Glee "Dynamic Duets" Review: Confessions of a Superhero

By MaryAnn Sleasman

Nov 23, 2012

Glee S04E07: “Dynamic Duets”

The universal battle between good and evil got personal when the newly formed Secret Society of Superheroes went up against the Dalton Academy Warblers in the fight for Blaine’s soul... and, you know, his allegiance in the upcoming sectionals competition. Blaine’s place at McKinley High has been in flux since Kurt left for New York, with their break-up only serving to exacerbate the loneliness and occasional fish-out-of-water feelings that have plagued him all season long. After all, he left Dalton to be with Kurt. Without Kurt, what’s the point of staying?

The whole superhero angle could have been a trainwreck, but in direct contrast to last week’s exercise in screwing up something that should have been easy, Glee managed to take a concept that was a little out there and make it awesome. Much like Brittany’s dinosaur prom, which by all rights should have sucked but was actually utterly delightful, “Dynamic Duets” was Glee at its best.

The Secret Society of Superheroes was formed to combat the injustices faced by glee club members and other “uncool” denizens of McKinley High. Early members included leader Nightbird/Blaine, Tina the Asian Persuasion, and the delightfully weird Human Brain/Brittany. Their inaugural meeting was interrupted by a frantic citizen directing them to the choir room, where last year’s Nationals trophy was missing, replaced with a laptop bearing a message for New Directions. The face was blurred out, but the flashy Dalton blazer kind of gave things away.

Blaine returned to the root of his origin story to rescue the trophy, but the whole thing was a trap orchestrated by the new captain of the Warblers to lure Blaine away from the New Directions. New-guy Hunter did his research and played on Blaine’s insecurities—why stay at McKinley without Kurt? Don’t you remember how great it felt to belong somewhere? C’mon, buddy, let’s just sing a song, just one song. What’s the harm in one song?

Blaine put up a good fight, but in the end, that blazer fit like an old, familiar glove and Blaine figured that if he was already a villain, citing how deeply he'd hurt Kurt, then why not just embrace it and go total dark side—where I’m told they have cookies, after all. He returned to McKinley intending to finish his senior year at Dalton, arguing to a completely floored Sam, “Warblers are my birthright and my destiny.” Spoken like a true superhero headcase, Blaine. Kudos to whomever on Glee’s writing staff is clearly a huge comic nerd. Kisses.

Elsewhere, Finn struggled to earn the respect of his former classmates as their teacher/not-teacher. His position still makes infuriatingly little sense considering Glee’s insistence on utilizing Finn-as-Schue as, for all intents and purposes, a teacher. He hangs out in the teachers' lounge, drinks their coffee (sort of), appears to spend most of his time in the building, and during “Dynamic Duets,” he complained about his lesson plan. If it looks like a teaching position and quacks like a teaching position, it’s a teaching position—even if the whole “community volunteer” thing gets lip-service every other episode.

Whatever. I’m not going to win that battle. My only hope is that when Schue inevitably returns, rather than continue this logic-blowing exercise in trite and contrived writing, we see Finn head off to college to become a real, honest-to-goodness, grown-up teacher. Finn was never meant to be “the star” like Rachel and Kurt and so many other New Directions alumni, and frankly, at the end of last season, I couldn’t really tell where Finn belonged... but even though the path he took to get to where he is now made absolutely zero sense, Finn is flourishing in his new role. He’s like an early Schue—you know, before he got all creepy and over-invested in his students’ personal lives—and Finn’s sincere interest and rational influence might do the club good.

Under Coach Beiste’s guidance, Finn adopted the alter ego “Treble Clef” in an attempt to bond with the New Directions kids. At first, their reception was a bit lukewarm, but taking the superhero mission to heart, Finn used the week’s glee club theme to draw his students closer together and gently force them to successfully unify as team working toward a shared goal.

