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Glee - The Hurt Locker, Part One - Review - "Review and Fav Song Poll"

Glee, “The Hurt Locker, Part One,” was written and directed by Ian Brennan. After a strong start to the final season this felt like a return to the sputtering of last season. We had to wait until the last five minutes of the show for two of the four songs and the only dance routine in the episode. Jane Lynch is more than up to the task of carrying an episode, but Sue’s brand of humor is hard to take for an entire episode. One of the highlights was Lynch’s rendition of “Bitch.” We finally get to see that Lynch can, in fact, sing, and it was the perfect song for Sue.

The hurt locker of the title refers to Sue’s storage locker of hate. It was a fun walk down memory lane, containing little bits and pieces from the series, and I found myself wishing that we could browse around it a little more. I did like that the show took some shots at itself for characters who simply disappeared and the characters funneled in from The Glee Project.

The first 30 minutes of the episode sets up Sue’s plans – because the first song was at the 30 minute mark – yes, I was keeping track… Sue declares war on Will (Matthew Morrison) – for leaving a plastic fork on the lunch table – and Rachel (Lea Michele), presumably for being Rachel. We also learn that Sue has been shipping Klaine and is determined to get them back together in order to be their flower girl.

Sue sets a number of events in motion, including a Glee Invitational between New Directions, Vocal Adrenaline, and the Warblers. Rachel is afraid that seeing Vocal Adrenaline will destroy any confidence that the new kids has – and if their faces at the end of the episode are any indication, she was right on the money! I did like that Blaine (Darren Criss) brings up the fact that New Directions only has 4 members and they need 12 in order to compete. I’m assuming that somehow or another they are going to get 8 members from the football team or the cheerios who will come in and simply help with the dance routines – maybe we’ll even see Kitty (Becca Tobin) back!

Sue hypnotizes Sam (Chord Overstreet) to make overtures to Rachel. I have to say that I surprised myself by how not ready I was to see Rachel with someone else even now. I’m sure a lot of people will be relieved that Sam clearly has no idea what he’s doing and when he is aware, he tells Rachel that he’s still in love with Mercedes (Amber Riley). Sue also has Sam steal Will’s mail. That scene is pretty hysterical for just how bad at it Sam is. Of course, this does set Will against Rachel. Sue also tries to go after Will’s job by visiting his new principal at Carmel – the sister of Principal Figgins (Iqbal Theba) – also played by Theba in a blond wig.

Sue does everything she can to break up Blaine and Dave (Max Adler) from putting a bear in their apartment to inviting all of Dave’s ex-boyfriends to dinner with them. I have to admit that I’m not that fond of Adler’s performance. Is it necessary to “act” gay? Yes, Dave has changed and become a nicer guy, but I feel the performance is a bit of a caricature. Thoughts on this?

Meanwhile, Kurt (Chris Colfer) insists to both Blaine and Sue that he’s moving on and even has a date with a friend he’s made online. I thought it totally out of line for Blaine to come to Kurt and complain about Dave and his former boyfriends. And it seemed as if both of them didn’t believe the “we’re better as friends.” Of course, the date turns out to be a disaster – and every cliché about online dating ever.
        Walter, played by guest star Harry Hamlin, turns out to be in his 50s – his profile picture is of him at 30! To make matters even more cringe-worthy, he was married for 33 years and has kids Kurt’s age, and he’s only just come out – something he thought he’d never do. Kurt’s initial reaction is to recoil and call off the whole thing – and that’s the right reaction! In the end, Kurt agrees to be friends and “go slow.” Regardless of how much you have in common, if your relationship is built on lies, it’s a bad foundation – for romance OR friendship.

There were a few moments in the show that I did really like. I loved Sue’s little Game of Thrones moment when she refers to her drone as her dragon – seeing herself as Daenerys Targaryen. I also loved the shot when Rachel is asking Sam out for coffee and Sue is lurking in the background with scary music playing – that was nicely choreographed. I LOVED seeing Brad (Brad Ellis) though I was very sad that all we saw was Sam discounting him as their piano teacher because of his foot photo scrapbook. I liked the shot of Sue’s head in Rachel’s desk during “Bitch.” I loved both of Vocal Adrenaline’s songs – it didn’t hurt that both are favorite songs of mine.

I thought that both Lynch and Morrison were terrific in the scene in which Will confronts Sue. Sue has her classic tirade and we finally see Will get equally mad back, vowing to ensure that the Glee Club is a permanent fixture at McKinley after she retires. And perhaps that is how the show will end – with Will as principal and head of the Glee club at McKinley. It’s painful to watch Vocal Adrenaline dislike him…

What did you think of the episode? Was it too much plotting and not enough singing for you? Should Kurt and Blaine get back together? Do you think that Sue will ever really retire? Should Sam and Rachel become an item? Let me know your thoughts and don’t forget to vote for your favorite song in the episode!

About the Author - Lisa Macklem
I do interviews and write articles for the site in addition to reviewing a number of shows, including Supernatural, Arrow, Agents of Shield, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Forever, Defiance, Bitten, Glee, and a few others! Highlights of this past year include covering San Diego Comic Con as press and a set visit to Bitten. When I'm not writing about television shows, I'm often writing about entertainment and media law in my capacity as a legal scholar. I also work in theatre when the opportunity arises. I'm an avid runner and rider, currently training in dressage.