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Glee Review: Playing Dirty

In last week’s episode of Glee — sorry I’m late, y’all, but better me than Rachel, right? — we get a rather entertaining look at local politics.

First, it turns out that Sue Sylvester excels at dirty politics.  This should come as a shock to no one, yet Kurt is still surprised that she has accused Burt Hummel of having a baboon heart.  His dad seems more upset when Sue intimates that he is married to a donkey.  What is it with Sue and the animal kingdom?

Meanwhile, in his own political run for McKinley’s student body president, Kurt’s playing it straight (politically speaking), and as a result, is getting slaughtered.  Britney is actually accusing him of being on Myspace, which has got to hurt.

In other matters, Puck’s doesn’t appear so interested in politics as he is in getting in Shelby’s pants. Given this story arc, I suppose it was inevitable that Puck would sing “Hot For Teacher” but that didn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it. I think it’s just a matter of time before Shelby is Pucked, and I hope that several episodes go by before their eventual scandalous affair is exposed, if for no other reason that I want to use Puck as a verb many, many more times. Also, I can’t help but feel that the thoroughly missed (by me, anyway) Lauren Zizes would approve of this relationship, and that makes me happy.

I really do wish Lauren were still around, because she could do a way better job of verbally bitch-slapping Santana than Finn is doing.  You see, Finn has taken it upon himself to defend the honor of New Directions against Santana’s war of the words.  He decides to challenge the Troubletones to a dodgeball fight, which New Directions – unsurprisingly – loose.  And to cap it off, the innocent Irish newbie Rory gets nailed in the nose after the game is called by the truly mean members of the Troubletones.  But it was an entertaining fight, with a mash-up of “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” and “One Way or Another” that worked both musically and thematically.

The dodgeball warfare went on unabated by either Will or Shelby, who naively believe that a mash-up contest between the two teams would be the exact kind of friendly competition that would put an end to the clubs fighting, which they suggest by doing a pretty nice “You and I” duet (because Glee cannot ignore a popular Lady Gaga song any better than it can a Katy Perry one).  At Finn’s behest, New Directions chose Hall & Oates as their inspiration, and perform a fun mash-up of “You Make My Dreams” and “I Can’t Go For That” with lots of curly perms and mustaches for emphasis.

Although Hall & Oates stayed together through some really questionable fashion choices, New Directions is crumbling.  Next to leave is Quinn, who has decided she needs to be as close to Shelby as possible, so she can gather the ammunition she needs to get Beth back.  But Puck’s foiled her plans.  He comes clean to Shelby about Quinn’s plan to get Beth removed by child protective services, and Shelby refuses to let Quinn in the Troubletones.  Shelby also accuses Quinn of being far too selfish to be a mother, saying that being a mother means “accepting the fact that you don’t matter anymore.”  Yup, that about sums it up — I think I saw my 3-month-old nod in agreement.   And Quinn is fast becoming Glee‘s Least Most Necessary Character, although I think Emma still has a substantial lead on her.

Back in the Mash-Up Competition, the Troubletones picked Adele as their inspiration.  Mercedes, as leader of the group, also says that Santana needs to cool it on the smack talk.  Santana agrees . . . before firing insult after insult at Finn in the hallway when she was supposedly going to apologize.  So Finn calls her out on the one thing that shuts her up — she’s, like, totally in the closet, and therefore, a big fat COWARD (and I totally agree).  Finn’s outing of her leads to a meeting between Santana, Will, Burt, and Sue, where they reveal to her a campaign commercial (which, hilariously, is on a video cassette – what year is it, 1998?) by one of Sue’s opponents which outs Santana as a lesbian to all of the world.  Santana is, understandably, upset.  And that leads to a really great mash-up of Adele’s “Rumor Has It” and “Someone Like You,” where the girls rock black full-skirt dresses, and hair swept to the side in ponytails, and Santana’s angry face upstages her singing voice.  The number is works (again, musically and thematically) and kicks New Directions’ Mash’s ass, in my opinion.  But when Santana sees Finn whisper something in Rachel’s ear, she loses it, believing him to be talking about her.  She flips out, and smacks him.

And, SCENE.

So what did you think?  And does anyone think that Kurt’s No Dodgeball campaign promise can really beat out Brittany’s Topless Tuesdays?  And is Rachel getting enough screen time?

For another Glee opinion, read “It Was A Monster Mash Off” by Inisia Lewis.

Season 3, Episode 6: “Mash Off” (originally aired November 15, 2011)

Glee airs Tuesdays at 8 ET/PT on Fox.

Images by Mike Yarish, Frank Micelotta and FOX.

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