Three story strands were woven through the episode: Rachel losing her voice through laryngitis, Kurt trying to win his dad back from Finn and Puck trying to get his popularity back after losing his mohawk (it was shaved off after his mother found a mole on his head while washing his hair).
Puck got all the best lines. Talking to Santana about losing his hair – “They maimed me over a freaking mole. I feel like that guy who lost all his hair, then lost all his power.” Santana: “Samson?” Puck : Agassi.”; working out that dating Mercedes could make him cool again: “Get ready black girl from Glee club whose name I can’t remember right now. The Puckster is about to make you his.”; When his initial bid to persuade Mercedes to date him is failing: “I’m a sex shark. If I stop moving, I die.”
And having turned a bit Robbie Williams (confession reader, it might not be cool, but I do love the Robster), with a hat and a Sammy Davis Jr song, he wins Mercedes over. (Frankly, I like him a lot better without the dumb haircut – I’m hoping the writers find a reason to stop the damn thing growing back.) This puts Mercedes on a collision course with a possessive Santana and cues a passionate sing-off of The Boy is Mine and near-fisticuffs in the rehearsal room. Thankfully Mercedes dumps Puck – because she is too good for him – leaving the writers room to set him up with someone else next week.
Karma takes its revenge on Rachel after she sneakily tapes rehearsals and presents Mr Schue with a list of Glee club members who aren’t ‘pulling their weight’. A bout of tonsilitis cuts her version of Miley Cyrus’s The Climb (chosen “because it’s about overcoming obstacles and beating the odds. In my case, the obstacle is you: my lackluster teammates who refuse to carry their own weight.”) mercifully short.
Finn (why does he still like this girl?) gets fed up with her whining (“I’m like Tinkerbell, Finn. I need applause to live.”) and takes her to visit a friend paralysed in a football accident. There were many cliches happily avoided here – but the sappy U2 song One at the end left me distinctly queasy if I’m honest.
The best-written story was, quelle surprise, Kurt’s. Hurt by his father going off to watch football and eat hoagies (what are these things? Answers in the comments below please), Kurt channels the spirit of John Mellancamp, starts dressing like his father and making out with Brittany (whose lip gloss tastes like root beer apparently).
In an episode desperately short on Sue-isms, we do at least get this one: “So you like show tunes. It doesn’t mean you’re gay. It just means you’re awful.” We also get a stand-out performance from Chris Colfer, belting out Kurt’s heartbreak, anger and bitterness as his dad opts to spend even more time with Finn. Except, he doesn’t – as Burt says “I’m dumb, but I’m not stupid” – and sensing Kurt’s distress he calls off his evening with Finn and fix his relationship with his son. Burt may be one of the best TV dads ever.
Here’s hoping a bit of Joss Whedon and Neil Patrick Harris brightens things up next week. If nothing else it looks like we’re in a for a chin-off…
Posted by Jo the Hat.