The picture is grainy, but the sentiment is BOLD AND OBVIOUS. Aww, our first episode with every couple split apart by distance…
But let’s first take a moment to thank Fox for moving the show an hour ahead, which is apparently Adult Sexy Times Hour. I am excite for potential. Also, Miss Rachel Berry? THAT WAS MAHOGANY.
Brittany S. Pierce is wandering the halls of McKinley, doing a voice over to tell us that she’s on top. She’s head Cheerio, she’s evidently still class president (president until graduation, and she didn’t graduate, so…), and she’s also Vice-Rachel of Glee Club.
At that, Blaine turns around and asks her why she’s talking out loud.
One thing I love about this show is that from the beginning it’s been absurdist comedy (really, if you’re taking this show seriously all the time, you didn’t get the memo) and Blaine has – from day one – always missed that.
“Did you just tell my boyfriend that he poops glitter?”
“Um, is anyone else noticing that things are highly inappropriate and – dare I say – illegal at McKinley High?”
“A young Burt Reynolds? Okay!”
So that last one wasn’t a good example, but still. He realizes Brittany is more…Brit now than she’s been. Oh, no worries, she’s just doing a voice over because she misses Santana and it’s time to be Britney, bitch.
Cut to the Cheerios performing a song and dance routine to “Hold It Against Me,” and it’s so awesome to watch Heather Morris shine. Um, Kitty doesn’t quite have the dance chops (she’s typically a few beats behind her on the hip swivels for starters) so they do a lot of fast cutting. And raise your hand if you thought of Buffy’s Slayer Scythe when the Cheerios were using those red football training props? Just me?
Well, Sue is not impressed. She calls Brit in to rail at her for setting a terrible example and for taking the time to do all of her school work in alternating colors of crayon. (But the drawing of Santana is hilarious with her scowl and boobs! And Kurt’s eyes are just blue dots, ha ha. Also…does Brit believe that Rachel and Kurt died? Or is it that New York is heaven?)
She is cut from the squad and has to turn in her high pony. “Tough love feels a lot like mean.”
And I know it’s hurr to point out continuity errors on Glee, but seriously, Santana is at U of K? What the hell did she do with her mom’s cash for NYC? As for Brit, Lord Tubbington is no help; he’s doing West Side Story cosplay. (That’s so 2000-late, Tubbs.)
In New York, Ms. July won’t allow Rachel to actually do anything in class because Rachel isn’t sexy. Um, okay. Rachel can’t seduce anyone with a tango, so how about she jazz-hand it to the corner and think about what she’s done? Which is to be a good girl? “You move your body like you’re ashamed of it,” July says. That was way harsh, Tai.
Brittany shows up in Emma’s office (yay, Emma!) wearing a grab bag of Lost and Found goodies, looking completely depressed. Will and Emma are worried about her and want to counsel her that afternoon, but she’s got a full day of bacon, nuts and Bravo TV. Sorry, guys. She voice overs herself into the hallway, sad and lost.
Will gets an idea. Hey, it’s a new whiteboard! So they’re going to perform for the school, and nothing bad has ever happened at one of these things! Good plan. They’re going to rekindle Brit’s fire with a B. Spears tribute week, and Blaine and Artie have worked on something for her. Five! Six! Seven! Eight!
They sing a mash-up of “Boys” and the Beibs’ “Boyfriend” and it sounds great. Well…can we all just say that unless Artie is doing the rapping (and why wasn’t he??) NO WHITE MAN ON GLEE SHOULD RAP? Blaine? Darren? Camera three.
[Darren. I think you are the dreamiest dream that ever dreamed, and mega-talented to boot. Please stop rapping. Now kiss me. Sorry, I get carried away with the tight shot camera three gives me, and you have ridiculously pretty eyes.]
Things I like: how they incorporated dance moves with Artie in his chair. Nicely done, Show! And there’s something delightful in Blaine singing about how he can be a gentleman. Of course he can, he’s Señor Dapper!
