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Glee - The Hurt Locker, Part 2 - Review - "Review & Fav Song Poll"

Glee, “The Hurt Locker, Part 2,” picks up immediately where “Part 1” ended. It’s also written by Ian Brennan, but I enjoyed this part a lot more than the first. We get one more song than the last episode, but they are grouped 2 for the Warblers’ performance near the beginning and then 3 at the end for New Directions, so it’s not really a more musical episode. I’ve found Sue’s (Jane Lynch) brand of humor increasingly less funny, so with less of it this episode, “Part 2” was an improvement for me.

The direction was quite good, with a number of good performances. This episode was directed by Barbara Brown. This is Brown’s first time directing though she has been script supervisor on the show since the “Pilot.” She does a fantastic job, and you’d never suspect this was her first time. We get a few possibly unnecessary cuts and angles during the performance sequences, but that’s certainly balanced by some really nice reaction shots throughout.

Sue manages to continue her reign of terror, but what helps to balance that out is that she also takes a few hits – and it’s always fun to see someone get one up on Sue! She manages to throw everyone off by changes the rules after the Invitational has started, and she does lock Kurt (Chris Colfer) and Blaine (Darren Criss) in a fake elevator for most of the episode. She also ambushes Kurt on his second date with Walter (Harry Hamlin). We once again see her hypnotize Sam (Chord Overstreet), which was something I found really annoying in Part 1. But almost all of these seem to backfire in some way.

I loved the scene when Sue tries to wreck Kurt’s date. Harry Hamlin is fantastic. I love that he never batted an eye at Sue, instead saying that he simply found her “hysterical”! No better way to diffuse a bully than to laugh at them, right? I also love when he tells Kurt, “When you’re as handsome as I am, very little bothers you.” And of course, the kicker is when he simply turns Sue’s own weapon against her by asking how old she is!

I did love when Sue says that part of the rules are that each show choir must have 12 members, and then adds that that seems to be forgotten every year. It’s fantastic when a show can poke fun at itself because that is a crisis we’ve seen year after year. Part of the logistical problem has always been having that many regulars on the show, but it is a trope they’ve gone back to again and again.
Speaking of tropes, one of the funniest things about this episode is its shout outs to fan fiction/fan tropes and behaviors. Sue and Becky (Lauren Potter) become stand in for fans as they discuss “Klaine.” Fans of Klaine will see looks of passion between Kurt and Blaine even when they aren’t looking at each other – and Becky points this out.  There is also a popular trope in slash fiction in which characters must kiss/have sex or die. And of course, Sue plays this out while she has them held captive.

The entire sequence in the elevator is an elaborate take on the horror movie Saw. I loved how creepy the paper mache Sue on the tricycle is! It was fun getting to see that Blain and Kurt had discussed calling a baby Fettuccine Alfredo and that Kurt’s ironic rapper name would have been Hot Chocolate. This entire sequence is nicely shot as we cut between scenes to show the passing of time. And of course, Blaine and Kurt do emerge as friends. I liked the scene at the end in which they confront Sue and it’s clear that they do both believe that they are better as friends. And at the end, we learn that that was Sue’s diabolical plan all along.

Rachel manages to literally snap Sam out of his trance. I liked that Rachel apologized to Will (Matthew Morrison) and they made up. They also figure out that Sue has something to do with Sam stealing Will’s mail and saying that Rachel asked him to do it. Sue also makes up with Will by the end of the episode, hopefully also ending her reign of terror there, but I have to wonder if she didn’t overhear Clint (Max George) being rude and disrespectful to Will and threatening him.

Rachel does finally give in and recruit Kitty (Becca Tobin), and I’m thrilled to have her back. She’s terrific in this episode as we see how much the glee club really means to her and how hurt she was when the kids really didn’t have her back. Rachel promises to see it through with her, but do any of us trust Rachel to ever put anyone before herself when the chips are down or when Rachel has to do what Rachel has to do to get herself ahead?
Kitty is the one to break into Sue’s office and hack her computer to steal Sue’s secret playlist – with Rachel’s minimal help. I loved Kitty stepping up to support Rachel when the rest of the team is hesitant to change the set list. I also loved Kitty giving the pep talk after they win the Invitational – especially her pet names for them all. She also tells them she may insult them individually and they can insult each other, but they are never to disparage with the team does as a team. My favorite nickname was Cersei and Jamie Lannister for Mason (Billy Lewis Jr) and Madison (Laura Dreyfuss).

Sam is able to recruit Spencer (Marshall Williams). Sam calls Spencer a coward for not owning up to who he is and being a leader. Spencer tells Sam that “I’m stuck singing and dancing in my bedroom because I don’t want everyone to think I’m gay.” But isn’t the point that he’s OUT and on the team and everyone leaves him alone about it? This seemed to me to be completely re-writing the beginning of the season. I did like that Sam used Finn for inspiration, however. It’s always nice to have Cory Monteith’s memory make an appearance.

The Warblers deliver their usual great performance – complete with terrific dance routines. I loved that you could see Sue dancing at the judging desk in the back of the auditorium as they performed. The New Directions song list was good, but not me favorite. And of course, they have no actual dance routine to go with the songs. They either stand or sit at the microphones and sway. I’m not sure having the musicians fill out the remaining 6 members actually counts either. I did really enjoy Roderick’s (Noah Guthrie) song. It was fun to watch as Sue is emotionally crushed – ending in purging tears by the end, however. We also see Will bopping along, much to the disgust of his own team.

Clearly, it was the choice of songs that won the Invitational as even Sue is bemused to award them the trophy when there was no dancing in their routine. We see that losing may have consequences for Will, but really boosted the New Directions’ confidence. I loved Becca Tobin’s face as she took the trophy from Sue!

What did you think of the episode? Do you trust this new, friendlier Sue? Do you think Rachel will really stand by the team or will she break Kitty’s heart again? Can we actually trust Kitty? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and don’t forget to vote for your favorite song from 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.