"Glee" returned from its hiatus last night, bringing with it a slew of eyebrow-raising surprises. Blaine (Darren Criss) now has a crush on Sam (Chord Overstreet)? Tina (Jenna Ushkowitz) has been in love with Blaine? Rachel (Lea Michele) slept with Brody (Dean Geyer)? Ryder (Blake Jenner) remains as an unnecessary character?
It's time for the Sadie Hawkins Day dance, which Tina takes control of, wherein the theme of the dance is either coy or naive in that girls should pretend that they aren't already asking boys for sex, let alone innocent school dances (case in point: Kitty [Becca Tobin], but we'll get to that later). Lauren Zizes (Ashley Fink) is back, too, and is a member of Tina's "Too Young to Be Bitter" club while looking like she has dipped into Tina's old goth clothes.
Finn (Cory Monteith) suggests that the girls sing to the boys that they want to ask to the dance. Tina starts us off with "I Don't Know How to Love Him" from Broadway's Jesus Christ Superstar. Though the tune is sweet enough and Tina does a great job, we can't help but wonder if she has slept through the past year of Blaine and Kurt's relationship. Here, we realize just how much we have missed Blaine over the break, but when Tina asks Blaine to the dance, he gives her an awkward "no".
Blaine later confesses to Tina that he didn't want to go to the dance and watch everyone be coupled up while he is alone to crush on someone who is straight. This was nothing more than a ridiculous attempt at plot exposition. He wouldn't have been alone if he went with Tina. He wouldn't even have to worry about pretending to be someone he's not, as he is out of the closet and everyone would know it would be two good friends going to the dance. And watching your crush have a good time without you when you have a support network like Blaine's is not a good reason to opt out.
Free of his burdensome secret, Blaine accepts Tina's invite to the dance anyway, you know, after breaking her heart first. This was a silly, contrived storyline that needn't be, and it only resulted in further torturing Tina, someone who usually receives the short end of the stick as it is, especially considering that the situation played out exactly as it would have without the drama. Two good friends had a good time together, despite Sam's momentary distraction that temporarily (once again) broke Tina's heart which involved the Warblers and a silly steroid theory that actually looks like it will be the flotation device that will save the glee club from drowning. Steroids shouldn't help a group win a competition that should be based on vocal ability, though the fact that Vocal Adrenaline hasn't beat New Directions more often is proof of ingenuity.
Thankfully, Marley (Melissa Benoist) and Jake (Jacob Artist) are back together again, as she asks him to the dance with the help of Brittany (Heather Morris) and Unique (Alex Newell), all in adorable blue dresses, with The Exciters' oldie "Tell Him". Jake accepts, later to (finally) realize that Marley is the best thing to ever happen to him. He claims he is "done" with all other girls, which may be true for a while, thanks to his brother. Unlike the rest of the relationships in this episode that seem way too rushed, this one is cemented in the right amount of time.
Speaking of Puck, (Mark Salling), this new relationship between him and Kitty is wrong on so many levels. Besides the fact that she is underage (and no, Puck, a fake I.D. is not "enough"), she is a carbon-copy of the Quinn (Dianna Agron) character, only more of a bitch and a better singer. You know, the same woman you just warned your little brother to avoid. Apparently, Puck respects his libido more than his own family. Kitty, however, was breathtaking when she let her hair down. It almost makes you forget that she's younger than Puck...almost.
On to Kurt (Chris Colfer), who is falling hard for Adam (Oliver Kieran-Jones), leader of the "Adam's Apples", NYADA's answer to Lima's glee club. Rachel warns Kurt not to join the Apples because joining a show choir is one of the worst things you can do in college. Seems rather pretentious, no? But, it's too late - Kurt is already head over heels for Adam, who woos him even further into the club's underbelly when he takes Kurt to the Apples' rehearsal of Jonathan Coulton's version of "Baby Got Back".
It seems that this version of the song was chosen over Sir Mix-A-Lot's original in an effort to add extra gawkiness to an already ragtag group. It seems certain that we will get to know more about these characters in the coming weeks, which begs the question: does the group match the voices? A few solos should clean that speculation right up.
Anyway, the adorable, Australian-tongued Adam seems like a great fit for Kurt. (Who didn't swoon when Adam coached Kurt to accept his compliment on his plié?) This blossoming romance is exciting, and Kurt makes the first move for the first time in his life, which was grouped very nicely into the sweet montage of acceptances put to Simple Minds' "Alive and Kicking" in a dreamlike sequence that seemed, probably intentionally, like it came from an '80s movie.
Unique (Alex Newell) wore a plethora of pretty clothes in this episode, the dress at the Sadie Hawkins dance being particularly stunning. She didn't have any lines in this episode, but she still shined as she took on Bruno Mars' "Locked Out of Heaven" with the help of Brittany, Sugar (Vanessa Lengies) and Marley.
Rachel has now let Brody "spend the night" at her and Kurt's apartment, though she gets pissed at him for being late when she took the time to make him a nice meal. Rachel was rather respectable during this argument as she stood her ground and refused to be taken for granted. Even when Brody apologizes, she doesn't quickly cave. Though she loses cool points when she asks Brody to move in with her in a snap decision and without discussing it first with Kurt. Though, now this situation is more than likely inevitable, which will probably create some rifts between her and Kurt.
The cutaways here were enjoyable, and it seemed like the creators were tinkering with new technology, as similar fade-outs were apparent at multiple points throughout the episode. The softer style added a maturity to the material in an episode that was bent on happy endings for all which, though unrealistic, is a welcome change every once in a while.
In an episode that was rife with songs that were "meh" at best, throwing an all-male number into the mix always spices things up. Artie (Kevin McHale), Sam, Blaine and Joe (Samuel Larsen) kicked off the Sadie Hawkins dance with TLC's "No Scrubs". This was a good choice in that the song possessed enough energy to make it a believable party-starter.
Not sure why this episode dug so far down into the archives for love songs, but having Ryder perform this while gazing longingly at Marley seemed more pathetic than romantic. And did anyone else catch his swift look away from the girl with the neck brace? How shallow can you be, Ryder? The girl with the temporary injury has a crush on you, but you prefer the supermodel who's happier with someone else? Ugh. The choice of Ryder as the purveyor of this piece hints that Marley and Jake aren't going to enjoy their "happily ever after" for much longer without a fight.
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