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Glee Review: Making a Comeback!

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For the second consecutive Tuesday, Glee recaptured the fun-loving, toe-tapping, knee-slapping tone that made me fall in love with it in the first place.

And on an installment aptly titled "Comeback," I can pinpoint the reasons why:

The Justin Bieber Experience. Now this is how you do a tribute episode! Both Bieber songs fit in perfectly with the ongoing storyline, while the show managed to honor this artist and simultaneously mock him. Not too badly, as Glee clearly respects what the 16-year old has accomplished. But the incessant gushing was clearly a wink at Bieber and his related, scream-inducing Fever.

Tribute Band

Santana vs. Sue. You won't find a bigger fan of the latter, Sue-per character than yours truly. But the show veers toward the ridiculous when too much attention is focused on the cheerleading coach's schemes (shooting girls out of canons, dressing up like The Grinch, etc). Santana is actually a far more logical villain, as she's a member of New Directions and can worm her way into relationships and situations. See tonight, for example.

She's no slouch in the one-liner department, either, telling Sam that he has "full visitation rights" to the twins that "reside on her rib cage" and thinking James Earl Jones shot Martin Luther King.

Moreover, this episode actually incorporated Sue into the bigger picture, doing it realistically and intriguingly: she's the vocal coach of Aural Intensity?!? Oh, the possibilities.

Puck's hair.

The I am Too Depressed to Open This Pamphlet.

The Finn/Sam rivalry: I could question how Finn immediately went from being the inspiring leader of the football team on the post-Super Bowl episode to someone unabashedly trying to steal a fellow student's girlfriend... but I'd rather pretend that episode didn't exist and just take in the feud between this pair. There's no lesson trying to be taught here. It's just an enjoyable back-and-forth.

No Kurt. It's not Chris Colfer's fault, but this character sucks the fun out of every scene. As I outlined in my most recent column, Ryan Murphy isn't shy about admitting to an agenda when it comes to Kurt. And that's fine. It occasionally has its place. But it can also make Glee feel more like a Sunday School lesson than a musical comedy.

Artie's Post-Valentine's Day girlfriend funk theory.

Sue's plaid track suit.

The hospital visit. Because most of the episode was filled with jokes that addressed serious issues (i.e. Brittany stealing Rachel's comeback thunder via her unique style choice), Will and Sue's singalong with the cancer patients came across as adorable, rather than preachy. It was a beautiful respite from the laughter and a reminder, as Will himself said, that glee club can be very weird at times, but it can also do a lot of good.

I'll never forgive you for this, William, Sue said through tears. Great stuff.

What did everyone else think? Are they actually teasing a reconciliation for Finn and Rachel already? How awesome is Lauren? Discuss the episode in our Glee forum, in the Comments section below and download your favorite Glee music from it now!

Review

Editor Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (132 Votes)

