Glee! 1.17 Bad Reputation

I'd believe in heaven if this was waiting for me.

There’s a lot to love in this episode, and there are some things we’ll speed through because they’re just filler. So! Who has the worst reputation right now? You know, for having once been a good girl and now is practically irredeemable? (Oh, I hope not.) You know who it is. Today’s drink: The Blonde Lohan.


Our free space is to drink when plot is forced and makes no sense.


KAMT (Kurt, Artie, Mercedes and Tina) are watching a video and cracking up. Finn, Rachel and Jesse show up, watch, and we see it’s Sue Sylvester doing jazzercise to “Let’s Get Physical.” It’s a personal tape she’s made, and Kurt seems to have stolen it from her desk. Finn wants to put it on YouTube. Mercedes thinks that’s a great idea, because it will give Sue a taste of her own medicine.

As Sue walks down the hallway, Karofsky passes her by and shouts, “Hey, Ms. Sylvester! Let’s get physical!” Bewildered, but flattered, she declines as he’s not really her type. But thumbs up for the attitude. When Azimio tells her he wants “to get animal,” she gets her back up. Something is not right.

She gets Will in Figgins’ office. She knows in her bones that someone from the Glee Club has stolen her property, she will sue, and the Glee Club will be over. How she made the leap to it being in the Glee Club is far-fetched. There’s a list that gets posted? The Glist? It’s all about who’s hot and who’s not in the Glee Club? And this is proof somehow? It’s all very convoluted and is illogical, but eh, let’s carry on. [DRINK!]

Will thinks she’s being irrational, but Sue ignores this to toss out, “I am going to buy a tiny diaper for your chin because it looks like a baby’s ass.”

The Glist, by the way, has Quinn at the top (+45) and Rachel at the bottom (-5). This is important, because at another school, a picture of a Superintendent, wearing lady britches and astride a pony, was circulated at a school and the whole school was expelled. What the hell this has to do with the Glist and the Let’s Get Physical stuff being tied together, I have no idea. I feel like there’s a page of dialog that was cut out. [DRINK!] It’s up to Will to get to the bottom of this Glist, because that’s clearly the same person that uploaded the video. Or something.

Will asks all the kids who did it, but they all looked bored by this. All but Rachel, who is furious to see she earned negative points. Puck? Did you do it? No! Puck, seriously, did you? He is so offended by that. Puck is a proper juvenile delinquent with the setting things on fire and the face punching. He’s no liar or sneak.

Will warns them all about gaining bad reputations, but Artie thinks that would be pretty sweet to have a bad rep, because maybe he wouldn’t be bullied so much. Well, Will has a homework assignment for them all, and maybe they’ll learn a little something. It’s to take songs with bad reputations and make them good again. He has a great example, because it allows him to White Man Rap.

Of course it’s “Ice, Ice, Baby” by Robbie Van Winkle (Vanilla Ice’s actual name, he’s from the ‘burbs by where I grew up and I used to see him at my fave dance club at the time, Monopoly’s, where he’d work on his sweet moves. Ha ha ha.) I’m sorry, but I do not like Matthew Morrison rapping. He’s too white boy, too Land’s End looking. It’s like seeing a dog walk on two legs, it isn’t meant to be!

I was happy to see that Kurt is no longer being forced into being a “gangsta rapper” type (even though the song is so very much not gangsta) as he sits in the back in a bow tie, bored. Good for you, bubala.

And one thing I never figured out, what was Ice’s brand new invention, as his song promises? Will it ever stop? Hell, no. Also, harpoons don’t flow, they fly. And “police are on the scene, you know what I mean.” Yes, that police are on the scene, you just said that. Sorry, this song cracks me up. Too cold, too cold.

Sue heads to the teacher’s lounge, but is frozen in place (too cold, too cold) as everyone laughs at her. Slow motion laughter, the most humiliating form it can take, if teen movies have taught us anything. Molly Shannon, as Brenda Castle, stumbles over to her, clearly under the influence of something and gives her back stor. She is a drunk and a drug user, she had to leave her other teaching job due to that and a scandal involving her students. But she saw Sue’s video and “you, my friend, are an embarrassment, and that’s me talking!”

Rachel wants to re-image herself by using the class assignment. She asks Artie for his A/V help. Sex tapes, rehab, all of those things are how celebrities redefine their status and – Artie cuts her off. “You had me at sex tape. What did you have in mind?” Rachel, who looks around and then whispers is going to become musically promiscuous.

