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

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.

Comments (70)
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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..
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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!!!
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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.
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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!
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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?
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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 ?
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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.
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Sure, she can. She's Sue. Have you not been watching this show for the past four years?
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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!
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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.
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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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Watch "There are Worse Things I Can Do" again...this one dude in the audience totally Fs it up by looking at Wade when he's singing while everyone else is still looking at the stage. WAY TO KILL THE ILLUSION, JACKWAGON.
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Sorry, Glee has stayed too long at the dance!!!!!
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I know that I'm probably in the minority, but I hate Sue Sylvester and all of the other hateful characters on this show. The shows that I really enjoy the most are the ones that don't feature Sue. Ryan Murphy must have had a traumatic childhood, because he seems to really enjoy characters like Sue, Kitty and Cassandra. I realize that their negativity is totally over the top, but then that's been the hallmark of Murphy's career as anyone whose seen Nip/Tuck can attest to.
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I keep wondering if Ryan Murphy is basing the Sue Sylvester type character after some actual horrific person in his life. Might be coincidence, but with each show he does, the "edgy Ryan Murphy character" gets increasingly older: Gina in Nip/Tuck, Sue in Glee, and now Nana in The New Normal.
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a thought that regularlly occurs to me after watching a glee like this is that glee is not degrassi, in that they really can;t handle big issues without trivializing it and/or turning it into a joke. glee is at its best when it doesnt take itself too seriously, cause when it does, watch out. but everything glee has ever done, eating disorders, transgenders, coming out, degrassi has done, and done a better job.
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Yeah, Kitty is now in another realm of villain, one where any human being would probably be forgiven for killing her...
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Tina is getting more line and publicity, but I was disgusted that she was pushed off by Finn when Santana came back and took over the lead role in Grease play.

The show would be better if they let Tina do some lead solos. She's a good singer, but she needs more chances!
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The WORST show EVER for GLEE we stopped watching after season 2. All the talented actors left last year and the new additions are VERY POOR. Just for a quick check we tried to watch this "Grease" show BUT turned it off before it was over since the acting was SO BAD and the first song didn't even happen until the show was nearly half over. Wow a really BAD version of "Grease Lightning." We won't even chance another view of the Glee program it has gone TOO FAR DOWN-HILL.
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We need more Tina to improve this show!
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Wasn't expecting the switch out in the "You're The One That I Want" number but it didn't make me go awwww, it made me annoyed as I was enjoying Marley and Ryder and I'm sooooooo over Rachel and Finn. I totally agree with you describing Ryder as ridiculously adorable! I'm very impressed with his acting etc.
And I have never liked Kitty. She is just a bitch and there are getting to be too many nasty characters on the show. We already had Sue and now there is Kitty and Cassandra. Even Tina has not been the nice character she used to be this season.
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Weak. Marley is kind of a sad little human being so it proved to not be necessary, but if Kitty were a REAL sociopath she'd have said she purged on a regular basis and would have puked once just to sell it.
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Umm can we talk about the fact that Sugar was a PERFECT Frenchie? She looks JUST like her.
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Absolutely perfect! The resemblance was uncanny!
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MaryAnn! Im really surprised you werent bothered by the fact that Santana was allowed to be a part of a high school play! pretty sure that cant really happen... I did Grease in high school and we changed the lyrics of that song too, and we were smoking fake cigerettes...
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I let it slide. I've seen it happen. Giving her such a huge part was kind of a dick move though. Wasn't this supposed to be Tina's year?
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I know! I felt so bad when she came running in all excited to be Rizzo.. :(
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Cassandra doesn't say she slept with Brody.. She just says "One thing led to another"..
I actually don't think Brody would do such thing. My money is on Cassy lying to Rachel so she could teach her a lesson.. I doubt she would risk her only stable thing in her life which is her job with a scandal like a teacher-student relationship just to get back at a student.
God, I hope I'm right......... BROCHEL <3<3
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In most colleges, relationships with students are frowned upon but not forbidden. She likely wouldn't get fired for it, he's an adult and so is she. Also, he's her teacher's assistant not her student so technically he just works for her. There were students who dated professors at my college and while it's super inappropriate, they're not breaking rules. She likely wouldn't have faced any punishment if she did sleep with him.
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He is a student in her class, and was recently hired to become the TA ("can we start next Monday?") There usually ARE repercussions for dating a student who's in your class(es)... these range from severe (it's a firing offense even for profs with tenure) to mild (you get to have a conference with the head of the department) but places where there are no repercussions at all are rare.

