Glee, 4x20, "Lights Out"
This episode was so all over the place that I don't think I'll end up ranking it very high, but it wasn't bad.
First of all, my contempt for Kurt & Rachel trying to tell Santana that it is unacceptable to work as a bartender/bounder/cage dancer has only strengthened since I first heard about it. If anything, cage dancer sounds even more suited to her talents and interests than bartending. I mean, I fully understand that they think it is horrifyingly skanky/trashy, but so is Santana. She was born for this life. I hate that Glee's Message shouts her down in the end, because she's doing exactly what they tell her she should be doing -- keeping her motor revved while she figures out what she wants to do with her life. Only she's raking in the cash and doesn't fall at her feet to worship NYADA while she's at it. So if you don't mind, Imma pretend that she hasn't quit any of those jobs, the extension classes are just a new activity to round them out.
I care not one whit about Little Santana, but Little Rachel is the cutest thing that has ever existed. As for Little Kurt, any ability to feel anything about that lovely voiceover stopped when I saw him in a tutu and Dr. Cox's voice rang out in my head: "Must we put the final nail in his tiny gay coffin?" #sorry not sorry
I LOVED seeing Fairy Godmother Isabelle again, the better to get our fix of sunshine and light and spun sugar candyfloss personified. I am SO HAPPY Kurt is still...kind of...working for her. I didn't need really need Santana in that storyline at all, but I guess, anything to get Isabelle talking to and encouraging people. I feel like she doesn't hold Kurt's friends in quite the same high esteem that she holds him, but her inifinite tolerance for them is welcome. Oh, and I LOVED Rachel's beautiful princess attire - she honestly took my breath away - and I think "At The Ballet" is a number that will grow on me over time. BONUS: cuties being cute!
Why don't I have more words about the better half of the episode??
Over yonder in Lima, my head is still reeling from Ryder's backstory but I have calmed down enough to accept it. Mostly because "break the cutie" is a phrase I recently stumbled upon at TV Tropes and now that it has a name, I think it's probably one of my favorites. They're really determined to lay it on thick with this one, so I can only assume that great rewards are coming my way in season 5.
(and oh my god now I wish he and Marley were dating more than ever, and not as a hypothetical future pairing either; I have so many Speculative Thoughts I want to think on the nature of virginity as it would play out with them if she didn't have any other romantic experience to compare it to)
I wish Mr. Schue had done more to shut down the inappropriate comments, I wish the girls had done more than shout exceptionally cliche PC catchphrases ("his truth is his truth" wtf), and I REALLY wish they hadn't had Sam go as far over the line as to ask why that is a crime*, but for once I thought Glee's habit of using characters as puppets to voice all negative opinions made sense.
*I need someone to write me fic of Blaine taking him aside and pointing out why what he said isn't cool
It absolutely makes sense that straight guy teenagers - especially one of the insensitive/borderline misogynist variety and one of the dumb jock type - would fail to understand why this isn't a dream come true, and I love that Artie is so clueless he thinks Ryder is actually serious about calling himself the luckiest guy in the room. They're so obviously meant to be in the wrong it hurts. I love the bitterness and sarcasm with which Ryder shuts down and retreats to the back row.
But attaching the same BS to Kitty is not going to win you any sympathy points at all. Trauma is not an excuse for bitchiness (see exhibit A: Ryder is a sweetheart). What you're saying to me is that Kitty was faced with ostracism and unfair harassment so horrible that she had to transfer schools...and her response was to immediately find an innocent target she could ostracize and unfairly harass? (along with anyone else who got in her way?) No. I know people do often respond that way, but that is a character flaw in the individual and deserves appropriate contempt of the type I've been giving her all year. There is no redeeming this cartoon villain; give up now.
As for the Sue storyline...are we all in agreement that the aerobics class was basically porn? Like straight up porn. I'm not entirely sure how to feel about that, besides striking this off the list of episodes I can watch with my mother. I do not hate this side of Blaine at all? Not even the move that puts Sam's body rolls to shame. Mostly I'm confused about how him being sweaty went from disgusting/revolting to kind of a turn on in the space of a year.
