Welcome back, Gleeks! (Do you like the new feature logo?)
After an excruciating 7 week hiatus, we’re promised that the last 7 episodes of Season 3 will air consecutively with no re-runs until the end of the season. Additionally, season 4 was officially announced today via FOX and the show’s stars on Twitter. I didn’t realize that it hadn’t already been renewed and I don’t think it was likely to be cancelled just yet, but still – we have that to look forward to!
All in all, today is a great day for Gleeks. Well unless the episode sucks, I suppose.
In case you can’t remember where we left off…
This episode, entitled “Big Brother” promises to reveal the outcome of Finn & Rachel’s wedding as well as Quinn’s fate after what appears to be a rather serious car accident which served as the cliff hanger for the last aired episode. Also, we are to be introduced to Blaine’s older brother, played by guest star: Matt Bomer.
Without further ado, let’s dive in!
In what classifies as the worst writing decision ever, they opt to go for the time lapse approach to the mid season finale cliff hanger. Rather than giving us any kind of heart-wrenching drama where Quinn’s life hangs in the balance, we instead open to Finn and Rachel talking about the accident and their nuptials in the school hallway and within the first two lines we learn that Quinn’s accident caused them to call off their wedding. Finn says they should plan to get married in Chicago when they travel there for Nationals but Rachel can’t stop thinking about Quinn and feels terrible about what happened.
A moment later, Quinn glides down the hallway in a wheelchair. (I sorta called it!) Not only is she rocking wheels, but she already seems like she’s ok with it and Artie seems to have taken her under his wing. Rachel seems like she doesn’t know what to say to Quinn because she feels responsible for the accident. Quinn tells her not to sweat it, that she’s thankful to be alive and breaks into Elton John’s “Still Standing”, accompanied by Artie as they wheel through the halls and into the choir room where they finish the song for the Glee club.
After the song, Quinn tells the group that her paralysis is expected to be temporary and that texting and driving is the dumbest thing she’s ever done (aside from sleeping with Puck. Deflection tactics 101). The accident left her with a compressed spine and with therapy she’s told that she should be able to walk again and claims she’s already starting to regain feeling. She promises the group that by the time they get to Nationals she’ll be walking again. Cut to Artie looking doubtful.
Sue is meeting with Principal Figgins, and she looks devastated. We learn that Roz Washington has been made co-coach of the Cheerios since Sue is pregnant and the Cheerios need dedicated leadership to win Nationals. (YAY!! This means MORE NeNe!!). Roz definitely Rivals Sue in the amazing lines department and this scene is no exception. If looks could kill, Roz and Figgins would be a bloody macabre mess! (Wait, wasn’t The Glee Project winner supposed to be Sue’s biggest rival? Was that scrapped? Do The Glee Project kids really ever do anything major?)
When Roz walks off, satisfied with herself for the one-upsmanship, Sue asks Figgins if he will allow her to run the Cheerios alone if she ensures that New Directions win the $10,000 prize at Nationals. Cut to Sue taking over Glee Club “Booty Camp” where New Directions have been putting in extra time on the dancing. Amusingly, despite their improved choreography over the last couple of competitions, everyone still seems to be awful or uninterested. Good continuity! (Not.)
Sue, being the champion Coach that she is, immediately goes into Drill Sergeant mode. She calls New Directions out on their complaining about choreography and being lazy and even grabs a cell phone from Mercedes (who was texting instead of paying attention) and tosses it out into the auditorium.
Will later confronts Sue, saying that the Glee kids are complaining about how she’s treating them. Sue blames it all on the hormones from the pregnancy and reveals that she’s got an appointment to learn the sex of her baby. Emma says that she thinks Sue should have a friend with her and her and Will offer to accompany Sue to the appointment.
Cut to Blaine and Kurt in the hallway. Kurt asks Blaine why he seems pre-occupied and we learn that his brother (whom he never speaks about) is in town and wants to take him out to lunch. Enter Cooper Anderson (Anderson, Cooper? really Ryan Murphy?) who Kurt immediately recognizes as is evidenced in the image below:
As it turns out, Cooper is a bit of a local celebrity as he has appeared on numerous national commercials for FreeCreditRatingToday.com. Sue Sylvester also seems to recognize him and approaches with lustful eyes to ask him to sign her breast. (Could Cooper be the celebrity baby daddy?) After signing the autograph he puts his arm around Blaine to head for the exit but is intercepted once again by Sue moments later, leaving Blaine looking frustrated. Evidently Cooper’s “fame” has gotten in the way of their relationship.
Meanwhile, the rest of New Directions are in the library making plans for Senior Ditch Day – one day a year where the seniors skip classes to congregate somewhere and party. Rachel can’t take it; all of them making fun plans while Quinn sits in a wheelchair. Once again, she voices her feelings of guilt. Quinn, never one to want people to pity her, assures Rachel that she’s fine, the accident wasn’t her fault and she meant it when she said she wouldn’t let this accident ruin or define her senior year. She makes Rachel give her a hug and then suggests they all go to Six Flags Amusement Park for Ditch Day. Everyone agrees enthusiastically.
