Makeover week is my favorite part of America’s Next Top Model, so I was a little upset when Tyra Banks was nowhere in sight on this week’s Glee episode, “Makeover,” but we still get some transformations. Kurt becomes a Vogue intern! Blaine becomes a superhero? Brittany and Sam (almost) become respectable political candidates! Rachel becomes Lea Michele! Will is still insufferable, but not everyone can change.
We open with a Blaine voiceover – the first in almost two full seasons – where he tells himself, “This is your year.” He’s realizing how much free time he has with Kurt gone, and though they still have pajama-clad movie nights via Skype, he needs to do something else to fill the void. So he starts joining school clubs.
All of them.
We see him in action in the Superheroes/Sidekicks club as what looks like a combination of a bowtie-sporting Robin and Catwoman (and who Darren named “Kittenboy” in an interview) and dressed as a wizard in some sort of D&D/LARPing club, but he also signs up for things like the Sewing Club and Zombie Survival Club because those skills go hand in hand. All of this is shown in a montage as he sings “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” alone in the auditorium, ending with him signing up to run against Brittany for class president.
It’s a pretty true remake of the original song, and he sounds great, but on every auditorium shot, all I could think was that Kurt used to be there to watch him sing out his feelings, and now he’s alone. This feeling would come back many, many times as the episode progressed.
Speaking of Kurt, he has an interview for an internship at Vogue.com, which he applied to by submitting a portfolio of his own clothes. As he should. His writing experience consists of his personal journals, which unsurprisingly include a weekly recap of every season of Project Runway, but this doesn’t seem to matter to Isabelle (guest star Sarah Jessica Parker), a woman who has a frightening reputation but almost immediately tells him she once got food poisoning at Breadstix.
Maybe it’s because she’s from Columbus to his Lima, or maybe it’s, as she claims, because he can pull off the hippo brooch. Whatever it is, she has a feeling about him. When she asks him where he pictures himself in four years (working part-time at Vogue, graduating from NYADA, starting his first Broadway show) she tells him how important it is to dream big. He’s hired immediately.
Back at McKinley, Brittany asks Artie to be her Vice President, and he’s forced to remind her that he is still not part robot and that they once dated. He also points out that he doesn’t really need it the way she claims because he isn’t worried about getting into college. So that’s…one kid that has actually thought further ahead than what song he’s singing for Glee this week. Good work, Artie.
Meanwhile, Mr. Schuester reveals that they’re hosting the show choir committee meeting this year, and everyone goes meta suggesting questions for him to ask (What does ⅓ vintage mean? Why do some groups sing more songs than others?) until Jake picks up Puck’s occasional post as Voice of Reason and suggests they focus on actually preparing for Sectionals. And Schuester admits to himself that he has absolutely no ideas.
After telling Sam she didn’t choose him as her VP because she didn’t want to ruin their friendship (like Palin and McCain) Brittany tells Blaine to run with him. Blaine is hesitant, but Sam points out that his family is on food stamps (poor vote), he’s not gay (not gay vote) and (in a George W. Bush voice) his “impressions are hilarious 100% of the time.” Blaine finally agrees, and I’m not sure who else he thought he was going to pick because he doesn’t know anyone else at the school who talks more than once a month. Brittany challenges them to a debate and Sam immediately asks what a debate is, so maybe Brittany wasn’t too far off with the Palin comparison.
Kurt side-eyes his way through a “Leather in unexpected ways” pitch meeting and later admits to Isabelle that the whole concept sounds more like something from the back of the Village Voice. She agrees but cites her own rut, stuck running pieces like “Spanx for Cankles (Spankles)” and says that she feels like she has no idea what she’s doing. Kurt does his best to calm her down and probably internally wonders if there will ever be a point in his life where he is not constantly flanked by tiny neurotic women crippled by self-doubt.
BACK AT MCKINLEY (we’re really accumulating frequent flyer miles, here) 90% of the people Artie polled said they’re going to the debate, but only to hear Brittany say something stupid. At the same time, Blaine tells Sam he needs to be a serious candidate and Sam immediately responds with a John Wayne “Whaddaya mean, pilgrim?” and confirms Blaine’s doubts.
In our first real makeover moment (because I don’t care what anyone says, I’m pretty sure Blaine would’ve joined any of those clubs on a normal day, regardless of his intent to reinvent himself this time) we get another montage, this time of Sam and Brittany as Blaine and Artie try to get them ready for the debate. They sing “Celebrity Skin” as they get quizzed and gussied up and it might have been good if they had just sung instead of doing their rock singer impressions. Brittany sings like a 9 year old mocking her older sister singing a song, and Sam sounds like he’s doing his best Batman impression. Which, maybe. Yeah, we’ll go with that, it makes it easier.
Meanwhile, Will is zoning out in the show choir committee meeting. It eventually turns into the directors talking about arts funding and Will sees an opportunity for himself to take center stage by joining something called the “Blue Ribbon Committee.” He tells Emma later that it would involve leaving the kids for a few months, but of course he’s going to do it. If there is one thing Glee has been consistent with over the years it’s that when he sees an opportunity for himself, Will takes it. Even if it’s with the intention of bettering things or he eventually decides against it, Will’s first instinct has nothing to do with the kids he claims to care so much about and everything to do with how he can get more people to pay attention to how much he claims to care. Everything seems to be pointing toward Will leaving for a while and Finn coming in as the substitute ND director, and nothing would make me happier at this point.
