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Gleecap - Theatricality

Gleelogo  Ra ra ah-ah-ah, romah ro-ma-ma, gaga oo la la, here comes your Gleecap.

We open in Figgins' office and the unlikely kid in the hot seat is Tina. It seems Twilight fever is turning the kids of William McKinley into vampires. Okay, not really, but after some of the AV club girls vamp-attacked Jewfro to get RPattz’s attention, Figgins is cracking down on goths. That’s why he’s called Tina into his office—she can’t wear her gothy clothes anymore. Tina says her parents won’t even let her watch Twilight—her mom thinks KStew seems like a bitch. I know, right? Nevertheless, Figgins says a strict dress code reduces incidents of gang violence and vampirism. Since Will and Tina can’t convince Figgins that vampires don’t actually exist, Tina must find some other way to express herself. I’m not really sure why Will is there with Tina for this little chat instead of her parents, but whevs. What's truly important in all this is that we're getting our set up for some Lady Gaga and Tina is actually getting some lines for once.


While Tina must change her look, Finn is in for some change of his own. Mrs. Hudson is moving them to the Hummell house, and he’s got a new roomie—Kurt. Finn is less than pleased with the new living arrangement, even after Mr. Hummell hands him $300 for a redecoration, as not everyone’s complexion can pull off Dior Grey quite like Kurt. 

At school the next day Tina, dressed in a drab hoodie and jeans to comply with the new dress code, looks like an Asian Branch Davidian. She's miserable and needs a new look that's more...Tina. The kids offer several suggestions. Brittany helpfully suggests three: "cross country skiier," "Happy Meal with no onions," and "a chicken." While these are all fantastic ideas, Tina isn’t loving any of them. Rachel then comes in with even bigger problems. It appears Vocal Adrenaline bought a ton of Christmas lights and red Chantilly lace which can only mean one thing: they’re doing Gaga. Puck asks what the deal is with this Gaga dude anyway, and Kurt indignantly schools him that not only is Gaga NOT a dude, but she's a revolutionary and changes her look more than Brit changes sexual partners, which Brittany confirms. Will decides their assignment for the week will be to do a Gaga number, using the opportunity to also help Tina find a new look that won’t scare principal Figgins. Because, you know, when I don't want to look scary, I open my closet and think "WWLGD?"

At Carmel High, Rachel, Quinn, and Mercedes sneak in to watch Shelby run rehearsal with her little monsters. The Vocal Adrenaline kids seem to be letting their outrageous costumes do all the work for them, so Shelby schools the kids on the subtle art of theatricality with the title song from Funny Girl. As soon as she starts singing, Rachel doesn’t need a DNA test to know she’s found her mom. 


They sit in the Carmel auditorium a few rows apart, not looking at each other while Rachel asks the questions swirling in her head. “Did you ever regret it?” Rachel asks. “Yes. And no. And so much,” Shelby responds. Shelby saw her sing at sectionals and saw herself in Rachel. Rachel asked Shelby if it bothers her that she never realized her Broadway dreams, and in her response, we see what Rachel may be like in 15 years: “It felt like a broken promise. Like the fisher king’s wound. Never heals.” Rachel is thirsty—when she was little, her dads would get her a glass of water whenever she was sad, so now she can never tell if she’s sad or just thirsty. Shelby suddenly stands up and can’t get out of the auditorium fast enough. She apologizes to Rachel and gives her a line girls never love to hear: “I’ll call you.” 

Finn approaches Will and says he doesn’t want to do Gaga, and suspects, with the exception of Kurt, that neither do the other dudes. Will is open to suggestions and Finn is already ready with an idea. Also, Puck wants Quinn to name their kid Jack Daniels, or Jackie Daniels since it’s a girl, and Quinn says that’s a ridiculous name, but since she’s giving it up it doesn’t matter. Puck may continue being an immature douche without recourse. This plot line is completely unnecessary except to work in "Beth" later on, so whatever, writers.

