Glee was infinitely more tolerable this week due to a majority of the episode centering on Blaine and Sam’s friendship and their ability to work together and lead the rest of the Glee club in Mr. Schue and Finn’s absence.
The theme of this week’s episode was “Guilty Pleasures.” Upon watching the episode, you figure that the writers probably went around the room and said what their guilty pleasures because no high school kid these days is a Fanilow (sorry Sam!), whereas people from my generation and above are (as in, I am a Fanilow… I have a well worn copy of Barry Manilow’s Ultimate Hits… but I’m also 10+ years older than the characters on this show). This episode was obviously catering to the guilty pleasures of older writers/producers when they had a Small Wonder reference. I would wager if you asked any high school kid if they know what Small Wonder was, they would have no idea. A few months ago I asked a 21 year old about The Wonder Years and he had NO IDEA what I was talking about. So… yeah. This episode was for us older gleeks, though I’m sure the younger crowd didn’t mind all the Blam on this week’s episode of Blee.
It’s been working out good doing my glee-cap around the songs, so let’s do that again this week…
Wake Me Up Before You Go Go – Blaine and Sam (w/New Directions)
At the start of the episode, Blaine cornered Sam at his locker and tried to give him $50 for food because he saw Sam stealing pasta from the school’s kitchen. Sam caves and says he’s not stealing the noodles to eat, but to create art. He shows Blaine a room full of pasta art, complete with a very well done portrait of Kurt. Blaine is taken aback and muses, “The macaroni really captures him,” starting off an episode chock-full of great Blam quotes.
Once Sam gets his guilty pleasure off his chest, he asks Blaine to share what his guilt pleasure is. We all know Blaine’s guilty pleasure is Sam, especially with all those close ups of his eyes and those lips. But, Blaine balks and says he loves Wham! and that Wham! is his favorite band of all time. (I would argue Blaine probably does love Wham! – especially since he likely helped Kurt do one of their songs for his NYADA application, but we all know he was lying in the moment to spare himself from humiliation and potentially ruining his friendship with Blaine).
Tina interrupts and says that Mr. Schue is sick, to which Sam asks if she is going to straddle him while he’s passed out and rub his chest with ointment. Tina claims it was just a phase while Sam and Blaine get a decent chuckle out of what was probably one of the most awkward/creepy moments in television history.
Blaine and Sam have all the glee kids gather in the choir room. Though they have no teacher, Blam gives the glee kids an assignment to sing guilty pleasure songs. They got the idea when Blaine told Sam about Wham (“Shooting the crap like brothers do…”) and say that by sharing their musical shame, they can be cohesive and use it as team building.
When the other kids are initially not for the idea, Blaine and Sam unzip their hoodies to reveal their “Choose Life” 80s t-shirts and instantly we are transported on stage to the whole of New Directions in bright colored shorts, shirts and skirts singing “Wake Me Up Before You Go Go.”
I’m grateful I saw the video of this the other day because I might have had a heart attack at all the 80s awesomeness and the fact that Blaine had Darren hair and was wearing short blue shorts and an earring. All the dancing made me laugh and gave me some flashbacks to my youth. It was a fun and up-beat performance and I was giggling the entire time.
Copacabana – Sam
Continuing with the Blam storyline, Sam pulls Blaine aside in the locker room by saying, “Put some pants on, I need to talk to you.” (Their friendship is PRICELESS.) When Sam gets all shifty, Blaine jumps to the conclusion he’s hoping for as he asks, “Do you have feelings for me?” Sam quickly says No but still acts all weird until Blaine finally gets him to blurt out that he likes Barry Manliow. Sam has several monologues about Manilow throughout the episode, but this one ends with “It’s like he’s talking right to me.”
You can tell Blaine thinks Sam is nuts for being a Fanilow, but tells him he needs to come out about it to the other glee kids. Sam looks worried, but later in class, he flat out tells everyone that he loves Barry Manilow and then rattles off a laundry lists of why (amazing performer and songwriter, underappreciated, great hair, etc…). Sam ends his rambling with “This is who I am and I make no apologies.”
Nor should you, Sam.
So, Sam puts on those crazy arm things you see people wear on DWTS and sings Copacabana. And guess what? ALL the glee kids know it and join in because everyone and their mom knows that song. Blaine calls Sam brave for singing that, but soon the rest of the glee guys admit to being Fanilows too.
Against All Odds – Blaine
After Sam sings his Manilow jam, he approaches Blaine in the library (the kid was reading a Goosebumps book, for crying out loud… which a lot of people are taking to be an Easter Egg w/regard to Klaine because Blaine is reading “The Phantom in the Auditorium” and Kurt did that PotO number last season…). Sam tells Blaine it’s his turn to admit his guilty pleasure because he has talked the talk, but has yet to “Walk the walk, pilgrim.” (Oh Sam and your John Wayne impressions trying to use humor to make Blaine laugh/feel less awkward about the whole situation… besties, yo.) Encouraging his friend to be honest, Sam tells Blaine that he needs to set an example for the glee club.
