee, we are treated to the best line of the episode courtesy of Santana (who had a bunch of awesome lines): “Well Rachel, congratulations. Normally, you dress like the fantasy of a perverted Japanese businessman with a very dark, specific fetish, but I actually dig this look. Yaaaaaay!”
Naya River is fast becoming one of my favourites on this show. Mean Girls unite!
Kurt takes this chance to point out once again that Britney Spears appears to have helped yet another member of the glee club blossom. Schue: “Wait, Rachel, is this true? I mean, you are dressing kind of differently.” Duh. Artie: “Bouncy, bouncy, bouncy!” Ew, Artie. Why are you surprised that Tina broke up with you again?
Blah, blah, sometimes it’s good to feel good about yourself. Life lesson learned, we move on as Sue interrupts to tell Will that she caught Jacob masturbating in the library to the thought of Rachel dressed as Britney. I will spare you all the gross remembrance of this scene and its buttsweat stain. The point of it is that Sue is horrified that Schue would let his glee kids perform Britney’s music. She is a gateway drug to every lewd impulse ever and this school is a powder keg of sexual deviants. He assures her they aren’t doing Britney, but his grin as she leaves says they are now. Like I said, he’s a brat.
Britney Spears is in a cheerio’s outfit talking about pizza and ranch dressing with Tina and Brittany S. Pierce, when Artie rolls up. “Girl, you are such a fool for dumping such a sweetheart,” Brit-bot tells Tina, who tells Artie she’s sorry. ORLY, Britney? You’re only saying that because you are ill acquainted with the abdominal muscles of one Mike Chang. Or maybe it’s because you are clearly part of Artie’s fantasy where he pumps iron and plays football to the tune of Stronger. Dumb. Also, wut? I thought the whole idea of Artie joining football was to get Tina back? Now it’s to show that he’s “stronger.” OK. Also, this is the end of his fantasy:
Nice to see Artie cycling through the stages of grief after a breakup. Nevermind that none of this was Tina’s fault and that we have clearly established that the reason they’ve broken up is because Artie is a teenage boy who acted like an immature dude and didn’t pay any attention to his emo girlfriend. Ugh. Whatever. After he wakes up empowered, Artie rolls himself into the locker room and tells Finn he needs to get on the football team because “Mike and Tina’s Asian Fusion grows stronger every day.” Finn has weighed the odds of helping Artie vs. the odds of getting back on the team himself. Selfishness takes the day! But then Coach Beiste shows up to let them both on the team for no reason whatsoever. This football thing is the stupidest plot line. And that takes some doing on this show. In other words: I can’t wait until Artie becomes a quadriplegic in a tragic wheelchair football accident!
In the next scene, Artie is explaining his plan to the gleeks. His plan, in case you didn’t remember, is to have his teammates push him down the field like a battering ram because there are no rules against it — they checked. Mmmhmm. Schue schleps in. Kurt is ready to point out yet another Britney Spears induced self-esteem miracle when Schue tells him he knows what Kurt wants and the answer is no.
“No I will not stand in the way anymore. If you want to do Britney at the homecoming assembly, I’m fine with it.” Way to Seacrest it, Schue. The gleeks celebrate happily. Well, mostly happily. There’s a very quick blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment where Artie is totally rude to Mike Chang. Here, I have documented it for your perusal:
Ooooooh! DENIED! I actually really am impressed with the subtle way they’re setting up the episode next week, when we are told that a “Mike/Tina/Artie love triangle develops.”
Anyway, their happy Britney celebration is cut short when Schue explains that he’ll also be performing with them. “Right!?” This is such a bad plan. Wait. Is this a worse plan than Artie playing football? I think it might be. Amazing how quickly one terrible, cringe-worthy plot eclipses another on this show.
But those plots are at least vaguely interesting. Like a car crash you can’t look away from. Unlike the Rachel/Finn relationship plot, which is just wall-to-wall awful and boring and stupid. Finn is in the locker room, suiting up happily, when Rachel appears back in her regular clothing (which is a very cute polka dot dress) and her terrible bangs. She tells Finn she just wants him to be safe and happy, so she gave up her new look because she knew it bothered him. He’s like “Sweet!” Rachel frowns. “Don’t you want ME to feel safe and happy, too?” Finn, for somebody who is portrayed as dim, picks up what she’s putting down pretty quickly. “Wait, do you want me to quit football?” Well, how else can she be sure he won’t run off with some cheerleader? The only way their relationship will work is if they’re both losers. Finn cradles her in his arms
Careful Frankenteen doesn’t crush you, Rachel. He tells her that everything will be fine because he’ll be quarterback again (you think?) he’ll throw a touchdown (highly unlikely) and he’ll point to her in the stands so everybody knows she’s his girlfriend (what a fun, sexy time for her!) Rachel pouts and Finn tells her she can’t ask him to choose between him and football. “Well, I am.” When we watched this, Jess was like “Well then you’re an asshole.” Seriously, Rachel.
At the homecoming assembly, Emma is taking care of last-minute preparations because nobody else works at this school and Will stalks up to her with a determined look in his eyes. Despite the fact that he made a deal with Dr. Uncle Jesse not to pursue Emma while the two of them were dating. Stand up guy, that Will Schuester. He tells Emma all about how he’s going to do some inappropriate gyrating with teenagers.
Who’s that boy with the serial killer’s smile? She tells him he looks like a cast member of Kids Incorporated. HA! Zing me baby one more time!
Sue and Becky are on the lookout for teen frottage. God, I love Sue. I also love Figgins, but this is the longest, most boring speech ever. Hurry up. “Fresh off their last place finish at the regionals, please give it up for Nude Erections.”
