Glee recap: Dreadlocks + Jeff Goldblum = Valentine's Day!
Rachel's dads react to her engagement; Glee Project winner Samuel Larsen makes his debut
Just think: During last year’s Valentine’s Day episode, Kurt was still trying to woo Blaine. A lot has happened on the show since then, probably since each episode of Glee has more plots than a cemetery.
Glee‘s 2012 Valentine episode, “Heart,” was no exception: We met Rachel’s dads, Samcedes hit yet another stumbling block, Finchel had their first spat, Brittana was persecuted for a public display of lesbianism, McKinley’s religious contingent formed a sub-glee club, and Artie competed for the affections of Sugar against the soon-to-be-deported Rory, who may actually be lying about that. Whew! And yeah, somehow they worked some songs in here and there.
To kick the episode off, Sugar gave Mr. Schuester some money to shut him about New Directions needing another bake sale or whatever, and then announced that her rich dad had taken over Breadstix for Valentine’s Day. She was throwing a Sugar Shack love bash and all were invited—as long as you had a date, because single people are, in her eyes, “Sad and boring and they don’t exist in my world.”
Wait a tick, isn’t Sugar single? Yep, and that was the cue for Artie and Rory to start plotting how to get Sugar in the raw.
More importantly, we finally met Rachel’s gay dads (they were alluded to as far back as the pilot). Played by Broadway star Brian Stokes Mitchell and the one and only Jeff Goldblum, the two Mr. Berrys surprised Finn and Rachel in the McKinley auditorium with a partially tone-deaf rendition of “Chapel of Love” (guess which one can’t sing? Hint: It’s the human fly). The Berrys had found out about her secret engagement, but suspiciously enough, they weren’t angry at the news. On the contrary, they had invited the Hummel-Hudsons over for a big three-family celebration.
The first proper love song of the episode was a duet on Nat King Cole’s classic “L-O-V-E” between Tina and Mike. First off, remember Tina? She’s back! Was she getting eye surgery with Blaine? We may never know. Secondly: Wow, Mike Chang’s voice sounded great last night, and it didn’t reek of Auto-Tune either. Methinks someone paid for vocal lessons, which is probably a good career move and a tax write-off to boot.
In the lunch room, Kurt received a Gorilla Gram from a secret admirer. Yes, Gorilla Gram is a real thing, because there’s nothing more romantic than a sweaty man in a rubber gorilla suit giving you balloons and flowers. Kurt seemed oblivious to the idea that his “secret admirer” was probably someone other than Blaine, but my guess that Gene Parmesan was the idiot in the gorilla costume proved false as well.
Eager to show her love in mixtape form, Brittany made Santana an “Infinite Playlist” of songs that made Brittany think of her feisty girlfriend, (“Purple People Eater” was first on the list, which is strangely apt). Just as they were about to share a V-Day kiss, Principal Figgins cried out “Teen lesbians!” and warned them against public displays of gay. Santana verbally smacked him down, but Figgins insisted he had received a complaint from a student whose identity remained unknown even at the end of the episode.
Intent on wooing Sugar and sending Rory back to the Emerald Isle, Artie busted out some serious sex appeal on Mario’s “Let Me Love You.” Unfortunately for Artie, Rory started talking about his impending deportation and sang Sugar that Michael Bublé song about missing home and all that schmaltz. In the end, Rory won Sugar’s fickle affections because she felt “even more sorry” for him. Ah, pity dates!
NEXT: Samuel Larsen — the other winner of The Glee Project — makes his debut as a devout, dreadlocked Christian
Just when it was looking like we were going to lose one of the characters given to us by The Glee Project, the reality series’ other winner reared his dreadlocked head. Samuel Larsen—the contestant with the hair of a Greenpeace volunteer but the beliefs (and tattoos) of a devoted Christian—was introduced as Joe Hart.
Dreadlocks Joe immediately joined Mercedes, Sam, and Quinn in their new club, “the God Squad.” While I’m not really sure what it does at McKinley, apparently it provides $10 singing telegrams. Why? I don’t know, maybe they’re inspired by that beatitude: “Blessed are the Gleeks, for they shall inherit the earth.”
After a very public singing telegram from Finn to Rachel, Santana challenged the religious newcomer to deliver a singing telegram from her to her girlfriend. Dreadlocked Joe looked confused, as if the thought of a gay person hearing him sing had never crossed his mind.
Cue the next scene, a WWJD discussion between the God Squad’s four members about homosexuality. After some nice platitudes and discussion about how the Bible tells us a lot of crazy things, Dreadlocks promised to think and pray on the issue.
Something about all that God and moralizing made Mercedes feel bad about kissing Sam (once!) while dating Shane. Surprisingly, she told Shane about it—and even more surprisingly, she said he cried about it. Just when it seemed that Samcedes was set to launch, she told Sam her guilty conscious must keep them apart. If these two don’t get together soon, I’m voting we just call the whole thing off, because I’m tired of these false starts.
At the very least, Mercedes’ decision allowed for the strangely coincidental inclusion of Whitney Houston’s signature tune “I Will Always Love You.” Its presence here was pure chance—the episode was finished before Houston passed—but it took on an unsettling, elegiac quality given the sudden death of the woman most famous for singing it.