Puck pulls Finn aside to make a business proposition. He’s decided after graduation to go to Los Angeles and expand his pool cleaning business and he wants Finn to come with him and be “the brains” of the operation. (Wait? Finn? The guy who believed he got a girl pregnant through his shorts in the hot tub?) Finn is honoured but stays true to is decision to go to New York with Rachel. Puck asks if he can help with a job in Lima later today and Finn agrees.
Back in the choir room, Sue announces that since the club are a bunch of “Lazy Idiots” who don’t like her approach that she has enlisted none other than Cooper Anderson to hold a “Master Class” on acting and performing the following day. Everyone but Blaine looks excited. Rachel adds that with both Anderson brothers being so talented, that there must have been lots of great brotherly performances which leads into Blaine and Cooper performing a mash-up of “Rio” and “Hungry like the Wolf” by Duran Duran. Bomer and Criss sound fantastic together, so vocally I think casting was perfect though I don’t think they look like brothers at all. They spend the majority of the number trying to outshine one-another.
At the end, the audience is cheering on their feet (with the obvious exception of Artie and Quinn) and Cooper says “Standing O! Woo! I was REALLY great in that number!” Blaine’s feelings can be described by the following frame:
Later at Breadstix, Blaine tells Cooper that it feels like he is always putting him down instead of building him up. We see an adorable flashback of the two as children. Cooper says he didn’t realize that he’d ever made Blaine feel bad and apologizes somewhat emptily. Blaine seems like he’s heard it all before but accepts and agrees to come to Cooper’s “Master Class”.
Cut to Quinn and Artie (QUARTIE!) outside the school. Artie is still schooling Quinn on the ways of the handicapable at McKinley and he’s teaching her how to conquer the toughest wheelchair ramp at the school. He later tells her in the hallway that he wants her to come with him on Senior Ditch Day because Six Flags will be a drag in a wheelchair and promises the “best Senior Ditch Day ever”. The world lets out a collective “awwwwwwww” because Quartie are the epitome of adorable.
At Cooper’s master class, he continues to be impossibly irritating while Blaine continues to unravel. His first bit of advice: “Don’t go to college, it is a waste of time!” This is immediately followed by “Don’t go to New York. Theatre is lame and Broadway is dead.” Everyone but Blaine seems to be really drinking in all of the (completely terrible) advice, some of them even taking notes. Later when they’re acting out a scene from NCIS, Blaine gets fed up and tries to confront Cooper again in front of everyone but he brushes it off completely.
At Puck’s pool cleaning job, Puck continues to try and convince Finn (who gets hit on by the Cougar who owns the house) to come to Los Angeles, saying that Finn is spending way too much time thinking about Rachel’s dreams and not enough about his own. Finn tries to stick to his guns but you can see doubt is starting to creep in about New York.
At the Doctor’s office, Sue is nervous that it will be revealed she is pregnant with a boy. She’s called into the doctor’s office and is happy to learn that she will be having a girl but the good news is quickly squashed when it’s revealed that there were irregularities in the results of her tests.
Back at School, Cooper tells Blaine that he’ll be leaving town again because he has an audition for a new Michael Bay movie. Blaine, feeling like Cooper’s words about wanting to be closer were just smoke and mirrors, faces him and launches into the WORST moment of the episode.
Not only did they cover Christina Aguilera’s iconic kiss-off anthem: “Fighter” which probably should never be covered by anyone, but they used Blaine to sing it (Um, Amber Riley would have done a much better job of this song?). No offense intended to Darren Criss, but I don’t like this number at all. I could have handled the montage of him hitting the punching bag and whatnot with a different song but this one just felt so cliché and emotionally his vocals didn’t match his facial expressions.
The worst moment of the episode wasn’t the song itself; however, it was the four-line spoken word intro to this song. CHEESE!! This whole scene was just a way to bring back Angry Blaine and for Criss to show us more of his tight little body, which seems to be all hairless now unlike the image from OUT magazine to your right. (This is the moment when many adults who watch Glee remember that these actors are playing teenagers and suddenly feel really bad about themselves… right?)
Next, Quinn scolds Finn in the hallway for texting while walking and almost trampling Teen Jesus’ bare toes. Is her resolve cracking? Otherwise this scene doesn’t tell us anything we didn’t already know!
Once again, Lauren Potter steals the entire f**king show when Becky Jackson comes into Sue’s office to say that she heard about the news that Sue would be having a baby girl. Tears forming in her eyes, Sue removes her glasses and points at Becky “Yeah.. just like you.” She re-iterates this as she pulls Becky into a hug. The irregularities the doctor mentioned mean that Sue’s baby will likely have Downs Syndrome – like Becky and like Sue’s late sister, Jean. The world lets out a whimper and wipes away tears. As Becky leaves she offers a parenting tip: “try to work on your patience”.
Senior Ditch Day has arrived. Artie takes Quinn to a skate park for “Crip Skate” where a lot of handicapped high school students have gathered! Quinn seems reluctant and says she doesn’t think she’s ready but Artie encourages her.
Here comes a song! We get a montage of the fun at both Six Flags and at the Skate Park as everyone sings “Up Up Up” by The Givers. While I haven’t ever heard this song before, it creates one of the episode’s best moments.
