Gwyneth Paltrow was back on Glee last night as the lovably quirky and occasionally misguided Holly Holliday, and I was left with…mixed emotions.
On the one hand, “Sexy” was incredibly wacky and I loved it for that. Plus there were several very touching, tender moments from a variety of characters. But on the other hand, some scenes just left me feeling puzzled. The flow of the episode wasn’t quite right, and I was left feeling confused, and a little dirty – much like one might feel after making a sex tape with J. D. Salinger, you know?
No doubt about it, there was a lot going on in this episode. Too much, perhaps. We had Holly Holliday back, filling in at McKinley High as the sex-ed teacher. She’s a complete foil for Emma, and this episode was pretty much designed to show that off. Emma has taken a new leading role in the celibacy club, Holly performed a raunchy rendition of Joan Jett’s “Do You Wanna Touch Me” with the New Directions kids as a way to teach them about sex. (A sex-ed teacher wearing skintight leather and dancing provocatively while singing about being touched? No, that’s not over the line at all!) Emma and her husband of four months, John Stamos, have yet to, er, consummate their marriage. Holly told Puck and Lauren that her sex tape with J. D. Salinger was a total disaster and declared to the glee kids that “everyone has a random”. Emma is stifling her feelings for Will, Holly is going for it.
On top of Holly’s return, we also saw some major character development for Santana, a sweet moment between Kurt and Burt, and all the kids talked about sex. So let’s get it on, shall we? (The RECAP, I mean! God, guys. Get your minds out of the gutter.)
Sweet Valley Bi?
Santana and Brittany’s storyline was, for me, the best of the night. Kurt and Burt had a great moment, and I’ll get to that, but we’ve seen them shine before. This was the first time we saw an emotional side to Santana, and I thought it was really well done.
It’s long been established that Brittany and Santana like to fool around together, and that Santana is clearly in the take-charge role in that relationship. So we revisited that this episode as Santana tried to woo Brit with Sweet Valley High and cuddling. Poor Brit was reluctant though, since she was like, totes preggers. Or wait! Nope. She just thought that because a stork built a nest outside her bedroom window. Time to resuscitate Artie while someone has a Birds & Bees talk with Brittany. It turned out that Brittany wasn’t the only glee kid totally misinformed about sex – Finn thought cucumbers could give you AIDS, for goodness sakes.
Even without a bun in the oven, Brittany was confused about her relationship with Santana. It’s almost as confusing as breakfast. Brittany wanted to talk, but Santana prefers to fool around without even making eye contact, let alone discussing emotions. So instead they went and talked to Holly, who suggested they perform a song to express their feelings.
Maybe I’m just not that deep, but I had trouble making the connection between “Landslide” and confusing feelings of love and attraction for another girl. I’m not saying they should have busted out something obvious like “I Kissed A Girl”, but it just felt a little off to me. And why were they dressed so weird? Just because you might be a lesbian doesn’t mean you need to wear a denim vest, Brittany. Also weird? The fact that Santana cried the whole time. I don’t know about you, but if I were in high school and had feelings for my best friend and was worried that everyone would gossip about me if I publicly admitted to being in love with her, I’m not sure that singing a song while staring into her eyes and sobbing in front of, say, 10 other people, is the way I’d go.
The awkwardness of that scene was worth it, though, for the girls’ next scene together – when Santana completely opened up and told Brittany that she wants to be with her, not Puck or Sam or any other guy. Brittany remained vague, though – she seemed open to the idea of being with Santana in theory, but she wasn’t about to go and dump Artie, who she also loves. Good! First of all, I love Brittany and Artie together and I don’t think that relationship has run its course. Second of all, I think this plot development works much better if Brittany and Santana aren’t a couple.
Introducing a gay character on a TV show can sometimes feel contrived, especially if the character is very stereotypical. It can occasionally feel like a grab for ratings or an attempt to appear hip or liberal. Glee has done a good job with Kurt’s character – they’ve addressed coming out, and bullying, and now sex education for gay teens. (I promise, I’ll get to it) But even before Kurt came out, he was very sure of who he is. There was never any doubt that he was gay. And Blaine’s sexual confusion was very short lived. These things aren’t always so cut and dry. I like that Santana feels very conflicted about her feelings towards Brittany and her attraction to dudes, chicks, and even shrubs. I thought this storyline was well done.
Let’s Talk About Sex, Baby
Meanwhile, sex was in the air over at Dalton Academy as well. After Sue misinterpreted what was going on when Will wrote “Sexy” on the board in the choir room, she told Blaine and Kurt that New Directions was going to sex it up for Regionals. That meant the Warblers would have to revamp their whole image if they wanted to measure up.
