It took two watches for me to really get this episode, chiefly because most of the music was pretty forgettable this week, and I was dazzled by the Paltrow! Yes, Holly Holliday returned this week as Glee tackled teen sex. After the previous episode dealing with teen drinking I’m guessing we’ll be getting episodes on drugs and the dangers of RSI from too much texting next.
However, what stood out from this episode were two amazingly well written storylines about gay teen sexuality in positively the gayest episode yet. Once again Burt Hummell proved himself the dad we all wish we had.
Kurt was having trouble getting his sexy on (Chris Colfer’s sexy/sultry faces were hilarious) so Blaine proved himself a true friend by talking to Burt down at the auto shop about Kurt’s lack on knowledge. Burt – bless him – picked up a bunch of pamphlets for ‘the mechanics’ but gave Kurt one of the sweetest and most touching talks about having sex ever – gay or straight. ‘Don’t throw yourself around like you don’t matter Kurt, because you do matter.’ Aw! Burt and Kurt are often a highlight, and in this Ryan Murphy directed episode, we knew we might get another one, but this was just a beautifully written, wonderfully acted and emotionally wonderful scene. Bravo Glee!
Then we have Santana and Brittany. Brittana has many fans, but the writers have never seemed to take the relationship that seriously in the past. The ‘sex isn’t dating’ line was a throwaway and barring a few hugs and that one scene of snuggling, we haven’t really seen much more, and to be honest, I didn’t think they were going to ever get a proper storyline. It seemed that Ryan Murphy’s identification was all with Kurt and the girls were just for comic titillation. So this really serious and rather fabulous set of scenes with the two girls was quite the surprise.
After Pretty Little Liars also dealt extremely well with the coming to terms with your sexuality story this week, Glee went one better (possibly) as we found out Santana and Brit still seem to be hooking up (no cheating due to ‘different plumbing’..right!) However, Brittany expresses dissatisfaction that Santana won’t talk. What we got in the rest of the episode was Santana coming to terms with her anger and inability to express her feelings for Brittany due to her fear of what people would say. As I mentioned in the PLL review, they seemed to ignore this aspect totally, which I think is a very legitimate concern for kids. What people at school think of you is THE biggest thing – more than parents or family. And Santana is very much the tough girl, much feared cheerleader (now ex mind you.) She gets Holly to song Fleetwood Mac’s Landslide – by far my favourite song of the episode, although I wish Naya Rivera could have sung it. She has a great voice, even though Gwyneth did a decent job.
Sadly, Santana’s honesty in revealing her feelings to Brittany in a heart breaking hallway conversation doesn’t quite have the desired outcome. Brit is with Artie and says she loves him too, although she certainly seems to be willing apart from that. Poor Santana – and that’s not a phrase I’ve thought/typed often!
These two storylines were just so well handled (even if Santana’s coming out came out of the blue a tad) the straight romances of the week were less compelling. In not that much of a shock reveal we learn Emma hasn’t consummated her marriage with hunky dentist Carl, while Will seems rather enamoured with Holly. Rachel and Quinn are in celibacy club together despite Quinn hooking up with Finn again. The groups rather hilarious rendition of the appallingly bad song Afternoon Delight, which Emma thinks is about desserts rather than a quickie nooner, features blouses and cravats for poor Carl and Puck while Emma, Quinn and Rachel dress in what look like those things old ladies put over toilet rolls to make them look like ladies in big dresses. So bad it was funny – almost.
In other music, the Warblers decide they need to get sexy and do a song I’ve never heard of called Animal, that was mainly notable for Kurt actually singing. Wow, that’s been a while. When was Kurt’s last song? Don’t Cry for me Argentina? The Dalton boys might have smart blazers, but they are never going to be sexy. Cute is the best Blaine and co could hope for.
We also had Holly trying to sex up the Glee club with Joan Jett’s Do You Wanna Touch Me – another not particularly special version of a less than classic in the first place.
So in music terms, a very poor episode, but the energy of Gwyneth Paltrow was fun, we got some Emma and Carl, a smattering of Sue and those wonderfully touching love talks from Kurt and Burt and Santana and Brittany. As is so often the case with Glee, highs and lows, but as always, the good is so good, it makes you forget the inconsistencies and occasional silliness. Puck and Lauren make a sex tape? Holly teaches an exercise class while also substituting for a sex ed class? Prince’s Kiss wasted? All true. But you can forgive them those lows due to the perfectly handled relationship dramas.