'Glee' Season 2, Episode 8 Recap
by Joel Keller, posted Nov 24th 2010 12:00AM
['Glee' - 'Furt']
Tonight's episode was a strange one on a lot of levels. It was largely a music-free episode, and most of the music was backloaded in the second half. We had two characters get married in a near-instant wedding, and another character marry herself -- sorta. And in the only real plot of consequence, we got all of the hand-wringing and machinations, but not as much of the drama that we should have gotten.
It's tough to know what to make of tonight's episode. It was good to see Carol Burnett there belting out a song (without Auto-Tune, thankfully), but otherwise she seemed underutilized. Then again, what brought Doris Sylvester to McKinley in the first place was about as strange a plot as this show has ever developed.
All of this leads me to this question, which is painful for me to ask: Why is Kurt the only one who gets to have a meaty story?
It's not that I'm turning on Kurt, mind you; Chris Colfer has been my favorite part of the show since day one. But while all the other Gleesters are getting occasional bits of story in between song and dance numbers, Kurt has almost lost his dad, has found a possible romantic interest, and has suffered through some epic bullying at the hands of Karofsky. You start to wonder if most of the other characters -- even Rachel -- are just orbiting around Kurt at this point.
The prevailing theory, of course, is that Kurt is the character that's the most like Ryan Murphy. Since Murphy can identify with Kurt the most, he can write him with more depth. That would be great if some of the other kids got more than a half-episode's worth of story this season; right now, we don't know much more about most of the kids than we did at the end of last season.
And the bullying story is worthwhile. It was more realistic to see the terror from Karofsky continue and accelerate even after Kurt's locker-room confrontation. Karofsky's menacing stare at Kurt as he grabbed the wedding cake figurine was tough to watch. It was also heartening to see that his Glee-mates on the football team all had his back, even if it cost Sam a black eye. Well, almost all of his Glee-mates. Puck was understandably restrained, given the fact he was on probation, but Finn wasn't there either. He was still so unsure about his relationship with Kurt that he didn't want to sacrifice his rep as a "leader" for his soon-to-be stepbrother.
When Finn did his "Furt" toast at the insta-wedding of his mom and Kurt's dad, pledging that he'd have his "brother from another mother"'s back, you almost wondered if there was a going to be a confrontation with Karofsky at the end of the episode, especially after he was brought back from Sue's expulsion. But it didn't happen; instead Kurt is off to the Dalton Academy. We know he won't be there long; either Blaine is going to break his heart or he'll find out that things there aren't as idyllic as they seem (anti-bullying policies only go so far).
Speaking of the weddings, it seemed that Burt and Carole's wedding, as quickly-fashioned as it was, was at least borne out of a realistic relationship. Sue's wedding, where she decided to marry herself? That was pure plot contrivance, built to get her mother Doris in town just so a) we can see Jane Lynch and Burnett riff off each other, and b) so Sue can finally tell her mother that she was a bully to her and her sister Jean.
Yes, the bullying has made Sue so super-confident in herself that self-marriage might be a possibility. And, sure, she was hurt seeing the only guy who she's liked in decades get engaged to the woman he cheated on her with. But seeing Sue's sweats-gown, then seeing her conduct the self-marriage during the supposed rehearsal made her cross over to cartoon-character status. The whole plot was just silly, and there was no explanation of what happened after Sue sent her mother away or why Doris was really away for most of Sue's childhood. We all know that she really wasn't looking for Nazis -- Chad Braun? -- so did she go away because she was crazy? Or did she just leave?
More fun stuff:
-- Not too many Brittany lines today, though she was turned on by Artie defending Kurt. It seems like Tina's starting to get jealous. Look out, Mike Chang; you're about to get dumped.
-- Oh, and... Mike Chang! He led the charge on Karofsky and looked pretty tough in the process.
-- At what point do you think Santana is going to spill the beans to Rachel that she and Finn slept together? Not a surprise that Rachel never slept with Jesse, of course. Finn's not exactly lying to her, and he does seem sincere in his love for Rachel, but he's not stepping up to tell the truth anytime soon.
-- Sam giving Quinn that promise ring felt very 1980s, didn't it? But Quinn's a changed woman, and she saw Sam defend Kurt's honor, which isn't such a bad reason to start liking the guy, you know?
-- It seems fitting that Matthew Morrison can do a pretty good Michael Buble. But Finn dedicating Bruno Mars' 'Just The Way You Are' to Kurt was a little odd. Couldn't they save the hot song of the moment for a more appropriate time?
'Glee' airs Tuesdays at 8PM ET on FOX.
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