Gleecap: Is this real life?

Tribune Interactive

The long-awaited Britney/Brittany episode of Glee finally arrived and we were...surprised? It was definitely an off-the-wall episode, but then, so is the subject matter. We were wowed by the dancing and finally discovered what we knew all along -- that underneath that chaste Cheerios top Brittany has been sporting the killer abs we'd literally kill for. Maybe we should take up a life of professional dancing...

He might be Emma's dentist, but he'll always be our Uncle Jesse
John Stamos has finally made an appearance and his character Carl is everything Emma deserves. He's dreamy, funny, confident and knows how to have a good time. Plus, he doles out drugs for safely controlled hallucinogenic trips involving pop stars and music video montages. So what we're saying is, he's basically perfect. Plus, he knows how to let go, something, says Emma, that Schue doesn't.

When Schue invites Dr. Carl to come talk to the kids about dental hygiene, he starts to realize what maybe his life was a little too hygienic. Schue himself doesn't get one of Dr. Carl's gas mask freak-outs, but he does get some interesting life advice: let loose a little. Oh, and stay away from Emma. <a href="" mce_href="">What was your favorite number?</a><span style="font-size:9px;" mce_style="font-size:9px;"><a href="" mce_href="">customer surveys</a></span>

Me and my shadow
Kurt suggests that the glee club do a tribute to Britney Spears (and pushes a little too far with Schue, which lands him in Figgins' office), but Schue gives an adamant and resounding no -- she isn't a role model he wants for the glee club. What about Michael Bolton?

Brittany agrees with him, but not for the same reasons. Brittany's full name is Brittany S. Pierce, or Brittany Spears as far as she's concerned, and she's been living in the pop star's shadow her whole life. We don't really see how this applies since no one seems to have known what her last name was until tonight, but then, very little of what comes out of Brittany's mouth makes sense. And we are all very grateful for that.

But you know what's good for low self-esteem, Britt? A trip in the dentist's chair. After a drug-addled dream in which Brittany sees herself perform "I'm a Slave 4 U" and later "Me Against The Music" with Santana along for the ride, Brittany comes to realize that she has a lot of talent -- in fact, more talent than anyone in the club. And she'll be taking all the solos from now on, thankyouverymuch.

Though it seems a bit tangential and a round-about means of getting the star on screen, we're glad Britney was introduced this way. There's only so many times Ryan Murphy can have a celebrity come to Lima, Ohio -- Olivia Newton-John was already a stretch. Plus, we got to see some amazing production value with the recreation of Spears' music videos. But never mind all that. The focal point of these two numbers is -- quite rightly -- Heather Morris. It's great catching snippets of her dancing on the Cheerios, but this was an entirely different view. The dancing was superb, and although the suspended reality was a bit jarring, she was still amazing to watch. Unfortunately Santana seems to be floundering a bit in Brittney's wake. You can roll around in those leaves all you want, but you can't match Britt's moves.

Just say no to drugs...and Britney Spears
Meanwhile, Rachel and Finn are having self-esteem issues of their own. She feels threatened by his attempt to get back on the football team, while he just misses the game and the guy he was while he was playing it. Rachel similarly takes a trip to Dr. Carl to check out her plaque-covered teeth and gets a shot-for-shot reenactment of "Baby One More Time" under the gas. We're still cracking up from the look of longing she shoots dream Finn from the stands. She might be playing Britney, but that was classic Rachel.

Taking a tip from her hallucinogenic muse, Rachel shows up for school in the cropped school uniform, saying that it's okay to feel sexy and pretty again. Seeing Rachel in this garb sends Jacob Ben Israel over the edge, and he's later caught by Sue watching an interview clip with Rachel in the AV room au naturel. After interviewing poor, nude Jacob, Sue confronts Schue and tells him to steer clear of Britney Spears, or else everything that's good and holy in this world (we're assuming she just means McKinley High) will disappear. Schue gets the message, but Emma's lingering advice has given him another idea. He's giving in, the kids are doing Britney, and he's performing it with them at the pep rally.