After the song, Quinn thanks Artie for a great Ditch Day. Artie tells her that he wanted her to have fun in a place with people that were like her, which finally escalates Quinn beyond the subtle discomfort she’s been showing with her situation throughout the episode. She insists that she’s not LIKE those people or like Artie and that she will walk again and leave Lima for Yale before wheeling away from him. Artie turns and says “And what if you don’t? When are you gonna stop pretending that this isn’t really happening to you?”
Later, Quinn is struggling to reach items in her locker when Teen Jesus approaches and offers help, even offering to switch lockers with him. Quinn is too proud at first and resists. Joe walks her to class and as he pushes her chair he tells her that he’s been praying for her, whatever her journey may be. Still frustrated from her fight with Artie she says that while she appreciates the prayers, it’s little consolation because after praying he can stand back up and walk away. She quickly apologizes and Joe shrugs it off like he understands her pain. Hardly 5 minutes of total screen time on the series to date but I think this guy’s a keeper; Quinn thinks so too. She’s so inspired by him that she invites him to Glee club after school.
Ah, so finally Teen Jesus and Sue Sylvester will be in the same place for this supposed rivalry to (possibly) happen. Joe is welcomed wholeheartedly by all Glee club members and Sue addresses the group. In a hilariously backhanded speech she both apologizes for being mean/insulting by being mean/insulting, but confesses that on top of wanting to help them win that she hopes that the baby she’s carrying will soak up some of their “constantly annoying though admittedly laudable optimism and decency” and promises to try and be nicer if they commit to working for a Nationals win.
Later in the hallway, Blaine is at his locker when Kurt approaches with a cute toy dog to cheer Blaine up. We get some super cute Klaine moments before Blaine goes back to his woe is me act about Cooper. Kurt gives him a pep talk using his experiences with Finn to re-assure him that no matter how much you disagree, your siblings are still your family and you need to be there for each other. He adds that Cooper hasn’t actually left yet and he’s waiting in the auditorium hoping that Blaine will talk to him and he needs to show Cooper how he feels in the best, most honest way he knows how.
Awww, shiet! It’s a muthaf**king sing off!
Blaine walks out onto the auditorium stage, Cooper sitting in the audience and sings the opening lines of “Somebody That I Used To Know” by Gotye – posted in video form below.
It’s brilliant! This gorgeous break-up song manages to not sound completely strange between two brothers (really its title mirrors the sentiment of the scene more so than the lyrics). This number is beautifully performed and given the extreme personalities of the characters, acted (over the top facial expressions should be expected from the Anderson brothers).
After the song ends, the brothers talk it out. Cooper tells Blaine he’s only hard on him because he sees how much talent he has and knows that he’s going to “do it all” someday and wants to be able to say: “That’s my kid brother!” It turns out that Cooper’s big audition was cancelled and he’s feeling down on himself about it, seeing this weakness in Cooper seems to make Blaine’s walls drop and he comforts him and Cooper confesses that he hopes Blaine considers him, beyond blood, as a friend and Blaine says he’s always wanted that. They hug. Awwww.
Rachel and Finn are chatting in the hallway when Rachel mentions that she has to meet with the NYADA scout soon, prompting Finn to voice the thoughts he has been fielding about his future. Rachel immediately looks threatened. He proposes that maybe they consider California, adding that Rachel can act and sing in Los Angeles and he could work with Puck. Rachel, her eyes reflecting the lights of Broadway, simply isn’t having it – New York is everything to her. There is some struggle back and forth. Finn feels like Rachel is always saying “our” and “together” but everything is one-sided and tells her that he wants her to be sure she’s in love with him – not who she wants him to be. He walks away and leaves her leaning against her lockers, floored as the school bell rings.
Now I admit, at the end of my first viewing I was set to condemn this episode. In re-watching to write this recap, I admit I’ve come around. So, before I rip it apart a little I will admit that my overall impression has changed.
- The time lapse was a big disappointment. If this were the next episode and we got one where Quinn was in hospital and learning the news and all of that I would be more satisfied. This is not, however, the first time that Glee has done this and robbed us of seeing how something turned out.
- I didn’t care much for the Blaine and Cooper arc until the last musical number. I’m not sure why that is. Perhaps it was part of me wanting the Quinn drama and getting too much comic relief.
While at first I was going to throw “Big Brother” into the same dark shady place I threw “The Spanish Teacher”, I realize that I did actually think this was a good episode overall. Not amazing, but not terrible. It was, however, an anti-climactic way to return after such a devastating mid-season finale cliff hanger but perhaps they felt the last episode was too heavy to follow it up with another tragedy.
Next week, we get “Saturday Night Glee-ver”. That’s right; the week’s theme will be DISCO! The New Directions don’t all seem terribly excited but I sure know that I am!
As always I will live tweet during the episode on Twitter @ThePopMessiah! Check back for next week’s Recap and please add your comments and feedback! We love to hear it!
Kurt gives him a pep talk using his experiences with Finn to re-assure him that no matter how much you disagree, your siblings are still your family and you need to be there for eachother.