Fresh off a win at American Music Awards, Glee gave us “Furt,” one of those episodes where almost nothing should have made sense — yet everything came together. And, thanks to the chart-topping Bruno Mars seemingly striking a deal with Fox (in addition to two tunes in last night’s Glee, he also soundtracks the new American Idol commercials), the show also continued its trend of filling the void left by MTV.
Last night revolved around unions: Kurt’s mom and Finn’s dad got engaged, and Kurt planned their wedding in a snap (because when it’s Glee-related, time doesn’t matter); Sue decided to marry … herself and was reunited with her Nazi-hunting mother, Doris (played by the always-fabulous Carol Burnett); Finn declared his love for Rachel; Sam offered a promise ring to Quinn and everyone — Sue included — teamed up to defend Kurt against Karofsky, who continued to bully him. Despite a plot-heavy first half, Glee remained on top of its musical game:
“Ohio”: Glee fulfilled its Broadway quota with this number from the 1950s musical Wonderful Town, which put Sue and her mom in the place of the show’s sister duo who sung about leaving their home state to move to New York. In this case, Doris rents the auditorium to rehearse her number for Sue’s wedding and offers the song as an apology for leaving Sue and her sister stranded in Ohio while Doris and their father hunted down Nazis. The simple melody and off-kilter humor led to a a charming duet with two star comediennes.
“Marry You”: In what we hope is the next great viral wedding moment, the New Directions — the wedding’s bridesmaids and groomsmen, also hired by Kurt to sing at the wedding — do everything from the tango to ribbon-dancing as they parade down the aisle singing Bruno Mars’ song in a truly gleeful spectacle. The glee clubbers each take a line in an arrangement that uses cappella components (we approve of turning the wedding bell chime into a backing vocal) to enhance the straight-up pop hook. And who doesn’t love a dancing Mike O’Malley?
“Sway”: Mr. Schuester takes the lead for the newlyweds’ first dance. As charismatic as he is, he can’t beat MIchael Buble’s take — but the lounge singer vibe is muted by the utter bliss on the dance floor.
“You’re Amazing”: Finn, feeling guilty about not banding together with the other New Directions football players to stand up to Karofsky for Kurt, uses his best man toast to honor the new coupling: Furt, “brothers from another mother.” The glee clubbers take the floor, performing the second Bruno Mars tune of the night — this one dedicated to Kurt. Two weeks ago, creator Ryan Murphy pointed out the best part about the success of “Teenage Dream” is that it’s a message from boy to boy on network TV. Yet again, Glee found a tune to drive home Glee‘s acceptance of everyone “just the way you are” in an organic, seamless manner.
Sue’s wedding didn’t go off as well, despite her outstanding track suit formal wear, but we saw her softer side when she stood up to her mother and kicked Doris out of the rehearsal (“And to think I was going to send you to Israel for your honeymoon,” Doris scoffed on her way out. “They love me there!”). When word came that the school board overturned her expulsion of Karofsky, Sue offered these words of wisdom to Kurt: “Kids who are bullied, for the most part, have been bullied themselves. And I, for one, don’t flatter myself that that behavior can change.” The result? Kurt is taking a New Direction of his own — all the way to Dalton Academy, where he’ll be protected by their zero-tolerance policy and be reuinted with his new mentor, Blaine. Oh, and he’ll also be McKinley High’s enemy at next week’s sectionals.
Bottom Line: The focus on the show’s best characters, Kurt and Sue, kept the show balanced between heart and bite — just the way we like our Glee — and the Bruno Mars songs gave the show two of its best performances this season. Next up: Kurt transfers schools, Glee takes on Florence and the Machine and the sectionals stop being a mythical event the New Directions have to prepare for and actually happen.