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Glee Review: The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

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I'm going to go ahead and say this, even though I know half of the TV Fanatics who read it will probably disagree with me:

I haven't enjoyed an episode of Glee like I enjoyed tonight's episode in a long, long time.

Maybe my elation is turkey and stuffing induced. Maybe my happiness is from the sweet potatoes. Somehow, however, I doubt it. "Dynamic Duets" solidifies, for me at least, what I saw two weeks ago, and that is that the focus of this show needs to be on McKinley.

Blake vs. Jake

I won't lie. I spent the first three minutes tonight wearing my "WTF" face. The real-life Superhero Squad, complete with Coach Beiste as faculty adviser, was more than a little bizarre. It was downright delusional and unnecessary. And yet... as the episode progressed, I found myself overlooking the fact that the characters were actually, really wearing capes and tights and focusing on the boatloads of information in an episode that was essentially buried under a mound of tryptophan.

Information such as:

  • Jake and Puck have developed a friendship where Baby Puckerman calls OG Puckerman for advice about girls.
  • Marley is developing bulimia after taking Kitty's "advice."
  • Will Schue left Finn a nice collection of sweater vests when he went to Washington.
  • Ryder is dyslexic.
  • Blaine's side of the break-up.

Finn is having some issues as the leader of the New Directions. They don't see him as an adult, but really, he's a baby adult, so I understand their confusion. His "Foreigner" plan was bad. So bad High School Finn from seven months ago would've called it bad. But as a mentor, he maybe doesn't suck.

He was really great with Ryder and Jake tonight. His plan to make them sing together was straight out of Schuester's Handbook, and when it backfired, he dropped back and punted just like Will would have. He forced them to be vulnerable so they could work together. I was kind of proud of him in that moment. Our little Finn's all grown up, guys.

Blake Jenner as Ryder is blowing the winners of The Glee Project Season 1 out of the water three episodes into his seven-episode arc. Neither Sam Larsen as Joe nor Damian McGinty as Rory are half as good as he is at being a believable character. Maybe it's that Ryan Murphy and Co. sought out a "leading man" in season 2 of The Glee Project, but really, they couldn't have chosen a better winner.

And Jake? I kind of love him.

While he may have betrayed Ryder's confidence in going to Finn, he did it with good intentions. Great intentions, even. He didn't like Ryder and really had no reason to even after hearing his secret, but he helped anyway. It's reminiscent of the time Puck made Becky Jackson a crown for prom. Both of them have these hard exteriors, but on the inside, they're good guys.

Speaking of Puck, it was great to catch a glimpse of him and find that he's just as industrious as always, hustling people on Hollywood Boulevard for money.

I couldn't be sure of Kitty's motivation for being nice to Marley until the point of the episode when Marley asked Jake out on a date. And to be honest, I'm still not entirely sure why Kitty is hellbent on having Marley become bulimic aside from just being an evil person intent on destroying Marley's life. But I suppose that's reason enough. I hope Glee treats this storyline with delicate attention because the relevance of eating disorders among teens shouldn't be treated as a lesson-of-the-week and then forgotten.

Finally, we got an explanation about Blaine's cheating. Yes, it happened. Yes, he's sorry for it. So sorry he seriously contemplated a move back to Dalton Academy to get away from Kurt's memory. Sam, however, convinced him to stay at McKinley. I believe there will be a conversation between Blaine and Kurt at some point and right now, after hearing Blaine's explanation, I can't decide how I want things to end up. (You can read Blaine's explanation on the Glee quotes page!)

Sure, I love Blaine and Kurt together. But Blaine's cheating, and with a stranger no less, was reckless and lame. If Kurt never listened to him, he'd be justified in that decision. The part of me who wants to see these two work it out, who believes in forgiveness and second chances, is hopeful they'll reconcile at least to the point of being friends again, however tenuous.

And that, my friends, is what you missed on Glee. Plus other things that I didn't include here lest this become a rehashing of ever minute of tonight's episode.

Seriously. There was so much to learn tonight! And all of it was done without the intrusion of New York. And yes, New York feels like an intrusion after tonight.

This? The high school? This is Glee now. And this Glee? It's good.

What did you think of "Dynamic Duets?" Have you visited our updated Glee music section yet? Are you starting to like Ryder and Jake as much as I am?

Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.0 / 5.0 (158 Votes)

Miranda Wicker is a Staff Writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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Let's face it we go through the five stages of grief with the evil characters on Glee: Anger. Denial. Ambivalence. Redemption, Love. We did it with Sue, Puck, Santana and Quinn so it's good to go back to the beginning with Kitty. No doubt she has a sad back story that explains how she ended up how she did. But for now we can just enjoy the start of her journey to sainthood.

Charmed-jenna

I still don't agree about scratching NY. It provides a nice balance and refreshes the entire show. Enjoyed the episode, but this episode really highlighted a problem I have with the Mkinley side at the moment. The lack of balance between SO's between the seniors(except Blaine) and the newbies. I enjoy the newbies but I really don't want the entire focus to be just them. Also, I could care less for Blaine at this point. Too much whining.

