In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I’ll restrict this week’s recap to the things I enjoyed about “Dynamic Duets.”
Unlike the last two weeks, there were actually a few things I liked about this episode — written and directed by Ian Brennan, who brought just a little bit more imagination and energy to the proceedings than we saw in back-to-back duds “The Role You Were Born to Play” and “Glease.” Still, the hour was entirely devoid of New York scenes and far too eager to foreground characters who don’t deserve the spotlight.
Anyway, the positives: There was a solid five minute section in the second half of the episode devoted almost exclusively to the budding friendship between Blaine and Sam. Blaine explained exactly what happened when he cheated on Kurt (it was a random Facebook hookup, Blaine regretted it immediately and it only strengthened his feelings for Kurt) and then Darren Criss and Chord Overstreet sang David Bowie’s “Heroes” with all the charisma and conviction one would expect from actors worthy of prominent roles on weekly television.
The Warblers have pretty much outlasted their usefulness as rivals for New Directions, but as a credible dilemma for Blaine — stay at McKinley where he’s constantly reminded of losing Kurt, or make a triumphant return to his old Dalton stomping grounds — it made sense to bring them back. And if we overlook how terrible both Grant Gustin and Nolan Gerard Funk were as the Warblers with speaking roles, Kelly Clarkson’s “Dark Side” was a respectable choice for a throwback to the Warblers glory days.
While it’s easy to buy 30-year-old Cory Monteith taking on a leadership role, it’s still hard to swallow a roughly 19-year-old Finn Hudson so suddenly thrust into command of the glee club. I’ve never been one to hold “Glee” to the standards of docudrama, it usually spoils the fun, but this is clearly a case of writers struggling to find a way to keep both Finn and McKinley front and center on the show and feels misguided on both counts. But elevating Finn to New Directions leader does prove how unnecessary Matthew Morrison’s Will Schuester has become (the only teacher we saw this week was Dot-Marie Jones’ Coach Bieste, which was just fine) and provided us with one endearingly dopey moment when Finn pitched his Foreigner idea for Sectionals.
Overstreet showed off a mighty fine impression of Tom Hardy’s Bane from “The Dark Knight Rises.”
Heather Morris had a funny line! “You guys, I don’t smell raspberry hair gel. Does anybody know where Blaine Warbler is?”
And that’s pretty much it. Next week is “Glee’s” actual “Thanksgiving” episode featuring the first trip to Sectionals for the awful new New Directions. Also, the return of Sarah Jessica Parker and Dianna Agron (among others). Let’s hope they’re reasons to be thankful.