‘Glee’ Recap: ‘Mash Off’

Let’s play a game. Close your eyes and raise your hand if you said, “Oh, yeah! I forgot about all those storylines,” while watching the “Previously on ’Glee'” segment. Now, open your eyes. Everyone’s hand is up? That’s what I thought.

To be fair, if anything was going to bulldoze every single story arc from this season so far, it’s Kurt and Blaine doin’ it.

The first big storyline “Glee” reintroduced was Puck being hot for teacher. Appropriately, Puck sang a kick-ass version of the Van Halen song, the title of which is escaping me at the moment. Blaine and Mike were kind enough to lend their awesome moves as background singers/dancer/sword fighters, but Finn decided to ruin the number with his weird drummer grimace that looks like he was trying to eat his own face. (From here on out, “Finn” will be appended as “Finn’s Face.”)

For Puck, he and Shelby are the perfect pair, “like Woody Allen and that Chinese girl,” but Shelby said making out with him was a mistake and ignored the best biggest reasons they should be together: “1) You’re hot. 2) I’m hot.”

But this was all really about Beth. Puck did seem like he genuinely wanted to be there for his daughter and her adoptive mother. He even went so far as to admit to originally attempting to sabotage (with Quinn’s help) Shelby’s status as Beth’s mother. For such a maniacal and convoluted plot, Shelby took the news exceptionally well, and by that I mean, she didn’t react at all. No biggie, just tried to get your baby unfairly taken away from you. Don’t sweat it. Kids these days.

Uh, oh. It’s mash-up season again, the time of the year when “Glee” decides to take one song you like and another song you either don’t recognize or like significantly less and make a hybrid song that can vary wildly in quality. (I still have nightmares of Gwyneth Paltrow combining Rihanna and Gene Kelly.) Shelby and Mr. Schue wanted the two show choirs to get in gear for sectionals, so they invented the mash-off and sang a medley of Gaga’s “You and I” and… some other song. By the way, we definitely need more Idina Menzel interpreting Lady Gaga.

Since Damian McGinty’s guest-starring role was one thing that got glossed over in favor of Blaine and Kurt fading to black, we returned to Rory, who continues to stick out like sore thumb. Just 2.1 episodes into his arch, you have to start to wonder whether they should have included acting challenges in “The Glee Project.” (Yes, Ryan Murphy, starring in “Glee” means singing, dancing AND acting, not just lip-synching.)

Then again, the dancing wasn’t quite there either, but he’s still new so I’ll give him a pass for now.

You probably didn’t remember because it happened so long ago, but Kurt and Rachel were no longer friends when last night’s episode started. Totally slipped my mind, I know. Anyway, Rachel asked Shelby (HER MOM!) to write her a recommendation letter, to which Shelby (HER MOM!) graciously agreed.

At the debate for the class president, Rachel dropped out to endorse Kurt, so you don’t have to worry about not remembering that storyline anymore.

Santana’s storyline ended surprisingly, packing an emotional punch that no one could have seen coming. Things started off typical enough. Santana decided that she was going to insult Finn’s Face until there was no tomorrow. (Don’t worry. Manatees have thick skin.) When Finn’s Face decided not to take it anymore, he made a big scene in the hallway, calling out Santana for her in-the-closet shenanigans.

They decided to settle things the same way all sensationalized high school dramas solve things: dodge ball. The action was forgettable, but we were treated to a slightly better mash-up, “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” meets “One Way or Another.”

After Puck was unable/unwilling to get Quinn anytime with Beth, the once and future skank showed up herself to see her daughter. What resulted was a beautiful exchange of severe putdowns by both Quinn and Shelby the “cash whore.” It was super-intense, and I loved every second of it.

The one area where this week’s episode really crawled along was the return of the already-wonky story about Kurt’s dad facing off against Sue for Congress. While the campaign ads claiming Mr. Hummel might have a baboon heart and Sue calling Kurt “Yasser” were funny, (because seriously, what was on his head?) the story just didn’t do much else but set up bigger revelations. Also, I’m beginning to question the choice of Will as campaign manager. The guy can’t even keep a show choir together.

Alas, the campaign storyline paid off in an unexpected—if kind of random—way, when one of Sue’s competitors used knowledge of Santana’s homosexuality against her. The fallout was heartbreaking and led to the high point of the episode, the finale featuring an excellent Adele mash-up of “Rumor Has It” and “Someone Like You.”

I hereby plant my flag firmly in “Team TroubleTones.” Seriously, they killed it. The number blew the New Directions’ Hall and Oates mash-up out of the water, except for Darren Criss’ John Oates mustache, which worked surprisingly well. Santana’s performance just kept getting better, leading up to the uber rewarding Finn’s Face slap.

Check out Jim Cantiello’s hilarious musical “Glee”-cap below!

Download or Ditch?
Starting this week, we’ll give you the rundown on which songs from the week’s episode should end up on your iPod and which should be forgotten.

“Hot for Teacher” – Download
The number got the episode off to strong start and is worth another listen if only for more Mark Salling. “Glee,” use him more.

“You and I” – Ditch
Idina does a good Gaga, but Matthew Morrison drags the whole thing down. Gaga’s normal version wins.

“Hall & Oates Mash Up” – Ditch
It’s hard to improve on “You Make My Dreams.” Adding another song to it is not the way.

“Rumor Has It”/”Someone Like You” – Download Twice!
The week’s best song and number, this is the one people will remember in weeks to come.

What did you think of last night’s episode? What was your favorite performance? Did Finn deserve that slap? Do you secretly like Shelby and Puck together? Spill it all in the comments and on Twitter!