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(cont.) I loved the Warbers’ plan to seduce Blaine — and I’m someone who mostly thinks the Warblers are a total waste of screen time. The use of the blazer was hilarious. The Sam/Blaine stuff was great—especially the mission to reclaim the trophy. The music was good throughout & “Some Nights� was a total stand-out number—best one this season. I hope we see a lot more group numbers to close out episodes — this is classic Glee doing what it does best. Ian Brennan, who wrote and directed the episode, hit it out of the park. So enjoyable to watch Glee as a COMEDY again.

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(Cont.) The comic book theme was incorporated SO well, especially for someone with a deep love and appreciation of the original Batman TV series (Blam! Slaine!) and 1970s Saturday morning superhero cartoons. Finn’s initial stumbles trying to lead were hilarious. Lots of the cast got moments and were included--& included well--which we haven't seen in a long time; Puck's brief appearance was great. The scene where Ryder learns about his dyslexia and talks about it to Finn was powerfully acted by Blake and Cory — really, really well done. There was great development of the Ryder/Jake friendship and rivalry & of the Kitty/Marley interaction — which was awesome, especially since we keep seeing the camera showing us the ‘friendship’ is all an act by a still purely evil Kitty. Becca is doing a fantastic job with that role. (The bulimia story is going to continue.) I loved the Warbers’ plan to seduce Blaine — and I’m someone who mostly thinks the Warblers are a total waste of screen time. The use of the blazer was hilarious. The Sam/Blaine stuff was great—especially the mission to reclaim the trophy. The music was good throughout & “Some Nights� was a total stand-out number—best one this season. I hope we see a lot more group numbers to close out episodes — this is classic Glee doing what it does best. Ian Brennan, who wrote and directed the episode, hit it out of the park. So enjoyable to watch Glee as a COMEDY again.

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I LOVED this episode — it felt like Glee again, with tons of humor to go along with the few serious moments. After being weighed down so much all season by unending, unrelenting, soul-crushing angst, it felt awesome to watch an episode where I laughed all the way through. And I loved not having major shipping drama weighing things down every other minute. I'm a huge fan of Rachel Berry, and I didn't miss her for a second tonight, nor did I miss the New York side of the show at all. In fact, I was disappointed to see the NY moments in the promo, with my instinctive reaction being "I just laughed for a full hour; why do you want to drag me down again, Glee?" I don't think one song next week with SJP and her troupe is gonna make NYC a place of fun and humor, but maybe the show will prove me wrong. Back to 4x07 and McKinley -- the comic book theme was incorporated SO well, especially for someone with a deep love and appreciation of the original Batman TV series (Blam! Slaine!) and 1970s Saturday morning superhero cartoons. Finn’s initial stumbles trying to lead were hilarious.
Lots of the cast got moments and were included -- and included well -- which we haven't seen in a long time
Puck's brief appearance was great. The scene where Ryder learns about his dyslexia and talks about it to Finn was powerfully acted by Blake and Cory — really, really well done. There was great development of the Ryder/Jake friendship and rivalry, and of Marley’s interactions with the two of them, and great development of the Kitty/Marley interaction — which was awesome, especially since we keep seeing the camera showing us the ‘friendship’ is all an act by a still purely evil Kitty. Becca is doing a fantastic job with that role. I loved the Warbers’ plan to seduce Blaine — and I’m someone who mostly thinks the Warblers are a total waste of screen time. I agree completely that they've outrun their time as rivals, but, as you say, they were a logical and compelling part of Blaine's story in the episode, and their stealing the trophy was kitsch-y fun. The use of the blazer was hilarious. The Sam/Blaine stuff was great—especially the mission to reclaim the trophy, lifted with utmost faithfulness from original Batman’s exploits of the Caped Crusader and his trusty sidekick. The music was good throughout — songs which I just liked OK listening to them before hand I ended up loving in context in the episode. “Some Nights� was a total stand-out number — best one this season. One of the best numbers in the past two seasons. I hope we see a lot more group numbers to close out episodes — this is classic Glee doing what it does best: showing how characters can fight and struggle and be rivals and mess up and then come together in song and be stronger as a group than they are isolated or as individuals (i.e. what a group of superheroes can do, per Finn’s dialogue). Ian Brennan, who wrote and directed the episode, hit it out of the park. So enjoyable to watch Glee as a COMEDY again.

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They all wore red at the end like in season dont stop believing. Also did Wade's parents say no Glee club or just no play as a girl? .

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Sam's impression of Bane was hilarious

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I missed NY so much. I need me some rachel and kurt. Also I was dying to know what was going on with brody! but I do love Ryder! I hate Marley.

Aquariuz

I like Jake and Ryder's friendship. And yes at first I thought I'd love NY's story more but now I think Rachel and Kurt just drag the show and they should leave them out if there's Season 5. McKinley baby!

Glee Season 4 Episode 7 Quotes

Finn: The theme is 'Foreigner.' We're going to sing songs by Foreigner, in foreign languages, wearing all the costumes of the world's nations.
Artie: Wait, seriously? That's your idea?

What kind of name is Ryder Lynn anyway? Because it sounds like your parents named you after a cowgirl doll who comes with her own pony.

Jake

Glee Season 4 Episode 7 Music

  Song Artist
Glee-cast-dark-side Dark Side Glee Cast iTunes
Glee-cast-superman Superman Glee Cast iTunes
Glee-cast-holding-out-for-a-hero Holding Out For A Hero Glee Cast iTunes
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