‘Glee’ Recap: 4×03 ‘Makeover’

12:45 pm EDT, September 28, 2012

Last night’s episode of Glee included a student council election, a new job for Kurt, a new look for Rachel, and a whole heap of set-up for what looks to be a very dramatic mini-finale next week. Also, we got our first look at Sarah Jessica Parker in her guest role on the show. Read our full Glee recap below:

Congratulations, Blaine Warbler. You may have been dominating Glee’s iTunes sales for coming up on two years, a McKinley regular for one, and the absolute, undeniable fan favorite, but to me, you’re not a real Glee lead character until you’ve had an inner monologue, and today, son, is your day. Our boy strolls through the school halls, speaking in voice-over about how it’s time for him to step forward and be involved in life at McKinley. We see him signing up for a multitude of clubs, and then we cut to the auditorium where Blaine begins to perform “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” by Tears for Fears. This song soundtracks the following scenes, as we cut between the performance and Blaine getting involved in these clubs, including the Superhero Sidekick Appreciation Society – which explains the Robin twitpic – and a live-action role playing Dungeons and Dragons group where he is the group’s wizard (oh, ha ha). The performance pauses as Blaine’s inner monologue continues. He admits that part of the reason for taking up the extracurriculars is to fill his days now that Kurt is gone – they’re in as much contact as they can be. “The only time we’re really in sync is when we’re hate-watching Treme together,” which is a scene we then witness as Blaine offers Kurt – via Skype – some of his popcorn, pretending they’re together. The number ends with all his new be-costumed club friends dancing around him on the auditorium stage, and in the hallway Blaine eyes one last sign-up sheet – the student council elections. He adds his name to the only other candidate on the list – Brittany S. Pierce.

In New York, Blaine’s worse half is prepping for an interview he’s somehow scored for an internship at Vogue.com. Kurt’s meeting is with Isabelle Wright (Sarah Jessica Parker), the new senior editor of the website and a cutting edge fashion designer in her own right. Kurt is terrified – yet very stylish – as he enters her office, but Isabelle is instantly warm and disarming to Kurt, revealing that she is from Columbus, Ohio, nearby to Lima. She is impressed with the online resume Kurt submitted, particularly the gallery of his own outfits (see www.hirehummel.com) and asks him where he got his wardrobe. Answering ten thousand nit-picking fans’ questions about how Kurt has been able to afford the things he wears, (which have been tracked down IRL and revealed to be thousands of dollars worth of designer couture), Kurt admits that he made most of them, copying designs he liked, and searched the internet for bargain pieces. Isabelle proceeds to interview Kurt about his ideas and experience, and he tells her his plans of NYADA and Broadway. Isabelle offers Kurt encouragement, saying New York is the place for people like him – dreamers starting out – and her – people needing to re-invent themselves. She hires him on the spot – “Anyone who can pull off a hippo brooch deserves to be here.” Kurt throws himself on her in a hug, and proceeds to stab his new boss with the hippo. “That should come with a warning!” she says, tapping the brooch. “Oh, it did,” Kurt replies.

Brittany approaches Artie at school and asks him to run with her as her Vice President. “Did you know that Franklin Roosevelt was part robot too, and he’s on Mount Rushmore?” “No he’s isn’t,” Artie replies, “and I’m just gonna say it again, I’m not part robot.” He’s reluctant at first, but when Brittany admits that if she wins she plans to do nothing – again – and let him make all the decisions, Artie is intrigued by this plan – because women love power, apparently, and he’d like to date someone for more than a couple of weeks. “Don’t take that personally,” he tells her. “Why would I take that personally?” “We dated.” “We did?” Oh, Glee, you are learning to play to your strengths again and make fun of the moments of your own epic fail! Well done! Artie agrees to be Brittany’s running-mate – the Cheney to her Bush, though she’d prefer to be “Landing Strip.” Thanks for that one, Glee.

In the choir room, Will announces that as the Nationals champions, McKinley will be hosting the annual Show Choir rules committee meeting. This is met with a brilliant outburst: “Please tell me you’re going to ask what ‘one-third’ vintage meant last year?” Tina asks, laughing. “Or like, why some teams could sing six songs and others only do one?” Sam demands indignantly. It seems like New Directions themselves have been just as confused and disgruntled by the bizarre competition process as fandom has been, but this is another flawless moment of Glee lampshading its own past indiscrepancies and it’s making me love the show so much right now. And shouldn’t the club already be preparing ideas for competition, Jake inquires, to which Schue gives a cagey answer about not wanting to give anything away yet. As he continues to talk to the club, his voice-over starts, admitting that he has no ideas – that he’s all tapped out with where to take the club from here. Will, it’s not that hard. Find songs, make kids sing songs, the end.

