“Glee” recap (5.08): Santana Claus is Coming to Town

Previously on Glee, the students and faculty of McKinley High found themselves trapped in an unmoving time vortex, freezing their lives forever in the spring of 2012. In an attempt to add some variety to the tedium, Figgins poisoned the choir room with Muppet gas, which resulted in everyone tripping balls while their puppet doppelgangers took over the school. Mr. Schue said “Nationals” about six hundred thousand times and everyone giggled because they were so sure that’s a thing that’s ever actually going to happen, so to try to regain his show choir’s respect and reestablish his authority, he made an announcement that every teenage girl had to dress slutty or else she was suspended from New Directions. (Marley was suspended.)

Now that we’ve rehashed the plot of this show, forget about that junk. This week’s Glee is an alternate universe re-imagining of what Christmas might have been like for everyone last year — right after “The Break-Up” — because this year: Christmas is never coming. Jane Lynch tells us this while stuffing her Emmy enemies’ stockings full of coal. And also Meryl Streep’s stocking.

LIMA, OHIO

Sue announces the annual McKinley High School Christmas tree decorating contest, a thing that has never existed (annually, or otherwise) before now. The theme is “green” and Tina threatens to murder every single New Directioner with her bare hands if they don’t succumb to her holiday cheer and help her win that trophy. It’s a lucky angel figurine and she says she’s going to use it to propel New Directions to a Nationals victory, but this episode’s timeline takes place during her descent into VapoRub madness, so you know she’s just going to use that thing to try to make Blaine straight.

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The other person who really wants the angel figurine is Becky Jackson, who maybe reveals herself as bisexual when she corners Sam and Tina in the hallway wearing a mistletoe hat and demanding that they make out with her. Sue steps in and points out she’s wearing poison sumac on her head, so she stomps off down the hallway in a horny huff. Tina and Sam hint that Sue should stop playing favorites with Becky, and Sue begrudgingly agrees. But not before telling them their Christmas tree — “I’m sure it’s covered with condoms and dental dams and suicide-hotline pamphlets and at-home sex-change kits” — is going to lose the decorating contest on account of she’s the judge.

Tina shoots laser beams out of her eyeballs, killing two innocent passerby and knocking out a whole wall of lockers.

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Tina and Sam forage in the forest and come away with antlers and pine cones and bird nests and beaver pelts and other nature things, all of which they use to trim the tree while singing “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.” Becky, on the other hand, decorates her “green” tree with radioactive garbage. Like literal glowing garbage. So Sue has no choice but to give the lucky angel to New Directions, especially after Sam presents her with like a little forest hamster or something wearing a Santa hat. Even Sue’s heart cannot withstand that level of adorableness.

Buuuuut it wouldn’t be an episode of Glee without someone walking “a dangerously fine line between being really sweet and horribly condescending,” so Tina and Sam agree to give the lucky angel to Becky and also to let her play the baby Jesus in their live-action nativity scene. Yeah. I don’t know. On the one hand, you’d hope your Messiah would hate xylophones as much as Becky Jackson, but on the other hand: yeeesh.

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Yes, the other Lima plotline is Will and Beiste’s quest to cast a Virgin Mary for their nativity scene. Unique wants the role because Mary is arguably the most important woman in history, and Unique would one day like to be a close second. Tina wants the role because Tina wants ALL THE THINGS. And Marley — whose hats are proudly on display on her beautiful head practically the whole time in this flashback episode — wants the role because she is an actual virgin. Kitty, however, does not want the role because she is a Christian and she knows what it means to have the Holy Spirit in her heart and nothing makes a woman grosser to God than when she has sex. Kitty says she’s more like a Mary Magdalene than a Virgin Mary, and forgive me, but that’s a way better role.

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