So, this is obviously more than a week late, but I don’t even feel bad because that wasn’t a Glee finale, per se, but a poorly cliffhangered episode that will just pick back up exactly where it left off in a few months. If anything, I’m welcoming this hiatus Journey-style (with Open Arms) and am hoping that when the writers get back to work, they can step their game up and give Glee Season 5 some much needed help.

 

Because this is hella late (real life happened, you guys… and would you believe some of that real life involved me watching a number of the Glee cast practically bypass the fans at the Fox Fan Front – though, bless Darren’s heart because that boy tried to sign stuff for people and take pictures with as many people as he could), I’m not even going to bother re-capping the whole episode, but I will touch on the major storylines – those that were wrapped up and those that weren’t. (Spoiler alert – most weren’t, though I kind of didn’t care.).

 

Rachel’s Funny Girl Audition

I was grateful they got this out of the way near the beginning of the episode. She sings Celine Dion’s “To Love You More” (a personal favorite of mine that I have sung into my hairbrush/water bottle/shampoo bottle/writing implement more times than one should ever admit) and it’s good, but is it Fanny Brice good? One of the people auditioning her says, “Thank you, Rachel. We’ll let you know.”

 

And then that was it of the Rachel Berry story line for the episode! Does she get the part? Does she not get the part? We don’t know and I don’t care. Honestly, I don’t think the character of Rachel Berry is ready for a leading role on the Great White Way. But, since Rachel gets everything handed to her, she’ll probably get the part. But, like I said, I’m not invested in anything to do with Rachel Berry anymore.

 

Bye Bye Brittany

Brittany started the episode at MIT and was being spoken to by some professors and Deans. Though she had a near perfect SAT score, she got a 0 on a math test that morning. She scribbled (in crayon) a bunch of numbers down and they believe her to be the most brilliant scientific mind since Einstein.

 

When she got back to Lima, something was off. Brittany started acting out and demanding solos at Regionals. She quit Glee club, then broke up with Sam via text while he was in the same room as her and said she missed lady kisses.

 

Brit quits Cheerios and nails her 95 Theses to the door of Roz’s office. Sue and Will then tried to talk to Brittany, but she only said she would talk on her own terms, so they do an episode of Fondue for 2. Brittany asked if Will and Emma were getting married (they were after Regionals) and then claimed she knew the identity of Sue’s baby’s celebrity father (Michael Bolton – which Sue confirmed as true).

 

Meanwhile, Sam called Santana and said he needed to speak with her about Brittany and asked for her help. That raised a red flag for Santana because she knew Sam wouldn’t call unless it was important.

 

Santana came back to Lima and does a Fondue for 2 with Brittany where she confronted her and told Brittany to stop. She also said she still cared about Brittany (which we all knew anyway).

 

Brittany came back to Glee club before they were supposed to go on for Regionals. They do a show circle and she tearily admitted that she was offered early submission to MIT and that she needed to leave immediately. She gave a really sad speech about how people told her she was stupid but that the glee club made her believe in herself. (It was here in my notes that I jotted down, “Brittany, your HeMo is showing.”) Then, Brittany said something nice(ish) about everyone in the room. I got a little bit said when she addressed Sam because they were crying and then there was hugging and it got a little emotional, but in a good way instead of a preachy way that Glee has been known to do.

 

After Regionals, Brittany sat alone on the stage and Santana joined her. They hugged and I was kind of confused/not paying attention to their storyline. I’m assuming since Brittany is leaving that the Britanna storyline is over (or at least very much on hold)? Who knows?

 

I’m not shocked that Brittany is leaving. HeMo is pregnant and that character has gotten less interesting ever since they made her extraordinarily stupid. It used to be that she would have quality one-liners, but then they made her meanish and really dumb and it was a huge turn off to watch.

 

The Catfish is Revealed and It’s a Surprise to No One but Ryder

You guys – Ryder just couldn’t take it anymore. He stopped Glee rehearsal and demanded to be told who his catfish was or else he wouldn’t perform at Regionals. He started to go berserk, so Marley stood up and said it was her (but you could totally tell she was covering for someone). Ryder got pissed off and walked out.

 

Later, Marley tried to convince Ryder that they needed him for Regionals. He just wanted to know why she did it when she had told him before that it wasn’t her. Unique stepped out and revealed that she was the catfish and that Marley didn’t have to cover for her. Marley left the two of them to talk and Unique spilled that she liked Ryder and that everything they shared was real. She said she didn’t do it to hurt Ryder and asked that he not punch her. Ryder told her, “We don’t have anything” and that while he wasn’t going to punch her, he also was not going to talk to her.

 

After their Regionals victory, Ryder and Unique shared a hug that was in the moment, but then he backed away from her and their relationship (or lack thereof) was left hanging.

 

This is a plot that I hope they revisit and address next season. Ryder and Unique were at odds earlier in Season 4 when Ryder would not acknowledge Unique as a “her.” They made up after that feud, and things seemed fine. But, now that Unique knowingly advanced upon Ryder using another person’s identity, which is a horse of a different color. Ryder bared his soul to “Katie” and Katie did the same thing in turn, but Ryder was under false pretenses that Katie was Katie and not Unique. Though they are likely to work it out (because you can’t have two glee kids flat-out hate each other for an extended period of time), it’ll be interesting to see how it is addressed. Ryder is understandable upset because he thought he was falling for a girl and he wasn’t – he was falling for Unique. And while Unique identifies as female, she is not the kind of girl that Ryder is looking for.

