Not for the first time, I find myself wondering what the hell to say about Glee. (This might be to its credit.) So let’s deal with the music upfront: in ‘Jagged Little Tapestry’ the new glee club was invited to create mashups of tracks from two breakup albums: a classic one (Carole King’s ‘Tapestry’) and half a good one (Alanis Morissette’s ‘Jagged Little Pill’). Of these the best was ‘Will You Love Me Tomorrow’/‘Head Over Feet’, sung by Jane and Male Incest Twin, because they have great voices and convincing chemistry. Bizarrely, ‘You Oughta Know’ – the best track on ‘Pill’ by some distance – didn’t feature at all; you’d think that Glee, of all shows, would be able to dredge up a vengeful ex-lover or two, but instead Kurt and Blaine contribute a tasteful ‘Too Late‘.
Anyway. Rachel and Kurt are clashing repeatedly as they try to coach the New Directions, mainly because Kurt is now perpetually distracted by the loss of Klaine. Blaine, in fact, is moving in with Dave, which essentially amounts to trolling Kurt, I’d say. When Santana proposes to Brittany – in front of everyone, natch – Kurt sticks his head above the parapet and tells them they’re too young, for which he later gets a two minute long character assassination from Santana. The good news, though, is that a woman proposing to another woman doesn’t raise a flicker of moral outrage any more; they might be too young, but they’re not too gay.
The other main storylines are potentially more problematic, although I think Glee handles them pretty well. Becky’s new boyfriend is coming to town, and she’s keen to impress him, so she’s been telling him lies about what she’s been doing at school. The New Directions alums agree to help her by conspiring to maintain the fiction that she was in glee club: this is the most baffling part of the plot by far, because she’s staggeringly unpleasant to them throughout. But it’s Glee, I suppose. Anyway, the boyfriend – to everyone’s ill-concealed surprise – doesn’t have Down’s syndrome. So is he exploiting her? And are they, you know, doing it? There’s more than a hint of a PSA about the answers, but that’s not unreasonable.
And there’s something going on with Coach Beiste, which eventually will be revealed to be gender reassignment. Now, I think this involves more than a little retconning – Beiste’s thing was always that she was a butch woman, but a woman nonetheless – and thus, perhaps, the show trying a little too hard to shoehorn the subject in. And as ever I’m not wholly impressed by the way in which Sue, generally nasty to everyone for six seasons now, suddenly goes all supportive and sympathetic. Still, Dot-Marie Jones acts the hell out of it, there’s still room for a snarky joke or two (“It’s not that big of a stretch”, notes Sue), and Sue reassures Beiste that his job will be available to him should he return, which presumably means that he will. Once again it’s a bit PSA-ish, of course, but I’m kind of glad that Glee has been tackling these issues throughout its run. Not as good an episode as last week, but not a bad one either.