I can’t remember the last time I laughed so hard at a Glee episode. Seriously. Tears streaming down my cheeks. Matt Bomer as Blaine’s narcissistic and self-absorbed brother was sheer genius. Can he come back to Lima for another visit real soon?
The episode begins…well I’m not quite sure, because my cable box went out for two minutes at the top of the show. By the time it came back up, Artie and Quinn were in the middle of their wheelchair number. And I gathered that Finn and Rachel did not get married.
The worst kept secret in the world was the resolution of the winter finale cliff hanger. Note to Ryan Murphy. Shooting outdoor scenes away from the Paramount lot the week the finale ended pretty much guaranteed your cliffhanger would be spoiled immediately, as shots of Kevin McHale and Dianna Agron in wheelchairs at a skate park were circulating around the internet the same day the finale aired.
Quinn is paralyzed for now, but she swears her spine is merely compressed rather than broken. She vows she’ll be walking again by the time the kids take the stage at Nationals in Chicago. I can’t decide whether Quinn is being unrealistic, and her arc will be about her coming to terms with her disability, or if Glee is really going to go there and give us a big, cheesy recovery, straight out of a romance novel. Knowing Glee, the latter wouldn’t surprise me at all.
In the meantime, Quinn’s interactions with Artie are precious. The wheelchair number that opened the show is optimistic and sweet. When Quinn vows to New Directions that she’ll be on her feet again, Artie’s face clouds over. The aftermath of Quinn’s accident has not destroyed her. She’s upbeat, positive. But is she really dealing with the hand that’s been dealt her? At some point, she’s gotta break down. Later, Artie helps Quinn navigate a particularly steep ramp at McKinley. These two have barely said a word to each other in the three years they’ve been in Glee together. Yet, here, they have such an easy rapport, it has me thinking about what could have been.
Quinn tells the class the texting and driving was the stupidest thing she’d ever done, “Besides sleeping with Puck.” Later in the episode, after he bumps into Joe, she yells at Finn for WALKING and texting. During the commercial breaks, several anti-texting and driving PSAs run. Sigh. I like Glee least when it lectures. Really, I got the message when Quinn was broadsided while looking at her phone. The additional exposition is just clunky and obvious.
Sue Sylvester is pregnant and missing practices to the point where Figgins decides to make Coach Washington her co-captain. Sue offers to coach the New Directions to a Nationals win if Figgins will allow her to remain solo. But if she has extra duties, wouldn’t that take even more time away from coaching the Cheerios? Oh, never mind. Sue and Roz trade off some delicious lines. “Oh I understand the doctor had to shine a flashlight up into your va jay jay to get all the bats to fly out,” snarks Roz. I hope they do coach together.
Sue takes over booty camp, and attendance is a requirement for everyone this time. As the kids run sloppily through their paces, Sue screams at them through a bullhorn. It all feels very 1st season–before the Glee club got good, and stuff. Most hilarious moment: The shot of Brad the silent piano player laughing and fist pumping after Sue snatches and throws Mercedes’ cell phone after catching her texting.
Sue reads the kids the riot act, Full Metal Jacket Style. When Will finds out, he’s not happy. Sue blames it on her raging hormones. And oh by the way, she’s got a doctor’s appointment to find out the sex of the baby she’s carrying. When Emma realizes she’ll be going alone, she insists that Sue take her and Will along.
Blaine’s brother is in town! And Kurt is totally excited. After all, it appears that Kurt has absolutely no idea who he is or what he does. But when Cooper Anderson saunters down the hall and Blaine introduces them, Kurt recognizes him from the free credit rating dot com commercials and begins to freak out adorably. As it turns out, everyone in Lima knows Cooper from these commercials and is completely smitten with him, including Sue, who asks him to sign her breast. Yes she did. We are treated to the commercial itself, which is hilariously cheesy. “I LOVE THOSE COMMERCIALS,” screams Kurt, “The jingle is my ringtone!”
As Blaine and Cooper walk down the hall together, Kurt creeps behind them, completely in awe. “Blaine, your brother’s the best looking man in North America!” gushes Kurt. Poor Blaine. His annoying brother comes to town, and even his boyfriend is blinded by his minor celebrity. “If Allen Mencken isn’t personally writing you a fairy tale musical, at this very moment, I will hunt him down and beat him senseless…” says Sue, “because you sir, are a Disney prince.”
Matt Bomer plays the self-involved Cooper to perfection. He’s completely a horse’s ass, but Bomer brings so much charm to the character, that you can almost understand why everyone is taken in by him. In other words, he’s got the classic narcissist down to a T.