 

 

Regionals

The New Directions were up against the Waffletoots (played by the Wiffenpoofs) and the Hoosierdaddies (which featured guest star/American Idol alum Jessica Sanchez as Frieda Romero).

 

The Waffletoots sang a classy version of Rainbow Connection (another personal favorite) and they did not get enough screen time.

 

The Hoosierdaddies sang “Clarity” (not the John Mayer song) and “Wings.” I was not familiar with either of these songs, nor was I a Jessica Sanchez fan while she was on Idol, so I tuned out while they were on screen. I would have rather had some plot with characters I cared about instead of two songs from someone I hope to never see on the show again.

 

When the New Directions FINALLY took the stage, they sang songs I didn’t know either. The guys sang “Hall of Fame” (okay, so I knew this one…) and then the girls sang something called “I Love It” (I think?). They then ended their set with Blaine and Marley singing one of Marley’s original songs, “All or Nothing” (Also the title of the episode… though silly me was hoping they would sing the classic O-Town jam “All or Nothing.” Alas.). During this song, a tearful Santana passed a tissue to a similarly tearful Kurt and just this week we found out that there was supposed to be a line of dialogue during this scene where it is announced that Kurt still loves Blaine. (This will be important in the Klaine section coming up…)

 

The New Directions placed first and Nationals is in LA, so we’ll get that at some point in the middle of next season. (Cooper Anderson lives in LA, right?)

 

Wemma Wedding

Wemma got married after Regionals. Their vows were basically flashbacks to moments from Season 1 when he was still married to Terri. They blab on about “one true loves” and the camera pulled back to reveal Blaine standing next to Kurt while wiggling an engagement ring box behind his back.

 

Yeah…

 

Klaine

So, the engagement ring box was the big cliffhanger of the season, which caused a lot of us to groan because Blaine should not be asking Kurt to marry him (for a couple reasons – 1. They aren’t even officially back together yet   and 2. Burt Hummel just told Blainers last episode that they are not ready to be getting engaged/married. AND YOU ALWAYS LISTEN TO BURT HUMMEL.)

 

So how did we get here?

 

Well, near the beginning of the episode, Sam stopped his BFF Blaine in the hallway and said that Blaine was not ready to get married yet. (That’s TWO people telling you this, Blainers. Two.) Sam brought up how Blaine wasn’t even sure where Kurt stood with Adam (oh, he’s still a character?) and that he’s just not ready. Blaine, being the romantic young gay, said that people like him have been waiting hundreds of years to be able to get married legally. Then he tried to guilt Sam into ring shopping with him by saying that he wanted Sam to be his best man.

 

Blaine did go ring shopping and he brought Tina. Ugh. Tina, stop trying to make Blina happen. She goes on about what she would want for a ring and Blaine reminded her for likely the umpteenth time that the ring is for Kurt. Luckily, a kindly saleswoman named Jan (Patty Duke!) stepped in and ran interference. She asked who the ring was for and Blainers poorly explained that it was for his boyfriend, or rather they weren’t boyfriends, but it was for someone he loved very much and wanted to spend forever with. When Jan asked Blaine to tell her about his man, Tina rolled her eyes and exited the conversation (because Blaine wants a MAN, Tina, geez). Blaine was all sorts of shocked when Jan legitimately wanted to hear him out. Turned out Jan had a partner named Elizabeth and they talk about soul mates and Blaine was smitten with Jan and how she wanted to be his gay fairy godmother. Jan told him it didn’t matter how young or old you were with regard to love.

 

Just then, Sam walked in the jewelry store and told Blaine that he loved him and wanted to support him. Jan thought that Sam was Blaine’s loved one, but they quickly shook her off. Sam said, “He wants to do me, but we’re just friends.” This annoyed Blaine (and made me love Sam that much more), causing Sam to retort, “You do want to do me.”

 

I love Blam. Blam is the second greatest thing to ever happen to Glee. (The first being that Darren was cast as Blaine.)

 

Blaine, Kurt, Jan and Elizabeth all go out for dinner at Breadstix and the women tell the boys about how they met and their relationship. They broke up twice and got back together twice and had basically been through thick and thin with each other over the past 30 years. Kurt asked how Jan and Blaine met and they lie – saying they met at the food court in the mall. (The truth best come out at some point – just sayin’.) Elizabeth called Kurt and Blaine a sweet couple and Blaine thanked her while Kurt quickly quipped “Oh, we’re not a couple.” Blaine’s heart broke just a little bit and I just got angry at my television. I get that they aren’t together and am fine with that, but we know how Blaine feels about Kurt. We have little to no idea what Kurt feels about Blaine. (Now, remember back to the cut line of dialogue between Kurt and Santana from Regionals… Kurt still loves Blaine. BUT, based off of what we are seen on the show and Kurt’s dialogue post-4×15, we actually have no idea because most of Kurt’s scenes have been about Rachel, or his dad, or there were a couple involving Blaine in 4×21 – but even those were from Blaine’s POV.)

