Glee

Season 2 Episode 18

Born This Way

8
Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Apr 26, 2011 on FOX
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (10)

8.8
out of 10
Average
353 votes
  • It doesn't matter if you're Lebanese or Lesbian...

    8.5
    First off, let me say I tuned in at possibly the worst time of last night's episode – the scene where Karofsky is insincerely apologizing to the Glee Club – and I assumed the worst. This storyline has been dragged on for far too long and I can only stand so much before I want to fast-forward through it (but don't since I review shows in their entirety). I feared the episode's extended running time would affect the overall quality (say by devoting too much time to characters very few people care about). I will say this though, while Glee has certainly tried to preach the importance of self-acceptance before, this episode, bar none, did the best job of addressing it thus far.

    After taking a blow to the nose during practice, Rachel is escorted to the doctor by Finn, whose convulsive dance moves were accountable for the accident. The Otolaryngologist (yes I did have to Google what a nose doctor was called) ends up suggesting this is an opportune time for Rachel to get a nose job, since all the Jewish girls her age are doing it – advice that would probably result in an actual doctor's medical license being revoked, and possibly a lawsuit. This egregious guidance shakes Rachel's self-image and eventually leads the Glee Club to have another week dedicated to the importance of individuality. (I'm trying very hard not to overuse the term "self-acceptance", but I'm about as committed to this as Will and Emma are to avoiding the word "really".)

    Santana's placement in the episode felt a little too convenient. Allow me to explain…while I'm usually all for her voiceovers, she felt more like she was advancing the plot as a cog in the machine, not an actual character. I guess you could argue her sticking up for Blaine and Kurt last week warranted her visit with them at the restaurant, but to me it was simply a way for her to set the ball in motion for Kurt to come back to McKinley High.

    Also wildy out of place was Quinn at the ENT's office. I don't know why she would agree to come with Rachel, unless she was that desperate for prom queen votes, but it did lead to the best number of the night. It was slightly saccharine and the line "you can fix your nose if you say so" was too on the nose (for lack of better term), but "Unpretty/I Feel Pretty" was by far one of the show's greatest mash-ups and possibly Dianna Agron's best vocal to date.

    I've never been a huge fan of Finn (his vanilla character or his nondescript vocals) but I thought "I Gotta Be Me" was a nice change of pace. Maybe Corey Monteith wanted to make the most of his screen time since he's been given less numbers since Darren Criss' arrival, but the jazzy arrangement of the song suited him surprisingly well – I see a Puck & Finn collaboration in the works (and no, not another funk number).

    Speaking of Blaine, he and the Warblers performed their swan song "Somewhere Only We Know" to Kurt upon his return to McKinley. I still think Criss has a tendency to chew scenery when he performs but since it was played like a goodbye between his character and Kurt, it was a little more understandable given the circumstances. Judging from the recent music release featuring the Warblers, I have a feeling the singing group will be around for a little longer, but this number would've been a good way to go out.

    Kurt's cover of "We Never Said Goodbye" had perhaps the strongest connection to the scene it played in (Kurt walking the halls of his former school). I'm sure it was a dream come true for Chris Colfer, as he got to sing a Streisand number by himself for the first time, and his joyful demeanor throughout it made the song that much more enjoyable. I bet he also didn't mind dancing and singing along to Duck Sauce's dumb yet catchy "Barbara Streisand" but I won't complain if it starts a flash mob dance at the Ohio Outlet Mall once more – now I feel like watching the Brady Bunch storm Sears on Youtube.

    And of course, we have the requisite Lady Gaga number for which the episode is titled. When comparing it to previous songs the show has covered by the artist, I'd rank "Born This Way" above "Poker Face" and the very brief "Telephone" but slightly below "Bad Romance" – mostly because it didn't showcase as many vocalists and I was disappointed by Santana's exclusion from it (she killed in "Bad Romance", after all). The shirts were a fun way to inject some humor into the proceedings, but Tina's insecurity about her eyes felt half-baked since it's never been addressed before. For me, Tina has always been the preachiest member of the group and I thought they might poke fun at this instead.

