The Glee club kids discover their inner diva, plus a surprise kiss and Santana’s return

By Erin Strecker
February 08, 2013 at 06:15 AM EST
Adam Rose/Fox
S4 E13
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Beyoncé, Barbra, Madonna…Jean Valjean? All were represented last night on a very divalicioius hour of Glee. Lesson of the Week themes have returned (Thanks, Emma!) and that meant that in order to toughen the kids up for Regionals — because, thanks to that sexy calendar last week, the McKinley kids are going once again —  Finn decided to make this week’s lesson all about divas. Happily, this meant viewers were treated to songs by some pretty great singers (tunes that were made for covers!), which made for an extremely entertaining hour that also had a few genuinely surprising plot twists.

With Emma as a guest judge for diva week – because when you think diva, you think Ms. Pillsbury —  the kids were all excited about showing off their inner divas, particularly Blaine, oddly enough. “Men can be divas,” he repeatedly told anyone who would listen.  He would know. After changing into a leather jacket and hat (keep a spare in your locker, you never know when a diva emergency will strike!) he did his best Freddie Mercury and sang “Don’t Stop Me Now,” complete with piano playing, dancing, and more than enough attitude. If you haven’t ever danced around a room to “Don’t Stop Me Now” like Blaine did, you’re seriously missing out.

It was going to be a tough act to beat, no question. So Emma brought in an alum, as one does for high school activities. The moment Santana sashayed in in a cheerleading uniform and belted out “Nutbush City Limits,” viewers remembered how much they missed her. But attitude wasn’t the only thing Santana brought to McKinley; she also brought Elaine, her “out and proud, lipstick wearing, AfterEllen-reading girlfriend.” Brittany was not impressed. Afterwards, Sam and Santana hashed out their relationship conflict in the auditorium by having a fight. And of course, this is Glee, so “fight” meant a killer sad duet that Brittany overheard.  “She’s with me now, and you know that’s the best thing for her. Just let her go,” Sam said. “Never,” Santana replied.

NEXT: Tina still has a crush on Blaine; Blaine is still gay

In other McKinley diva news, Tina decided she wanted to be one, and via voiceover decided she was done being upstaged, especially by Santana. “She doesn’t even go to this school!” Damien from Mean Girls Tina declared in her head. Somehow in Tina’s mind, “being a diva” meant going after a gay guy, which meant, yes, Tina’s crush on Blaine was still going strong, and he was still oblivious. He was also sick, which gave Tina time to plan and pounce. After giving him a cold-fighting care package, Blaine invited Tina over to his house to help her choose a song for diva week. Tina naturally took this for a date.

While at casa de Blaine, Tina grilled him on past relationships, and Blaine explained he was a “Gold Star Gay” who’d only ever kissed one girl: Rachel, who did not count. (But it was a part of this fantastically fun number! Never forget!) He was getting drowsy, so they curled up in bed together, and then as he was dozing off, Tina let loose with some bombshells: “Divas are brutally honest, and if I want to be like them, I have to be honest too. Blaine, I’m falling in love with you. Even if we had a sexless relationship, which many Asian girls and gay guys do, it would be worth it.” Thankfully (?) Blaine was already asleep, so he missed this going-nowhere confessional. But Tina took it a step further and unbuttoned his shirt, rubbed some decongestant cream on his chest, and cried. Glee is sad sometimes, but this may have been one of the most tragic scenes of all. Oh, Tina. Kim Kardashian thinks this is desperate. Move on.

The next day she freaked out to a confused Blaine about taking her for granted, and then Tina Cohen Chang performed her big diva number. Donning a pink leotard, Tina Madonna’d about the school yard convincingly enough to win Glee’s diva competition of the week, which seemed so incredibly inconsequential compared to all the big revelations we got in the last 10 minutes of the episode. Naturally, the week Tina finally won something would be the week that it didn’t matter.

Way more important? Finn and Emma kissed. Finn kissed Emma! He’d been filling in for Glee club, and apparently he thought that meant he was filling in for Mr. Schu in all aspects of his life. Anything goes once Finn learned that Rachel had changed her relationship status to “Shacked Up.” He confided in Ms. Pillsbury that he was having a hard time with the break up. She was having a hard time planning the wedding – Emma and Will are apparently getting married next week – and… why am I explaining any of this? The only part that’s important is that at the end of the episode, after Finn had helped her with some wedding decisions, Emma started having an OCD freakout about getting married again. And what did Finn do? He KISSED HER. Did ANYONE see that coming? We’ll have to wait until next week for the fall out, because as soon as he kissed her, he freaked out and immediately left her office. I’m no psychic, but I don’t think this is going to have fans cheering quite as much as Nick and Jess’ big kiss on New Girl.

NEXT: Santana makes a big decision 

Meanwhile, our New York divas were having a bit of a tough go of it this week. Rachel was, according to Kurt, becoming more insufferable by the second, and she was surrounding herself with obnoxious hanger-ons who made fun of Kurt “Taylor the Latte Boy” Hummel (mean guys, great reference). But nobody puts Kurt in a corner. After a morning fight between the roommates, he challenged Rachel to a sing-off (after disclosing that he threw their last one, the “Defying Gravity” challenge from a few years back). Luckily, NYADA had a whole system in place for such challenges, the twice-annual Midnight Madness, which, as Brody explained it, sounded exactly like the Riff-Off from Pitch Perfect.