 

While still at Breadstix, Jan proposed to Elizabeth and they kiss. It’s adorable and Blaine and Kurt (and everyone else in the restaurant) are happy for them, but you could see that Blainers was a little sad/jealous.

 

And that was the last of Klaine in the episode. They were in the same room during the show circle before Regionals, and they were next to each other while Wemma was exchanging vows, but we got no sense of Klaine closure.

 

This is not a cliffhanger, though – it’s just more of the same from Season 4.

 

Glee starts back up at the end of August/beginning of September and plot-wise, it should be picking up exactly where it left off. The McKinley kids are mid-school year, so graduation will likely be happening around the time the Christmas episode normally airs. It’s going to be a bit of a mind game, but my guess is that they were just trying to keep this crop of McKinley seniors (mostly Blam) at McKinley as long as possible. I’m hoping once they “graduate,” the show will just shift to NYC and that the back half of Season 5 and then all of Season 6 will be Klaine in NYC. (And Sam needs to be there too…)

 

So, yeah.

 

I’m going to be just fine during this hiatus because there were no plot lines to even remotely panic over.

 

Have a great summer, Gleeks. I’m sure I’ll see some of you at Darren’s concert in June. 

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This filler episode was definitely one I least enjoyed overall this season (which speaks volumes, because there have been more than several episodes this season that I thought were pretty Meh).

 

“Why do you continue to watch the show?” you ask.

 

Trust me, I ask myself this question all the time. If it weren’t for Darren Criss and those (usually) damn catchy covers, I would have stopped watching this show.

 

But, so long as Blaine Devon Anderson is still a character, I will watch. And I will continue to have delusionally high hopes that the next episode will get better and somehow recapture the magic that was The Pilot. I’m still waiting… and while I wait, I watch and take notes as I am underwhelmed by plot lines that the writers think we still care about.

 

Spoilers/Opinions ahead… ye be warned.

 

Glee already made us suffer through Gangnam Style earlier this season and then decided to throw in some Harlem Shuffle (Shake? Shuffle? Shake? I so was not hip to this fad earlier this year…) at us to show Finn enjoying his college life at The University of Lima (Which looked an awful lot like California… but production design, schmoduction design, am I right? *sigh*).

 

The episode started out VO heavy – Finn at college (wow, that application/acceptance process was fast…), Rachel in NYC (yapping on about her dream to be like Barbra and be the next Fanny Brice on Broadway in Funny Girl), and then later Marley talking about how she wants to be a singer-songwriter and perform her songs at Regionals. Blaine might have called himself “Honorary Rachel” later in the episode, but Marley (and her owl sweater) is a prime candidate as well. At least Marley is less annoying than Rachel… so, I can deal with this character shift.

 

Though there were five songs in the episode, the first half of the show was music-free. The writers used this time to give us plot. I’m one of those people who always begs for more plot but then gets disappointed when it’s Meh plot. (Shame on me, I know).

 

There was a lot of talk of the “fake school shooting” this episode and that made me a little weary. The person who seemed the most normally shaken up was Coach Beiste while everyone else kinda got weird. Tina started dressing Steampunk, Sam invented an Australian twin brother Evan Evans (Evan wore glasses… that is my biggest weakness.), Unique was taking birth control (I’m with Marley – I don’t think that’s healthy.), etc. Sue was gone (having taken the blame for Becky’s gun) and Roz was back to coach the Cheerios. And Will Schuester was back to being a douchebag.

 

Ugh. I liked it better when Will was off-screen in Washington DC fighting for the arts. He was doing much more for those glee kids not being on the show. Schue was nasty last night. He told them the theme for Regionals was “Dreams” and then gave them a list of songs with the word “Dream” in the title that they would be singing. Bor-ring. Marley Rose spoke up and said she wants to do original songs and he said NO. Will then restated that the New Directions were only going to Regionals on a technicality he thought that would shut them up.

 

It didn’t. Not really.

 

Blaine (“Honorary Rachel”) and the other glee kids held a secret glee club meeting to talk about how Mr. Schue’s songs were going to lose them Regionals. (He also pointed out they already sang “You Make My Dreams Come True” last season in a mash-up… We all remember that awesome moment of Hall & Oates gloriousness…). Marley presses for original songs, but is silenced by her peers.

 

Back at The U of L, Finn and Puck are running the place like they’ve been there for more than 5 minutes. (Yep – Puck is there. He’s not enrolled, but he’s there… and I’m glad Puck is there because I missed Puck. So, even with the crap plot, it was nice to see my favorite Puckerman again.) Will comes in while Finn is making grilled cheese with an iron and Puck is slip n’ sliding down the hallway. (Finn also acquired the bikini tops from two girls… I won’t even launch into my epic tirade about the objectification of women in a collegiate setting, but just know I have an entire monologue at my beck and call.) Will wants Finn to come back and to stop doing what he’s doing, but Finn says No and tells Mr. Schue that he can’t tell him what to do. Puck, on the other hand, is happier to see Mr. Schue and gives him a few hugs because Puck is precious and I wish he and Blaine had more screen time together last season because I could see Blaine, Sam and Puck (and Mike Chang too) hanging out and being besties – like, playing video games and dancing and stuff.

 

But I digress.

