Glee blog review Episode 18: Laryngitis

Mike O’Malley as Burt Hummel

The truly amazing thing about Glee is the way it keeps giving us new reasons to love it. This week’s Episode 18, Laryngitis, proved that you can take the giddy, silly excesses of Bad Reputation and meld them to the moving, emotional heft of  Home. All in one episode, we got happy, we got silly and we got weepy. And it all worked.

I’m not sure how much plot series movement Laryngitis had, but emotionally it soared, especially in the show-ending One, performed by Lea Michele’s Rachel visiting a paralyzed friend of Finn’s who (as it goes in Glee) had a hankerin’ to sing. The actor himself (Zack Weinstein) is quadriplegic, which made it enormously more meaningful. In fact, it was jarring to cut suddenly to New Directions performing the song in standard fashion (maybe since it was an overmatched Finn singing lead at the time), but I did like the framing device overall, especially when it gave Rachel a chance to shine — big-time — as she sang a varied-melody lead. The U2 classic is one of the all-time rock greats, and Glee did it proud.

Oh, and thanks, Ryan Murphy, for finally clearing up where Quinn has been staying all these months. I’d surmised it was with Puck’s family (aren’t boyfriends’ — or ex-boyfriends’ — moms accommodating?), but all it took was half a line of dialogue to point that out, so why wait till the mid-point of the back nine episodes to finally mention it? Oh well. At least Dianna Agron has had some strong (though precious few) scenes of late, bonding with Mercedes — whose brief dalliance with Puck never rang true, but then, this is Glee, a show that shamelessly delves into movie musical phoniness and grandiosity when it suits the creators, then slips back into grounded reality mode with meaningful detours involving physically handicapped or emotionally impaired people.

Speaking of  meaning, Mike O’Malley as Kurt’s noble and lonely dad continues to be just about my favorite actor/character on this show, and it’s good to see him getting consistent screen time. But Kurt’s self-pitying, whiny wails about his father doting on Finn need to stop. He’s got a dad who declares his love for him, supports him and does his best. Kurt, you are lucky. Shut up. Besides, learn some generosity. Since age 2, Finn hasn’t had a dad. So quit whimpering and feeling sorry for yourself.

I’m glad Rachel’s throat problem proved to be, essentially, a false alarm, because this show needs her like a singer needs notes. I’ve said since day one Michele is the real deal, and I’ll again emphasize it’s not just as a singer — it’s also as an actress. Watch those big eyes welling with tears and anxiety when she stares into the mirror before perhaps surrendering her virginity to Jesse. Watch those same eyes when she looks down at the guy far worse off than her before beginning their One duet. Michele doesn’t even have to speak to act beautifully, and that says a lot in itself.

Musically, I could have done without the hopelessly dated Rat Pack number, though Mark Salling’s dancing was impressive and it picked up when Amber Riley’s Mercedes joined in. And Kurt’s Rose’s Turn was even more schmaltzy in a show-biz way than some of the worst excesses of the Bad Reputation show.

But One — still No. 1 in my book. And Rachel’s amusingly awful The Climb (well, isn’t that how Miley Cyrus sings?) was a hoot. As for Jessie’s Girl, it was a by-the-numbers cover, but still a sturdy song. And if Rick Springfield can sing it, so can a former drummer wannabe from Canada.

I also welcomed a respite from the bludgeoning of a word, title or some form of mantra to represent the week’s theme. In fact, did we hear “laryngitis” even spoken once in this show? I appreciated having no constant reminders of “confidence,” “introductions,”  “home” or the like — just another solid story from a show that’s found its footing even more in the spring than in the pregnancy-bloated fall.

Having become a true phenomenon, Glee can do nothing less. It’s now become its own tough act to follow. But that’s a challenge I believe Murphy and company not only are up to, but embrace.

From the top!

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3 Responses to “Glee blog review Episode 18: Laryngitis”

  1. Watch UK TV Abroad Says:

    I am a big fan of the TV show Glee. I always watch every episode of it in my iPhone or in my laptop usinf ITV player. being a busy man, I still manage to watch Glee. The show made me fell relax even I am so stress at work..
    looking forward to watch every episode.

  2. Glee soundtrack Says:

    I must agree this episode was awesome…. Can anyone ever get too much glee? I’m such a gleek

  3. Bryan Says:

    I couldn’t agree more.. Glee just gets a lot more interesting as episodes goes by. I want more Glee. It would be nice to get a Glee in Netflix thing going on. Here in Canada this option is still not yet available.

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