Real life prevented me from getting my “Lights Out” glee-cap up in a timely fashion. This was another episode that I don’t feel like I need to watch in full ever again, but at least it advanced a couple storylines (though at the same time, it also omitted a few as well… it’s frustrating when they put something in the promo and then edit it out of the full episode).
Ryder is still getting catfished. Of all the plot lines to drag out, I don’t see why this one is it. But, this plays a major part of the episode, so we’ll go with it.
In Glee club, Mr. Schue tells the kids that he went and spied on the Hoosier Daddies. (I lived in Bloomington, IN with my sister while she went to IU – Ryan Murphy’s alma mater – so I get it…) This glee club has a tiny huge powerhouse singer for their lead (American Idol’s Jessica Sanchez) and this makes Mr. Schue propose that his kids need to perform huge, as if they were in a stadium. Of course at this moment, the power goes out and Principal Figgins announces over the PA system that candles and flashlights would be handed out based on GPA. The glee club’s assignment for the week gets changed to “Unplugged” and a majority of the rest of the episode at McKinley is in the dark. (Thematically, I think this was too soon to have the Glee kids in the dark again just 2 episodes after the gun at school episode… but that’s just my opinion.)
In the (dark) hallways of McKinley, Jake and Ryder have a bro-discussion about Katie. Jake says Ryder doesn’t know her, but Ryder says that he does and that he’s told her his biggest secret. Jakes says he wants to know too, but Ryder balks. Remember – Ryder is pretty sure Katie is someone in the glee club because a phone rang in the choir room when he tried to call her during the shooting incident.
Meanwhile, in NYC, Rachel and Kurt have an intervention with Santana and tell her she’s throwing her life away. Tina gave them the heads up that Santana is a go-go girl at a lady bar and Hummelberry tell her that she needs to stop doing that and focus on her talent. Auntie Snix says she’s just trying to figure out her dream, so Kurt suggests dance lessons.
Back in Lima, the glee kids sit in the dark while Sam perches on a stool in front of the class and talks about Phil Spector’s “Wall of Sound.” My ears perked up because 1. I know who Phil Spector is 2. I know what the Wall of Sound is and 3. Sam playing a song solo and acoustically is the exact opposite of Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound, but I give Trouty Mouth an E for Effort.
Sam treats us to a little “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling” with Ryder joining in mid-song. Artie’s on his phone during the entire number which tries to make you think that he is Ryder’s catfish, but really Artie is just too plugged in. He’s supposed to perform next, but claims he can’t sing his Miguel song because of his lack of synthesizers. Sam calls him – and everyone else – out for being on their phones all the time instead of in the moment. He calls them all sad and lame. (I took this as a direct smack in the face to the fans/today’s youth who spend all their time on their phones and computers instead of taking part in their own life. I know I’m guilty of it too, but I can shut down. I turn my phone off at night. I can make it through an entire movie or Broadway Show without taking out my phone in the middle of it to check my email or text someone.)
In NYC, Kurt is finally back at Vogue.com (where you BELONG, Kurt… you were meant to do great things with fashion) and we have the return of Isabelle – my second favorite adult character on Glee. (First will always be Burt Hummel… second used to be Coach Beiste, but not since she has a crush on Mr. Schue. Oy.) Isabelle is on the phone with Darren Arronofsky talking about Christopher Nolan and I roll my eyes while CrissColfer stans likely squealed in epic delight. She hangs up and asked Kurt about his dad (he’s doing well, thanks for asking!) and they talk about how Kurt hasn’t been around much since he started at NYADA. But, since Isabelle is awesome, she tells Kurt she prefers quality over quantity of work and says she’ll always support his dreams. (To which Kurt and the whole of the fandom said, “Thank you, Fairy Godmother.”) Isabelle then asks Kurt to be a celebrity wrangler at a big ballet gala and says he can ask some of his friends to help (this is what we call “foreshadowing”).
