It’s that time of year for TV shows to roll out their very special Christmas-themed episodes before taking a break until after the holidays. ‘Glee’ dutifully obliged the tradition with last week’s entry, descriptively titled ‘A Very Glee Christmas’. After this, the show is off the air until February.
The Christmas episode is divided into three major storylines. By far, the most entertaining is the one about Brittany, who once again steals the show. When Mr. Schuester tries to get the kids in the holiday spirit by making them carol through the school, Artie learns that Brittany still believes in Santa Claus. Rather than spoil her childlike innocence, he convinces everyone to keep up the illusion, even if it means going to some ridiculous lengths.
Brittany gets a bunch of great lines in this one. When the gang takes her to see a mall Santa, she tells one of the “little helpers” that, “Can I be honest? I don’t understand the difference between elves and slaves.” Later on, Mr. Schuester gets the class to donate toys to disadvantaged children. Brittany gives a dollhouse because, “At least their dolls won’t be homeless.”
However, the very best line of the episode is a throwaway delivered by Mike Chang. When the students sit on the mall Santa’s lap to tell him their Christmas wishes, he asks that Channing Tatum please stop being in movies. I couldn’t agree more!
Brittany almost takes her delusion too far when she asks Santa to make Artie walk again for Christmas. The oblivious mall Santa agrees to it. Artie then has to recruit Coach Beiste to dress up as Santa and let her down easily. The speech she gives is very touching and very sad, but breaks Brittany’s Christmas spirit all the same. Then, in a miraculous turn of events, Artie finds some mechanical walking contraption called a “Re-Walk” under his tree, which lets him plod around like RoboCop for a few minutes. His parents didn’t buy it, and have no idea where it came from. (Most likely, it was Coach Beiste.)
In storyline #2, the school teachers hold a Secret Santa among themselves, but Sue rigs it so that everybody has to buy gifts for her. She’s quite brazen and unapologetic about it. When Will repossesses the gifts to give to charity, Sue and her henchman Becky pull a Grinch. Literally, they dress up in costume and re-enact ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’. (Becky makes a perfect Max.) This leads to a sublime moment where Sue slithers under the tree while singing “You’re a mean one, Sue the Grinch…” Predictably, this all culminates in Sue getting her heart back and returning the gifts to Will.
The final, and least interesting, storyline has Rachel trying to win back Finn. She attempts to serenade him with a bittersweet rendition of “Merry Christmas, Darling,” but he walks out without listening. Later, she connives her way into getting the two of them together on a tree shopping excursion, and even manages to get him caught up in a duet of Wham!’s “Last Christmas.” But Finn eventually sees through it and tells her definitively that they are broken up.
I have a couple of problems with this storyline. First, I feel like it just reiterates everything that happened the previous week without adding anything new. Also, I just have no sympathy for Rachel anymore at this point. She still doesn’t seem to feel any real guilt or remorse for hurting Finn’s feelings. She just wants her boyfriend back. Her apologies are totally insincere. Her goal is still selfish at heart. The only way she’s going to learn a lesson is if something really horrible happens to her – and it will have to be something a lot bigger than getting dumped.