If you read that this was the funk episode and were anticipating upbeat, toe-tap-tastic grooviness, I’m guessing you came away a little disappointed. This is not to say it wasn’t an excellent slice of Glee – but if funk is lemon sherbet (please feel free to post your suggestions for what funk tastes like), this was 70 per cent cocoa solids dark chocolate with occasional nuggets of butterscotch.
We’re one week away from Regionals – so naturally, Vocal Adrenaline and Sue Sylvester are both doing their best to destroy New Directions. Jesse has (quelle surprise) returned to the VA fold and leads the enemy choir in a typically smooth rendition of Another Bites the Dust. The glee club return to their practice room to discover it has been TP’d by VA as well and that Sue is looking to knock down a wall as soon as New Directions lose at Regionals – and turn the room into her trophy annex (“I want it to look like Elvis’ gold record room at Graceland, except I’ll be wanting far fewer morbidly obese white women waddling around and crying.”). For once Will shows some balls and trashes one of her old trophies. Not that it bothers Sue, for whom trophies are like herpes – they just keep coming back… (“Sue Sylvester has hourly flair ups of burning itchy highly contagious talent.”)
It’s not just the kids who are in a funk as VA pile on the pressure – Will and Terri finally sign their divorce papers. Much as I dislike Terri, there was a heartfelt atmosphere of sorrow and regret that even left me feeling a little sorry for her.
In Glee no emotion is a wasted one, so, naturally Will gets the kids thinking about regrets (Quinn: “Thinking ‘Trust me’ was a sensible birth control option…”) and tasks them with revenge for Vocal Adrenaline’s pre-competition bitchiness. While he suggests various, frankly lame, options, we slip inside Puck’s head where he is realising that responsibility for revenge will inevitably fall to him and Finn. Thus they slash all the tyres on all 26 Range Rovers belonging to the members of Vocal Adrenaline (a gift from Shelby for winning at Sectionals…) leaving Will defending the indefensible to Principal Figgins. Ultimately Shelby promises not to press charges, but Puck and Finn end up working for Terri at Sheets ‘n’ Things to pay for the damage. The only upside to this is Puck and Finn’s in-store rendition of Beck’s excellent Loser.
It takes Sandy Ryerson (so nice to have him back) to show Will what Vocal Adrenaline’s weakness is. It is, of course, funk. (Personally, it’s the most improbable thing the writers have asked us to swallow all series – but it’s too late to get picky about that sort of thing now.)
And so we have Quinn rising to the challenge with a version of It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World, backed by half a dozen ready-to-drop pregnant teenagers. It’s alternately funny (the breathing exercises dropped in by the backing singers) and incredibly poignant.
And speaking of poignant, we have Will’s devious plan to win and the break Sue’s heart. Just like DCI Gene Hunt, I shouldn’t like her, but I do – and I was almost wishing Will was sincere in his wooing of her. Almost. Certainly he can come and wiggle that tush at me any time he likes…
Of course, having destroyed Sue, Will can’t help but apologise and get her back to her old self (in time to win Nationals for the sixth consecutive year). Not that Sue’s grateful. Instead she offers Will a choice – install the ludicrously oversized new trophy (seriously, I think it was taller than Sue) in the practice room or kiss her “on the lips, with tongues”. Will’s man enough to snog her, but she decides she can’t do it – “even your breath stinks of mediocrity” and moves the trophy into its new home instead.
Speaking of humiliation, Jesse lures Rachel into the car park for what appears to be a happy reunion – instead Vocal Adrenalin cover her with eggs (particularly harsh for vegan Rachel: “Now I just keep having nightmares of all of the mother’s of the little baby chicks coming at me for revenge.”). The New Directions boys are all for inflicting some violence on Vocal Adrenalin (Kurt: “Rachel’s one of us. We’re the only ones who get to humiliate her.” Finn: “We can’t let them get away with turning Rachel into an omlette.”), but Mr Schue has a better idea – show the opposition just how funky his kids are…
And so, we end on a high with a suitably funky performance of Give Up the Funk intimidating the ” soulless automatons” of Vocal Adrenalin and the promise of musical fireworks for the season finale next week. I may have to wear the tracksuit of power all week in preparation…
Posted by Jo the Hat.