No longer at McKinley, Sue Sylvester is now a “freelance champion” and is a personal trainer at a gym. She has a Sue90X class and we are treated to Blaine Anderson in a blank tank top and tight green booty shorts doing a full out workout. I’m sure there were other people in the scene, but all I have written in my notes are “THIGHS.” I did see the guy in front of Blaine give a smile in his direction, but Blainers was not impressed. After the class, Blaine tells Sue that his plan was to tear her down, but now he just wants to find out what happened. Coach Roz is telling the Cheerios a bunch of weird stuff and he wants to set the record straight on what went down causing Sue to get fired. He tells her that the team needs her – and they do. Coach Roz is a hot mess.
(Then there was a super short/unnecessary scene of Artie telling Sam that they don’t need electricity or instruments to make music.)
Back in NYC, Kurt tells his roommates that they are all volunteering at the NYC Ballet Gala. Rachel goes through some epic monologue that she started as a ballerina. Kurt pipes in that he too did ballet when he was three (awwww – cute little kid Kurt!), but then Santana said that she “Studied the timeless art of ‘crunk’.” (It is assumed – and mentioned in the episode – that all little girls… and Kurt, apparently… wanted to be ballerinas and/or took ballet. I had aspirations to take ballet when I was little, but ended up not taking lessons. Perhaps this is why I am about as graceful as Marla Hooch… but I digress.) Kurt and Rachel get Santana to agree to do when it is mentioned that they get to keep their couture outfits as a gift.
Once again in the choir room, the lights are still off and the mood is still down. Ryder, backed by some unplugged instrumentalists, dedicates a song to all of them and sings REM’s “Everybody Hurts.” There are flashbacks of Tina, Marley and Jake getting slushies and there are candles and it’s all a bit much. When the song finishes, Mr. Schue tells him it was amazing (which is a huge step up from how mean Mr. Schue was to everyone recently).
Then, Ryder tells the glee kids that he was molested by his baby sitter when he was 11. If that wasn’t already mortifying enough, Artie and Sam questioned why Ryder would be upset about something like this because it’s every guy’s dream to get with an older girl. Tina and Marley tell Sam and Artie they are not cool, but Mr. Schue does not reprimand them at all. (Ugh.) I was hoping at some point during the rest of the episode that Sam and/or Artie would apologize, but they didn’t…. Not cool, Glee writers. Not. Cool.
Kitty asked Ryder out to dinner, saying she broke up with Puck when he went off to college. She said she noticed Ryder being withdrawn and confided in him that she was molested in 6th grade by her friend’s older brother at a sleepover, but that she didn’t tell her parents right away. When she finally did speak up, her parents said the boy who did that was a good kid and they couldn’t believe he would do something like that, so she was exiled and switched schools. While this plot line humanized Kitty a lot more and made me more sympathetic toward her character, I thought these plot lines were out of left field and should have had some sort of message before the episode.
(Small tangent – while they did have a quick PSA about molestation after the episode, I was unaware that this was a plot line that Glee was going to have and wished they would have had a warning before the episode. Having gone through a similar situation, I was flummoxed not only by the topic being brought up, but by the utter insensitivity shown toward Ryder’s character by Artie and Sam, as well as the lack of discipline from Mr. Schue. When Glee decides to tackle “serious” topics, they either hit a home run or strike out. This, in my opinion, was a called third strike. The writers didn’t even bother to swing the bat. Instead of using this as an opportunity to support Ryder in his decision to share his big secret, they had two of his friends cluelessly congratulate him on being molested because it was awesome that an 11 year old kid got treated that way by an older girl. Yes, Tina and Marley called Artie and Sam out, but it would have been more powerful to have one of the male characters comfort him or call Artie and Sam out on their wrongful praise. I almost burst into tears at Artie and Sam’s reactions because one of the first people I told what happened to me, they laughed and it made me feel even more terrible about the situation. Granted every episode of this show can’t be written to avoid such triggery topics, but it would have been nice to see something as serious as this handled with a little more care. The Ryder/Kitty scene was great, but it wasn’t enough to make up for the lack of apology from Artie and Sam.)
The next day, the glee kids performed “We Will Rock You” all Stomp-like on the stage. They were banging trashcan lids and dragging chains and using brooms to make music. Jake tapped and spun like he was in Broadway’s Newsies and it was entertaining, albeit a predictable number in this “unplugged” episode.