Also, I AM REALLY HAPPY SOMEONE DECIDED TO INTERVIEW ORANGE SHIRT GUY. That's what I've been saying, we need to talk to background actors for the real insider scoop.
I really love Sue's specific insults, and the fact that she offers grudging respect and admiration for him both surviving her booty camp and planning to take her down from the inside in true Sylvestian fashion. I do not love yet another round of Flawed Logic in which the Cheerio girls are shattered, lost souls without their fierce leader. I love that Blaine worries about people the same way Mr. Schue did in season one, but could one of these caring dudes maybe consider that maybe what they need is just a non-evil coach? This is not a "lesser of two evils" situation here.
I am sad all the Nightbird stuff got cut, curious to know whether I can actually blame it on Cory (GIVE ME A REASON; I've been looking for one since it became clear that he and Lea were actually dating), and did not give two figs about anything else Sue did, but I am always a sucker for her calling Becky "honey" and being soft-voiced and otherwise totally out of character for a few precious moments.
- LAUGHING FOREVER at the Darren/Christopher joke
- Also laughing forever at Sam's mocking "No, you 'NEEDS' to man up."
- I hope Artie and Tina side-eyed the hell out of Ryder for talking about "all the slushies over the years" like he knows anything about it.
- "Like I have trouble trusting girls 'cause of that." (Me: *strangles Marley for the nine millionth time*)
- I enjoyed Kurt speaking for Santana and not letting her get a word in edgewise despite her glares. I like to think he did it on purpose as payback for the Moulin Rouge episode.
- Whoever decided to dress Blaine in his gray-and-white vest paired with mustard colored pants (and a Christmas-colors bowtie on top of that) needs corrective training immediately. MY EYES. THEY BLEED.
-You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling: Sam + Ryder? Oh, man. DREAM VOCAL PAIRING I DIDN’T KNOW I WANTED SO MUCH. But this is not an exciting song, and my memory of it is is mostly being the one song you hoped would NEVER EVER be chosen in pep band. (I still don't know why it was even on the roster)
- Everybody Hurts: Why does Ryder keep getting the lamest ballads? I really do not like this song.
+ We Will Rock You: Hahahaha! I’m sorry, I just really love this song and their attitudes are cracking me up. I wish Glee had done the eerie Linda Ronstadt version with all girls, but this will more than suffice. It's pretty impossible to frog-voice on chanting, so even Jake can't ruin it.
--Little Girls: Ugh. I get the sense that she'll be great on Broadway in character/context, but for Glee, ugh.
++ At The Ballet: I have never heard of this song, but it is lovely. Cool music, 3 of my favorite people (some more featured than others), and lucking out on being one of those songs where Santana sounds excellent instead of activating my rage button. I haven't totally fallen in love with it yet, but I'm given it a double plus because I feel like I can get there and it has some beautiful stage direction and gorgeous background dancing. It's certainly the best number they've let SJP have so far.
(update, 5/6: THIS IS THE PRETTIEST SONG THAT HAS EVER EXISTED WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU. *buys*)
The Longest Time: Hmm…never here for Jake, and still prefer to avoid Kitty’s odd inflection if possible, but the rest are fun. Nice to hear Artie on lead. He’s not my favorite voice, but when they restrict him to Quinn levels of participation in the season as a whole, I find I’m much keener when they do throw a bone his way.
Up Next: GIMME GIMME GIMME GIMME ALL THINGS. ALL THE THINGS. That involve Kurt and Blaine and specifically KurtandBlaine.
Ugh, I hate being caught up on reviews! Waiting is THE WORST. But so is the fact that Glee is wrapping up at the same time as or earlier than all my other shows, so instead of being able to get them out of the way and then just focusing on the final two, I have to fit them in with or even before everything else.