On tonight’s Glee, Kurt and Blaine develop relationship issues when Blaine gains “the freshman 15.” Hint: Kurt is hotter than ever. Oops. Sam, Artie, Kurt and Blaine decide to get tested for STDs. Unfortunately, one of them receives bad news. In the struggle to make the decision to take her relationship with Sam to the next level, Mercedes reveals a secret.
Yes, tonight’s Glee is all about sex. When and how much to do it, and the consequences therein. There are only 4 performances in “Tested.” and they’re all from the fabulous decade of the 80s! You can listen to full versions of the songs below.
As always, I’ll be back with a performance videos and a FULL recap.
An STD PSA that’s done in the style of a WWII era newsreel kicks the off the episode with a snarky, light hearted tone. Don’t even think you’re not in danger from sexually transmitted diseases just because: You’re a handsome idiot, A debonair homosexual, a hapless invalid or a strapping male soprano. Guess who! Ha. My favorite line in the bit came as the boys bellied up to the nurses’ station to grab a pee container: “Just say: I think I may have the clap, please!”
As Glee episodes usually do, things get serious soon enough. The title “Tested” refers to the guys actually getting tested for STDS–with the most unexpected amongst them receiving bad news. Also tested–the show’s current core relationships.
In the case of Kurt and Blaine, the balance of power has shifted between them. Kurt is no longer the innocent baby penguin, in need of protection. And for Blaine, the success that came so easily to him in high school is now out of reach. It was always a little painful to watch Kurt struggle so much. He was bullied. He lost out on solos, lead roles in musicals, the class presidency. He was turned down by NYADA at the first pass. Kurt was plucky, strong and determined. He always knew who he was and what he wanted. No matter how many times he got knocked down, he picked himself back up and continued to follow his dreams.
Success came easy to Blaine. He got handed the solos and the leads in the school musical. He won the class presidency handily. He was accepted to NYADA just like that. Everybody wanted Blaine, while Kurt never quite fit in. A funny thing can happen to kids who get things handed to them in high school. When they move on to college, and are suddenly a small fish in a big pond, it can be quite the shock. Blaine’s transition to life in New York City is difficult. For the first time in his life, he’s surrounded by people who are at least as talented as he is. For the first time, he’s going to have to strive for the things that he wants.
On the other hand, Kurt took his dogged attitude to New York and thrived. When he hit the Big Apple, he continued to fight hard for the things that he wanted, and the work paid off. The result was a new found confidence that he was not afraid to flaunt. He shed the baby fat and bulked up. Kurt Hummel was not only fashionable, but a hottie as well!
Blaine soothes himself with food and gains the dreaded “freshman 15.” He watches as his fiancé is ogled by other guys, admired by everyone around him for his talent and bravery. Instead of being proud and happy for his partner, Blaine seethes with jealousy and envy. He attempts to sabotage Kurt’s diet. When Kurt refuses a rich meal, Blaine becomes instantly defensive about his own weight. When Kurt discovers gay porn on Blaine’s computer, all of the building tension between them explodes. Kurt wonders why Blaine is indulging in gay porn, when they haven’t had sex in a week. Furious, Kurt storms out of Blaine’s apartment.
It all comes to a head when they face off in combat class. In an awesomely choreographed fight scene, Blaine and Kurt sing “Love is a Battlefield.” The face off become more and more intense until it’s just the two of them, fencing. Blaine comes after Kurt with a vengeance, but ultimately, Kurt kicks his ass.
Love is a Battlefield – Kurt and Blaine
Kurt is finally allowed to blossom. In the past, he was always buttoned up to his neck, in layers and long sleeves. Now, we see him pressing pushups wearing only a pair of tight underwear, and eagerly volunteering to be skins in a fight exercise. As he casually takes off his shirt, he explains in voice over, that after “a little working out and little protein,” his outside self matches up to his inside self. “I feel pretty comfortable in my skin,” he says, “and that feels good.” At the same time, he realizes that Blaine is struggling. “I can’t let my new confidence erode his.” Should Kurt hide his light under a bushel in order to shore up Blaine’s sagging ego?