 

Back in Glee club, Blaine tells Mr. Schue that they have some alternative songs and Mr. Schue yells at Blainers and says he’s disappointed in him and says what he’s suggesting is unacceptable. (Mr. Schue also demeans Unique and her fake boobs after Unique hands a cutlet to Blaine and tells him he might need lady parts to confront their teacher.) So, after Mr. Schue bitches out all his kids, he tells them they have 5 minutes to get ready to rehearse his songs. After the leadership he showed last week during the shooting incident, this was an unwelcome return of the douchebag side of Will Schuester. No me gusta, Glee.

 

Then, in NYC, Rachel is practicing for her audition and Shelby (her birth mom, remember?) shows up. Apparently, Shelby lives in NYC now too (with Beth) and runs a Broadway daycare. Um… okay… and Shelby tells Rachel NOT to sing Babs at her audition. (Which, I agree with.) So, the mother/daughter pair sings “Next to Me” and I have never heard this song before ever and I kinda tuned out and wrapped my sister’s bachelorette party gift while they were singing. (#sorrynotsorry). I did take a time out from wrapping and managed to write “MEH” in my notes during this scene.

 

I wrote another “MEH” while Finn and Puck were singing “(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party!).” I like this song, but I just am so over the cliché of partying like an idiot during undergrad. And then when Puck and Finn (who are “apparently gay” since they were in glee club) got asked to be in a frat without having to pledge or anything, I’m like “really?”.

 

Back at McKinley, Marley asked Unique, Sam and Blaine to sing a song with her that she “wrote” after Mr. Schue yelled at all of them. Though riddled with cheesy lyrics, they sing “You Have More Friends Than You Know” and I couldn’t help but smile because it was nice to see the four of them sing together. The song was about self-acceptance and friendship (lines like “Who you are is okay” and “You’re not alone” [which was sung by Blaine… obviously], and “Those who love you the most may need more time to grow” were scattered throughout the song) and it was very fitting for these kids to be singing.

 

When they were done flawlessly sight reading Marley’s song, Blaine said that it was incredible and Sam asked if there were more songs. Blaine wants to tell everyone and Mr. Schue about Marley’s songs, but she says No because he already said he wasn’t interested in hearing ideas from them. BUT, Mr. Schue walked in on their performance, so he heard how “good” the song was and then how he was a crappy teacher (my words, not theirs).

 

Later, while Finn is contemplating hooking up his computer, he gets a call from Rachel. She’s not mad about what he did to Brody’s face, asks him how college is (she’s surprised to hear Puck is there) and then tells him she needs to ask him something. Without provocation, he remembers her Funny Girl audition (which, as much as I dislike Finchel as this point because I don’t care about Rachel in the slightest) and I’ll give that up as a sweet moment for Finchel fans because although Finn is an idiot, he knows what’s important to him in the long run. And apparently it’s Rachel. (Oy.) She asks for a song recommendation and he quickly tells her to sing something personal that defines her that will make the producers fall in love with her.

 

So, at the open audition/cattle call for Fanny Brice, Rachel sings “Don’t Stop Believing.” Though it’s a Rachel solo, she imagines Finn, Artie, Kurt, Tina and Mercedes are there (in their red outfits from the pilot) to back her up/sing with her. I liked the similar choreography and camera angles that were used in the pilot, but I didn’t really think this was wholly fitting of Rachel’s character. See – after she was done singing, the guy that played Weisel in the Newsies movie (yeah, you know it…) asked her what changed while she was singing. And she said that while she was singing, she thought about her friends believing in her.

 

Ugh.

 

Rachel Berry is so self-absorbed sometimes, you know? She always ends up getting whatever she wants (which in this episode, means a callback for Fanny Brice…) and always has her friends to boost her up. But what does she do for others? I mean… wasn’t Kurt supposed to have an audition too? (Remember – HE signed them both up.) But Rachel gets into NYADA with the help of her friends. She got Prom Queen because of her friends. She gets everything. It’s really tiresome watching her fail for two seconds, but then get handed the moon and whatever else she wants mere moments later.

 

Back in Lima, Puck wakes up Finn and scolds him for not going to class. I love that Puck has had pretty much the most character growth throughout this series. He gives Finn a lecture about how they are worth more than people say they are and that he is going to hang around and make sure Finn goes to class. I missed you, Puck.

 

At McKinley, Blaine and Becky are called into Coach Roz’s office where she says they are suspicious – especially Blaine (“Fruity Fonzie”). She says he’s never done a Cheerio routine, and somehow he’s a co-captain and that weeks after he gets that position, Sue is fired. Roz tells Blaine he used fruity voodoo and that he best not use that on her. She makes both Blaine and Becky repeat after her and we get one of the funnier moments of the night when both co-captains say “neeeeeeeeeever” just like Roz – with all that sass and attitude. (I’m sure there were great outtakes from this scene. But alas, Glee never gives us a Blooper Reel.)

 

Blaine notices that Becky gets skittish when the topic of Sue’s firing/the gun comes up and he questions her in the hallway. She tells him, “Mind your own gay business, gay Blaine” and it’s painfully obvious that other Cheerios and their coaches only identify him by his sexual preference. *sigh* For a show about inclusion, they really celebrate those characters who mostly spew negative dialogue.

