Last week’s episode, while it contained an interesting discussion of religion and had a few poignant moments, was almost completely devoid of the thing most Gleeks tune in for: fun! While its always good for a show like “Glee” to tackle more serious subjects, most viewers look forward to the whimsical, hilarious, and sometimes nonsensical joy that “Glee” can usually be counted on for.

Did “Duets” manage to make up for the disappointing “Grilled Cheesus’”?

The Players

  • Director: Eric Stoltz
  • Writer: Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, and Ian Brennan
  • Cast: Jane Lynch, Matthew Morrison, Lea Michele, Cory Monteith, Jayma Mays, Chris Colfer, Dianna Agron, Kevin McHale, Heather Morris, Amber Riley, Naya Rivera, Mark Salling, Jenna Ushkowitz

The Plot

In this week’s “Duets,” New Directions amps up inter-club competition by holding a contest to see which unlikely duo can deliver the best performance. While this leads to new friendships and potential romances, it also causes some fresh drama…

The Good

  • Competition Up the Pace: While “Grilled Cheesus” dragged on like a PBS miniseries, “Duets” flew by, packed with fun performances, interesting conflict, and hilarious plot developments.
  • New hookups create new, fun drama: Glee” has always been frank about sex: Quinn’s pregnancy last season, Brittany and Santana’s many conquests, Puck in general. *SPOILER ALERT* Even with resident bad-boy Puck in juvie, “Duets” had a lot of action, so to speak:
  1. Kurt develops an instant attraction to Sam and, desperate to deduce the tow-headed hottie’s sexual orientation, suggests they do their duet together. Sam agrees without hesitation… but Finn puts a stop to it. He calls Kurt out on being overly flirtatious, and points out to both that if they go through with the duet Sam will assuredly be a target for school bullies who would think he is gay. Sam ditches Kurt, and it seems that the issue is resolved… for now.
  2. Speaking of same-sex coupling… Though their sexual relationship has long been alluded to, we finally saw Brittany and Santana make out. Unfortunately, Santana is just using Brittany to get her fix in Puck’s absence, leading Brit to seek refuge with….Artie?!
  3. Artie uses his new romance with Brittany to make Tina jealous, which works mostly because her relationship with Mike Chang is on the rocks. Attention-starved Brittany takes Artie’s virginity, apparently for fun. He catches on and backs out of their duet, completely hurt.
  4. Sam (Chord Overstreet) has made quite the impression for his first week in glee club. Between setting off Kurt’s gaydar, wooing the Head Cheerio, and his ever-present toned arms, even Santana admits that Sam is “so freaking charming.” Though he and Quinn do make an adorable, very blond couple, there were minor hints that Kurt’s initial assumption about Sam (“he’s on Team Gay”) might not be so far off.

The Good/Bad

  • No Sue: In a lesser episode, the lack of Sue Sylvester commentary would be unpleasant and almost distracting. Though knowing “how Sue sees it” is always entertaining, the episode carried on fine without her opinions.
  • No Schue, really: Mr. Schue was not a real presence in this episode… and he was not really missed.

The Music

  • “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart,” Elton John and Kiki Dee – Finn and Rachel practice their duet, a flirtatious and adorable version of this catchy tune. Realizing how great they are, Rachel suggests they throw the competition and lose on purpose in order to ensure Sam, the new kid, wins and will stay in glee club.
  • “River Deep, Mountain High,” Tina Turner – Santana and Brittany give a rousing rendition of Tina’s hit. Santana’s gravelly, sexy voice plays off of Mercedes’ soulful and powerful belt.
  • “Le Jazz Hot,” from Victor/Victoria - Kurt decides to do his duet with his favorite glee club member- himself. In a number that rivaled some of those in Chicago, Chris Colfer puts his unbelievable falsetto to work in my favorite performance of the night.
  • “Sing,” from A Chorus Line – Tina and Mike’s duet was, like their relationship, rocky. It was a cute idea, though it came off a tad awkward. Mike Chang’s dancing was great as always, but his comedic timing stood out.
  • “With You I’m Born Again” by Billy Preston and Syreeta Wright – With Finn in priest garb and Rachel in a Catholic schoolgirl outfit, the New Directions captains    perform this purposefully offensive and awkward song to hilarious effect.
  • “Lucky,” Jason Mraz and Colbie Callait – Sam and Quinn give an adorable yet surprisingly sweet and sexy performance. Their chemistry is palpable- even their swaying while hand-holding didn’t seem awkward. Unsurprisingly, the winning duo’s celebratory dinner at Breadsticks turns into a first date(!)
  • “Get Happy,” Judy Garland/ “Happy Days Are Here Again,” Barbara Streisand mash-up – Another incredible Kurt and Rachel duet! Lea Michele and Chris Colfer’s voices mesh together beautifully, and this mash-up turns out almost as poignant and beautiful as last season’s “Defying Gravity.”

Rating: 9.5/10

“Glee” airs Tuesday night at 8pm on Fox.


This week’s scandal-filled and exciting episode more than made up for the saccharine and wildly melodramatic “Grilled Cheesus.” Chris Colfer’s musical numbers were on point, but it was Chord Overstreet and Dianna Agron’s performance that stole the show.

Looking forward to “The Rocky Horror Glee Show,” which premieres October 26!

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