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


Previously on Glee, esteemed McKinley High School faculty member William Schuester staged an entire production of The Rocky Horror Picture Show for the chance to perform “Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch Me” with the guidance counselor, decried Britney Spears‘ role model cred and then performed “Toxic” in front of the whole entire school, tried to get Coach Bieste fired by ostracizing and pizza-shaming her but then took pity on her and kissed her on the lips so she wouldn’t be a smoochin’-virgin anymore, pitched a tantrum and threw some books, stomped around a stage in a matador costume singing “La Cucaracha,” openly sneered at his students on the regular, told Emma Pillsbury’s boyfriend that he would allow him to continue to date her and then changed his mind and tried to fix her OCD by singing Coldplay at her, implemented some exposure therapy as a Plan B cure, and suspended a student with an eating disorder for refusing to perform in a clam-shell bra.


Blaine Warbler is twerking around the choir room with his headphones on, and the camera remembers that, like Tina Cohen-Chang, it had an obsession with Blaine’s ass last season, so it gets up in there and—surprise!—it’s actually Tina’s camera [phone]. She shows the video to the rest of glee club and they giggle and Mr. Schue decides that with three weeks left until Nationals (because at the end of the last episode, it was four weeks and everyone got suspended for one week, right?), what these guys need to do is really focus on their butt-bouncing skills. Why? Why on Naya Rivera‘s green earth would he think that’s a good idea? Because, you guys. Because “twerking is about blurring the lines between past and present, between men and women, between tradition and envelope-pushing.” And what better way to illustrate this false dichotomy than to perform a song about date rape.

Just in case Mr. Schue is confused about the message of Robin Thicke‘s “Blurred Lines,” Artie goes ahead and preemptively explains that the blurred line in question has less to do with the grey area between “tradition and envelope-pushing” and more to do with that pesky issue of consent when it comes to sex. Mr. Schue goes, “LOL, what’s rapey about breathing, ‘You know you want it! You know you want it!’ into a drunk girl’s ear over and over?”

And so:


And here’s where Glee manages to out-Glee itself. Sue calls Will into her office to fire him for humpin’ ‘ round the school with his students singin’ ’bout gettin’ nasty. These are the exact words that come out of her mouth: “You do realize ‘Blurred Lines’ is a song about date rape, don’t you? You need to back your ass up to the fact that you, a married 37-year-old, just performed a song about coercive sexual advances as nine minors twerked along beside you, down the hallways of a public high school.”

Hallelujah, right? Power to the voice of Sue Sylvester and the People!

Wrong! Wrong, wrong, wrong! Let me just frame it for you like this: Glee chose to perform song about date rape and chose to have its grown-ass hero character sing that song about date rape while dancing suggestively with his students. OK, they paid for rights to that song. They’re going to make bank selling that song on iTunes. But they know it’s wildly inappropriate on every level and so they had a character say it out loud in the episode, which—newsflash!—doesn’t make it OK; it makes it even more gross. Everything I know about the law, I learned from Scandal, so I don’t know much but I know premeditated bullshit is even more felonious than accidental bullshit. “We’re doing a gross thing and we know it’s gross and we’re going to make an on obscene profit on it!” Ugh. And blech. And stop saying “Throat Explosion” while we’re at it.


I’m not writing about this part of the story anymore. Here’s all you need to know: Will takes some kind of moral high-ground based on an internet troll’s understanding of the first amendment and Becky calls him a bitch and Sue agrees to let him keep his job (and agrees to help out Unique) if he’ll just fucking stop with his awful twerking crusade. He’s like, “No way will I do what is best for my students when I could dig my heels in the ground over the dumbest possible thing.” But he does in the end, probably because Sue put him under the Imperius Curse. OR MAYBE SHE THREATENED TO SUSPEND HIM FOR A WEEK FOR NOT THINKING ABOUT THE GOOD OF THE TEAM.

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