Not since the memorable "Single Ladies" episode have we seen so much football on Glee. This week's special post-Super Bowl episode is all about the division between the jocks and the glee club, as both the football team and Cheerios head into their championships. It offers up the same themes that have been consistent with the show: unity, pride, and the importance of self-acceptance over fitting in with the crowd. As expected, the episode's highlight is a rendition of Michael Jackson's iconic "Thriller," but there are also some other numbers (not to mention surprises) thrown into the mix. Let's review after the jump.
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- The episode kicks off with an explosive (get it?) Cheerios performance to Katy Perry's "California Gurls," complete with blue wigs and firecracker bras. It's a fun way to get us in the spirit, but I would have rather heard the glee club actually perform it. Sue isn't impressed either, and decides that what the number is missing is a human cannon, so she signs Brittany up for the job. (To which Brittany responds: "I don't want to die yet. At least not until One Tree Hill gets cancelled." Priceless.)
- The football team is having issues of their own, due largely to Karofsky's bullying. When he attacks the glee club, Puck goes "all 'Tik Tok'" on Karofksy's face. (Not sure I fully understand that Ke$ha reference, but I'll take it.) Coach Beiste looks for a way to boost morale before the championship, so she turns to Mr. Schuester, who suggests that the football team join the New Directions for a full week — and perform a halftime number with the gleeks. Though it's far-fetched to believe that anyone could force extra extracurriculars on a student, it's a pretty genius idea, and it only takes one Rachel/Puck rendition of "Need You Now" to start getting the jocks in the spirit.
- Of course, there's more than meets the eye to Puck and Rachel's musical chemistry: Rachel's still pining for Finn, and she thought the song would make him jealous. Though Finn is visibly affected by the duet, his feelings are more focused on Quinn this episode. (More on that later.)
- Puck approaches Finn in hopes of repairing their broken friendship in the name of the football team, but in turn, Finn gets into a scuffle with Sam about his leadership skills. Looks like Sam is ready to usurp Finn in both football and glee club, and I have a feeling their conflict is only going to get worse when Sam learns of his girlfriend's wandering eye.
- Sue has always been mean, but was anyone else taken aback at how violent she gets this week? For all the setbacks and disappointments she's encountered, it feels kind of out of the blue that she gets bent out of shape over some human cannon drama. In any event, she gets so worked up that she decides to force the Cheerios to choose between cheerleading and singing (I'm surprised she didn't think of this sooner.) Now that Santana, Brittany, and Quinn have turned in their uniforms, how long will it be before Sue begs them to come back?
- While we're on the subject of people coming back, I think I'm ready for Kurt's Warbler days to be over. Don't get me wrong — I loved "Bills, Bills, Bills" and I can't wait to see how Kurt's romance develops with Blaine, but the writers aren't exactly striking a balance between McKinley and Dalton. It seems like this season has gone from putting Kurt at the center of attention to casting him into the background, and I wish they could just find a happy medium.
- This week's episode isn't packed with musical numbers, but "Thriller" is definitely satisfying. There could have been more flash-mob-esque dancing (like in the video), but I appreciate that they put their own spin on it. Plus, the song actually mashed up very nicely with "Heads Will Roll."
- Though Karofsky is clearly a gleek at heart, he's back to tough guy mode after the halftime performance. How much longer do you think it will before his true colors are revealed? My prediction is that the final showdown will be in this year's season finale, but we'll have to wait and see.
- And now for the major drama: Quinn kisses Finn! There were hints leading up to the final scene, but I didn't think Quinn would forget about Sam so quickly. Partner swapping is second nature to the glee kids, but how do you feel about these two re-kindling the flame? I'm a big fan of Sam and Quinn together, but I wouldn't mind seeing how she and Finn fare the second time around.
What did you think of Glee's big return? Was the episode as epic as you'd expected? Do you like the idea of Quinn and Finn as a couple again? Share your thoughts in the comments.