Glee! 1.18 Laryngitis

Tongue in cheek - this show is nothing if not literal.


Because we’re to believe Rachel is actually “sick” in this episode, even though they forgot to tell her to act as if she was ill, today’s drink is a proper Hot Toddy.

Grab your game card, your free space is to drink anytime you cough or sneeze.  Take care of yourself, bubulah.


Puck has done the unthinkable. He’s shaved his mohawk. He gets looks from everyone as he wanders into the music room. Brittany whispers to Santana, “Who is that guy?” [DRINK!] He tells a sour-faced Santana that his mom was washing his hair and found a mole. She sent him to the dermatologist, who insisted on shaving the mohawk so he could better check Puck’s scalp. Of course, he found nothing.

“I feel like that dude that lost all of his hair and then lost all his strength.”

“Samson?” Santana asks.

“Agaci.” Ahahaha.

Jacob Ben and his Israelites confront Puck outside the school. Puck’s no longer cool, so they dumpster toss him. He lies in the dumpster, wishing for the truck to come and crush the life from him when he hears Mercedes laughing with other Cheerios. Hmm. She used to be a geek, now she’s totally chic. If he dates her, then he can recharge his cool.

Puck hits on Mercedes. “Hey, sugar.” It’s a lame attempt because he’s never had to work at it before. She tells him that she’s just not attracted to him. What? That can’t be it, come on, Mercedes. He tells her he’s like a sex shark. “I stop moving, I die.” She’s just not that into you, dude.

Rachel is exhausted, and maybe getting a little sick. Why? Through an elaborate sting operation involving Zises, mallowmars, and hidden mics, she learns that she is pretty much the only one singing. Most of the others have decided to half-ass it. (So Will has lost his hearing? Or he’s checked out, too? Good to know. [DRINK!])

Will gets on to the Gleeks for not carrying their weight. Brittany just can’t remember all of the lyrics, she’s not trying to be naughty. Will gives everyone an assignment: they’ll all pick a song that defines who they are inside, and then they’ll perform it as a solo. “A solo!?” Kurt perks up. He is definitely okay with picking up more weight, song-wise.

He leaves Glee, sure of how he’s going to nail this assignment. He sees his dad in the hallway. It seems that Burt is there to take Finn to a baseball game. Kurt is offended at not being asked along, to which Burt says, “Anytime I watch a game, you go on about how they’re wearing stirrup pants.”

“Because there’s never an excuse for stirrup pants!” Hear hear, Kurt.

Rachel is ready to perform her solo, “The Climb” by Miley Cyrus, because her obstacle is them. She starts singing and it’s awful. Toneless, powerless, completely off key. Will whispers to her, “Uh, Rachel? I think you’ve lost your voice.”

A flock of pigeons, startled, take flight from the buildings surrounding McKinley High as Rachel shrieks, “NOOOOOOOOOOO! [Cough, cough, cough]”

Sue finds Kurt in the halls “Lady face, you skipped practice yesterday.” Kurt skipped because he had a sad about his dad and Finn. And he had a sad because, he supposes, his dad is bothered by his sexuality. Coach Sylvester makes a face. What is he, nine? He doesn’t have any sexuality. He’s never even kissed anyone before. How can he know he’s gay?

“So you like show tunes, doesn’t mean you’re gay, it means you’re awful. There’s only one person that can tell you what you are.”

Kurt demures with a soft smile, “Me?”

“No, me. Sue Sylvester.”

Kurt is ready to make his dad like him more than Finn. He talks to his dad about his assignment, he wants to sing “Pink Houses” by Mellencamp, a bold song about interior design. Oh, and he’s wearing a flannel shirt, work boots, and “working man” denim. [DRINK!] They head out for burgers to talk more about this intriguing (horrible) song while Burt Hummel tries to figure out what the hell is going on.

Rachel goes to the doctor with Finn in tow, because she has the most absentee parents ever. Hey, they spent the first formative years obsessing over her, they’ve earned a vacation. She’s worried that her voice is gone for good. Finn comfort flirts with her until the doctor arrives to tell her she’s never going to sing again. Ha, no, but she does have tonsillitis and a severe ear infection. A tonsillectomy is the best choice for her. She gasps. Throat surgery? Not likely.

She asks Finn for his advice, he snarks on Jesse not being there (he’s on spring break with Vocal Adrenaline, and no, that’s not suspicious at all!) and reminds Rachel that he would still like her even if she was a vocal cripple. Well, that’s lovely and all, but Rachel still has feelings for Jesse. That sounds like a song battle to me! And to Finn, as well. He sings “Jesse’s Girl” in Glee the next day, sing stalking her around her chair.

Next up is Puck, who brings in some of his “Bruthuhs” from Jazz Band. Seems he found out that Sammy Davis, Jr. was a Jew and was Black, hint hint, Mercedes, and he tells the gang to give him a C, a bouncy C. They bust out “The Lady Is A Tramp,” and it’s a pretty weak performance on Mark Salling’s part. It’s just not a song for him, he’s certainly a capable singer.

Mercedes helps him out by harmonizing and then taking over for a big finish [DRINK!] Santana sits there with narrowed eyes, she’s putting two and two together.

