“Applause” vs. “Roar”! “Roar” vs. “Applause”! It’s the question we were defiantly asked all summer, a real pop music Sophie’s choice (if Sophie had to choose between playlists instead of her progeny).
Tonight’s return episode of Glee addressed summer’s LadyPerryGate 2013 head-on with the aptly named “A Katy or a Gaga,” which found the New Directions and New Yorkers both celebrating their love of the world’s biggest pop queens. (Elsewhere, Rihanna is crying in a hopeless place.)
After last month’s Cory Monteith farewell “The Quarterback,” things have mostly returned to normal for the Glee characters. Everyone appears to have re-adjusted to the way things were, except for Rachel, who’s still in a dark place despite recently winning the lead in the Broadway production of Funny Girl. Understandably so, Rachel decides to sit out when Kurt proposes that he’s going to start a band, but of course, Santana and Demi Lovato’s Dani are both on board.
In Lima, Mr. Schue tells the club the other teams they’ll be competing against at Nationals: the Rust-Belters, the Thunder Showcats and Throat Explosion, a “supergroup” that only admits students who log 10,000 hours of show choir rehearsal (which is 416 days, because math). They live their art, see, just like mini Lady Gagas.
Unfortunately, Tina thinks that McKinley lost their biggest Gaga when Kurt graduated; instead, they’re a room full of Katy Perrys. Unique disagrees: “You best check your spectrum, Queen T, because orange is the new black and Unique is the new Gaga.” Tina outs Marley, Sam and Blaine as Katy Perrys, while claiming that she, Unique and Kitty are pure Gagas. (Ryder asks for a third option, but nobody acknowledges his existence.) Rather than put a pin in the argument and continue planning for Nationals, Mr. Schue gives the kids an assignment. The Gagas will do Katy songs, and vice versa. And we’re off!
In the hallway, Sam is chilling out, maxin’, relaxin’ (all cool) at his locker when Nurse Penny arrives. (Now, it should be noted that I don’t approve of a relationship between a school nurse and a student, especially a man-child like Sam and a child-nurse like Penny.) Sam inquires about her gigantic arm tattoo, but she calmly explains, “I like to tat up when I go to Skrillex concerts.” Penny says she has a musical dark side, and Sam’s intrigued, but Penny seems put off when she notices that Sam has a poster in his locker of the 2008-2011 Nickelodeon series True Jackson, VP. Well, Nurse Penny is flat-out disgusted by this. “This is not how I saw you at all. Weren’t you a stripper?” she asks, as if that’s more acceptable somehow. “We prefer the term erotic entertainer,” says Sam. Ha. He asks her out, but she demurs because she already has plans with her ex to go to a Nine Inch Nails concert in 1997 Columbus. She glances at the poster again, because that’s her dealbreaker of dealbreakers, and then just like that, Nurse Spring Awakening trots off.
NEXT: Kurt books a rehearsal space!