“Glee” Episode 214 recap: Bye, Bi Blaine

 
 

“‘Bisexual’ is a term that gay guys in high school use when they want to hold hands with a girl and feel like a normal person for a change.”

“Wait, wait, wait,” Blaine says to that. “Why are you so angry?”

I swear, Blaine Warbler, you are too stupid to live sometimes.

“Because I look up to you. I admire how proud you are of who you are. I know what it’s like to be in the closet, and here you are about to tiptoe back in.”

“I’m really sorry if this hurts your feelings, or your pride, or whatever, but however confusing this might be for you, it’s actually a lot more confusing for me,” Blaine says. “You’re 100 percent sure who you are; fantastic. Well, maybe we all can’t be so lucky.”

“Yeah,” Kurt says. “I’ve had a lot of luck, Blaine. I was really lucky to be chased out of high school by a bully who threatened to kill me.”

“And why did he do that?”

“Because he didn’t like who I was.”

“Sort of exactly what you’re saying to me right now, isn’t it? I am searching, okay? I’m honestly just trying to figure out who I am. And for you, of all people, to get down on me for that? I didn’t think that’s who you were.” He stands up. “I’ll see ya. I’d say ‘bye,’ but I wouldn’t want to make you angry.”

Kurt gazes after him, looking frustrated and upset, but not half so frustrated and upset as I feel.

This scene is just such a messed-up hash of mixed messages and inconsistent characterization it makes me want to scream.

First there’s the problem of having one of the few out gay teens on television question his sexuality. As 45,784,876 other people have said before, couldn’t Glee‘s writers and producers have made this point a lot better by having one of the straight guys have this crisis of identity, not Blaine?

And it’s not just Blaine’s own identity that’s at stake, it’s what it does to Kurt, who’s already “lost” Finn to Quinn and then Rachel, and is now looking at losing Blaine, or the possibility of Blaine, to Rachel, his friend. Because yes, Kurt’s crush on Finn was stupid and doomed, but that’s not the entire story.

As Kurt says later to his father, he just wants to feel like the other kids, to hold hands with someone he cares about while walking down the halls. To lose Finn – who he never had – to a girl is not the same as Rachel losing Finn to Quinn. A boy losing a boy to a girl is not just about those two people and their relationship, but the entire idea that what an opposite-sex couple has is normal and pre-destined and approved of by everyone and supported by a thousand social institutions from holding hands to the prom to weddings, and what you feel is a dirty little secret and can never lead to happiness.

That’s why there’s no point in pretending that losing a partner to someone of the opposite sex isn’t a particularly painful experience for the same-sex partner. We all grew up in a heteronormative world. We all feel like the “other.” We all have that terrible twinge inside that we can’t compete with feeling “like a normal person for a change.”

As to there being some noble purpose here in looking at prejudice against bisexuality, I’d welcome that if that’s what they were really doing. But this single-episode “questioning,” which we’ll see later is resolved in a stupid, simplistic way, really makes it seem like what Kurt says here, about “bisexuality” being something gay boys lie about when they’re in high school, is what bisexuality really is.

I’m not bisexual, but I’ve been in two relationships with bisexual women, and the coming out process for a bisexual person is just like it is for a lesbian or gay person; it’s not a “waystation” or a lie, and it’s also not something you bring up and wrap up in a half an hour.

Making it worse, it’s not like there aren’t already two apparently bisexual characters on this show; this crisis of identity was custom-made for Santana Lopez – and I can show you a mountain of Brittana fan-fic to prove it. This is exactly the kind of conflict she demonstrated in “Duets” when she told Brittany she wasn’t having sex with her because she was in love with her and wanted to have lady babies with her, but because she was horny because Puck was in juvie.

What possible purpose of social commentary or character development did this give us about Blaine or Kurt or Rachel, to make doing this to Kurt worthwhile? And how stupid to have the character, gay or straight, male or female, conclude after very little reflection or experience that they weren’t bi after all? Wouldn’t this be ten thousand times more powerful if the person struggling with a bi identity turned out to be, you know, bisexual?

Then there’s Blaine comparing Kurt being upset with this development to what Karofsky did to Kurt? And after Kurt telling Blaine he wanted to date him,  to have Blaine act as if this shouldn’t have upset Kurt? If they wanted to show us Blaine isn’t as together as we thought, if they wanted to move him off the pedestal Kurt has him on, didn’t that already happen in the episode where Blaine sings at the Gap? I sure thought it did.

The whole thing was just a colossal waste. It didn’t advance Blaine’s character, or Kurt’s, and it didn’t tell us anything about bisexuality except… well, I’m getting ahead of the narrative.

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