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Last night, Glee proved it hasn’t lost its magic. The latest episode, “A Katy or a Gaga,” featured songs from two of the most mainstream pop stars of our time. The Glee writers really outdid themselves – in a good way. Mr. Schue’s assignment for the week was for the kids was to figure out if they were more Katy or Gaga, but the real mission was about finding your true identity. 

The Players:

  • Director: Brad Falkchuk
  • Writer: Ryan Murphy, Brad Falkchuk, and Ian Brennan
  • Cast: Chris Colfer, Kevin McHale, Lea Michele, Heather Morris, Amber Riley, Naya Rivera, Jenna Ushkowitz, Mark Salling, Matthew Morrison, Ashley Fink, Chord Overstreet, Harry Shum, Jr., Cheyenne, Darren Criss, Jayma Mays, Jane Lynch, Dean Geyer, Melissa Benoist

Episode Title: “A Katy or a Gaga”

Kurt starts a new band, and one of the singers who auditions is the “overly bold” Starchild (Adam Lambert). The New Directions are assigned to push their normal boundaries and discover “who they are as artists” by emulating either Katy Perry or Lady Gaga. Marley and Jake are losing their spark, as Jake turns to cheerleader Bree for comfort.

The Good:

  • Impressing Penny: Sam was great this week. He begins the episode still crushing on Penny, the new school nurse. In an attempt to impress her and her alleged “dark musical side,” Sam puts on an extravagant and borderline ridiculous Lady Gaga performance. Not only was there a ton of comedy, but we got to see a boy try to be someone he’s not to get a girl to like him. Does this strike a chord with anyone? We bet it does.
  • Kurt’s Honesty: Kurt has always been one of the strongest and self-assured characters on Glee. He’s been beaten down and made fun of, but somehow always manages to pick himself up. That’s why it’s so strange, yet relatable to see him question himself. Very candidly, Kurt admits to Rachel that he wants to be popular. “There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be the thing that everyone likes.” Rachel reminds him that that’s not who he is, but Kurt does bring up a very good point. He tells her that’s it hard being himself because there’s no success and financial stability in being yourself in the entertainment industry. Though in the end he sees the light, it was interesting to see him lose sight of that for a moment.
  • Pamela Langsbury: So Kurt’s new band is pretty kick-ass. He’s got Santana, Rachel, Demi Lovato‘s Dani and Adam Lambert’s flamboyant Elliott Gilbert, aka Starchild. And did we mention the name of his band is Pamela Langsbury?

Best Lines:

  • “She seems like a Katy but she’s secretly a Gaga, and she only dates Gagas and I’m a Katy.” – Sam
  • “I’m sorry, would you mind just stepping outside for a moment while I bitch-slap some sense into my friend?” – Santana
  • “Why must we always choose between female pop-archetypes? Why can’t we just be them all?!” – Sue

The So-So:

  • Trouble in Paradise: It looks like Jake and Marley are going through a rough patch. She also goes through some type of identity crisis, though it had more to do with her relationship with Jake than anything else. It looks like he’s pressuring her to have sex with him, and well, that’s not the kind of girl she is. All signs point to a break-up.
  • Suspended: Sue is up to her old games again. She suspends the Glee club for a week for wearing innapropriate outfits to school (which is a totally reasonable explanation). The thing that bothers us is that she’s back to being the bad guy. How many times do we have to say that this gag has gotten old? There’s no fun in it anymore.

The Music:

  • “Marry The Night,” Lady Gaga – Adam Lambert’s Starchild shows up to Kurt’s band audition and totally impresses with a passionate performance of “Marry The Night.” He even uses a chandelier to twirl.
  • “Applause,” Lady Gaga –  Some of the New Direction kids get all dressed up to perform an over-the-top Gaga number.
  • “Wide Awake,” Katy Perry – Some of the New Directions give a beautiful, stripped down acoustic  performance of “Wide Awake.”
  • “Roar,” Katy Perry The New Directions, along with the New York kids, end the episode with “Roar,” complete with lion outfits and some serious Tarzan-type vine-swinging.

Overall:

“A Katy or a Gaga” was a surprisingly good episode. The writers focused less on the music (there were only four songs), and for once, let the characters interact without singing (too much). Seeing Sam try to be someone he isn’t, and also hearing Kurt be so honest about being liked,” was relatable to the viewing audience.

Rating: 8.5/10

Glee airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on Fox.

Gallery:

What did you think of last night’s episode?