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Glee Recap: Just Say No

National alcohol awareness month doesn’t come till April, so we’re a bit confused by this week’s blatant PSA of a theme. But hey, we’ll thank director Eric Stoltz anyway. It’s not every week we get to see the cast’s acting range when it comes to playing drunk versus hung-over, which includes all sorts of fun stuff, like Santana busting out the Spanish, Finn correctly identifying every kind of girl-drunk, and us finally seeing a glimpse of the Berry household (basement stage and giant portrait of Rachel, as predicted).

Don’t You Want Me
Pizzazz: 4
Relevance: 8
Absurdity: 4

Figgins is back to identifying previously invisible problems at McKinley, and this time he’s concerned about teen drinking as promoted by “Ke Dollar Sign Ha” (naturally Schue looks more concerned about a possible head-lice epidemic), so we have the glee club’s assignment: Anti-drinking song, stat! Rachel, instead, is at work on an entirely unconvincing ode to her headband for regionals (sorry, Rachel would never allow herself to perform that dreck), until she realizes she hasn’t lived enough to be a songwriter. Time for a party at Casa Berry, which turns out to be as hilarious and frightening as we might expect from Rachel. After screaming a new Glee catchphrase (“It tastes like pink!!!”), she launches a fateful spin-the-bottle game involving a magically drunk kiss with Blaine, which of course can only mean one thing: "Your face tastes awesome” and “I think I found a new duet partner!” Something about seeing Blaine and Rachel sing together makes us like both much more. Because really, who among us has not wished to jump around singing this eighties classic in a nightgown on our own personal stage with an adorable gay man?

Blame It On the Alcohol
Pizzazz: 9
Relevance: 9
Absurdity: 8

We’ll blame the lack of real alcohol in filming these scenes (well, presumably) for the amusingly varied performances of “drunk teenager” the cast offers this week. Winners for hilarious and believable: Santana, Mercedes, Rachel. Winners among the hung-over: Mike Chang (“I told my mom and I had the flu and she made me a traditional tea out of panda hair”) and Artie, who finds his inner Jamie Foxx and immediately busts into this utterly ridiculous jam. We were actually impressed by the foursome of Santana, Mercedes, Artie, and Puck (more from these four together, please), but immediately gaped at Mr. Schue’s beatific reaction to the performance (well, the choreography was pretty great — perhaps he’s proud of Finn’s slightly improved dance moves). So many mixed messages this week … but we suppose trying to make any sense of this episode would detract from its ludicrous energy.

One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer
Pizzazz: 5
Relevance: 9
Absurdity: 5

In a continued effort to develop songwriting skills, Rachel is at home listening to Carole King records, drinking rosé, and making ill-advised phone calls to Blaine (let’s reiterate — we really like this Rachel. More tipsy Rachel!). It’s been a while since we’ve seen Kurt’s more annoying self-righteous side, so this occasions a heated argument: Kurt’s horrified that Blaine would even consider he might be bisexual, while Blaine’s just as horrified that Kurt would judge him for exploring his identity. Horrified face-off in the coffee shop! Because the episode clearly can’t go by without addressing the Dangers of Drinking for Us All, we get a brief plot sidebar for stressed and lonely Mr. Schue, the cure to whose woes is definitely country line dancing, Beiste in a cowboy hat, and riding the mechanical bull (and somehow, amid all this, not a hair on his head is mussed! Incredible!). It’s worrisome that the eternal Emma and Will romance seems on the way to rekindling (and now, for our weekly WHERE IS STAMOS?!!!), but this Schue and Beiste duet is, in the meantime, plenty endearing.

Tik Tok
Pizzazz: 8
Relevance: 7
Absurdity: 6

"Blaine is the first in a long line of conflicted men that you will date that will turn out to be only the most flaming of homosexuals,” Kurt, no longer wearing one suspender, tells a Blaine-smitten Rachel. He’s likely right (though not on the whole arguing over who would be the better Rum Tum Tugger — obviously they’d both want to be Grizabella). Still, as is becoming the norm in these situations, it’s an occasion to show Kurt that small-mindedness goes both ways, as we see in the nicely played Souffle Baking Debacle with Mr. Hummel (Kurt won’t have “inappropriate” sleepovers if dad will do some research on gay sex — and, scene!). Elsewhere, the New Directions crew deal with the longer hangover from Rachel’s party: namely, their choice to perform “Tik and also Tok” (excellent wording again, Figgins!) while drunk, and “alcoholic teen vomit fetishist” Will’s choice to drunk dial Emma, or, as it were, Sue. The plus side: We get another stellar dance performance from Heather Morris, who’s not only a dead ringer for Ke$ha but clearly now Glee’s go-to girl for flatly sung yet infectious pop hits. The morning-after side effects: humiliation for Will, googly-eyes from Emma, and fro-yo coupons for everyone! Somehow, by episode’s end, it’s mildly disappointing that Rachel doesn’t get Blaine, a potential boyfriend “who can keep up with me vocally and in the future give me vaguely Eurasian looking children.” But the lesson learned by all — that alcohol consumed in moderation is fine — seems a little akin to silly episodes like this one, which, every once in a while, give us a pleasant buzz.

Photo: Mike Yarish/FOX