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Glee - Episode 5.04 "A Katy or a Gaga" - Review

You can say all you want about the quality of Glee now, but there is one area that remains untouched: its ability to make fun of itself. Glee has always had a certain knack for acknowledging its own absurdity from time to time and this week was no exception. I liked this as an episode to come back in on. We still see the effect that Finn’s passing is having, but we also start moving forward.

So in Lima, Schue scored the “secret” list of their competition for Nationals (how is it secret if the teams going are teams that won their regional competitions??) and everyone proceeded to freak out about the crazy good competition that they’ll have and how they are just going to lose. I’m sorry, but we’ve done this song and dance a million times and it’s gotten a bit old, although I understand the fear a little more this year given who they’ve lost from last year’s team.

Ultimately, Schue decides to do a Katy v. Gaga style showdown where the self-proclaimed Katys had to do a Gaga number and the Gagas a Katy number. Throughout all of this, we had the Sam and Nurse Penny stuff. This isn’t the most inappropriate relationship Glee has ever thrown at us, but it’s still a relationship that would be frowned upon in the real world. Although they seem to have the same clueless level, so maybe there’s hope for these crazy kids yet. And True Jackson, Sam? Really?

In the other big Lima storyline of the week, we had some Marley and Jake drama. These two have been pretty solid for a while, so I guess they were due for some drama. So Jake was getting a little bored with their Breadstick/movie Friday night routine (and who can blame him, that sounds boring week in and week out), but any alternatives that Marley came up with were “Katy” type ideas as well. Plus Schue suspended her from New Directions for the rest of the week because she wouldn’t wear her Gaga outfit (seriously, that’s a thing??). Already in a funk, she and Jake have a fight during a makeout session about the intimacy level of their relationship. Jake has been very patient and understanding of Marley up to this point in the relationship and has never pushed her to do anything that she isn’t ready for. And the bedroom is a much more intimate setting, so if I wasn’t looking to suggest that I might be ready to move things a little further, I might find a different place to makeout. None of this excuses Jake’s reaction, however. Marley’s outburst came from a place of insecurity, and choosing to take her “advice” was a low blow. How soon we see the fallout is anyone’s guess (probably the episode with Nationals), but it is not going to be pretty.

On the New York side of things, Kurt was ready to start his band. He recruited Santana and Dani, but a still grieving Rachel thought it would be too much to handle. The only person that came to audition was Adam Lambert (sorry, Starchild….) and he performed a rousing rendition of “Marry the Night.” Kurt thought he was too flamboyant (?!) and wanted to keep looking. This confused me TREMENDOUSLY until we got the later explanation for his reasoning: he feels like to have any kind of true success and acceptance in mainstream media, he needs to keep things toned down a bit more. I get where he's coming from, but we've seen Kurt try and not be himself before and it just doesn't work. Rachel puts him back on track and luckily Starchild (or Elliott, whatever he wants to call himself that day) finds Kurt at the diner and all is forgiven. Rachel gives the group their name (Pamela Lansbury = gold) and is finally convinced to join in.

Other Notes:
--- Did anybody else find it a little weird seeing Adam Lambert in normal clothing? I’m so used to him being more extreme in his clothing choices.
--- I’m glad that we’re seeing Rachel not quite back to her normal self. It allows the show to acknowledge Finn in an organic way, without dragging the show too far into a sad realm. If they can continue to have that kind of balance, I think they’ll be alright.
---Yes show, let’s just bring Becky back without even really addressing anything. That sounds about right……

Musical pick:
“Wide Awake” – I liked the stripped down treatment this song got and the harmonies and ad libs were gorgeous. Not a group I would have picked to sing together but it actually worked and I definitely found myself preferring this arrangement to the original.

With that I turn it over to you. What did you think of the episode? Are you a Katy or a Gaga? Can Jake be redeemed at this point? Does anyone really even care about what’s going on in Lima anymore?

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