A football themed episode that airs right after the Super Bowl? Excuse me. I need a minute to step back and let the originality just waft over me.
Glee returns with a huge bang this week. Under the tutelage of Coach Bieste, the McKinley football team has not only improved, but they are going to the championship game. Unfortunately Karofsky, Azimio, and the rest of the football jocks are still being huge douches to Finn, Puck, and Sam, leaving a sizable rift within the team. Knowing she has no chance of winning the big game unless the whole team bands together, Bieste enlists Will's help. The entire football team is temporarily inducted into the club so as to cultivate some solidarity amongst the two worlds.
While all this goodness is going on, Sue is going through something of a crisis. Quite simply, she is bored with the Cheerios. So bored, that the combination of boobs and fire does nothing for her. To spice things up for the upcoming regionals, she decides to fire Brittany out of a cannon. This will most likely kill her, but when has Sue ever given any regard to human health. She also decides to steal the thunder of everyone else in the world and schedules her competition on the same night as the big game, leaving the football team without cheerleaders or a halftime show. Leave to Glee, with the help of the jocks, to step up.
In a fantastic return to form, this episode dialed way back on the seriousness, and let us swim in a sea of absurdity. This was an episode in which you had to check your brain at the door, and we were so much the better for it. Sue shooting a guy out a cannon? Check! Rachel, Mercedes, Tina, and the Fat One joining the football team? Check! Sue going on a prolonged rampage that probably left the school in significant debt due to damages? Check! Brittany asking how many Ms there are in the letter R? Check! The laughs came fast and furious, and it was all topped off by a delicious cameo by Katie Couric, interviewing Sue, who had just been voted as The Loser of the Year, beating out such things as the economy, Mel Gibson, and Lindsay Lohan's dog. Pure! Unadulterated! Genius!
The music was also on point. The much touted about mashup of Michael Jackson' "Thriller" and The Yeah Yeah Yeahs "Heads Will Roll" sounds like a disaster waiting to happen on paper, but in execution, it was almost flawless. The guy's take on The Zombie's "She's Not There" was great, made all the more awesome by the elaborate zombie makeup they were sporting. But the show stopper came, not surprisingly, from the Kurt, Blaine, and the infamous Warblers. Their rendition of "Bills, Bills, Bills" by Destiny's Child was all kinds of fantastic, and Darren Criss rocked it!
Humor wise, this was exceptional! There were so many winner lines here, from Azimio declaring that show tunes are the music of his oppressors, to Bieste asking if Will was going to try and kiss her again, to the football team, in full undead regalia, moaning "Brains" as a distraction method. It was good stuff. Sue rampage all around the school was funny, and it's reintroduction was perfectly timed! Santana having to hit herself and then Brittany in the face with a chicken breast was hilarious, and you couldn't help but laugh when Puck decrees that getting hit in football hurts, and not in Mellancamp way. Great stuff!
I really hope Glee can stay on track from here on out. The first half of the season was weak by comparison, but this episode was a huge step forward. We'll have to wait and see.
I was talking about this with another musical inclined friend awhile back. What the hell kind of budget does this school have that they can give their cheerleading squad a man cannon and provide Hollywood level effects and makeup for the glee club? Maybe you'd be able to pay for the bus to Regionals if you stopped wasting all the money on sets and costumes, Will! Just something to think about!