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Glee: Big Brother

If this were an episode of Community, it might be called Advanced Pointing. Or perhaps, Disability Denial for Dummies. But it is not, it is Glee, and it's back! (And it's the feeling you get when your brain finally lets your heart get in its pants.)

I should start by apologising, I am sorry, I could only review the first half of this episode as my screen short-circuited during a certain shower scene. I jest of course, but oh my, this week we were treated to not one but two Anderson siblings! Didn't they look lovely folks?

The Brothers Anderson

Wow, these two almost made the Winchesters look normal. Like a lot of storylines on Glee, the fact that Blaine has an elder brother who he’s always felt overshadowed by came out of nowhere, but it worked a lot better than some guest star storylines, since both Darren Criss and Matt Bomer really threw themselves into it. Blaine has always been a passionate guy, so it was believable that he would get so riled up by big bro’s put downs. Less believable was the fact that all of New Directions were in thrall to a guy they had only since in a credit card advert, but it did give Matt Bomer the chance to relish delivering some wonderfully ridiculous lines. Cooper’s terrible acting class had the secondary effect of making us sympathise more with Blaine, who couldn’t understand why everyone else didn’t see how awful the advice was. Darren Criss did a great job conveying how Blaine despises Cooper for belittling him, but also desperately wants his approval. It’s a dynamic we’ve not seen much of on Glee, and I enjoyed it a lot.

Four Wheels Are Better Than Two

I was seriously worried when Quinn showed up with a smile in the first minute of the episode that Glee was going to make her car-crash even more throwaway than it was. I was hugely relieved as the episode went on and it became apparent that the writers were taking it seriously (maybe a little too seriously with piling on the ‘don’t text and drive’ warnings). The storyline showed us a stronger, more positive side to Quinn and built a sweet, friendly dynamic between her and Artie. Dianna Agron has been rather poorly used this season so it was good that she got a chance to show a few more layers to Quinn. I liked the idea that Quinn is coping so well because she is clinging onto the idea that the situation is only temporary (although, she could still go to Yale in a wheelchair I’m sure) and that is making her much more upbeat. Artie is happy to be able to share his situation with a new friend and feel like he is a mentor, but is also upset that Quinn won’t accept the possibility of being in the chair for the rest of her life. The scene where Artie helped Quinn up the steep access ramp was just lovely.

Co-Coach Sylvester’s Super Sue-terus

Since it seems like Sue’s bizarre pregnancy storyline isn’t going away, so I should probably talk about it even if it’s only to say ‘ugh’. I did like her variety of meta jokes about Will needing adult friends and Porcelain’s niche gay comments, and it’ll be interesting to see how she handles the prospect of having a disabled baby, but since this is Glee, I can’t imagine she will do anything but accept the situation. On another note, I am finally starting to enjoy the rivalry between Sue and synchro-swim coach Roz.

Brotherly Loved

- Glee has been renewed for a fourth Season!

- Kurt’s reaction to seeing Cooper for the first time was priceless.

- Nationals... Nationals! They will be in Chicago.

- Christina Aguilera, Duran Duran, triple scoops of Blaine, plus the lovely Matt Bomer. Glee knows its fan base well.

- Blaine takes off his cardigan to reveal... another sweater vest!

- Some interesting trivia from this episode:
It is the first episode in which both Rachel and Mercedes do not sing.
It is the third time Blaine has sung in at least three songs in an episode.
It is the third episode this season in which Santana does not sing.
It is the first time Quinn has had a duet with Artie and the first time she has sung two duets with the same person in one episode.

- Puck has stuff to do again, finally! It was strange, it was as if the writers were punishing him for their own mistake of bringing Shelby back.

- Blaine’s line “Thanks for saying that Coop. And I know really mean it too, because, you weren’t pointing your finger at me or speaking REALLY LOUDLY, to be INTENSE!” That was the real Darren Criss showing through, adorably so.

- Please go and watch Cooper’s audition tape for Transformers 4 it’s hilarious.

Didn’t Brotherly Love

- Teen Jesus, Joe has joined New Directions, which isn’t a bad thing, it just seemed completely by-the-by.

- Seems like everyone has forgotten about poor Karofsky for the time being.

- The sudden desire of Finn to move to California seemed really petty, mainly because the it was something like the D plot and almost no time was spent on it. I’d rather they’d held the Finchel angst over for another episode instead of trying to cram too much in again.

Glee Against the Music

I'm Still Standing by Elton John performed by Quinn and Artie:
I feel no need to comment on the extreme irony inherent in this song. Dianna Agron and Kevin McHale have extremely different voices, but this duet worked well vocally, mainly because Quinn was doing backing vocals for the most part, and singing an upper harmony. Apart from that, I found it hard to enjoy the song as Quinn seemed far too happy for someone who has just had a massive and possibly permanently debilitating accident. Grade B

Hungry Like The Wolf/Rio by Duran Duran performed by Blaine and Cooper:
Ahh, sweet sweet ear candy. Darren Criss and Matt Bomer make for good duet partners, but they’re helped by an effective mash-up of classic songs. I would have liked a little more Hungry Like The Wolf, but I vastly enjoyed Santana’s reaction to Blaine’s speaking section. Cute dance moves from the Anderson Brothers too. Grade B+

