“Glee” recap (5.07): Of Felt and Feelings

 
 

Back at the choir room, Blaine bemoans his problems to Brad the pianist, while totally steamrolling Brad’s own tale of gambling addiction. Blaine decides to punish New Directions by withholding his talent from them and sitting quietly in the corner of the room. Unfortunately, there just so happens to be an extremely localized gas leak in that very corner, which causes him to hallucinate the entire glee club as puppets who adore him. And so we launch into an episode which borrows heavily from the puppet episode of Community and the gas leak episode of 30 Rock without being as funny as either.

THIS IS FUN, RIGHT, AUDIENCE? WE’RE HAVING FUN?
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So the puppets are kind of inexplicable, but I will give the writers some props for trying to tell a story that really is about character. Because Blaine has walked around like god’s gift to show choirs since he arrived at McKinley. That’s not an insult; he kind of is god’s gift to show choirs, but I think it’s totally valid to have to come to terms with the fact that the people around have feelings too. It actually kind of reminds of that time when Ron got the prefect badge instead of Harry, and Harry had to balance the fact that despite his superior talent, he wasn’t going to win every single thing.

In yet another stroryline (so many this week!) Jake has apparently adopted Bob Fosse as his new mentor, and is following in his footsteps of being a brilliant choreographer who sleeps with all his dancers. Even Bree looks hurt when he casually informs her that he has now slept with every single Cheerio. But all the sex isn’t making him happy, which no one seems to notice. That’s definitely a true thing about life: when you act out with something “fun” like sex or drugs, everyone just claps you on the back and says “haha what a crazy life you have” and you are left wishing your cry for help was slightly more obvious. Jake ends up in Blaine’s hallucinations corner, where he has a vision of a mashup of “Nasty Boy” and “Rhythm Nation,” which is easily the musical highlight of the episode. And my major unpopular opinion of the day is that I really like Jake. I know that all fandom has agreed to hate the new New Directions, so this is heresy. But while Ryder has all the appeal of wet cardboard, and Marley can be cloyingly sweet, Jacob Artist is an unignorable performer and I actually look forward to his solos. So shoot me. Plus the younger generation needs to be awakened to the magic of early Janet Jackson.

Back on Avenue Q, Blaine constructs his very own Kurt puppet, which has eerily accurate hair and eyes, despite being decidedly underdressed. Blaine goes around having imaginary arguments with KurtFelt, and then having imaginary makeup sessions where his inanimate fiancé takes all the blame. I considered scanning the internet to see if anyone has written fan fic in which Kurt and Blaine use the puppets as sexual stand-ins, but then decided that I really don’t want to know.

Just a great day for faces all around.
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When Sue spies Blaine’s behavior, she confiscates KurtFelt, so this metaphor for control has really gotten out of hand. So to speak.

Speaking of Sue, her quest to reclaim her femininity(?) continues with a hallucinated dance lesson from Will.

What do you say we never talk about this ever?
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When we return to the real world, Jake gets a surprise announcement from Bree: she’s pregnant and it’s his. The next few minutes are an intense exploration of the terror of pregnancy scares, the difficulty of obtaining healthcare as a minor, and the importance of using protection, all set to the tune of Ben Folds Five’s “Brick.” PSYCH! BLAINE GOES TO STEAL HIS KURT PUPPET BACK.

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Sue gives Blaine a week of detention as punishment for breaking her into her office, and Blaine is forced to call Kurt and tell him that he will be missing the Pamela Lansbury show. Even more humiliatingly, he confesses that it’s all because he made puppet rescue a priority. And Kurt delivers the following speech, which everyone in a relationship needs to hear every now and then.

Kurt: Is that how you see me? As a thing of felt and cloth and button eyes that has no feelings? That you can play with and manipulate and then discard whenever you’re bored? I am a person, Blaine. I am flesh and blood and bone and this was a really big night for me and I needed you to be here.

And even though this speech is delivered via puppet, that is some very real talk.

As if this night couldn’t get any worse, Kurt then discovers that exactly one person has come to the band’s first show, and that person was under the impression that Angela Lansbury would be performing. The whole band makes “oh gosh” faces, WHICH MEANS THAT GLEE PAID TO EMPLOY DEMI LOVATO FOR AN ENTIRE DAY JUST SO SHE COULD LOOK DISGRUNTLED FOR FIVE SECONDS. I’M FINE. I’M FINE. I’M BREATHING. It’s just that we only have her for a few precious episodes, and they are slipping away.

The next day at McKinley, Bree tells Jake that Aunt Flo came a’calling after all, so the pregnancy alarm is over. And Jake is like “YAY MENSTRUATION! HIGH F*CKING FIVE!” And Bree is like “Um, just because you dodged this particular bullet doesn’t mean you’ll be so lucky next time. Character is determined by actions, Puckerman, and you need to take a long look at yours.” Jake is about as freaked out as if had seen his own personal Ghost of Christmas Future, so he runs straight to Marley to redeem himself. But, in a Thanksgivukkuh miracle, Marley refuses to be Jake’s angel. Because she isn’t an angel; she is a human girl with sh*t to do besides be a man’s moral compass.

Honey, wait ‘til you take Women’s Studies 101. You are going to be so mad.
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When adding high heels to her track suit won’t suffice, Sue enlists Unique’s help to feminize her image. Two problems.

1. From Unique’s point of view, this reeks of the kind of “gay as accessory” story lines that dominated TV a few years ago. Gross.

2. The show never really makes it seem like Sue wants to change her image for herself. When I was entering puberty, I had friends and sisters and a mother telling me to try more makeup, asking me why I was afraid of a skirt? Well, I wasn’t afraid of the skirt, just that everything I was in my deep-down heart would disappear if I put one on.

And when Sue dons a pink sweater and eyeliner, she kind of does disappear, albeit in the most bright pink way imaginable. And when the superintendent guy realizes she is a lady, and she asks him out, all she gets is a really cold brushoff. I don’t know. This whole storyline, starting with the idea that anyone could mistake Jane Lynch for a man, is just really confusing. Hopefully this is all just setup for Sue launching a campaign of terror and revenge against the man who scorned her.

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