Gleecap: They should put that on a T-shirt
Image can be a tricky thing, especially when it comes to self-image. The way you view yourself is rarely ever the way others view you, and the disconnect can make for some interesting storytelling. Or the premise of an entire show, in this case.
After an unfortunate smack to the face during rehearsal, Rachel is confronted with the possibility of getting a nose job, which lands the glee club in an image-centered debate big enough to overwhelm the typical hour-long slot.
The healing power of T-shirts
With the gleeks in a dual spiral of self-doubt and self-empowerment, and Emma still held fast in the clutches of her OCD, Schue turns to Lady Gaga. The club will work on a rendition of "Born This Way" and make T-shirts stating what they are the most ashamed of. Emma leads the pack with her example, but comes up short when her T proclaims merely that she is a ginger. So Schue finally tells it like it is: That Emma uses her profession of helping others' issues to avoid tackling her own. Somehow Emma finally hears reason in this and goes to seek medical help. She gets a new bottle of prescription meds and a new hangup emblazoned on her T-shirt.
Read on for the painful realities of being Lebanese.
When considering getting a new schnoz, Rachel turns to the beauty queen in residence, Quinn Fabray. Quinn accompanies Rachel to the plastic surgeon's office to have model photos taken and the doctor mocks up some images of Rachel with Quinn's nose. We get a lovely little mash-up (holy hamstrings -- how long has it been since we've had a mash-up on this show?) of "Unpretty" and "I Feel Pretty," in which we think the two girls are having a moment of clarity, but it seems we're mistaken. Quinn and Rachel are the only ones on board the S.S. Rhinoplasty, and Quinn's comments about physical beauty become more rage-inducing as the show goes on.
Though Finn can't seem to talk some sense into his image-obsessed girlfriend, he can sing a bang-up version of "I’ve Gotta Be Me" with charming partner choreography from Mike Chang. We can't tell if it's the auto-tune, but Finn really rocked this one.
Blackmail, espionage and G. Gordon Liddy
It seems the struggle to be pretty, or at least recognized as attractive, brings out the ugliest aspects in the gleeks. Santana's lesbianism-heightened gay-dar alerts her to Karofsky's problem, and thereby gives her a solution to being stuck on second fiddle after the immaculate Quinn. She proposes a deal to Karofsky: Fake-date her and help her rid the school of bullying, thereby bringing Kurt back to McKinley and getting thankful accolades in the form of prom queen votes. We don't see how just the votes from New Directions will get her the tiara, but whatever.
Karofsky agrees, but Kurt and Burt still have their reservations, and Kurt squirrels out the truth. Instead of outing Karofsky and Santana's plan, Kurt proposes a compromise: The two will establish a PFLAG chapter at McKinley and Karofsky can learn about being gay without having to actually come out. This results in the dearly missed Kurt Hummel's triumphant return to McKinley, an oddly-chosen goodbye song from the Warblers (but we stopped caring about the song choice once Blaine started playing the piano) and a beautiful rendition of "As If We Never Said Goodbye" from Kurt. We love it when he gets to play around in that glamorous, old Hollywood style of singing, and this was a fantastic example.
Meanwhile, Zizes is fighting dirty in her own battle for the prom queen crown. She digs into Quinn's past and finds out that "Lucy Quinn Fabray" wasn't always one of the beautiful people. The thought of a 14-year-old getting a nose job is kind of unsettling to us, but not nearly as much as Zizes' cruel wallpapering of the school with Quinn's old yearbook photo and nickname, "Lucy Caboosey." But the evil plan backfires, and Quinn is lauded as a heroine who lifted herself above physical restraints. Damn. We wanted a score one for Zizes.
Flash mobs always improve your self worth
Dedicated to talking Rachel out of her nose job, Puck -- who has been an amazing, female-empowering dude this week -- enlists the help of Kurt, a few dozen flash mobbers, and Barbra Streisand. Unless it's the mere mention of Barbra's name and overall cheeriness of the scene, we're not entire sure how some random dance moves motivate Rachel to love herself more. In any case, she ditches the surgery plans, gets "NOSE" printed on her themed T-shirt and rocks it out for the final number, "Born This Way," despite doctor's orders.
Meanwhile, Brittany is still urging Santana to come out and even made her a lesbian T-shirt...sort of. Though Santana does don the shirt, she abstains from taking the stage, instead hiding in the back row with Karofsky.
The final number finally addresses Schue's (and our) issue with the lackluster dancing of late. Maybe it's the joy of having Kurt back or embracing their unique qualities, but the gleeks really looked great up there in the final act. And now we really want a "LIKES BOYS" T-shirt.
What did you think, readers? Was the extra half hour beneficial, or could they have cut some scenes? Are you happy Kurt is back? Wish Santana combined her shirt slogans to say "LEBANESE BITCH"? To the comments!
Notes n' Quotes
Santana: I hear Rachel has a bit of a shnoz, which I wouldn't know because like Medusa, I avoid eye contact.
Santana: I'm sure Artie's thought about getting his legs removed since he's not even using them anyways.
Santana: Maybe Rachel likes having an enormous beak. Maybe she needs it to break hard seeds.
Santana: I'm a closet lesbian and a judgmental bitch. Which means I have awesome gay-dar.
Emma: According to recent legend I have no soul.
Santana: You really need to check your leering.
Karofsky: I didn't, I was just seeing what jeans he was wearing.
Santana: Like that's any less gay.
Santana: It's when a gay man and woman date each other to hide the fact that they're gay. Like the Roosevelts.
Puck: After their 16th birthday the girls at my temple start showing up looking slightly different, and even though its easier to make out with them without constantly getting stabbed in the eye, they're not as hot.
Schue: You know what I think Emma? I think you are an expert at deflection.
Emma: Is that a new shirt?
Kurt: Latina Eve Harrington. Okay, if you're gay, you've got to know who that is.
Puck: My permanent record is three volumes. I don't remember doing half of this stuff.
Kurt: Only I can lead this Barbravention.
Rachel: Is she here??
Kurt: This is a mall in Ohio.
Santana: Legend has it that when I came out of my mother I told the nurse she was fat.
- Santana's inner monologues are quickly becoming our favorite thing about this show.
- How could Quinn have a warped sense of how nice people are when she's spent her entire high school career with Sue Sylvester breathing down her neck?
- We are so glad we only got one Gaga song out of this episode. One fully-Gaga themed ep is enough, and it made room for so many other great songs. Except Blaine's. Seriously, what WAS that?
- Puck's shirt was by far the best of them all. If you don't remember it, go watch the episode again. It's true glory cannot be re-related here.