Glee – Rumours

You know, it is a real shame Glee’s returning episode a few weeks back was ‘Night of Neglect’, one of the weakest episodes of the season. Ratings have not been great since, and we have had two terrific episodes: last week’s ‘Born This Way’ and now this pretty darn great episode ‘Rumours’.

After Stevie Nick visited the set when Gwyneth Paltrow was performing Landslide in the episode ‘Sexy’, a Fleetwood Mac episode has been promised. You have to wonder whether it was on the cards BEFORE then as you would imagine Glee episodes take a while to write and sort the music for. Anyway, this week the songs were all from Fleetwood Mac’s classic album Rumours. As the Glee demographic is pretty young, it was a bit of a risk. I bet most teens have not heard of it or the group, however the musical numbers were almsot all really good.

Storywise, Sam finally got something to do other than being Trouty Mouth, Brittany’s awesome internet show Fondue For Two was fantastic and we had the return of April Rhodes, as part of Teri’s plan to get Will to quit Glee club and head for Broadway with April. On a less successful note, the Rachel/Quinn/Finn stuff that has been going on far too long was back to being annoying and petty, Artie and Brittany broke up after he called her stupid, but unfortunately Santana chickened out of publicly being with Brittany.

In the last two episodes, Naya Rivera has really stepped up and become one of the best performers on the show, both in her acting and in this episode with her singing. I think her version of Songbird was my my favourite number of the episode. Just a simple ballad with her and Brad on the piano, Rivera did a fantastic job. The girl has a great voice! I also really like what they are doing with the Santana/Brittany relationship, which was just a bit of a joke for a long time. Brittany tells her Fondue for Two gossip pals Mercedes and Tina (pretty much their only contribution to the ep) that Santana ‘plays for the other team.’ Predictably enough, Brit just meant she wasn’t on the Cheerios any more rather than it being a deliberate outing. Santana is willing to sing a very emotional love song to Brit, but when she wants them to date and says she can ask Santana to the prom on her web show, Santana bails. We see her at the end of the episode perpetuating her fake romance with Dave Karofsky to Jacob while Brit looks on sadly.  I actually really like that they have Sanata loving Brittany but being afraid to be out and proud. I think for teens it is not an easy thing to do – much more acceptable to their peers to be dating the jock rather than the cheerleader. Santana’s concerns were expressed way back in ‘Sexy’ when she told Brittany about her feelings for her, but made clear how scared she was. More to come there. Rivera shone again, and how many good things are there to say about Fondue to Two? We have been a bit short of Brittany-isms lately, but her and her cat Lord Tubbington were hilarious. The big question, where is the other cat Charity?

I’ll say it, Artie is my least favourite character on the show! He is far too self righteous in his treatment of his girlfriends. Remember how judgemental he was towards Tina about her stutter then ignored her to play video games leading to her dumping him for the much hotter Mike Chang. I also really hated than episode when Brittany slept with him, taking his virginity only for Artie to turn round and really tell her off for it! He is a total arse! I hope this IS it for them, they were never an obvious pairing to me.

I love Kristen Chenowyth but sometimes her episodes have had a bit too much April and not enough of the kids. She had just the one song this week – a pretty good if exact copy of Dreams, one of my favourite songs from Rumours. Shame Will had to join in! There was also a little snippet of her autobiographical musical that seemed about on a par with ‘My Headband’ in terms of quality! One of the funnier lines of the episode came from her though. “Know what I call an afternoon where I get drunk? An afternoon.”

Teri’s shoehorning into the episode alongside a highly bizarre Sue was not a huge success. It appears the writers have zero idea what to do with Sue these days. I guess Jane Lynch is glad she has her Emmy on the mantelpiece already as she’s been less than spectacular for a while through no fault of her own. Just no proper Sue episodes or storylines.

The part of the episode that most disappointed me was the Rachel/Quinn/Finn stuff. I thought after last week’s nose job bonding, Rachel and Quinn had moved past the bickering over the dolt that is Finn. Very disappointing to see we are back to episode 1 fighting over him. Rachel, PLEASE! Move on, you are much better off without that dumb jock! Not a fan of this part of the episode at all. They have done it to death and it seemed like very lazy storytelling to me.

On the other hand it was quite nice to see something of Sam’s back story, even if it was a little corny. The real world rarely intrudes onto the Glee-verse, but the economic downturn left Sam and his family living in a seedy motel. (Walking the streets all day instead of caring for their kids is really the best choice for his parents? Or just another parent free Glee clubber? It was something a bit different and quite nice, if not especially ground breaking.

We had two crying men this week. Sam when Rachel and Finn showed up bringing back the guitar he had been forced to hock and My Shue when considering leaving the school to join April in her show. It was a bit meh! to be honest. Will has been pretty creepy this season and I don’t like the way he treats Emma at times. He is by no means perfect yet feels justified in constantly calling her out on her OCD.

So all in all, a very enjoyable if not perfect episode. As well as the songs alread mentioned, we had a rocking ‘Go Your Own Way’ from Rachel – a great song done pretty well if nothing spectacular in the arrangement. Artie did ‘Never Going Back Again’ that was more notable for Puck and the assembled guitar band. Finn plays guitar?? Really? I spent a while trying to see his hands to see if he could really play any chords. Finn and Quinn’s duet on ‘I Don’t Wanna Know’ was pretty good. Two duets in a row for Quinn! Guess Dianna Agron has her singing voice back. The episode ended with a nice big group number, ‘Don’t Stop’ which was fun for seeing the while gang dancing around with no fancy sets or costumes. I kind of like those free and easy numbers. As a fan of the album, although not an avid one, I liked the songs, but listening to the originals, they took very few arrangement risks. I still do wonder how long they had to prep this episode? Surely the Rumours episode wasn’t devised until after Stevie Nicks set visit.

Questions remain this week – Artie/Brittany/Santana?? What’s going on there? Will Finn defy Quinn’s childish ‘no singing with Rachel’ ultimatum? Next week – the prom!