Review of Glee ‘Feud’
This series blog is following the Sky 1 broadcast schedule of ‘Glee’ in the UK.
It’s heating up in the choir room this week – everyone is fighting and getting their anger out through song. The biggest argument, of course, is the one between Will (Matthew Morrison) and Finn (Cory Monteith) - Will still can’t get over Finn kissing Emma (Jayma Mays), even though he and Emma are now back together, apparently. No sign of her in this episode, by the way.
They sing a mash-up of Backstreet Boys’ I Want It That Way and N’Sync’s Bye Bye Bye. They even bring in the trademark strings for the dance routine of the latter. It’s no secret that Cory Monteith isn’t the best dancer, bless his heart – but watching him stumble around to I Want It That Way gave me more laughs than it should have this week. He just looks so awkward, I have no idea why the producers keep making him dance on his own or as the lead dancer.
On the other hand, Matthew Morrison is a great dancer and nails it in this duet. I realise no one was voting on it as they wanted to be ‘Switzerland’ but if you ask me, I think Morrison smashed it. They kind of make up although Schue doesn’t really want to ‘hug it out’. Finn leaves because he can’t really stand being around McKinley anymore now that he’s broken the ‘code of a brother’ according to Will, and frankly he wasn’t doing much with Will back anyway.
Another feud going on this week is the one between Unique (Alex Newell) and Ryder (Blake Jenner). This feud comes out of nowhere really – they’ve been getting along fine the entire time they’ve known each other. But Ryder accidentally calls Unique ‘dude’ and she demands that he recognise her as a woman. Ever since we first met Unique I have been waiting for Glee to properly tackle trans identities and what they mean, but they always seem to stop just shy of doing the whole thing justice. Though, to their credit, in the past this season we have seen Unique explain her difficulties in being trans – not knowing which toilet to use; not really being accepted as either gender. They have a sing-off based on the long-running feud between Madonna and Elton John – a mash-up of The Bitch is Back and Dress You Up.
Although at the end the idea is for them to stop feuding, Ryder doesn’t really understand why Unique is a boy one day and a girl the next; “make up your mind” he implores her. And Jake (Jacob Artist) responds, “in this room, we can be whoever we want to be” – so, far from being totally clueless when it comes to social interactions (as seen in the Valentine’s Day episodes with Marley), at least we now know that Jake kind of ‘gets’ being different. What’s even weirder is that Ryder confides in this ‘Katie’ girl online, and she gives him some good advice, explaining that sometimes you have to take people at their word, and that Unique’s truth is her own truth.
In other words, if she feels she is a woman then people should respect her enough to treat her like one. But even Unique realises there are drawbacks to literally being who you want to be – she wears a dress and is followed home by a group of bitchy girls who taunt her about being a man. I suppose there’s not a whole lot more that they could do with the Unique-is-a-girl storyline and so far they’ve handled it reasonably delicately, but I am just waiting for that really awful Kurt-Karofsky type of confrontation.
The Ryder-Katie relationship is quite strange. Firstly, he likes Marley (Melissa Benoist), and secondly, he was introduced as supposedly quite a cool character. It seems like what with his dyslexia ’secret’ and now the potential online girlfriend, the producers are really dumbing him down and making him seem much more dorky than he originally was.
Sue (Jane Lynch) has a big part this week and the episode is all the better for it – she wants Blaine (Darren Criss) to fulfill his supposed contract with the Cheerios, so she does everything in his power to make him come back. In true over-the-top Sue style, she has taken out credit cards and loans in Blaine’s name, given him cement disguised as hair gel – she even hires a plane to carry a banner about Blaine being on the bottom. Brilliant.
By far the funniest and most outstanding moment of the episode – perhaps even the entire season – is Jane Lynch’s Sue Sylvester take on Nicki Minaj. Her and Blaine sing I Still Believe and Super Bass, and it’s comedy gold. Everything in that scene, from the wig to the outfit to the half-hearted dancing is amazing. I think part of the reason fans relish these kind of scenes involving Lynch is that not only is she a fantastic actress, but she’s also got a great sense of humour and you can just tell when she read the script her eyes must have lit up. It’s so rare that we see Jane perform, that it’s almost as special just watching her do her thing. Her lip-sync to Madonna’s Vogue way back in season 1 was fantastically popular with fans, and I think this Minaj/Carey-esque feud will prove just as popular, simply because Jane Lynch is so great in it.
It turns out that Brody (Dean Geyer) is actually a gigolo, which is a great example of how far Glee has come. It’s now very adult. Characters are making life decisions (both good and bad) and the Glee producers aren’t shying away from the fact that ordinary young people do actually have sexual intercourse – sometimes in loving relationships, sometimes outside of them, and sometimes for cold, hard cash. Harsh but true. The big shock at the end of an episode a couple of weeks ago turns out to be a false alarm – Rachel (Lea Michele) isn’t pregnant, and yet Santana (Naya Rivera) is nagging her to change her ways. But these things do happen sometimes – welcome to being an adult and being sexually active. Frankly, it’s a bit judgemental of Santana really. Having a false alarm isn’t a sign you’re off the rails, it’s a sign that with adulthood comes responsibility and consequences, and that she might need to be a little bit more careful next time.
Santana does her thing and steals Brody’s pager, leading to an eventual confrontation with Brody in some hotel suite somewhere. She has also invited Finn – who has left his ‘job’ (did he ever even have a job?) at McKinley High to think about becoming a teacher or some such – to join in the confrontation. They have a punch-up, Brody says he loves Rachel, and Finn orders him to stay away from his ‘future wife’. Naturally, Rachel knows nothing of this. Yet.
The episode ends, like most of them, on an uplifting group song. This episode ends on Tegan & Sara’s Closer. It’s an uplifting song and I suppose relates to Ryder’s new relationship with ‘Katie’.
Who will tell Rachel about Brody? Is the ‘future wife’ reference some foreshadowing of an actual Rachel-Finn wedding? And who is Ryder’s mysterious new ‘Katie’ friend?Tagged in: Brody, Dean Geyer, episode, feud, Glee, Jane Lynch, Lea Michele, Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj, rachel berry, season 4, sue sylvester, super bass
Recent Posts on Arts
- Interview with singer songwriter Ayanna: 'In creating music, I experience a powerful exchange of energy'
- Tapesh & Maximiljan look back on 2013
- The Children’s Book Blog Christmas Countdown: The House Without a Christmas Tree by Gail Rock
- Interview with Molly: 'I must have very lucky stars above my head!'
- The Children’s Book Blog Christmas Countdown: The Bear’s Winter House by John Yeoman, illustrated by Quentin Blake
Latest from Independent journalists on Twitter