Glee "Glease" Review: Inducing Bulimia... *Are* There Worse Things Glee Could Do?

By MaryAnn Sleasman

Nov 16, 2012

Glee S04E06: “Glease”

Despite featuring an homage to one of the happier musicals to have graced Broadway, “Glease” was, when it came to the stories of Glee's own characters, quite the downer. In a vast improvement over his craptastic apology from last week, Finn put a little more feeling into his attempt to mend fences with Sue. Her rejection was to be expected—and once again, Sue Sylvester became public enemy numero uno with regard to the glee club, completing the post-graduation Glee reboot (Gleeboot?) that aimed to return the series to its roots—where the jocks are nasty, the freshmen are awkward, and everyone will be BFFs by the time they graduate.

Wade was stripped of his female role in Grease when Sue decided to call his parents—who were supportive of his dream to live life as Unique, but understandably concerned about how receptive (or not) their rural Ohio community would be to Unique playing the role of Rizzo. I was super stoked about Santana returning to McKinley for the show until we found out that she was returning to take Unique’s place. I was so happy for Unique and genuinely excited to see her in the role. Glee has struggled to tug at my heartstrings since, oh, about Season 2—which is sad because seriously, it’s not that hard—but on the rare occasions that the show manages to get me all worked up, it does it well. Poor Unique. Here’s hoping she gets her big moment later this season.

Back in New York, Rachel was excited about her first real big-kid off-Broadway audition. Nefarious dance teacher Cassandra July was apprehensive... and then suddenly oddly supportive. My alarm bells were going off, but with a weepy trainwreck Kurt lamenting the possibility of seeing Blaine for the first time since their break-up at the musical, and July offering to donate her Jet Blue frequent-flyer miles in the name of both scorned lovers attaining closure, Rachel decided to accompany Kurt to Lima for moral support.

I’m not at all surprised that Cassandra took the opportunity of Rachel’s absence to make a play on Brody, but the whole teacher-student dynamic is icky even though he’s in college. (I’ve seen it happen in real life. It’s icky in real life, too.) I WANT to say that I’m surprised that Brody would do that to Rachel, but frankly, we just don’t know him that well, nor have we seen enough of their relationship, whatever kind of relationship it currently is, to know or pass judgement. So. Sucks for Rachel. I guess. I actually enjoyed her scene with Finn after the show, where he went through the Four Types of Rachel Tears and called her out on crying over a boy, reflecting on the fact that he used to be the boy she cried over. I was disappointed that what began as a refreshingly civil conversation ended up devolving into Glee’s typically melodramatic “I never want to see you again” blah blah, but at least Finn and Rachel managed to accomplish more than Kurt and Blaine. Blaine attempted to explain himself. Kurt said he didn’t want to hear it. I’m torn because I understand that Kurt was hurt by Blaine’s fling, but I don’t think Kurt realized how hard his absence was on Blaine, and frankly, once he landed in New York, Kurt didn’t appear to be putting a whole lot of effort into their relationship. So those four are all still miserable, especially Rachel, because her contingency boyfriend isn’t panning out so swell.

Santana and Brittany briefly discussed the current state of their relationship. Santana was showing some regret during her rendition of “There Are Worse Things I Could Do,” and I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t think she actually knows what she wants. When Brittany said that she wasn’t seeing anyone, boy or girl, Santana initially seemed upset. She had encouraged Brittany move on the last time we saw them together. But then she said that she was also glad to hear that. YOU CAN’T HAVE IT BOTH WAYS, SANTANA. Brittany won’t move on if she thinks there’s even the tiniest chance of getting back together. If you really want her to move on, you need to make that clear.

Of course, I don’t think Santana actually wants Brittany to get over her, and I don’t think Santana is quite ready to move past Brittany herself. They’re actually the frontrunners in my mind for Glee Couple Most Likely to Kiss and Make Up... Eventually, along with Mike and Tina. What do you think?

And while you’re thinking about that, let’s talk about Kitty. HOLY. CRAP. Kitty is like, really evil, you guys. Upsettingly evil. She definitely crossed the line from Glee evil to psychological thriller evil and I honestly don’t think I find her fun anymore.

Still miffed and jealous about Marley winning the role of Sandy and, ever so briefly, Puck Jr.’s heart, not to mention ridiculously adorable newcomer Ryder’s affections, Kitty embarked on a campaign of terror meant to break Marley for good. She preyed on Marley’s insecurities about her appearance by altering Marley’s Sandy costume in the middle of the night to make it fight snugger and snugger. She could always be counted on for a snide comment and threw a slumber party purely to overwhelm crash-dieting Marley with donuts and other foods with flavor.

But the final straw for me was when Kitty pulled Marley into the bathroom to introduce her to the wonderful world of Bulimia. Altering the costumes? That was so ridiculous and over-the-top that it was funny. The rude comments? Expected. But what kind of monster actually deliberately plays on someone’s insecurities with the carefully calculated intention of inducing a serious eating disorder? We’ve seen the villains on Glee do some pretty horrific things in the past, but this was just unsettling. It might just be my own personal baggage showing, but I don’t take that kind of mental manipulation lightly. It takes a particularly frightening kind of person to so casually compromise another human being’s life over petty grievances, and Kitty’s redemption story better be AMAZING. Or maybe we'll eventually see the little sociopath undergo some hardcore therapy to work through her obvious issues.

