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Glee: Mattress

“We here at Mattress Land believe that mattresses aren’t just for sleeping and fornicating anymore.”

Wow. Wow. There wasn't a single moment that I did not like in "Mattress". I cried, I laughed, I smiled, I screamed, and I absolutely cannot wait until next week's episode.

It's hard to quantify what made "Mattress" a stand out episode. Perhaps because, unlike "Vitamin D" and "Ballads", "Mattress" was able to be both hysterically funny and emotionally wrenching. Perhaps because "Jump" was the best group performance since Vocal Adrenaline knocked me out of my chair with "Rehab" in the Pilot. Perhaps because one of our main story points - Terri's pregnancy - has finally come to a head.

When Glee first debuted back in the summer, it had the element of surprise. Everything was unexpected - the inappropriate songs, politically incorrect Sue, amazing numbers, sharp writing - we were caught off guard. It was fresh and different and wonderful.

Over the course of the past few months, I think we've gotten used to the irreverent humor, and begun to take the musical numbers for granted. Songs that easily are spectacular compared to anything else out there aren't as impressive because we've seen better. We've seen the softer, human side of villains like Sue Sylvester, Terri, Quinn and Puck; the complexities of punchline stereotypes like Ken Tanaka, Rachel and Kurt; and the failings of Will Schuester and Finn. The characters were no longer as sharply drawn; their imperfections have made their roles in the crazy world of Glee fade.

I thought those were the reasons why I haven't been truly blown away by an episode since the Pilot. "Mattress" completely proved me wrong.

So, onto the amazing...

I always say there are so many good moments that I don't know where to start, but today, I really, really mean it. This is going to be a loooooong review, because there are so many awesome things that I just loved in this episode.

Sue is BACK! After her low-key return last week, our very awesome Sue Sylvester was back with a vengeance tonight! We got her calling Emma both "Edie" and "Eleanor", the return of the journal (!!!), and her obsession with Will's hair once again. But of course, the best part was "Sue's Corner" - possibly one of the best they've done so far.
-- "All I want is just one day a year where I'm not visually assaulted by uglies or fatties."

-- "Friday after Christmas, which I have off, if you're hideous, stay at home."
I was laughing so hard, I was crying.

The Mattress Commercial. Will I need to eat my words if I say that the mattress commercial was the best number they've done yet? I certainly hope so, because if we get more numbers like that, I would be overjoyed. The choreography was fantastic; I loved the cover of "Jump"; everyone had an opportunity to showcase their talent (whether singing or gymnastics); and it looked like they were having so much fun!! I also totally loved the store owner - every time he jumped, I would crack up. Sorry, Shue - but the kids managed to do their best number without you.

Mean Girls. I'd almost forgotten what made Quinn Fabray such a force to be reckoned with at the school. I'm glad that she's more sympathetic, but hot damn if I wasn't thrilled to see the mean girl back in form. Especially since she used her powers for good, and not evil this time :-) And because of Sue's classic response: "Get out of my office, if you can manage to squeeze through the door without your water breaking all over my new carpet."

You Go, Emma! Quinn isn't the only who stood up to the one they loved most - Emma finally set some boundaries with Will regarding their "relationship". (Will, I got news for you buddy - if you call it a "relationship", it's not kosher.) She's decided to marry Ken, and made it clear to Will that Ken's her first priority, despite his 74 faults and imperfect personal hygiene. Was I the only one that thought Will's reaction was completely out of line? Was he seriously expecting her to put Sectionals above her wedding day?

Speaking of expectations, I certainly didn't expect Emma to defend her rival. I mean, here was her chance to have the man she's in love with, before she's committed to Ken. She managed to both be kind to Terri, while underscoring her feelings for Will, when she told him that he's a hard person to lose. She's come a long way, that Emma, from the self-righteous little miss perfect of "Vitamin D."

Star Ambition. Quinn also wasn't the only one back in rare form tonight. Rachel was annoying, ambitious, pathetic, hysterical, and sympathetic, all at the same time. I thought the pictures of her in the completely random school clubs was hilarious, especially her poses with the Black Student Union and Muslim Students Club. Her 18 different poses for the Glee Club picture (only on her left side - a dig at Mariah Carey), complete overacting in the mattress commercial, talking herself up through song - all so very Rachel. I'd almost forgotten how much she wants to be a star... that is, until she told the cameraman that "except for nudity and the exploitation of animals, I'll pretty much do anything to break into the business."

Thunderclap, Ho! I usually hate writing about an episode's plot, but I thought tonight's was simply ingenious. The premise of yearbook pictures allowed for Terri's fake pregnancy to be revealed organically and naturally. It also addressed some of the most important ongoing themes for the show: being popular or picked on in high school, the kids feeling like outcasts for being in Glee Club, Will's lack of confidence in himself, Emma's feelings for Will.

And of course, last, but not least...

WILL KNOWS. That scene between Will and Terri? Spectacular. As I said before, Matt Morrison usually plays the straight man and hasn't really had a chance to exercise his acting chops, but wow, he was incredible when Will found out. My heart completely broke - for both of them - when he ripped the pregnancy pad from her stomach. I was actually scared of Will when he was confronting Terri - you could feel all of the pent up violence.

Not to underscore Jessalyn Gilsig's performance tonight. I had chills when she was running after him, and then when she slowly closed the door. Everything just came tumbling out, like it'd been bottled up for so long that she couldn't wait to get it all out. Unlike the scene with Quinn and her parents a couple of weeks ago, this one felt real. Even the shaky handheld camera work contributed to the authenticity of the scene. I don't think I realized the extent of her insecurity until she said, "This marriage only works because you don't feel good about yourself."

