[Gabe Liedman is a stand-up comedian, and one half of the Gabe and Jenny comedy team with Jenny Slate. But at the top of that resume it states that he is Videogum’s Official Expert on this season of Glee.]
Ho, boy. Glee sure is testing my faith, at least on paper. Britney Spears? Followed by Jesus? I can’t imagine a less enticing lineup of guest stars. But paint me white and call me hetero: I liked this fucking retarded piece of shit episode, I liked it a lot. It was schmaltzy (or whatever the Christian version of schmaltzy is (Della Reese-y?)), impertinent, on the wrong side of P.C., and Mercedes had two songs. I cried so much it was embarrassing and I had to flip my brain off at least three times to make sure I didn’t flat line; it was a lot like watching Sliding Doors in that way. I can see why anyone with a fully functional intellect might have gagged on this episode, which discusses religion in openly twee and snarky way; but, IMHO (H stands for totally gay), I think that if taken on Glee’s terms, this episode was a strong (gym strong, not life strong) success. I’M SAAAAAAAVED.
The episode starts off with Finn making himself a grilled cheese sandwich on a George Forman grill. Burnt into the bread of his sandwich is a likeness of Jesus Christ, and Finn decides to pray to that likeness to let him win the football game that night. He also calls the likeness Cheesus, and promises to honor “the cheesy Lord” through Glee Club if his holiness comes through. Wish granted.
Kurt stops by Kurt’s Dad Burt from Guts’s auto repair shop to drop off a healthy breakfast; then Kurt’s Dad Burt from Guts reminds Kurt that on Friday night they’re having their weekly dinner with Finn and his mom Carol. But Kurt’s not interested—it’s the annual Sound of Music sing-along, and his spank bank is all out of memories of the town fire department dressed up as Liesel from last year. Kurt’s Dad Burt from Guts is very disappointed: Friday night dinners are SACRED to him.
At Gleehearsal, Finn shares with all the other Gleetards his newfound faith in Cheesus Christ, which Quinn and Mercedes are super down-with. Not-so-down-with-it are Rachel the Jew, Kurt the Gay, and Puck the Pec’d (Jew). Finn may want to scream songs about Cheesus and religion all week to pay back his God’s football favor, but Puck’s only interested in God songs written by Jews. Then he sings “Only the Good Die Young” by Billy Joel.
Change Jewish to gay, God to earnest sex-roleplay partners, Puck to Kurt, and “Only the Good Die Young” to “Father Figure” and we’re in bizniss.
Meanwhile, across town, Kurt’s Dad Burt from Guts is at work when suddenly he collapses from a heart attack so bad he goes into a coma. Yiiiiikes. Emma and Schue have to break the news to Kurt, so they interrupt his French class where he is bragging about going to the annual Sound of Music sing-along in French.
This is when I STARTED weeping, and I still haven’t stopped. I’m operating on my sense of hearing right now to know that my laptop is even on.
Finn, high on faith, turns to his grilled Cheesus to grant him another wish—he wants to finally touch Rachel on her boobiez. REALLY?! Just tell her you’re a famous Broadway producer and want her to replace Patti LaBelle in Fela! and she’ll probs just stuff her whole butt in your mouth.
Meanwhile, word of Kurt’s Dad Burt from Guts’s <3 ‘tack has spread through the McKinley halls, and everyone’s super sad for him. Brittany the Perfect gives Kurt a gift: “I wrote a book report about <3 attacks, if you wanna give it to the doctor. It got knocked down a whole letter grade because I did it in Crayon.” Finn’s super hurt that Kurt didn’t tell him right away about Kurt’s Dad Burt from Guts’s <3 ‘tack—they’re supposed to be almost-sorta-brothers-remember-last-season? Mercedes doesn’t know what to say to Kurt to make him feel better, so she decides to scream “I Look to You” by Whitney Houston at him. Ffffffffffffffffinally.
Kurt appreciates everyone’s warm wishes from The Lord, but he’s super sad and doesn’t believe in God. He thinks that God is like Santa Claus for adults, and also, is kind of a dick for making him gay then telling his followers that being gay is a gross and evil choice. Y’uh-oh. Sue gets wind of all this God talk coming from the Gleehearsal cave, and doesn’t like its Constitutional implications.
Rachel’s also a little worried about all this Jesus shit. In case anyone forgot, she’s a Jewess, raised by a lovely homosexual couple, who sadly do not show up on video and therefore shan’t be shown. She goes to Finn to express her Jewish thoughtworries—she wants to have kids one day, and those kids are not going to be raised Christian. Finn accepts this (monkeys only usually live about 20 years anyjizz), so as a gift to him for being so understanding, Rachel allows Finn to curiously paw the side of one of her boobiez. Wish granted.
Sue apparently still has spies in Glee Club, and those spies are apparently still Santana (whom she despises) and Brittany the Perfect, who is perfect. Santana and Brittany the Perfect tell Sue that all this Jesus screaming in Gleehearsal is about Kurt’s Dad Burt from Guts’s <3 ‘tack. Everyone’s just so Gleepressed about that shit that they’re exploring their faithmotions out loud. Brittany the Perfect even made Kurt another present—a card that says “<3 attacks are just from loving too much.” Loving fries too much, maybe. Sue takes this all in for a sec, then pounces on Kurt to make a formal complaint to the school board about all the Gleesus interfering with his gay suffering.
