Glee "Puppet Master" Review: The One Where Blaine Has a Nervous Breakdown

By MaryAnn Sleasman

Nov 29, 2013

Glee S05E07: "Puppet Master"

When a show deems itself important enough to steal the spotlight on Turkey Day it better be freaking amazing. Puppets are not amazing, they're creepy—I think it's the dead eyes—but at least now we can scratch another item off our Glee end-of-days wishlist. "Puppet Master" may not have been an exact Avenue Q homage, but eh, singing puppets... close enough. 

Mr. Schue had to be a real teacher for, like, ten minutes, when some education powers that be decided to tour McKinley to make sure it was functioning the way a high school should function. Lol. That left Blaine in charge because reasons, and when the rest of the glee club didn't much care for his plans to destroy Vocal Vomit at Nationals, he first threw a tantrum, then hallucinated that the New Directions were puppets who loved and adored him and it was one of the creepiest and most unsettling thing Glee's ever done. Then Blaine built a Kurt puppet in craft class. Blaine loved Kurt Puppet and took him everywhere, prompting a series of thinly veiled anal fisting jokes until Sue confiscated Kurt Puppet because the schizophrenic kid talking to his dead-eyed puppet pal in the hallway is the sort of thing that the previously mentioned educational powers that be would frown upon. 

Sooo... about those powers: Sue crushed on the superintendent, who thought she was a dude. So Sue reached out to Schue and Unique to teach her how to be a real girl, only to have the superintendent turn her down when she asked him on a date. Awkward. 

Sue's adventures in love was but one of the bazillionty B- (and C- and D-) plots permeating "Puppet Master"; at times, the episode felt a little chaotic. In New York, Kurt booked Pamela Lansbury their first gig, but it was at the lame theater-geek bar and Kurt's fellow bandmates were less than enthusiastic. Their fears appeared to have been valid when only one man showed up, and only because he thought Angela Lansbury was scheduled to perform. However, the one man was the right man, who had a connection to a venue much better suited to whatever Pamela Lansbury is. 

Also, Jake claimed to have slept with every Cheerio ever and Breh claimed to be knocked up, which seemed to imply that Glee was going to tackle a *whispers* abortion storyline, but then she conveniently got her period and let Jake (and Glee) off the hook. She also slammed Jake for being a manslut, even though that was pretty much why she found him appealing when she banged him. Let's not worry about that pesky little detail too much, though, because consistent characterization is hard—right, Glee?

Blaine's nervous breakdown and subsequent psychotic break was ultimately blamed on a gas leak in the choir room, but no matter, his newfound love of soulless puppets rubbed off on everyone else and the boy got busy in art class, gifting everyone with little dead-eyed doppelgangers and giving the group an excuse the reuse the "Roar" set from "A Katy or a Gaga" for a cover of "What Does the Fox Say?"—a meme I had somehow actually managed to successfully avoid until now, so thanks for that, Glee. Also, pretty sure foxes bark. Cuz they're dogs. 

"Puppet Master" was fun and weird and creepy. It wasn't worth the interruption of a Pittsburgh Steelers game that my household had been eagerly anticipating, but it tried. When you're airing a new episode on a national holiday, you have one of two options: 1.) Go the Doctor Who route and start a tradition (which requires much more cultural clout than Glee has or will ever have), or 2.) Make it really, really special. "Puppet Master" was pretty special. "Holiday special" special? Not really, but I don't think it was intended to be. It was just another zany week on Glee... with puppets.


– Performance of the night? Schue and Sue because no puppets. 

– Aren't you supposed to not operate power tools in a room full of leaking gas? Like, won't you possibly explode? 

– 1986 Sue was pretty amazing. DAT. HAIR. 

– Except wasn't Figgins' comment about wearing pants some kind of harassment? IDK. 

– Also Sue asking the superintendent on a date. I was kind of expecting them to just revoke her principal status on the spot for that one. 

– Okay, "mansturating" is a great word. 

– "Did you just touch me with a puppet?" Thank you for giving voice to my terror, Sue. 

What'd you think of "Puppet Master"?

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  • JorgeMejia1 Dec 23, 2013

    The Fox song.... Dumb, and out of place. The pregnancy stuff... More of the same. The puppets? Very cool! The Madonna song, great. I just saw the episode 2 nights ago, because it was on my DVR and recorded on my vacation... And well... When I do not want to think about anything, Glee is the best option from there...

  • kelsohh Dec 04, 2013

    Really disappointed in this episode of glee. I didn't realize how much having a "theme" for the week ties the episode together, but this episode really showed how things fall apart without a theme.

    The Fox song at the end was ridiculous. Pointless, crazy, and just trying too hard to be culturally relevant. I hated that.

    Also, did anyone else notice how Demi Lovato's character is mysteriously absent from the NY side of the fox song? Like really, what happened!?

