Tyler Golden/FOX


S5 E19
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May 07, 2014 at 10:50 AM EDT

I’m going to guess that a lot of you might not even be able to focus on last night’s episode of Glee, considering it ended with that Brittany/Blaine mayhem in the promo for next week‘s episode. But we all just have to agree to move past this for the next seven days, because there’s no way to know to what lengths Glee would go just to mess with our minds. I’m thinking…not THAT far. Surely, not that far. Fingers crossed that it will all be a sexually confusing dentist’s chair hallucination. It almost always is.

Let’s focus on the task at hand: the littlest Renaissance man that could, Chris Colfer, wrote this week’s episode, “Old Dog, New Tricks.” In addition to Golden Globe winner and New York Times bestselling author, Colfer can add “very competent Glee writer” to his freakish list of accomplishments by the age of 23. This wasn’t a plot heavy episode of Glee, but given that last week saw Rachel go from being the hottest new thing on Broadway to being totally **over it**, we were probably due for a little break. Rather, this episode gave us a kind of consistency and continuity that we’ve no longer come to expect from the writing on Glee. It may not have been the most important hour, but Colfer brought a truly unique storyline to the table for his own under-served character, Kurt. And what proved most interesting was seeing the surprising way he connected with the other characters for whom he was writing.

And then, of course, there were Tim Conway, June Squibb, and a lot of puppies.

Here’s What You Missed on Glee reminds us exactly how many storylines last week’s episode opened up — Rachel as a TV star! Mercedes and Santana on their way to becoming the next Brandy and Monica! Shirley MacLaine! — and then promptly ignores every single one of them in favor of what is basically a bottle episode, with just a dash of “petulant Rachel” carryover, and a heaping side of “don’t forget, Sam and Mercedes are already way, way in love.” It’s pretty funny to hear the voiceover lay out what everyone is doing with their lives (Broadway star, recording artist…also recording artist) and have Kurt sound like a loser for going to a prestigious fine arts school and holding down a fun job. But as Kurt will later tell us, compared to his friends, the kid just can’t catch a break. And it’s time for that to change.

But first, Rachel Berry continues her ever-so-slight transformation into Lea Michele: Rachel has found a blind item on broadwaybuzzer.com about a certain newly minted starlet who’s been skipping out on performances to meet with TV execs in L.A. Newly minted blonde Santana says that to pull off an Angelina-like metamorphosis, all she needs is a publicist and a cause. And she’s never even kind of made out with her brother in public, so this should be a cinch. Snixx offers herself up as a temporary expert on relating to the public, and now if she could just find a good cause — oh look, Rachel’s screaming at a woman about how she’s treating her dog. Rachel Berry: animal lover.

Kurt is manning the front bar at the diner when in walks the wonderful June Squibb, asking Kurt to hang flyers for the Lexington Home for Retired Performers’ production of Peter Pan. In another reality, Squibb and Santana are joining up as an unbeatable stage marketing and PR duo; in this reality, Kurt suddenly finds himself opening up about his feelings of inadequacy next to his scene-stealing friends. When did he become the mother in a Nancy Meyers movie? If anyone understands, it’s June Squibb, aka, Maggie Banks, whom Kurt immediately recognizes as the former star of “one of the biggest Broadway flops in history,” Helen Keller: The Musical. But before we can learn more about that (and I want to know everything), two beefy workers from the Lexington Home have found Maggie on her not-entirely-approved guerrilla marketing campaign, and are taking her back the 18 blocks she traversed. Her offer to “drive this time” is just perfect — those little under-the-breath asides are something Colfer has mastered as a performer and, it seems, as a writer.

NEXT: A dance among the dogs

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Jane Lynch, Lea Michele, and high school anxiety star in Fox’s campy musical.
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