Everyone looks at Mercedes differently now in the hallways. Seems she’s getting a little benefit from maybe seeing Puck. She walks up to Quinn, telling her that she’s sorry he’s her baby daddy and all, but she’s into him. Quinn thinks she should go for it! It’ll spare her the random conversations Puck forces on her. (And aren’t Puck and Quinn living together? This is weird.) She does hope that Mercedes realizes that Puck’s using her, though.

Mercedes knows, and in an incredibly honest and painful admission, she tells Quinn that she’s flattered someone wants to use her, and that she’s in a position to be used like that. One of the hottest guys in school is trying to harvest her mojo? Okay. She won’t get hurt, because she knows this. Quinn isn’t worried about Mercedes’ heart getting her, she’s worried about her ass. Because Santana knows what’s going on. It could get Lima Heights up in this bitch.

Kurt is ready for his performance, and he’s continuing this ridiculous ploy of getting his dad to prefer his company over Finn’s by dressing like a trucker at school. Where his father isn’t. Okay, then. (This is one of the many scenes where we just have to hand-wave the writers’ ploys because they want to hammer in a joke.) Kurt is wearing a puffy vest, another trucker hat, and a Henley. [DRINK!]

He’s dropped his voice as low as it can go, making it sound growly and rough, and starts singing “Pink Houses.” It seems he’s learned this isn’t a song about kitschy décor. Everyone is creeped out by this very bizarre display from the Artist Formerly Known As Fabulous. Well, everyone but Brittany, who claps along and smiles hugely.

Mr. Schuester is disappointed in him. “Um, you didn’t do the assignment, that isn’t you. You can literally do things no one else can.” [Make toile and plaid work together?]

“I’m not a box, there are more than four sides to me.”

Writers of Glee, if I may? A box has six sides. Six. A square has four sides. So Kurt is not a square. Nor a three sided pyramid, a cylinder, nor a sphere. Good to know. Also good to know? What polyhedrons are. Excuse me while I adjust my glasses.

Brittany thinks Kurt’s performance was hot, and it made her realize that he is the one person in school she’s not made out with (so, she’s made out with Lauren Zises, Rachel, Finn, Artie, Mike Chang, Tina, and Mercedes? Huh.) She didn’t approach him before because she thought he was Capital G gay, but since he’s so clearly hetero, won’t he help a girl out by giving her a perfect record? It would mean a lot to her. Gulp.

Rachel, who is dressed like an elderly hobo, clutches a bowl of cereal to her chest and wanders the hallways of the school. Why? Because she’s sick, and her sneezing (or actually talking with a sore throat) wouldn’t really tell us she’s ill, so they don’t have her do that. (This episode’s writer is pretty weak, guys. He figures it out by Born This Way, but oy.) Rachel refuses to have the surgery, so she’s mega-dosing on antibiotics and herbal teas. If she doesn’t have her voice, she is nothing, NOTHING, do you hear her, Finn Hudson? She is like Tinkerbell, she needs applause to live!

Finn somehow manages to not slap her and says he’s taking her to meet someone so she can get over herself. He puts it nicely, however.

Kurt and Brittany are in the Hummel basement making out. Or rather, Brittany lays on top of Kurt giving him gentle lady kisses while he lies frozen, completely freaked out. And the fabulous Janet Seidel’s song, “Un Homme Et Une Femme” plays, which cracks me up. (Protip: 60s French and Italian movies have the best make out music. That is, if you like this. Which I do. Also look into Charlie Parker. I prefer “Laura,” but I’m a narcissist. Do yourself a favor, if you don’t own Birdland, you need to get it.)

Kurt comments on Brittany’s Root Beer lip gloss. Then asks her how boys’ lips taste. SAD FACE. She tells him, “Dip, sometimes burgers. Or my armpits.” She whispers, “Kissing my armpits is a really big turn on for me.” [DRINK!]

Burt walks in, sees them making out. And we see that Kurt is wearing overalls. Like, John Deere overalls. [DRINK.] Burt is confused. “You put a sign on the door, ‘Do Not Enter Under Any Circumstances. I’m Making Out With A Girl.’ I thought it was another of your murder mystery dinners.”

Ahaha. Kurt pushes the whole, “I’m just like you, Pa Hummel, with the girls and the chaw and ball scratching in public.” Burt, clearly thrown for a loop but no dummy, responds. “Well, whichever you are, I’m good either way.” [DRINK!]

Puck and Mercedes are hanging out, when Mercedes decides that she has had enough of Puck’s incorrect analysis of Super Mario 3. “Look, I’m seeing you because of your hot arms and our musical chemistry. But you need to respect thuh sistah – give me some attention.”

He goes to get her a drink, realizes when Jacob Ben Israel Reuben Simeon Levi Dan Nephtali Gad Asher Issachar Zebulun Manasseh Ephraim Benjamin flinches that he’s gained back his cool. He gives Jacob two for flinching, and smirks. He wanders off, flirts a bit with Santana and Mercedes watches the whole thing.