    Additionally, I was very disappointed that a show about acceptance that is always so politically correct and speaks against bullying and advocates for homosexual rights... This show allowed a character to throw out the word "schizo" so carelessly. That would be like someone calling Ryder "stupid" because he has dyslexia or Becky a "tard" because she has downs. Mental Illness has a huge stigma around it, and I'm really disappointed that they would have Marley flippantly call Jake schizo in a vent sesh with her mom. Shame.

  • rohantandon33 Dec 02, 2013

    It was a fun episode, but that's all that it was... All the depth and brilliance which stayed on during d early glee days, has slowly ebbed away from the show, till we're left with nothing but shallow entertainment... Not to say that I dont like it now, but its now just a faint silhouette of what was once a BRILLIANT show.

    Also, everything that's happening with the new glee cast seems quite reminiscent of what we've already gone through in the first 3 seasons with the original cast... They're now just rehashing similar issues using different characters... dont care much for it

  • seeminglee3369 Dec 01, 2013

    I was thoroughly surprised by how good this episode is, especially since I have somewhat stopped watching Glee after Season 3. In that regard I really should not be commenting on the show but I had a great ride watching Blain-Jong-Il goes Blainy days :)

  • red81slayer Dec 01, 2013

    Puppets are amazing! That's all, lol.

  • heatherke Dec 01, 2013

    Sadly very disappointed about this episode. I honestly am not all that big on Thanksgiving specials (Except for Friends, and HIMYM.. Slapsgiving, hello!). I'm not sure the whole puppet thing was necessary. Plus, if Blain was that good at making puppets he wouldn't be in Glee club and wouldn't be going to theatre school but fashion school ;-) All in all not that funny and wasn't that great. Too bad :(

  • ark1317 Dec 01, 2013

    Please forgive my double post, but I kinda felt Darren Criss was acting weird, if not bad. What are your thoughts about his performance?
    Also, since when has he become so petulant? He's becoming more and more like Kurt and Rachel...

  • JayChaplin Dec 17, 2013

    No if he was becoming more like Krut and Rahcle he would be fun and entertaining to watch. Darren Criss is not a good actor and Blaine Anderson has been whiney and an attention whore forever. Kurt and Rachel were never as bad as Blaine is or has been, but where they were seeking attention they were at least fun to watch.

  • ark1317 Dec 21, 2013

    Well often I found Rachel and Kurt painful to watch, so I guess that's it then XD

  • ark1317 Dec 01, 2013

    I'm starting to worry, because this is the third episode of Glee I liked in a row. That could only mean that the show is back to where it belongs, not taking itself too seriously? *___*

    The gas leak induced dreams reminded me of the anaesthesia dreams in season 2, so much to laugh for.

    So Bree can sing, of course. How much until she's part of ND? I'm getting tired of bitches that bangs so many guys and then are heartbroken because the guys are also man-sluts and are also heartbroken for another girl. GIRL YOU CAN'T JUDGE!

    Also this is weird, but I liked the Lima part more than NY.

    The Sue-Schue duet: AAAAW *.*

    Feminine Sue: WOW!

  • JayChaplin Dec 31, 2013

    There hardly any NY stuff and a good part of that was a phne converstion with Blaine.

  • ark1317 Dec 31, 2013

    Hardly? What about Pamela Lansbury?

  • JayChaplin Jan 01, 2014

    NY had less than 8/9 minutes and two of those scenes were Blaine whining on the phone with Kurt so yeah NY hardly had anything. Plus most of the other time about 5/6 minutes was in song that really meant little to the over all story or development of the characters.

  • ark1317 Jan 08, 2014

    I'll try explaining myself better: For me the gas leak plotline was amazing because I like the show when I find it hilarious, that was my reaction to that kind of absurdity and dream-logic.
    The NY part was no dream. Kurt, Rachel and Santana, the closest characters to Finn, the ones with too many jobs, and too much luck for my taste, start an unbelievable band (five potential stars would never get along in a real world band) and end up with another stroke of luck.
    IMO these are two completely different plotline.

  • JayChaplin Jan 08, 2014

    Yeah cause a gas leak and only people who happen to sit right next to it are effected and see puppet that isn't silly The band singing a gig is silly in relationship to that yeah ok.

  • ark1317 Jan 01, 2014

    Well, I don't agree, the NY was moving too much around a storyline that I find silly. Thank God it took not too much time of the episode.

  • LaurenYetter Dec 01, 2013

    I understand why people hate Blaine, now... I'm a Darren Criss fan, but his spotlight in this episode was so unessecary and self-indulgent.

  • JayChaplin Dec 17, 2013

    This has been happening a lot though over the past season and a half. Like Rachel use to get a lot for time but the other chracter always kept her in place. For Blaine they have nealry everything kssing his butt and prenteind he is the great thing ever.

  • BatshitBella Dec 01, 2013

    Sup Beneke?!

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