Elsewhere in the halls, Tina is enjoying her new look—the Gaga bubble dress—because while she’s shy and obsessed with death, she’s also quite effervescent, and this new ensemble really gets that across. Suddenly two meatheads push Kurt and Tina into the lockers and Kurt yells at them to pick on him all they want but not to throw around a girl like that. Their eyes are frankly tired from all the self expression they’re forced to endure by people like Tina and Kurt. Kurt, unwilling to let the jocks bully him, tells them as they walk away not to be late for their appointments at Supercuts.“Watch your mouth, homo!” yells one, “And you know what, fancy? You don’t need an appointment at Supercuts. They love walk-ins.” Uh...wait, what? Was that supposed to be a comeback?

At the next glee club rehearsal, each of the girls (plus Kurt) is sporting a different Gaga look. Rachel is late and she looks terrible. She's trying to do the Kermit look, only it's an amalgamation of dozens of Beanie Babies, which are dropping from her dress like it's Jonestown. Her dads can't sew, so they're just stapled on. Brittany, who's wearing a lobster on her face, says, “You look terrible. I look awesome.” The girls + Kurt then do "Bad Romance," with Gaga's choreography. Kurt, Tina, and Santana do most of the solos and Santana especially is totally fierce.


In the men's room, Finn is drawing on his face with eyeliner when the Steroid Twins start in with some more of their lame homophobic insults.  See, being a jock and in glee club doesn't make Finn versatile, it makes him bisexual. They offer to beat the gay out of him and then tell him the ladies room is across the hall. Dude, what after-school special did we just walk into?

Rachel is sneaking into another Vocal Adrenaline rehearsal when Shelby tells the team to take five—and she doesn’t want to hear any whining from the girls just because they're wearing metal underwear. Rachel shows Shelby her ad hoc Gaga costume and says she needs a mom's touch. Shelby is apparently a welder, because Rachel's look the next day appears to be made out of scrap metal, but it's fabulous. The boys, in full KISS regalia, perform "Shout It Out," and I remark to Miss Banshee that Artie is totally hot in that makeup. I can't even believe I said that. I do wonder how they rigged the pyrotechnics in a school auditorium.


As they discuss the disturbing image of Finn sticking his tongue out like Gene Simmons, Kurt and Tina are cornered again by the 'Roid Twins. Later that night, Kurt asks Finn to ask them to harass him in a way that's less damaging to his Alexander McQueen knock-offs. Finn starts in with the victim blaming, and Kurt deflects, saying they're Neanderthals whose opinions don't matter—“In three years they’ll be cleaning my septic tank.” Finn tells Kurt he doesn't understand why he has to make such a spectacle of himself, oblivious to the irony that he is expressing that thought while wearing KISS makeup. Kurt deflects again, telling Finn he'll never get the makeup off with the tissue he's been abrading himself with during this little altercation. Finn swats his hand away, apparently worried that makeup remover will put the gay all over him, and Kurt yells after him to grow up, kicking over a chair.

In Will's office, Shelby assures him she isn't reconnecting with Rachel to steal her away or ruin their chances at regionals. Will, however, isn’t worried about regionals, he’s worried about Rachel. Shelby doesn’t seem ready to be the mom of a teenager, and Shelby says he's right. She can't have any more kids, but Rachel isn't a baby anymore. Shelby wants someone who NEEDS her, and Rachel doesn't.

Back at the Hummell house, Kurt reveals the redecoration job he did as a peace offering to Finn, who transforms into King of the Douches. He yells about being unable to get dressed in his own room for fear that Kurt will look at him "that way." When Finn starts shouting about the "faggy" furnishings, Burt storms in and releases a tirade of "oh no you didn't just call my son faggy," on Finn. He tells Finn this is his home, Kurt is his family, and he won't have that kind of poison living under his roof—even if it costs him his relationship with Finn's mom. And, dear readers, I totally LOST MY SHIT during this scene. Recapping it is making me tear up. I swear, Burt Hummell is the best dad on TV. 


The next day in class, Kurt tells Tina she looks like she should be in orbit. “My balls keep falling off,” she replies. "Been there," Kurt nods understandingly. Finn whispers to Kurt that he wants to talk, and Kurt says there's nothing to talk about—he thought Finn was different. Finn tries to protest that he is different, but Puck comes in and decides to get theatrical with Quinn. He and the boys sing “Beth” by KISS to her, and he tells her that he wants to name their baby Beth before she's given away. He also wants to be there for the birth. Quinn tearfully agrees.