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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I was really and truly finished with Glee when they bombed just before the break. But I love Thriller and the football zombies made me try one more time. Thriller as an episode was ok-ish as far as story lines go but I really enjoyed the songs. Thriller/Heads Will Roll was amazing!!! Artie was a perfect choice and I like how they've combined Mike's dancing talents to his voice. Really well done. Also I loved Rachel and Puck's unexpected team up for Need You Now. I've always liked Mark Sailing's voice and combined with Lea, it was amazing. Love Songs was even better, they actually bothered with character development. I adore Kurt and Blaine together,seeing them in love and working like a normal couple does a lot to further gay rights while not being overly preachy. They also addressed the sudden Quinn and Finn Reunion, just their names together make me want to see them fail. Quinn likes the football star Finn was before Glee, she's reminiscing. Finn admits to being confused. Which is a believable state for him. Also he seems to think by stealing Sam's girl, he can get out of the cheater's victim role. All that happens is that he ends up hurting Rachel. Poor Rachel, she needs a new beau. I was psyched to see that Glee was finally starting to rise in quality. THEN THIS WEEK HAPPENED. Glee's "Come Back" crashed and burned with Bieber fever. The idiots over at Fox failed to realize that their audience is 14-34s, mainly within the 16-18 year olds. VERY FEW OF THOSE GIRLS LIKE JUSTIN BIEBER BECAUSE ALTHOUGH HE'S 16, HIS FAN BASE IS A BUNCH OF 12 YEAR OLDS! Teenage girls think he looks like pedo bait, they hate him and they hated him on Glee. I actually fast forwarded through his songs and Lauren's solo. As a side note I want to say that I like her a lot but the girl CAN'T sing! Like with Mike, stick to what these people can do. Lauren is funny and like her attitude but leave the solos for the Glee kids that can sing. About Sue, as much as I liked her in the past, Im bored with her. There's nothing she can do that would shock me. No comment of hers that comes off as wickedly crass. All I found was a dull sense of outrage as she threw Tina into a locker. Its believable that Lauren would chuck Santana but NO FAULTY WOULD EVER BE ALLOWED TO TEACH IF THEY HAD THROWN A STUDENT. Or in fact showed any kind of violence. The cannon stunt was mildly amusing but this week she went too far again...Sue would have been fired a long time ago, the excuse was that she was winning the cheerleading nationals...She doesn't even have a team. What does she do anymore for that school? Why is she even there? I get that this show is just a show but it's really underestimating the intelligence of its viewers if they think we're not expecting some attempt at realistic conflict within a series. Then they make her a choir coach. The funny thing is...They keep saying Aural Intensity beat them last year but wasn't it Vocal Adrenalin that won Regionals? What happened to them? I miss you Idina Menzel. As for Sam, don't like him. Never have and I wont start now that he's sluting around with Santana. Quin was wrong for lying, no doubt about that but his attitude bugs me and Puck is a much better singer. Oh and about Santana, if she adds anymore Ss to the end of her words Im going to pukes alls overs yous. I wants you? Who the hell thinks that's cool? While agree that bullying Kurt needed to be addressed, I just can't believe that people are allowed to be so mean to Rachel all the time! What did she ever do to anyone? Expect try to inspire them to win? Yah she's a little annoying but she's never really been malicious. The girls in Glee club are awful to her and no one ever says anything about it. Yet time and time again she's put down by everyone, even Mr. Shuester. Will is the biggest hypocrite of all time on bullying. He stands up for Kurt but bullies Rachel himself and lets it go on in his class. And while Im no fan of Santana, he should never have allowed the entire class to turn on her like that. He's supposed to be the teacher!!!! I can't stand the arrogant idiot. This episode was really disappointing. I had hope there, I don't want to give up on Glee but I may have to. Bring April back or something. And if they do anymore tribute episodes Im going to lose it!!!

Ilovechriscolfer

I'll be the first to say that I love Kurt, and I can't stand Bieber. However, I absolutely loved this episode. Kurt's absence was a little refreshing, and since the show is about NEW DIRECTIONS, it would make sense that he's not going to be in every episode anymore. Honestly, the Bieber stuff is getting made into a way bigger deal than it really is. When I heard they were doing him, I was disgusted. Then I listened to the covers, and I liked them. I watched the episode, and I loved it. In my opinion, they did a really good job of putting in things for both Bieber lovers and Bieber haters. I agree with the reivewer; this is how a tribute episode should be done: paying respects to the artist, but not shoving them in your face with no relevance to the plot. The hospital scene was beautiful. It was a really humanizing moment for Sue, but she still managed to have her sass with Will. :) I love the Rachel/Mercedes friendship, and how they realized that the diva-off was more fun than it was competitive.
I agree that Finn's being incredibly hypocritical, but I never really liked him to start with, so I don't really care about his character. Also, I mean... good for Lauren, being confident and all, but... her shoving Sam's face in her boobs was a little much.
This and Silly Love Songs have reminded me why I fell in love with this show, and I have high hopes for next week. :)

Piecar

I agree with the reviewer on the Kurt character. The character is not fun or amusing (though I give the lederhosen incident full marks). I generally fast forward through his stuff. Nothing the character has ever said has inspired a laugh. I get that some get behind him, and great...I can't stand the character...and I am not a fan of Castrato singing either. This ep was fun. The DivaOff was FUN! Two characters wanting to win, and then finding that they are both just having fun...THAT'S what made me watch this show. Sue doing a number was FUN. The "Brittney steals a trend" moment was FUN! This episode reminded me why I started watching the show in the first place. And little hope messages popping up. Kids in the Wards. Walk away comments that make you realize you are pretty special...That's a cool show....
...and they worked that Quinn "You Had Me At Hello." gaze into the ground this ep. I'd pretty much fist fight a buffalo to get one of those gazes thrown my way. All in all. A great ep. Accurate review, in my view.