So I really despise Kitty a lot right now, but Ryder, of all people, grew on me—mostly because he took a serious moment, catching Marley with her fingers down her throat, to make a poop joke. I can appreciate a guy who relies on humor in inappropriate situations.

Musical Notes

– My Glee playlist: Blaine’s “Beauty School Drop Out” because he makes a DAMN FINE Teen Angel, and the ensemble’s “You’re the One that I Want” because the ol’ switcheroo caught me off guard and made me go “aww” and I don’t go “aww” nearly as much as I used to while watching this show. Thanks, Glee. I needed that.

– “I love it. I promise I won’t pee in it.”

– I loved all the nods to the Grease movie—the sets, the Troy Donahue picture, even Tina’s Jan costume was spot-on. I know the stage version is sliiiightly different, but I haven’t seen it in years, so feel free to point out any references that you spotted!

– The show had to change the lyrics to "Greased Lightning" to get rid of phases like "the chicks'll cream" but then Marley-as-Sandy was able to smoke a fake cigarette on stage?

– Sue’s entire rant about why Schue couldn’t leave Finn in charge of the glee club while he was in Washington was inspired. Mean, of course, but INSPIRED. “It seems ridiculous to everybody in America except you.” Sue Sylvester, you complete me.

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  • pernillebentzen3 Mar 11, 2015

    How can anyone think, that Kitty is a good character? Isn't it a little too dramatic, to make a girl get a freaking eating disorder? I mean, that's not even funny, and way unrealistic! And I also think they hype about it too much, since it didn't even go on for long. That was really a bad plot..

  • CarolannCridd Nov 24, 2012

    I luv watching glee but i didn't see the first episode because i came in on the 3rd season and the last show is next Monday at 2pm on ITV 1!!! Got to watch the first ever show!!!

  • Devon39219 Nov 21, 2012

    I really thought Marley was going to rip out of those tight leggings because of Kitty having done sth to it to make the humiliation complete on stage. Marley does not have any self-confidence, at all. Period. At least Rachel always believed in herself.

  • QMargo Nov 20, 2012

    Great episode, it is actually the first Glee episode in years that I have watched twice..yes, thats how much I liked it! And yes, I too went all "aw" when there was the couple switchero going on!

  • AdaHui Nov 19, 2012

    I'm starting to really hate that Glee embraces the villain to such depth. One villain, sure. Two...fine but now there are 3 villains this season? Sue we know has her snark but we also know she's a character with much depth and she hides it behind the crap that she dishes. Cassandra has had her goodish moment but most of it is stemmed off her being jealous of Rachel. But Kitty is just plain ugly. I've never seen a character more disgusting as she is. I don't even feel anything she can do in future episodes will redeem her short of killing her off. Seriously, that's just nasty and evil and ugh. This show is about showing how everyone is both different and special but there's nothing good that can come of Kitty's destructive brand of evil.

    It seems season 4 is gonna be bogged down by more unhappy moments than actually heart-warming storylines.

  • PolarisCarver Nov 18, 2012

    I personally don't mind Kitty being evil, as long as they don't find a stupid reason to make her "nice" all of a sudden without a proper backstory. At least she's not a complete Quinn copy. Besides, while I agree that what she's potentially doing to Marley's life is beyond horrible, you have to remember tat this is high school, and a lot of people do a lot of horrible things to each other without realizing the consequences. Back when I was in high school, and even after, I remember seeing girls (and boys) who weren't really "evil" say and do things to classmates that I realize now could have potentially shattered them, and when they were called on it they would say that "it was just a joke" or "it was no big deal" (and you'd be surprised to see how many teenagers think sticking your fingers down your throat once in a while is "no big deal"). I think Kitty is mostly thoughtless and shallow, but I certainly would like to see her face rubbed in what she's really done.

  • prowly Nov 18, 2012

    I loved Brittany's line: "I feel bad for Mercedes, but if her parents want her to be a boy, I guess that makes sense." Classic Brittany.

  • HelenFletcher2 Nov 18, 2012

    It is weird I vaguely started to like Kitty more this episode? Did you watch Ryan Murphy's old show Popular? It was full of bulimia but it was much funnier. Glee's bulimia was too serious....and what ever happened to Santana's briefly mentioned eating issues?

  • MarieLaureDep Nov 17, 2012

    I found it pretty ridiculous that Sue was so mad at Finn for using the "R" word when she's such an awful bully. Double standard, anybody ?

  • hpfan1130 Nov 18, 2012

    I hate when people use the word retarded, but I have to agree with MarieLaureDep. Sue can't just say horrible things all the time and then refuse to forgive people when they say horrible things to her.

  • prowly Nov 18, 2012

    Sure, she can. She's Sue. Have you not been watching this show for the past four years?

  • MegLady Nov 17, 2012

    I've been holding on to Glee for a while now, despite its decline. But if they continue to pen Kitty as the reprehensible bitch she is, I'm going to drop it. Bullying, even fictional, isn't funny in my book. So please, Ryan Murphy, change her character!

  • PhantomDragon16 Nov 18, 2012

    I don't think Kitty's evil deeds are supposed to be regarded as funny, but as a serious note that gives this show some of it's dramatic (and sometimes sad) elements.

  • MikeHann1 Nov 17, 2012

    Hate to break it to you Meg my dear, but that's high school. And that's what this show tries to portray. The ups, and downs of being in high school, and that includes bullies.

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