Bring-bring! Bicycles in a Bushwick loft means Rachel and Kurt have found a place to live, and it’s huge, and it’s in a shifty-eyed neighborhood but it’s affordable, especially given the size, and there are exposed brick walls! And no visible bathroom! Perfect, because nice girls don’t go potty.
Cut to that night where they’re on the floor with an empty Chianti bottle turned into a candle holder and an empty pizza box. I laughed at them ordering Domino’s in Brooklyn, I won’t lie. (It’s the water.) That’s a great joke they keep using, I must say. It’s Glee’s “I’ve got a bad feeling about this….”
Kurt’s plan is to re-audition in December for second semester, but for now he’s attempting to get a job at Vogue.com, something he alluded to in Season One. So you can do continuity, Show! He’s learned a lot about himself over these past few months, and that’s wonderful. What is it? Because I’m pretty sure you’ve known that you can take a knock on the chin and keep going, Kurt. I’m ready for you to see how fabulous you are, personally. (But trials make a show. If it was all sunshine and kittens no one would care, I actually do get that and enjoy the stumbling.)
He also learns that Rachel’s awful, no good, terrible dance teacher is THE Cassandra July, the woman who famously lost her mind in a performance when an old man forgot to turn off his cellphone. (Who gave Gramps a Jitterbug in the first place?) This is another funny nod to Patti LuPone’s infamously stopping mid-song when someone took pictures with their camera phone during her performance of Gypsy. Cassandra is known for being a trainwreck, so Rachel needs to power through and ignore the slings and arrows. Look, I like mixing metaphors, okay? More like metafives, UP TOP!
Back at McKinley, Marley confesses to Unique that she’s hot for Jake (of course, that’s High School Screenplay 101) which leads Unique into a fabulous performance of “Womanizer,” with Tina and Marley trading off on lead vocals. I thought it was a great number and they all sounded terrific. Tina slinking with a sour face is a thing of beauty. The choreography was fun, leading all of the jilted girls through the campus until Marley is face to face with Jake and breathlessly agrees to hanging out.
Girlfriend, were you not listening?
Body is working out on a park bench in NYC, and when Rachel pops up, he changes his sit-up count to two hundred thousand. Ha! (He’s cute; I can’t help it.) Rachel is sad face and all, “Ms. July says I’m not sexy,” batting lashes at him.
Body: Uh huh, are so!
Rachel: Nuh uh! [toes ground]
Body: Yuh huh! Infinity!
Rachel: Will you dance with me, check Y/N
Body: I’m not supposed to, but I will dance with you. [checks Y with flourish]
In another nod to continuity, the Gleeks sing a wildly inappropriate song in class as Will rocks out in his seat, “3” – a delightful number about a threesome. Aww. It actually sounds great with Sam, Tina, and Joe in a Devil’s Love Sandwich, even though the touches of auto-tune are distracting. It’s okay for the songs to sound a little rough, Show, it’s like they’re actually live.
Brittany grows more despondent, Blaine – once again – is the first to notice and follows her as she walks to the wall to plug in hair clippers. Oh, she’s going full Britney, got it! They stop her in time from losing her locks, but she goes out of the classroom and starts beating Jacob Ben Stephen David Cohenbergstein Israel (he’s Jewish, did y’all get that?) with an umbrella, and I know it was sad when Britney broke down completely, but that scene was pretty funny.
Our Brit is all Full Metal Jacket “I’m in…a world…of shit!” crazy, as Blaine, Tina and Artie decide what to do. Put her on stage when she’s not ready! Just like the real Britney. What could go wrong? Meanwhile, they even stick in a “Leave Brittany aloooone!” nod, and I feel guilty for laughing. Kind of.