    Lately, I've been trying to write Lauren Zizes' plotlines off as "intended-to-be-funny but a little mean-spirited" (that's the best way I can describe it), but now I find her unwatchable. I'll admit, I thought the inclusion of her in Regionals and in the following episodes would bring a new energy to the club, and it did for a while, but now she's become someone with very few redeeming qualities. I wrote something similar about Quinn a couple episodes back, but she's undergone a bit of a role reversal since then. I'm glad Lauren apologized for her actions before the episode came to an end, but I'm growing weary of her rotten attitude. To her credit, she did concede to having one on her shirt during the last performance and the first step is admitting you have a problem.

    Episode Highlights:

    Santana on Fire - Arguably the two best quotes of the night were uttered by a one Ms. Lopez. "Only straight I am is straight-up b*tch" and "Legend has it when I came out of my mother I told the nurse she was fat" were comic gold.

    Brittany's Attempt at Spelling Lesbian – Alright, I realize these episode highlights are now the sections where I praise only Santana and Brittany so I promise to mention someone new next week. But I have to give special mention to Brit-Brit for trying to help her friend out in her typical clueless and endearing fashion.

    Emma's Therapy Session – This could've been a throwaway celebrity cameo but thankfully the actress that played her (Katleen Quinlan) came off as a very realistic psychiatrist. Jayma Mays was equally believable and praiseworthy in the scene, and it stood out as the episodes' most accurate depiction of someone struggling to overcome a personal deficiency.

    This is usually the part where I ramble on about future episodes but since my TV is on the fritz, I've had to rely on Hulu which doesn't seem to include previews for next week. I guess I'll have to live in suspense until then, but I have a feeling if April & Jesse are slated to return one of them might appear at the beginning of May Sweeps.

    Note: I'm almost tempted to rate this as a 9 but since the Karofsky story took up airtime that could've gone to Sue I'll score it an 8.5. Here's a link to that Brady reference if you had no idea was I was talking about earlier… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q4h7chFGQw8
  • Please get rid of Lauren Zizes, sooner than now.

    6.0
    (There are spoilers in this.)

    First off this did not need to be ninety minutes. This is another Glee episode where you can tell where they're trying to go with it but they go about it the wrong way. This episode had way too much preaching and inconsistency. For starters:

    Santana. I mean I get what she's trying to do but wasn't she going out with Sam? Two episodes ago they were still going out and she wrote him a song called trouty mouth and the last episode he was in it for like two seconds so they didn't touch on it but when she told Karofsky they should date wasn't she still technically dating Sam? Her moment with Brittany was sweet when Brittany gave her the lebanese (lesbian) shirt.

    Quinn/Lauren. This was my main problem with this episode. Lauren Zizes was okay when she was just the AV girl but now that she's in the glee club she exists for two reasons: so Puck can have a girlfriend and to screw with the main character's lives. She's like Sue in the glee club. She made Mercedes into an obnoxious diva last episode and this one she made it her mission to take down Quinn. And then there's that. I thought that was the stupidest plot they could've come up with for Quinn to really be Lucy. I mean if they wanted to make her previously fat that's understandable but to change her name? That's a soap opera plot that doesn't belong on Glee. That just felt like a cop out.

    Lack of Sue. I mean while I thought the league of Sue-per villains last ep was stupid, Sue exists to be in an episode about self-acceptence! I mean a 90 minute episode where Sue isn't there to be tearing down the kids for the things about themselves they hate? If Sue was in this episode that would've eliminated like three stupid plots right there.

    This episode had a good message but was way too long and went about it the wrong way. On the plus side Kurt is back at McKinley. That's good at least.
  • 90 minute long episode!

    8.0
    After last week's very sub-par episode, we get an extended episode of Glee that actually does a better job getting back into the groove of Season 1 and those classic episodes instead of the new episodes the show has been doing. Of course, there was good and bad with the episode, but for the most part, the good outweighed the bad.

    What didn't work for me was Kurt's return. Okay, scratch that.. part of his return worked for me. I liked the send-off that the Warblers gave him, but I didn't enjoy the second song that came after the commercial where they allowed Kurt to sing yet another song that welcomed him back into the school. Yes, I've wanted more Kurt in the show, but not to the extent where they drive it into our skulls.