Kurt calls an official KAMT meeting. He is beyond angry that none of them were even on the list. They don’t have a bad rep, they have no rep. He starts building up a head of steam when Artie interrupts him to ask why Brittany is there, sitting in the background.

“I’ve been here since first period. I had a cold, I took all of my antibiotics at the same time and now I can’t remember how to leave. [DRINK!] But I also don’t know why I only made fourth on the Glist. I’ve made out with like, everyone in the school. Boys, girls, Kenny the Janitor…” [DRINK!]

Kurt lets her in their club. He has a plan for them to become the bad boys and girls of the school. What is the worst thing you can do as a student? Be a disruption in the library, of course! (Oh, bless. Sweet babies.) They are totes gonna get their glee-on in the stacks. REBELS!

Sue heads to Jean’s nursing home for some big sister comforting. She finally knows what it feels like to be laughed at, and it’s awful. She holds her sister’s hand and tells her how sorry she is that Jean ever felt that way. (Aw.) She’s sorry she didn’t protect her more. (And Sue Sylvester is not out of character here – she loves two things: Sue Sylvester and Jean Sylvester. Everything else can go hang.)

Jean reminds her that when they were younger and felt bad, they’d go to an animal shelter. It was a reminder that someone always has it worse than you. It’s exactly what Sue needs to hear. Except she hears it a little differently.

She calls a meeting with Emma Pillsbury; she’ll now act as her therapist, because the ginger bush baby is just pathetic. She confuses Emma with a whirlwind of advice and insults to make the final thrust the worst: Will has been lying to her. Sue knows this because she bribed Will’s landlord to let her sneak in a few baby monitors, and she knows all about Shelby from Vocal Adrenaline and about April sleeping over.

Emma starts to hyperventilate. Sue “comforts” her. “You suck. You walk like you were raised in Imperial Japan and someone bound your feet.”

“Well…you make a valid point?”

“Grow a pair! I’m insulting you and you refuse to stand up for yourself! You need to let Will know how you feel. Publicly.”

Sue is essentially getting Emma to do her dirty work for her, which is destroying Will Schuester, which will destroy Glee Club. Whatever. [DRINK!]

Puck hangs out with Rachel at her house, and he’s wearing her Phantom of the Opera mask, ha! Rachel asks him if he knew they had a portmanteau when they dated, Puckleberry. He thinks that’s humiliating. She blazes past that and says that she needs his help with her song for their assignment, “Run Joey Run.” They get to play parts! And she plays a girl that dies, and he can play the hunky heroic lead!

“Do I get to kill you?”

He tells her how mad he is that people automatically judge him for his past, and that he really tries to be a good guy, but those fire extinguishers just aren’t going to empty their own contents into some nerd’s face. He’s helpless before his own lack of impulse control.

He tries to kiss her, and just before they do, she pulls back. She can’t cheat on Jesse. He reminds that if she does, that will do more to give her a bad girl rep than anything else, besides, Jesse has no idea what it’s like to be a Jew. He almost convinces her, but she stays true. Whatever, then, he’s out. I mean, if they’re not getting horizontal, why is he even there? Because she wants him to help her sing! She miraculously convinces him to stay.

Sue and Emma head to the teacher’s lounge. It’s time for the big show down with Emma and Will. Brenda Castle comes out, staggering a touch, and taunts Sue. “Don’t start with me, Castle, I will kick you square in the taco!”

I laughed so hard at that, a little Lohan went up my nose. As is fitting, if you catch my meaning.

Emma shakes it off and marches up to Will, who is in the middle of an intense conversation with an older teacher. He asks for a second, but she will not be stopped! NO, she shouts at him, and then tears into him being a lying slutty liar slut. Oh, that’s right, William, she knows all about his make outs with Shelby Cochoran of Vocal Adrenaline and his sleeping with the boozy floozy April Rhodes.

He’s just shocked she knows, which is proof that it happened, which is all she needed to know. She is through with him and his slutty butt chin! She marches out, chin held high.

Kurt, who is wearing Hammer pants [DRINK!], sneaks into the library with BAMT. They have a boombox and a devil-may-care attitude. It’s time. They rock out “You Can’t Touch This!” and Kurt does okay in the first half of the dancing, I’m so proud! The directors were smart, though, and shoved him in the back so we’d focus on Brittany up front. Artie pop locks in his chair, gets in the librarian’s face, and as they finish, they’re ready for the trouble to start.

The librarian walks up to them and tells them how adorable they are, almost pinching each of their cheeks. Maybe they could perform that for next Sunday’s Service at her church? FAIL.

