‘Glee’ Turns ‘The Boy Is Mine,’ ‘Jesse’s Girl’ Into Fight Songs

In 'Laryngitis,' Lea Michele's Rachel murders Miley Cyrus' 'The Climb.'

It’s funny that during the week where “Glee” patriarch Mr. Schuester tasked the New Directions kids with finding solos that encapsulated their current life situations, so many of the characters stepped out of their normal roles instead. Tuesday’s episode of “Glee” was all about transformations: Kurt’s attempt to get his father’s attention transformed him into a flannel-wearing everyman; Puck’s shaved Mohawk transformed the popular jock into a less-intimidating (and less-popular) Gleek; and Rachel’s tonsillitis transformed the diva into a newly humble do-gooder.

Lea Michele better watch her back, because the Kurt-centric plotlines with Chris Colfer kicking out the Broadway jams are slowly becoming the highlight of each week. Kurt’s still-unresolved daddy issues (examined rather snoozily in “Home” ) were dug up again as the young Cheerio spent the entirety of “Laryngitis” yearning for his father’s approval. Burt Hummel was still leaning on Finn for father-son bonding trips to baseball games and other manly activities, making Kurt jealous.

Instead of, you know, talking to his father, Kurt decided that donning trucker hats, making out with Brittany and singing some John Mellencamp (“Pink Houses”) in an unsettling growl would endear him to his pops. (Imagine how hard it was for the fashionista — who gets distracted watching baseball because “there’s no excuse for stirrup pants” — to even touch flannel.)

Shocker: It didn’t work. Even less of a shocker: Burt, who has already proved to be more understanding and accepting of his son’s homosexuality than anyone really expected, watched Kurt destroy (in the best way possible) the Broadway classic “Rose’s Turn” from “Gypsy” and finally had a heart-to-heart with his son, vowing to include him more in so-called “manly” bonding time.

Puck finally landed a main plotline when his notorious Mohawk was forcibly shaved off. Sans edgy haircut, the McKinley High geeks were now able to look Puck in the eye and even throw him in the Dumpster. To get his reputation back on track, he decided to hook up with the newly popular “black girl from glee club whose name I can’t remember right now,” a.k.a. Mercedes.

Rather smartly, Mercedes spurned Puck’s advances at first. But she finally gave in to the bad boy after he serenaded her with his glee club solo pick, Sammy Davis Jr.’s jazzy version of “Lady Is a Tramp.” Babymama Quinn gave Mercedes her blessing, but warned that he was only using her, and that Puck’s other paramour, Santana, wouldn’t be as accepting.

Quinn was right, and an epic catfight brewed. This being “Glee,” of course, the fisticuffs were musical: Santana and Mercedes dueted on a fantastic “Glee”-ification of Brandy and Monica’s “The Boy Is Mine.” But after seeing Puck go back to his bullying ways once his rep was back to normal, Mercedes decided that she didn’t want to be a part of the popularity hierarchy after all and quit the Cheerios.

Rachel came down with a severe case of tonsillitis, and absolutely murdered Miley Cyrus’ “The Climb.” Frantic that a tonsillectomy would ruin her singing voice, she spent the majority of the week panicking about her illness. Finn smartly used Rachel’s vulnerability and Jesse’s absence (he was on spring break with his Vocal Adrenaline friends) to ease his way back into Rachel’s heart. His solo, of course: “Jesse’s Girl.”

To calm Rachel down, Finn took her to visit a buddy from football camp who was paralyzed from the chest down during a game. When he couldn’t play football anymore, he found out he was really good at math and enjoyed singing. He helped Rachel realize that she had other things going on too. She could be good at things other than singing. As a thank you, Rachel offered to give him voice lessons once a week, and led him in a rendition of U2′s “One.”

What did you think of the Mercedes/Puck romance? Are you excited for Neil Patrick Harris to guest-star next week? Share your Gleekiest thoughts in the comments!