Friday, November 29, 2013

Glee - Puppet Master

Control issues are the common theme of "Puppet Master" as the School Board shows up for an inspection to judge Sue‘s (Jane Lynch) performance as principal and both Blaine (Darren Criss) and Kurt (Chris Colfer)  have trouble getting the other members of their respective muscial families to listen to their "brilliant" ideas. Blaine's psychotic break (caused by a gas leak in the choir room which leads him to daydream living puppets of the Glee Club are singing and talking to him) leads to a performance of Queen's "You're My Best Friend" and leads to the creation of his own Kurt puppet (which Sue quickly confiscates).

Jake (Jacob Artist) and Marley's (Melissa Benoist) post-break-up relationship issues continue as Jake daydreams of the pair performing a mash-up of Janet Jackson's "Nasty" and "Rhythm Nation" with the involvement of Bree (Erinn Westbrook). While sleeping with several of her teammates, Jake is also shocked back into reality by Bree's pregnancy scare. While trying to appear more feminine while keeping her power to draw the romantic attentions of Superintendent Bob Harris (Christopher Cousins), which makes her even turn to Unique (Alex Newell)e for advice, Sue fantasizes a performance a black-and-white duet of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers' "Cheek to Cheek."

And although we don't see what the band performs for its actually first club perfomance (in front of a single audience member) the episode gives us one more dream fantasy number as Pamela Landsbury sings Madonna's "Into the Groove." And after making puppets for all his friends in Lima and New York, the episode ends with a full-cast performance (with puppets) of Ylvis' "The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)."

The odd humor that comes from the appearance of the puppets (even if I have a hard time believing Blaine could have constructed one let alone all, of them) and an eclectic mix of music makes "Puppet Master" feel a bit like throwback episode to the show's first couple of seasons. The Janet Jackson mash-up was definitely one of Glee's best in recent memory and the use of dream sequence let each of music numbers get a little crazier than normal and worked better than many of the over-the-top insanely extravagant Lady Gaga numbers from a couple of weeks back (which the show lets Sue poke fun at). And although still present, the episode didn't get bogged down in romantic subplots and the pace of the episode was much more upbeat.

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