“Glee” recap (5.16): Clap On, Clap Off

Dear gentle readers, as you may or may not have heard, I am stepping in for the wonderful Heather Hogan for the rest of Glee’s Season Five recaps. I’m so honored that she has entrusted these recaps to me, and I hope I can do her and all of you justice. Now on with the show.

There’s nothing like starting off a Glee episode with a WWII military style STD hygiene film. Frankly, I’m not sure why they haven’t gone this route before. Not unlike “punching Lady Liberty in the face” this opener sets us up for good times ahead. Stand up and clap, everyone. No, not that kind of clap. Well, we’ll get to that soon enough. Sam, Kurt, Blaine and Artie do look awful adorable in their sailor costumes as they run through the possible side effects of venereal diseases like, burning itches and jaunty hats.

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The segue from syphilis to street food is a bit jarring, but not altogether surprising. Blaine is taking in the sights, sounds and smells of NYC. (Talk to me in August, Blaine. Let’s see how you feel about the smells then.) Blaine is tickled pink to be living in the Big Apple and he wants to take a bite out of everything. Especially cronuts. Lots and lots of cronuts. Does he have a Disney style Fast Pass that lets him cut in front of the hordes of tourists who have been waiting in line since five a.m.? When he shows up at Kurt’s apartment with pastry in hand, Kurt is shirtless, and doing push ups. Kurt is looking amazing. All fit and musclely. Blaine on the other hand can’t fit into his skinny camel cords anymore. Damn those cronuts.

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Artie is feeling pretty at home and happy in New York as well. He’s still rocking the argyle, but in the city, he’s a hipster god. Not only do the guys at school think he’s super cool, but the ladies are totally into him. In fact, he’s sleeping two girls at once. He has his eyes on a third girl though, one he really likes named Julie. Julie is narrating Artie’s homage to American Beauty, “Bags in the Wind.” He launches into a fantasy musical sequence where he’s the Robert Palmer “Addicted to Love”-ing an endless assortment of women. After the song, and with perhaps a burst of confidence, he asks Julie out. Julie, being the smart, savvy gal she is says no. She doesn’t mix business with pleasure.

At NYADA, Kurt is the center of attention during a stage combat class. He’s making the most of his late blooming, and feeling hella good about his body and talent. Blaine, on the other hand, is shoving Cheetos in his face, while his inner monologue spews his jealous insecurities about Kurt’s newfound hottiness and confidence. When he confessed his surprise at Kurt being a sexual object, Glee fans let out a collective sigh. Where have you been, Blaine?!

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Sam and Mercedes are making the most of their new relationship by making out. Mercedes puts the break on it when things get a little heavy, and admits to being a virgin. Sam’s cool that she is, and she’s cool that he’s not but she’s not feeling quite ready to go any further. Sam steps back and promises to let her call the sexual shots.

At Serendipity, all the men are hanging out and sipping on frozen hot chocolates, chatting about STDs. Sam wants to get tested to help ease Mercedes mind, you know, just in case she wants to do it soon. The rest of the boys agree to accompany him and get tested too. Kurt is not interested in the Frozen Hot Chocolate that Blaine has ordered him, so Blaine gets all passive aggressive about Kurt’s strict diet regimen. (This feels like every brunch I’ve every been to with other couples.) It appears that Blaine is trying to fatten Kurt up just a wee bit to sooth his own mounting insecurity.

Artie gets a call from the clinic, and is shocked to find out that he has Chlamydia. He’s crushed, but decides to confide in the fellas. It turns out that four years of watching his friends go through pregnancy scares and overly intimate musical numbers with Holly Holiday, have not encouraged Artie to practice safe sex. Sam is horrified, and proceeds to slut-shame Artie by actually using the term “slut shame.” Blaine has a cooler head and convinces Artie to tell the girls he was sleeping with that he may have given them the clap. Vanessa is super pissed and threatens to smear Artie’s reputation at the school. Jess is less so, shrugging and suggesting that she may have given it to him, lolz. After all of this, Julie saunters over and announces that she’s changed her mind and she’s like to take him up on that date. It’s even better that a shot of penicillin to Artie’s ego.

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Sam accompanies Mercedes to church so she can pray about possibly banging him. Sam, being Sam, presents her with his clean bill of genital health. She tells him that it was a nice and thoughtful gesture, but she needs to turn to God for answers. Time to make room for the Holy Spirit, kids. The pastor is getting the congregation all fired up, and it’s a shock to absolutely no one that Mercedes gets up to sing. Now, ordinarily, “I Wanna Know What Love Is” by Foreigner is not exactly a go to church number, but Mercedes makes it work. Well more than makes it work. She absolutely slays it. A phenomenal choir joins her, and the song soars. So does Sam’s heart.

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