 

Finn comes back to McKinley to say that he’ll work with Will again for college credit so long as he’s treated like an equal. And for those of you who cared about the Will/Finn friendship (I didn’t, but I’m sure there are people who do…) – they are back on. Will then walks into the choir room and starts complimenting the kids, giving him a deserved side-eye from Blainers who is still reeling about being yelled at several scenes ago. The glee instructor then prattles on about when he was in glee club and we get an exquisite close up of Jake Puckerman reacting to that scary picture of Mrs. Adler. (I actually laughed out loud. This was the one and only moment of the episode where that happened.)

 

Will then says he loves the kids and to show his love, he brings Finn back into the room and everyone applauds because having Finn back is basically like winning the lottery. Marley is then asked to share her original songs with everyone else and the room explodes again. (I would love to see those kids on Oprah’s Favorite Things episode.) Sam gets so excited he alternates between giving Blaine and Artie High 5s. On his second High 5 motion toward Blaine, Sam almost hit Blaine in the face. This was actually my #1 favorite moment of the episode. I hope it was an improv moment between the actors because it was such an adorable Blam moment and it was really fitting for their relationship (remember after “Heroes” when they both shoved each other in the head… this reminded me of that).

 

And then we had the scene where Rachel was bitching about not getting a callback call yet, but then she got the callback call. Kurt was in this scene and he was baking and eating cookies. I think the lack of Kurt in these past few episodes is going to be made up tenfold in the finale couple episodes… just sayin.

 

The final scene was all the New Directions kids singing some song called “Outcasts” (I think.) It was okay with cheeseball lyrics. (That was verbatim what I wrote in my notes.)

 

And then the show was over and I was relived. Mark this one down as another episode I’ll never have to watch all the way through ever again.

 

The promo was actually the highlight of the night. I (as well as the rest of the Internet) was NOT expecting to see Blaine in short green shorts, black leggings and a black tank top jazzercising in Sue’s class. He also interrogates Becky about the gun thing, but I’m pretty sure all that mattered in that 30 second clip (which also featured the NYC gang and a power outage at McKinley) was Blaine in that outfit. Ryan Murphy is apparently a bigger Darren/Blaine Stan than the whole of the fandom. The odds were ever in our favor when that kid was cast…

 

Thoughts? 

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.”

FINALLY.

 

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.

 

So, yeah…

 

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?)

 

Thoughts?

(Also posted on my Tumblr on 2/1/13)

Well, we are officially past the half-way mark of Season 4… and you know what? I didn’t not like the episode. In fact, I loved parts of it.

While I have not been super enthusiastic about this season of my former beloved show, I did like some of the plot points in “Naked” (I still have issues w/Rachel Berry) and I hope that this is not only a new year (2013) for the Glee kids, but a resurgence of what once made the show great (characters, songs and plot points you cared about).

So, spoilers and opinions ahead if you haven’t seen the episode.

The show opened on news footage of Hunter being interviewed by press about the Warblers Sectionals scandal. He attacked the press and it is officially revealed that the Dalton boys did, in fact, use performance enhancers and have been disqualified for Regionals. (If I had a font for sarcasm, I would use it for “surprise, surprise.”)

I did appreciate Andrea (the news anchor lady that Rod chose over Sue) flipped out and questioned why stupid stories are news (Warblers ‘Roid Rage, that stupid squirrel…).

After the “glee” title card (still one of my favorite bits of the show… I kid you not), Finn wrote “Regionals” on the board and I wished really hard that Mr. Schue would never come back. Although Finn is Schue 2.0, I much prefer him to the actual Mr. Schue. (Right?) He thanked Sam and Blaine for their hard work (way to acknowledge achievements of others, Finn) and then told the kids they needed to raise $ for the bus to Regionals (which is being held in Indiana… because Ryan Murphy is from there. Duh.).

Tina suggested a Men of McKinley calendar because the glee boys are cute (yep). When Artie questioned why girls would not be in the calendar, Kitty explained that girls are going to be buying it (I liked her take on how the Twilight series is “poop on paper” but girls turned it into a billion dollar industry. Four for you, Kitty.). It’s the truth though – younger women are cash cows that varying media outlets are desperate to cater to. They hold a lot of power (even though younger guys are still the main demographic that tent pole movies try to attract… riddle me that) and will pour lots of time and $ into material goods. How do you think our teenage walls were so covered in posters from teeny bopper magazines? “Oh, all of these magazines have posters of NSYNC?! I must have them…”

But I digress.

Finn had no qualms about the calendar and put Tina in charge and she immediately delegated Blaine as December… “Sexy Santa.” (As much as I was ready to ogle stare respectfully at shirtless Blaine, isn’t it a lot wrong for teenagers to make that kind of calendar? Some of those characters are minors… wouldn’t their parents have to sign some sort of permission slip?)

Regardless… after glee, Brittany asked Marley to hang out and we were blessed with another odd episode of “Fondue for 2.” Brit introduced Marley as the girl with the fat mom who ruined Sectionals. Tack on the “Marley is bulimic” lower third and this is a hot mess of utter rudeness. But, sadly the audience just goes along with it because Brit is dumb and “aw, that makes her adorable.” (Does it though? It kinda just really bothers me.)

