“Glee” Episode 309 Recap: No Box

In the next scene, Rory sings Elvis Presley’s “Blue Christmas.” I went into the kitchen to feed the dogs, as I can’t stand him, not so much because he’s a bad singer – he’s not – but because he’s sucking up all the oxygen from the characters and storylines and even songs about which I do, in fact, care. Like oh I don’t know, “Santa Baby.” Or what Blaine gives Kurt for Christmas. So, sorry, Rory. But no me gusta.

I didn’t leave the room before catching an adorable Klaine moment: Rory dedicates his song to “The King,” and a wide-eyed, head-band-wearing Kurt says, “Jesus?” The look, and little head-shake, that Blaine gives him? ZOMGSOCUTE. Almost enough to make up for the fact that Brittany and Santana aren’t sitting next to each other but every other couple on the show is. Oh, Glee writers. Is it something we said? Surely you filmed this episode before the Brittana fandom tried to burn you at the stake last week?

When Rory’s done crooning, Santana looks miserable. “That song is so depressing I may actually be dead right now,” she says.

Rachel calls it “mournfully beautiful,” but says that now that the Glee Club is back together, they should focus on “the joyous pageant aspects of this holiday.”

Tina agrees with her. “Last Christmas was super-sad,” she says. “Kurt was at another school, Coach Sylvester trashed everything, and Artie got a pair of magic legs that broke the next day. We were the Island of Misfit Toys. This year…”

Will walks in. “This year is a whole new sprig of mistletoe.” Turns out the local PBS station couldn’t afford the licensing fees on the Christmas Eve Yule log broadcast, and wanted New Directions to do a holiday television show, with Artie directing. (We’ll ignore the licensing fees they’d have to pay for the songs the club performs.)

Artie says he’d always vowed he wouldn’t sell out and do television, but when the PBS station manager promises him a free rein, including letting him film it in black and white and make it a combined homage to the 1978 Star Wars holiday special and the 1963 Judy Garland Christmas Show, Artie relents. Despite the station manager calling him a “modern day Tiny Tim.” Ouch.

Sam and Rory are bonding over being away from their families at the holiday, and Sam invites Rory to come home with him for Christmas, since Brittany and her family will be in Santa Fe.

Rachel sings Joni Mitchell‘s “The River” for Artie and the rest of the gang in the auditorium, with an elaborate winter set including falling snow, reminiscent of last year’s Christmas special when she sang “Merry Christmas Darling.” But Artie says it’s too sad to fit with his artistic vision. Rachel’s fairly sure the problem is the absence of sparkly earrings on her lobes, but he says no, “It’s not about your ears. It’s about the song. It makes me want to kill myself…. It doesn’t fit my vision for our Christmas spectacular.”

“And what is that, exactly?” she demands.

Glad you asked. Artie wheels himself energetically around the auditorium, describing what he plans to film. “It begins at the Swiss Alps, in the village of Gstaad, in the perfectly appointed living room of Kurt Hummel and Blaine Anderson’s chic, swank chalet.” Blaine and Kurt obviously love this idea. As do I.

Artie continues, “The tree? Towering and opulent. The fireplace? Draped in garlands. The stockings? Bejeweled.”

Kurt and Blaine’s faces and hand gestures are awesome here.

Artie goes on, “Kurt and Blaine, the perfect hosts, have invited their friends to drop in for an evening of Noel Coward-esque banter and fun, happy, cheer-filled songs.”

Rachel looks as stricken as Kurt and Blaine look delighted. “Are you telling me I’m not invited to Kurt and Blaine’s for Christmas?” she asks

“Not unless you pick a happier song.”

Artie’s vision for the evening also includes Rory dressing up like an elf and reading the story of Frosty the Snowman. At this point there’s a bizarre little exchange involving Sam, about the role of sadness in the holiday season and what really happens to Frosty. (Sam says he dies, but he doesn’t. Every year at Christmas the cold winds re-constitute him. It’s a metaphor. I swear it.)

Sam storms out to go volunteer for the Salvation Army ringing bells. I’m sad to hear them name the organization, because the Salvation Army is a terrible, homophobic, trans-phobic organization and no supposedly queer-friendly show should be giving them free advertising like that. It made me sad. Almost as sad as Jewish Rachel going all in for Christmas. Oh, Glee.

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