It's even worse now that she's hired him as an employee (which is what a TA is).
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I hope you're right too!
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I don't know.... we saw him kiss Cassandra, then Cassandra's at her place with his phone... there are candles, and two glasses of wine... unless she took his phone and someone else in the bathroom, it's not looking good.
And come on... as vile as she is, Cassandra looks like KATE HUDSON. As for his relationship with Rachel, I'm pretty sure I heard him say they hadn't seen much of each other in the last couple of weeks, and they pretty much played catch up during practice, so it's not like they were talking on the phone during this time. They may find each other attractive, but there's no relationship there at this point.
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I wonder why Marley thought she was gaining weight when the only thing that didn't fit was her Sandy costume, Her own clothes still fit. I would have been suspicious.
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I was thinking the exact same thing all throughout the episode.
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I guess it is kinda shaky, but then people aren't rational when it comes to their insecurities. Marley was already sensitive on the subject of weight before Kitty started bullying her, and body image issues have a way of making you throw reason and logic out of the window (it's the same with people suffering from anorexia, they keep seeing themselves as "fat" even when they only have the skin left on their bones). Doesn't mean she's stupid, just that she got hit where it hurts.
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Yeah, I lost a lot of respect for Marley this past episode. I mean, all of her other clothes fit just fine, and were probably starting to fit a little loose after she and her mom started the diet, but that one Sandy costume was all the proof she needed that she was ballooning out of control.
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Keep in mind that she's a teenage girl. They don't think like that without the proper support and obviously her mom isn't that support which is sad. I think she could find that support w/ Ryder though. He is clever enough to point out the short comings.
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I know! I really thought someone would notice the costume thing!
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Shhhh... you're not suppose to think about the glaring plot holes :P Of course there's that and you'd think that Tina being the seamstress would notice any restitching of costumes that she's made?
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I like Kitty, but what she did last night was wrong. We tell the teenage girls that they are beautiful the way they are.. I have missed Santana... was looking forward to hear her sing " There Are Worse Things I Could Do", but it was ruined by Miss July and Unique..... I have been a fan since Season one,,,,,but slowly losing interest.
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Loving Big Mike as Unique's dad.
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YES! I was expecting him to start chowing down on some delicious Subway sammiches.
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I just would like to point out how ridiculous it is to have one character attacking another character for her weight, despite the fact Marley is like a size 1 and she is clearly thinner than Kitty. Granted Marley has the whole "my mom is fat" thing going on, but seriously? That would be like Blaine telling Finn he's too gay. It's not believable...at all. And haven't we dealt with this bulemia/anorexia thing already with Mercedes when she was a cheerio (in which it made much, much more sense).
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I hate Kitty just as much as the next Gleek but can we admit that she was fantastic in the "Look at Me I'm Sandra Dee" number? Her singing can be a tad grating but her performance was outstanding.
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I completely agree that Kitty is a monster but I like her that way. We need a tride and true villain that isn't just a misunderstood good guy. And as despicable as what she did was, I'm glad they went there and let her be that evil. She's been accused of being cartoonish but I actually think she's weirdly authentic. High school is full of girls who hate other girls for no other reason than they're also pretty and appealing to men. Not all bullies are tormented by some sappy, emotional childhood trauma. Some people just enjoy being mean.

