Friday, May 3, 2013

Glee - Wonder-ful

Children and their parents are a common theme in the show's latest episode as Kurt (Chris Colfer) returns to Lima fearing the worst as his father (Mike O'Malley) gets his test results and Kitty (Becca Tobin) discovers Artie's (Kevin McHale) recent funk is caused by his fear to leave his mother (Katey Sagal) alone that is so strong it may quash his dreams to head to New York for film school. Meanwhile, the New Directions prepare for Regionals by performing the greatest hits of Stevie Wonder with the help of Mercedes (Amber Riley) and Mike Chang (Harry Shum Jr.) who return to help whip the New Directions into shape and offer Kurt their support.

I enjoyed the show finally giving Artie a bit more to do, even if the fuzzy logic of the subplot seemed to keep changing. The choice of Kitty to bring him out of his shell and get Artie to chase his dreams was an interesting one that actually turned out rather well. And the casting of Sagal as his mother was pretty damn awesome. Hopefully we'll see more of Mrs. Abrams in the future. Kurt and his father get their good news as well, but Blaine's (Darren Criss) hopes of Burt's blessing to marry his son are dashed when Kurt's father preaches patience over a grand romantic gesture.

In New York Rachel (Lea Michele) prepares for her second callback for Funny Girl. but runs into a snag when Cassandra July (Kate Hudson) learns of her extracurricular activities and decides to make her life a living hell. At least that's what Rachel assumes when July moves up Rachel's near impossible midterm with less than 24-hours notice, but it turns out July and Rachel's NYADA classmates are far more supportive of her big break than she could have ever imagined. I don't know how much more we're going to see of Hudson, but if this is her last appearance it's a great way to redeem the character whose lessons in cruelty to toughen Rachel up and make her a better dancer got a little to personal over the course of the season.

And in the episode's other major storyline, Mercedes recruits Jake (Jacob Artist) and Mike Chang to be back-up dancers in her music video but runs into her own trouble when her producer wants to amp up the sex appeal of the CD, possibly even replacing her image with that of a more slender young woman. Choosing to take the high, but more difficult, road Mercedes looses her contract but not her music. Although the storyline has a nice message, it feels rushed and oddly shoehorned in, making it feel out of place with the various other storylines.

This week's songs include Kitty performing "Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours," Mercedes, Marley (Melissa Benoist) and Blaine perform "Superstition," Kurt performs "You Are the Sunshine of My Life" in the choir room to his father, Jake and Mike Chang perform a duet of "I Wish," Cassandra July performs "Uptight (Everything's Alright)," Mercedes performs "Higher Ground," and in the show's closing number Artie leads the New Directions in a performance of "For Once in My Life."

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