Brit asked Marley if she’s in love with Jake and then says that since Jake is going to get naked for the calendar, that Marley should do the same. When Marley blanched, Brit explained that she meant being honest and vulnerable (i.e. not physically naked, but emotionally so…).

The next day, Brit and Sam were in the principal’s office and he told them they had the highest and lowest SAT scores. Brit got a 2340 (I have no idea how these scores work, as they only went to 1600 when I was in high school…) and Sam got a 340. Brit explained that she just filled in a bunch of letters in a row, and then made shapes. Poor Sam actually tried hard and failed (Remember back in Season 2 when we learned he had dyslexia? I wonder if that had anything to do with it. But since Ryder has dyslexia now, Sam’s learning disorder got shoved by the wayside in favor of awesome impressions and body issues. Alas.) Brit made things a little worse when she told Sam (her boyfriend, right?) that he didn’t have to go to college… that he could be a personal trainer. (Poor Sam :/)

Meanwhile, in NYC, Rachel was meeting with a (female) student filmmaker about a script. Her audition went well and she was asked to be in the movie (an allegory about the end of the world… classic film school crap… which I can say because I studied video/film in college and a lot of those clichés are true). However, there was a topless scene in the script, which made Rachel hesitate to answer right away.

Who better to help college Rachel figure out her current problem, but Old Rachel (i.e. headband and sweater-wearing high school Rachel)… They had a confrontation about whether Rachel should do the nudity or not. New Rachel said that all great actors do nudity, while Old Rachel said she should expose her soul not her flesh. Old Rachel also said New Rachel’s hair and makeup make her look like a porn star (Truth.). So, in true Rachel Berry Fashion, she had an emotional duet with herself. I liked how Old Rachel had a band with her during a few shots. The camera work was pretty good… I’m just so over Rachel solos that I found myself wishing the song would wrap up quickly so we could move to more pressing issues… like Sam and his awful SAT scores.

Back at McKinley, Tina approached Blaine at his locker (still lined with pictures of him and Kurt, btw) to ask him to go shopping with her at the mall (he said yes). But then Blaine was distracted by Sam walking into the building wearing only shorts and boots. (However, please note that Blaine did not ogle Sam’s naked torso or chest during his entrance… I’m thinking Blaine’s crush on Sam is mostly, if not completely, gone.)

Blaine asked Sam why he was dressed like that in January and then asked if he was trying to overcompensate for his low SAT scores (which everyone knew about already). Sam retorted that Blaine was jealous of his body (to which Blaine threw up his hands in surrender, much like he did when Karofsky cornered him in S2E6… Blaine is either confrontational [S2E17, S3E8, S3E11], or the exact opposite of it [S2E6, S2E20, S4E12], depending on the situation… I wish the writers would explore/explain this duality of his character). Before Blaine could really say anything, Tina butted in the conversation and defended Blaine’s body for him and made some comment about how his behind looks like it was baked to perfection by a master chef (or something along those lines…). Damn, Tina. Keep it in your pants girl.

Sam had some locker room training for the boys who were going to be in the calendar. (Um… did anyone ask Wade/Unique if he wanted to take part in this? Or did they just file him away to the girl’s team for this episode because he does not have abs and a six pack?) The glee guys do broga (bro-yoga), and Blaine looked awfully serene and adorable (or per usual). They do some manscaping when Sam told them to shave their chests and get rid of their nipple pubes (This at least explained why Blaine did not resemble Darren’s spread from Out Magazine… RIP Darren’s chest [and other areas’] hair). There was also a weird spray-tan bit and a bunch of pushups during their mashup of “Hot in Herre/Centerfold.” I actually laughed out loud at the couple seconds of the boys running up the auditorium stairs in those shiny outfits that athletes wear when they run to help them sweat… Blaine looked like the biggest dork (he was running completely upright and breathing in an oddly methodical fashion). But, what one was supposed to glean from this scene was that Artie felt left out and down on himself.

In the teacher’s lounge, Finn put more sugar than coffee in his coffee (I love that Finn can’t stand coffee…) and then tried to psyche himself up to drink it. Sue confronted him about the Men of McKinley calendar, but Finn countered with the fact that she posed for Penthouse and was therefore a hypocrite. He was determined to find proof so she would leave them alone regarding the calendar.

In NY, Kurt was eating breakfast when a naked Brody walked in and planted his ass on one of Kurt’s vintage chairs. (Ew.) When Kurt questioned Brody’s nakedness, Brody said he was doing it to support Rachel’s topless scene. Kurt is blatantly against her doing it (and referred to her as “slutty Barbie”) and called the movie a porno. Rachel defended herself and said she was growing up. (I’ll address the double standard of it all later…)

Back in Ohio, Marley and Jake were onstage in the auditorium. She had sent him a text, saying it was an emergency when really she just wanted to talk with him about music for Regionals (she felt she had to redeem herself from passing out at Sectionals). They sing “A Thousand Years” and I find myself not minding because their voices complimented each other well. But, then I remembered that I don’t ship Jarley (even though RIB is still forcing that down our throats) and how I wished Ryder would get more screen time (because if I had to, I would ship Ryley… or Marder. Whatever they’re called…). No sheet music was needed for the making of this sappy scene. And then they kissed. Of course.

