Kurt struggles with his feelings, and April Rhodes rolls back into town


S1 E16
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April 28, 2010 at 04:00 PM EDT

It’s not easy coming off ”one of the best hours of television you’ll see all year,” but I think Glee took the right path by choosing a more subtle, quiet episode. If last week’s episode was the Madonna night, then this week’s was the Burt Bacharach night. Or the Kristin Chenoweth night since the Broadway star took center stage with three major numbers. I think it may have been a teensy too much Cheno, but I understand  wanting to maximize that voice.

In all honesty, I didn’t love ”Home” the first time I watched it. But the problem was I had watched it right after the Madonna episode, which is so fast-paced and exuberant — ”Home” is different. It’s one of those episodes that probably won’t yield a big iTunes hit (well, maybe ”Beautiful”) but it added such depth to the characters. It takes a pretty ambitious show to include four major music numbers while also tackling teen girl body issues and parents struggling with their children’s sexuality. For those that say Glee is silly, take a better look at ”Home.”

First of all, there is no better place for April Rhodes than a roller-skating rink (”Rinky Dinks”). And I’m obsessed with her microphones, which looked like they were  from the Ed Hardy collection. Also, I have now stolen her line, ”I’m full-time fancy now!” I keep it! It’s mine! But that entire initial interaction between April and Will made me almost cry I was laughing so hard. Chenoweth is definitely deserving of an Emmy for her work as April. Also, I sorta wished her and Will’s duet of ”Fire” never ended. It was incredibly entertaining.

You almost want Will and April to get together because they have such great chemistry, but then you also know that they’d be a big mess. It’s one of those pairs that’s better when they only see each other every couple months. And, though it seemed like a happy ending for April once she landed $2 million from her dead boyfriend’s wife, I have a feeling she’ll be returning to McKinley. I would, however, love an episode in which New Directions takes a field trip to New York to see her all-white production of The Wiz.

It makes me so happy to see Chris Colfer getting more screentime. I think he’s just pitch-perfect. Kurt’s relationship with Finn is just such a great storyline as is Kurt’s relationship with his father, Burt (Mike O’Malley). Those are the moments that help to ground the series when it has big outlandish production numbers. Much has been written about how Kurt is the emotional center of the show, and it’s completely true: No one else embodies the show’s theme of struggle and acceptance more than Kurt, and ”Home” was probably the best showcase for this yet.

Who would ever have thought O’Malley, the star of the heinous CBS sitcom Yes, Dear, could be such a subtle and wonderful actor. I almost take back anything bad I’ve ever said about Yes, Dear. Almost.

Finn and his mother, Carole (Romy Rosemont, fantastic), really had some terrific scenes as well. I love that slowly the writers are letting us into the home lives of these kids, too. And Finn learning to bond with Burt — much to the disappointment of Kurt — is a storyline with a heap of potential.

The weight loss subplot involving Mercedes may have been one of Glee‘s riskiest and edgiest storylines to date. Talking about teenage girl’s weight is definitely a tricky topic, but the producers handled it quite well. And I loooove this new friendship between Mercedes and Quinn. Their scene together in the nurses office was really touching and sweet. Damn, these kids can act.

NEXT: On to scoring the music!

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