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Glee 5.15 "Bash" Review and Best Song Poll: Stand Up For What You Believe


    This week’s episode of Glee, “Bash,” continues the shows harkening back to earlier days and tackling relevant social issues. The episode was written by series co-creator Ian Brennan and directed by Bradley Buecker. Bueckner has been a staple behind the camera since season two. The episode also features two returning guest stars: Whoopi Goldberg as Dean Carmen Tibideaux and Mike O’Malley as Burt Hummel.

    The episode features three stories. In one, Rachel (Lea Michele) is having difficulty juggling Nyada and her Broadway debut. After failing her mid-winter critique because she and Blaine (Darren Criss) did a duet instead of the assigned solo performance, Rachel is faced with a decision. Tibideaux tells her that she must choose between getting her degree or taking a chance with Broadway. She tells Rachel that while Rachel is talented, she has no foundation. Even though Kurt (Chris Colfer) begs her to reconsider, Rachel decides to drop out of Nyada. Frankly, I’ve thought it completely unrealistic (too much to ask for from Glee?) that she should be juggling Broadway, school, and a crummy diner job. I find it hard to believe Nyada would allow students to perform on Broadway while attending – don’t I remember there actually being a rule against that? Many actual theater schools do have such a rule... However, I can’t help but think the life lesson to come here is that the show is going to flop or close from some other reason and leave Rachel with nothing – thus proving you should always finish that degree.

    I do continue to like the move to look at issues from a more mature perspective. Sam (Chord Overstreet) and Mercedes (Amber Riley) revisit their relationship. Interestingly, Sam’s current obsession is The Facts of Life – which he hilariously thinks is about a school for lesbians. The show itself was full of life lessons for teens – lessons that work out nicely because they aren’t real life. Mercedes questions their relationship when her backup singers suggest that her audience might object to her dating a white guy – in fact a guy who’s so white that he’s practically an albino! Anybody else love it when Sam suggests the black guys call him white chocolate? Ah, Glee, you can be so deliciously inappropriate!

    It’s “real life” that makes Mercedes make a racist-based decision. In the end, of course, her better judgment prevails. It’s interesting to see this issue come up when they become more self-conscious about their decision on a bigger stage – a stage when more than just their immediate peers will be judging them.

    The show also revisits one of its central themes: bullying and gay-bashing. That’s the “bash” of the title. The issue is at the forefront of everyone’s mind because a neighbour has been beaten because he is gay. The group begin the episode by visiting a memorial that has been set up in his honor. After having a fight with Rachel, Kurt is on his way home when he sees two guys beating another in an ally. Kurt doesn’t hesitate but immediately comes to the guy’s aide. The guy runs away, leaving Kurt to fight the two, and one of them hits him over the head with a brick before they leave him unconscious in the ally.

    The reaction shots of everyone getting the news that Kurt is in the hospital are fantastic as we see close-ups of their eyes or only one part of their face, reflecting that disjointedness that the shock of such news forces on one. As with the best episodes, it’s the scene between Burt and Kurt in the hospital that is the most powerful and moving of the episode.

    Burt, like the group at the beginning, expresses surprise that something like this could happen in New York because they all just assumed that a big city like New York would be full of forward thinking individuals – not small minded homophobics. Burt begins by being upset with Kurt because he didn’t give any thought to his own safety. He tells Kurt that they could have had a gun and that Kurt should have simply called for help. Kurt says he couldn’t do that. He’s been fighting these guys for a long time – so he couldn’t sit idly by and he knew what he was up against. But Burt has been fighting them for a long time too and knows how dangerous they can be.

    For his own part, Kurt is actually hoping for a scar! He tells his father that while he may be hurting on the outside, he isn’t hurting on the inside. Kurt is proud that he’s proven that he’s Burt’s son – he’s the man that Burt raised. That man would not let those weaker than he is suffer or be bullied. That man would stand up and fight for what he believes in.

    I thought this was another strong episode. I’m liking the new format and what feels like an increase in show tunes that make the show feel more like an actual musical. Also? Blaine reading Sam Star Wars fan fiction was both hysterical and adorable. What did you think of the episode? Do you think Rachel made the right decision? Do you think Sam and Mercedes will last? Were you as happy to see O’Malley back as I was? Let me know your thoughts in the comments and don’t forget to vote for you favorite song in the episode!

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