    But I really liked everything else. The way the plot involving Kurt and Karovsky came full circle was great, and I actually really enjoy the idea of Santana using Karovsky as a front for both of them being gay Sure, it's wrong, but it gives everyone a chance to get back together again and let this bullying plot get behind us.

    I also sort of liked the theme of the episode this time around.. with all the relationship drama going around, it was nice for the characters to take a second and forget about all that crap and focus on themselves. I'm not the biggest fan of the Lady Gaga song, but I thought the cast did, as usual, a good job with it.

    It's been a bit since I've seen the episode, so I'm a little vague right now.. but overall, it was a pretty good episode.
  • Loved it

    10
    Such a good contrast to A Night of Neglect. I really loved everyone in this episode, and really found my love for Glee at its highest in a long time. Rachel was funny, and Finn's dancing was wonderfully terrible. Some great songs too, really enjoyed Born This Way (obviously) and some great humour from Santana and Britney and the shirts and things. LOVED everyone's t-shirts apart from Mercedes' cos I thought it was going to be about her weight, but it was about her hair? Hmmm confusing. Anyway, wonderful ep, LOVED IT :)
  • I would enjoy the episode more if the writers would actual showcase the lesson they were trying to shove down our throats for the last hour and a half.

    5.0
    Watching this hour of television was like being in an hour long lecture drug free lecture, where the instructor is telling you "drugs are bad" while snorting some coke off his desk. I like Glee, I really do and the after school leasons are good as long as they are clear. This episode moral lesson is clear, "Be yourself and be proud", it is a lesson the show writers have got after listening to Lady Gaga's "Born this Way" a song that was a dissappointment within itself. It was loud (like this episode), upbeat (like this episode) and sometimes hypocritical (like Gaga using the word retard in a published interview). I appreciate the lesson, I enjoyed the Rachal Berry storyline about getting a nose job especially with the whole entire Tinsle Town getting plastic surgery. The problem is, the show makes jokes out of the exact things this episode told us to accept about these characters. Puck's comments about making out with jewish girls and their noses poking him in the eye was suppose to be a speech that would stop Rachal from getting nose surgery and have a little laugh about it. Same thing about Britney stupidity which is always played for laughs, (she can't spell lesbian) and even the anti bullying organization was played for laughs. It is okay to have preachy lessons and episodes like this but the show needs to learn how to spilt it's serious lessons from it's funny jokes. I am happy the kids learned to accept themselves for who they are but couldn't they also learn to stop making fun of people for being who they want (or are born) to be. What would really have made this episode great would be if it was shorter, and it didn't make jokes on behalf of Quinn being fat, Rachal having a big nose, Britney being stupid, Ms. P. OCD, and etc. Talk about these insecurites, don't laugh about them. You may disagree with me after you first read this but just think about it, is this episode not being a little hypocritical. I know it need to make jokes about something but no one told them they had to make an episode about accepting physical apperences.
  • Things that keep us from what we're supposed to be...

    9.5
    This is my favorite episode for the second season. Accepting oneself and bullying are two vital issues that teenagers are facing right now. Glee episode tonight beautifully portrays the importance of making the most of what you were born with. It is difficult not to compare ourselves with other people but we should focus on our strengths and not magnify the weaknesses. I also like the emphasis placed that illness is illness - it's NOT what we're supposed to be - but it's illness that keeps us from what we're supposed to be. We should be humble enough to seek help. Lastly, the bullying issues should be addressed in our schools. More kids should be encouraged to be part of anti-bullying movements. Good episode!
  • Born This Way...

    7.0
    Amazingly the Glee producers managed to somewhat restrain themselves when awarded with 30 minutes more screen time this week, adding only 2 additional songs to "Born This Way". The episode, which centers around the campaign for prom queen and the consistent theme of self-hatred, brought about some fairly interesting changes in the show and some that no one much cares for. When the Glee club is practicing a dance number and Finn breaks Rachel's nose, she considers the possibility of getting a nose job. Claiming it to be for non-aesthetic reasons, the mention of the procedure to the rest of the Glee club sparks a Will Schuester lesson in "more things that none of you know about yourselves but I seem to have omnipotent like knowledge about".

