‘Glee’ Recap: Born This Way

S2E18: I was afraid that this episode might turn into a Lady Gaga drinking game, and you know what? I wasn’t wrong. By the end I wanted to take a shot every time someone said “born this way” — because it happened a lot. We get it, that’s the theme, but could you maybe find a thesaurus? Beyond that glaring complaint, last night’s Glee episode was actually pretty good for once. I stand by the fact that an hour and a half was far too long and that Kurt’s return to McKinley could have waited for another episode, but overall it was alright.

“I hear that Rachel’s got a bit of a schnoz. I mean, I wouldn’t know. Because like Medusa, I try to avoid eye contact with her.” -Santana

After the club’s dance boot camp gets swiftly brushed under the rug thanks to the overshadowing moment when Finn accidentally punches Rachel in the face, we get dumped into a giant self-loathing session wherein Schue requests that they all sing songs about their flaws and embrace themselves the way they are. This is all stemmed from the fact that when Rachel goes in to get her broken nose repaired, the doctor suggests that he could give her a nose job and asks her to compare her nose to Quinn’s. What the hell kind of doctor is he?

She ends up deciding on a nose job and asks that Quinn come with her to act as the model for her new nose, and suddenly they’re best friends. This was a bit obnoxious, but there’s reason for it later. This makes Schue even more concerned and he and Emma put together a plan for the club to sing “Born This Way” and make shirts that point out their flaws so that they can accept them. This was great and all, but I have to say, Santana’s pointed insults about everyone’s issues was hilarious and so on-point. I’m not evil, I just appreciate Santana’s bitchy comedy.

“I really prefer neat freak or cleany bug.” -Emma

When Emma reveals her shirt fort he Gaga number (wait why is she here, other than the fact that Schue is in love with her? I guess I just answered my own question) her shirt says Ginger, even though she and Schue had discussed her overcoming her OCD. Eventually, he convinces her to go to an actual therapist — but not after he shoved unwashed fruit in her face like a maniac — and she comes away with some pills that are supposed to help her. I’m not really sure how I feel about this solution with magic pills, but from the way the show handled it, I don’t think they are either.

By the end, she’s singing and dancing with them all so I guess she’s alright.

“I’m a closet lesbian and a judgmental bitch, which means one thing: I have awesome gaydar.” -Santana

Now for the part that really belonged in another episode, the plan to bring Kurt back to McKinley. They tied it to the race for Prom queen by instilling Santana with a sudden desire for the crown and her half baked idea that bringing Kurt back would make everyone love her and make her a shoe-in for queen. Before I go any further, this plan makes no sense. Sure, the glee club would vote for her if she got Kurt back, but what about the rest of the school? This is a problem this season encounters over and over again: they seem to forget that they are the outcasts. They don’t make up the entire student body or even the student body that everyone else listens to.

Anyway, Santana sees Karovsky checking out Sam, realizes he’s gay and blackmails him into a beard relationship so they can both escape possible de-closeting. The other part of this deal is that he has to apologize to Kurt so he comes back. After a heated discussion with parents and Principal Figgins, Karovsky and Kurt come to deal and Kurt returns to McKinley for good. Also, it seems Brittany is a little jealous that her “lebanese” friend is with a dude, but she’s really concerned that she’s not being herself. I would question it, but Brittany is dumb, not heartless.

This also provided a reason for one last Warblers performance, which was cute and all, but stopped the episode dead in its tracks.

“Lucy Caboosey for Prom Queen” -Poster

Meanwhile, Quinn’s on her Prom Queen rampage, there’s just one small problem: Lauren Zices wants to win Prom Queen too. Of course Quinn goes all bi-polar again and says some downright awful things about Lauren’s weight and appearance — sometimes I wonder why we still like her. It looks like three identically dressed girls are on Lauren’s side because she’s someone they can relate to. This isn’t enough though, so Lauren does some undercover work and finds out that Quinn used to be the ugly duckling at her old school but thanks to a nose job as part of a full image change, and Lauren posts photos all over the school in a ridiculously dramatic moment that was a little more jarring than I expected it to be.

It turns out that the girls who were wanting to vote for Lauren for Prom Queen are now on Quinn’s side because she’s an inspiration for changing her image. That’s not what does it though, Finn is impossibly sweet and keeps the old picture of Quinn in his wallet to make her feel better. I still think the “I don’t care” speech would have been more effective than the “I like this one better” speech because it’s just a little too unrealistic.

“Is she here?!” – Rachel

“No, this is a mall in Ohio.” -Kurt

Of course, it takes Kurt to convince Rachel not to change her nose. Despite Puckerman’s Jew-to-Jew appeal, she hadn’t budged. She even brought in those creepy composites of what she’d look like with Quinn’s nose. The whole time, everyone’s been bringing up Barbra Steisand, saying she’s one in a million and eluding to the idea that there’s only room for one famous schnoz in Hollywood. Kurt undoes this with a flashmob dance in their local mall. It was fun and cute, but I still don’t understand how it was meant to convince her not to get a nose job. I also don’t get why Kurt wears half of the things he wears.

Now that she’s okay and keeping her nose, they all reconvene in the auditorium to perform “Born this Way” in their flaw shirts. My favorite might have been Brittany’s “I’m With Stoopid” or the “Lebanese” one she made for Santana for her closeted lesbianism. The performance was over the top, but I tell you what, I prefer this to Gaga emerging from a giant egg in a condom dress. Santana hides in a corner of the auditorium while everyone else performs which could signal that her dilemma will be more front and center in future episodes and I sincerely hope it is. Her struggle isn’t something to just joke about or bring up as a secondary plot when it’s convenient or good for a laugh. If they’re going to present something like this, they need to treat it appropriately.

Finally, I hope this better episode is a sign of things to come. We know it’s campy, we know it’s ridiculous, but they’ve been throwing us for a loop with the last few episodes and I hope we’re making a turn for the better.