Rachel is in the McKinley auditorium when Shelby comes in to let her down. Rachel is already expecting it. They both agree that it's too late for them, and Rachel asks if they should just pretend the other doesn't exist. Shelby says that would be silly, and they should just be grateful for each other from afar for a while. Shelby asks for a hug goodbye and gives Rachel a present. It's water glass with gold stars on it, for when she's thirsty/sad. “Gold stars are kind of my thing,” she says. They're so alike it's eerie. Rachel asks Shelby to sing with her before she goes, and calls to Brad. "He’s always just...around," she adds. Fourth wall smash! They sing "Poker Face" as a slow, torchy duet, and I'm really glad they left in the part about loving with my muffin because I needed to laugh after all the tears the Hummells made me shed.


Aaaand then I suffer a series of technical difficulties so here's how the episode ended as far as I can recall. Tina comes in dressed as herself and says that refuses to dress anyway other than the way she WANTS to. She took the week's lesson in theatricality as an opportunity to get her way with Figgins, by exploiting his fear of vampires. She tells him he'll let her dress the way she wants or she'll sic her dad on him, and Asian vampires are the worst.  

Meanwhile, in the bathroom, Kurt is about to get the Gaga beaten out of him, when Finn shows up behind the Steroid Twins—in a floor length, red rubber dress. He's wearing Gaga's look from when she went to meet the Queen, and I'm at a loss for words on just how awful Finn looks in a dress. Nevertheless, I'm glad to see he's come full circle this episode. He owns his freak status and tells the jocks they'll have to beat him up first. They don't seem to have a problem with that, but then the rest of the freaks back him up. The jocks back down, but they're not done with them yet—next time they'll bring friends. 


The episode ends on an After-School Special note as Will remarks that they learned the lesson he didn't plan on—to embrace your inner freak and be yourself. Next stop: REGIONALS!

« Dancing With The Stars Recap: The WINNAH! | Pop Culture Main | And The Funniest Person Alive Is...Tina Fey! »


Fawn Amber

I could not love Burt Hummell more.

Great recap!


I loved this episode, but I really loved Santana's singing during Bad Romance. She really needs to sing more on this show :D.

Jen O.

Burt Hummell is my new boyfriend. And so is Edina Menzel. And, as usually, Puck. Basically I fell in love with everyone all over again during this episode. Loved it. It was probably my favourite episode thus far.

Suzy Q

I missed Sue! And Emma. And Quinn's feathered eyelashes were driving me BONKERS. How could she stand that?


I don't think Finn was being the King of the Douches until he used the "F" word. I mean, his behavior in that scene would be douche-y if Kurt was just gay and that was it. But Kurt set their parents up, on purpose, to get closer to Finn, who he's been all over for the entire season. It's kind of stalkerish, isn't it? And I have to say, if I as a teenaged girl had a guy in my class who liked me, and in whom I had no interest, set up our parents to get closer to me, I would be creeped out. I'd be even MORE creeped out if we had to live together. It's yucky. Nothing excuses Finn's slur, of course. But everything prior to that was pretty understandable from my POV.


Help the French girl: I don't get the "Asian Branch Davidian" comment. What's that?

Katie L.

I'm with ajnabi. There's no excuse for the slur, but Kurt always seems about two seconds away from making a pass at Finn... and now they all live together? I would have flipped if my Mom moved us into her boyfriend's home without telling me beforehand AND expected me to share a room with someone with unrequited lusty feelings for me. I loved the father's reaction, but I felt bad for Finn - a month ago he was bound for baby daddy & now he's living with his (semi) stalker.
I love Glee, although half of the characters drive me bat shit crazy.


Even the guys at Project Rungay agree that although Finn went too far in his reaction, Kurt really backed him into a corner. It was a situation that wasn't just about Kurt's orientation, it was provoked by his sexual harassment of Finn. And unlike corporate America, Finn hadn't sat through upteen harassment videos to know what to do. I think he knew that if he complained to anyone, Burt or Will or even his mom, he'd be perceived as homophobic, rather than having a legitimate complaint. If I'd been manuvered into sharing a room with a stepsister who obviously had the hots for me, I wouldn't be comfortable undressing in front of her either. I guess it's a pet peeve of mine - both parties were in the wrong here, yet only Finn is supposed to apologize. Boys can be sexually harassed too & there's a certain amount of 'blaming the victim' being heaped on Finn's head, ironically.

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