Glee "Tested" Review: Sex and Cronuts

By MaryAnn Sleasman

Apr 16, 2014

Glee S05E16: "Tested"

Best opening scene ever or BEST opening scene ever? We need to talk about Kurt's face and Artie being all menacing and weirdly attractive when he said "death" and the presence of the dude who played the alpha vampire (Rick Worthy) on Supernatural as their over-enthusiastic Navy doctor. The legitimately hilarious PSA parody set the tone for the episode early, and "Tested" turned out to be one of those Glee episodes that actually manages to be funny and enlightening without being awful or preachy—even with the shows's patented weird anti-sex core at the center of everything. 

Everyone was tested in some way this week, except for Rachel, who wasn't really around at all except to offer moral support to her new BFF-of-the-week, Mercedes, during those painfully after-school-special-esque scenes debating whether or not the Virgin Mercedes should give it up for "handsome idiot" Sam. They added absolutely nothing to the public discourse surrounding virginity and pre-marital sex. But maybe there's nothing that needs adding, as Rachel and Mercedes hit the big points: Don't let yourself be pressured into it. If you want to wait, then wait; there's nothing wrong with waiting. There's also nothing wrong with not waiting. If you can't say the word, you probably shouldn't do it. If you do do it, wrap that shit up. The conversation felt oddly un-organic, like they were reading off a checklist while giving a presentation to the class. It was boring and infomercial-y. In contrast, Blaine and Sam's tongue-in-cheek slut-shaming of Artie was much better at getting an equally public-service-y message out, but without putting us all to sleep in the process. 

Anyway, as I was saying, everyone was tested this week, and everyone was tested both physically and mentally. Artie's physical test for an STD came up positive for chlamydia and forced him to test the strengths of his various film school relationships as well as his studly status by being honest with his three ladyfriends about his potential gift to them. Artie's morality was also tested; he could've just not told them, especially Julie, who he never got around to sleeping with in his pre-diagnosis nookie patrol. 

Of course, in the end, Artie did the right thing. Everyone did, actually. It was a very positive week on Glee.

The aftermath of his gay-bashing has inspired Kurt to take a proactive stance toward his physical state; he's working out regularly and making a point to protect himself. But the change in Kurt's outlook and physical condition inadvertently flipped Blaine and Kurt's usual relationship roles. Blaine's love of cronuts and food trucks has graced him with the dreaded Freshmen 15, only exacerbating his fear that Kurt's outward transformation reflects an internal change of heart concerning their relationship. I have to give Kurt credit where it's due: He was actually the level-headed one here, though admittedly some of Blaine's rationale for the frat boy porn, the blow-up during their stage-fighting class, the binge-eating, and the lack of intimacy between them was just a tad bit possessive and eyebrow-raising. The idea that Kurt being able to fend for himself was somehow a threat to Blaine was kind of messed-up. Those two have a lot of lingering trust issues to work out, but they made some serious progress once Blaine finally came clean about his low self-esteem and Kurt responded with... a surprising amount of maturity. 

Finally, we have Sam and Mercedes. Mismatched though they are in so many ways, those two just keep at it—though they probably came the closest to failing this week's tests. Sam didn't initially take the news very well when Mercedes told him that not only would they be taking it slow, but that she was waiting 'til marriage to get laid—and son, "I'm a 19-year-old guy" is sooooo not an appropriate excuse for getting all bent out of shape about it. 

But then there were the candles—and that was a lot of candles, I mean, I love candles but that many candles would make me very nervous but whatever, because I actually kind of flailed a little at Sam and Mercedes. I also give it maybe one week before Sam starts chompin' at the bit and maybe 'til the end of the season before Mercedes decides she doesn't have to wait after all because when Glee gives a character principles, it's with the understanding that they're meant to be broken. 

Still, Glee in college is a massive improvement over the weekly dose of WTF that it used to be. There are flashes of greatness here and the energy has returned to the musical performances. The focus has shifted back to quality rather than quantity, and the results have done nothing but work in Glee's favor. 


– Being all judgey about music: Artie's "Addicted to Love" and Mercedes' "I Want to Know What Love Is" were great. I appreciated the choreography on "Love Is a Battlefield." 

– Mercedes worried that having sex later in life won't be romantic "like back in high school." Oh sweetie, no.  

– Sam is still binge-watching The Facts of Life. The accuracy level Glee has achieved with some parts of college life is kind of scary. 

What'd you think of "Tested"?

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  • chartah Apr 21, 2014

    Another great NYC-episode. But I still miss Santana, Brittany and Sue. And too little Rachel-airtime this episode.

    However, I LOVED Mercedes' rendition of "I Want To Know What Love Is" :)

    As for Blaine and Kurt: Please. They need to break up asap. Blaine got "fat" and watched porn, and Kurt was the hot one. Please, in what universe. Besides, this proves Kurt is way too shallow (Blaine didn't really gain a pound, please) and to me this was just a stupid B-plot. Blaine is way too good for Kurt, who needs a reality check. As a "fat" guy myself, I find these problems to be petty. I really hope Kurt and Blaine break up.

  • LaurenYetter Apr 19, 2014

    "Mercedes worried that having sex later in life won't be romantic "like back in high school." Oh sweetie, no. " - Mercedes was referring to the 'hotel/dinner/candles/your-time-is-a-big-deal-so-special' scenario, not seeming romantic "like back in high school" not the sex... which I think is accurate.

