What is this feeling?!


I just finished watching the newest episode of Glee and I am confused. Not because of the episode itself. Because of my reaction to it.

I’m not sobbing.

I’m not giggling hysterical.

I’m not mad enough to throw things.

I feel…satisfied?

WHAT IS THIS MADNESS?!

"What is that smell...COFFEE? It's usually masked by the stench of fear!"

Seriously. This is maybe the first time that I’ve ever actually totally approved of the entire content of an episode of Glee…certainly the first time since the back nine started airing.

Why?

Because people got what was fucking coming to them.

I am in Glee fan AND Glee critic heaven right now:

  • Brittany teamed up with Tina, Mercedes, Kurt, and Artie. Dream. Team.
  • Sue Sylvester did not make ONE SINGLE HAIR JOKE.
  • Also, she covered all extremes of the Sue Sylvester spectrum, from her sister to Olivia Newton-John (and the most disturbing musical number in any episode since “Acafellas”).
  • AND, she gave Emma the push she needed. EMMA IS FINALLY AWESOME AGAIN. Having her get her balls (and brain) back is such a relief that the resulting scene almost didn’t have to be as awesome as it was.
  • BUT, it was awesome. And hysterical.
  • AND Will fucking Schuester finally got called out for being so dreadfully retarded…and also called a slut, which is both hilarious and true.
  • Rachel finally got used to her greatest potential: spotlight-whoring manipulator. I never ever like Rachel, but I tip my hat to her for triple-timing video…to Lea Michele for the ballet (which featured SYTYCD Season 5’s Melissa Sandvig).
  • Even better, she didn’t come out on top for once – people do actually hate her. Not “Oh Rachel Is So Irritating” hate her. They hate her hate her. It is awesome…except for the Jonathan Groff crying (which is also kind of awesome, but in more of an awwpoorbaby! sort of way)
  • We finally paid some attention to Quinn who’s been basically ignored for a good long while
  • She and Mr. Schu had a superior Touching Moment, follow-up to that one time she was at his house and hugged him (they almost – almost! – rival Kurt for heartclenchers)
  • Guest appearances by Molly Shannon and Stephen Tobolowsky. Need I say more? (I needn’t.)

…I feel bad that pretty much everything I had to say about this episode just ended up in a list instead of real paragraphs and sentences and thoughts and stuff. So, here’s an attempt to be slightly more articulate and…professional?

My honest-to-god reaction to this episode is shock. After weeks (well, months, if we count all the time after “Sectionals”) of being so disappointed and, yeah, infuriated, it’s really unbalancing to suddenly approve so much. I feel like I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop or something. (Wait…other shoe…other Schue? Terri? What? Wait…I already used this pun, didn’t I…)

I feel like something must be wrong because I liked “Bad Reputation” way too much. And then, realizing I feel that way, I feel like that is really wrong because of how much I know I love Glee. And then I’m confused all over again.

“Bad Reputation” is certainly not an artfully crafted masterpiece of storytelling. The musical numbers were only average, with a few bonus points of amusing for “Can’t Touch This” (And, sidenote, since when does that song have a bad reputation? Doesn’t everyone love that song?). There was so much plot content that the whole episode seemed pretty rushed. But Glee is a character show at heart in a lot of ways, and the character work in this episode was definitely superb.

The major plotline (and character relationship web) seems to finally be taking a direction I can get behind. I’m finally excited for, not almost dreading, the next installment. And that almost worries me more. Because now that I expect to be impressed, I’ll be doubly disappointed if my expectations aren’t lived up to. It’s a thin line, people. Perilous! All things considered, though, I guess I’d rather take that risk than the risk of becoming progressively more disenchanted with the show.

Is this what Glee‘s redemption looks like? I…honestly don’t know.

(This week’s Glee review/rampage dedicated to my wonderful Kate, my go-to Gleek, who is having a hell of a time. Send good wishes – she could use as much positive energy as she can get. Cheers!)

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