    Whilst the group considers things that they dislike about themselves, Will tries to get Emma to confront her OCD. Despite the show mostly being about the kids, I really do feel that this is the most consistently interesting and well executed facet of the show. This deliverance of real emotion behind a relatable and realistic topic by far out-shines anything that the show has done recently. Finally seeing Emma take a step forward and seek the help of a therapist at Will's urging really was by far the most satisfying thing that came out of the episode, however, it was not the only thing that worked. As Quinn and Lauren compete for prom queen, Santana begins to scheme her way into the race too. Hatching a plan to bring Kurt back to McKinley whilst simultaneously hiding her secret lesbianism from the world, she succeeds in at least one of her goals and Kurt's inevitable return takes place. Whilst the goodbye song from the Warblers was as unnecessary as most of them are in Glee nowadays, the back and forth between Kurt and Karofsky - his reason for leaving in the first place - was handled fairly well. The only other substantive thing that happens in the episode is that we learn that Quinn isn't actually named Quinn. Whilst digging up dirt on her to try and beat her out in the election, Lauren discovers that Quinn is actually the middle name of former fat girl Lucy Fabray and that she covered it up because she was embarrassed by what she used to be. When Lauren outs her to the school, the plan backfires as the students now see Quinn as more of a woman of the people. The two then acknowledge a respect for one another and seemingly become friends.

    Whilst destroying most of the rest of this season of Glee in terms of watchable content, I still feel that "Born This Way" could have been better than it was. Most of the students facing the things that they dislike about themselves was one thing, but having Santana stand so vehemently against being outed as a lesbian after the emotional heart pouring she gave a few weeks back just felt wrong. Similarly, even though she decided to accept her nose in the end, the suggestion that Rachel could really be that vain as to even consider a nose job just did not feel like the character. Whilst doing anything to get to the top might be a staple of Rachel Berry, she has so consistently not fit in and not tried to fit in. Altering her physical appearance to achieve a more commonly accepted level of beauty just didn't read for me and seemed more like a convenient plot device to spark the theme of the episode.
  • Props

    9.0
    I think Glee deserves some props tonight for tackling quite a few issues and actually tying some storylines together. I really don't normally watch and if I do, it's via channel surfing, and so I really apologize because I don't really know everyone's name, character, or even most of the recently storylines, but I was drawn in by the promos, which featured samples of the songs. Tonight, nothing else was on and I was pleasantly surprised. They even found a clever arc to bring Finn back and get the bully to be less of a bully. And in a way it will help Santana (I hope I have that right) come out as well. Either way, I think a tipping point was definitely in order, because this bully character has caused a lot of fuss and needs to be dealt with in the most careful way, due to the fact that every civil rights critic is watching wide-eyed. So it will have to be dealt with in some manner before the season finale and finally be done with.

    Rachel and a bunch of cast members deal with image issues. Everyone has their flaws and at first, everyone feels down about themselves because of them. Rachel debates having a nose-job, Lauren runs for prom queen despite her size, and Quinn reveals she was quite heavy-set herself in the past. This to name a few. There was a great selection of songs as well: loved the duet with Rachel and I obviously cannot remember the name of the song or the artist, but it was good. Duck Sauce was actually great too. Props again to including some of the myriad of dancers – if you took a good look, there were older people, younger people, heavier people, skinny people – people of all shapes and sizes, ages, and abilities dancing in that scene. I have to give it props, it seemed so natural and very cheery. This episode also dealt with mental illness. OCD is a serious mental disorder that really does affect people's lives. Seeing Emma and Will work through some of these issues was surprisingly well done and, kind of refreshing. Rarely is mental illness tackled seriously in such a light way. They touched on the stigma and acceptance of mental illness. Emma even accepts and decides to take SSRIs to help with her disorder. Nice to see a lack of Jane Lynch tonight. No offense, but this character needs major repairing next. Something else that I would like to see tackled is the amount of negative sarcasm between the high-schoolers. Yeah, sure we all like to get a jab in here or there for a laugh, but it's seriously every other line in the show. I'm pretty sure in real life, kids can actually talk normally, without jabbing here or there every two minutes. I think tonight, they did a better job with this by actually turning around the negativity quickly within each scene – e.g. what Lauren did to Quinn was turned around pretty quick. In general, this episode was nicely paced, with good laughs, good writing, and nicely arranged musical numbers. Sure, we didn't hear from everyone in tonight's episode (man, the cast list has ballooned to about 35 people) but how can you with over 20 principal cast members. Good effort though.
  • A new fave from this season :)

    9.5
    Definitely one of Glee's better episodes. However, they performed one Gaga song. I am not sure this should have been called a "Gaga Fest" I think the overall message of the show could have been condensed into an hour instead of 90 minutes.

