‘Glee’-Cap 2.09: Dog Days Are (Not) Over

I put off writing my latest ‘Glee’ recap because I assumed that the show was done until after the holidays, and I’d have time to post it before the next episode aired. Stupidly, I didn’t bother to check the program guide. If I had, I would have known that there was a Christmas episode last night. I’m a little behind and haven’t caught up that far yet. In the meantime, here’s a look at last week’s ep.

In ‘Special Education’, the New Directions kids make it to Sectionals for the second year in a row. Was that ever in doubt? What would the show do with the characters if they didn’t progress through the competition? While this ought to be a time of celebration, the victory has only served to make everyone miserable.

The main take-away I got from the episode is just how much the show’s writers have grown to hate Rachel. Over the course of this season, they’ve steadily turned her into a horrible self-centered bitch. This is addressed early on when Santana tells her: “You used to be just kind of annoying, but now I pretty much feel like punching you in the face all the time.” Later on, Kurt tries to confer with her and can only offer the back-handed compliment, “You are as brilliant and talented as you are irritating,” which he delivers with utmost sincerity.

In this episode, Rachel gets mad at Finn when she learns that he hooked up with Santana while he and Rachel were broken up. She tries to get even with him by throwing herself at Puck, but even Puck thinks she’s going too far and rejects her. Feeling guilty, she comes clean to Finn, and only winds up enraging him so much that he finally breaks up with her.

They’re not the only ones unhappy, though. After Mr. Schuester decides to shake things up by sidelining the usual stars of the group to feature Brittany and Mike Chang at Sectionals instead, that leaves the divas (Mercedes and Rachel) fuming. Even Finn is pissed at the change. He points out, “You don’t take the star quarterback out before the big game.” Of course, that’s exactly the sort of thing that the star quarterback would say.

With Brittany and Mike off practicing together a lot, Tina attempts to take advantage of the situation by convincing Artie that Brittany is cheating on him. That would seem to be in her nature, after all. The fact that Brittany has been avoiding him recently sells the story. However, it turns out that she wasn’t cheating. Brittany just couldn’t face Artie after she lost the “magic comb” he gave her for luck. Awww….

(Incidentally, Artie gets the best line of the episode. Upon seeing Tina’s latest fashion atrocity, he tells her, “You look like a cheerleader zombie corpse.” And that’s exactly what she looks like.)

Now that Kurt has transferred to the Dalton Academy, the New Directions need to recruit a new member fast in order to qualify for Sectionals. Mr. Schuester puts this responsibility on Puck, who tries to rally the football team into joining Glee. That doesn’t go so well. Karofsky and his cronies gang up on Puck and lock him in a porta-potty for 24 hours. He’s finally rescued by freakazoid Lauren, who agrees to join the team in exchange for “seven minutes in heaven” with Puck, even though she thinks that Glee Club is lame.

Things aren’t that much better at Dalton. Kurt is having a lot of trouble fitting in with the very regimented and stodgy Warblers team, which makes him sway in the background during their performance of “Hey Soul Sister” at Sectionals. After Mr. Schuester’s berates the New Directions for being so selfish and such bad sports, the kids come together and give Kurt a standing ovation even though he’s the competition now.

The team rallies through a kind of boring performance of “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life,” but do better with Amy Winehouse’s “Valerie.” It’s during the latter that Mike and Brittany show off their dance moves while Santana takes lead vocals.

(The other competing team at Sectionals, the elderly Hipsters, give a performance of “The Living Years” that made me question whether the lead singer is actually a young person in old age makeup.)

In the end, New Directions somehow ties with the Warblers for first place. Upon returning back to school, Emma tells Will that she married Carl in Vegas. Despite this, he puts on a good face to motivate the team, and congratulate them for getting out of their rut. He has Mercedes and Tina sing “Dog Days Are Over.” But really, it appears that they’ve just begun.


  1. Tim

    A small point: I believe “Valerie” is originally a song by The Zutons; Amy Winehouse covered it.

    I think the comments towards Rachel by Santanna and Kurt were self-referential. I think the backlash against Rachel is known to the writers of the show. I could be reading too much into this, however. I think Rachel did have a moment of redemption with Kurt later in the episode, which suggests to me that the writers are trying to paint her character in a better light.

    • Josh Zyber

      Wasn’t aware that Amy Winehouse song was a cover, thanks.

      About Rachel, I’ve really found her much more unlikable and less sympathetic this season. Her selfish behavior has ramped up considerably.

  2. I’ve felt both Rachel and Kurt have been unlikeable i know that Kurt has had some stuff thrown at him but it seems that they don’t let him grow from the situations he’s in.

  3. mlemaire

    Josh, you made a mistake: it was New Directions and The Warblers that tied for first place, not what you wrote. And I agree with the way you feel about the writers and Rachel…good call on that.

    • Josh Zyber

      Now that you say this, you must be right. Otherwise, the team wouldn’t have progressed on to the next stage of competition, right? I’ve just fixed the post. Thanks.

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