As for the Berry-Hummel-Hudson family dinner, it turned out that yes, the parents were all in cahoots and hoping that by playing it cool, the engaged teenage couple would realize they were in way over their heads. By allowing Rachel and Finn to share a bed in their house, the Berrys hoped they would realize how difficult a relationship is when you get used to each others’ daily grind.
Sure enough, they ended up having a huge fight, with Finn weirded out by Rachel’s nighttime wash routine and Rachel unwilling to let Finn relieve himself from “a big dinner” at her house. As the two audibly quarreled, the gay dads clinked wine glasses, confirming conservative fears that gay couples are, in fact, trying to destroy marriage.
But psych! Rachel and Finn made up in no time and decided to move the wedding date up to May. After that backfire, the Berry Dads looked on in horror as their naïve little angel and her big doofy boyfriend toddled off to Breadstix for Sugar’s Valentine’s party.
Already at the Sugar Shack (Breadstix), Kurt had discovered an unfortunate fact about his secret admirer: It wasn’t Blaine, it was a gorilla! Kidding, that would have been random and ludicrous. Actually it was Dave Karofsky, dressed in that gorilla suit, suddenly proclaiming that he loved Kurt and wanted to be with him. Which was far more random and ludicrous.
It’s not an absurd plot twist that Karofsky would harbor feelings for Kurt—after all, it was Kurt who first made Karofsky challenge his own sexuality. But it’s absurd that Karofsky would think secret messages delivered in a gorilla outfit and an out-of-the-blue admission of his love would sway Kurt from Blaine. The whole thing came across as vaguely stalker-ish on Karofsky’s part, and contrived on the part of the show. (Incidentally, Greek‘s Aaron Hill popped in for a second. We’ll see where that goes.)
But that’s why Glee has songs: to wipe the slate clean from bizarre plot twists. After a Madonna/Association mash-up, the whole crew took on the B-52’s. Yes, the whole crew was there, even those who weren’t part of a couple. Apparently Sugar’s singles-only policy was very lax—unless Artie counts his wheelchair as a life partner.
NEXT: Grading the songs and extracting the choice quotesThe Songs:
“Chapel of Love,” The Dixie Cups: Goldblum can barely talk like a normal person, much less sing like one, but the charm of seeing him and Broadway vet Mitchell roll out with a piano made this acceptably fun. B-
“L-O-V-E,” Nat King Cole: As I mentioned earlier, Mike Chang can suddenly sing! It was nice to hear his vocal improvement and just to hear from Tina at all, even if their duet was mostly a backdrop to an Artie-Rory-Sugar montage. B
“Let Me Love You,” Mario: Oh, Artie, how are you so effortlessly convincing? You wear a sweater vest every day! Still, spot-on smooth. B+
“Stereo Hearts,” Gym Class Heroes ft. Adam Levine: Joe Hart’s vocal debut on Glee proper was fine, but Sam’s rapping was not. And do the gospel singers from Mercedes’ church really have nothing better to do in the middle of a workday than serenade a high school girl? I know, I know, suspension of disbelief, but their attempt to explain the presence of backup singers made it far worse than if they had just let it be. B-
“Home,” Michael Bublé: Rory tried tugging at the heartstrings while I began tugging at my remote. Too schmaltzy for my tastes. C+
“I Will Always Love You,” Whitney Houston: Almost as affecting as Jennifer Hudson’s performance at the Grammys. Bravo, Amber Riley. A
“You’re The Top,” Cole Porter: Goofy, lighthearted family fun: Even if only one of the Berrys in this bunch can sing. B-
“Cherish,” The Association/”Cherish,” Madonna: Quinn sounded great on the God Squad’s vocal Valentine to Brittany from Santana, but at that point I was just antsy for the Chrysler that’s as big as a whale. B
“Love Shack,” The B-52’s: Mercedes sounded perfectly at east, but sadly, Blaine could not get a grip on the fantastically campy otherness of the B-52’s. Luckily, Kurt’s take on Fred Schneider’s voice was insanely fun. Tiiiiiin roof! Rusted….. B+
“I like Carol after three Chardonnays!” –LeRoy Berry (Brian Stokes Mitchell) referring to Finn’s mom
“Honesty, respect, dance. Those are the foundations of the Berry family.” –Hiram Berry (Jeff Goldblum)
“Now on to the teenage lovemaking.” –Hiram to Finn and Rachel
“Don’t sweat the small stuff, and it’s all small stuff when you’re rich!” –Sugar #OccupySugar
“We aren’t all just door-to-door Bible salesmen like my dad.” –Joe Hart, talking about religious teens
“I fully support your right to be unhappy with Finn for the rest of your lives.” –Santana to Rachel
“An ice-water bath, à la Joan Crawford in Mommie Dearest. The height of glamor.” –Rachel on her nighttime routine
If there’s an awesome quote I forgot to include, post it below! What did you think of the Valentine’s episode? I’m looking forward to more of the Berrys, but I’m feeling fairly neutral on Dreadlocks Dude at McKinley. Your take? Sound off below!