‘Glee’ Recap: A Hot Mess of Holiday Cheer


All right Glee-bees, let’s talk. In my very first Glee recap, I told you all that I love this show and my recaps are going to reflect that. “I’m not going to mock the actors, diss the songs, or make snarky comment on how ‘unrealistic’ a scene is. Come on y’all, it’s Glee. It’s supposed to be unrealistic.” Frequent readers of my recaps can attest that through the past 10 episodes I have groaned with you, pointed out characters flaws, and questioned unnecessary plot twists. But overall, I feel like I have provided gleeks with detailed and fun episode summaries of our beloved show. However, when I wrote that chipper yet naïve sentence almost three months ago, I was unaware that this year’s Christmas episode, “Glee, Actually” was going to be so blatantly… bad.

There were some pretty hilarious one-liners and we got to see some familiar faces in McKinley Halls, but unfortunately, there was nothing in this episode that actually moved any of the plotlines forward. It’s almost as if we just wasted an hour of our lives that we could’ve spent watching last year’s adorable Christmas episode. (Plus an extra 10 minutes for the deleted Klaine box scene and Santana’s MIA “Santa Baby” of course!) It seems that Glee has already used up the best Christmas songs, so they just threw the rest into a blender, hit purée, added a dash of nonsense, and now we’re left with “Glee, Actually.” Read on for all the head-scratching holiday merriment that took place.

So Here’s What You Missed on Glee:

Coach Sue begins the episode by explaining what the powers-that-be are trying to accomplish over the next hour: “Dear journal, it’s Christmas again, that time of year when parents aren’t arrested for forcing their children to sit on an old man’s weirdly hot lap. That magical season when five seemingly separate storylines are cleverly sandwiched between commercial breaks and then tied together in the end like a beautiful bow. Like that movie Love, Actually, which I don’t think anyone cares for and yet it is constantly on cable.” (Side-Note: False, Love, Actually is amazing.) So let’s jump on in and review the episode’s nearly pointless plotlines.


It’s a Wonderful Glee: The first story begins with Artie, who’s chair lost traction on the slippery school ramp, causing him to fall backwards and smack his head on the icy concrete. Finn offers to help take him to the nurses’ office but Artie is irritated with everything around him: “I’m tired of being so helpless, I’m tired of everybody pitying me and I’m tired of being in this damn chair.” Cue the black-and-white It’s a Wonderful Life dream sequence, and Artie is now able to walk, has ditched the glasses, and donned a letterman jacket. There is a pleasant surprise when Rory returns to tell Artie that he is his Christmas Guardian Angel and he has granted his wish to walk again. (Side-Note: I genuinely squealed when I saw Rory again. I really wish they would’ve kept him and ditched Joe, the obnoxious dude with dreads.) But of course, somehow, Artie not being in a wheelchair made it so that he never joined glee and no one is friends.

Here’s a breakdown of the ridiculousness: Tina is still a goth with a stutter. Finn, Puck, Sam, Mike, Jake, and Ryder are all narrow-minded hot-headed jocks. Kurt never graduated because he couldn’t bear to attend classes all week and get bullied. Blaine doesn’t exist. Mr. Schue is a disgruntled teacher who never started the Glee club. Bonus misery: He is still married to Terri and is so drunk all the time that he doesn’t even realize that their “baby” is a doll. Emma married Coach Tanaka and is living in Hawaii. Rachel is a librarian and has absolutely no drive or confidence. (Side-Note: Yeah right! I don’t care what bizarre alternate universe we’re watching, but there is no such thing as a Rachel who isn’t going to fight and claw her way to become a star. No wheelchair is ever going to make her settle and become a librarian. She was the strongest advocate for glee club — remember when she kept putting her gold stars on everything? Ahhh, good times.) Oh an apparently Quinn died of a broken heart.

Rory tells Artie that he was “the glue of Glee, the beating heart of the group. No glue, no Glee.” Artie pulls together all of the alum and newbies — because apparently no one except Mercedes and Santana left the school — and decides to show them what glee club was all about. He sings “Feliz Navidad” while running around the choir room in a poncho and maracas looking like a crazy person. Once the song ends, mega-jock Finn responds with, “That was so gay.” In the end, Artie learns that being in this chair is what made him special: “For better or worse this chair is apart of me, it’s made me who I am.” (Side-Note: Okay I’m sorry, but if this is Glee’s way of making up for the fact that they have practically ignored Kevin for the past four years, then this sucks. He deserves more than just some weird dream sequence and a bilingual song that they teach kindergarteners.)

