So Sunday night's post-Super Bowl episode of Glee was miserable, and didn't bear discussing. Luckily it was fairly standalone, plotwise, so this week's episode could swoop in without a viewing. Quinn, Brittany, and Santana chose New Directions over Cheerios, and Quinn kissed Finn.
Our mohawked guitar-player Puck is now harboring a not-quite requited crush on Laura Zizes, the newest member of New Directions. It makes sense that Puck would go for a tough girl, one who's a badass, being the school's wrestling champion, and one who turned him down after their blackmail-induced kiss didn't turn her on. Puck, being an idiot, thinks that Laura should be thrilled to receive his advances since he is a dreamboat (but looks 35), and she is heavy-set. She continues to turn him down, and Puck earnestly pursues her, not once hiding his affection for her, which I did find to be a sweet surprise. He serenaded her with Queen's "Fat Bottomed Girls," which was an obvious choice, and clearly offended Laura. I think a rendition of Mika's "Big Girl (You Are Beautiful)" would have swayed her *if* the show felt so desperately that he needed to pick a song about her weight. She continues to keep him on the hook, admitting that she likes him, but wants him to prove that he's really genuinely interested in her. In one episode, a minor character has been given a thoughtful plotline about body image when main cast member Mercedes has been weirdly subjected to starvation dieting one week and protesting the cafeteria's removal of tater tots another. Well done, show?
Santana's jealousy plotline wasn't very interesting, though it seemed an obvious extension of her role on the show. However, her conniving plan to infect Finn with mononucleosis in order to reveal that Quinn's cheating on Sam with him, was clever, and a perfectly devious way to stir up drama when Santana is feeling dissatisfied with her situation. Also, the line "I've had mono so many times it turned into stereo" was good enough to forgive her awkward 'street slang' which cropped up once again. Meanwhile, Tina and Mike are so in love that she breaks down crying during a really weird performance of "My Funny Valentine," and I guess this doesn't bother Artie at all because he's with Brittany. I maintain that Brittany and Mike deserve each other and should just be funny sexy dance lovers, but whatever. His slow-motion dancing to Artie's "P.Y.T." was so cute! Team Mike Chang.
What does it say about Golden Globe winner Chris Colfer or his character Kurt that I completely forget that Kurt has transfered out of McKinley and is now singing with the Warblers at Blazer Prep? His crush Blaine, played by Darren Criss who has more charisma than the rest of the male cast combined, wants to serenade his crush, some dude at the mall with crazy grunge hair and great bone structure. It's awesome. It's a weird ad for The Gap ("Shop at The Gap! We fire our gay employees?") but the song is just great and Darren Criss is like a teddy bear that you want to make out with. Kurt is surprisingly okay with the fact that Blaine isn't into him (given his creepy reactions when his straight brother Finn rebuffed him). There's a great moment after Blaine says, "If [the grunge-hair dude and I] got married, I'd get a 50% discount [at the Gap]," and the camera pans to Kurt's "Really?" face, then quickly back. Well done, show.
Kurt, Mercedes, and Rachel decide that they're better off focusing on themselves instead of desperately needing boyfriends, which - THANK YOU, THIS IS AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE! - will help them become the stars they are destined to be. From my heart to your face, readers: If you are not happy when you're single, you will not be happy when you're in a relationship; date yourself first! Also, plus points for identifying Patti LuPone as Kurt's diva idol. My friend Ashley who is a gay man in a woman's body would approve. Rachel decides to sing Katy Perry's "Firework" as a sort of love song to herself, and an awkward reference to her love parallelogram with Quinn/Finn and whoever, and she blows it away. I like the song more than a lot of people do, but Lea Michele performs it with all the teen angst and self-empowerment that she can muster. Let's hope this show can start using Rachel's character better...if she is more comfortable with her reality, maybe she'll be less insufferable.
All in all, one of the best Glee episodes in a while. Keep praying for the spinoff Brittany loves Mike Chang!