The two had to each sing the surprise chosen song, which turned out to be “Bring Him Home” from Les Miserables (Jean Valjean: Decidedly not a diva). Some would argue that Kurt had a built-in advantage because it was written for and typically performed by a man. Regardless, the two sang it beautifully, but shocker (?) Kurt won, and you could tell Rachel was not okay with it. How can you tell a Barbra fangirl is down in the dumps? She wouldn’t even sign up for a Funny Girl Broadway audition! Happily, Kurt was still a good person, which meant that he shot down the guys who were being mean to him earlier in the episode — after telling them to leave the Adam’s Apples alone — and then comforted Rachel, telling her she was a diva, in the best possible way.

All’s well for our Brooklyn dwellers that ends well, and last night, things ended especially well for the NYC crew. Back in Lima, Sue told Santana she found out she had dropped out of school, and offered her a job helping to assist the Cheerios. (Show idea: All the kids come back to Lima, teach all the classes, never leave, and perform weekly staff musicals.) Santana considered the pitch, but then talked with Brittany in the auditorium, and Brittany told her she didn’t want Santana to hold herself back. Brittany also clued Santana in that she knew Elaine wasn’t her real girlfriend. Happily, the couple formally known as brittana seemed to be in a good place, even if Brittany affirmed that she still wanted to date Sam.  “You can have a real girlfriend, but not a best friend because that part’s already taken,” Brittany told her.  “You really are a genius,” Santana replied as she gave her a kiss. Brittany peaced out to go pretend to be British with Sam at Breadstix, which left Santana alone for an introspective song that started in the auditorium in Lima and ended outside Kurt and Rachel’s apartment in NYC. “I’m moving in!” Santana declared to an openly shocked Kurt and Rachel.

Performance Grades:

“Bring Him Home” (Original from Les Miserables): It was “Defying Gravity Part 2” for our NYADA kids when Rachel and Kurt’s versions of the song were cut together, allowing them both inspired phrasing and showstopping moments. But I think I have to agree with the Midnight Madness crew – Kurt was just a little more awe-inspiring, yes?  A-

“Diva” (Original by Beyoncé): This over-the-top fantasy number was a ton of fun. Loved the idea of turning an auditorium into a runway, did not love Blaine’s feathered top. Unique taking lead vocals on this was a great choice. Did Glee pick a great week to cover Queen Bey or what? (If you haven’t already re-watched, check out the full version of Beyonce’s divalicious half-time performance). The woman is full diva, and watching the kiddos – Brittany, Unique, Tina, Marley and Kitty (plus Blaine!) – parade around in outfits and dance from the choir room to the auditorium was an over-the-top episode highlight. Any questions? A-

NEXT: More musical grades, plus top lines of the night

“Don’t Stop Me Now” (Original by Queen): Full disclosure: This is my favorite Queen song and  seeing a leather jacket-clad Blaine totally commit was fun to watch. He brought that over-the-top Freddie Mercury spirit to the track, and also played piano. One of his best in quite some time.  A

“Girl on Fire” (Original by Alicia Keys): Santana hit this number out of the park. Thematically/story-wise it was a great choice, and letting Santana’s vocals soar was a nice treat. Favorite number of the episode, and one of the best Santana numbers ever. A

“Hung Up” (Original by Madonna): For diva week, there had to be a Madonna track and Tina got the honor of doing one of Madge’s singles from this decade. The choreography was fun. The song — like the original — isn’t a vocal stand-out, but it gets Tina’s message to Blaine across. B

“Make No Mistake (She’s Mine)” (Original by Kim Carnes/Barbra Streisand): For two characters that hate each other, Santana and Sam’s voices harmonized quite well together. The song choice was a perfect fit, and this was great to listen to — although not having Rachel sing a Streisand song during diva week seems like a missed opportunity. B+

“Nutbush City Limits” (Original by Tina Turner): What fun! The dancing was top notch, and of course Santana delivered on the diva vocals. A-

Top Lines:

“You’re Barbra’s heir apparent.” –NYADA student sucking up to Rachel

“She is not a trick ass ho, and she does not sweat the haters.” –Emma explains what a diva is

“It’s NYADA’s fight club. Singing instead of punching” –Brody

“Listen up lipsy Mcchapstick.” –Santana to Trouty Mouth

“Please don’t tell my mom.” “Oh I couldn’t, I don’t speak Spanish.” –Santana and Sue

“She never wins anything.” –Brittany about Tina

“He’s like a precious, Tiger Beat shrinky-dink.” –Tina about Blaine

“Midnight Madness: If you go flat you lose. This is not a performance, this is a blood sport.” –Brody

What do you all think about Santana in NYC? Do you think she’ll really stay with Kurt and Rachel? How are you feeling about Tina and Blaine? Who was your favorite diva? Wish you could join in the over-the-top fun of Midnight Madness? And what about that Finn and Emma kiss? Do you think Will and Emma’s wedding will still happen next week?

Erin on Twitter

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