Meanwhile, like Kurt, Artie is finding success in film school he could only have dreamed about in high school. As a newly minted “auteur,” the girls around him are super impressed with his talent. His fashion choices, considered nerdy in high school, are hipster cool in Brooklyn. Artie is finding his niche! Unfortunately, he’s not as disciplined as Kurt. His new found position as a babe magnet leads him to sample whatever he can. He’s sleeping with two girls at the same time–both of them hilariously pretentious. Artie demonstrates his new found swag in a dream sequence that’s a takeoff on the iconic 80’s “Addicted to Love” music video. His girls, hair pulled back, play space-aged retro guitars. They sing their way into the night as they leave a David Cronenberg film festival. It’s always a good episode of Glee when Kevin McHale’s soulful voice makes an all too rare appearance.
Addicted To Love – Artie
Julie, the girl he REALLY likes, is smart, sweet, down to earth, and unfortunately not available. When he finally gets the courage to ask her out–while they work together on one of his films–she turns him down.
Another couple put to the test is Mercedes and Sam. Now that they are officially a thing, Sam does what any 19 year old guy would do. He wants to get him some. Mercedes won’t even let him get to second base, and the reason turns out to be that she’s still a virgin. Sam gives her the line that he’s willing to be patient and wait until she’s ready. But in his head, he’s thinking it will be a few weeks, or months tops. Mercedes has other ideas. The first step Sam takes to prove his worthiness to Mercedes is to get himself tested for STDs. He figures if he can prove he’s clean, Mercedes’ fears will just melt away. Obviously, Sam knows nothing about women! When he reveals his plans to the other guys, they volunteer to get tested with him.
Blaine and Kurt are confident. After Blaine cheated with Eli C., they both tested negative. Sam gets the clean bill of heath he expected. Testing positive, however, is Artie. He has Chlamydia and will have to go on a regimen of antibiotics. Artie is so overwhelmed and full of shame, he imagines himself as a giant STD, ensconced in a giant slime green costume. Any minute I expected him to jump out of his chair and sing “Headin on down to STD-ville!” which actually would have been pretty funny.
When he reveals his status to the guys, they can’t believe it. Sam goes ballistic when Artie admits that he hasn’t been using condoms. “Artie needs to be slut shamed!” yells Sam, “I’m slut shaming you Artie!” He’s so naive, Artie doesn’t realize he has to tell the girls he’s sleeping with.
Red headed Vanessa completely loses her cool when she finds out. “You are patient zero, and I’m going to tell everyone to stay away from you!” she screams. He braces himself for a shit storm when he tells the other girl, purple haired Jessica. “Don’t worry about it. I’ll just stop by the free clinic after class,” she says breezily. “For all we know, I could have given it to you.” There you go. As luck would have it, Artie’s dream girl finally agrees to go out with him. He says yes, but he’s faced with a dilemma, to say the least.
When Sam accompanies Mercedes to church, of all places, he whips out his test results, expecting Mercedes to be impressed. She’s freaked out instead, explaining that her indecision about going all the way has nothing to do with superficialities. She wants to turn to God for the answers. In church, she sings “I Want to Know What Love Is” with the choir. (Can you pick out Amber Riley’s mom?) After Mercedes prays on it, she drops a bomb. She’s not ever going to be ready, because God is telling her to wait until she’s married. Welp. You can imagine Sam’s reaction to that. He’s got to think about it for a minute.
I Want to Know What Love Is – Mercedes
Fun fact: On twitter, Amber Riley revealed that she urged the writers to change the script. Originally, Mercedes gave it up. Amber thought it was important to have another point of view represented.
