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Glee Review: The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

by at . Comments

I'm going to go ahead and say this, even though I know half of the TV Fanatics who read it will probably disagree with me:

I haven't enjoyed an episode of Glee like I enjoyed tonight's episode in a long, long time.

Maybe my elation is turkey and stuffing induced. Maybe my happiness is from the sweet potatoes. Somehow, however, I doubt it. "Dynamic Duets" solidifies, for me at least, what I saw two weeks ago, and that is that the focus of this show needs to be on McKinley.

Blake vs. Jake

I won't lie. I spent the first three minutes tonight wearing my "WTF" face. The real-life Superhero Squad, complete with Coach Beiste as faculty adviser, was more than a little bizarre. It was downright delusional and unnecessary. And yet... as the episode progressed, I found myself overlooking the fact that the characters were actually, really wearing capes and tights and focusing on the boatloads of information in an episode that was essentially buried under a mound of tryptophan.

Information such as:

  • Jake and Puck have developed a friendship where Baby Puckerman calls OG Puckerman for advice about girls.
  • Marley is developing bulimia after taking Kitty's "advice."
  • Will Schue left Finn a nice collection of sweater vests when he went to Washington.
  • Ryder is dyslexic.
  • Blaine's side of the break-up.

Finn is having some issues as the leader of the New Directions. They don't see him as an adult, but really, he's a baby adult, so I understand their confusion. His "Foreigner" plan was bad. So bad High School Finn from seven months ago would've called it bad. But as a mentor, he maybe doesn't suck.

He was really great with Ryder and Jake tonight. His plan to make them sing together was straight out of Schuester's Handbook, and when it backfired, he dropped back and punted just like Will would have. He forced them to be vulnerable so they could work together. I was kind of proud of him in that moment. Our little Finn's all grown up, guys.

Blake Jenner as Ryder is blowing the winners of The Glee Project Season 1 out of the water three episodes into his seven-episode arc. Neither Sam Larsen as Joe nor Damian McGinty as Rory are half as good as he is at being a believable character. Maybe it's that Ryan Murphy and Co. sought out a "leading man" in season 2 of The Glee Project, but really, they couldn't have chosen a better winner.

And Jake? I kind of love him.

While he may have betrayed Ryder's confidence in going to Finn, he did it with good intentions. Great intentions, even. He didn't like Ryder and really had no reason to even after hearing his secret, but he helped anyway. It's reminiscent of the time Puck made Becky Jackson a crown for prom. Both of them have these hard exteriors, but on the inside, they're good guys.

Speaking of Puck, it was great to catch a glimpse of him and find that he's just as industrious as always, hustling people on Hollywood Boulevard for money.

I couldn't be sure of Kitty's motivation for being nice to Marley until the point of the episode when Marley asked Jake out on a date. And to be honest, I'm still not entirely sure why Kitty is hellbent on having Marley become bulimic aside from just being an evil person intent on destroying Marley's life. But I suppose that's reason enough. I hope Glee treats this storyline with delicate attention because the relevance of eating disorders among teens shouldn't be treated as a lesson-of-the-week and then forgotten.

Finally, we got an explanation about Blaine's cheating. Yes, it happened. Yes, he's sorry for it. So sorry he seriously contemplated a move back to Dalton Academy to get away from Kurt's memory. Sam, however, convinced him to stay at McKinley. I believe there will be a conversation between Blaine and Kurt at some point and right now, after hearing Blaine's explanation, I can't decide how I want things to end up. (You can read Blaine's explanation on the Glee quotes page!)

Sure, I love Blaine and Kurt together. But Blaine's cheating, and with a stranger no less, was reckless and lame. If Kurt never listened to him, he'd be justified in that decision. The part of me who wants to see these two work it out, who believes in forgiveness and second chances, is hopeful they'll reconcile at least to the point of being friends again, however tenuous.

And that, my friends, is what you missed on Glee. Plus other things that I didn't include here lest this become a rehashing of ever minute of tonight's episode.

Seriously. There was so much to learn tonight! And all of it was done without the intrusion of New York. And yes, New York feels like an intrusion after tonight.

This? The high school? This is Glee now. And this Glee? It's good.

What did you think of "Dynamic Duets?" Have you visited our updated Glee music section yet? Are you starting to like Ryder and Jake as much as I am?

Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.0 / 5.0 (158 Votes)

Miranda Wicker is a Staff Writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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Fox started this episode almost 15 minutes late, so consequently
my DVR missed the last 15 minutes! I'm surprised nobody else
mentioned this! At least Fox should advise Dish Network of
delayed starts so they could adjust their program guide accordingly!
Will have to either watch online or wait for a network re-run...