Everyone in Rachel’s dance class (apparently her only class at NYADA – wow, freshman requirements are pretty lax) makes fun of her clothes. Luckily, her bestie works for Vogue now! Kurt drags her off of the floor (seriously, are they going to buy furniture?) and away from dinner at midnight to go to the famed Vogue vault. They somehow escape death wandering around Bushwick in the middle of the night and getting arrested when they’re discovered by Isabelle. Kurt covers by saying it all ties in with the video idea he pitched to her earlier, and instead of having them escorted out and firing Kurt, she decides to help with the makeover. And a song!
Wow, you can tell it’s been a long time since SJP was in Annie.
In our second makeover (and third montage) of the evening, we get to see Rachel complete her transformation into Lea Michele.
Kurt and Blaine skype again as Kurt walks around the still very empty apartment – oh hey, he has a bed, that makes me feel better – as Kurt tells him about shooting Rachel’s makeover video and their New York adventures with Isabelle and Blaine mutters that all he’s doing is running for school president. He asks for Kurt’s help picking out a bowtie (he has it narrowed down to five!) but Kurt brushes him off – says he’ll look great no matter what he picks, but brushes him off all the same – and as he launches back into his thoughts on the video, Blaine’s face falls and my heart starts to break.
It’s time for the McKinley High debate. Oh boy.
Artie is overzealous, and we get shots of time passing on a clock as he outlines his 96 point plan. Sam responds by saying he wasn’t listening and he agrees with Artie. Then a question from Twitter asks if he’s ashamed of being a stripper. Now, they could’ve turned this into a really sweet moment and had him say no, he’s not ashamed; he did what he had to do in order to help his family.
Instead, he says no, he’s not ashamed, and rips off his shirt. Because abs. It’s a pretty solid campaign strategy.
Blaine is jittery and points out that the only thing Brittany accomplished as president was the dinosaur-themed prom, but then goes off on a tangent about her hair gel ban, and says that telling people what they can and cannot put in their hair leads to burning books, and then probably burning people.
Brittany, meanwhile, says that she loves everyone, and that everyone should love McKinley, so if she’s elected she’ll ban summer vacation and weekends so everyone can always be at school.
I would be proud to go to a school any of these people were in charge of.
Kurt’s video was a big hit with Anna Wintour herself, and Rachel threw away her reindeer sweater, so it’s a good day to be Kurt. Isabelle encourages him to let go of NYADA and really give the fashion world a try and thousands of fans who have been waiting for this for years yell “FINALLY!”
Rachel/Lea is in dance class again and Brody drops by to see her new Cassandra July-esque wardrobe. She says that once you change on the outside, the inside follows. He counters that you change inside and your appearance reflects that. I go and get a glass of wine. She asks him to sing with her (show choir infidelity) and they grope each other for a while and then run around the city in YET ANOTHER MONTAGE to a too-fast version of “A Change Would Do You Good.” Then she asks him over for dinner. Because they’re just friends.
Blaine and Sam win the election! I’m pretty sure this year’s prom theme will be Bowties and Hair Dye. Artie’s not concerned, because he got a date with Sugar out of the whole deal, and when he asks about Kurt, Blaine assures him that Kurt is excited and already planning an inauguration party.
In reality, Kurt is schmoozing with his Vogue coworkers and ignoring Blaine’s calls. Also, the picture on Kurt’s phone appears to be from the filming of next week’s episode so I think they may have bigger problems than the distance. Or maybe bigger distance problems. Basically I’m pretty sure Kurt is a time traveler.
Blaine breaks down, telling Sam, “I came to McKinley for Kurt. That’s it. I feel really, really alone.” Sam tries to give him a pep talk and says they’re bros. They’re like Wolverine and Cyclops. They fight over who gets to be Wolverine. They both lose their nerd street cred because neither of them acknowledge the basic fact that WOLVERINE AND CYCLOPS ARE NOT BROS.
Sam tells Brittany he voted for her, then they cuddle for a minute and please dear God do not hook up, please let this show have one platonic friendship and do not revert Sam into season 2 Sam who you didn’t know what to do with and so just threw at the nearest female.
Rachel lights the stove on fire trying to cook dinner. When she answers the door, Brody says, “You’re smokin.” They order pizza and tell each other uncool secrets about their pasts. I get another glass of wine. Rachel mentions Finn and Brody reminds her that he’s hands-off and just a friend. Then they make out. Suddenly, a knock at the door! Who could it be? It must be Kurt!
Rachel is the only one who is surprised.
I don’t know how, but this episode managed to make it feel like so much but so little happened. I can only be grateful that Will and Sue’s performance of “Mister Monotony” was cut because outside of Darren on Tears for Fears, all of the songs this week were incredibly lackluster and I couldn’t have handled that too.
As I’d hoped, the addition of Kurt’s storyline makes the New York side feel more balance, but I’m getting whiplash moving back and forth so often. Kurt and Blaine skyping as the episode progressed was the only thing tying the two worlds together and it makes me hopeful for that device being utilized in the future to keep the disconnect from getting too wide. Maybe falsely hopeful, given what’s coming for them.
This is one of those episodes that you can tell mostly functions to set up bigger story arcs, and that was confirmed by the promo for next week’s episode. It’s called The Break-Up and we see glimpses of the struggles between Will and Emma, Kurt and Blaine, and Finn and Rachel, with shooting spoilers hinting toward others, as well.
Three couples stand before me, but unlike Tyra, I have no photos in my hands. Guess we’ll have to tune in next week to see who makes it.