Glee blog review Episode 21: Funk

Funny how Glee can creep up on me. Just when I’m not expecting much, given this week’s titular theme of Funk (not the richest musical lode to tap), the show delivers one of its most eventful, tuneful and entertaining episodes ever — and I am officially now out of any funk I’d had at the start.

Will and Teri get divorced! Vocal Adrenaline and New Directions attack and counter-attack! Will seduces Sue! We see inside Sue’s house! Quinn moves in with Mercedes! It almost sounds like an old movie ad: SEE! High schoolers go crazy!

The funk theme didn’t really apply to much of the music, which was fine. In fact, the night’s best number was a classic ’60s soul song, James Brown’s It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World. And it was classic not just via a rare and riveting performance by Quinn, but also weird yet wildly effective backing dancers — a group of about-to-deliver high school mamas performing a spot-on rendition of ballet’s Swan Lake. Oy!

Loser was a winner, too, in one of Glee’s nods to old movie musical artifice, albeit in a brief fantasy sequence. But with Puck, Finn and even Teri and Howard singing their woes at Sheets ‘n’ Things, it was rousing and fun — until it abruptly ended mid-song. Oh well — there’s always the full-length download.

Will’s Tell Me Something Good was a bad boy as it gets, with his bump and grind seduction of Sue. And Good Vibrations and Give Up the Funk were spirited, energized treats. But VA’s Another One Bites the Dust was just another poser posture for Jesse and company, whose weaknesses have been exposed: They’re soulless automatons, as even they admit. If we want Queen, we’ll take ND’s Somebody to Love. End of story.

Character-wise, Will continues to show his darker side, as his moral compass spins out of control. In Episode 1, he looked like the hero of this show — the Mr. Smith going not to Washington, but to the principal’s office to fight for his kids. Now he’s more of an opportunist — but also more of a credible human being.

But I did think his seduce-and-dump gambit with Sue was cruelly ruthless. In fact, so was Jesse’s sneak attack on poor Rachel, even to the point of breaking an egg on her head. This was after he admitted last week that he liked her. And this was after she did what to him? Oh, that’s right: She made a music video that also featured two other guys. Gimme a break!

But wow, Sue’s revelations were awesome. She lives in a cold house full of old trophies and a fearful maid. She needs more of a life, and knows it, but at least she has her Cheerios.

Now we head into next week’s finale at regionals, where I see rough seas ahead for our little boatload of misfit toys, especially with Sue on the judging panel. (Huh? Can anyone spell “conflict of interest”?)  But hey, Rocky Balboa didn’t win his first championship bout, either. It’s how you finish — and for ND, they only need to PLACE at regionals to survive, if you’ll recall (not that the show bothered reminding us last night). So don’t worry. Besides, Glee has been renewed for TWO full seasons in advance. That’s a triumph if I ever saw one.

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