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Glee - Episode 5.05 "The End of Twerk" - Review

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Full disclosure: I hate twerking and I really don’t enjoy Miley Cyrus so I had to struggle to get myself to even watch this episode. I have been dreading it since I saw the title.

After Tina taped Blaine twerking and showed it to all of Glee club, Mr. Schue decided that, in order to beat their competition, they need to shed their America’s Sweetheart image, and apparently, twerking is the way to manage that. When Sue gets wind of this, she institutes a no twerking policy at McKinley, which everyone rebels against by grinding to “Blurred Lines” down the hallway. Regardless of which side of the fence you’re on in regards to what that song is actually about, it is entirely inappropriate to have a thirty-something teacher performing/dancing to that song with his students. They manage to get the school board on their side by pointing out the number of dances that were once deemed scandalous but have mellowed with age.

While all of this is going on, Unique is finding him/herself the subject of bullying in the restroom. I can definitely see that being an issue someone in Unique’s position would encounter and Glee has never shied away from presenting these issues. The problem is that they have done it more successfully in the past then they did in this episode. That could be due to better writing/acting in the past occurrences and it could just as easily be due to the lesser connection that the audience feels towards Unique. It could also be due to the fact that the ultimate solution to the problem created more isolation for Unique. Mr. Schue, in an act of kindness, tells Unique to always come find him and he will unlock the faculty restroom for him/her. As Sue points out that doesn’t create a great solution either because Unique is still dealt the embarrassment of having to find Mr. Schue every time. Sue’s solution is to bolt a question mark adorned port-a-potty to the choir room floor.

The two storylines merge as Sue proposes a compromise: she will remove the port-a-potty from the choir room and give Unique his/her own key, but glee club has to give up twerking. Initially, Mr. Schue refuses and throws a Sue-style tantrum. This was without a doubt the highlight of the episode. I wish it had lasted longer. Mr. Schue ultimately decides to accept the deal, and everyone is in full support.

Oh, and in other Lima news, Bree told Marley about her and Jake hooking up. Jake didn’t deny it, and Marley launched into “Wrecking Ball.” I really don’t get how that song fit in there but that’s Glee for you. I think we can assume that they broke up, but we didn’t see a definitive declaration either, so it wouldn’t surprise me if they aren’t at this point.

On the New York side of things, we see Rachel trying to be a little rebellious as a way to kick herself back into gear after Finn’s passing. She shows up to her Funny Girl audition with her hair cut (we find out later it’s a wig) as a way of getting more into character. Kurt has been lethargic himself so the two decide to get tattoos. Kurt’s initially says “It’s get better” instead of his intended “It gets better” and he’s extremely upset, especially when he finds out that Rachel chickened out. He goes back to the parlor and the tattoo artist tells him, if he doesn’t get back on that table and let him fix it, he’ll never take another risk again. Kurt ends up with “It’s got Bette Midler” which is both ridiculous and perfect for him. Oh, and he gets his tongue pierced. We ultimately find out that Rachel did in fact go through with it and got “Finn” on her ribcage.

For the second week in a row, I love how Glee brought in a reminder of Finn without bringing the episode down all that much. Everyone grieves differently, but I think we’re really seeing a realistic portrayal of that process and the effort of getting on with your life in Rachel and Kurt. I love that Rachel kept the tattoo to herself. She could have made a spectacle of it, but this allows it to be more touching and intimate.

Ultimately, this was another episode that displayed the disparity between the Lima and New York plots. I definitely noticed the lack of Santana (and did not enjoy it), although she would have been the odd man out this week in terms of the plot. There are a lot of rumors about how Glee is going to proceed with things after the winter hiatus and into next season but I think we can all agree that the status quo is not working.

Other Notes:
--- Ryder and Unique obviously got past that whole catfishing thing off-screen since Ryder was willing to fight for him/her. Yay this show and dropping plot lines.

--- I really enjoyed “If I Was A Boy” but did anyone else find it odd and distracting that the camera kept going back to Kitty and Artie holding hands?

--- Is anybody else finding Mr. Schue getting progressively creepier this season? He’s had his moments in the past but this season has been ridiculous.

--- It has become painfully clear that the writers don't know what to do with Sue anymore. She has been all over the place the last few episodes. Yes, we know she has a heart and she hates glee club and she's manipulative, but do we need to see every side at in extreme in the same episode?

Musical Pick:
--- “If I Was a Boy”: This completely brought me back to the Glee of old when the songs actually fit into the plot nicely. The emotion came through and the overall effect was wonderful.

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