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'Glee' Valentine's Day Episode Recap

by Joel Keller, posted Feb 8th 2011 9:30PM
'Glee' - 'Silly Love Songs'

['Glee' - 'Silly Love Songs']

If you've been reading my 'Glee' recaps this year and feel I'm a stick in the mud for wanting the show to get back to plot and characterization, then tonight's episode should tell you why I've felt this way.

'Silly Love Songs' strikes an interesting contrast to Sunday night's post-Super Bowl episode in that tonight was more about the kids and where they are in their stories than about big production numbers and Sue's cartoon evilness. It was also the funniest episode of the season, in no small part because we got some insight into the lives of two New Directions members we rarely get to hang out with for any length of time: Santana and Lauren.

And, while I'm an unabashed Jane Lynch fan, the fact that two of my favorite episodes of the season (the other being 'Special Education') didn't have her in them gets me a little worried.

Let's start by talking about Lauren Zizes. Ashley Fink -- read the fun interview fellow Squadder Jean Bentley did with her -- does a great job in playing Ashley not as a high school sad sack, but as a girl who feels as confident and desirable as anyone else at McKinley High.

"I'm not desperate, so if you really want this, you best come correct, because I spell woman ZIZES. And I need to be wooed," she tells Puck. She knows that after their "seven minutes of heaven" that he gave her when he asked her to join the glee club that a) he doesn't have game, and b) she can teach him a thing or two. She loves being in this position and loves making Puckerman beg for it.

'Glee' - 'Silly Love Songs'Not even getting sung to works, especially if that song is Queen's 'Fatbottom Girls.' Just because Lauren is big doesn't mean she likes hearing songs about how big girls drive a guy wild. This is a pairing that has a lot more comic potential than Brittany and Artie does; Artie acts more like a parent to the child-like Brittany, and is still awestruck by the fact that he's dating someone who was until recently a Cheerio. Any "class" distinctions in the Lauren-Puck match up are all in Puck's mind. Lauren is so confident in herself that she doesn't care if Puck is on the football team, which makes Puck's pursuit of her all the more interesting to watch.

Then we have Santana, who everyone calls out at the beginning of the episode as the class bitch. "I just try to be really, really honest with people when I think they suck," she sobs to Brittany after being called out by the gleesters. But Santana also knows who she is, and the fact that she not only was able to figure out that Quinn and Finn were attracted to one another again and then figure out a great way to call them out on it shows that in a lot of ways, she's more interesting in her nefariousness than Sue is.

"I've had mono so many times it turned into stereo," she tells the school nurse. That's a pretty genius move ... she picks up mono from a random sick student (and gives him a thrill in the process) and kisses Finn at his Valentine's Day kissing booth. If both Finn and Quinn are sick (and Sam isn't) ... voila! You've got to give Santana credit for owning her bitchiness.

Now, as far as Quinn and Finn are concerned ... I'm not sure if I want them thrown together again. Yes, it feels like Glee Classic, because the series started with the two of them together. But both of them have changed -- Quinn more so than Finn -- and having them dating again seems like they're going back to the days when Quinn was the icy lead Cheerio and Finn was the nice but dumb star quarterback. Isn't it enough that Finn is full of false bravado from winning that zombie-fied championship?

It doesn't help that he's helping Quinn cheat on Sam. At least the writers had the good sense to have the two of them acknowledge the irony of the situation -- Finn broke up with Quinn and Rachel because they both had "relations" with Puck -- but they plow forward with this, anyway.

Maybe Santana did them a favor with her germs, because it put the brakes on the flirtation. "Nothing can happen between us until I figure out what's going on between me and Sam and you figure out what's going on between you and Rachel," she tells Finn nauseously. And putting the brakes on things isn't such a bad idea. It gives Finn a chance to be single at the height of his high school powers. And it gives Quinn a chance to see if things are real with Sam.

More fun stuff:

'Glee' - 'Silly Love Songs'-- Glad to see Kurt integrated into the action a little more this week, though it's odd to suddenly see him (and by extension, Mercedes) be slumber party buddies with Rachel, of all people now that he's away from McKinley.

-- You knew that Blaine had a thing for someone other than Kurt. It's an age-old TV trope: The cute couple never gets together because the series regular's object of desire is oblivious. If Kurt really liked him, he should have warned Blaine that getting the Warblers to sing Robin Thicke's 'When I Get You Alone' to a guy who's folding pants at the Gap might be construed as a little creepy.

-- By the way, that Gap performance had to have been product placement, don't you think? It was filmed in an actual store, with Gap signs everywhere.

-- Give Kurt credit for telling Blaine exactly how he felt, and give Blaine credit for saying that he's so bad at romance that "I don't want to screw this (their friendship) up." So right now, Kurt and Blaine are taking things as slow as Lauren and Puck.

-- How long will Rachel stay with the notion that she'll be at her best creatively as long as she's single? She still loves Finn so ... next week?

-- Hopefully Quinn, Santana and Brittany will be out of the Cheerios for awhile; they look much better out of that infernal uniform, hair pulled back in a ponytail.

-- Two Mike Chang! moments: His dance during his 'P.Y.T.' duet with Artie (now that's how you use the Michael Jackson catalog!), and Tina's sobs as she sings 'My Funny Valentine' to him. Hopefully, they were happy sobs, not "Oh my God, I'm stuck with Mike Chang and Artie's with Brittany!" sobs.

So, as you can see, 'Glee' has real charm and laugh-out-loud humor when Brennan, Murphy and Falchuk take the time to live with their characters rather than just write dialogue to bridge the gap between production numbers. Are we ever going to see the show do episodes like this every week? Probably not. I just wish that they do them more often than one out of every four or five. And I hope that Sue comes back down to earth so that I can enjoy episodes with her in them again.

