Glee recap: CLAP On, CLAP Off

Glee talks about sex, baby; it's not very sexy. Artie deals with an STD. Blaine and Kurt deal with intimacy issues, and Sam and Mercedes deal with no sex at all.
Ep. 16 | Aired Apr 15, 2014

Addicted to a less physical kind of love are Sam and Mercedes, who have gone from maybe-dating-maybe-racists to just a couple of kids in love. Mercedes comes up for a breather from a couch make out sesh to tell Sam that she’s excited about how serious things have gotten but also, things haven’t ever “gotten too serious” for her with anyone. Sex, Sam…she’s never had sex with anyone. Sam’s inability to pick up on subtleties doesn’t keep him from handling the situation well, telling Mercedes they can take things as slow or as fast as she wants.

The boys – you may have noticed, it’s an unofficial boys night, with nary a perfect note from Rachel to call our own – meet up at Serendipity to fill each other in on their sex lives, as young local New York boys are wont to do. Blaine is having a frozen hot chocolate and peer pressures Kurt into having one too because his solution to being jealous of Kurt’s new physique is apparently just to soften him back up like that witch in Hansel and Gretel. Despite some clear trouble in paradise, Sam suggests a little buddy-bonding trip to get tested for STDs (which I think this was actually the plot of the Girls pilot). It's a good thing too, because, as previously mentioned, the doctor tells Artie privately that he has contracted chlamydia. He’s embarrassed and can’t keep the news to himself, so he goes back to tell his bros who all have hilariously different reactions. We get this little gem of an exchange from Blaine:

Blaine: How is that possible?!
Artie: I don’t know how!
Blaine: Well, do you wear condoms?
Artie: No.
Blaine: That would be how.

Sam is highly unimpressed with Artie’s unprotected sex and thinks he needs to be thoroughly slut shamed, which means repeatedly screaming “SLUT. SHAMED!” The two girls he’s been sleeping with also handle it with varying degrees of understanding: Vanessa is furious and tells him his films suck, and Jess just says she’ll go get tested too, and for all she knows, she could have given it to him (um, I think she gave it to him). It’s right about this time that his One True Crush, Julie, hops over to tell him she’s thought about his offer and she’d love to go out with him. Timing!

Mercedes is needing some guidance on her decision to have sex with Sam, so she heads to church to seek some answers from God. Sam joins her and deems it the best time to present his clean bill of health. Mercedes says she loves him but she’s concerned he’s focusing on the wrong things in regard to her decision. The sudden turn to love and God is abrupt, but the transition from teens to 20 is a weird time, and if it means getting a little gospel-singing from Mercedes, I wouldn’t care if she suddenly announced she was having a Virgin Mary baby. That is not what happens. She is called up by the pastor to sing, but instead of “Move On Up A Little Higher” we get “I Want to Know What Love Is” by Foreigner. It’s a weird fit, and I have to assume everyone in the church was all, “Huh?” but it sure did sound good, and they gospel-ed it up with the choir accompaniment. It also brought out a grittier sound in Amber Riley’s lower register that I would like to hear 1000x more. A-

NEXT: Always clear your browser history. Always.

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