LOVED everything about this episode. Marley was the most beautiful Sandy I've ever seen. I don't think it's so crazy they changed those lyrics but still let Sandy smoke. Teen smoking is very different from crass sexuality in a high school play. About the Brody/Cassie thing: He's her TA so he's not a student of hers, he works for her. In most colleges it's perfectly legal. Very inappropriate, yes but worse things happen there.
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I'd just like to take this opportunity to remind everyone that every year, Glee submits its Emmy considerations under the "comedy" categories.
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Because it would NEVER win against Homeland and Breaking Bad. It kind of had a shot season one against Modern Family.
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Ok, I thought this episode was wonderful. I believe that Rachel WAS actually crying over Finn, because she really has 0 reason to CRY over Brody. They are not dating, so he can get his somewhere else. I agree with the reviewer that doing it with a teacher (even in college is prety yucky. I think she doesn't want to admit to Finn that she was affected by the little dream performance ( which is very Un-Rachel like) The fact that she broke up with "the one that she wants" must really suck, But I jumped up from joy when Finn put his foot down and told her he doesn't want to hear from her. Way to go Finn. The new kids were great and I actually think the chemistry between Marley and Ryder is much better than with Jake, so we'll see how that goes. And I love that we had to episodes in a row with a poop joke.
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I think she was crying over both. She's not dating Brody but she wants to so she probably doesn't want him dating (or sleeping with) anyone else, especially Cassandra. I don't think she was crying out of betrayal, she was crying out of disappointment/hurt/jealousy.
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I love how people keep saying the show is a mess, and the rating are low, but they keep on watching. Although I am not sure they are even watching considering they really have nothing constructive to say...weird.
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It is not possible to say anything "constructive" unless you think the writers are reading this page, in which case you are delusional.
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The ones that are, are hate watching it. They're watching it with the specific purpose of tearing it down and having new material to use against it. It's the ultimate time waste.
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Like always, there are things that I liked about the episode and things that got on my nerves:
Possitives:
-I liked the Unique storyline, it was really moving and well done
-Finn's idea of what grease was about made me laugh
-Tina's reaction to Mr Shue leaving Finn in charge was incredibly funny
-Ryder coming to Marley's aid when she was going all bulimic, it was a sweet moment
-The awkard meeting between Rachel, Kurt, Blaine and Finn was incredibly well done as well, you could really feel the tension between all of them
-I liked the flashback to the pilot when Rachel was watching the performance (nostalgia reasons)
-Santana's performance in the show was great
Negatives:
-Kitty's scheme of making Marley bulimic was terrible and made her character completely unlikable
-Tina being pushed into the background so that Santana could play Rizzo along with a short scene between her and Mike
-Mercedes involvement in the episode was completely pointless plus, yet again, they make no reference to samcedes what so ever
-Rachel and Kurt not interacting with Artie and the others in any way
I'm not much of a Kurt fan but to be fair he did have a job which took a lot of his time and he did the best he could to maintain his relationship with Blaine, it's not his fault that Blaine got so lonely that he decided to do the very thing he had a b**ch fit about in season 3. I seriously hope they give Blaine some kind of develop that doesn't revolve around the fact that he has nothing without Kurt as it's really getting annoying now. Kudos to Finn on trying to make amends for what he said about Sue's baby. I'm really liking the relationship Marley has with her mother, it reminds me of Kurts relationship with his dad a little.
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I think it's been driven home time and time again that you are not suppose to like Kitty at all. So if it made her unlikable, it did its job. If anything, Kitty is a plot device to make the viewer sympathize with Marley. The effectiveness of that is far more questionable considering many people don't like Marley because of how she handles Kitty (I personally think she's great).
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I like Marley which is why I didn't like what Kitty was doing to her.
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I know many hate Kitty for playing on Marley's insecurities with the whole bulimia thing, and some are saying it is the most evil thing that someone has done on Glee, but I beg to differ. I think it is not anywhere near as mean and evil as telling a 16 year old boy that he got you pregnant via hot tub because when you actually got it on with his best friend . Sorry, Quinn's pregnancy lie still tops this. At least Marley should have enough sense to see that her clothes fit fine, why is the costume getting smaller, and figure it out!
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umm im pretty sure the most evil character was Sebastian! nobody remember how he put rocks in that slushie!!!! Hello! Evil!
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Quinn showed regret and guilt while she was doing that and after it was over. And her intention wasn't to destroy Finn or hurt hi,m, it was to keep him because she loved him and thought he'd make a much better father than Puck. Stupid, immature and selfish? Yes. Evil? No.
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Marley could die from her eating disorder. Finn likely won't die from a "not his" baby Quinn was going to give up anyway.
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It's not an eating disorder if you only do it once or twice, and Marley never even managed once.
It was absolutely mean of Kitty, but if Marley couldn't figure out that she wasn't actually putting on any weight? To quote Dr. House, "Darwin says 'let her die.'"
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I lost interest after the sexy Ricky Martin episode and I converted the songs off of youtube, as I've done with the Smash-music.
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I have, in several past reviews, commented that despite Kitty's comically evil nature, I still thoroughly enjoyed her character. After this episode, I find myself wishing she gets sent off to a Bible-thumping commune and we never hear from her again. Because WTF IF YOUR PROBLEM, KITTY!?!?!?! Who DOES shit like that?! I am not entirely sure there is a redemption arc that I could accept. "Yeah, sorry about that one time I tried to make you bulemic. Here, let me sing you this song to show you how much I've changed." Yeah...no.