Jake rides a scooter in the hallways like the bad mama jama he is, until The Man collars him. (Will.) You are out of control, Buster! Scooters? In school? Will goes back to his old roots by making a student feel worse about himself instead of it actually helping. “You think you’re tough, but your big brother Puck was tougher. Also, he had friends. Where are yours?” [drops mic, backs away from broken student]
Jake Charlie Browns it to the bleachers outside where Marley sits. She says something about how his guitar and hair mean he’s a bad boy, and all I can think is “Hair? You mean his totally normal hairstyle? Huh?” They cute-stammer at each other, which Tells Us They Are Meant To Be Together, and if you didn’t get that message from the stammering, let them sing a version of “You Drive Me Crazy” to really seal the deal. They get to the staring at lips, this is it moment – moment, but they pull away. (Becky pops up with a trombone, “Wah-waaaah!” Bocky pls.)
She shivers, he gives her his leather jacket, and okay, that is cute and perfectly high school, and I remember my senior year boyfriend giving me his jacket at a football game, and my dopey grin lighting up three counties.
Brittany continues her downward spiral by only talking to her purloined cell phone, Kiki. Also, she’s wearing the latest Steve Madden boot/trainers and I hate those shoes, but she makes them work. HOW. It’s those thin ankles of hers, I’m telling you. Sidetracked, sorry. The Gleeks tell her they want her to front the school performance, but please don’t puke purple-grey goop on Rachel, like the last time we let you lead.
That’s fine with Brit, but she’s going to lip synch like all the big stars: Bill O’Reilly, Ashlee Simpson, and God. Um, they’re a glee club? She can’t lip synch! Sure they can! It’s the only way Brit will perform. They begrudgingly agree. (Personally, I think her voice is shot because Lord Tubbington is still smoking. And now I have an alternate universe in my head where Brittany is actually doing all of the things she accuses Lord Tubbington of doing.)
Rachel sashays into Ms. July’s class with Body and a whole lot of ‘tude, performing “Oops I Did It Again,” in an even sexier manner than she did two years ago, and seriously. Hot like burning. I like the arrangement, too, and can we just say again that this whole number was hot? Because it was. And Ms. July is giving Ms. Berry the eye and I won’t lie: I’m totally ‘shipping Juberrily right about now. But the treatment to those tables! That is mahogany! July isn’t impressed by her, though, she says as she fans herself.
Body? Great. Berry? Pfft. Rachel has had enough and yells out Bitter! Jealous! Bottle blonde!
Quelle horreur! July points her finger, commanding Rachel to leave. (Later she’ll cry over a bottle of Miss Clairol, Ashy Winter 301.)
At McKinley, Blond Douche and Cookie mock Marley’s mom (Cookie! Stahp!) until Jake overhears and busts them up in a fight. He had the upper hand for a moment, and then Will comes in, pulling him out of there and into the choir room.
NOAH PUCKERMAN, as I live and breathe! Oh, poor baby with the mohawk back. Mark? I’m sorry. He’s all, “Look, Bro,” to Jake. “I get it. But I blazed that path already. First threesome at seven, I beat up a police horse, and I ate the 72 oz steak and had a shake. But Bro. Come on. You’re L’oreal!”
Jake goes, “Huh?” And Puck’s all, “You’re worth it. Join Glee. Be a man. Join show choir and be a man for once.” They fist bump and Puck goes back to LA, where hopefully someone hot will shave his head and let it grow back all thick and lush like the good lord intended.
Assembly time! Figgins, in a parody of himself, introduces the Gleeks, and I found Brittany hilarious here. She’s all sleepy-faced and bored, and the stashing of a 2 liter of soda and cheese doodles in the back of Artie’s wheelchair had me cracking up. Blaine, again, is all “Um…the Warblers are going to smoke us this year, damn!”
Brittany mouths along when she remembers that she’s supposed to be singing, her mouth full of cheese puffs, and it’s totally obvious to the audience that she’s lip synching. Duh. Blaine shuts it down, and again, I need to take a moment to thank Costume for the tight black pants and arm-baring tight tees. Thank you, Costume Department; please accept my open-mouth kiss. I Chapsticked, don’t worry.
Someone in the audience (Stoner!) stands and shouts, “J’accuse!” and I cracked up some more. Brittany tells the Gleeks that she resigns from Glee Club, affective immediately.
