Where would you rather be listed: the Glist, a ranking of New Directions members based on their sexual promiscuity and hotness, or Sue Sylvester’s roundup of the 10 Ugliest Gingers? Neither option promised stellar social standing within McKinley High, but last night’s “Glee” followed the young Gleeks as they dirtied up their reputations for the Glist, and Sue became a worldwide Internet sensation and Top 700 recording artist.
With the focus back on Sue Sylvester , “Bad Reputation” was a welcome return to form following last week’s super-serious After School Special-y episode (though the lack of Joan Jett in an episode with this title was disconcerting). Wonder how long it’ll take before SSF (Sue Sylvester Fatigue) sets in?
On the New Directions front, Mr. Schuester turned his hunt for the Glist perpetrator into a learning experience by having the Gleeks rehab songs with bad reputations into modern classics. Clearly, this was also an opportunity for Schue to rap to “Ice Ice Baby,” because the world needs more of Matthew Morrison singing late-’80s-early-’90s rap classics.
Artie, Tina, Mercedes and Kurt followed Schue’s lead and performed “U Can’t Touch This” (complete with Hammer pants). They did this in the library in an attempt to get people to see them as badasses, but it backfired and the ancient librarian thought it was cute enough for them to perform at her church. Whoops.
Rachel tried to dirty up her reputation by tricking Puck, Jesse and Finn into acting in a video for David Geddes’ “Run Joey Run,” but her plan backfired too when the guys, who didn’t know the others would be there too, got mad at her for using them. Jesse got so mad that he broke up with Rachel, but hopefully they’ll reconcile eventually. There weren’t enough duets between the two of them, but the epic “Total Eclipse of the Heart” finale will suffice for now. Side note: This is the correct, fun way to integrate an obscure ’70s song into an episode without being boring.
Though Schuester’s “Law & Order”-style interrogation didn’t yield any results in the Glist investigation, an 11th-hour epiphany made him realize that it was Quinn’s attempt to rehab her own reputation. When he confronted the former Cheerio about it, she told him that a bad reputation was better than none. He made her realize that high school won’t last forever and she’ll be able to return to her former glory. He also didn’t rat her out to Principal Figgins, who wanted to expel the perpetrator.
Sue Sylvester had a busy week, going from school laughingstock to successful recording artist in a short span of time. The Cheerios coach became a little more human after Kurt stole a video of her jazzercising to Olivia Newton-John’s “Physical” and put it on YouTube. The whole school watched it, and the teacher’s lounge erupted into cruel slow-motion laughter.
New astronomy teacher/ badminton coach/ alcoholic Brenda Castle, played by Molly Shannon, was particularly harsh in her Sue Sylvester mocking, and caused Sue to retreat into her sister’s arms for comfort. They could have seemed contrived, but the scenes with Sue’s sister continue to be a highlight of the series. They’re loving without being overly sentimental.
Sue was able to redeem her reputation when she got Emma to stand up for herself finally and call Will a slut in front of the other teachers. But her real redemption came when she and Olivia Newton-John (the real one) recorded a “Physical” duet and re-created the music video. (Dear Ryan Murphy, please, please let “Sue re-creates a music video” be a regular thing, but ease up on the AutoTune.) When the video became a Top 700 success, Sue donated her proceeds to her sister Jean’s nursing home.
Did “Bad Reputation” make up for the mediocrity of “Home”? How many rap classics will Matthew Morrison be able to cover before the kitsch factor turns into tedium? Do you think Rachel and Jesse are done for good? Sound off in the comments!