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Glee S05E09: "Frenemies"

Raise your hand if you were surprised that Rachel ended up turning into a psycho because she's a big star now even though her show hasn't even opened yet, so in reality, she's still basically a nobody.

Yeah, me neither. 

Okay, I was a little bit surprised, if only because I assumed (I know) that when Glee returned from its extra-long winter hiatus, having taken the time to regroup and maybe even reinvent itself in the wake of Cory Monteith's death, it would want to keep Rachel front and center—and more specifically, front, center, and likeable. I want to like Rachel so much. I really do. I like Lea Michele just fine and Rachel has had her moments, but then the character goes and acts like she did in "Frenemies" and I remember that she's actually kind of awful and then everything is ruined and I would dump the slushie on her myself if that was a possibility.


I'll give Rachel this: I do understand why she was angry about Santana auditioning for, and then accepting, the role of Rachel's understudy in Funny Girl. I'll even go as far as to admit that, given Santana and Rachel's history, the possibility of Santana actively trying to sabotage Rachel so she make it onto the stage isn't that far-fetched, and Kurt came off as incredibly naive when he insisted that "Nuh-uh, Santana changed and we're all besties now!" Based on what? Even if Santana didn't have a history of terrorizing Rachel, Glee's deliberately demented approach to character development and story continuity pretty much guarantees that history is irrelevant (unless you're this week's Tina and Artie). If it is so decreed that Santana Lopez shall be horrible to Rachel Berry, it's going to happen, whether it makes sense to or not... which means it's also just as likely that Santana doesn't do anything to Rachel. It really just comes down to what kind of PSA Glee feels like being on a given week. 


Despite "Frenemies" featuring a large swath of screen time dedicated to Rachel being Rachel, Glee's return to Tuesdays was still strong. For Glee(Glee is its own beast with its own unique standards for what constitutes "good" and "bad.)

Back in Lima, Tina angsted because she ended up on Brown's waiting list with no guarantee of when or if she'd be accepted, meaning she's STUCK IN OHIO FOREVER. OHIO. A.K.A.: HELL. OMG. CAN YOU IMAGINE? I really wish that someday Glee will do a PSA where someone, anyone realizes that Ohio isn't hell, high school is hell. It's an important distinction to make, and even though it makes a lot of sense to move the show to New York on a full-time basis in the future and I'm somewhere around 97 percent on-board with that decision, at the same time, I feel like it kind of confirms what Glee has long implied: If you don't hate where you came from, if you didn't GTFO of your dinky midwestern town, if you somehow managed to fit in just a little bit in high school and don't carry any resentment toward your parents for forcing you to grow up in such a hole, well, then you're weird and unfulfilled and a loser. Your fate is a sad one and you should be pitied. 

It's perfectly normal for the students of McKinley to long for bigger and brighter things as they prepare to graduate. But the reality is that sometimes things don't work out... and that's okay. I think Glee was starting to head in that direction with Finn returning to help with New Directions and deciding to go to school to become a real teacher. I don't know who makes a good candidate to fill that vacancy, but I think it's important. There's always one who comes back


Anyway, Tina whined because there's nothing worse than attending Ohio State, amiright, Buckeyes? She saw the valedictorian position as a means to boost herself out of the Brown University wait-listed sludge pile and demanded that Artie drop out of Sue's glorious competition for the coveted slot after it was revealed that their GPAs, attendance records, and extracurricular activities were identical. Artie was basically like, "Nope, deal with it." and their argument actually got rather heated and was kind of upsetting to watch because unlike Rachel and Santana and Kurt and Starchild, I never really doubted that Tina and Artie were friends.  

In the end, they threw Sue's competition and ended up being co-salutatorians because Glee. Blaine will be McKinley's 2014 valedictorian. Because Glee.  


Blaine may've simply been handed a solo and an academic honor this week, but it looks like Kurt's bonding time with Starchild miiight just cause some problems on the homefront, what with his posting of flirty pictures of the two of them on Instagram for Blaine to rationalize away and then secretly cry about so that he can confront Kurt later because Glee. All in all, not a bad return, Glee. The groundwork has been laid for the big NYC shift, and with the seniors graduating in "a few weeks," it seems like Glee's internal calendar has also been reset to mirror real academic years outside of TV—which, honestly, feels right. I appreciate the effort to try something new last season, but it just felt weird and off. 


MUSICAL NOTES

– First Glee playlist of 2014: Ummm... I actually really liked Santana's version of "Don't Rain on my Parade." I also liked her "Brave" duet with Rachel. 

– Rachel said that Santana can't be Fanny Brice because Santana isn't Jewish. Thaaaaat's kinda racist, yes?

– I forgot that Marley and the gang even existed until we saw that glimpse of them at the end. Oops. 

– I was silently pleading with Starchild not to eat Kurt's sandwiches. Kurt was being creepy and I wouldn't put it past him to lace them with ex-lax or something. 

– "I'm surprised you didn't throw those eggs on that lady's feet." "No, I need this job." Touche, ladies. 

– "It's really hard being a star." Shut UP, Rachel. 

– "But we're friends!" "No we're not!" And that pretty much sums up Glee


What did you think of Glee's return? And Rachel and Santana sharing the stage? 


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 5/13/2014

Season 5 : Episode 20

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