Ms. Cassandra July writhes and poses in front of a mirror until Rachel walks in. “I’m working.” More like werkin’, amirite? She continues to be all “Shh, armpit!” as Rachel stammers an apology.
Look, Miss Berry. She’s hard on you because that’s the real world. And you broke down from criticism in dance class. (Um, July was being a bitch, we all know it. And it’s class. Where you should be teaching.) And Rachel needs to develop thicker skin. Here, push her legs open further while she finishes talking.
Guys? Juberrily is so on, please. Now go hand wash the dance belts, and be grateful she didn’t send you to do the jock straps in Stage Fencing.
Sam finds Brittany and says that he, too, is a blond. He understands what she’s doing: she’s imitating the real Brit as a cry for help. Now that she’s hit the rock bottom, it’s time to get things back up to snuff, make a $14 million deal with Fox to be on X-Factor and have a show about singing feature her for a solid hour (the show? Sing! by Bryan Collins) and come back out on top with a strong-ass perfume that is sold in only the finest Wal-Marts.
“Thanks, Sam. You really get me. Also, I really miss my best friend, Santana. I miss hot lover Santana, but I really miss BFF Santana.” Aww, poor Brittany.
She figures out a loophole in the school charter, presents her thoughts to Sue – who, frankly, was shocked that Brittany knew what both a “charter” and “loophole” meant – and demands to be reinstalled on the Cheerios. Well, promise to graduate and it’s a done deal. They shake hands, and Brittany says that Emma and Will are tutoring her now. I would really like to see the pamphlets Emma comes up with for that.
“So you can’t spell. …which means you can’t read this.”
Kurt spends a ridiculous amount of time painting a single brick white in their new loft apartment as Rachel paints a heart with the word “Finn” inside. Kurt suggests the only thing that can help: cake. Clappy hands of agreement! Kurt opens the door to reveal Body, oho!
Kurt’s all, “Step-brother of mine, huh? Bang that like a screen door, toodles!”
Body tries to kiss Rach, who almost stomps her foot because of Cassandra. I MEAN, FINN. Well, Body isn’t going to push things, he’s just going to make himself irresistible and let her know that he is thinking of kissing her 24/7. So he’ll just get back on the J train and 45 minute it back home? No goodbye kiss? O..kay, here, have an orchid.
Marley realizes she’s still wearing Jake’s jacket (she’s been wearing it for a few days, actually) and giggle-hair tucks to Jake when Kitty sees. Kitty busts in between them. “I’ll take that, thank you! Because Jake and I are dating. Inexplicably. I’m the new Quinn, are you…did you get that? Because I’m Quinn 2.0. Which makes you Rachel-lite. But call me Kitty. Hi.”
Marley stammers and takes off the jacket and hands it over and tries to not cry and hey, I remember this scene from season one! Come on, writers, you’re better than this. I mean, I know, this is high school, but you could put a spin on it that doesn’t just swap Finn and Puck, right?
Jake goes into the choir room, ready to be a Gleek at last and everyone is a creeper. Including Brad. Brad!! TINKLES! Oh, I missed you, Tinkles.
Marley takes a moment to sing “Everytime” to the class. “I’m sad/Love me/Christ, I am right here will someone/just love me” – but I might be wrong on the lyrics. That’s what I heard, at any rate.
While she sings, it’s a montage of her watching Jake and Kitty stare at each other, Brittany staring at Skype/iMessage and how Santana is offline (aww, sad face!), Rachel dancing with a boy in class like all of the other girls! And then Rachel staring at the name “Finn” on the wall. Kurt is devastatingly handsome as he looks over his shoulder at her when she begins to paint over the name.
OH. MY. GOD.
Next week! The Makeover: Sarah Jessica Parker shows up (I love her, I will hear nothing ugly said about SJP!), Brittany challenges Blaine and Sam to a debate, which Sam thinks means he’s supposed to take his shirt off (bless you, bless your cow.) and Rachel sets the kitchen on fire. Can’t wait!