Outside, the Cheerios were having a pretty lackluster practice outside (Seriously – if the only Cheerios routine we see with Blaine is him clapping a couple pom poms together while sitting on the bleachers, that is a wasted opportunity, my friends.). Sue was watching from afar when Becky (sans Cheerios uniform and dressed exactly like Sue) walks up and tells her that she wants to quit Cheerios because of Coach Roz. Coach Roz refers to Becky as Baby Robin and seems convinced that Becky is actually Robin – Sue’s daughter. Sue’s quip “95 years I gave those girls,” was the best line of the scene before she launched into “Little Girls” from Annie. (I’m guessing this was because Jane Lynch will be appearing on Broadway soon as Miss Hannigan…). The number was all right, if you overlook the obvious lack of Ohio scenery behind them and that for the first time on the show, Blaine is lumped in with the “girls.”
Back in NYC, Kurt, Rachel and Santana are dressed to the nines at the Ballet Gala and are told that they can watch the show from the wings with Isabelle. (Can I work for Isabelle? She’s nice and there are amazing perks…) They all sing “At the Ballet” and if it weren’t for Naya’s voice, I would have put the song on mute. This number dragged on (flashbacks be damned) and I have a feeling its extended play is why we never got the Blaine/Sam/Becky confrontation scene that we were promised from the week prior’s promo.
After the longest Glee songs ever finally ended, Santana admits that she loves dancing but doesn’t know what to do. Isabelle tells her she has time to figure it out, but that she should do what she loves and feed her soul. She reminds everyone that baby steps are okay (thanks, Isabelle!).
The next day, Roz brings Becky to Figgins’s office and says that she is his problem. Becky misbehaved on purpose to get set to the principal because she didn’t think of just coming down to see him on her own accord. (Oh, Becky.) It is assumed she confesses that she was the one to bring the gun to school a few weeks ago, but this was not done on screen.
Power is finally restored to school – “it is a new dawn” – and Mr. Schue asks the New Directions to not plug back in quite yet. He suggests they sing a cappella (which one would assume everyone would turn to Blaine and say, “Teach us, oh great one of the two-stepping Stepford school of handsome boys,” but alas…). We don’t get another song right then and there, but the promise of New Directions making music with their mouths sometime soon.
Ryder still talks to Katie online (which, he is a surprisingly good speller when he types… I guess his dyslexia doesn’t apply to technology), but Kitty asks him out to lunch in real life. He said he would, but he’s still into Katie. (I don’t think Kitty is Katie anymore… I’m thinking Katie is Jake or Unique because both of them hang around Marley a lot and Katie used the phrase “it’s her truth” and Marley used a version of that phrase in this episode.)
A quick visit back to NYC finds Santana at a dance class that is a NYADA extension program. Santana sasses the teacher, but when she’s asked why she’s there, Santana answers honestly that she’s reintroducing herself to the art. After class, we see little Santana from earlier and she asks, “Don’t forget me again, okay?” The Santanas hug and hopefully this means Santana is on a path to fulfillment.
In the final performance of the show, the New Directions sing Billy Joel’s “For the Longest Time” and though it is not as adorable as the version that multiple Barneys and Teds sang on HIMYM a few weeks ago, it’s still entertaining (because this song is flawless). When I wasn’t watching Blaine sing backing vocals in his yellow pants, my eyes scanned the screen for Bittany, Sugar and Joe… but found none of them. We know they’ll be in the finale (since we need them for Regionals!), but what is their excuse for missing a fair few episodes recently? Boo… I miss Sugar.
The highlight for my crowd of friends was definitely the promo for 4×21 – “Wonder-ful” – Glee’s Stevie Wonder episode (Puh-lease don’t mess up my jams, Glee… I haven’t listened to the songs yet, as I’m waiting for the episode to air, but these could either turn out amazing or an ear-sore.). Based off the promo – (SPOILER ALERT) – Kurt, Mercedes and Mike Chang are back. And Blaine and Burt have at least one scene and in said scene, Blaine says, “I would like to ask Kurt to marry me.” Hopefully Burt says, “Yeah, that’s nice. You two aren’t back together yet and you should probably wait a few years for the wedding, but when you’re ready, you already have my blessing because I still love you like a son, Blaine.” And then they hug… and I just really want some quality Blaine and Burt scenes, okay?
Thoughts on 4×20?