February 15, 2011

Episode Review: GLEE, "Comeback"

Since I'm not really familiar with Justin Bieber, I went into "Comeback" expecting to dislike it. While the episode did have a shaky start, it ended up winning me over by the end. Sure, it wasn't as good as last week's "Silly Love Songs", but it was far from the trainwreck that it could've been.

Once again, "Comeback" had too many plotlines going on, but they all melded together fairly nicely. Unlike last week, Sue and Schue were featured predominately, but their story wasn't as cringe inducing as they've been in the past. The sub-plots featuring the students were once again the highlight of the episode.

Sue & Schue
After being eliminated at regionals, Sue was lost and had too much time on her hands so she decided to torment the glee club members. Emma suggested that one way Sue could cope with her listlessness was to join New Directions for a week in order to express her feelings through song. Initially, Schue was hesitant but eventually caved. Of course, Sue was obstinate at first but she gradually warmed up to the idea, and was pretty much sold after Schue took her to a children's cancer ward to sing to the kids. Just when Will thought he made a breakthrough, Sue turned the tables on him and revealed that she'll be coaching New Dierctions' former rivals, Aural Intensity, at Regionals. Twist!

Like many critics have documented over the show's run, Glee can go off the rails when it focuses too much on the adult characters, but I felt that "Comeback" had the right amount of Will and Sue this week. It didn't hurt that Will wasn't in full Douchester mode and Sue dialed back her insanity down to 10. I did have two minor gripes about their part of the episode though. I felt that Sue's over the top suicide threat lacked tact, and their visit to the hospital was a bit manipulative. Yes, we saw Sue's softer side, but the audience already witnessed a similar moment when her sister was introduced. This fieldtrip to sing to sick kids just felt heavy handed.

In a bit of narrative continuity, this week's episode built off of the Finn/Quinn/Sam triangle that was introduced last week, and they even threw Santana in to mix things up. Sam's still unsure about how Quinn came down with mono but he ended up buying her story, and in order to impress her he pulled out his best Justin Bieber impression. Apparently, it worked and Quinn was remembering why she fell for Sam in the first place, but Finn wasn't about to ease up. For some reason that I cannot quite put my finger on, Santana decided to go after Sam and convinced him to dump Quinn by appealing to his ambitious side. So, I guess she felt that her and Sam could be McKinley's power couple while messing with Quinn and Finn.

I know that there are a lot of shippers out there who are not happy about Finn and Quinn's feelings for one another, but I do welcome the change of pace. While they were technically dating for the first half of last season, I don't think we really saw them as a true couple because of her lying and his mixed feelings. If they're paired up now, after they've grown up a bit, they could be somewhat interesting. As for Sam and Santana, their relationship is nothing more than a plot device, but I'm still loving Santana's evil bitch routine. I still think she should be promoted to the show's main baddie, and she can even be Sue's apprentice. There can be only two...

Lauren and Puck
Another plot thread that was carried over from "Silly Love Songs" was the budding romance between Puck and Lauren. This time around, Puck was still trying to woo Zizes, and even joined Sam's Bieber tribute band to get into her "enormous pants". Unfortunately for him, she's still immune to his moves but he made progress when he helped her overcome her stage fright by telling her to use the tried and true underpants method. It worked, and Lauren rocked her first solo.

I'm digging this paring because it's something different, and it's really given Puck the chance to show a whole new side of himself without sacrificing his badassador status. That being said, this was the plot that I felt was shoved into the episode, and I would've much rather preferred if the show revisited their relationship next week so it could've had a more predominate role.

Rachel: The Comeback Kid
Like Santana last week, Rachel kind of meandered through various stories, but the bulk of her time was spent on making her own comeback. At first, she wanted to be a trend setter and paid Brittany to emulate her style (officially known as Sexy Schoolgirl Librarian Chic), but her plan backfired and Brittany got credit for the look. Rachel even tried to reclaim her role as head diva, and was pitted against Mercedes in yet another Diva Off thanks to Sue's manipulation. Luckily, the two were even closer after their competition much to Sue's chagrin.

Rachel wanting to become a fashion icon felt a little bit underdeveloped because she's never really been so shallow and obsessed with clothes. She's always wanted to be popular and the star, but I always felt that she's comfortable with her style (aside from her catsuit and Britney phase), so her wanting others to dress like her just didn't add up in my mind. Things started to come together once she realized that the way to make her comeback was by being the team captain she's always meant to be. I for one am excited to see Classic Rachel back because the sad puppy and lovesick fool looks did not work on her. She's always been at her best when she's ambitious and up to her diva ways.

On the Music Front
I had never head a Justin Bieber song before tonight, and I have to admit that I didn't hate Sam's version of "Baby". I cannot comment on whether it's better than the original, but it was decent. As for "Somebody to Love", I didn't love the song but the boys' performance was alright. The musical highlight was "Take Me or Leave Me", and it made me wonder why NPH didn't go with Lea Michele when he directed Rent at the Hollywood Bowl. Lauren's version of "I Know What Boys Like" wasn't necessarily good, but it worked within the context of her storyline. My Chemical Romance's "SING" was a good number to end the episode on.

Other Odds and Ends:
  • Artie needs to stop pretending like he knows the first thing about women.
  • Rachel shops at Kids 'R Us.
  • Puck's Bieber wig was too much.
  • Rent + Glee = Win
  • Apparently, Finn wears a Power Rangers t-shirt to bed.
  • "Who can tell us what an anthem is?" "The bottom of an ant's pants." "So close. So close."
  • "I've got to get that girl on my Cheerios."
I was really hoping that Glee could capitalize on last week's great outing, but unfortunately "Comeback" wasn't on par with "Silly Love Songs". That doesn't mean it was a bad episode, it had its entertaining moments, but the show really could've used some momentum to silence the haters and critics out there.


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