The kids gather in the library to toss around ideas for their senior ditch day. In the midst of the kids throwing around a bunch of horrible ideas Rachel suddenly has a guilt ridden outburst. “It’s not right,” says Rachel, who feels totally responsible for Quinn’s accident because she was reading a text from Rachel when the truck broadsided her. Quinn insists, “This is the way it is.” And anyway, it’s NOT Rachel’s fault. Quinn insists the accident won’t define her or ruin senior year. Quinn calls Rachel over for a healing hug. Aw. After, Quinn suggests they all ditch to the Six Flags amusement park (PRODUCT PLACEMENT!) and it’s decided.
Puck asks Finn to stay behind. He wants to move his pool business to Los Angeles, the Land of Pools and asks Finn to be his business partner Finn declines politely, because he’s going to New York with his future wife in the fall. Puck isn’t taking no for an answer. He asks Finn out to one of his jobs to fix a broken Jacuzzi, where he convinces Finn that maybe he should think about himself for once. After all, Rachel doesn’t have to live in New York to be an actress.
Sue invites Cooper to teach the kids what a real artist looks like. Cooper greets Sue with a full kiss on the mouth (Yes. He did) before announcing he’ll be back the next day to teach a “master class” in acting, Rachel wonders if the brothers ever sang together. As a matter of fact, according to Cooper, the two were “famous” around the neighborhood for their dueling Simon Le Bon impersonations! Cooper wants to sing. “We can’t do that,” says Blaine. “Oh no you have to,” pleads Kurt, “You’re both so handsome and good!”
Cooper coaxes Blaine to the front of the room for a little Rio/Hungry Like the Wolf medley and it’s pretty sensational. At one point, Cooper shoves Blaine out of the way to grab the spotlight for himself, and the jist of the beef becomes apparent. As the kids clap for their performance, Cooper turns to Blaine and says, “I was really great in that number!” as he ruffles Blaine’s gelled head.
Cooper and Blaine have lunch at Breadstix. Cooper talks to the waitress in a bizarre accent that’s supposed to be Irish. The waitress is buying it. Blaine rolls his eyes. Cooper compliments Blaine on his performance, but then immediately follows it up with criticism. “You were a little pitchy on Rio, and your moves lacked a theme.” Blaine blows up. “All you ever do is tell me what I’m doing wrong!” Cut to a childhood flashback of Cooper criticizing a little bow-tied Blaine that his moves to Mmm’Bop are completely off. “But I just learned to walk 3 years ago,” cries tiny Blaine. Cooper doesn’t remember any of the slights that have cut Blaine so deeply. In fact, he’s come back to Lima because he wants to become closer to Blaine. Right. Cooper is really just a clueless attention whore. Nevertheless, Blaine wants to try. He agrees to attend Cooper’s Master Class.
Cooper’s class is where the laughs really begin. As Blaine looks on horrified, Cooper proceeds to teach the worst acting class ever. LIKE EVER. “Buckle your seat belts, kids, I’m about to pour you a tall glass of this is how it is.” Cooper teaches the kids how to turn into a pose while looking like Nora Desmond, ready for her closeup. Some of the ill-advised acting tips Cooper passes on to the kids include pointing during really dramatic scenes–because when people are really emotional…they point their fingers a lot. Also, the key to really great acting is ignoring what the other actor is doing, so you can concentrate on your own awesome acting choices. The kids are scribbling excitedly in notebooks. “Why are you writing this down,” Blaine asks Kurt. When Blaine calls his brother on his terrible advice, Cooper reminds him that he’s not the one starring in a TV commercial. Nobody is on Blaine’s side. No wonder he’s pissed.
Bomer also chooses to use the phrase “cray cray” which makes me love him even more. Literally, tears were streaming down my face when he led the kids through some NCIS dialog. Oh, he just happened to have some “sides” from a recent audition. As the kids are acting out the scene, they point at each other and avoid eye contact. Cooper reprimands Blaine “Point your finger! Things are serious! A man in a dress is dead!” Blaine loses his temper, “Coop, you’re my brother! Can’t you just support me?” Cooper answers, “Are you talking to me right now? Because I can’t tell if you’re talking to me if you aren’t pointing your finger.” The kids nod their heads in agreement. Poor Blaine.
It’s a good thing Sue brings Will and Emma to her doctor’s appointment. Sue is so focused on the sex of the baby—she wants a girl—that she not thinking of the bigger picture. Sue learns the good news that her baby is a girl. But…there were irregularities in her test. It’s never said out loud, but it’s understood that the child she is carrying has Down ’s syndrome, just like her late big sister.
