Glee "Dynamic Duets" Review: Confessions of a Superhero

  • 55comments

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.

Like on Facebook