Nice to see Finn's mailman incident come up again.
With Puck back from juvie this week, everything is back to normal within New Directions, or so it seems. In preparation for sectionals, Will decides that now is as good time as any to have the annual Battle of the Sexes.
With this as a foundation, the episode delves into some solid storylines. The comedic one, which involves Sam, Bieste, and pretty much everyone else, sees Sam taking Finn's advice on how to cool off when making out with Quinn, since she's not going anywhere past first base. So, Sam takes to fantasizing about Beiste, which is a huge turn off. Unfortunately, since he still hasn't grasped how things work around McKinley High, he shoots off his mouth, telling everyone in the club about is new method of killing the mood. Everyone gets in on the action, even Tina. Of course Beiste finds out, and shit goes down.
Another plot saw Puck being Artie's aide as part of his community service. What this entails is Puck intimidating kids into giving up money when he and Artie busk in the school yard, and showing him how to woo Brittany and Santana, though that one doesn't end very well.
The final plot sees Kurt as he finally meets another gay kid, the star of a rival glee club played by newcomer Darren Criss. This blossoming friendship helps Kurt muster up the courage to stand up to Karofsky, leading to a totally unexpected shift in the dynamic. That was well handled.
Plot wise, this was a great episode. Puck's return wasn't just a comedic thing, it was a real story that showed a more vulnerable side to him. Kurt's storylines so far this season have been aces, and the one about the kids cooling off by thinking of Beiste in neglige chopping meat is almost perversely funny.
There were some unbelievable moments in the plots though. I bought the ending of the Kurt/Karofsky face-off, and especially bought the aftermath, but I did not for a second believe that Will and Beiste would end their final conversation that way. That made no sense.
Music wise, however, this episode sort of sucked. There was only one number that really popped, that being the girl's mashup of "Livin' on a Prayer" and "Start Me Up". That one was awesome. The others were awful. Any time Katy Perry is played, I want to drill into my brain, even if it is sung by a bunch of uber talented men; the guy's mash-up was eh, but it was the first song of the episode that hit the nail into the coffin. For Puck's busking session, he and Artie sang Bob Marley's "One Love", and the show could not have fucked it up more. My GOD, that was horrendous! None of the songs had anything to do with the plot, making them all seem like complete afterthoughts. Also, what is it with the Bon Jovi and the mashups? Seriously, last year during this contest, the guys sang "It's My Life" with "Confessions". This year, the girls sang "Livin' On A Prayer" with "Start Me Up". What's next? "Wanted Dead Or Alive" with "Like A G6"?
Actually, that would be pretty cool.
On the comedy front, this episode was solid, though. Brittany didn't have much in the way of funny lines, but this was balanced out by Sue, who had tons. Her conversation with Quinn about how she thinks Sam is fantasizing about Bieste was hysterical! Also, the images of Beiste when the love makers fantasize about her, including one where she is doing ballet whilst smoking a cigar, are comic gold!
It was good episode, to be sure, but the lack of any decent songs brings this one down to the level of the season premiere. There are plenty of funny moments, and great story telling, but, this is Glee. If anything, we expect the music to be good, and it wasn't. Oh well.
On another note, Gwyneth Paltrow is guesting next week. Wonder how Coldplay feels about that...