Fighter by Christina Aguilera performed by Blaine:
Sorry I am completely unable to be objective when rating this one due to dripping wet, naked Blaine. But honestly, it was a great opportunity to show off Darren Criss’ frenetic style, he really sold the angst here. He also has one of the more powerful voices in the cast so was able to do the song justice. Glee also gets kudos for remembering Blaine’s tendency for angry solo boxing. Did I mention my judgement might be slightly impartial here? Also, a wall of screens all showing Matt Bomer in close-up has to score extra points. Grade A-

Up Up Up by Givers performed by Artie and Quinn:
Not quite as good as I’m Still Standing, but I loved the intercutting of Artie and Quinn’s day out with Life Rolls On and the rest of New Directions on the rollercoaster. Grade B

Somebody That I Used To Know by Gotye (feat. Kimbra) performed by Blaine and Cooper:
Again, it’s hard to be objective here, but this time it’s because the song has been so overplayed, I already feel like I’ve been saturated with cover versions. Click here for an especially good one. Some of the lyrics worked well for the brothers’ relationship (“Now and then I think of all the times you screwed me over, but had me believing it was always something that I’d done”) but a lot of the lyrics don’t translate as anything other than romantic troubles. Coupled with the mood lighting and all the long, torturous glances and the vibe felt distinctly un-brotherly! Still, it sounded fantastic. Grade B

Quotes for Gleeks

Sue: “Will you sign my breast?”
Cooper: “My pleasure. Keep on dreaming. Yours ... Cooper Anderson.”

Cooper: “Other choices I can plan ahead of time: screaming all my lines! Because I'm really intense. And the things I'm feeling are really intense! Because I'm a really intense actor! Nicholas Cage, right?”

Sue: “It's in my DNA to be intense, okay, just like it's in Porcelain's DNA to poop rainbow glitter.”

"Have you met George Clooney?"
Cooper: "Not yet, but I did sleep with the Progressive Insurance lady."

Rachel: “Look, I need to be in New York and I need you with me. I can't do this without you.”
Finn: “I just want you to be really sure. I want you to be really sure that you are in love with me and not who you want me to be.”

Cooper: “The key to a dramatic scene is pointing. When people are really emotional, they point their fingers a lot.”
Blaine: “That's not true at all. That's ... that's terrible advice.”
Cooper: “Excuse me, guys, I'm sorry. I'm sorry, Blaine. Are you an internationally beloved spokesman for the internet's fastest growing credit score website?”

Three and a half out of four cardigan/sweater vest/bow tie combos. Isn’t it good to have Glee back?


  1. I was definitely looking forward to your review, Harry!

    Tumblr had a major freak-out over the Darren Criss shower scene as well as anything and everything Cooper.

    "But I only learned to walk three years ago!"

    And now I will go watch season one of White Collar while having to wait for either White Collar season four or for Magic Mike.

  2. LMAO for the first paragraph and the audition clip. Nice touch with the WOTE clip too.

    Awesome review Harry.

    This was a strong ep. I was surprised to see Quinn on a wheelchair. Better this that scenes in an hospital room. and D.A. shone. LMAO for that acting class.

    Hum, a 4th season....After graduation ? I'm not convinced. But we'll see next fall.

    Oh and next week, a show dedicated to (censored) WOW !!!

  3. Here's how this episode came to be:
    Matt Bomer meets Ryan ADHD Murphy and suggests they do a Gotye cover. Murphy says: "how'd u like to do it?". Bomer says ok. Quick, let's scrap all the plans we had for this episode like maybe showing Quinn's journey from crash to wheelchair, or oh i don't know, karofsky's storyline. Yeah let's scrap all that so we can write around "The best looking guy in central america".
    Don't get me wrong, i'm a huge huge fan of the guy. He IS white collar. He is the absolute best guy in the world to play Blaine's brother. I've noticed how good an actor he is back when he debuted on Tru Calling. He can even make me stand Blaine again after the writers butchered him this season... but not like this. Not at the price of character development... But then again this is glee, and it's not exactly the epitome of continuity or good writing for that matter...
    The one good thing we got out this episode was Rio/Hungry like the wolf. They were amazing in that...

    Anyone else notice how weirdly incestous their Gotye cover is?

  4. Thanks Morgan and celticmarc! I don't know how I forgot the
    "But I only learned to walk three years ago!" line.

    Interesting theory Mario. About the incest vibe during Gotye, that's what I meant when I said it felt distinctly un-brotherly. I'm surprised you think the writers have butchered Blaine's character this season, I wonder why.

  5. People !!

    Remember what I wrote a while back !! You watch this show for the MUSIC First ! Then you watch Fringe, In Plain Sight for character development. Then you watch Community and Modern Family to LMAO. Then you watch Alias and Leverage to be flabbergasted.

    Glee has a niche of its own....and it is the only one in it.

  6. I think one of the reasons why there was nothing on Karofsky was because Max Adler is working on a different show at the moment.

    I think bringing Matt Bomer in for an episode was a really smart move on RIB's part. And yes, Matt's partner is also Ryan's agent, but who cares? Matt is gorgeous to look at.


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