After Sunday's Super Bowl spectacle, Glee simplified things in its Valentine's Day episode. In "Silly Love Songs" Mr. Schuester gets straight to the point, asking the New Directions to sing love songs to one another — and a whole host of romantic issues come to the forefront in the process. Here's how it broke down.
"Fat Bottomed Girls"
We were a bit skeptical after seeing this song on this week's Glee track list. But we were thoroughly entertained by Puck's attempt to win newbie Lauren Zizes over with his tribute to her larger figure. Only in Puck's world would Queen's raucous song qualify as a serenade — and our horror-turned-amusement was mirrored on his fellow New Directions' faces. Puck is no Freddie Mercury, but he handles the melody well and makes up for lack of range with swagger. Though the song didn't get him the girl ("I spell woman Zizes and I need to be wooed," Lauren tells him), one stood-up date and several pleas later, the two go to dinner as friends.
"P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)"
We appear to be on a Michael Jackson streak on Glee, with Artie again taking lead on a Thriller cut. This time, he's off the football field and into the hallways of McKinley High as he and Mike celebrate their girlfriends, Tina and Brittany, in an infectious performance. Mike channels the King of Pop's moves and Artie rocks his pop star vocals. It's a win-win for everyone.
"When I Get You Alone"
Blaine convinces the buttoned-up Warblers to let loose and flash mob their local Gap to help him win over his crush (which Kurt is saddened to find out is not him). Cue the 2002 R&B pop tune by Thicke (Alan Thicke's son before he slow-jammed his way into a career as Robin Thicke) and a bunch of prep school boys popping up behind the sweater table. This was our jam when it came out, and the Warblers nail it once again largely due to Blaine's stage presence and real-life vocals from the Tufts Beelzebubs — but now the Warblers are doing the Rachel Berry and sticking to the same if-it-ain't-broke-don't-fix-it formula. Give us Kurt on lead, or — dare we say it — something outside the realm of Top 40 pop, won't you?
Finn and Quinn revisit last episode's kiss with a fireworks-inducing smooch. Santana catches on and seeks revenge. So she contracts mono from a sick kid and kisses Finn, who kisses Quinn. Finally, everyone but Santana gets sick (this seems mildly more plausible on TV). "I've had mono so many times it turned into stereo!" she explains. Though our ill lovers decide to cool things off — for now — it still gives Rachel what she needs to finally move on from Finn. "Now I'm free to pursue my dreams without anything holding me back. You actually inspired my song selection for this week," she tells him, launching into Katy Perry's empowerment anthem. And like they did with "Teenage Dream," Glee out Katy Perrys Katy Perry, with Lea Michele offering a powerful pop vocal to rival the smell-o-vision-equipped chart-topper.
"Silly Love Songs"
After Kurt confronts Blaine, surprising him with romantic hopes, the duo decide they're better off living like When Harry Met Sally (Kurt calls dibbs on Sally, natch) and come up with alternate Valentine's day plans: another ad-hoc Warblers performance, this time at local hot spot Breadsticks, where the audience is populated by familiar faces. The sounds of Paul McCartney and Wings via the Warblers make exactly the right amount of sweet to cap off the episode.
Bottom Line: This was our favorite type of Glee episode. Though we enjoy over-the-top spectacles (see: "The Sue Sylvester Shuffle"), the show's real cleverness shines when they take songs from across the board and fit them into a cohesive storyline. Sue Sylvester didn't make an appearance and — dare we say it — we didn't even miss her. Next week: The glee club takes on Justin Bieber. Can't wait till then? Check rollingstone.com on Friday for your first listen to "Somebody to Love."
Last Episode: Super Bowl Special Aims for 'Zombie Double Rainbow'