Glee Season 5 Episode 20 – TV Review
But it’s Blaine, so defying Shirley not only works out okay, it actually works out better.
TL;DR Blaine fucks over Shirley, but not only does he not ruin his chance at stardom, he also grows stronger in his relationship with Kurt; Rachel deals with a frustrating TV writer, but the power of song smoothes things out; Mercedes dumps Sam so he can go get some pussy; everyone goes their separate ways but promise to be best friends forevar.
For 1 more season, at least.
The major plot, and the title earner (“The Untitled Rachel Berry Project”) is the arrival of a TV writer from the network who is going to pen the pilot script for Rachel’s show. It’s Kristen Schaal, and she’s basically a photocopy of the unbearable Hazel from 30 Rock, but with the sex stuff swapped out for hipster clothes. Her name is Mary, and she writes a predictably loopy and rubbish first draft, which everyone hates. So Rachel just sings a song, and Mary’s like “Oh, cool, here’s something that sublimely perfect in every way” 2 minutes later. The show is also cut/paste from Rachel’s life. Of course. Rachel’s off to LA to shoot her pilot. Fuck you Funny Girl, I guess? Meanwhile, Blaine has to break the news to Kurt that Shirley doesn’t want him in the showcase. Kurt chucks an epic shitfit about trust or whatever. So Blaine totally defies Shirley and invites Kurt on-stage during the showcase. Instead of burning him alive like the traitorous ingrate he is, Shirley bows down. Fuck me. Meanwhile, Sam has sexual tension with a photographer at a photo shoot. Mercedes realises asking him to be abstinent is unfair, and they break up out of pragmatism. The episode ends with the gang declaring their everlasting friendship.
Because you guys totally haven’t forgotten about everyone who isn’t in your immediate vicinity (poor Quinn).
Much like any Glee episode, there is a lot wrong with this episode. But the clear winner of the race to the bottom is Blaine.
Shirley explicitly forbids Blaine from allowing Kurt in the showcase. She hates him, and doesn’t want him to represent her.
So to close out the showcase, Blaine invites Kurt up to sing with him, with Shirley standing right there and gobsmacked. Even worse, he then brings up all his friends to dance along, too.
Do these kids have a biological aversion to appreciating their blessings? How deep does this rabbit hole go?
Why I hate this episode:
The absolute nadir of the episode comes during this Blaine/Kurt performance. Out of all the songs in all the world to sing, they chose American Boy, by Estelle and Kanye West (one of the last good Kanye songs). I’m not gonna say this is the worst Glee song ever (that still belongs to I Believe In A Thing Called Love), but oh my fucking God, do they desecrate it. Like, I keep thinking that Kurt can’t do any worse, but he just gets there. Every time. He doesn’t even have the decency to feign a British accent for Estelle’s bits, which kind of spoils the whole “American Boy” part of the song. It is absolutely crap.
And this is the song that impresses Shirley? Holy shit. I’d take that One Direction cover over this rubbish.
Kurt also makes a threat to Shirley shortly before Blaine pulls him on stage. Yes, the best way to ensure your fiancé’s success with an evidently fickle socialite is to threaten her. Nice.
Brittany is back for this episode for no reason other than to briefly relate to Mary, and get a dance routine during Mercedes’ original song. So they couldn’t fit Santana in, but Brittany gets to be here? I’m pretty sure Santana deserved to be in that final, “friends forever” shit more than Brittany.
Brittany’s dancing also overshadows Mercedes during the song. Which isn’t a great way to start your nationwide mall tour.
Hazel is – oh, sorry. Mary is pathetically quirky and obnoxious. Why would Fox send out someone who very clearly clashes with what they know about and want from Rachel?
Worse, all Rachel has to do is sing her a single, boring song at the diner and Hazel magically writes the most perfect pilot ever in a split second. As a fellow obnoxious bitch, all I saw from Rachel’s song was a demanding, Broadway princess going through the motions. Mary shouldn’t have given a shit about that, let alone rework her terrible first draft into the masterpiece it apparently becomes.
Sam gets flustered when his photoshoot turns sexy. The photographer makes a move on him. I’m going to play the double standard rape card again, but nobody is bothered by the fact that a person in a position of power moves upon a naive young model sexually. Because the victim is male. Instead, Sam goes to Mercedes and says that he cheated.
The “cheated” being that he kissed her back a little bit, then cried and ran off. God, you can’t even get seuxally harassed properly, Sam.
His and Beau Garrett’s (his photographer) rendition of Girls On Film is supposed to be sexually tense, but is too smothered in 80s cheese to work.
Blain arbitrarily moves back into the loft after he and Kurt reconcile their trust for each other on a totally different matter than what caused the moving out in the first place.
Sam’s photoshoot is a success, because he gets his picture on a bus for the ad (it’s for a body hair removal cream). Instead of seeing this is as a good stepping stone for his modelling career, he decides to quit while he’s ahead (being on a bus was his goal) and move back to Lima. We see him at McKinley later. So you’re the replacement student-who-becomes-a-teacher? The replacement Finn?
Oh, and Rachel is going ahead with the TV show, as the network calls and confirms they’ve commissioned a pilot. 1) “Thanks a lot.” -Funny Girl. 2) Does she know how many pilots fail? 3) Does she know that a pilot could turn into Super Fun Night? Does she appreciate the magnitude of that horror?
But it’s not all bad:
I assume Sidney will do his demolition of Rachel’s reputation off-screen, but that’s good enough for me.
Mary comes pretty close to ruining Rachel’s chance at a TV show. Almost, baby.
She also gets best line of the episode when Rachel suggests singing to her to prove what the show needs to be about: “Oh, God, no.” If only Rachel had listened.
Mercedes’ original song is pretty good. I thought she was saying “shake your ass” for most of it, but still. It beats the fuck out of anything Marley ever did.
And I applaud her for breaking up with Sam. It’s what he needed. Sanity isn’t entirely missing from Glee, it seems.
I enjoyed Shirley’s refusal to let Kurt perform in the showcase. Unfortunately, it didn’t last, but she got those potshots in while she could.
Sam looks fantastic with his shirt off.
Beau Garret is hot. It’s been a long time since Turistas, too.
Oh, and with this season’s conclusion, that means I only have to do this shit 24 more times.