“Glee” Episode 309 Recap: No Box

Time for Glee‘s 2011 Christmas episode. I hated a few things about it – gratuitous religion-shoving-down-throats; lauding the anti-gay, anti-trans Salvation Army; too much Rory – but that awesome 50s holiday special they did? Kurt and Blaine as “best friends and holiday roommates” in Gstaad? Heather Morris‘ world-class thighs and her rendition of “Christmas Wrapping”? The show-stopping voice of Amber Riley in “All I Want For Christmas Is You”?

That’s a whole lotta holiday cheer.

No, other than the three things I didn’t like, the only thing wrong with last night’s Glee was what wasn’t in it: Naya Rivera performing “Santa Baby,” and the scene they showed us in the official promo shots where Blaine gives Kurt a gift. Both cut.

The Klaine and Brittana fandoms wept. I mean, Tumblr is still damp.

The episode opened with Mercedes singing “All I Want for Christmas Is You” as the Glee Club decorated the choir room, with adorable Brittana dancing and hugging, tinsel everywhere, tons of promising Samcedes flirtation, and Kurt dancing with a giant candy cane.

Then Rachel and Finn kiss under the mistletoe, which was fine. I mean, I think we’ve had enough Finchel for the rest of eternity, but I grasp they’re like a major draw for some demographic of people I’ve never met, even online, because every single Glee fan I know is sick of them, but again, fine. Really. I’m totally resigned to the Finchel Show. I am.

Rachel has been made more shallow and selfish than she really is, presumably to drive the thin little sliver of plot the episode had (which is not a criticism; this was a holiday special, after all), and she’s in the hall assuring Finn that he doesn’t need to buy all 15 of the gifts on her list… five will do. “Holy crap,” Finn says to himself after she skips off, “I’m dating Kim Kardashian.”

Meanwhile, Sue is surveying the perplexed faces of Artie, Kurt and Blaine across her desk. “Wheels, Porcelain, Other Gay… the Yuletide season is upon us.”

“Other Gay.” I so love this.

Sue proceeds to forgive the three of them for making her run for, and lose, Congress, as well as “ruining the American songbook, one mash-up at a time.”

Artie accepts her forgiveness on behalf of the others, but Sue goes on.

“Now, Christmas isn’t just a time when Jewish kids feel uncomfortable and dwarves get jobs in non-union commercials that make them quietly die inside,” she says. “No, Christmas is also the time when we give back. Which is why I’m volunteering Friday night at the Lima Homeless Shelter.” She invites the kids to join her there and give the homeless the gift of song.

“Coach Sylvester,” Kurt says, “I’ve heard you say on several occasions that you don’t believe in homelessness.”

“You said you considered homeless people ‘urban campers,’” Artie reminds her.

Sue goes to the window and looks out, pain on her face. “Can I be honest with you, Stumbles, Gelfling, Young Burt Reynolds?” (Blaine seems to be very pleased with that name, by the way.)

It’s time for one of the many moments when we see a soft side of Sue. Even knowing it will be snatched away from us in the very next episode if not later in the same one, I still feel myself wanting to hug her when she confesses it’s her first Christmas without her sister, and she’s trying to keep herself occupied somehow. I mean, she could have kept herself occupied by slashing the tires of arts instructors across the land, right? But she chose this.

At least, she chose this after her original plans to shoot reindeer from a helicopter with Sarah Palin fell through.

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