Will puts each of the kids in a hot seat with a light in their faces, starting with Finn. “Did you write the Glist?” Finn almost wets himself, Mercedes stands up to him and says, “Why does everyone think I’m angry all the time? It’s called being sassy, Mr. Schue.” Ahahaha. Artie explains that he couldn’t reach the bulletin board where the Glist was hung, ergo he can’t be accountable. Everyone pretty much suspects Puck, who is incensed by that.

Brittany doesn’t even know how to turn on a computer. [DRINK!] Kurt asks Mr. Schuester if – due to his loneliness – he’s been watching a lot of Law & Order [clang clang!] Hmm, Kurt thought so. And no, Kurt didn’t do it, either. He’s also wearing a horrible fuchsia and tangerine fuzzy sweater with an awkward neckline. [DRINK.]

It’s the second meeting of KAMT&B. Artie has a new suggestion – they’ll confess to Sue that they posted the video, that is sure to get them a bad rep!

Sue, writing in her journal, is devastated that things are still bad. She’s still being mocked. “Is this my karmic retribution for how I’ve treated people? No, that can’t be it.” Ha. A call interrupts her train of thought, it’s Olivia Newton John, the star of Grease, the most successful movie musical of all time! [In your face, High School Musical!]

Sue hangs up, she doesn’t have time for prank calls, does she, journal? The phone rings again. Uh oh. She answers it. It actually is Olivia Newton John, and it seems she’s seen Sue’s video. Oh, she’s embarrassed for Sue. But then again, that video was all wrong, it wasn’t sexy like it should have been, and she wants to re-make it. How about Sue joins her, and they both redeem themselves?

Ms. Castle introduces herself to one Will Schuester. She’s an alcoholic, likes pills – that’s just his type, right? – and what does he say to slipping into a closet and porking? Ahaha, I love you, Molly Shannon. Will is grossed out (and the football players in the background are bowing to his skills) and when Sue walks past calling him a manwhore, he bows out and gets away from Ms. Castle.

BAMT comforts Kurt, who will be the one confessing to Coach Sue. They remind him to not scream like a girl when she punches him in the face, and they think he’s astoundingly brave. He squares his shoulders, barely keeps the hysteria from his face, and gets her attention.

“What do you want, lady face?” He tells her he uploaded the video. Sue practically kisses him on the mouth, she can’t thank him enough. Whaaaaaaa?

KAMT&B race to the music room to google Sue, maybe there have been some awesome comments on her video? They find the remake with the actual Olivia Newton John and lots of beef cake. It’s all hip and Sue’s voice has auto tune, and they love it. (But do we really need another completely reshot video? It’s a bit much for me, and feels totally forced.) [DRINK.]

Rachel is ready to present her homework to the class, and has the A/V club set up a screen for her video to “Run Joey Run.” It’s maybe the most awesomely awful video in the history of things, you guys. The horrible “special effects” used, Rachel breaking character to smile hugely at the camera… it’s fabulous.

Puck is the bad guy of the video, and Jesse, sitting next to Rachel in Glee, is not okay with that. We see Finn’s face, too, and he’s not okay with it, either. And then we learn why. Rachel has convinced all three of them to play the part of Joey, and none of them knew it. When the video’s over (with Rachel as an angel, then a big grin at the camera, FIN!) Finn [hurr] starts yelling at her.

He calls her out for just wanting to look like a hot, slutty chick that has lots of guys into her. He’s right. (But that video is so amazeballs, I can’t even. I had to watch the scene with her “daddy” and his gun, with Sandy Reyerson cast as the father, as he dance-stalks her. It’s maybe one of the funniest images in the whole thing.)

Sue goes to Jean’s nursing home. She’s now a Top 700 selling artist, and if Olivia Newton John hadn’t been so cut throat on the back end, Sue could have made more money. As it is, she’s donating the portion she made to Jean’s home so her sister can maybe have a vegetable garden and other nice things.

Sue, holding her hand, asks her how Jean is still so much smarter than her after all these years? Jean says, “I’m the smart one.”

“Yeah, and you got all the looks too, how’s that fair?” They love each other, and I don’t care about ANY HATERS. I love the Sue/Jean moments. Love.

Will brings Emma flowers. [Protip: Dudes, don’t bring us flowers when you’ve done wrong. Ladies don’t like guilty flowers, we like “I love you and I’m doing this for no other reason than that I love you” flowers.] He apologizes for his manwhore ways. He now gets that he hurt her, and he’s very very sorry, and if she’d only look closer, he’s see the remnants of his tears winking off his butt chin.