Cooper tells Blaine he’s cutting his trip short, because he just snagged an audition for a Michael Bay movie. After Cooper snarks that Blaine has got to stop letting Kurt pick out his clothes, and suggests he spend ditch day helping him run lines, Blaine turns on him. “It’s all about you, isn’t it? Well, big brother, I’m sick of it. And I’m not going to take it anymore.” And that’s Blaine’s cue to launch into “Fighter”. Yes, this Blaine-centric episode has him singing 3 out of the 5 songs. “Fighter” is intense, angry and an awesome excuse to show Blaine sweaty and boxing and shirtless in the shower. Yay. Not only that, he made me forget for a minute that Xtina sang it first. Not better, just different.
Artie warns Quinn that going to an amusement park while in a wheelchair will be kind of a bummer, and suggests the two of them do something special together. “It will be the most amazing and inspiring senior ditch day ever.” Meanwhile, the rest of the Glee gang, sans Blaine head off to Six Flags. The kids ride a roller coaster, while Artie and Quinn, go off to their own “crip skip’, as Artie calls it, to play in a skate park for the handicapped. The two scenes are cut together nicely, set to the bright, power poppy “Up Up Up” a lovely Quinn/Artie duet. Artie coaxes Quinn to try some fancy maneuvers and she succeeds, triumphantly. When Quinn reminds Artie that her situation is temporary, that she’s not like him, things get tense. “When are you going to stop pretending that this isn’t really happening to you,” Artie says bluntly as Quinn rolls angrily away.
Back at school. Joe, otherwise known as Teen Jesus, walks Quinn to class. He’s praying for her. But when she learns that he’s praying for her to essentially accept God’s will, rather than to walk again, she’s pissed at first, but then thinks again. She realizes that maybe she’s been a self absorbed bitch. She invites Joe to booty camp, where Joe officially joins New Directions.
At booty camp, Sue insults everyone in sight, before she admits that maybe she’d been a little bit hard on everyone. “Kids, it’s in my DNA to be intense, just like it’s in Porcelain’s DNA to poop rainbow glitter.” Sue is there because Will needs at least one other adult friend (TRUTH!) and hopes the miraculous life inside of her can soak up the kids “constantly annoying but admittedly laudable optimism and decency.” Sue promises to be nicer if the kids promise to work their talented little butts off until they are handed that first place trophy in Chicago.
WARNING! CUTE OVERLOAD! Kurt approaches Blaine from behind his locker with a stuffed doggie, “I’m Margaret Thatcher dog,” Kurt says, doing his best Meryl Streep, “my relationship with the Queen was RUFF.” ADORBS. After all that fawning over Cooper–despite how much it irritated Blaine–it’s time for Kurt to step up. And he does. Blaine was too bummed to go to senior skip day with the rest. Kurt offers the little toy—one of many Finn won for Rachel at the park—as a present. He convinces Blaine to make peace with his brother. After all, he and Finn fight all of the time, but in the end the two are in each other’s corners. Kurt’s arranges to have Cooper waiting for Blaine in the auditorium so they can patch things up. Could Kurt and Blaine be any cuter? I think not.
But instead of talking, the brother’s sing the haunting “Somebody That I Use to Know”, circling each other as they sing. The two lay everything out on the table in song. “That’s the best you’ve ever sounded,” Cooper tells Blaine after they finish. He’s tough on Blaine, but it’s only because he sees how “insanely talented” he is. The brothers hug! Cooper lingers. He wants to hold on to the feeling so he can use it in a scene someday. “You are ridiculous,” laughs Blaine. It turns out the audition for Michael Bay didn’t pan out, so Blaine offers to help Cooper make a tape to show the misguided director what big bro is really made of (OMG. This video exists. Check it out below). Blaine points to Coop to show that lesson 1 has really sunk in.
The episode closes with your typical Rachel/Finn angst. Finn asks Rachel to consider California. She says no way, she’s got her heart set on Broadway. “I need to be in New York,” insists Rachel, “And I need you with me. I can’t do this without you.”
“I want you to be really sure,” says Finn, “really sure that you’re in love with me, and not who you want me to be.”
Do you think those two crazy kids will ever get married? I hope not.
Download Glee from iTunes
- I’m Still Standing by Elton John – Artie & Quinn
- Hungry Like The Wolf/Rio – Duran Duran mashu – Blaine & Cooper
- Fighter by Christina Auguiler – Blaine
- Up Up Up by Giver – Quinn & Artie
- Somebody That I Used To Know by Goyte – Blaine & Cooper
HILARIOUS Michael Bay audition video feat Cooper and Blaine
Rio/Hungry Like the Wolf
Somebody That I Used To Know
Big Brother Behind the Scenes
Saturday Night Glee-Ver Promo