‘Glee’ recap: 4×12 ‘Naked’

10:00 am EST, February 3, 2013

This week on Glee, we saw a ton of nipples, a ton of feelings, and an unusually disproportionate amount of throwbacks to past episodes. Also, our favourite ladies are back. You can read a full recap of Glee‘s “Naked” below.

Our favourite anchors down at WOHN report that that New Directions are back in the show choir competition circuit after court-administered blood tests proved that Hunter Clarington and the Warblers had used steroids. As the camera stops rolling, at around the same moment I am about to yell, “Seriously? This is on the news?!” Sue’s old rival Andrea shrieks “I can’t believe it. This is what they think news is, now?” as she rips out her microphone and hysterically departs the station. Rod Remington remains unfazed, awaiting his younger, hotter co-anchor. Over at McKinley, the glee club members are back in the choir room, applauding themselves and especially praising dream-team Sam and Blaine for their sleuthing. Finn quickly reminds the club that they’re three weeks behind in preparation, and also that they need to raise $400 to pay for their transport to Regionals. When he suggests a bake sale to raise money, the department of backstory reminds him that this only worked last time because Puck put weed in the cupcakes. “I could sell more of my semen,” Sam offers determinedly, and the implications of that stand-alone sentence sure are something.

Tina quickly comes up with a new way to creep on Blaine under the pretense of it being for the greater good, and suggests that the glee guys do a Men of McKinley calender to sell. She makes sure to point out how she thinks Blaine should dress, and stares at him like he’s a slice of pie. Artie, when he realises that he’s one of the six guys expected to pose, looks a little nervous and asks why the girls can’t be involved and objectified as well, and Kitty gives a pretty reasonable answer – which is that teen girls are the demographic that buys the most, so pandering to them is going to be the most lucrative option. “This could actually work,” ponders Finn, impressed, and puts Tina in charge of setting up the project.

It seems that this week is the week for Glee to roll out a few old staples that we haven’t seen for a while – WOHN, continuity, and now, Fondue For Two. Brittany grabs Marley after glee rehearsal and brings her on the show. It’s as absurd as can be expected, really, with Brittany callously or thoughtlessly referencing Marley’s bulimia, and plenty of Lord Tubbington. But when Brittany tries to get Marley to admit to being in love with Jake, Marley chokes on a bit of bread and gets all startled rabbit. Brittany chides her, saying that if Jake is willing to take off his clothes for the good of the glee club, then Marley should get naked too – emotionally – and be willing to bare all, telling him how she really feels. They’ve been dating for one week. But okay.

The next day, Brittany and Sam – or “sexy teen imbeciles” as Figgins calls them – are told by the principal that they have achieved both the highest (Brittany) and lowest (Sam) SAT scores that the school has ever seen. Brittany’s seems to have been achieved by a random system of colouring in the multiple choice; however, Sam’s score, Figgins tells him, is one that is routinely bested by monkeys in clinical trials. Sam looks disheartened. I feel disheartened, because I hate this Sam-is-dumb storyline. It came out of nowhere, seemingly just so they could pair him up with Brittany. In his first ever episode, he mentioned being dyslexic and having to work at his grades, and that storyline disappeared and re-appeared with Ryder, and now Sam is the “dumb kid”? I really hate it. I forgive Glee for a lot of its errors or back-pedalling – I may snark about it, but I do forgive it – but the dumbing-down of Sammy Evans is not one I am willing to let go of, especially when the show has gone out of its way to include another, beautifully done and sensitive story about dyslexia. Brittany tries to reassure him by telling him how great his body is, and how it means he won’t need to go to college. Sam looks thrilled at this prospect, just thrilled.

At NYADA, Rachel successfully lands a part in a student film, the senior thesis of an older student. It sounds like a load of complete hipster wank, but Rachel is impressed and a little awed by the student director. When the girl mentions that in a certain scene, Rachel will need to go topless, Rachel keeps it together externally but becomes nervous. She takes a moment to talk to herself, assuring herself that she’s strong and confidant enough to do this. “I’m the one who asked Brody to move in. I’m the one who almost made it out of Agent Provocateur without giggling.” “You also made it out, but you didn’t,” says another, identical voice and Rachel turns, startled, to find the old version of herself – straight parted hair, prim skirt and blouse, loafers and knee socks.

The Old Rachel hallucination follows Rachel around the school, playing the part of one extreme of her conscience, trying to talk her current self out of doing the nude scene. She tells New Rachel that she could use a little shame, saying that her current hair and make-up looks like a porn star. Because they’re Rachel, they soon decide that the only way to resolve the issue is to sing about it, so Rachel sings a duet with herself to “Torn,” which has nothing to do with the situation at hand whatsoever, except that it includes the word “torn” and the word “naked,” I guess. As the song ends and her old and new self consider each other, weigh up, the film’s director corners Rachel and asks for her answer – and Rachel accepts the part in the film.

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