Glee Review: “The Hurt Locker, Part One” (Season 6, Episode 4)



Glee seems to have found its groove once again in its final stretch of episodes. “The Hurt Locker, Part One” details Sue’s spiralling vendetta to once and for all end Will Schuester’s reign (even though he doesn’t even teach at the school anymore) alongside Rachel and Kurt’s newly re-established Glee Club. What lights the fire of all this hate? A disgusting plastic fork Will leaves behind at a friendly lunch during the cold open. Grand, nonsensical plot points just don’t gel with the show’s farcical alternate universe (like the premiere‘s bippity-boppity-booping Rachel and Kurt into teacher-hood), but slight, throwaway over-the-top humor like this works wonders.

So what is Sue’s Hurt Locker? A dingy locker she rented out and filled with anti-Glee-club memorabilia and hate-shrines, call it her He-Man Glee Haters Club. There’s also a shrine to Klaine tucked away in the back (she’s “been quietly shipping them for months”) which leads to her, naturally, sabotaging Blaine and Karofsky’s relationship to get the former back together with Kurt. “Since when have you cared about me and Blaine,” a bewildered Kurt asks, seemingly for the confused audience watching. “Since, like, forever!”

Actually, thanks to the episode’s set-up, Sue has her hands in pretty much everything going on, and it lends the proceedings a fizzy rush. As Rachel attempts to make Will sabotage his own team at an invitational Sue blinded everyone with, so the New Directions won’t all quit out of sheer fear of failure, she spies on their conversation via hover drone. “Good dragon,” she croons as it flies back to land on her desk after terrifying the halls of McKinley. “Your Khaleesi loves you.” It’s ridiculous insanity, but with a show now fully backing a hypnotization plot line and living inside of a school that has an “ISIS Awareness Week,” it’s par for the course.

Elsewhere, she attempts to hypnotize Sam into sabotaging the Glee Club by attempting to make Rachel fall in love with him. It sort-of actually almost works, of course, and Sam helps her crash a piano-teaching session between Blaine and Rachel. “Coach, you are one bad ass crazy super bitch,” Becky remarks. Sue’s waltzing to the camera, the chords of Meredith Brooks’ “Bitch” twinging into life, begins one of the best musical moments so far this season. Jane Lynch is usually short-changed on the show, in terms of character arcs and songs, and “The Hurt Locker” two-parter seems to be directly addressing the character’s shunning in recent years.

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