Christmas Surprise: Rachel is leaving for a Rosie O’Donnell cruise over the holidays with her gay dads, and Kurt’s family is not going to be in Lima, so he has decided to spend Christmas alone in NYC. Cut to 30 seconds later when Burt — aka the greatest Glee parent ever — surprises his son with an impromptu visit and a brand-new Christmas tree. Kurt and Burt spend some quality time together, and then step into a diner to get a “Hummel family tradition,” also known as hot chocolate. Unfortunately, the joyful mood drastically changes when Burt reveals to his son that his has prostate cancer. (Side-Note: NO! Are you freaking kidding me? After everything he has been through? You’re going to threaten the life of possibly one of the greatest, most understanding parents in the history of TV? This is stupid.) Although the doctors have apparently caught it early, Kurt is still rightfully upset. He tells his dad, “Its just really scary to think that when I finally reach my destiny, that you won’t be around to see it.” But Burt assures him that he will.

It’s Christmas Eve so the two guys exchange one gift. Burt gets a NYADA hat and shirt, and Kurt gets Blaine. That’s right, Klaine lovers! Burt flew Blaine to NYC and sent Kurt to the ice-skating rink to go meet his handsome Christmas gift. “You are happy to see me, right?” Blaine cautiously questions. To which Kurt gives not-quite-so convincing responds, “Yeah, yeah. Always.” The two former beaus lace up their skates and gear up to sing this year’s traditional Christmas duet: “White Christmas.” (Side-Note: Nothing will ever replace the perfection that is “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” but this is a close second. Blaine sounds absolutely amazing on this one, but I may have thrown a pillow at my TV when they got thisclose and didn’t kiss.) The clock chimes and suddenly it’s midnight, and officially Christmas. Blaine tells Kurt, “No matter what, no matter where even if we’re not together we’re always going to be there for each other.” And the two share a sweet hug while Burt looks on with an approving smile.


California Chanukah: Prepare for a crazy tale: Puck is back in Lima looking at girls and gathering Intel for the screenplay that he is writing. (Side-Note: Oh, yes, I’m sure that the underage teens at McKinley High must be way more gorgeous then all of the actresses and models that are literally everywhere in LA.) Puck convinces Jake to come celebrate Hanukkah in California with him, (“My hog has a sweet sidecar”) and before we know it, they two Puckerman brothers are cruising on the Paramount Lot and breezing by security. (Side-Note: Um no. First of all do you really expect us to believe that Puck regularly rides back and forth between California and Ohio using a motorcycle? That’s nearly 2,500 miles each way! Secondly, I’ve been on the Paramount lot many times — most of them have been to interview the Glee cast now that I think about it — but security is never ever that easy breezy. Okay, mini-rant over.) Puck snatches two acoustic guitars and the two brothers run around the lot singing “Hanukkah, Oh Hanukkah,” interrupting movie sets, and then ending with matching Star of David tattoos.

Puck takes Jake back to “his house,” which is a gorgeous multi-million dollar mansion and Jake is dimwitted enough to believe it. Surprise! The family is home early from their Hawaiian vacation and Puck admits that life in La La Land has been less than ideal. “I’m a mess out here dude, it’s lonely. I’ve got no friends and it’s impossible to meet people here because you spend all day in your car.” Jake suggests that they head on back to Lima and sit down with their two moms and have a family Christmas together. Things are rocky at first as the two women size each other up and exchange snarky remarks, but eventually the ice breaks and they realize that in an extremely modern and twisted way, they’re family.

NEXT: A Mayan Wedding and Santa Sue!


A Mayan Wedding: Brittany is walking around passing out extremely lavish gifts and attributing it to the fact that the Mayan apocalypse is coming. She wants to spend her last few days alive making her friends happy. The one person who is totally on board is her new beau Sam, so the new couple hosts the first and last meeting of the 2012 Mayan Apocalypse Club. Brittany then proceeds to tell Tina and Joe her brutally honest opinion of them, but before she could address the rest of the group, they leave completely outraged at their insults. The head Cheerio calls out to Marley, “I wasn’t going to insult you, all I wanted to tell you was that I think you’re delightful.” To make Brittany feel better, Sam breaks out into his rendition of “Jingle Bell Rock” and an army of Cheerios dressed as reindeer swarm the room with bells, antlers, and extremely suggestive dance moves.

