“Glee” returned on Feb. 7 with the brilliant new episode, “Diva.”
This intense installment brings some big surprises as Santana (Naya Rivera) challenges Sam’s (Chord Overstreet) relationship with Brittany (Heather Morris) and Finn (Cory Monteith) spontaneously kisses Emma (Jayma Mays) to calm her wedding jitters.
Meanwhile, Kurt (Chris Colfer) finally calls Rachel (Lea Michele) out on her snobby behavior and Tina (Jenna Ushkowitz) tells Blaine (Darren Criss) she’s falling in love with him, but he doesn’t hear her because he’s sleeping.
The outcomes to these situations lead to some important self-discoveries for Rachel and Santana, and Santana makes a big, bold move.
Battle ala Brittany
We’re really surprised when Santana shows up to challenge Sam for Brittany’s love. Given that Santana was the one who broke things off and seemed to move on, we’re surprised to see such a strong, possessive reaction from her. We’re doubly shocked to learn she’s dropped out of college and has been faking it for a while.
It’s obvious Santana is searching for a new direction and it’s not too hard to imagine she returned to a safe and familiar place with Brittany. Sam and Santana have a heated vocal battle with Barbra Streisand and Kim Carnes’ duet “Make No Mistake (She’s Mine).”
At the end of the song they each pledge to fight for Brittany, and they are unaware she’s listening. Brittany makes a surprising choice when she tells Santana she’s with Sam now, she likes him, and she’s not breaking up with him. She tells her she needs to be somewhere as big and hot as she is, and find a “real girlfriend,” but not a best friend, because she’s already got one.
Santana marvels at Brittany’s wisdom and they share a small kiss.
While Brittany seems certain in her choice and confident in her speech, we can’t help but wonder if she’ll eventually regret letting Santana go. They had such a strong connection and Brittana fans at large are likely to be saddened by this turn of events.
Finn let Rachel go because he was trying to give her freedom to find herself without him. It’s obvious Finn still loves Rachel, even though she seems to have moved on with Brody.
Is it possible Brittany was setting Santana free in the same way? It sounds like she’s genuinely happy with Sam right now. But, like any young love, it can be hot and heavy one minute and fall apart the next. Only time will tell where Brittany’s heart will rest ...
Naya Rivera delivers an amazing “This Girl is on Fire” and we can’t possibly think of a more appropriate song for this fiery, determined young woman.
The song evolves into Santana’s move to New York and she shows up at Kurt and Rachel’s loft and boldly announces she’s moving in. Their shocked faces don’t really spell glee in this announcement. It remains to be seen whether this group (including Brody) is willing and able to peacefully co-exist …
Let’s admit right now we hate seeing Rachel and Kurt fight. However, sometimes our BFF is the only person who can really save us from ourselves when we become self-absorbed, make a huge mistake, or get way too out of control.
We cringe when Rachel “orders” Kurt to make her tea, etc., and we’re really proud of him for having the courage to tell her she’s turning into a rather self-absorbed diva. Of course she takes offense to his remarks and defends herself by cutting Kurt down in return.
The whole conversation leads to a dueling sing off, called “Midnight Madness,” where they each sing the same song and the group judges the best singer.
Chris Colfer and Lea Michele both do heartbreakingly brilliant performances of “Bring Him Home” from “Les Miserables” and Kurt is crowned champion.
It’s wonderful to see Adam (Oliver Kieran Jones) and the Apples gang there to cheer Kurt on. At first Rachel is crushed by the loss, and questions her own future as a star. Ever the true and tried best friend that he is, Kurt reminds her how special she truly is, and that she’s destined to become a huge star.
We’re so glad Rachel apologizes to Kurt and admits how miserable she’s been. They tell each other they love each other and we’re happy to know BFF order has been restored.
We also can’t help but wonder if Rachel is going to reevaluate how fast she’s moved with Brody (Dean Geyer) and if seeing Finn at Will and Emma’s wedding will rekindle the flame between them.
Tina is still hung up on Blaine and he’s oblivious and the whole thing is so painful to watch for all of us who've been in her shoes. She nurses him through a cold and in a moment of vulnerability in Blaine’s bedroom, she tells him she’s in love with him. She waits for a response and then sees that he’s fallen asleep, knocked out by cold medicine.
Jenna Ushkowitz is doing such an amazing job with this twist in Tina’s story. When you've got an unrequited crush, you tend to hang on their every word and action. In Tina’s case, its totally apparent (except, of course, to Blaine), that her sun, moon and stars are rising and setting with him.
If we could only tell her to move on before her heart gets in any deeper…but, it seems like it’s too late. She is head over heels.
Ushkowitz delivers a very powerful “Hung Up” and Blaine still doesn't get the message. Her emotions are totally tangled, and she even tries to be mad at him and accuse him of not appreciating her.
As soon as he apologizes and thanks her for everything in that sweet and oh-so-charming Blaine way, she melts all over again. To make matters worse, he invites her to be “his date” for Will and Emma’s wedding and her love-struck heart is thrilled.
We know this crush is ultimately headed to some sort of disappointment for Tina. Blaine is gay and he’ll never return romantic feelings for Tina. Knowing Blaine as we do, we trust that he’ll let her down easy.
Plus, as previously reported, Kurt is taking Blaine as his date to Will and Emma’s wedding, at which they make out. Perhaps Kurt’s invitation to Blaine will be the wakeup call that Tina’s young, vulnerable heart needs. It’ll be interesting to see how the whole thing plays out.
In any regard, we’re hoping for the least amount of pain for all parties concerned; since Blaine is still obviously hung up on Kurt, and Kurt is currently attracted to Adam.
One of the biggest shockers in this episode comes when Emma panics over finalizing all of the wedding plans without Will and Finn spontaneously kisses her, in an effort to calm her down. They are both clearly embarrassed and Finn hurries out of the room as fast as possible.
It’s obvious in their sequence together that Finn develops a crush on Emma. She supports him and has given him great advice with glee club. He misses Rachel, now Rachel has Brody and all of these things lead to that one moment of misplaced affection – he kisses Emma.
It’ll be interesting to see how they recover from here. Hopefully, in a way that will salvage their friendship …
This was such a musically powerful episode and everyone does an amazing job in Beyonce’s “Diva” group number; especially Alex Newell as Unique, who just seems born to sing this song. Plus, Darren Criss does the late, great Freddie Mercury proud as he rocks Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now.”
The episode, overall, is uplifting and reminds us to believe in ourselves enough and channel our inner diva to follow our dreams. But, along the way we also have to remember that getting too full of ourselves or taking advantage of our friends to get there, is the surest thing to stop us from truly being the best that we can be.
“Glee” airs in Flint on WSMH FOX66 on Thursdays at 9 p.m. EST.