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Glee Review: The Good, The Bad, and The God Squad

A very special Valentine’s Day Glee saw one (or was it two?) break-up(s), a lot of declarations of love, a secret admirer, eight love songs, and a whole lot of Sugar. Former Troubletone Sugar Motta announces a party at Breadsticks called the Sugar Shack, where only couples are welcome because she finds single people depressing. Meanwhile, Mercedes continues to struggle with her feelings for Sam, Rachel’s dads come out in favor of her engagement, the glee club does not, and Kurt finds out the identity of his secret admirer.

The Good

Sugar is as awesome as you want her to be

Blaine’s back!

“I Will Always Love You”

Rachel’s dads do exist

Chatter in the cafeteria

I really enjoyed last night’s episode, and it felt like the Glee I know and love after a short disappointing run for the first few episodes of 2012. It was fun, flirty, and had just enough saccharin-y songs to escape in for the hour.

When the producers announced in the summer that they’d be introducing a new club member in Sugar Motta (Vanessa Lengies), I was excited because I’d spent three years obsessed with her former series American Dreams.  Also, I had seen Stick It and, well, if you saw it, you know. But her role thus far has been tragically small until, thanks to her apparently exceedingly wealthy father, she was able to not only buy the glee club out of having to do a fundraiser, she’s throwing a huge V Day party for the school. Later in the episode, at said party, she’d hidden gifts under everyone’s chair, and thanks her father, who’s not in the mafia, for making all of this possible. If Glee could use one thing, it’s more Sugar.

The song choices last night won’t all be making it on my “Glee, Select” playlist, but Amber Riley’s rendition of “I Will Always Love You” is a definite download. Mercedes, after ending things with Shane (LaMarcus Tinker) and telling Sam (Chord Overstreet) she’s not sure she can be with him either, takes about three and a half minutes to remind us the Dolly Parton-penned power ballad is actually a mournful break-up song. Riley often gets the short changed when it comes to story and song choices, but this was a series highpoint for the character.

This week brought the first appearance of Rachel’s (Lea Michele) dads, played by guest stars Jeff Goldblum and Brian Stokes Mitchell. They were quirky, with their dinner theatre performance at the Berry house for the Hudson-Hummels, and funny with their back-and-forth banter, but I wanted them to take a stronger stance against the Finn/Rachel wedding. Sure, they teamed with Finn’s parents to allow a night of cohabitation that indeed launched into a fight, but ended with the couple deciding to move up the wedding to spring.

It was refreshing to see the high school age kids doing high school type things, like the scene where a group just hung out in the cafeteria. Props to this scene for introducing a little normalcy, and letting us get some song and dance-free time with a few of the supporting characters of the episode.

The Bad

The Glee Project

Rachel & Finn are still engaged

With the limited amount of Will (Matt Morrison) and welcome absences of Emma (Jayma Mays) and Sue (Jane Lynch) this week, the story really got a chance to focus on pretty much all of the kids in glee club. The adult trio wasn’t really missed as the kids got to explore love, loss and cohabitation.

But, the one downer for me in this episode was the realization that these Glee Project winners are still popping up. Now, I didn’t mind when runner-up Lindsay Pearce came on to challenge Rachel as a member of a rival club. It was short, to the point, and hey, someone had to play that part. I really don’t even mind Damian McGinty as a singer, but Rory is such a dull, blatantly forced character. Also, did the show really need a reality spin-off? Now Samuel Larsen’s made his debut as a formerly homeschooled student named Joe Hart, and we learned Rory’s probably not going to be deported. Plus, I don’t think other runner-up Alex Newell has yet to appear. In this aspect, I’m hoping they take a less-is-more approach with the winners of the second season.

Oh, and it still irks me that we’re following this engagement story all the way to May sweeps.

The God Squad

Glee has never been a show to shy away from tackling issues that might be deemed a little too real for its premise. There was Kurt’s bullying storyline last year, and a whole episode about a search for meaning and a higher power. I didn’t have any issues with those storylines, but something about Santana’s stand for her rights mixed with new school group the God Squad’s debate about what it means to be Christian resonated with me as the episode rolled on. Led by Mercedes, the group consists of Sam, Quinn, and Joe, a.k.a. Teen Jesus, embracing the brotherhood and fellowship ideals of Christianity by selecting a fundraiser and a charity to support, then deciding to sell singing telegrams.

After a student files a complaint with Principal Figgins (Iqbal Theba) about Santana and Brittany’s PDA, for religious reasons, Santana orders a telegram for Brittany to test the group. They have a talk about it at their next meeting, where Quinn comes out strongly for it, sighting all of the ridiculous things listed in the bible as abominations, and Sam points out that, as members of glee club, they’re already singing for gay people all of the time. Joe asks for some time to think about it, having never met a gay person before. Ultimately, he decides love is love, and the group serenades Brittany at the Sugar Shack. Maybe this group can replace the Old Maids of McKinley and Celibacy Clubs.

What did you think? Was Glee back on point last night?

Season 3, Episode 13: “Heart” (Original airdate February 14, 2012)

Glee airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on FOX.

Are you a Gleek? Click here for more Poptimal coverage of Glee.

For another Poptimal take on this episode, Read “All You Need Is Love” by Inisia Lewis.

 

Images courtesy of FOX

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