“Glee” recap (5.05): A Streetcar Named Predictability


Bushwick, New York

Rachel Berry—whose head is Lea Michele‘s head whose hair is certainly insured for more than $10,000—decides to get a blunt-cut bob in an effort to shake herself out of the funk she’s been in since Finn passed away. It’s shocking. I mean, it’s beautiful, of course, because (again) it is attached to Lea Michele’s face. But still. Shocking. Her Funny Girl director hates is real bad, especially because anyone who has seen any TV show about how Broadway gets made knows you can’t even clip your fingernails without asking the director first. But after a (classy) sexy performance of “You Are Woman, I Am Man,” he decides the new look is just what she needs to own the role of Fanny Brice.


Kurt, also, is startled by Rachel’s new look, but she whips off her hair to reveal her actual hair underneath and a hundred L’Oreal executives stop breathing into paper bags. Rachel accuses Kurt of sinking into an emotional spiral, just like her, on account of all he does is go to school and go to work and come home and watch Project Runway. Even his Skyping sessions with Blaine are fraught with Old Married Couple doldrums. Mostly they just sleep. She wants to feel alive like she did in high school, like every single decision will make or break her whole world, and so she and Kurt have one swig each of Limoncello and rock on out to the tattoo shop to get some ink.

For—my god, how many seasons of those show have we lived through? Five? Five?!—five seasons now, every dude on Glee has been whipping of his shirt at the slightest provocation, but not Kurt Hummel. No, his pecs are wrapped up even tighter than Dylan O’Brien‘s on Teen Wolf (which are wrapped up even tighter than rolls of quarters in Scrooge McDuck’s vault). But not this week. No, siree. Kurt takes off his shirt about ten different times. The first time is to get his tattoo. He means for it to say “It Gets Better,” but those two shots of fruity liquor caused him to ask for “It’s Get Better.” He is horrified, mainly because: “What if I run into Dan Savage in the steam room at the gym? I mean, I’ll be humiliated!” Chris Colfer is so hilarious in this scene. His face.


Rachel tells Kurt she chickened out about getting a tattoo because she’s not attached to anything enough to have it stamped on her body for the next 50 years, but she’s bluffing, of course. She got the word “Finn” inked onto her side. It’s sweet and very, very sad.

Kurt marches back to the tattoo shop and demands some justice, but the artist tells his he got what he asked for and helps him fix it to: “It’s Got Bette Midler.” Rachel says it’s genius and also inexplicable, and she is correct. Kurt says he’s going to get lucky on Skype when he shows it to Blaine, which is also correct. Because guess what else he got? A tongue ring. Even though right now his tongue is so swollen he sounds like he’s gnawing on pretzels from the diet-destroying vendor down the street.


There’s no real momentum to this storyline, no three-act drama or emotional character arcs, but I’d rather watch a hundred hours of Kurt and Rachel just learning about life in New York City than literally any more seconds of Will Schuester’s asinine blergfests in Lima, Ohio. You’ve broken me, Glee. Excuse me while I go flip over some xylophones. Sometimes I think Becky is the only one who gets me.

Next week: Blaine and Kurt co-exist in the same city for a minute, Sam slips out of his shirt some more, Santana twirls in her Starlight Diner uniform, and, god willing, Becky says the F-word at least a little bit.

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