Was anyone else surprised when Will said, "Who said anything about divorce?" I wasn't expecting that, but I'm glad that it's not definitely the direction he's heading. As I've said many, many times, it is clear that Will and Terri genuinely love each other. I actually cannot wait to see what happens next week, if the two of them are going to be able to reconcile. I hate it when there's a big dramatic fight on tv, and the end is when they storm out - in real life, the aftermath is so much harder to deal with then the fight itself. I wouldn't have expected this, but I'm actually really rooting for the two of them to work it out.

Bits & Lots of Pieces

-- Kurt's shirt looked like wall paper pattern. No comment. Also a thumbs down for Tina's new eye makeup.

-- Fredrickson's Funeral Parlor and Uncle Sandro's Chicken Inside a Waffle are both patrons of the McKinley High yearbook.

-- Rachel: "My two gay dads have a very good relationship with the local ACLU."

-- Rachel was in pictures for the Speech Club, Model UN, Renaissance Club, Muslim Students Club and the Black Student Union. I'm not sure if her poses were funnier, or the expressions on some of the other students faces to her being there.

-- I liked Terri's expression when Will was talking about the Glee Club pictures being defaced. It was like, "um, duh."

-- Kurt: “Swirlies. Patriotic wedgies.”
Artie: “Strangely, it did make me feel more American.”

-- Haha - Mercedes warded off Rachel with Kwanzaa, and Artie used stomach rolls.

-- Quinn: "Patches?"
Brittany: "He barks at my mom."

-- Football guy: "How do you spell LOSER?"

-- Finn: "The guys said if I took the Glee club photo, they'd make me choose between a Hitler mustache and buck teeth. And I can't rock either of those looks."

-- Mercedes: "Whatever. As soon as I get my record deal, I'm not speaking to any of you."

-- The original script for the commercial was really depressing. I like how all the kids were terrible actors.

-- Mattresses are expensive! That must have been at least $1k worth of mattresses in the practice room. Also, I don't understand why Will doesn't just pay for that one mattress - then it wouldn't be compensation.

-- Artie spent almost the entire episode holding signs.

Sue's Corner:

-- "You're too busy chasing tail and loading your hair with enormous amounts of product! I mean, today it just looks like you put lard in it." LOL.

-- "And while they were in there, I told them, go ahead and yank out those tear ducts. Wasn't using them anyway.''

-- “Hey, Andrea. That Sue’s Corner I just did? Talkin’ about you."

-- "There’s a stack of mattresses in the choir room piled as high as the empty hair gel bottles in the dumpster outside your apartment.”

Fantastic, just absolutely fantastic. Easily 4 mattresses. In fact, bump all my other ratings down by 0.5 - "Mattress" just completely raised the bar.


  1. I didn't like it as much as you did, Serena, but I really enjoyed this episode. The strangest part is that usually my like or dislike of an episode hinges on how much I enjoy the muscial numbers, and this week, the numbers (the few that there were) didn't really do anything for me. I definitely didn't enjoy 'Jump!' as much as you. It was OK, but nowhere near the top of my favorite Glee numbers list. I think my enjoyment was tempered by my inability to tell which blond was flipping all over the place. Sometimes it looked like Quinn was doing some of the outrageous gymnastics, and I kept thinking about Sue's comments about the cheerleading judges wondering if she was going to crown.

    But I still really enjoyed the episode as a whole. The yearbook stuff was funny and, at times, heartbreaking (poor, sad, pathetic Rachel). It was great to see Sue up to her scheming, and I particularly enjoyed her getting outplayed by Quinn. Awesome! But I'm sure that no matter what else happened in the episode, my sheer delight at Will finally discovering the truth about Terri would make me love this episode. Yea!!! I'm so glad that's finally out there.

    I don't agree that Will and Terri should get back together. I guess within the context of the crazy Glee world, I could live with it. But my heart and head believe that Terri completely violated Will's trust in a majorly significant way, and I don't know how he could he ever get past that. If you don't have trust in a relationship, especially a marriage, you have nothing. No matter how much you may love each other.

    I, too, wondered why Will couldn't just pay for that one mattress. Perhaps with the money the principal should have given back to him after Sue donated one of her Cheerios pages for the Glee club? That should have covered at least part of it.

    Thanks for the great review, Serena. Even though my enthusiasm didn't quite reach your heights, I share your joy this week!

  2. I gotta go with Serena -- I *loved* this episode. I thought "Jump" was the best musical number they'd done so far. The Will/Terri scene was fabulous, and I simply don't understand how he could possibly get back with her again; there are things you can forgive, and things you can't. What Terri did felt unforgivable. What if it had gone all the way to her bringing home Quinn's baby and passing it off as theirs?

    Lovely review, Serena. I can't wait for the midseason finale next week. Glee has been one of the highlights of the fall season for me.

  3. Wow Serena, you really did Mattress proud :-) What an Outstanding episode and your review really reflected that. I completely agree with all of your opinions except I'm not sure I can judge the best number that New Directions have done. In some ways I'll always remember them as five kids wearing shapeless red T-shirts, reaching to nowhere and blowing up the school with Rachel's insanely good vocals. But yeah, Jump was fun :-)

  4. Great review!

    I found the scene between Will and Terri to be heartbreaking. What a realistic portrayal of the end of a marriage. Having lived through a divorce, I'm here to tell you that Serena is right -- the aftermath is much, much worse than the final fight. I'll be interested to see how they portray this moving forward.

    But, I loved 'Jump'. Number two in my book. Nothing yet has trumped 'Don't Stop' which still gives me chills and I've lost count of the number of times I've watched it.


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