Emma, still on leave from the Sanitorium (good for her! (yiiiiiiiiiiikes, I hope she didn’t pull some Shutter Island shit to get out early)), confronts Sue about her Christ-bashing. Sue explains that when she was young, she used to pray to God to make her older sister Jean non-mentally-disabled, and when the big Shape-Up in the sky didn’t pull through, she realized that God was fake. She thinks that telling kids to believe in something that’s fake is cruel, and clearly isn’t a comfort to Kurt. BURN.
Finn prays another wish to Cheesus—that he’ll become quarterback again. Puck walks in on him doing it, and shares that he too is all shaken up by Kurt’s Dad Burt from Guts’s <3 ‘tack, and went to Synagogue last night to
do push-ups pray for him. Then Finn thinks “maybe ape pray for wrong things this whole time?” and meets up with Rachel for a midnight, candlelit, no-food picnic (Jews, lol). Rachel starts screaming “Papa, Can You Hear Me?” from Yentl out in the woods (JUST LIKE IN THE MOVIE), then suddenly she’s in Kurt’s Dad Burt from Guts’s hospital room with Mercedes, Quinn, Finn, and Finn’s mom Carol. Much love to Rachel’s coat in the beginning of this number.
I’ll give it to you, Glee writers and music supervisors, it must be tempting to have Rachel scream Barbra every week, and by my count, you’ve only done it twice so far. Just a suggestion: next time you need a Barbra song for her to scream that’s very Jewish-girl-doing-(Christian)-religious-girl-drag, please use “Stoney End”—she basically pretends that she was born on the exact Latitude and Longitude where the Bible Belt and Rust Belt meet, and worked double-shifts in a crucifix mine her whole life:
Kurt walks in on the multi-denominational prayer vigil for his father and is pissed as fuck—he doesn’t like religion, and he’s brought his own form of voodoo to help his father: a female Sikh acupuncturist. He overreacts and kicks everyone out of the hospital room in true Kurt style. Then, at the football game later that night, Finn’s last wish comes true—naked Sam from two weeks ago gets hurt and Finn steps in as quarterback. SPOOOOKY.
Kurt wants to express his feelings to his fellow Gleetards at Gleehearsal, as if he hasn’t been spraying a cloud of raw emotion musk into their mouths all fuckin’ week. In order to do so, he screams a slowed-down and stirring rendition of “I Want to Hold Your Hand” by The Beatles at them, interspliced with charming flashbacks of his father raising him (him teaching Kurt how to ride a bike, Kurt teaching him how to hold his pinky in the air while he sips tea at a fancy tea party, etc.).
Mercedes asks Kurt to please come to church with her on Sunday, she wants to dedicate the whole ceremony to him and his dad from Guts’s <3 ‘tack. She sweetens the deals by reminding him people wear fancy hats to services. He’s in. Meanwhile Finn is racked with guilt about his abuse of prayer, so he confesses his sins to Emma. Emma gives him a logical explanation for all three wishes coming true (“IT WAS PROBABLY THE GERMBUGS, YES, THE GERMBUGS, THAT’S IT”—Emma), and Finn is disappointed. If Cheesus isn’t real, then, what does monkey believe? So overcum with emotion, Finn imagination-screams “Losing My Religion” by REM while he focuses his apemind on his sad boyfriendbrother Kurt.
It pains me a tiiiiiny bit to admit how fucking good I thought this number was. 10 Hail Mary’s for me, right? Mercedes and the other religious Gleetards disagreed with me, though—they’re all “why can’t we scream about having religion when he can scream about losing it?” Maybe he shoulda just sang “Night Swimming” by REM, naked, in a perflectly-clear, warm, lake. It’s time to imagination, people, imagination it right now.
Kurt does to go to church with Mercedes, where is somewhat respectful and tonswhat snarky: “I’m very impressed with everyone’s Sunday Best, it’s so Christ chic. I hope our genuflection to the great spaghetti monster in the sky doesn’t take too long, my Sikh is coming at two to do more acupuncture on my dad.” Spaghetti monster. Mercedes is charmed, and shit doesn’t take long at all to get right to the motherfucking point. Mercedes marches up to the pulpit, and with a lot of help from the church choir, screams Aretha Franklin’s version of “Bridge Over Troubled Water” from the Felicity soundtrack. KABLOOEY.
The episode’s ending was sponsored by Splenda, which I love. Sue plays checkers with her mentally disabled sister, Jean. Jean tells her she should believe in God, and that Jean will pray for her in the meantime. Across town, Kurt apologizes to his dad from Guts’s comatose face for stopping other from praying for him. His dad from Guts wakes up just enough to hold his hand. Then all the Gleetards put on white shirts and scream “One of Us” by Joan Osborne L.I.T.E.R.A.L.L.Y., and Finn eats Cheesus.
That song’s just so fucking annoying, let’s all pretend they sang this monstrously-underrated religious pop song instead, k?