When a show deems itself important enough to steal the spotlight on Turkey Day it better be freaking amazing. Puppets are not amazing, they're creepy—I think it's the dead eyes—but at least now we can scratch another item off our Glee end-of-days wishlist. "Puppet Master" may not have been an exact Avenue Q homage, but eh, singing puppets... close enough.
Mr. Schue had to be a real teacher for, like, ten minutes, when some education powers that be decided to tour McKinley to make sure it was functioning the way a high school should function. Lol. That left Blaine in charge because reasons, and when the rest of the glee club didn't much care for his plans to destroy Vocal Vomit at Nationals, he first threw a tantrum, then hallucinated that the New Directions were puppets who loved and adored him and it was one of the creepiest and most unsettling thing Glee's ever done. Then Blaine built a Kurt puppet in craft class. Blaine loved Kurt Puppet and took him everywhere, prompting a series of thinly veiled anal fisting jokes until Sue confiscated Kurt Puppet because the schizophrenic kid talking to his dead-eyed puppet pal in the hallway is the sort of thing that the previously mentioned educational powers that be would frown upon.
Sooo... about those powers: Sue crushed on the superintendent, who thought she was a dude. So Sue reached out to Schue and Unique to teach her how to be a real girl, only to have the superintendent turn her down when she asked him on a date. Awkward.
Sue's adventures in love was but one of the bazillionty B- (and C- and D-) plots permeating "Puppet Master"; at times, the episode felt a little chaotic. In New York, Kurt booked Pamela Lansbury their first gig, but it was at the lame theater-geek bar and Kurt's fellow bandmates were less than enthusiastic. Their fears appeared to have been valid when only one man showed up, and only because he thought Angela Lansbury was scheduled to perform. However, the one man was the right man, who had a connection to a venue much better suited to whatever Pamela Lansbury is.
Also, Jake claimed to have slept with every Cheerio ever and Breh claimed to be knocked up, which seemed to imply that Glee was going to tackle a *whispers* abortion storyline, but then she conveniently got her period and let Jake (and Glee) off the hook. She also slammed Jake for being a manslut, even though that was pretty much why she found him appealing when she banged him. Let's not worry about that pesky little detail too much, though, because consistent characterization is hard—right, Glee?
Blaine's nervous breakdown and subsequent psychotic break was ultimately blamed on a gas leak in the choir room, but no matter, his newfound love of soulless puppets rubbed off on everyone else and the boy got busy in art class, gifting everyone with little dead-eyed doppelgangers and giving the group an excuse the reuse the "Roar" set from "A Katy or a Gaga" for a cover of "What Does the Fox Say?"—a meme I had somehow actually managed to successfully avoid until now, so thanks for that, Glee. Also, pretty sure foxes bark. Cuz they're dogs.
"Puppet Master" was fun and weird and creepy. It wasn't worth the interruption of a Pittsburgh Steelers game that my household had been eagerly anticipating, but it tried. When you're airing a new episode on a national holiday, you have one of two options: 1.) Go the Doctor Who route and start a tradition (which requires much more cultural clout than Glee has or will ever have), or 2.) Make it really, really special. "Puppet Master" was pretty special. "Holiday special" special? Not really, but I don't think it was intended to be. It was just another zany week on Glee... with puppets.
– Performance of the night? Schue and Sue because no puppets.
– Aren't you supposed to not operate power tools in a room full of leaking gas? Like, won't you possibly explode?
– 1986 Sue was pretty amazing. DAT. HAIR.
– Except wasn't Figgins' comment about wearing pants some kind of harassment? IDK.
– Also Sue asking the superintendent on a date. I was kind of expecting them to just revoke her principal status on the spot for that one.
– Okay, "mansturating" is a great word.
– "Did you just touch me with a puppet?" Thank you for giving voice to my terror, Sue.
What'd you think of "Puppet Master"?
AIRED ON 3/20/2015
Season 6 : Episode 13