So, in the auditorium a little later, Blaine sits at a piano on stage and plays a moving rendition of the Phil Collins CLASSIC Against All Odds. Darren sang that live and accompanied himself on piano. Though it wasn’t as heartbreaking as Teenage Dream in 4×4, it was still pretty great. There was no way to do that kind of song/performance pre-recorded, and Darren is talented and capable enough to do that live-to-tape.
The whole of the glee club is in the audience, but we keep getting shots of Blaine looking over at Sam and Sam watching Blaine’s every move. It’s a devastating song and I can see why it was used for the show.
I saw some people grumbling about how Blaine is singing this love song about Sam. Blaine’s not in love with Sam the way he is in love with Kurt. I think the pain Blaine was feeling was from his own internal conflicts – knowing that having a crush on a straight person is not going to amount to anything, knowing that having a crush on his straight best friend could potentially ruin their friendship, and having feelings for Sam while having feelings for Kurt.
A lot of the lyrics of the song apply perfectly to the Blam relationship. For example, “You’re the only who really knew me at all.” Since Kurt left, Sam is the only person in Blaine’s life who seems to know him inside and out and still loves him unconditionally because of or in spite of this knowledge.
And what about this whole verse:
I wish I could just make you turn around,
turn around and see me cry
There’s so much I need to say to you,
so many reasons why
You’re the only one who really knew me at all
Blaine is obviously struggling about whether he should tell Sam or not about the crush. He wants to tell Sam because Sam is his best friend. He needs to tell Sam because keeping it in will eventually break Blaine and likely put a strain on their relationship. Blaine just doesn’t have the confidence in himself to trust that if he tells Sam his secret, Sam is going to be okay with it. Sam is friends with pretty much everyone, whereas Blaine is not – and I think that’s his own doing. We the audience still don’t know all that much about him, which leads me to believe that the writers have made him this surfacely friendly person/people pleaser who keeps his own business to himself. Sam sees through that, though, because Sam cares about Blaine. This is seriously one of the best examples of male friendship in any show I watch on a regular basis.
When Blaine finishes his song, Tina asks who it’s about and Blaine immediately says Kurt, but also Phil Collins. He goes on about how he’ll spread his music and ends with, “I am no longer in the closet about my love for Phil Collins.” Sam does not believe Blaine’s words and you KNOW he’s going to call him out on it…
… Which he does. Sam finds Blaine at the piano on stage a while later and they have conversation about musical guilty pleasures that they both know is really about them. Sam takes the reins on the conversation and addresses the elephant in the room. He says Blaine doesn’t have to be uncomfortable and that he knows that he is Blaine’s guilty pleasure. He then says how he knows Blaine is into guys and that he himself is an attractive guy, so he would have been offended if Blaine wasn’t into him. Though Sam was joking to put Blaine at ease, he was completely serious when he told Blaine that nothing was going to change between them. He says the attention feels good and says that it’s flattering. In true Sam Evans-style, he tells Blaine that they need to hug it out and the boys wrap each other in a huge hug, with Blaine smiling brightly, eyes closed, as he embraces his best friend.
After a few moments, Sam sports a frown and says, “Please tell me that’s a pack of Lifesavers in your pocket.” Blaine says no, that they’re breath mints, and asks if Sam wants one. Sam says Yes and Blaine takes the roll of mints out of his pocket and each boy pops a mint into his mouth. It was a great – albeit cheesy – to diffuse the entire situation and really the whole crush on Sam should be over by this point. If anything is mentioned again, it’ll be a joke/teasing situation. This plot line should have been wrapped up during “Naked,” as there were no instances of Blaine’s crush since then, but at least it got resolved.
Now we just need all the Blam all the time.
Wannabe – Kitty, Brittany, Marley, Tina and Unique
Brittany approaches Kitty near the top of the episode and tells her that everyone hates her and she’s mean. She says Kitty should use her powers for good and not evil and invites her on Fondue for Two. The girls chat and start talking about guilty pleasures. The Bring it On movies are brought up (woot) and then Kitty whispers her musical guilty pleasure to Brit. Tina – who watches Fondue for Two – demands to know what Kitty’s guilty pleasure is and Brittany tells her it’s the Spice Girls. All the glee girls are like, “omg, me too!” and they plot to sing a Spice Girls song and try to figure out which Spice Girl they should be.