And he was successful! Mostly! Deliberately pairing his two most bitter rivalries, Finn managed to orchestrate a sincere truce between Puck Jr. and Ryder when they botched their first duet and ended up sharing their “weaknesses” with one another; Puck Jr. faces an inordinate amount of bullying because he's biracial, and Ryder is dyslexic and feels like his Ph.D. father is ashamed of having a “dumb” son. Marley and Kitty’s truce, however, was far from sincere (on Kitty’s part, anyway). Not that it will matter once the Jake/Marley/Ryder love triangle gets into full swing. Whyyyyy, Glee? Love triangles blow.

But hey, we got to see Puck Sr. doing the Confessions of a Superhero (GREAT documentary, bee-tee-dubs) thing in L.A., which was a nice touch. Loved the neon mohawk.

In the end, the powers of good triumphed. We finally learned Blaine's side of the story concerning his one-night-stand, which lived up to the name in every possible way. In a shocking display of common sense gone MIA, Blaine hooked up with a total stranger from Facebook (at least it wasn’t Craigslist?) because he was doubting the strength of his and Kurt’s feelings for one another and whether they were truly destined to spend the rest of their lives together. Immediately after the hook-up, Blaine regretted his loss of control and recommitted himself to Kurt... only to lose it all anyway. Sam’s honesty was candid and he didn’t try to sugarcoat what Blaine did or absolve him of responsibility. He didn’t demonize Kurt for “driving” Blaine to betray him, nor did he condemn Blaine for his action. Sam’s mature take on the Blaine/Kurt meltdown was similar to the occasional moments of greatness that his female counterpart, Brittany, sometimes has. I love when the characters who are typically written as comedy relief get to be “intelligent.”

As Sam pointed out, Blaine did a bad thing, but that one mistake doesn’t make him a villain and Blaine is doing everyone a disservice, himself and the glee club as a whole, by continuing to see himself as such. Looks like Blaine Warbler is here to stay after all!

And you know what? I didn’t miss Kurt and Rachel at all.

Musical Notes

– My Glee playlist: So much goodness to choose from this week! Um um um, Kitty and Marley’s “Holding Out for a Hero” and the ensemble performance of “Some Nights,” because “Holding Out for a Hero” was legitimately awesome and I’m just kind of obsessed with the song “Some Nights” at the moment. Everything was pretty solid, though. Blaine and Sam’s take on “Heroes” was really great too.

– Tina is still pissed about Santana being called back to play Rizzo before Finn even considered her. Good. That was a total dick move. Get angry! Break stuff! Don’t just take it! You’ve taken it for four seasons!

– “Please don’t melt us with your bulge.”

– Why, oh why, is Marley even giving Kitty the time of day, let alone embracing her thinly veiled “friendship” as the BEST FRIENDSHIP EVER OMG? Are we supposed to see how Marley is this super nice non-judgy person in contrast to Kitty’s awfulness? Because I kind of got that BEFORE Glee felt the need to make Marley look like a naive little dumdum.

  • Comments (55)
Add a Comment
In reply to :
  • brag0031 Nov 28, 2012

    Artie: "Isn't MS a degenerative nerve disease?"
    Finn: "I thought it was a girl's magazine."

    I loved how during "Some Nights" Kitty was all smiles when she and Marley were singing together, but made her 'annoyed' face as soon as her back was turned.

    I also liked Ryder and Jake's "I am Superman." 80's REM always takes me back.

  • CameronCole Nov 26, 2012

    Wow has this show gone in the toilet. What used to be really clever humor (Sue/Brittany) along with a campy problem of the week and half way decent characters has given way to at best a chuckle an episode with none of the new characters standing out in any memorable way. Time to end this shows misery IMO.

  • ADragonsDream Nov 26, 2012

    I realized way back in season 1 that Glee exists in an alternate universe where the age of a character, their grade level and the things they do have no relationship to one another (a sophomore being pregnant, another being the football captain and another running his own pool cleaning business and sleeping with older women? Um, sophomores are generally around 14 or 15 years old at best! and did this school have no seniors to lead the football team or participate in any other club whatsoever?) So given that, Finn being the "teacher" doesn't bother me at all, and it's not even the first time the show has had a character one year out of high school back teaching a glee club. The superhero thing was a bit ridiculous and wouldn't fly even at the most out there liberal Hollywood high school. Maybe as a halloween episode but otherwise: no. As an excuse for the songs this week though, pretty good. Heroes and Holding Out for a Hero were great!

