Glee season 1 episode 18 review

Carley warms to the latest episode of Glee, even if these is a bit of the story that she could happily live without...

18. Laryngitis

We jump straight into the episode this week with Puck getting his mohawk shaved. After his mother finds a mole on top of his head and is afraid it might be something more sinister. A trip to the doctor’s concludes with him losing his Puckness and the geeks finally getting one back on him and throwing him in a dumpster.

Wanting to be the cool kid in school again, he decides to date Mercedes, who, after becoming a Cheerio, has become one of the popular kids. It sounds, clearly, like an utterly fool-proof plan.

Still, after dismissing Puck as being a jerk, she soon warms up to him after he sings a song especially for her and the two begin to date, which infuriates his ex-girlfriend Santana. Eventually Mercedes sees Puck for the bully he is and breaks up with him, and also quits the Cheerios, as being a member wasn’t being true to herself (natch).

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After becoming intensely jealous of his father’s growing relationship with Finn, Kurt decides to ‘man-up’ for his dad by dressing like him and taking an interest in soft rock from the 1980s. He also begins to ‘date’ Brittney and the two end up making out in his room to be discovered by his father who is so confused about the entire situation, he doesn’t really know what to do.

So what happens next? Well, upset and angry by the fact his father still spends time with Finn, Kurt sings his heart out to Rose’s Turn, unaware that his father is watching from the sidelines and lets him know how proud he is of him and how much he loves him no matter what. That sort of stuff.

Meanwhile, Rachel is upset as she has a strained voice, which she puts down to other members of the club not pulling their weight at rehearsals. When this strain turns out to be an infection, she panics, as the doctor recommends having her tonsils taken out, which chills Rachel to the core as she thinks this could ruin her singing voice forever.

This week’s story then wraps up with a depressed, who Finn ends up taking her to meet a friend of his called Sean, who was left paralysed after a football accident. This gives Rachel the new perspective that it’s supposed to, and when her voice returns, she offers Sean singing lessons, as it was something he always wanted to do.

So did all this come together in a solid episode? Yes. Yes it did.

Since Glee has come back to our screens since its mid-year break there have been some great episodes, but none have managed to pack quite a punch as Laryngitis did this week. Although very much in the vein of ‘a very special episode’, it didn’t apologise for packing an emotional punch, but doesn’t forget what makes Glee what it is, and that is sneaking in some fantastically comical moments. (I especially liked Finn singing Jesse’s Girl.).

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The majority of the episode felt like it was really split between Kurt and Rachel’s storylines, and I will get back to those in a minute, but I do have to say I really don’t think it was necessary to do the storyline with Puck and Mercedes. Yes, it did bring about a couple of laughs, but we don’t really need to be reminded Puck is a jerk. I quite liked the fact Mercedes and Kurt were both members of the Cheerios and wish her storyline there hadn’t ended quite so soon, as I am sure Sue would have found interesting ways of using her.

Onto the bigger stories this week and, once again, I loved the interactions between Kurt and his father and they really do have the most organic, honest and believable relationship within the show. I love the fact Kurt’s father (played excellently by Mike O’Malley) is still coming to terms with his son’s sexuality and is an honest snapshot of what many families have gone through. It isn’t easy, but the world hasn’t ended either, and I would love to see a lot more of their relationship on screen.

The storyline that really stuck with me this week, however, was Rachel’s. Although she can be one of the more annoying characters (which actually is a nod to Lea Michele’s acting skills), this week we got to see her softer side when she was interacting with Finn’s friend Sean. Although it does sometimes feel the moral message of the episode is being slightly shoved down your throat at points, the final scene with Rachel singing One Love with Sean is as beautiful and touching a bit of television as I have seen all season.

Next week, however, is an episode I have been waiting for all year. Directed by Joss Whedon and with Neil Patrick ‘Doogie Howser’ Harris guest starring, I must be dreaming… 

Read our review of episode 17 here.