When they pulled away from each other, Jake could tell Marley wanted to say something. I like that the writers have allowed Jake to be sensitive and in tune with Marley’s needs (i.e. taking it slow, etc.). Marley panicked, though, and said, “I love… this song. But it’s not right for Regionals.” (Of course it’s not right for Regionals. Sappy duets are not appropriate for competition. They are self-indulgent and do not show off the club as a whole. But I digress…)

After the commercial break, Finn had Artie meet him in the library to see if the bespectacled ND kid could track down Sue’s issue of Penthouse. Apparently looking through copious amount of vintage porn was right up Artie’s alley and he accepted the challenge. Artie then got serious for a moment and told Finn he didn’t want to pose for the calendar because his body is literally broken. Finn suggested some out-of-the chair poses, but that offended Artie, calling the ideas emasculating. Realizing his mistake and how what he said was actually offensive, Finn apologized and told Artie he was brave for saying no. (Okay, so Finn-turned-teacher was one thing, but Finn realizing his own shortcomings and ultimately respecting other people’s wants/needs… character growth?!)

In the locker room, Ryder and Jake are working out and talking about Jake and Marley. Though it’s a sore spot for Ryder (which Jake acknowledged and said he tried not to bring it up), Ryder was a good friend and encouraged Jake to talk about his feelings and even initiate saying the “L” word to Marley. (If Blam wasn’t already the best bromance ever, I would say that Rake/Jayder [?] was pretty great. But Blam… more on Blam in a bit!) They end up being goofy and having a pose-off when Tina and Kitty walked in to inform them which months they would be in the calendar.

(Okay – important question time… Are Tina and Blaine still Cheerios? Because neither of them walks around in their Cheerios uniforms… but Kitty, Brit and Becky do. I’m not complaining… I would miss Blaine’s bowties and sweaters. I tweeted this question to RM – doubt I’ll get a response, though.)

In glee club, Jake sang Ne-Yo’s “Let Me Love You” and all my “aw, Jake has an okay singing voice” thoughts from earlier flew right out the window. A friend on Twitter commented he sounded like Kermit – and I tend to agree. I thought this ever since he sang “Everybody Talks” with Kitty back in S4E5 :/ I do appreciate Jake’s vulnerability, though (oh, those Puckerman boys) and how he said the song was for Marley (who was almost in tears as she was so moved by the lyrics).

Back in NY, Rachel found Santana and Quinn at her apartment. “Lady Hummel” phoned them in for an intervention. Though Santana, Quinn and Rachel were never besties (Rachel’s bestie was Kurt, but he obviously wasn’t getting through to her, so maybe 2/3 of the Unholy Trinity would…), they immediately told her not to do the nude scene because she would regret it and it would follow her around forever. Quinn brought up the “2 2 2” scenario – how would Rachel feel about it in 2 weeks, 2 months, 2 years? Rachel admitted she would probably feel guilty and hoped that her kids would never see it. Santana did a sex tape and it followed her around, so she doesn’t want the same to happen to Rachel.

Meanwhile, in Men of McKinley calendar land, the boys are getting their pictures taken. Sam got pissy and said they should have just done a Sam Evans calendar. He stormed off and was followed by Blaine, who tells his BFF that he is out of control and that “you’re not [just] some body-obsessed musclehead.” Sam said that his body is all he has and that he has to “announce his presence with authority” (my FAVORITE line from one of my FAVORITE movies, Bull Durham). Defeated, Sam confessed that he’s not special because he’s only a body and no brains. Blaine, in a serious and sure tone, told Sam that he was special and not just because of his body. He told Sam to loosen up a bit – have a burger, eat some Cheetos, sleep in. Blaine tried to convince his friend that he doesn’t have to try so hard because he’s more than how he looked. “All of us will still love you. And we’ll laugh at your impressions.” (And then the scene ended on that… I felt like we missed out on additional conversation. Perhaps a segue into Blaine having a crush on Sam, and then Sam being like “What?” but them still being BFFs b/c Blam is the greatest thing to happen on Glee since Klaine. BUT, Sam and Blaine never had that conversation… I doubt they ever will.)

Finn confronted Sue in the teacher’s lounge again and presented her with a folder of his evidence. As she confessed to her posing in Penthouse, she opens the folder to see that Finn gave her a copy of Highlights (LOVED those magazines, dude!), but taped her confession to use against her if necessary. (Well played, Hudson. Well played.)

Later, Sam walked into Emma’s office to find Blaine sitting there. Blaine had asked Emma to look up colleges that didn’t need SAT scores to get in. Sam replied he wouldn’t be able to afford it anyway, but she pointed out that even in a recession, there were scholarships available. (I was having a lot of Blam feels in this scene, but I’ll save them for later b/c there were even more Blam feels by the end of the episode… *sigh*)

After the commercial, we found ourselves on the set of the student film Rachel was in. When she’s asked to drop her robe, she yelled “Cut!”. The director kept pressuring her to drop the robe, but Rachel kept stalling. (btw – I was super thankful they had a female director pressuring Rachel to do the nude scene. It would have taken a completely different turn/tone if it were a male director trying to coerce her into showing her breasts.) Rachel asked if the crew could take off their clothes too, so they take their shirts off. (Um… no.) After all that, Rachel decided she couldn’t do it. She said she was ready when she said yes, but in the moment, she realized she wasn’t ready. So, she’s asked to leave. She then meets up with Quinn and Santana on some stage and they sing “Love Song.” While I love this song, there really wasn’t any reason for it. I mean, I get that in this instance the “love song” in the lyrics was loosely a metaphor for Rachel’s body, in that she wasn’t going to show her boobs even though someone asked her too/needed it for the movie. But, this scene was more an excuse to give Rachel another song, and to let Quinn and Santana sing too and make it look like the three of them are the best of friends. Santana also quipped on the way out that she could get used to NY.

