TV

‘Glee’ Recap: ‘The Spanish Teacher’

What did we just watch? I know time passed because the depression in my couch grew deeper and the bottle of wine next to me was empty, but I have almost no memory of the hour I spent watching “Glee.” Which is probably for the best since my notes about the cover of “Sexy and I Know It” seem to be entirely made up of demonic verses in Latin. Best not to reflect on that.

Anyway, this week’s episode opened with the purposely insensitive scene in Will’s Spanish class. You do have to hand the writers one thing with the new episode. They finally acknowledged that there was no way Will Schuester would be a competent Spanish teacher, so he enrolled in night courses taught by none other than Ricky Martin.

Ricky played Dave Martinez, former tooth model, who shared with Mr. Schue the concept of duende, a term meaning something close to passion and soul and one Will does not understand. Dave believes that song gives people the best opportunity to learn a new language. Hey! This is just the kind of thing Will could use to bolster his application for tenure.

Speaking of which, a tenured position opened at McKinley, and Will wanted it bad. So did Sue, who planned to use the job security to start a family (“Little Suzie or Little Sylvester”) with the help of a few local sperm donors. Similar to the one Schue received, an anonymous tipster complained about the coach’s teaching techniques, so Nene Leakes appeared again, for some reason, to bring some duende back into the Cheerios.

True to his word and with as little creativity as possible, Schue assigned the kids the week’s task, songs by Latino artists or having something vaguely to do with Latino artists. This introduced Dave to the New Directions and one of the most eye-brow-raising musical numbers in “Glee” history. “Sexy and I Know It” was a Rory-dancing, Finn-flailing fail. I’m sorry. It was just…bizarre.

The episode also delved into Sam and Mercedes’ summer romance and whether they should pursue a relationship, despite the fact that the diva already has a boyfriend. Emma with her pamphlets, which are actually funny, suggested that the would-be couple spend a week apart.

Kurt, Rachel and Mercedes had a sleepover where they watched “Twilight” in earnest, and Rachel decided it was the proper time to reveal her misguided engagement. Her friends flipped out appropriately, not because of what happened during “Sexy and I Know It,” but because it would compromise both of their futures. Agreed, and it would result in the End of Days. Acting as disturbed as he should have been, Kurt confronted Finn about the engagement and voiced his concern. By Kurt’s account, the proposed marriage would signal Finn’s surrender, which says great things about Rachel. Finn, the ever-malleable ball of dough that he is, agreed with Kurt and said he had to think about it.

The Latin theme week continued with renditions of “Don’t Wanna Lose You” by Mercedes and a mash-up of “Bamboleo” and “Hero.” Though the show provided no context for the second song, it did definitively prove that Sam can sound a hell of a lot like Enrique Inglesias.

Sue continued her crusade for the proper donor of man essence and, in what I can only assume was an act of irony, approached Will to get a sample. This seemed like an especially bad idea after Schue treated Emma like trash a few minutes later.

At the final performances of the week, Santana sang “La Isla Bonita” with Ricky Martin, while Schue put his best pointed toe forward and dressed like an authentic Spanish matador to perform “A Little Less Conversation,” entirely oblivious to the culturally contradicting mariachi band behind him. This ultimately led to Santana confronting Will about his cultural insensitivity and the episode’s message, which was a thing and definitely necessary.

The week wrapped by concluding many of the storylines in odd ways. Will won the “most improved” award from his night class and offered Dave a job teaching Spanish at McKinley. I didn’t know that the failing Spanish teacher had the power to hire his own replacement and assume the role of history teacher. Then Sam and Mercedes seemed poised to have a moment, but Tinker from “Friday Night Lights” showed up and took her away. Also, Emma got the tenure that she and literally no one else deserved.

Download or Ditch

“Sexy and I Know It” – Bury it in a ditch
It’s that bad. Embarrassing, free of actual singing and the worst dancing in the show’s history.

“Don’t Wanna Lose You” – Download
Amber Riley nailed it. It’s just a shame they don’t do more with her character.

“Bamboleo”/”Hero” – Download
It’s best if we can’t see the “Mexican hipster boots,” but the song actually worked.

“La Isla Bonita” – Ditch
If it wasn’t for Ricky’s vocals, this would have been another Naya Rivera hit.

“A Little Less Conversation” – Ditch
Wrong for so many reasons beyond the cultural insensitivity.

What did you think about last night’s “Glee”? Did you dig Ricky Martin’s guest appearance? Which performance was your favorite? Sound off in the comments and on Twitter!