As for the OTHER, non-psychologically questionable parts of this episode, I really liked it! Cassandra is a total bitch sometimes, but....really, she's not lying when she says Rachel is stuck up, naive, and used to having things handed to her. So hopefully Rachel will learn from this experience. Plus....come on, you KNOW she and Cassandra are going to end up BFFL's by the time this season is over (Brody or no Brody).

My favorite part of the episode was when Kurt and Rachel were leaving the high school and said, "This doesn't feel like home anymore." I realize they were distraught over their respective relationships, but this frame of mind is a pretty genuine reflection of moving on from high school (or even college). After you've been away from a while, you think going back will be awesome/nostalgic/etc., and sure, it can be, but you realize everybody (including you) has moved on, and that the past is past. Just a very good, authentic moment in my opinion.
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That Kurt/Rachel scene was FANTASTIC. I totally agree. It rang SO TRUE.

"Who DOES that?" was basically my entire mindset towards Kitty during this episode. Just total horror and disgust. She went from being a fun evil to something legitimately terrible.

Cassandra has totally grown on me though! Her assessment of Rachel is harsh, but it's not WRONG.
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I too hate Kitty and couldn't help but think that I don't think Quinn and Santana together were ever that evil to Rachel...I am looking forward to Quinn's return as she might notice the behavior (and presuming she has continued to grow as a person) will likely enlist Santana and, hell, Sugar, in some sort of equal take down of Kitty. I also was confused and distressed by Marley's mother suggesting they both go on a diet when I have to think someone other than a silly wide receiver would notice that Marley is being manipulated. And apparently Tina as a costume designer sucks...she didn't notice her own work was being messed with?

And also, Rachel, as a rule, when someone who fairly recently did not like you, don't make suggestions. Hell, college freshman and sophomores, you are not permitted to make suggestions until you actually make it to junior year and commit to your major. And weirdly, while we don't actually know if Brody and Cassandra had sex, I am not particularly mad at Brody for it. That dance class kind of seemed like he and Rachel hadn't actually seen each other since, heck, around Columbus Day. Then she blew him off. I mean, that was so juvenile and nasty of Cassandra. Again, randomly, I hope Quinn is driving the three of them home for Christmas...
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I would say that this is one of the best episodes of the season. It made me laugh, but also was very moving. I never really liked Marley, but she was actually decent in this episode. Ryder was amazing. So glad that Kurt and Rachel were in this episode. 9/10.
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Both the quality and now the ratings have sunk. I was a total Gleek in the first season, but the show just became a frustrating mess.
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