    As a 'fat' girl, I didn't appreciate Blaine's plight of the 'freshman' 15, simply sticking out his stomach. Let's at least pad his sweaters a little, those bony shoulders aren't fooling anyone.

    And I know they were singing 'Love is a Battlefield', but all I heard over that choreography was, 'I'll make a man out of you' form Mulan...

    But if Glee can't do anything else right, I'm sure glad they're giving Amber Riley more screen time, because gah I love Mercedes!

  • irehawk20 Apr 19, 2014

    I think Julie was the one who has chlymidia, no offense, Artie needs to take care of himself better. At least Rachel got a few interaction and did not sing in this episode, which is alright. I liked Mercedes' voice, she was given a chance to sing with fair enough high octaves in this episode.

    Was the Finn character badly overlooked? If so, besides Corey Monteith, who played Finn, has family and drug problems during his life, does anybody think Corey also has erratic love technique problems at the same time before ending up in rehab too quick and then died? Somebody needs to answer the question right away, please!

    I really hope Sue gets caught and arrested by the police as soon as possible. Some fisherman has to spot a gun in the like by accident, report it to the police and then go after Sue immediately! You think Sue is too popular to get removed, NOT for long, she will get overrated when they find the gun, which belongs to Sue!

    You might think Throat Explosion is considered too good, but unfortunately, from the way they perform, they also acted like The Warblers. They too may have been addicted to drugs also and they better show their drug hideout too also!

    I did not like the idea that Jayma was badly turned down in this show and then officially transfer from this show to "The Millers" too fast in the wrong time. Her Emma character is about to give birth!

    I know that Corey's and his Finn character's death is too emergent and I am badly concerned about that moving too New York was kind of too fast. If it is too fast, was the FOX network this season overdoing it because of being under a bad recession this season?

  • vcivi Apr 17, 2014

    Kurt has been evolving for quite some time now as he was of course much earlier in NY and had more time. So i can understand a bit where Blaine is coming from, but on the otherside i believe that you decide your own path and the decisions you make, define who you are. I don't think that kurt being hospitalized and having more friends about it, has to do with anything. Kurt was already cool. He was not the shy gay guy anymore. So Blaine has to find his own thing. The only comment against kurt in this is or the writers, that we don't see Kurt supporting or helping Blaine in finding his thing. We only see Kurt evolving...

    Sam/Mercedes: I know that this is a subject that really happens in real life a lot with young couples. So, i understand where they are coming from both of them. She wants to wait and that is her right...the only thing i fear is, that in the end Sam is not be able to wait. I mean from the moment they kissed, he was already thinking about it and he keeps bringing it up...and he is right as he is just 19...and want to have fun, get some experience..
    I mean, you just started dating, but already live together and sleeping in same bed...but no touching or sex..?? how long will that go ok??

    Artie: It seems that the writers have decided to teach Artie every episode he is in NY a lesson about the real and hard world out there...last week with the robbery, this week about lying and deseases...

    Really liked the girl talk in the end, about Rachel moving on (slowly) felt really nice...

  • docspector Apr 17, 2014

    "'I'm a 19-year-old guy" is sooooo not an appropriate excuse for getting all bent out of shape about it."

    The hell it's not. If you're not getting something you want out of a relationship, the correct course is to tell the other person about it.

    If it's wrong for Sam to say "This is what I want, it's non-negotiable and if I don't get what I want, the relationship's off" (and it is), it's ALSO wrong for Mercedes to say "This is what I want, it's non-negotiable, and if I don't get what I want, the relationship's off".

    Young men and young women have approached this negotiation together for quite some time, and the correct solutions vary depending on the people involved... I've known people who've gone down all three of the major paths (yes, no, and breaking up) with varying degrees of success.

  • ark1317 Apr 16, 2014

    I think Kurt has been the alpha for quite some time and that it's really time for him to move on from Blaine - I know it won't ever happen... - he's just so changed! Blaine can't give him enough..

    I can't stand Artie. I definetely don't understand how could he ever be popular... anyway, I didn't care much for his storyline, and prayed throughout the episode that the show would bring Tina in his place.

    Samcedes... I'm starting to get used to the idea. But I also agree with Mercedes' backup singers, I don't understand why she's into the high school guy she almost dated. Still not sure about Sam's role in NY and also praying of having Tina instead of him.

    Basically I need Tina or Santana back, because this cast is driving me crazy, even if the show is so much better since the move to NY.

  • pmpambs3 Apr 16, 2014

    The episode was meh. I liked the girl talk. That was all.

  • JohannaSch Apr 16, 2014

    Meh's all around for this episode. The only thing that made me remotely crack a smile was Blaine's last sentence. And I want one of those awesome combat-stick things!

  • whitelighterman Apr 16, 2014

    I thought it was a good episode even if I could've done without the Klaine drama since it mainly revolved around Blaine not liking Kurt changing since he likes being some kind of attractive hero. I liked the music although love is a battlefield felt a little unnecessary imo. The Sam and Mercedes plot was great and was dealt with very maturely in the end despite it involving Sam. It felt weird that Rachel wasn't around that much in this episode but I loved her scenes with Mercedes, especially the one about her first time as it mentioned Finn without saying his name and how it's alright to want to date again after losing someone you love. All in all a better episode.

  • KateSullivan Apr 16, 2014

    I did laugh out loud at the whole 'slut shaming' scene. That was so randomly a totally normal sort of scene between friends that I feel like I have been part of before.

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