Glee… this wasn’t a full on free-fall into abysmal storytelling territory (because certain moments of the episode rang incredibly true), but you’re backsliding a little bit from the highs of “Michael“. None of the students have started having sex with Sue or Mr. Schuester and no one is trying to get anybody’s baby taken away, so we’re definitely not in crisis mode. But this is how it begins. I’m going to partially put this off to the episode mostly being filler material as no potentially show-damaging story arcs were introduced. It just seemed light (except for some of the more stand-out scenes) and didn’t contribute enough to the story arcs of characters who will shortly be leaving the series. Ricky Martin’s appearance didn’t add much to the program, and it seems to recall the stunt casting that plagued much of Season 2. Maybe I’m simply being too hard on the episode after I enjoyed “Michael” so much, but this wasn’t one of Glee‘s best weeks. It certainly wasn’t anywhere near one of its worst though.
Apparently the writers on Glee finally realized what every single fan of the show who speaks even an inkling of Spanish has known since the pilot which is that Will, despite being the school’s Spanish teacher, can barely speak a word of the language. When a tenured teaching position opens up at the school, Will is competing against Sue for the post and decides to brush up on his Spanish when a student anonymously (later revealed to be Santana because of Will’s unintentionally offensive teaching style) complains about his teaching. He attends a night school Spanish course taught by David Martinez (Ricky Martin), a former tooth model who now wants to teach for a living. When Will invites David to the school to get his students excited about Spanish, he realizes just how inauthentic his ideas about teaching Spanish are (which often involve outrageous matador costumes) and decides to become the school’s new history teacher and lets Martinez teach Spanish instead. Emma ends up getting the tenure position when her pamphlet (oh were her pamphlets hilarious last night) about cleaning out your jock strap get picked up by schools around the nation. There were also subplots involving Sue wanting to become a mother (and requesting sperm from not just the New Directions boys but also Mr. Schue himself) and Rachel and Finn being confronted by their friends about their proposal. There was an especially well-written scene between Kurt and Finn where Kurt accuses Finn’s proposal of being a way for Finn to throw in the towel of having a life of his own. Also, there was some Samcedes stuff but I just can’t buy that couple at all.
Even though the writing was sort of “meh” this episode, we did get some good musical numbers. The first song though was a disaster. “Sexy and I Know It” by LMFAO was a terrible choice for Ricky Martin’s first track on the show and it really just didn’t work well. He barely had a chance to sing. He was just sort of rapping and it all seemed terribly cheesy. Mercedes hit a home run with “Don’t Wanna Lose You” by Gloria Estefan. She has a gorgeous voice and she’s gotten much better at controlling it in more low-key numbers as the series has progressed. Chord Overstreet did a mash-up of “Bamboleo” by Gipsy Kings and “Hero” by Enrique Iglesias. Take the ridiculous shoes out of the equation and we get to hear how Sam is back to being the best male singer in the group now that Blaine is on the injured reserve (cause Darren Criss is on Broadway). Naya and Rivera rocked out with Madonna’s “La Isla Bonita.” Naya Rivera has really become one of the most valuable assets in the cast, and I’m very glad they’ve found some way to incorporate her into Season 4. I loved the little like Selena thing she had going on with her hair for the number. Will’s Latin version of “A Little Less Conversation” was fine vocally, but when you added in his awful matador suit and Mike and Brittany as bulls, it was completely horrible as a total package (though it was meant to be so).
I could probably spend some more time examining my feelings about the writing of the episode but I also have to review last night’s Justified (which was much better), so I’ll draw this to a close. We get to meet Rachel’s two gay fathers next week (I’m a friend of the gays so I don’t think it’s at all homophobic to say that has always explained so much about her), and one of them is Jeff Goldblum! That should be a real treat. Plus, at some point Kurt is singing “Love Shack” which should be fun. All in all, this is one of those forgettable episodes of Glee. It didn’t have any massive glaring flaws; it just didn’t have much going for it either (except for the scenes with Kurt and Finn). We’ll see if the show can find itself again next week.
Final Score: B