Glee – Home (S01E16) – Episode review

After the Madonna frenzy that was last week’s episode, things on Glee get a little more subdued with episode 16, Home.

I read in passing a couple of reviews that cite this as “the weakest Glee episode yet”:

I hate to admit it, but this may have been the weakest episode of the series so far. Of course even a bad episode of Glee is better than the best episode of Two and Half Men, so it’s not like this was an hour of pulling teeth.

No, while Home wasn’t the usual witty, upbeat episode, it packed a surprising musical punch. For example, Mercedes got bullied by Sue Sylvester to lose 10lbs in 7 days before a journalist came to see the Cheerios perform. Starving herself in order to reach her target, she ended up fainting but finding an unlikely friend in Quinn Fabray.

If the sudden maturity and kindness in Quinn isn’t heartwarming enough, Mercedes takes a stand at the Cheerios’ performance and gives a speech about feeling ugly before launching into Christina Aguilera’s Beautiful. The bitter irony here was that despite the ‘togetherness moment’ this generated in the school, Sue Sylvester ended up receiving the credit for it. From a journalist who’d been ready to write a “hard-hitting investigative piece” about her.

Kurt’s matchmaking backfires…

Kurt Hummel isn’t letting a little thing like Finn being heterosexual get in the way of his crush. He sneakily sets up his father with Finn’s mother, hoping a romance between the two will result in Finn and him having to live in the same house.

His scheme backfires drastically – he gets insanely jealous when his father starts guy-talk with Finn, which he feels left out of. Though he ropes Finn into breaking the couple up, Finn’s mother explains how much the relationship means to her. Finn backs off. The whole thing works very well, as Finn realises his mother has a life of her own, Kurt ends up feeling sidelined and his father makes an impressive speech to Finn about how he’s not trying to replace his father.

OK, maybe it was a step too far to have the removal of Finn’s father’s remains from his favourite armchair, but there you go.

The Kristen Chenoweth Show

There’s no other way to describe it – the entire subplot between Will Schuester and April just didn’t make any sense. OK, maybe I’m just not too keen on Chenoweth and her post-Courtney Cox madness. She sings brilliantly, but I never warmed to her character in the first episode she took part in. I didn’t need to see her reprise the role.

Let me share with you this nugget from the AV Club:

This is to say nothing of Will and April, who spend much of the episode in a plot that lurches from point A to point B as though most of it were on the cutting room floor. It mainly seems to be here to give Kristen Chenoweth lots of time to sing. This is fine, since she has a nice voice, but it also stops the story dead in its tracks every time. I love Springsteen’s “Fire,” and “Home” is a good, cheesy number from The Wiz, but it’s as though no one considered that this might not work. The one number that almost works – that duet in Will’s apartment – is one that pushes the story forward (nicely suggesting the two are going to have sex before removing that possibility via clumsy exposition) but also goes on for-fucking-ever. (I timed it.)

They could simply have left the Schue/April story out of the episode, made it 15 minutes shorter and that would have improved this episode significantly.

It’s also worth mentioning in closing that the song selections this week were truly horrible. The Springsteen cover sounded awful, and most of the songs – with the notable exception of Beautiful – were unwelcome. And whose was that cover of Motley Crue’s Home Sweet Home in the roller disco? Couldn’t they afford the original?

Quotes from this episode

  • Sue Sylvester: Mercedes, your vocals chords have had more fantastic runs than a Kenyan track team, but that look simply will not do.
  • Kurt: Mercedes, you shouldn’t feel embarrassed about your body. Mercedes: Embarrassed? Honey I’m worried about showing too much skin and causing a sex riot.
  • Finn’s mother gets rid of some of his dad’s furniture. Finn: Don’t you have any feelings about it, it’s you and Dad’s honeymoon set? I was conceived on that bed. Finn’s mum: You were conceived on a pinball machine.
  • April: As I live and breathe! Will Schuester, I just had a sex dream about you!
  • April: I’m full-time fancy now, Will. I’m gonna wanna check the place out. I’m gonna wanna check the fong shwong or the fing fong or whatever they call it. Tell you what, I’m gonna get myself a bikini wax and I’m gonna see you tomorrow.
  • Quinn Fabray: You are so lucky. You’ve always been at home in your body. Don’t let Miss Sylvester take that away from you.
  • Schue: Being somebody’s mistress, don’t you think you deserve more than that? You can be the life of the party every night and drink until you can’t see straight. But you’re always gonna feel empty inside until you really find a home. April: Tonight, I’m gonna go round to Buddy’s and tell him we’re through. If he still had the power of speech, I’m sure he’d be thankful.
  • Kurt to Finn: I screwed up. I feel like the guy who set up Liza and David Gest.
  • Finn’s mother: We don’t need any more memories or ghosts. We need a family, a home.
  • Journalist: Sue, when I met you I instantly disliked you. You’re bossy, insulting and the fact that twice you called me “re-run”, makes me think you’re a little racist. I came here to write a piece that would expose you as a coward and a cheat…you’re a visionary and I think, redefining cheerleading.
  • Kurt’s dad: “Suddenly I’m not the dad who sat through Riverdance three years in a row”
  • Mercedes faints – low blood pressure. Quinn: “Did all the other kids start looking like food right before you fainted? I’ve been there.”

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