Brittany interrupts what Will’s saying to the class in order to ask the glee club if anyone can prove that Blaine was born in the United States, and also to announce Artie as her running mate, which is met with general approval – except by her new blonde BFF Sam, who looks somewhat hurt. She points out that the election is pretty much over because between her and Artie, they will cover enough demographics to get all the votes – though she does consider the demographics to be humans and robots – and Blaine, my optimistic baby boy, objects with his fixed grin that’s more of a grimace, “Brittany, that’s not fair, it’s not a popularity contest. It’s about who’s got the best ideas, it’s about believing you can make a change… Right?” The others start to make fun of Blaine’s objection – Artie calls it ‘sour grapes,’ as class is dismissed and Sam stares poignantly and obviously after Brittany as the group leaves.

In the staff room Will is struggling to come up with a theme for Sectionals and vents his frustration to Sue. “I can’t decide between ‘Classic TV Themes’ or ‘A Salute To Autumn’.” Sue calls these out as the craptastic ideas they are, and Will shakes his head in defeat, saying he doesn’t know what happened to all his good ideas. “Don’t kid yourself, you never had any good ideas. You just didn’t notice because you were too busy chasing your bizarre childhood dream of a glee club national championship.” Preach it, Sue. She says that now Will has achieved his dream, he’s waking up to the boring monotony of being a normal high school teacher and that he should probably get out now, before becoming an alcoholic or morbidly obese, and explore other job opportunities. “Your lack of adult friends means you’re well on your way to a career as a pedophile birthday clown.” In seriousness, she does give him the advice – “You had a dream. You achieved it. Move on.” Will sighs, clearly not wanting to admit that she may be right.

Expectedly, Sam quizzes Brittany about why she didn’t pick him, her new bestie, as her running-mate. She says that she didn’t want to ruin their friendship – citing Sarah Palin and her ‘grandfather’ (John McCain) no longer being on speaking terms, but she does think Sam would make a good VP, so she ‘introduces’ Sam to Blaine (“Um, we’ve actually met.. several times…”) and offers him up as Blaine’s Vice President candidate. Blaine turns them down at first, saying he will be picking his own running-mate, but Sam sells himself to Blaine on the strength of the demographics he covers – “My family’s on food stamps, so that will get you the sympathy vote. I’m not gay, so that’ll help with the not-gay vote.” Blaine sizes Sam up, throws caution into the wind and agrees to take Sam as his running partner. Brittany is pleased by this and gives them their first order of business – she challenges the pair to a debate with herself and Artie. “What’s a debate?” the newly-stupidified Sam asks Blaine, who I’m sure is instantly regretting his decision.

In the Vogue offices, Isabelle is chairing a meeting at which Kurt serves drinks. She has voiced the idea of a feature on leather to her team, who come up with some truly excruciating ideas, though Isabelle is encouraging towards them. Every time someone pitches another awful idea, Kurt nearly physically recoils in disgust and disdain, which does not go without Isabelle’s notice. Isabelle dismisses the meeting and calls Kurt into her office, asking him what he thought of what he’d heard. He reluctantly admits that he had hated the staff’s ideas, and Isabelle wholeheartedly agrees with him, but she feels trapped into the piece due to promising the receptionist – whose cat had just died – that she would use her idea of ‘trends in animal hide,’ and now she’s stuck with this leather theme. Kurt tries to calm her, saying there are a million good ideas out there that could be used, such as a music video featuring fashion, and Isabelle admits that she’d also given the go-ahead to another staff member’s awful idea featuring “spankles” (Spanx for cankles). Isabelle begins to have a minor breakdown and admits to Kurt that – coming from being an independent creative designer – she finds the management aspect of her job difficult, she can’t say no to people. She feels like she’s lost touch with what a good idea is and what’s plain crazy, and that she’s lucked into a job she doesn’t deserve. She starts to become a little hysterical, fearing failure in this role and that she will lose the job, then her apartment, and will become homeless. Kurt comforts her. “You are not going to be homeless, alright? You can always come stay with me and my roommate in Bushwick.” Isabelle looks like she’d rather take the homelessness.

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