If an "Asian F" is the equivalent of an American A minus, what do I give this episode of Glee? An Asian Q? I really didn't care for it.
There were pieces here that made me smile on their own - Brittany leading a flash mob, Coach Beiste dropping one hilarious line after another, the mere fact that Emma has an autographed head shot of Vera Wang - but the show tried to jam way too much into a single hour.
Was it Mike's episode? The Asian dancing sensation was front and center for a welcome change, practicing on his own, teaching the group complicated moves, auditioning for the school play. He wasn't the kidding: the guy does have a lot on his well-toned plate!
Or was it Emma's episode? We met her racist Ginger Supremacist parents this week, a significant storyline that explained everything about Emma's OCD over the course of one meal. Heck, over the course of one course. Tremendous work here by Jayma Mays, as she made it clear why Emma earlier pretended her parents were ghosts. But I wanted even more, especially because I was distracted by the mention of Carl. Who the heck is that?!?
Was that the dude Emma randomly married and then the show ignored for about 12 consecutive weeks? I would have preferred more than a few scenes devoted to Emma's backstory. (*UPDATE: This was a joke, readers. I'm pointing out how poorly handled that marriage and the use of John Stamos was.)
Or perhaps this episode belonged to Mercedes? She was involved in The Ultimate Maria-Off, after all. Unfortunately, while the conclusion of Mercedes signing on for Shelby's rival choir holds intrigue, getting to that point felt a lot like season two. The bad parts of season two, that is, with a lack of character development and seemingly slapped-together storytelling.
Santana is simply back in the club?!? With no explanation?!? And Mercedes believes Mr. Schuester favors Rachel. Since when? Hasn't he clashed with her more than any other club member? By far? Moreover... why would the judges split the Maria role? Talk about a cop-out. When even Rachel and her ego can admit that Mercedes was better, there's no explanation for Beiste, Emma and Artie's decision except that it was a plot device to move Mercedes along. That's pretty weak.
There was simply too much going on this week, too many heavy-handed moments - from Mike's talk with his mom to Emma and Will's prayer to Kurt confronting Rachel to Mercedes making her prideful decision - that, by the end, I was more exasperated that emotional. A show can only ask its audience to well up so many times per hour before it turns more eye-rolling than tear-inducing.
- This negative critique takes nothing away from the outstanding covers. We've collected them all in our Glee video section.
- I did enjoy the nicknames bestowed on various characters. Mike is the Fleet-Footed Dance Ninja. Mercedes is Stealth Attack Jones. Rachel is the Garanimal-Wearing Ass Kisser.
- Kurt believes if he wins school president, he can enact many changes that will "people like him." What could he possibly be talking about? This just played out like another chance to mention that Kurt is gay and there are issues involved with that. We know, Glee. We support the overall message. We wouldn't be watching the show otherwise... but chill with it.
- Are they hinting that Mercedes is pregnant?!?
- HA! Jacob Ben Israel held a straw poll. It was probably as meaningful as the actual ones in Iowa and Florida.
- Due to the MLB playoffs, Glee will go on hiatus until November 1. Watch scenes from that new episode NOW.
What did everyone else think? Were you properly moved by Mike's story, Emma's background and the clash of the divas? Or is your head still spinning from all the storylines shoved into one episode?
And vote now: Who deserved the role of Maria?