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Glee returned last night fueled with friendship spite. “Frenemies” was exactly what the title suggests. For starters we’ve got Rachel and Santana, who despite living and working together, still can’t seem to get over their old high school rivalry. Then there’s Arty and Tina, and Kurt and newbie Elliot.

The Players:

  • Director: Bradley Buecker
  • Writer: Ned Martel
  • 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: “Frenemies”

Tensions flare in New York after Santana successfully auditions to be Rachel’s understudy in “Funny Girl.” Elsewhere, Tina and Artie both battle for the title of class valedictorian.

The Good:

  • The Diva-Off: The rivalry between Santana and Rachel flares up again. Once Santana sees how great things are going for Rachel, she begins to crave the same thing. So when the opportunity arises for an understudy for Rachel’s Fanny in the Broadway production of Funny Girl, Santana shows up to audition. She gives it her all and obviously lands the job, but this makes Rachel explode with insecurity. We’ve seen rivalries similar to these in the past on Glee, but this is the first time it’s actually over a real job in the real world. The writers are tapping into something totally different, and they’re also giving us a harsh taste of the reality that comes with fame.
  • Kurt Makes a Friend: Unlike Rachel and Santana, Kurt is able to appreciate the talents of his new friend Elliot (Adam Lambert). This goes to show how far he’s has come. He’s not the same person he was in Ohio. He’s grown since high school, and he’s behaving like a real adult.

Best Lines:

  • “No me gusta.” –Arty

The So-So:

  • The Race For Valedictorian: If there’s one thing that’s true about valedictorians it’s that they are competitive by nature. They didn’t get to the top by being nice and compassionate. So why does McKinley High School have, not one, but two, valedictorians who are willing to give up their top spot? The beef between Arty and Tina was fun at first, especially because Tina is so angry these days, but their solution was hardly realistic.
  • Rachel Moves Out: We’re very dissapointed in Rachel’s decision to move out. However, kudos to Lea Michele for delivering a passionate exit speech. It’s sad to say that Rachel’s still the same insecure and fame-hungry girl she was in Season 1. The scenery changed, but not the situation.
  • NYADA: Is school no longer in session? We can’t remember the last time we saw Kurt and Rachel in class.

The Music:

  • “Whenever I Call You My Friend,” Kenny Loggins and Stevie Nicks – Arty and Tina get emotional about their friendship and perform a duet together.
  • “Brave,” Sara Bareilles – Santana lusts for fame, specifically Rachel’s fame.
  • “My Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get It),” En Vogue – Arty and Tina have a sing-off, and it ends badly.
  • “I Believe In A Thing Called Love,” The Darkness – Elliot and Kurt rock out at a guitar shop. (Also, does anyone else notice some romantic chemistry between them?)
  • “Every Breath You Take,” The Police – Santana and Rachel act catty during rehearsal for Funny Girl.
  • “Breakaway,” Kelly Clarkson – The New Directions end the show with a Kelly Clarkson number.

Overall:

“Frenemies” was a great return for Glee. The episode was one of the strongest we’ve seen in a long time. The writers are covering new ground with the fame game. Yes, fame has always been a factor on Glee, but never has it been more palpable than now. We look forward to exploring it further.

Rating: 7.5/10

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

Gallery:

What did you think of last night’s episode?