The Gleecap: “Big Brother”

By Jon Erik Christianson • April 11, 2012 at 2:00 pm


The Gleecap is a column dedicated to recap and review the zany antics that occur in each episode of the television show Glee. Blog posts will be released each Wednesday following an episode. Beware, there will be spoilers.

Warning: The following section can be read in either in a genuine voice of excitement or a voice of grating, dry sarcasm. Choose wisely:

Hooray! After an incredibly long sabbatical of seven weeks without our regular dose of high school musical drama, Glee is back! This past season was controversial to say the least, and I know that everyone is super-excited that this glorious show is back!

Piled on top of that already squeal-worthy news, it was recently announced that Glee was renewed for Season 4! The Television Gods of Quality smile brightly down upon us today.

Story Overview

In the last episode, there was this little, insignificant event that happened that you may have missed if you sneezed at just the wrong moment. It’s not really that important of a plot point anyway. Quinn just got into a life-scarring car accident on the way to Finn and Rachel’s wedding. No biggie.

That’s explored here. All throughout the episode, Quinn and Artie (Quartie) race through the halls singing uplifting music about overcoming adversity and friendship. Artie coaches Quinn on the fine art of wheelchair navigation, and Quinn shares several character-building moments with Rachel, Artie and Joe Hart, aka “Teen Jesus.”

Cooper Anderson (I see what you did there), Blaine’s older brother, comes barreling out of nowhere like the last episode’s flat-bed truck. Hot off commercial (literally) success, Cooper joins his brother and New Directions to teach acting lessons SVU style. This does not settle well with Blaine since his egocentric sibling is a jerk.

Now for the storyline that none of has truly realized is still real. Sue is pregnant! She, alongside Will and Emma, finds out that her child is a girl. She also finds out that there is some unknown complications with the baby’s status.

Sue called her Barbara Gordon, therefore she is the cover for the week. That, and I'm running out of photos. | Photo courtesy FOX TV.

Characters

Quinn— For a character who’s endured such sudden tragedy, Quinn has really proven that she’s been able to get right back up on her feet got a strong head on her shoulders after this year. For many seasons, her personality has wavered between “mature” and “serial killer.” This episode manages to make her complex and relatable, but not a caricature. Her joyful, goofy humor with Artie and wisdom with Rachel was uplifting all throughout the episode and made her short moment of weakness both real and not demonizing.

Blaine— Usually left alone with his bowties, hair gel and hip thrusts, Blaine rarely gets the characterization he needs beyond being Kurt’s plus-one. This episode, thanks to the sudden introduction of his brother, changed that. Blaine was insecure, angry and perturbed enough to receive one of Glee‘s signature angsty naked shower scenes. Regardless, this episode turned Blaine from a two-dimensional character to a 2.5-dimensional character.

Rachel— Her sudden burst of guilt mid-episode made a lot of sense.

Songs

“I’m Still Standing” by Elton John: For over half a season, I never completely understood why Quinn never really had a major part in a song. Here we learn why. In order to sing a song, Quinn needed to lose her ability to walk. Fortunately for viewers, this terrible tragedy paid off because her duet with Artie was quite impressive. Combine Quinn’s distinct lower range with Artie’s innate soulfulness and a lively beat to create a pleasant re-introduction to the series.

“Hungry Like the Wolf/Rio” by Duran Duran: This song was so cheesy that it made the entire state of Wisconsin blush. Blaine was cheesy. Cooper was cheesier. Duran Duran was cheesiest. Fortunately, it fit perfectly with the song. Sure, the unnecessary auto-tune was so thick that it deserved a place in the ending credits, but it was quite entertaining.

“Fighter” by Christina Aguilera: Most of the time, dramatic song changes work in Glee‘s favor. In this scenario, it did not. “Fighter” is a song that needs a very specific type of power vocal. Blaine can belt for some songs, but not this one. He needs an Adam Lambert voice, which he does not have. On the plus side, the financially impossible TV-screen wall was intriguing from a creative point of view.

“Up Up Up” by The Givers: This performance is very much like the earlier Quartie duet. Upbeat, great range for Quinn, suited for soulful Artie, and it makes you want to skip down Commonwealth Avenue in a sundress and a parasol. The cinematography between the skate park and Six Flags was impressive.

“Somebody That I Used to Know” by Gotye (feat. Kimbra): As mentioned earlier, Blaine’s voice can belt very specific kinds of song. This is the epitome of that kind of song. This may very well be the most well-suited and well-executed vocal performance since the Santana/Mercedes Adele mash-up. The Anderson boys’ voices are perfection in this recent hit and the acting actually wasn’t terrible. One of the best performances in this show’s history.

One-Liners

“So no tears. That means you, Tina.” – Quinn Fabray

“I understand that keeping bats out of your womb is an important part of having a baby when you’re older than God.” – Roz Washington

“It’s just like having a baby.” – Artie Abrams, speaking from personal experience.

“And when will someone give me a straight answer as to why they [guys] have nipples.” – Sue Sylvester

Overall Score

For the past few months, my single criterion for this show was the following: Don’t offend me into a rage.

Not only did this episode not offend me, but it managed to make me hopeful again. The Quinn and Artie dialogue was incredibly well-executed, the cinematography during songs was creative and the story lacked student/teacher sex scandals!

I wanted to crack a joke implying that Glee should take a seven-week hiatus after every episode, but with quality like this, I would be terribly sad if they did that.

Don’t make me eat those words, Glee.

“Big Brother:” A-


Jon Christianson (COM/CAS '14) is the zany, misunderstood cousin of The Quad family. His superpowers include talking at the speed of light, tripping over walls, and defying ComiQuad deadlines with the greatest of ease. His lovely copyeditors don't appreciate that last one. If for some reason you hunger for more of his nonsense, follow him at @HonestlyJon on Twitter or contact him at jchristianson@buquad.com!



No Responses