Okay… so, my thoughts on Rachel and her situation this episode: It’s her choice and her choice alone. She wasn’t ready to do nudity (so, yay for her for realizing that in the nick of time), but she’s of age and in charge of her own body and decisions. Brody was wrong to tell her she should do it because that’s how to get Oscars. Old Rachel, Kurt, Santana and Quinn were wrong to tell her not to do it because it was basically porn or a decision she would regret. Yeah – it probably would have been a bad move for her to do that for her first role in a non-high school entity. But, (as much as I hate Rachel Berry this season), it’s ultimately her decision (and if she makes a bad one, so be it). She shouldn’t do it or not do it because someone else said so… she should do it or not do it because it’s what’s best for her. If she were my friend, I would also try to convince her not to do it – but I wouldn’t say that she was a whore or doing porn to try and guilt her into not doing it. Just sayin’…

Back at McKinley, Blaine asked Sam if he’s ready to write his essay for his college applications. Sam wasn’t, so Blaine showed him a little video project he worked on – it was a collection of clips from past and present members of New Directions who Sam had helped in some regard. It was a really touching moment to see Sam break down while listening to/watching his friends say such nice things about him and how he encouraged them, or assisted them (or his family) in some life-altering way. Full of emotion, Sam got up from his chair and wrapped his arms around Blaine in a full-on man-hug. Though their hips were several inches away from each other, their top halves were pressed together in a Blam-filled hug of brotherly love.

I love Blam. Like, a lot. They have a give and take friendship that other ‘ships on this show could take a few pointers from. Each boy has pulled the other one up in a time of need and is able to use some tough love to get the point across. Earlier this season (E7) when Blaine was getting ready to flee back to Dalton, Sam was the one who made him realize that running from his problems weren’t going to solve anything. And in this episode, Blaine was able to communicate to Sam that he’s so much more than his body and that while his test grades might not be stellar, his character and ability to help others during their times of need was more than noteworthy. They bring out the best in each other when they themselves are feeling their worst. It helps that Darren and Chord seem to be good friends in real life, but Blam’s chemistry onscreen is really special to watch. I’m grateful for Blam and I’m hoping their friendship remains intact for the rest of the series.

During the last few minutes of the episode, Glee returned to form (oh how I wish it would stay like this forever…). Sam approached Artie and asked him to fill in the 2 remaining months of the calendar. When Artie hesitated, Sam told him he wouldn’t be the only one dressed in the calendar. So, as the glee kids sell their calendars, the audience got a quick peek at each month and Sam and Artie are both fully clothed in their months (and still look adorable). Sue called the calendar money “smut money,” but Finn just looked on with pride as his glee kids raised money for Regionals. Oh, also Jake wrote out a calendar just for Marley… it said “I love you.” She read it and said “I love you back.” (We get it – Jarley is a thing.)

Then, the New Directions launched into a beyond wonderful group number of “This is the New Year.” I had never heard this song before, but I’ve listened to the Glee version a bunch of times this week. I like group numbers, but I especially like group numbers where people sing contextually relevant lyrics.

This group number was magical for a lot of reasons. Group numbers in Season 4 have been extra awesome because they are truly group numbers. Yes, Blaine and/or Marley usually have more lines than others, but on a whole, it’s a very collaborative entity. These kids come together to make a wall of sound and it is literally music to my ears. The blend of voices is amazing this season… group numbers from earlier seasons were too saturated with divas (mostly Rachel, of course) to be wholly aurally pleasant. Though you can very much pick out certain people’s voices in this season’s group numbers (even when they sing en masse, I can hear Darren… and I am more than okay with that), the end result is often this big, warm sound.

So, this is a new year for the Glee kids… it’s 2013. They are in the back half of their school year, as well as Season 4. We now have 10 episodes left and I’m hoping this episode is the start of the momentum we’re going to need to take us through the rest of the season. I seriously hope the writers can maintain (but preferably exceed) the plot lines we got in this episode. There is a Kurt/Rachel diva-off next week (I hope they really hash out how she invited Brody to live with them w/o asking him), a Wemma wedding (and potential Klaine reunion?), Regionals, this year’s batch of seniors figuring out what their academic (or otherwise) futures hold…

I’m sure I will go back to really disliking this show several more times throughout the rest of this season. This episode was surprisingly good (thank you, Blam) and gives me a false sense of hope that the show can get itself back on track to the level it was at in prior seasons. This batch of New Directions kids is the best yet… please don’t write them into crappy story lines.

(Also… we need more Sugar. Just sayin’…)

Thoughts? Do you love Blam as much as I do?