Britney + guys = boy band
Artie likewise pays Dr. Carl a visit and has a vision of himself on the football team. He later tells Finn that they were "unstoppable," which we don't quite understand because there was no opposing team. What was unstoppable was Artie's performance. This was probably our favorite number of the episode for the musical performance alone. McHale and the other boys really showed off their pipes in this one, and the best part was we didn't see it coming.

When you add Schue to the mix for the club's Cabaret-style performance of "Toxic," you get the screaming fans. Just as Sue predicted, all hell breaks loose when the kids in the audience get over-sexed by the glee club's number.

First of all, can we just say how hilarious/disturbing Jacob and Lauren Zizes' fevered screams were during this? We couldn't believe how far they were pushing it. However, we're going to have to throw a stick in the gears, here. The school needed a sexy outlet in musical form and it was Britney Spears that did it? Not Madonna? Spears is a pop star, not a sexual provocateur. Frankly, we would have been more turned on by "Express Yourself," but then we have to remember that Madonna was perhaps before these high schoolers' time. Then again, so is Britney.

That said, it was an excellent number. We loved the pared-down version of the pop hit and the costumes were sensual without being overly sexy. We were having trouble suppressing giggles when Kurt was flapping two bowler derbies over Mercedes' boobs, though...

You can't just explode your talent all over the walls
In the end, it's Rachel and Emma who turn down the insanity. Emma tells Schue that she still wants him to be himself, just more relaxed, not turn into some flashy guy. Schue counters that the boring guy he is wasn't good enough for Emma, so he'd rather be someone else. However, where his singing and dancing is concerned, we think this is Schue at his most elemental. Wasn't it the pilot episode when Emma showed Schue a video of his younger self belting one out on stage and told him "that's you the happiest I've ever seen you"? Sure, he shouldn't be dancing around with the kids, but his need to perform and show off that sexy pizazz is exactly who he is.

Rachel finally jumps off the Britney bus that everyone has been riding and issues a melodic apology to Finn for trying to stop him from playing football. Her rendition of "The Only Exception" just the mellowing element needed to de-tox the episode. Plus, we get to see her and Finn enjoying each other for just who they are, a jock and a music geek.

So to answer your first question: No, Rachel that was not real life. That was a "fragmented everyday haze of confusion," as Kurt put it, or basically, a trip into Brittany's mind. It's a nice place to visit, but we sure wouldn't want to live there.

Notes N' Quotes

Schue: Who can tell me who Christopher Cross is?
Brittany: He discovered America.
Kurt: I have a bad feeling about this lesson...

Rachel: Can we move on?
Schue: Yes. Let's talk about Michael Bolton.

Emma: The other day he made me buy green grapes and red grapes at the market and we mixed them up in a bowl and we ate them! It was madness, sheer madness!

Santana: Can I just say that you are the hottest dentist I've ever seen?
Carl: Yeah, I get that all the time,
Santana: I mean you can drill me ANY time...

Brittany: I thought Dr. Pepper was a dentist.

Brittany: This looks like the one on the spaceship where I was probed.

Brittany: Are you a cat?

Rachel: I'm actually kind of glad about it. That way I don't have to fantasize about what song I'd sing at your bedside if you were in a coma.

Santana: So get up in my grill because Britt and I want to get out anesthesia on.

Rachel: I look forward to the day the paparazzi provokes me and I attack them.

Azimio: You can hit me as many times as you want as long as you got that on!

Brittany: It looks like a Jewish cloud...

Sue: It's like an inkblot test, that butt sweat stain.

Puck: I'm really pressed for time, I gotta throw Artie's wheelchair off the roof in like five. (We know it's from the commercial, but it's just too damn funny to leave out)

Santana: Suddenly you're way hotter to me. Weird.

Sue: Mayor Richard Daley became so incensed that he punched his own wife in the face...

Sue: I mean seriously, you wear more vests than the cast of "Blossom."

Finn: U.S. History? Crap, I forgot I was taking that...

Final Thoughts

  • Terri's back, crazier than ever! Think she might go all "Fatal Attraction" on Schue?
  • That was really sweet of Quinn to help out Rachel, so she's not entirely back to her evil ways.
  • Are we really to assume there are no rules for wheelchairs in high school football? No.
  • Hooray for YouTube references!
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