Mercedes calls Santana on the phone (they’re walking next to each other. They keep using this site gag on the show, but I still think it’s funny) and they start one of my all-time favorite R&B duets, “The Boy Is Mine” by Brandy and Monica. There’s a montage of them in regular class, in Glee club, etc. Puck is smirking the whole time. This is our first time to see Santana really sing, and damn, girl, they both throw down. [DRINK! Twice!]

The song ends, they start actually fighting, Will breaks them up and Santana tells her to “Enjoy it while you can, Weezy, his hair is already starting to grow back.” Cut to Puck, who’s hair is the exact same, but whatever. Puck gets the geeks to line up outside the dumpster to be tossed in as their punishment. Mercedes isn’t into all of this bid-ness and tells him that she’s not okay with any man of hers being a jackass.

Finn takes Rachel to meet his friend, Jason Street of the Permian Panthers. Wait, no, that’s Friday Night Lights. He takes Rachel to meet his friend Sean, who is a Real Life paraplegic playing the part of a TV paraplegic, so well done, production staff.

Having said that. The whole point of Rachel being there is because she and Sean have “something in common,” in that they’re both in the position of having lost their talent, and I have to scream out HOLD THE PHONE. She has a god damned sore throat. This guy’s spinal cord was shattered. Are you serious with this shit? OK, so you know my feelings, let’s get back to the story.

Sean is all super flirty and “Hey, I’m still an awesome guy, even with crippling depression brought about by my disability, finger guns!” Rachel has the grace to be ashamed, but Sean says that he’s got a lot more to him than the former ability to play football. He’s great at math, he’s nice to cats, and hey, he can sing, kinda. Rachel has had a Very Important Lesson and learned something. Rainbow, the more you know!

Mercedes has quit the Cheerios. Flashback to her telling Sue, who bitches, “And what am I supposed to do about the Mariah Carrey number with ten straight minutes of vocal runs?” Ahaha, oh my god, thank you Sue for a little much needed levity. Mercedes calls Puck out for being a jerk, and says that she’s seen that he can be a good guy, she bets he doesn’t really like being a jerk deep down. (Oh, I think he does, sugar beet.)

Kurt and Brittany hold hands in the hallway (he’s wearing work boots again, baggy cargo pants and yet another trucker hat [DRINK!]) and Brittany marvels at his soft hands. “Seriously, your hands are soft like a baby’s. Now I know what it’s like to date a baby!” [DRINK!]

Burt shows up, because it’s easier to bring him to the school than shoot another scene on a different set. He’s there to take Finn for hoagies, because that’s totally responsible to drag a kid that isn’t the smartest out of class just to eat food. Kurt is hurt by this again, and Burt recognizes this but needs Kurt to man up, because Finn is really struggling with the whole “his mom isn’t carrying a torch for Finn’s dead father any more” thing. Burt’s just trying to help a kid out.

WELL. Kurt has had enough, I thank you, and he puts on his best Paul Lynde outfit – after all, Kurt is a future center square – and starts singing “Rose’s Turn” from Gypsy, and guys, everything is coming up KURT. All that work, and what did it get him? Nothing! He knocks it out of the park, and he really needs to do more Patti LuPone numbers.

And just like Rose and Louise (in the original with Ethel Merman) Kurt and Burt take tentative steps towards a reconciliation. Burt was watching his son’s performance, and tells Kurt that he blew off Finn for him. He might be dumb, but he’s not stupid. He told his son this “thing” was going to be hard.

“This ‘thing’ with me? You mean being gay,” Kurt spits out, still angry.

“Yeah. Being gay. Look, you’re all I got.” He tells his son he loves him, they hug, I tear up, and Burt Hummel remains the most honest and loving dad on television. [DRINK!]

Rachel goes to see Sean, who was in the middle of being naked on his hospital bed and is all ashamed at his inability to cover himself. (WHY, WRITERS?? Christ, give someone some dignity!) She thanks him for helping her with her “potential disability.” Also, it seems that he’s been kind enough to lose his massive fish tank that was there when Finn and Rachel visited. (Did anyone else notice that?)

She got her voice back, sorry he won’t get his talent back, but maybe she can make his life have meaning with some singing lessons? Okay! They sing U2’s “One” and it’s really awkward and is making me itchy, and they cut between this performance and Finn singing it on stage with the rest of the Gleeks, but the show closes with Rachel and Sean singing the ending line over and over and over and it ends.


Drunken Thoughts: Oh my god, I am not okay with the whole Sean storyline because one, it felt like pandering, two, it was ham fisted, and three, how dare the writers compare a sore throat (that inexplicably didn’t stop her from talking normally or raising her voice when stressed?) to being forever paralyzed? Bad taste, and I’m the queen of bad taste.

That being said, Brittany was on fire this episode, even though Kurt’s forced “I’m really straight!” story line was frustrating, since his coming out moment to his dad was so moving. But the music – minus One and Pink Houses – was stellar, especially the duet with Santana and Mercedes.

And tomorrow we have the greatest duets of all time, Shelby Cochoran and Rachel singing “I Dreamed A Dream” which gives me chills, and Will and Bryan singing “Dream On.”

(It’s Neil Patrick Harris time! “Dream On,” right this way!)