Miranda wicker

Before we rage against Marley for going straight to Jake after Ryder asked to reschedule their date, let's remember that this is largely Kitty's doing. I don't think Wallflower Marley (the alter-ego she chose for herself for their duet) would have done something like that, and Kitty looked shocked when Marley marched up to Jake and asked him out. Should she have asked him out? No, probably not. But I think saying that she's stringing them both along is somewhat premature. Right now, she's just not being exclusive, you know?

Fatin

@Amie, I totally agree! Ryder had a legit reason for breaking the date off. Marley just came across as a total bitch for not understanding. The guy just found out he has dyslexia, he needs somebody supportive. Not somebody who's just going to go around and pick another boy the second one of them has something important come up and they can't place her first.
She's going to be awful girlfriend and I think she deserves neither Ryder nor Jake. I like them both too much, and I don't like Marley at all.

Fatin

I think I agree with the part about enjoying a Glee episode after so long. I mean, they destroyed holding out for a hero and that's one of my favourite songs, but a few minutes later, I had forgotten how upset I was and I'd just moved on to enjoying the show.
I still don't think they handled the weight issue well. Jesus, woman, buy a damn scale.
I also don't appreciate how Marley's just stringing both of them along, especially now that they're (Jake and Ryder) friends.
Jake was very cute with Marley's mom, and I love how he could piece together the actual advice Puck gave, even when Puck said it in such a screwed up way. (I love Puck. It was so good to see him again!)
I'm so glad we have a new bromance!
I'm also very glad that there was no New York. It would have felt wrong.
But the one thing I hate more than anything is how they've completely sidelined the original glee members: Brittany, Tina, Artie are have no story arcs. Not cool. NOT cool.

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I love this episode! The music numbers were great. Blake Jenner as Ryder is a perfect fit. The writer did a much better job writing a character for him than Glee Project S1 winners. I hope they extend his 7 episode story arc. He deserves it big time!

Miranda wicker

@Amie & @lilangel--I think Rachel's tears were over more than just Brody possibly sleeping with Cassandra. She effectively left Finn, her high school sweetheart, to see what's out there with Brody and the thought that he could sleep with Cassandra, coupled with Cassandra's words, were why she was crying. I think they were over the realization that this isn't the life she necessarily imagined for herself and where does she go from there now. I guess I think she wasn't crying because Brody slept with someone else but because of the entire situation. And YES YES YES! Blake Jenner was PERFECT. They picked him because he could act whereas the winner(s) from the first season of TGP were chosen because they were interesting people. HUUUUUUUGE difference.

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@Amie: you think it's lame to cry when you think your love interest sleeps with someone else? waw, we are not living on the same planet. What was she supposed to do? be happy about the fact that he was doing her worst ennemy?

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I thought this episode was wonderful. I loved the laughs ( Finn's coffee experience, his rain boots, fanny pack kit, sweater vests, Blam and Slaine, Sam as Bane in his jock strap) I could go on and on, and on and on. But I also loved the serious moments, the dyslexia, Jake and Ryder, etc. The silliness of the superhero theme was so light and funny. Love that Finn is growing up by helping the club, and not being afraid to ask for help. Frankly, although I like Unique, I did not miss him/her at all. However, I am looking forward to the NY story, so I am not one of those that want that to go away. I love Rachel Berry even with all that dark eyeshadow and false lashes. My favorite performance, though, was by far, the group number at the end. Many may wonder why Ryder is quickly becoming a leading man over the other Glee Project winners, and it is simple. Although all can SING well, Blake's acting in far superior to all the rest...he can handle the emotion, so they are giving him the story. Good for him; I bet they will keep him for a long, long, time.

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Where the hell is Unique?... I still don't know if I like Marley's character because she's sooo manipulable...it makes her look like dumb

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I'm also enjoying getting to know the new members of New Directions, and most of them I like very much. Unfortunately, the Kitty storyline is distracting me so much that by the end of the episode I couldn't remember much about the good parts because the bad parts had me so enraged. I truly hope they resolve the Kitty/Marley bulimia story soon and appropriately. There are so many other ways for the two girls to have a rivalry than for one to convince the other to harm herself. Besides the fact that it makes Kitty a completely un-redeemable character, I thought Marley was smarter than that.

Glee Season 4 Episode 7 Quotes

Finn: The theme is 'Foreigner.' We're going to sing songs by Foreigner, in foreign languages, wearing all the costumes of the world's nations.
Artie: Wait, seriously? That's your idea?

What kind of name is Ryder Lynn anyway? Because it sounds like your parents named you after a cowgirl doll who comes with her own pony.

Jake

Glee Season 4 Episode 7 Music

  Song Artist
Glee cast dark side Dark Side Glee Cast iTunes
Glee cast superman Superman Glee Cast iTunes
Glee cast holding out for a hero Holding Out For A Hero Glee Cast iTunes