Glee recap: Nice Twerk If You Can Get It

McKinley students blur lines, Mr. Schue fights for the right to twerk, Marley rides a wrecking ball, and Kurt and Rachel get tattoos
Ep. 05 | Aired Nov 14, 2013

WHAT'S IN A BLURRED (LINE)? The kids at McKinley decide that they're obsessed with the crazy new dance step "twerking," which no one can really define but somehow everyone understands how to do.

Adam Rose/FOX

The “Blurred Lines” performance that nobody has been waiting for has arrived, and it’s just as ridiculous as you think it will be. Mr. Schue is playing the role of “Everybody get up!”, while Artie takes the lead on “Whoo!” and we never really see who gives the backup “Hey hey heys.” We get a great shot of Ryder doing nothing as Schue leads a parade of white-collar twerkers down the hallway, interrupting classes and rubbing gonads all over school property. The madness concludes in a sweaty dance party in the auditorium. My grade: Horrified. (B+ for vocals.)

Naturally, Sue is furious. She calls Mr. Schue into her office and scolds him for being a married 37-year-old singing a song about date rape with nine minors down the halls of a public high school. “It’s called the First Amendment,” says Mr. Schue, an idiot. “You’re fired,” says Sue, making her first good move as principal. Ever the sore loser, Mr. Schue says he’ll appeal to the school board.

The school board (led by Breaking Bad’s Ted Beneke) has a hearing in the auditorium, a venue change requested specifically by Mr. Schuester. He pleads his case about twerking with a presentation about the evolution of risqué dance: waltz (Sam and Tina, looking classy), the Charleston (Unique and Artie, looking awkward), rock ‘n’ roll (Ryder, just trying to be involved in the episode), the twist (Kitty and Blaine, looking perfect for the necessary Hairspray tribute), and the lambada (Jake and Marley, looking like two Sims dancing to salsa music). Mr. Schue says twerking will be thought of as a silly dance in 20 years and begs the board to favor the right side of musical history. And based on Ted Beneke’s smarmy nod, it looks like they just might.

Dealing with her own blurred lines, let’s move on to Unique, who is having trouble finding the right bathroom to use. She goes to use the ladies bathroom, but runs into Bree, who’s applying lip gloss on top of her lip gloss (as teenage girls apparently do on TV). “Stop right there, voice of Elmo,” says the spawn of Satan. Unique admits she’s afraid to use the boys’ bathroom and pleads with Bree to keep the secret, which brings us to something Unique calls The Great McKinley Bathroom Gender Riot of 2013. I’m not going to bother explaining this bizarre sequence since it has nothing to do with Bree, Unique or anything else in the episode, and largely just made me scratch my head and wonder why my high school never had a rave in the bathroom (we did have a luau in the cafeteria though because we be wild like that).

Anyway, back to Unique, who later tries the boys’ bathroom, dressed as a girl. The football players start harassing her and flush her wig down the toilet. She sings Beyonce's “If I Were A Boy” alone in the bathroom, and it’s pretty heartbreaking. I’m surprised it’s taken this long since Unique’s introduction for us to get this song and this performance, actually. In a ridiculous episode, the song was particularly moving, and should serve as a reminder of Glee’s important position as a sociopolitical talking point for teens across the country. Plus, Alex Newell’s incredible vocals. Grade: A.

NEXT: Let’s go to New York!

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