While I can’t say I particularly cared for the Warblers’ sudsy performance, I liked Kurt’s attempts at being sexy. As Blaine said, it looked like he was having gas pains. (Also hilarious? The fact that a “sexy” number also featured Kurt’s first solo with this group. What inspired that?) Blaine tried to talk to Kurt about sex (or about making sexy faces – that was a bit unclear) but Kurt was having none of it. So Blaine went to Burt, instead. I liked that Burt said what we were all thinking – that, yeah, Blaine was overstepping a bit. But that didn’t mean he wasn’t right. Blaine told Burt that he didn’t have a good relationship with his dad, and that Burt should take advantage of that and talk to Kurt about sex before it was too late.
As always, the scene between Burt and Kurt was balanced and touching. They both felt uncomfortable. Neither one of them really wanted to have that talk. But it was important, and they did it. And Burt got the most important words out: “Don’t throw yourself around like you don’t matter. Cause you matter, Kurt.” And then we all complained of allergies…
Meanwhile, Will gave Emma the opportunity to have her views heard by letting her and the Celibacy Club perform a chaste tune for the glee kids. This? This was so bad, it was good.
First of all, Puck joined the Celibacy Club. Shocking? Definitely. After he agreed to make a sex tape with Lauren and Holly warned them that it would be considered child pornography, he apparently realized he’d hit rock bottom. I didn’t love this storyline so much. I like Puck as the bad boy, and I’m tired of watching him chase Lauren around like a sad little puppy dog. He’s got more game than that. Also surprising? That Quinn is there even though she’s spending a lot of time in/on her bed with Finn.
So Puck, Rachel, Quinn, Emma and John Stamos all put on their most vomit-inducing early ’60s get-ups and performed a wonderfully innocent ditty about eating dessert in the middle of the afternoon. Oops! Nope. It’s about having sex in the middle of the day. Oh, Emma. This episode was not a good color for you.
John Stamos and Emma talked to Holly about their…issue, and Holly got Emma to let the cat out of the bag – she was acting so weird about sex because she was confused about her feelings for Will. John Stamos left to go book a hotel room, and I was also left with confused feelings. On the one hand, I do want Will and Emma together. I’ve always wanted them together. On the other hand, I feel like the show has kind of screwed that up by having Emma marry John Stamos. She’ll need to get a divorce, and does anyone want to see her jump out of a marriage with a handsome and likable dentist and jump right into bed with Will Schuester? I thought John Stamos (in case you haven’t noticed, I just don’t like calling him Carl) was supposed to be helping Emma with her issues, but if anything they seem to be getting worse. Plus, I really don’t think John Stamos is being used to his full potential.
Adding another complicated layer to the issue, Holly and Will are going to date. Not just fool around, but actually date. Since Emma clearly isn’t ready for him, I like this idea – Will needs to move on from Terri and Emma. When the show first started, I liked that Will had a lot going on outside of glee club, what with his marriage and fake baby and all. I liked seeing him hang with Coach Bieste outside of school hours, and I also like the idea of him having a girlfriend. As long as they stop making out in front of high school students like they did during their performance of “Kiss”. Because that was just weird. (Also? The falsetto was not working for them during that number.)
Like I said, I have mixed feelings about this episode. The parts themselves were good, but the flow was somehow off. What did you guys think? Luckily, there were a lot of great moments and lines from “Sexy”, so check out the highlights:
- “Celibacy, ladies! Dig it.” – Emma
- “I’m off to have CRAZY sex. Because I’m CRAZY informed about it…Kidding.” – Holly
- “I really hope that’s not one of the requirements for Regionals, because with Berry and those tights, we don’t stand a chance.” – Santana, when Schu rights “Sexy” on the board
- Everything Brittany said about the stork.
- Will holding up a sign saying “Too much?” during Holly’s first performance, right as we all were thinking it
- “Just remember, when you have sex with someone you’re having sex with everyone they’ve had sex with. And everybody’s got a random.” – Holly
- “Just picking up some coffee. I like my enemas piping hot.” – Sue
- Emma: “I look forward to the opportunity to nail her to the wall.”
Emma: “You know what I mean!”
- Lauren: “Well Puckerman, it’s your lucky day.”
Puck: “You’re finally going to let me motorboat those twins?”
- “I want to be like a Kardashian. I want a TV show and a fragrance. It will be called Zizes, and the slogan will be, ‘You just got Zized!” – Lauren
- “If you’re lovemaking prowess is as impressive as your skills of deduction, I’m in for a wild night.” – Lauren
- Everything Kurt said about porn stars, their mothers, and their tattoo choices.
- Brittany: “I really like when we make out and stuff.”
Santana: “Which isn’t cheating because…”
Brittany: “…the plumbing is different.”
- “We watch the Housewives shows, which are so, so racy.” – Emma
- “My lips are sealed. Just like your legs.” – Holly, immediately regretting saying that
- “Once, on a dare, I swallowed a thumbtack. And I’m 90 percent sure it’s still there.” – Puck
- “They key is to use the curling iron in the bathtub to keep yourself from getting burnt.” – Brittany
- “If anyone were to ever make fun of you, you would either kick their butt or slash them with your vicious, vicous words.” – Brittany