Glee, Season 5, Episode 2, “Tina In the Sky with Diamonds“
Written by Ian Brennan
Directed by Ian Brennan
Airs Thursday 9pm ET on Fox
Glee’s second episode of the season and second half of their Beatles tribute is fun and filled to the brim with well-executed and unique Glee-ifed versions of The Beatles’ best experimental era work. While the musical performances are strong, this episode seems to highlight all the character development issues viewers have been fed up with in the recent past. Likewise, writing for this episode is not as strong as the season opener. On a positive note, the actors are spot on and distract from some of the cheesy dialogue.
Character development-wise, there are some issues that have been ongoing in past seasons and the trend continues into season five. It always feels like the writers are never sure how to utilize the character of Sam Evans or the actor Chord Overstreet, so they keep throwing awkward story lines at him to see if anything sticks. Remember the season three stripper story arc that started with Rachel and Finn sneaking (?) into a strip club where Sam was getting naked to help his family pay the bills and convince him to return to McKinley and New Directions? Well, Nurse Penny is Sam’s newest off-the-wall story line. Red flags go off as soon as Penny starts reciprocating Sam’s feelings. A one-sided crush on the school nurse is one thing but Penny is technically working at the school and really shouldn’t be pseudo-dating a student, even if he is over the age of 18. She also shouldn’t be administering butt shots, to anyone, but especially not Sam. Despite that, we are happy to see one of the other strange Sam story lines has been left behind. That’s of course the Blaine/Sam sexual tension, which has dissipated . They seem to be back to their bromance without the longing looks and even longer hugs.
Kitty still feels like Quinn 2.0. She might not be quite as conniving or undermining but her unsettling physical and story-line similarities make it hard to trust her. If they really are planning on making her the evil cheerleader with the secret heart of gold, they are going to have to work harder to separate her from her cheer queen predecessor.
While we are talking about personality inconsistencies, why oh why are the writers so hell-bent on making us hate Tina? After spending three and a half seasons building her up as a smart, reliable friend, they are continually providing her with manic episodes where she channels Rachel Berry’s season one all about me attitude. Despite ditching Sam as her prom date, the Carrie slushie scene is hard to watch for all the right reasons and the resulting Blaine Anderson rendition of “Hey Jude” is worth all Tina’s diva melt downs. Darren Criss’s vocal runs show the full gamut of his range. He is the right lead for the iconic song.
Speaking of the right guy for the job, looks like the show’s creators have finally remembered that Chris Colfer, the boy with the magic vocal chords, is part of their cast. The Kurt and Rachel rendition of “Get Back” transports us back to the “Get Happy/Happy Days Are Here Again” hay days and there is nowhere else we would rather be. Other episode highlights include Marley and Unique in their Sergeant Pepper gear, Santana’s cute girl induced freak out, the Vagisil knock off commercial complete with muffin innuendo, and the “Let It Be” performance split between Lima and New York.
While this installment has a lot of issues, the solid performances remind us why we love Glee and sustain us as we wait for the writing to catch up and pull us back in.