Raina Deerwater ‘16 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
One could argue that part of the appeal of early Glee was that it seemed to be a minor drug trip. The color palette was bright and reality was slightly twisted. It was a nice baby mushroom trip, but with singing! Going with this analogy, season six, episode four “The Hurt Locker Pt. 1” is a crippling addiction crack cocaine. And not the fun kind.
It’s hard to find a point to start to dissect where this episode separated completely with any form of reality. Was it when Sue (Jane Lynch) decided she “shipped Klaine,” using that wording? Was it when Rachel (Lea Michele) opened her desk to find Sue’s head casually there in a stunning rendition of “Bitch”? Or is it Kurt (Chris Colfer) going on a date with a fifty-something year old?
These are all viable options, but let’s start the analysis with the most show-stopping number Glee will do this season, the dramatic recreation of the Vanessa Carleton classic “A Thousand Miles.” Sam (Chord Overstreet) and Rachel are learning piano, not because they are both interested in music, but because Sam has been hypnotized by Sue to hit on Rachel. As you do. It’s complete with the swirly spirals and all. Anyway, this leads up to them playing the piano and inevitably “A Thousand Miles.”
Let’s paint a picture:
- They play the opening riff.
- Rachel says she loves this song. Classic Rach.
- They improve exponentially at the piano in three seconds.
- The lyrics begin: “Makin my way downtown-”
BOOM. They are downtown. Yes indeed, Rachel and Sam are singing and playing the piano as it moves down the streets of Lima, Ohio. In the best green screen use since Avatar, the merry pair recreate the video to “A Thousand Miles,” complete with a string quartet and ballerinas. It’s just straight up ridiculous even without the hypnotism back-story. It begs the question, “If I could fall into the sky, do you think time would pass me by long enough for me to not have seen these 45 minutes of TV?”
Other stuff happens in this episode too, don’t worry. There is a lot of inappropriate drone humor. The title of the episode “The Hurt Locker” refers to a storage locker where Sue keeps her serial killer-esque memorabilia of the glee club. There is also the legitimate “drones” she uses to spy on Will (Matthew Morrison) and Rachel. To round it all out, there are signs around the school that say “ISIS Awareness Week.” It’s uncomfortable at best.
There is also the very odd choice that they made for Sue to want Kurt and Blaine (Darren Criss) together. It results in literally a bear cub being in play, just in case we didn’t already get the fact that Glee has a problem with labels. And just for the kicker, Kurt goes on a date with Harry Hamlin of all people. He agrees to be friends and maybe more with a guy who is over twice his age. This is not a good way to rebound, Kurt. And even though most of the actors are over 30, we can’t forget that these characters are supposed to be barely 21.
Lest we forget, at the age of 21 half the ensemble has been engaged, deemed themselves failures, or are dating people more than 30 years their senior. There comes a point where Glee needs to stop and take a look at itself. Frankly, that point was three years ago. Now, all we can do is sit back on our moving pianos, and enjoy the crack trip. Nine more episodes.
Overall Episode Grade: D