    Santana:

    Besides Kurt, she is my favorite character on this show. Absolutely amazing and funny and I love her manipulations, It's obvious she is not a confident as she comes off but Karofsky and Santana make the perfect fake couple and I hope that they both eventually come out.

    Kurt:
    My favorite character, I am so glad to see that he is back at the school. This show has suffered with him being separated from the others. It was a great return for him. A great solo and I think he should have had a bigger and better part in Born this way song.

    Rachel and Quinn:
    Her nose job thing was pretty well done although I think it was kind of annoying how she kept comparing herself to Quinn. It just blew Quinn's head up even more and I didn't like that.

    Quinn's secret that she used to be fat, was totally left field and the picture didn't look realistic. But it was funny to see it backfire in Lauren's face just because I hate Lauren with an intense passion.

    The duet that they did on the show(Faberry) for TLC unpretty was absolutely beautiful and I enjoyed it greatly.

    Emma:
    Normally, I don't like her character. She annoys me but I did like her OCD plot and it was great to see that she started accepting help for it.

    A great episode of Glee that focused a little too much on Rachel while not focusing enough on the Karofsky(i was hoping he was going to have more of an impact on this episode)
  • Glee Club learns another lesson-of-the-week, but this one's for everyone: Self- Acceptance.

    9.5
    A great episode after last week's borefest. Will tries to help Emma with her OCD, and Rachel wants a nose job. Santana helps Karofsky be a better person, and Kurt retruns to McKinley. Also, Lauren and Quinn go for the crown. (Breaking it up, character-by-character)

    Emma: Will pushes her to beat her OCD and so does her therapist. Emma thinks that it is the way she's meant to be, but learns that it's an obstacle to getting to who she really is.

    Rachel: After her nose had an unfortunate encounter with the stage floor, she decides that she wants a nose like Quinn's. Of course she didn't go through with it, after Kurt and Puck Barbra'd her in another mall flash mob dance scene. Amazingly not a Rachel-centric episode! I LOVED her and Quinn's duet- the mash-up of I Feel Pretty/Unpretty.

    Santana, Karofsky, & Kurt: Santana was the driving force in getting Karofsky to face who he is, and apologize to the Glee club for bullying them, and esp. Kurt. She and he start dating to keep their secret (that they 'play for the same team'), and go for prom queen and king. Karofsky apologizes to Kurt, but Burt still isn't convinced after the 'I'll kill you' incident. However, Kurt returns to his friends in Glee at McKinley, and they are all happy to have him back. The Warblers are sad about losing him, though. The new faux-couple start an anti-bullying alliance to stop bullying in their halls.

    Quinn & Lauren: Lauren decides to run for prom queen and wants dirt on Quinn, her opponent. She steals her personal file from the office and finds out that she did not attend the school it said she did before she came to McKinley. Instead, she came from a school where she was constantly teased for being fat and ugly. Quinn is ONCE AGAIN subject to horrible writing. Not only did the picture not even resemble her, but it's inconsistent with her character background. She went from being Lucy (so her name wasn't really Quinn) Caboosey to being beautiful, blonde, skinny, Cheerio (now ex-), popular Quinn. Lauren procedes to make posters for prom queen for Quinn using her old picture, and she moved up on Jacob-the-perv's blog list. WORST part of the episode.

    The 'Born This Way' performance was not bad, but wasn't amazing either. The best part were their awesome shirts with their flaws.

    Tune in to see what next week's lesson-of-the-week is. See how much more the comedy in 'dramedy' can be reduced. It's more of a teenage soap opera drama. :S
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