Artie takes Julie to the Spotlight diner. He’s so paranoid, that he imagines the conversation with Kurt as he takes their order filled with references to STDs. He panics. But instead of coming clean about his dubious health situation to Julie, he suggests that they don’t have sex for the next 7 to 10 days. It’s a completely bizarre thing to say 5 minutes into a first date, and Julie is pretty much WTF?!? Sam and Mercedes are having dinner in another section of the restaurant. After, they all wind up outside by the water singing “Let’s Wait for Awhile.” Sam is getting the message, but poor Julie has no idea why this crazy guy she just met is insisting they don’t have sex.
Let’s Wait Awhile – Mercedes and Artie
When they finally talk, Blaine admits that he went hard after Kurt in combat class because he wanted to prove that he was just as strong as his newly buff boyfriend. For the first time in his life, he feels like he’s losing. He can’t handle that, for the first time in their relationship, Kurt is far ahead of him. When he first met Kurt, and helped him deal with the bullies, he loved being able to protect him. But now that Kurt is independent, Blaine is afraid that he won’t need him anymore. Blaine hasn’t been intimate with Kurt, because his “amazing new body,” makes him feel insecure. Fapping off to a porn site is just a way to avoid being judged.
Kurt assures Blaine that he won’t judge him. At the same time, that power shift? Too bad. Kurt isn’t going to apologize for not being some “delicate flower that needs his boyfriend to protect him.” If there’s going to be a race, Kurt wants them to run it together, AS EQUALS. A tearful Blaine admits he’s scared that Kurt will keep changing and some day realize that he doesn’t love Blaine anymore. Kurt insists that he will always love Blaine, but you have to wonder if this is the beginning of the end. There isn’t a resolution here, really. Kurt loves Blaine, but he’s too fierce to allow anyone to hold him back from his dreams. In high school, Kurt stood off to the side while Blaine basked in the spotlight. Blaine needs to stop being a clingy, whiny boyfriend and allow Kurt his moment to shine.
Artie admits to Julie that the reason their date was so weird and inappropriate was the secret he was hiding–that he’s recovering from an STD. Ironically, she s more upset that he would date two of the stupidest girls she knows, rather than nearly exposing her to disease. “You’re a creeper, Artie, ” Julie says. “Congratulations on totally skeeving me out.” And in a twist on sexual politics, it’s the man who is shunned and ridiculed for liking sex. Even with the tables turned, slut shaming still bugs me.
Mercedes comes home to a house full of candles. It’s Sam, and he’s done some praying too. He’s come to the conclusion that he loves Mercedes so much, he’s willing to live without sex. If this relationship stretched credulity before, now my eyes are totally rolling to the back of my head. They kiss. And nope. I’m still not buying it. Not only is there no chemistry, I can’t figure out what it is that draws them together. It feels like the writers just randomly threw them together, in order to create another random Glee couple.
Rachel doesn’t figure much in this episode, except in two pivotal scenes. In the first, Mercedes comes to her for advice on sex. Rachel reassures her, that when the time is right, she’ll know, and not worry about her lack of experience. It’s a real girl-talk moment. The second comes near the end of the episode. It’s bittersweet, as Rachel confided that she’s not sure when she’ll be ready for another relationship in the wake of Finn’s death. She actually mentions the little moment she and Sam had back in “Moving Out,” but she attributes it to feeling homesick. Sam was close to Finn, and understood how she felt. “This is closed for business,” Rachel says of her sex life. Being ready to allow other men into her life is “like a line between your past and your future. I’ll draw it when I’m ready.” She likens her situation to Mercedes’, who will also listen to her heart and know when it’s time to take the next step.
The episode ends with the boys at lunch. Blaine, on a trendy juice cleanse, decides he’s willing to do only so much for his art. Healthy eating and that abs class Kurt suggested is probably the way to go. Meanwhile, Artie soothes his broken heart (and tempts poor Blaine) with a giant hot fudge sundae. Sam’s suggestion that they start an all-male abstinence club in New York City is met with a resounding thud. He’s is going to have to suffer solo on that one