'Glee' airs Tuesdays at 8PM ET on FOX.

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The only flaw was the whole Santana thing. She kisses Finn, who's working a kissing booth, and only passes mono on to Quinn?? How does that work? And mono is a debilitating thing that could keep you out of school for weeks, better if they'd just made it a flu or cold. And is it me, or does Finn and Quinn sound like an Irish law firm?

February 09 2011 at 11:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Brent Newberry

Last line in 9th paragraph reads:
Isn't it enough that Quinn is full of false bravado from winning that zombie-fied championship?

Should be "Finn" instead of "Quinn"

Pretty spot on if that is my only criticism of this post or the episode!

February 09 2011 at 4:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Brent Newberry's comment

Fixed. Thanks. I dare you to try writing those two names over and over without transposing one for the other. It's damn near impossible..

February 09 2011 at 11:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

that was a really great and balanced episode! if they can have episodes like last night's, then why would they ever have tragedies like the superbowl episode??

February 09 2011 at 9:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Puck's attempted wooing of Lauren is an interesting contrast to his first season seduction of Mercedes. He started dating Mercedes to improve his popularity, it was completely self serving. However with Lauren he seems to actually be interested in her because of who she is and how strong of a person she is. He kind of likes getting insulted and put down by her. She is strong enough that she doesn't put up with his crap and he seems to be intrigued by it. For a character that (at least in the first season) was relatively flat it seems like its a very nice opportunity for him to develop.

February 09 2011 at 8:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I liked today's Glee episode much better than the post-superbowl episode. It was funny, and sweet, and the girlfight was pretty awesome. Check out my review HERE: http://rantsofacrazyperson.wordpress.com/2011/02/08/glee-recap-silly-love-songs/

February 09 2011 at 1:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"-- Glad to see Kurt integrated into the action a little more this week, though it's odd to suddenly see him (and by extension, Mercedes) be slumber party buddies with Rachel, of all people now that he's away from McKinley."

Uh... not really. Early on in the season they vowed to be friends and sang a Duet. Rachel also was behind trying to protect Kurt. Then they had that conversation in Special Education about being friends and Kurt leaving and all of that. And then, just two nights ago, Kurt, Mercedes and Rachel went out for coffee during the Superbowl Episode. So... yeah. It made sense.

February 09 2011 at 12:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to OnlyTheLostBoys's comment

in fact, it was one of the few times the writers actually consistently built up to something

February 09 2011 at 12:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This show is something very strange. One week the dialogue and storylines are just dumb and pointless and out of character, and then they have a week like this where everything just fit together perfectly. All the storylines were heartfelt, funny and moved the plotline foward. The music in the show is really the only reason I have stuck by this show throughout some rather terrible episodes, but if they can continue to create shows like this one then I will stick around for the stories as well.

Loved Silly Love Songs. I'm also 25 and it was nice to hear a Paul McCartney song. They've done a couple Beatles songs, but it's nice to hear some Wings as well. Plus you can't go wrong when they include another Michael Jackson song.

February 09 2011 at 12:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Stacie's comment

It's funny because the HORRIBLE music is the reason why I can watch "Glee" in about 20 minutes each week on Hulu while at work. I find the one-liners and interactions between the characters to be quite entertaining, but the pathetic overuse of synthesizers and other audio tricks in the painful songs keeps this show from being something that I'd ever actually watch at home on my TV.

I think it's funny that nobody really made a mention of the costume Santana wore to the hospital...

Also, the further they are away from the football field, the better. Clearly the writers and producers have never set foot on a football field because those scenes are just painfully bad, I was glad this episode didn't have any of those scenes. After all, how could that team actually win a state championship? What a joke...

February 09 2011 at 3:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Glee is BACK! I all but held a vigil for it and the waiting was worth it. Best episode of season 2! I could not stop laughing. Love the Puck/Lauren storyline. Love a tear-free Kurt. Love Rachel in this episode. I even like where Finn is going. Granted, it makes no sense for him want Quinn with his reasons for breaking up with her and Rachel, but at least it was addressed. And while I still push for Finn/Rachel, I know on-again/off-again is essential for the will they/won't they storyline and the two will find each other again. It's not satisfying if they writers don't smash that relationship around a little first.

And keep those voiceovers coming! I found the best episodes are when the characters narrate what's in their head. Some of the funniest lines are in there and it's reminiscent of early season one when they did it a lot more.

Good music, good Brittany lines ("You can try rocking back and forth like they do in movies"), just good, good, good. Even the last number (which I hadn't heard of but love) had one last good zing when Blaine sang a line about never finding love directed at Santana.

Two enthusiastic thumbs up, can't wait for next week.

February 08 2011 at 11:03 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Mandy's comment

It was 'Silly Love Songs' by Wings, that band Paul McCartney was in after The Beatles. That's where they got the title of the episode.

I feel about 100 right now.

February 08 2011 at 11:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Joel's comment

Joel, I'm 25 and that's my very favorite love song. I actually used to listen to it on a RECORD when I was little! The record was Disco Duck, and it had lots of classics from around that time, all with intros by Disco Duck himself. =) If you've heard of it (aka if you're 100 in your heart, like me), you can find it on the internet for a free download...

February 08 2011 at 11:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down

Can anyone explain exactly why Tina was so emotional? I mean, yeah, maybe she loves Mike... but it seemed like a much bigger deal than that, and then it wasn't addressed anymore...

Loved the episode! Great, positive recap pointing out why it was great!!

February 08 2011 at 10:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to EOR's comment

At the end she sobs "I'm just so in love." So, they were over-the-top happy tears.

February 09 2011 at 12:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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