Thankfully, the song ends, but then Sam has another surprise for Brittany: a ring. (Side-Note: So does Sam just have an endless collection of promise and engagement rings that he passes out like candy? If so, can I have one?) Sam proposes to Brittany and in a flash they are standing in front of Coach Beiste ready to exchange their Mayan church ceremony vows with one another. Sam says a slew of sweet words to his soon-to-be bride, but he also calls her his soulmate. (Side-Note: Really? Her soulmate? Since you joined Glee club you’ve dated Quinn, Santana, and Mercedes — not to mention whatever skanks you stripped for in Kentucky — and now you really think that Brittany is your soulmate?) On December 22, Sam and Brittany wake up after spending their last night together and are baffled to see that the world has not ended.

Santa Sue: It’s time for the McKinley high staff members to choose their Secret Santas and a begrudged Sue chooses Mille Rose, aka Marley’s momma. Sue tries to have a heart-to-heart with Becky and presents her with a giant pile of lavish gifts, but Becky throws a temper tantrum and tosses everything on the floor. “Gimme something that I don’t already have like a hot date or a snowmobile!” (Side-Note: Are you serious right now you little brat? I understand that you want a fella — believe me, we all do — but do you really need to act like some spoiled and entitled demon?) Sue ignores Becky’s demands and ponders which gift she could give to Mille, “What do you get the woman who’s eaten everything?”

Sue eavesdrops on a conversation between Marley and her momma and it’s safe to say that Millie is not too happy with her daughter’s new bulimia habit. The Rose family is not exchanging gifts this year or even getting a Christmas tree because they are saving all of their money so that Marley can have a session with an eating disorder specialist. Millie explains, “I don’t need to tell you that I don’t make a lot of money. I will be dammed if I waste a penny of it before my daughter is healthy enough to realize what a beautiful miracle she is.” (Side-Note: God I love her. She’s seriously campaigning for the best parent on Glee right now.) In lieu of presents, Marley sings a gorgeous a capella version of “The First Noel.” Clearly moved, Coach Sue decides to sell her rare Christmas tree and give the profits to the Rose family. On Christmas morning, Millie and Marley are shocked to see that someone has broken into their house and left them a beautifully decorated Christmas tree, a pile of presents, and $800.


The Final Five: While in Breadstix, Puck decides to move back to Lima and a few tables over, Coach Beiste tells Brittany and Sam not to worry because they’re not really married. “When I heard the two of you were getting engaged I thought to myself, these kids are two special kids and the last thing we need is another teen tragedy of marrying too young popping out a couple kids before you’re 20 and ending up with your faces blurred out on an episode of cops.” Phew! Crisis averted. Back in NYC, Kurt only lasts 20 seconds before he picks up a copy of Vogue instead of watching the Christmas basketball game, and Burt asks Blaine what his plans are for after high school. Blaine shyly responds, “Well I haven’t talked about this with Kurt, and I don’t want to make him uncomfortable but I was thinking about applying to NYADA. Would that be okay?” Kurt give a slight smile and says, “I think that’d be great.” (Side-Note: What is going on here? I feel like these two used to fit together like two perfect puzzle pieces. Now it’s almost as if Kurt is physically trying to change his piece so that they don’t quite match up. It makes my heart sad.)

Back in Lima, Millie eventually figures out that it was Sue who gave them the money, but when she tries to return it, Sue refuses. “Take the money and make sure that daughter of yours gets better. Is that understood? Now if you’ll excuse me please sideways step the hell out of me office.” But Millie says that Marley would like to say thank you too and the two ladies head on over to the auditorium. Dressed in cozy cream sweaters, the New Directions performs “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and our other glee counterparts in Breadstix and NYC join in as well. The song ends, Coach Sue is smiling and we all at home are left wondering what on earth just happened to our TV screens for the past hour.

Most Heartwarming Moment: Blaine surprising Kurt on the ice.

Most Heartbreaking Moment: Comparing this pathetic episode to last year’s Christmas spectacular.


“Hey! One Puckerman just ate your lunch, what do you think is going to happen when we unload two barrel of Puck-shot in your ugly mugs?”—Puck

“If you’re in Hollywood and you’re a Jew or a gay you’ve basically got it made.”—Puck

“Some people just can’t face the cold-hard fact that this earth is just the giant back of a crocodile that is destroyed and recreated every 500 years.”—Brittany to Sam

“I’ve got to get something foe that hideous wad of a lunch-lady who somehow was able to squeeze outa ravishing raven-haired beauty form those monstrous gaping loins.—Coach Sue

Vote it out!

<a href=”http://polldaddy.com/poll/6769500/”>What was the best song of the night?</a>

Glee-bee’s what did you think of “Glee Actually”? Did you miss the traditional Finchel scenes? Disappointed that Klaine didn’t have their heart-to-heart? Sing me your thoughts in the comments below!

Follow Leanne on Twitter @LeanneAguilera

[Photo Credit: FOX]


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