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Glee: 4.03 – “Makeover”

Glee‘s third episode of the season is much better than last week’s Brittany/Britney fiasco, but how much better? Here is this week’s recap and review.

Usually with shows it’s easy to see what the A storyline, B storyline and C storyline is going to be after the first couple of scenes. Sometimes with Glee we get more than just a few standard storylines. While this one was relatively low on the number of arcs in the episode, the importance of each storyline kept changing and the episode was weaker because of it.

Let’s start with the New York City storylines first. It’s very Kurt heavy in the first half of the episode. Kurt is interviewing for an internship at Vogue.com. He meets with Isabelle Wright, played by special guest star Sarah Jessica Parker. Isabelle is from Columbus and Kurt is from Lima and they share their Ohio experiences. It’s a pretty good scene that introduces SJP’s character flawlessly and creates a good chemistry between her and Colfer.

Kurt gets the internship and he’s next shown handing out coffee in a conference room during a very important meeting between Isabelle and her employees. Isabelle thinks leather is going to be the next big fashion trend and wants ideas on what they can do with that. Her employees are complete losers and don’t have anything. Isabelle returns to her office and confides in Kurt that she feels lost at her job. It’s not what she thought it was going to be and the personal connections she’s made with the employees has made it impossible for her to say ‘no’ to their bad ideas. She’s says, “I lucked into a job that I don’t deserve.” Even though it seems implausible that this powerful woman who reveal so much to her new intern, it’s a very human moment and gives her some depth.

Kurt is back at the apartment with Rachel, who is telling him that her classmates are making fun of her fashion choices. Kurt has an idea to give Rachel a wardrobe makeover. He sneaks into the Vogue.com offices and they go into the couture vault. (Why would an intern have all of these important keys? Why would he think this was a good idea?) They are in there for 30 seconds before Isabelle comes in and interrupts. Kurt tells them he’s going to give Rachel a makeover and film a music video in the process (What?). Isabelle loves it and a musical moment begins. First of all, Isabelle’s immediate change from concerned to happy is bizarre as hell and really took away from the number, which was actually pretty cute. All three of them do a mash-up of “The Way You Look Tonight” & “You’re Never Fully Dresses Without a Smile”. It’s a fun number that’s well staged and choreographed.

A few days later, Kurt is called into the conference room with Isabelle. She says that she showed the video to Anna Wintour and she responded with an email that simply said, “Great”. They are taking the idea and reshooting it with Karolina Kurkova. (Another WTF? What was the big idea there? A music video where she tries on a bunch of fancy clothes?) Isabelle shares more of a connection with Kurt, saying that they’re kindred spirits and she’s glad she picked him as the intern. She also tells him that even though his dream is to go to NYADA and became an actor and singer, she thinks his fashion sensibility is too good to ignore. He should follow that instead. Pretty sound advice, I think.

Halfway through the episode, a storyline with Rachel is introduced. I really thought the makeover thing was only going to be a one-act thing to serve as a catalyst for Kurt’s storyline. Unfortunately it wasn’t. About two-thirds of the way through the episode, Rachel is stretching in the dance studio when Dean comes in. He complements her new makeover (What the hell? She doesn’t look any different.) There’s some serious flirting going on before they break into song with “A Change Would Do You Good”. It’s a fun number that features Lea Michele & Dean Geyer being romantic all around New York City. They finish their song and Rachel invites him over to her apartment tonight to cook dinner for him.

Rachel burns the dinner when Dean comes over, so they end up eating pizza on the floor instead. They do some more flirting and secret telling before they finally kiss. And guess what happens after they finally kiss? There’s a knock at the door. Rachel assumes its Kurt because he’s been forgetting his keys lately. But she slides open the door and it’s a surprise visit from Finn. (Who didn’t see that coming from a mile away?) Finn notices Dean and doesn’t look happy. Cliffhanger to be resolved next week.

The main storyline at McKinley this week involves the student council presidential election. It’s really a tedious storyline and felt like something that’s been done on every high school show numerous times. One of the drawbacks to the show being constantly focused on high school is that these yearly high school events aren’t interesting to watch more than once. This was one of them. Brittany is running again with Artie as her Vice Presidential candidate. Blaine is running against her with Sam as the Vice President. Blaine and Artie are the smart ones and have to prepare Sam & Brittany. Sam & Brittany feel overwhelmed and that leads them into a musical number, “Celebrity Skin”, that’s an overproduced mess and didn’t make any sense even in the context of this show. There was an odd moment where they were directly singing to the camera. Fast forward to the end, Blaine & Sam (Blam!) end up beating Brittany & Artie.

The show focuses a little bit more on Blaine. He has the opening scene of the show where he signs up for every club in the school. He misses Kurt and needs things to do to fill the void. A montage ensues surrounded by his performance of “Everybody Wants to Rule the World”. Darren Criss is one of the best singers on the show and this was another great song, but the number itself was a bit of a mess. There’s a lot of awkward moments that don’t make sense even in the fantasy context of most musical numbers.

Blaine has been keeping in contact with Kurt through Skype. They hate-watch Treme together. It was a random reference and there was a line that Kurt had in that moment that I couldn’t figure out for the life of me. I rewound the DVR three times to catch it and it was indecipherable. The night before the debate Blaine asks Kurt for comfort and for advice on what to wear, but the conversation keeps going back to Kurt. After winning the election at the end of the episode, Blaine keeps trying to call Kurt with the news but Kurt is busy with his Vogue.com colleagues and doesn’t answer. It’s actually a pretty sad turn of events for the couple that has some dramatic impact. But there’s a scene at the end that almost undoes it. Blaine confesses all of his feelings to Sam, especially one that Blaine doesn’t feel like he belongs at McKinley without Kurt. But Sam assures him that being himself and changing everyone’s opinions on gay people has been worth his school transfer. Doesn’t make much sense at all, but it’s some kind of resolution to that arc.

There’s also a small storyline with Will. One of the best storylines that Will has ever had on the show, which is saying a lot because I usually can’t stand that character. Will is feeling lost at his job and can’t come up with any more good ideas for New Directions to do. He leads the Show Choir Committee and learns about other school’s arts program’s budgets being slashed. He talks with Emma and decides to apply for a Blue Ribbon Panel that goes across the country trying to save arts programs in schools. He’ll need to leave the school and New Directions for an extended period of time. Emma approves and he sends in the application. He needs a letter of recommendation and goes to Sue (Why?). Sue tells him that she already sent it in and it’s a positive one. She wants to see him leave. It’s actually a good development for his character. Will has never been a good teacher and has only been a mediocre Glee Club leader. I’d like to see him leave the school setting and do something better. This is it. I’m actually excited about this storyline.

Overall, this episode was a step-up from last week but it still had quite a few issues. Sarah Jessica Parker & Chris Colfer were great together. I just hope they can keep SJP’s character more consistent and not change her character’s demeanor to suit the purpose of the scene. I really hope they end Rachel & Finn’s relationship next week. I like Rachel & Brody together and I would feel cheated if the show didn’t follow-up on their chemistry. Next week’s episode is titled “The Break-Up” and puts all of the couples on the show on the front burner. Should be interesting.