Oh Glee, you really are back aren’t you? After an excellent start last week, this episode was really up and down in the quality stakes.
Let’s take the central storyline first – Britney 2.0. Britney, missing Santana and feeling slightly out of place and sorts, decides to orchestrate a breakdown like the real Britney Spears, all so that she can come back in spectacular fashion. Fun it might have been, but it took Sam to explain the plot towards the end of the episode for me to click as to what was happening. The breakdown was spectacular, the comeback was barely visible in the episode.
I felt attributing Britney’s crazy behaviour to just her wanting to have a spectacular comeback really lessened the impact of the other things going on with the character. She’s clearly been affected by not having graduated, and by being left behind by Santana, but apart from some halfhearted attempts to help, the latter issue was ignored. The glee club saw Britney was hurting, but beyond trying to sing to her, didn’t really do anything about it. In the end, she was still alone, lying on her bed, feeling depressed, with no one around.
On the plus side, Will Schuester acted like a teacher, and he and Emma did their bit to help Britney out. Sue Sylvester, on the other hand, acted pretty appallingly, even for her. Her conversation with Britney at the end did very little to redeem her behaviour earlier, when she completely abandoned a pupil so clearly in need.
The other McKinley storyline – Jake and Marley – was a much more compelling one for me. I really like Marley as a character. She’s got a great voice, and there’s something about her that just makes me think she’d be fun to hang around with, but you could also really talk to her. And Jake is a compelling character. I’m not quite sure I understand all his anger yet, but he’s complex – a womaniser and a sweet soul all at once, a tough guy who stands up for what is right when it comes down to it. Throwing Kitty in the mix harks back to the Quinn/Finn/Rachel days, but just seems like it’s going to be so much more interesting than that love triangle.
One thing about the Jake storyline I didn’t like so much was the whole Puck encounter. I loved seeing Puck back at McKinley, but the scene felt rushed – like all the worst examples of why Glee goes bad. Puck and Jake either needed more time together, or the writers needed to find another way to make Jake come to his senses.
Meanwhile in New York Rachel was still doing battle with Cassandra July, who this week said Rachel wasn’t sexy enough. In a bid to prove her wrong Rachel dressed up like she was going for a shift at a strip club and proceeded to do a raunchy dance to an actually quite good version of Oops, I Did It Again, before proceeding to tell Cassie that she was jealous of Rachel. After a strange scene where Cassandra provocatively stretched in front of Rachel, the two forgave each other and are now in that cheesy student/teacher respecting each other phase.
Meanwhile, Kurt spent his time painting his and Rachel’s new flat, offering sage advice and running out to get cheesecake. Can he get a storyline please? I’m tired of him just being the gay best friend.
Last week I spoke about excellent song selection, and how each number really enhanced the story. This week, not so much. As Artie said: “We scraped the bottom of that Britney barrel.” Some of the songs were well picked, but there were a few choices that were, excuse my language here, piss-poor.
For a start, Three? Why on earth, out of the whole Britney pantheon, did Tina, Sam and Joe sing Three? It’s a song about threesomes. It’s completely inappropriate to sing in your glee club, a completely inappropriate song to sing to try to cheer up a friend, and also, I doubt Joe would have sung a song about threesomes due to what we’ve previously seen about his religious beliefs.
Hold It Against Me, while a great song, just didn’t really fit right for me, and also took up way too much time. It, like Oops, I Did It Again, was just an excuse for Glee to get its characters thrusting and dancing provocatively. For some reason, this week Glee seems to have mixed up being grown up with being slutty and I didn’t really like it.
Boys/Boyfriend and Womanizer were good fun. Womanizer was a good fit, but Boys/Boyfriend wasn’t, since Britney was missing her girlfriend Santana, so the sentiment of the song didn’t really work. It was only rescued by the cuteness of Artie and Blaine singing together.
The best numbers were easily those sung by Marley – both the You Drive Me Crazy/Crazy mash-up and Everytime worked really well, showcased Marley’s voice and fit in the storyline.
The sexiest moment of this week’s Glee wasn’t all the writhing around the various characters did while singing Britney songs, or not singing, as in Cassandra July’s case. No, the sexiest was Brody, looking at Rachel and telling her that everytime they interacted in the future, he’d be thinking about kissing her. Guh. And it led to Rachel realising that she perhaps needed to let go of Finn, which I thoroughly approve of. Now that, Glee, is growing up.