Glee season 1 episode 20 review

Lady Gaga gets the Glee treatment in this latest episode, which Carley thinks should have held something back for the finale...

20. Theatricality

After the success of the Madonna episode, it comes as no surprise that the next port of call would be with somebody who has taken the charts by storm and is a household name across the world for her unique style as much as her music.

When a teen vampire craze takes over the high school, Principle Figgins tells Tina she can no longer dress in her usual Goth style and she falls slightly into a depression. Hoping to help her get her groove back and after discovering that the rival glee club, Vocal Adrenaline, is going gaga over Lady Gaga, Will assigns the club to take on the challenge and do a Gaga number and let out their theatrical side.

Unhappy with the assignment, Finn requests to be able to tackle another over the top band and with Will’s blessing they take on Kiss. A big Kiss number is the least of Finn’s worries this week when his mother decides to move in with her boyfriend, Kurt’s father Burt.

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This doesn’t go down too well with Finn. Having to share a room with openly gay and flamboyant Kurt, the feelings build up to the point he describes their new room as “faggy”, which Burt hears and then, in a bold statement, demands that Finn can no longer move in, as nobody uses that word to describe his son. Finn eventually makes up with Kurt by sticking up for him against two school bullies in full Gaga costume.

After listening to a tape her mother made for her in last week’s episode, Rachel is shocked to discover that her mother is, in fact, the coach of the rival glee club, Shelby. The two begin a slow and unsteady relationship and, although Rachel would like more, Shelby cannot be the sort of mother she wants or needs, and the two decide to take it slow.

In happier news, though, Tina pretends to be a vampire and scares Figgins into allowing her to dress how she wants, and after making an appeal by song, Quinn allows Puck to be present at the birth of their baby when the time comes.

Although labelled the ‘Lady Gaga’ episode, Theatricality is more than just a tribute to the current first lady of pop. For starters, there are only two Gaga songs in the episode and, although at some points it does feel like a lesson in who she is, the main focus isn’t on her. Instead, we get yet another emotion packed episode which moves the season’s story arc along in some places, while rushing others.

The rushing I refer to is the Rachel/Shelby storyline. Only last week did the audience discover that Shelby was Rachel’s mother and rather than build the pace up, it was over and done with within half an episode. Although the scenes were touching and emotional, it could have done with a bit more, and, personally, I think letting the story pan out to the final episode would have worked better. I just hope we get another visit to this relationship before the season ends and discover what Shelby’s real plan is (lest we not forget that she sent Jesse in to ruin New Directions.)

The biggest storyline this week, however, was the showdown with Kurt and Finn. Whereas the Rachel/Shelby storyline has been rushed somewhat, the whole Kurt/Finn and their blossoming parent’s relationship storyline has been chugging along nicely and really came to fruition this week.

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Since the beginning of the show, it has been no secret Kurt has had a major crush on Finn and has been moving the pair’s parents closer together so he can get closer to him, and when it all finally comes to a head, his heartbreak comes across as so real it hits the spot and Burt’s fierce protection of his son really is a great example of when this show hits the spot, it gets it right on the money.

Once again Chris Colfer and Mike O’Malley are pitch perfect as Kurt and Mike and are the beating heart of what the show is all about and they both should be rewarded come awards season for it.

All in all, this was an enjoyable episode of Glee and I liked the story progression, but it really wasn’t a Lady Gaga episode as was the Madonna episode. It was more a slight homage to being who you are and who better to emulate that?

Read our review of episode 19 here.