Mike Yarish

The past meets the future as the New Directions take on Grease


S4 E6
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November 16, 2012 at 01:02 PM EST

Tonight’s episode of Glee was a Grease-centric romp that served as the perfect crossroads for New Direction’s past, present and future. And while I feel like that’s been what they’ve been shooting for much of the season, I think this is the episode that has definitely pulled it off most successfully.

Why, you ask? Well, that’s what this recap is for…

At the start of the episode, Schue broke the news that he was moving D.C. and leaving New Directions in Finn‘s care. Judging from their outraged reactions, you’d think Schue was leaving Lord Tubbington or Brittany’s rag doll in charge. [Insert your own Finn joke here. I would, but I know Finn fans…I like my eyeballs, thanks.]

Sue was also less than thrilled with Finn’s new position. Of course, she already had it out for him. As you’ll recall, in a truly unfortunate and completely out-of-character incident, Finn used an unsavory term to describe to Sue’s daughter. (I refuse to even write the word.)

The bright spot about Sue zeroing in on Finn? She got to express the exact reaction that many fans had to Finn’s new job as head of New Directions. She told Schue: “This is just another of your ill-conceived, bizarrely sentimental schemes that displays absolutely no forethought and appears immediately ridiculous to everyone in America except for you.”

Kitty, take note — that is how you deliver a jab. Sue’s funny, ironic, takes the piss out of fans (if I may be British for a second) and her quips always have a little venom. Not a lot — just a little. I hope the writers learn how to write for Kitty quickly because I’m running low on tolerance for her horrible comments. (The Silence of the Lambs quote was cringe-worthy.)

Since we’re on the subject of Kitty, her claws came out this week in a major way. She was still bitter about Marley scoring the role of Sandy and set out for a little game of mental warfare. How? She started altering Marley’s Sandy costume before every practice in order to make her believe that she was gaining weight. (Did this make anyone else think of Jim’s nickel phone prank from The Office?) Many people deal with body issues — especially teens — so while I’m glad the show wanted to do a story about it, but I don’t think this was the way.

Marley, whose mother is obese, immediately started having insecurities about her body, and Kitty — as part of her plan — showed her how to be bulimic during a sleepover that was dripping in ill-intentions. Why Marley would take advice from a mortal enemy that lost her virginity to a horse, I’m not sure. But she did, and it spiraled out of control until Ryder staged a mini intervention in the girl’s bathroom. (His shared a personal story about his wrestler cousin who had unhealthy weight loss methods. “Did he die?” Marley asked at the end. “No, he pooped himself in front of the whole school.”) A lot about the whole storyline rubbed me the wrong way, and if I’m being honest, I preferred the way they handled Sam’s struggles with body issues a few seasons ago.

The storyline did, however, serve as another way for us to get to know Ryder. So far, I’m liking everything about him. Any guy who has the guts to tell the girl he likes a story about poop gains a few extra points in my book.

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