‘Glee’-Cap 1.21: Won’t You Take Me Down to Funkytown?

Oh, you clever ‘Glee’ writers. Look what you’ve done. You’ve given us an episode called ‘Funk’, which is naturally (and expectedly) about funk music. But you’ve also made all of the character depressed, because they’re in a figurative funk. Aren’t you so smart?

So, why are our glee clubbers so depressed? Jesse has abandoned them to return to Vocal Adrenaline. He’s also broken Rachel’s heart and her spirit. This was probably his plan all along, the scheming bastard. The Ohio show choir blogs and chatrooms (don’t ever underestimate their influence!) are abuzz with the news that V.A. is back in top form, and set to kick New Directions’ butts at regionals. This fear is solidified when the V.A. squad mysteriously appears in the New Directions’ own practice room to demoralize them with a rousing performance of “Another One Bites the Dust.” How did they get in? With Sue’s help, of course. She’s back to her old tricks, trying to destroy the glee club so that she can claim its room as her official trophy annex.

Finn and Puck stupidly try to get back at Vocal Adrenaline by slashing the tires of all of its members’ matching SUVs. They can avoid expulsion only if they pay for the damage. That means they need jobs. Fortunately, Sheets ‘N Things is hiring. They have to work under Terri there, and Terri takes a very inappropriate liking to Finn. Appropriately enough, Puck fantasizes about breaking into a chorus of Beck’s “Loser.”

Will is feeling the blues as well. His divorce from Terri is finally official. The rivalry with Sue isn’t helping matters. He comes up with the brilliant idea of psyching Sue out by pretending to seduce her with a sexy rendition of “Tell Me Something Good.” He then asks her out on a date, and stands her up. (The image of Sue showing up at the Bennigan’s in her track suit and pearls is priceless.) This ploy works all too well, but has unintended consequences. Sue goes into seclusion, which leaves the Cheerios without a rudder. That’s bad for the kids in both teams, and bad for the school as a whole. (Brittany is so confused that she wears her cheerleading uniform backwards.) To rectify matters, Will has to go to Sue’s house, which is filled floor to ceiling with trophies, and apologize.

The New Directions eventually realize that the only way to overcome Vocal Adrenaline is to do something that team can’t – get funky. The soulless automatons in V.A. are too slick and polished. They have no soul.

Mercedes figures that she’s got this covered. Because, you know, she’s black. Somehow, she winds up playing the Loleatta Holloway diva role in the middle of Finn and Puck singing “Good Vibrations.” Yes, the Marky Mark version. Their performance is Oh. My. God. hilarious! But not so much funky… the Funky Bunch notwithstanding.

The other kids laugh at the notion that whitebread Quinn could ever be funky. But she shows them all up to the tune of “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World” – complete with a backup dancing from all the pregnant girls in school. They know a thing or two about being ostracized, you see. It’s both soulful and disturbing all at once. (Most of those pregnancy bellies look pretty fake, unfortunately.) Mercedes realizes that she underestimated Quinn, and invites her to move out of Puck’s house and in with her. The developing friendship between these two girls is genuinely touching.

Things wrap up with the New Directions back on their games, performing “We Want the Funk” to a shocked Vocal Adrenaline audience, who have no choice but to admit that, indeed, they are soulless automatons.

Next episode is the regionals, and the season finale!

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