  • AdaHui Nov 26, 2012

    Ugh, Marley has the potential to be such a great character but they are making her sooooooo irritating! First off, I agree that her "relationship" with Kitty is ridiculous? Didn't Ryder already help her establish that sticking her fingers down her throat is stupid during Grease? Yet she's still listening to the chick that belittles/insults her at every turn. WHY?
    Secondly, I'm not all that put out with the love triangle except there doesn't seem to be a happy ending each way. We always knew when it was Quinn/Finn/Rachel who would end up together. This is like 3 pretty good people and nothing good can come off it! I do not like the way they wrote Marley's reaction to Ryder cancelling their date. A guy who legitimately has a reason to AND tells her why and she comes off upset and goes to find the next available dude in Puck Jr? Screw that!
    My bright spot was how well they played the Ryder vs Puck Jr rivalry and how they gave it a legit reason to end and for them to be quasi-friends. That played as the most real part of the show.

  • AdaHui Nov 26, 2012

    Oh and isn't Blaine the Student Body President? I think they should have written in him doing something good for the school as part of Sam's argument for him to stay instead of the possibility he would have just upped and left to return back to Dalton.

  • coutterhill Nov 26, 2012

    I really hated this episode (more than usual). This was just bad. There is something wrong with Marley if she thinks Kitty is her friend. This is just horrible all the way around. Is dressing like Superheroes something high schoolers do now a days?? This is just weird. Or I am really getting old.

  • poetgirl925 Nov 25, 2012

    I don't usually comment on Glee, but I really hated this episode. I'm pretty disappointed with this whole season. The new characters aren't that interesting - we basically have a far less dynamic wallflower Rachel character, a cheerleader, Puck Jr. and a jock. This has been done, only I found Puck, Rachel, Quinn, and Finn more enjoyable to watch. How is Marley interesting enough to be the subject of a love triangle anyway? The girl is clearly not that bright. Kitty is a disturbing version of Quinn with zero humanity - good luck redeeming her in any way that doesn't involve a shrink or juvie. It makes no sense that Finn is now in charge of Glee club. The only interesting episodes are the ones that feature Kurt and Rachel in New York, especially when Kate Hudson is guesting. Clearly they need their own show. As far as this episode, I thought it was really dumb. This is not a comic book - and this is coming from someone who likes comics. Glee started off being something innovative, but I'm kind of over it now. I've reached a point where I only watch to see if they do some interesting musical/dance performances - once they all start talking, I skip ahead. I think I'll take a breather and play catch up next summer if it seems like there's anything halfway interesting to watch.

  • virgo091085 Nov 25, 2012

    can they please stop calling Finn fat? poor Finn always just takes it too

  • StephanieStra2 Nov 25, 2012

    I expected to HATE this episode, but enjoyed it (since it was a return to comedic roots, with a touch of real issue flavoring). Particularly good songs helped. Love seeing Beiste :) And may yet accept Blaine's major FUBAR, since he seems sincere,but that's "may". The Blaine/Sam chemistry is very good and the Jake/Ryder chemistry is developing nicely. That was a great insertion of the dyslexia issue - went well with the storyline and gave us good info/insights. I DID miss Kurt/Rachel, since I enjoy their chemistry a lot. Too bad Kitty's such a b**** - their number rocked :) Finn did well in this one, as did Artie & Britt. Tina needs some time, please! All in all, a very good episode. (which is what we could do more often with a NYC spin-off: keep both camps happy). Yes, missed Emma & Figgins.

  • irehawk20 Nov 24, 2012

    Tina and Sugar got some singing parts together at the end of this episode. Yeah, both of them need more chances of doing lead solos!

    Jayma is absent in this episode, where is she? Bring her back to the main cast of this show!

    We all know that Rachel, Kurt, Will, Sue and Figgins are absent again in this episode also!

  • bejt10 Nov 24, 2012

    unfortunate Jayma was out filming so there was a substitute councler it would have been nice to finally have her interact with the 'new kids'
    Cory- rocked it
    Darren was amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • See More Comments (30)