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Where to begin....... First of all, I don't like that Glee is still relying on what's hip at the moment as a draw for their episodes rather than a storyline. Glee's unforgettable First 13 episodes was a perfect example of a musical brought to TV. There was a storyline and the producers dug through all manner of different genres, eras and artists to weave fitting songs into it. Not every episode was "The Britney Spears Episode" or "The Rocky Horror Glee Show" that utimately did nothing but add popular songs to the Glee iTunes Library. The last two episodes before tonight were improvements over the rest of Season 2, I have to admit. Vast improvements. I wasn't being forcefed Kurt's sob story (although I adore Kurt's character) and the show actually entertained me again. That said, I didn't hate this latest episode. Wasn't a fan of it, but didn't hate it. What I did like: Rachel is returning to form. She's being self-centered, strong-willed and stubborn but without making me get tired of it. And not every song has a Rachel solo. I remember now why I liked Rachel to begin with--she's completely self-absorbed and psychotic at times but also has a very human dynamic under it all. There are things I like and dislike about her, which together makes me like her all the more. MERCEDES! FINALLY! Where the hell has she been? I loved seeing her get some major screen time this episode, though the plot point that got it going was a bit campy. Still, seeing her strut her famous attitude was a nice change of pace. Quinn getting her come-uppins. I love Quinn, I know she's almost universally hated, but I really like her. However, she's been the victim for far too long and I sort of like that she's back to being one of the bad girls. Schue/Sue at the hospital. Had potential to be immensely preachy and cheesy but it wasn't. Very nice. Lauren getting her solo was a fantastic change of pace. Her endless toying with Puck is getting old (they have a really nice opportunity to bring in a fantastic level of depth with her character if they do it right), but I liked seeing her get a solo despite the fact that she can't sing. Loved it. Emma actually appearing in this episode. I've missed Emma, her character brings a dose of reality and innocence to the show and she often has very amusing one-liners. I'm fine with her not being with Will but good Lord, keep her around. A My Chemical Romance cover. I was unsure about it at first, because it felt preachy, but it was a really nice take on the song and it's a refreshing break from all the Top 40s pop they've been doing. What I didn't like: Justin Bieber. He's popular right now, so why wouldn't the show use him? "Baby" kind of made sense with Sam/Quinn, but only somewhat. I wish Glee would stop doing this sort of thing to us. A return to Sue teasing Will about his hair. They managed to run that joke into the ground in only a handful of episodes already this season, yet they keep bringing it back. I nearly cringe every time it's brought up. Finn in general. I've always liked that the characters are flawed and that I have reasons to both like and dislike them. But Finn is being a douche. For someone who's been cheated on twice, he seems fairly comfortable with what he's done to Sam. Not to mention he left Rachel flapping in the wind during the in-class vote. I don't want Finn and Rachel together anymore because I actually like Rachel more than Finn and am now convinced she's bound for better things. Overall, a decent episode. I just wish the show would be a musical again, instead of one-liners and sex jokes (though they are funny) in between staged performances with outrageous production values and irrelevant storytelling. That said, these three episodes have been a step in the right direction.

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I agree with everything in that review except the things about Bieber and Kurt. Funny, i hate Bieber, didn't like songs and they really didn't stand out. I much preferred every other song in episode but the two Bieber songs. He really isn't all that talented to me. And i absolutely love Kurt. He doesn't suck the fun out of every scene. I think when it comes to the not so fun scenes with him, with the whole bullying thing with Karofsky, its not Kurt sucking the the fun. And he is such a cute, lovable character who i personally think is the best on the show next to Sue. I just don't get the vibe this reviewer gets about him sucking fun out of scenes. I don't see it. And i don't agree.

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also-- I was veryy uncomfortable watching Sue slam kids into the lockers, etc. ... I was not amused ://

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Some really great and truly horrible moments in this episode. Can't stand Justin Bieber and even with Chord Overstreet singing the songs i couldn't look past the fact that the songs are terrible to begin with.
Loved the Rent duet! Lea and Amber totally nailed it.
Excited to see what they come up with as an orginal song for regionals.

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Really missed Kurt. Episode sucked!

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Plus, Kurt is a Mary Sue. Is that what makes Glee a good show?

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Why does everybody miss Kurt? It's not like Emma, Terri or Burt appear in every episode, and pretty much EVERY episode focuses on him. There are other characters out there that still need their chance to shine, like Tina!

Glee Season 2 Episode 13 Quotes

Will, you have more grease in your hair than the guy behind Wikileaks?

Sue

I'm committing Sue-icide.

Sue's journal
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