Glee Season 3-06 ‘Mash-Off’ Recap

“Mash-off” was a big play for Glee. For the first time since Sue began this ludicrous run for Congress there are some actual stakes. Elsewhere, Santana being made a target served the secondary purpose of returning the struggle with her sexuality to the forefront.

That said, it took a while to get to the game-changing moments and aside from an awesome Hall & Oates mash-up the journey was a very, very long one with idiotic detours into dodgeball and a really awkward Van Halen cover.

Puck (Mark Salling) claims that he has fallen in love with Shelby (Idina Menzel). Last week they kissed in a vulnerable moment for Shelby and Puck is convinced there is something to their relationship. Puck’s revelation leads to the awkward Van Halen; Hot for Teacher cover complete with un-ironic and completely terrifying crotch grabbing by Mike (Harry Shum Jr.) and Blaine (Darren Criss).

Puck’s forced revelation is meant only to set up a chance for Quinn (Dianna Agron) to get the baby back. Quinn will find out about Puck and Shelby and use the information to try and get her baby. When Glee is predictable, it’s very predictable.

Remember when the race to be Student Body President was a big deal? Yeah, the writers forgot too, hence why we suddenly have a student debate seemingly out of the blue. Rachel (Leah Michele) is out of the race after figuring out that Kurt (Chris Colfer) needs to win more than she does, how magnanimous of her?

Ok, I’ll admit it, I love having Kurt and Rachel back together.

Santana (Naya Rivera) has been trashing Finn (Cory Montieth) for a while but things got out of hand in “Mash-Off.” First, Finn tried to solve things with a terrible dodgeball game, featuring a dull and obligatory take on Pat Benatar’s Hit Me With Your Best Shot. Things escalated when Santana’s apology turned into further insults and Finn went with the nuclear option and called out Santana’s closeted sexuality.

This was Finn’s best moment of the season. He wasn’t trying to be mean to Santana, she’d ramped up her campaign of hatred to a level that required a response and Finn finally stood up for himself and threw the spotlight back on Santana.

It’s about time that Santana was forced to look inside herself, to find some strength and courage. It’s clear now that staying in the closet was driving her to be nastier every week. The only shock here was that Finn proved perceptive enough to sense Santana’s self-loathing without having someone explain it to him.

Who is Reggie Salazar? Is this someone we are going to get to know or is his campaign a device for bringing these to struggling stories to a place of honest resonance? Salazar would certainly seem to be a strong target for Glee creator Ryan Murphy, a right wing gay-baiting politician is terrific fodder for this most liberal of series. However, Murphy has had big targets like this before, Kathy Griffin’s Michele Bachman clone for one, and whiffed pretty badly, we will have to wait and see.

Santana’s shaken performance of Adele’s Someone Like You was a strong moment for Naya Rivera and while it’s somewhat unfortunate that her story is now tied to the terrible campaign story line here’s hoping her involvement can raise the bar for that story to something worth watching, Sue (Jane Lynch) and Schue (Matthew Morrison) certainly haven’t done that.

Random notes:

  • The Hall & Oates mash-up may be my favorite Glee performance ever. I admit it, I’m a Hall & Oates nerd but you must admit You Make My Dreams Come True and I Can’t Go for That was a terrific mash-up. The New Directions were really into it and those Oates ‘staches and wigs were glorious.
  • Oh hey, Jayma Mayes is still on Glee; who knew?
  • The Troubletones was a lame group name last week and remains lame this week, try again girls.
  • Welcome back Brittany (Heather Morris)! Two awesome soundbites this week from Glee’s comic MVP as she amped up her campaign for Class President: “I promise Root Beer fountains and Robot teachers” and “Also, Rachel Berry is still on Myspace and thus unfit to lead.”
  • Brittany then was the only reason to care about the debate as  she came out against tornadoes and in favor of topless Tuesdays. God bless her.
  • I didn’t hear which group won the Mash-Off but my vote goes to Hall & Oates, I prefer my Adele songs un-mashed.

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