Glee’s triumphant return
After an entire two months of hiatus, Glee returns with the episode “Big Brother.” The episode, while not spectacular, was pretty great considering the cliffhangers they had to work with from the last episode. Remember those? The car crash, the “will they, won’t they” wedding? Those were wrapped up nicely within the first 60 seconds, setting the scene for the rest of the episode: Finn and Rachel put off their wedding due to the accident, and Quinn was left paralyzed and wheelchair bound.
Despite her new life as a paraplegic, Quinn acts surprisingly calm about all of it. She tells the Glee club that her spine was compressed but she may recover, and she is optimistic that she will be healed enough to dance at Nationals (although ten dollars says she is walking again within 5 episodes). Until then, she and Artie are wheelchair buddies, and they will continue to use this incident to milk the “never text while driving” message.
Over the course of the episode, the two of them share lots of bonding moments, like helping Quinn to overcome the terrifying mountain that is the McKinley wheelchair ramp. And of course there is the obligatory song — two, in fact. First, they sing “I’m Still Standing” to the Glee club, and while it was admittedly cute, the overall theme of the performance was, “Heh, get it? They’re actually not standing because they’re in wheelchairs. That’s the joke.”And then there is “Up Up Up,” which accompanies a montage of them shredding wheelchair rubber at a skate park for the physically disabled. However, Quinn seems to be unable to face the fact that she may not recover, and that this could be her life forever. Artie is understandably upset.
Besides the above-mentioned wheelchair business, this episode was extremely Blaine-heavy. This episode introduces Matt Bomer as Cooper, Blaine’s big brother. Turns out that Cooper is a semi-famous commercial star, and Blaine is clearly unhappy with his brother’s fame. They sing a duet together, a decent mashup of “Hungry Like the Wolf” and “Rio,” complete with trademark Anderson fancy footwork and twirls. It was cute, but Cooper shoves Blaine out of the spotlight throughout the song. Later, Cooper is invited to teach a small acting seminar, where he gives them great advice like “don’t go to college” and “never look at your acting partner.” There are several Blaine outbursts, which lead up to an absurd rendition of Christina Aguilera’s “Fighter.” The song itself was fine, but, as much as I love Blaine, his angry dancing just reminds me of a stomping hobbit. I could not take it seriously. Thankfully, they eventually reconcile through – surprise – another duet, this time “Somebody That I Used to Know.” I thought this was the best performance at the night; for once, it really suited the situation the characters were in, and the performance wasn’t over dramatic. (However, I feel like they underutilized the flashbacks — baby Blaine was too cute!) When they finally hug and make up, you can really believe them as brothers.
Of course, we can’t forget the Sue’s big storyline! It was revealed last episode that she is pregnant (by an unknown celebrity donor), and by now she is at the end of her third trimester. Sue and Will accompany her to her ultrasound, where she discovers that her baby is a girl. However, it’s also revealed that there were “irregularities” during the tests. It is not explicitly stated, but it’s implied that her child has Down Syndrome; when Becky comes to congratulate her on having a girl, Sue tells her the baby is “just like you.” Becky also gives her a piece of advice for when she is a parent: work on her patience.
Throughout the episode, there are allusions to trouble stirring in Finn and Rachel’s relationship. Puck tells Finn that its unequal, and that Finn has to think of himself a bit too. Finn decides he wants to move to California so he can think of his own future as well, but Rachel is dead set on New York. All of the tension culminates in a little lover’s quarrel in the final scene.
I am not optimistic about next week’s episode, “Saturday Night Glee-ver.” For one thing, the episode title is a pun, which is never a good sign. And secondly, it is a disco episode. However, there are some pretty good new plotlines for them to work with, so we shall see. Catch Glee next week, back on schedule, Tuesday night at 8 p.m. on FOX 43.