In a magnificent moment, Emma gives him a level look and says that she knows she’s supposed to smile and forgive him and they can be together forever, but that’s not going to happen. He did wrong, he hurt her, and she isn’t going to be dating him anytime soon. But… he needs to get laid! Tough, buddy. But thank you for the flowers.

Will sees Quinn in the hallway and this somehow makes him put two and two together. [DRINK.] He pulls her aside, he knows it was her that made the Glist. And he knows this because after all the “manwhore” stuff (where he was praised and hit on? Wow, he had it tough. Well, there was Emma not liking him enough to have sex, but that’s not new) he knows what it’s like to walk in a pregnant 16 year old girl’s shoes.

Oh…kay? She lost her good reputation, and he identifies with that now. (Oh. OK, then.) She’s lost so much, she had the most to gain to be perceived as a slutty pregnant girl. (Really, writers?) She cries, because she never meant to hurt anyone, except for Rachel, because she actually hates her. Will asks Quinn if being seen as a tramp is better and gives her a pep talk about how she won’t get it all back (the popularity, the status, the head cheerleader position) she’ll get more.

I mean, she’s Quinn Fabray, right? She makes the crowds part because of her impressive attitude, not just her popularity! He smiles. She tells him that he’s a really good teacher, and I just don’t even know at this point, y’all. [DRINK.] He won’t tell Figgins who did it as long as the Glists stop, so see? Someone learned something? Kinda?

Jesse talks to Rachel at her locker. Before he transferred to McKinley he researched her. Of the very few people that even knew who she was, they said that aside from her penchant for wearing animal sweaters and being sneaky hot, they all said she was trustworthy. Guess they were wrong, huh?

But she just wants to be popular! Jesse thinks he should have been enough for her, guess they were both wrong. Rachel says that she always knew he’d break her heart.

“Well, you broke mine first. If we end up at the same barre in ballet class this week, just do your arabesques and piqués away from me.” He gracefully storms off. And Rachel cries. [DRINK.]

Tinkles is on the piano in class and one of the most awesome songs ever is performed by one Ms. Rachel Berry, “Total “ of the Heart.” First, I cannot hear this song without singing The Dan Band’s lyrics. I fucking need you more than ever!” Finn, Puck and Jesse all take turns with the beginning male vocals as we have a montage of ballet class and Jesse, who takes over the male role. And Lea Michele can get en pointe!

The song continues as we come back to the classroom. Finn leaves mid song, and the rest of the class leaves until it’s just Jesse and Rachel singing the final lines. (Small quibble, they have Rachel sing the last line in a major key, and the song is a minor key for a reason. It sounds so very “performy” when they do that.)

Jesse leaves, and it’s just Rachel in a dark room. Forever alone.

“Your love is like a shadow on me all of the time, shit, I don’t know what to do, I’m always in the dark! Living in a powder keg and givin’ off sparks. I really need you tonight! Forever’s gonna start tonight, for-fucking-ever’s gonna start to-Once upon a time I was falling in love, now I’m fucking falling apart. Don’t know what to say, total eclipse of the heart!”


Drunken Thoughts: The whole Quinn pep talk with Mr. Schue at the end is so crazy. It’s so crazy. Will is telling her that her being the biggest bitch in the entire school (and a truly mean and hateful person who hurt and manipulated people’s lives) is something she not only can get back, but should get back. And for this, he’s a really great teacher? The ‘Will Schuester is an amazing teacher’ thread in this show is the one massive weak spot. It’s almost enough to overthrow the things that are truly great; the campiness, the performing talent, the funny one liners.

And Sue Sylvester is one of my favorite characters on the show. I love Sue moments. But the video just seemed like a fulfillment of a contract, or something. It didn’t happen naturally, even though they did their best to make it seem like it was.

HAVING SAID THAT. If anything, the moment where Sandy Reyerson stalks Rachel with a total old school Broadway musical side-step, then bursts into a cheesy grin makes everything unsavory worth it. That whole video is truly a thing of comedic gold, from Puck’s over acting (his panting, desperate breath kills me) to Rachel trying to smile-sing in the hallways of the school.

And the chemistry between Jonathon Groff and Lea Michele is awesome. Yes, I know he’s gay, I know they’re BFF in real life, but their comfort and natural affection for one another plays well on screen. Cheers, guys, they were able to turn this around.

Next week: NEIL PATRICK HARRIS. Need I say more?

(But first, Laryngitis, episode 18 is right here!)