Adam Rose/Fox


S2 E3
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October 06, 2010 at 04:01 AM EDT

It all comes down to a battle between God and Madonna. Brutes, right? Yes, on my personal “Best of Glee list,” it’s a neck-and-neck fight to the finish between tonight’s ridiculously amazing episode, “Grilled Cheesus,” and last spring’s “The Power of Madonna.” I may just have to call it a tie. But in the wake of Finn’s religious experience, here’s my own revelation: I worship Glee. And I especially want to give praise to the show’s latest telecast, which was not only funny and moving, but incredibly important. Can anyone think of a recent show that tackled religion so tastefully and sensitively in the 8 p.m. hour? And yet at the same time, the episode didn’t skimp on that trademark Glee snark, with the plot revolving around a religious vision on a toasted cheese sandwich. As Ryan Murphy told me last week, “Grilled Cheesus” has even more poignancy in light of the recent gay youth suicides that have dominated the news cycle. At this very moment, the social importance of a show that promotes a message of tolerance and support — and of characters who drive that message home as powerfully as Kurt and Burt Hummel  — cannot be underestimated. On that note, let’s take a moment to pray:

Dear Grilled Cheesus, Chris Colfer deserves an Emmy. As does Mike O’Malley. As does everyone involved in this episode. This. Is. Great. Television. Colfer doing “I Want to Hold Your Hand” was just heartbreaking. Utterly. Completely. Heartbreaking. Same for his performance in this episode. I can’t believe this kid is so young and has such tremendous range. Thanks for listening. Love, Tim.

Who else was loving the cute flashbacks of Kurt and his dad, too? I especially delighted in the fact that little Kurt wore a bowtie and a Members Only jacket. I wish I had such inherent style as a kid. I used to wear peach shorts, hiked up above my bellybutton—it was not a good look. Anyway, from what Michael Ausiello reported the other day, it seems as if we should brace for additional flashbacks to younger versions of New Directions members as the season progresses.

Better still, this week’s script provided opportunities for the entire cast to shine, especially Amber Riley as Mercedes. Mercedes and Kurt had such lovely scenes together, and she provided a great counter to Kurt’s own skepticism about religion. I especially liked the moment in the hall when she admitted to Kurt that she didn’t know how to talk to him. The awkwardness between the pair felt real, but it also made sense that Kurt wouldn’t allow his own anger and sadness to get in the way of their friendship.

Finn was basically the instigator for all the episode’s emphasis on God, and his plotline managed to infuse the heavy, emotionally intense proceedings with much-needed moments of humor and light. But I also liked seeing Finn get so upset when he found out that Burt was in the hospital. Finn so often seems out of it, so focused on, well, boobs and such, that it was nice to see some deeper emotions come to the surface.

I also loved finding out that Rachel thinks she’ll have won a bunch of Tonys by the time she’s 25, which is also the magic age of when she’ll have sex. On a related note, did Finn’s room shrink? It was so tiny. I’m surprised they both could fit in there at the same time. Her pond-side Yentl performance with Finn was one of my highlights of the night (more on that in a moment).

NEXT: Rating this week’s musical performances; compiling the episode’s best lines.

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