The girls perform Wannabe and everyone is happy because that song (and the Spice Girls) is awesome. During the song, Artie is hardcore eyeing Kitty and at the end, he remarks how he’s never seen her so happy.
The best part about this number was the band. The drummer side-eyed the girls and my favorite band dude was back, rocking a keytar, no less.
My Prerogative – Jake
Jake was going to sing a Chris Brown song until ALL the glee girls hound him for wanting to sing his music. Jake makes the perfectly legit argument saying that he likes Chris Brown’s music, but not Chris Brown (which is exactly how I feel about Chris Brown) and how people should be able to separate the art from the artist. The girls say that they should never do a Chris Brown song (though, remember Season One they sang “No Air,” so too late…).
When it’s Jake’s turn to sing, he opts to sing a Bobby Brown song, “My Prerogative.” I liked his dance moves, but his voice bothers me when he doesn’t sing low.
Silly Jake was unaware that Bobby Brown is pretty much just as bad as Chris Brown, since it’s believed he’s the one who got Whitney Houston started on drugs. Marley was still made at Jake’s insensitiveness, but they kiss in the hall anyway. Meh.
Creep – Brody and Rachel
So, Santana is living with Kurt and Rachel now because Brody moved out. She is still snarky as always and says she’ll break her pact with Kurt and tell Rachel about Brody. Kurt says she can’t do that until after her Funny Girl audition. As of that point in the plot, Brody left without saying why but said they’ll always be friends. Santana knows the truth, but tries to stay on Rachel’s good side by saying the two of them should prank Kurt. They opt for the “hand in warm water” trick and find him in his bed, wrapped in a “boyfriend pillow” (i.e. a pillow with an arm you can wrap around yourself). They immediately pick on him, but he says it was purchased while on Ambien (does he need an Intervention). He named his pillow “Bruce” and says he’s exclusive (which I take to mean that Adam and Kurt have never shared a bed…).
Later, Kurt gets Santana and Rachel pillows and Rachel calls the pillow weird, saying she doesn’t need it b/c she’s going to get back together with Brody. Santana loses it and says that Brody was a gigolo, which Rachel doesn’t believe. Rachel asks Kurt if it’s true and if he knew, but he doesn’t say anything (even though she can totally tell he was withholding information).
(Kurt withholds information a lot… He didn’t have a huge role in this episode, but we did get a VO about his own guilty pleasures. Not was one of Kurt’s guilty pleasures his boyfriend pillow, but he also wear a Richard Simmons outfit while he sweats to the Oldies. The fandom exploded at the sight of Kurt’s legs in those shorts and everything else going on in those shorts…)
Rachel approaches Brody at a class and gives him some money, saying she was hoping she could have dinner with him. (Low blow, Rachel, even for you.) She says she was an idiot because they said they’d be honest with each other. Brody calls her out on not being honest with him about sleeping with Finn at the wedding. He then tells her that Finn was the one who came and beat him up (which she still didn’t know) and says that he knows she is still in love with Finn. Rachel was sure Santana was the one who ratted her out, but he just knew.
In a rare moment of self clarity, Rachel says that she used her relationship with Brody to make Finn jealous and to fill her own heartache. Brody asks if they are over and Rachel says, “Yeah, it feels like it is.”
They then sang “Creep” and I wrote in my notes NO1CURRS and “ugh, just give me Blam already.”
I like this song, but I thought it was not used well on the show with all the slow motion and whatnot.
Mamma Mia – Everybody in NYC and Lima
Kurt and Santana are watching a Facts of Life marathon when Rachel gets back. She says that her and Brody are officially over and thanks Santana for what she did. Kurt tells Rachel not to be sad and that he named her boyfriend pillow for her (Colin – after the kid in The Secret Garden). Rachel said she’s not sad, and that she’s ready to date older guys. (REALLY? Did you not just get out of a bad relationship with an older guy? Because that is literally what just happened 5 minutes ago…)
She also says they are going to watch movies and she plays the pity card to get then to watch Mamma Mia. And then everyone sings Mamma Mia (which is totally one of my favorite ABBA songs) and the NYC kids frolic about their apartment while the Lima kids are in ABBA-outfits (and poor Blainers’s hair is flat-ironed out, making him look like Pete Wentz’s long-lost brother…).
The most notable moment during this song was a tie between Kurt tripping over his hula hoop and Kurt throwing a hula hoop in NYC and Blaine catching a hula hoop in Lima. People on the blogs went bat-shit.
I enjoyed this episode for all the Blam and its epic lack of Mr. Schue and Finn.
We are now on a 3 week hiatus until the last 5 episodes. I’m ready for this season to be over. And I’m okay if Blaine and Kurt are not back together by the end of it… however, I would like an update on Papa Hummel’s cancer. (Right?)