So the perform Toxic in bowler hats and spats. Everyone in this school that hates the glee club is suddenly happily cheering them on. They can’t control themselves while watching all these sexy times. Schue is all “Sex face!” and Emma is all “Embarrassed for you face.” And Mike Chang is all:
This guy. Seriously. THAT is how you do a sex face and induce a sex riot! But for the most part, watching the glee kids act sexy is disturbing. Also, the way this performance was edited was just awful. It is intercut with the two gross nerds have gross nerdgasms in the audience as a Britney Spears sex riot breaks out. So Sue pulls the fire alarm. Like a boss.
Aw, poor Will. Don’t worry. I’m sure that shirt didn’t look see-through when you put it on.
He and the gleeks watch, horrified as students stampede toward the exit in said Sex Riot, sweeping up nerdy Jacob (they totally would have left him there) and bouncing Sue off the walls.
The next day, she shows up in the teacher’s lounge bearing a neck brace and history lessons when Schue tells her that until she pulled the alarm, things were going fine.
“You know, William, that’s what one Hubert Humphrey said back in 1968 at the start of the Democratic National Convention, but then hippies put acid in everyone’s bourbon and when an updraft revealed Ladybird Johnson’s tramp stamp and tattoos above her ovaries, Mayor Richard J. Daley became so incensed with sexual rage that he punched his own wife in the face and spent the next hour screaming “sex party” into the microphones of all three major networks.”
“OK, I’m pretty sure none of that happened.”
“You can expect a call very soon from my lawyer, Gloria Allred. I’m going to sue the pants off you, Will. I’m going to take you house, your car, your extensive collection of vests. I mean seriously. You wear more vests than the cast of Blossom. I’ll see you in court.”
THAT is how you deliver a rant. Also, Matthew Morrison delivered some great reaction shots in this scene. So kudos. You weren’t 100 per cent terrible in this episode.
Schue sees Emma eating lunch. I see she’s regressed to eating green grapes separately. Can’t you hear them crying out for grape integration, Emma? He apologizes, saying it was “inappropriate for me to do Britney with the kids. I just thought you wanted me to be less uptight.” (Shouldn’t you be apologizing to the kids? And me?) She just wanted him to relax and be himself. (But himself is a lame, Christopher Cross-loving doof! Ay, there’s the rub!) There’s some metaphor about Britney and paparazzi and I don’t care. Glee frequently makes Schuester dumber than his students and then at the end of the episode, he’s all “LESSON LEARNED!” That is stupid. He’s the moral centre of the show (supposedly), but you don’t have to make him borderline durr hurr. That’s what Finn is for!
Quinn approaches Finn and congratulates him on getting back onto the football team. She butters him up real good and tells him now that they’re both back to being homecoming king and queen shoe-ins, she wants to get back together. Frankenteen turns this over in his pea brain for a few minutes, but realizes Rachel probably has spies all over, so he turns her down. Rachel watches from a few feet away. Quinn sulks over to her and says she did exactly as Rachel asked and Finn still shot her down. “Congratulations,” she says listlessly. “He really loves you.” Let us all ignore the idea that Quinn would ever willingly do a favour for Rachel and move on to Rachel missing the point entirely and breaking out into a huge grin because Finn loooooooves her!
Rachel learns no lessons and then demands to sing Paramore’s crap The Only Exception to demonstrate how wrong she was about trying to control Finn. She seriously dedicates the song to him. Finn: Hurr.
Rachel: “I was crushing you like a baby bird. I need to let you fly free.”
Brittany: “Finn can fly?”
Brittany: “Wait, I thought I was getting all the glee solos. Next week, I’ll be performing a musical number by Ke$ha.”
Me: THE BEST.
This exchange does not stop Rachel from screaming and emoting her way through this song, which sticks out terribly in a Britney Spears episode.
At the end, with some monumental effort, she squeezes out a single, perfect, crocodile tear.
She looks so happy at the reveal that she can cry like a real girl!
Also, during her performance, we are treated to this adorableness:
Followed immediately by this:
Wow. You better watch your sexy back, Mike Chang. This is the second episode-ending murderous glare over a montage thrown in your direction by Arthur Abrahms.
Speaking of things we’ve seen before:
How many blue polka-dot dresses do you think Rachel owns? This is number three.
Schue is back in his old beater and looks sad as he watches Dr. Uncle Jesse Have Mercy Emma right into his little red Corvette.
AW! We were so close to seeing Will cry some manly Schears! Maybe tonight. I’ve got my fingers crossed!
Grilled Cheesus happens tonight. Finn finds religion in a cheese sangwich and Burt might die. But come on. He won’t. Because next week, Kurt is singing Le Jazz Hot and I doubt he’d be callously crooning show tunes while his pop is at death’s door.
Speaking of show tunes that are awesome and next week’s episode, Mike and Tina are doing Sing! from A Chorus Line, which is one of my favourite broadway songs. The clip I’ve heard obviously has the roles reversed, as we’ve been shown that Tina can sing. But I’ll be supremely disappointed if they expect me to believe that Mike is for reals tone deaf. He’s been harmonizing for a year in your glee club, so he can clearly carry a tune. It would have been nice to hear Harry Shum really sing, but I think his strength lies in comedic performances and Sing! is definitely that. I am also looking forward to hearing Naya Rivera and Amber Riley belt out River Deep, Mountain High. I am NOT looking forward to tonight’s Papa Can You Hear Me from Rachel. Can she just not sing for one episode please? PLEASE? That would be awesome.
That’s my wish for this season. When that happens, there will be much rejoicing in the land of the Glee recapper.