We’re back! And so is Glee: Big Brother

I — like many Blaine fans — have been anticipating this episode for an awful lot of reasons. Most of them have to do with finding out more about the things that make our favourite former Warbler so angsty.

Personally, I was hoping for:

  • Baby Blaine and clarification re: race and whitewashing.
  • Family Anderson drama
  • Blaine’s extreme reactions justified.

What I got:

  • An exquisite storyline between Artie and Quinn. I couldn’t exactly tell where the pivot was in this. Whether Quinn was being unrealistically hopeful, or whether Artie was being necessarily pessimistic, or jealous? There is probably a bit of everything. It’s quite a story and it’s the first time I’ve given a damn about Quinn.
  • Sue’s amnio results — what is wrong with my brain that I didn’t see that coming?
  • Baby Blaine offering no clarification on Blaine’s racial background. Some say he looked white, others have pointed to his gelled down hair.
  • Blaine singing another “empowered woman” song. Not new, but thematic.
  • Finchel being excessively annoying. OMG would they shut up yet?
  • The most awkward character transition into glee club ever. This was worse than Sugar Motta.
  • The most incestuous-sibling vibe since V.C. Andrews.
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15 thoughts on “We’re back! And so is Glee: Big Brother

  1. This is great–so glad Deconstructing Glee is back. I was bummed about the flashbacks–we got one joke (and the visual joke of bowties and gel) and the Ken doll bit–there were real opportunities there that were missed.

    Even just some basic mentioning of parents would’ve been nice–of the greater sense of family in all this. But apparently Blaine says nothing about his relatives to anyone, including Kurt.

    And the race issue was a big one for me too–no clarification on that. And I think that’s all well get on Blaine this season, based on the Billboard interview.

  2. I’m not convinced that gelled hair in the flashbacks means anything re: race. Unless some people think using a lot of gel = half Asian…

    :S

  3. I leaned forward intently when Blaine’s brother (Cooper?) had Blaine recite a derogatory line about a “man in a dress.” I thought the episode was headed toward an exploration of Blaine’s gender and/or tension between brothers about Cooper being passive-aggressively queer- or transphobic. Alas…

    Not going to lie, I also thought about the discussion of Blaine’s possible sexual abuse pretty much every time the brothers were on-screen together. Blaine seemed afraid, and all three of his songs were romantically charged. Certainly I expected Glee to go somewhere darker than “Waa, he’s too critical, and I’m jealous of his success!” I’m starting to think Darren Criss plays Blaine with a depth and interiority that the writers don’t actually want him to have.

    As for Quinn, I’m glad she’s okay. Honestly, I give a whole lot of a damn about Quinn, and this show would be easier to watch if I didn’t. I have mixed feelings about this storyline but am eager to see more. I just hope it doesn’t become a Quinn/Artie romantic situation; their interactions would be SO much less interesting that way, and I don’t want a “People who use wheelchairs can only be lucky in love with each other!” message to develop.

    And did I miss something, or did no one even MENTION Dave Karofsky? I get that he didn’t fit into this ep’s big plots, but aren’t the characters still thinking about him?

  4. “Not going to lie, I also thought about the discussion of Blaine’s possible sexual abuse pretty much every time the brothers were on-screen together. Blaine seemed afraid, and all three of his songs were romantically charged.”

    I didn’t go down the sexual abuse path, but Blaine’s definitely got some uncomfortable feelings about Cooper. Coop is oblivious, but with the ass-slapping and touchy-feeliness and how Blaine just melts into it, I think he’s nursed some confusing emotions about Big Brother. I don’t think Cooper is a particularly terrible brother, but Blaine needs him a lot more than he should and there’s neglect that comes from some place else.

    I think it’s also fascinating in retrospect how Blaine went for an older guy in Jeremiah first, then Rachel who’s all intense and dramatic and forward, and only really realized his feelings for Kurt after he dissed him. I just want to crack his head open and look inside because there’s so much he keeps to himself and it’s all raging in there. I find this boy endlessly fascinating.

    We’ll probably not see anything further, but I think Blaine is setting himself up for disappointment with Cooper because he expects too much, and there is no way Cooper can be all that Blaine needs him to be. This is a temporary solution and Blaine’s issues go way further down.

    Overall, I really loved this episode. It gave weight to a lot of things we’ve discussed about Blaine – his need for approval and how hard he gets on himself sometimes. I really want to meet Anderson Sr. Blaine didn’t really talk to Kurt either about how Cooper was making him feel. Kurt knew he was upset about it, and tried to help, but there’s still no talking about things with him. I think Kurt’s quite adept at handling Blaine though, and it’s okay that he doesn’t discuss things because Blaine knows that he’s loved, and that’s what he needs for now.

  5. lol! If that was the case, Will Schuester would be half-Asian too.

    No, I think it’s more that people see the gelling down of his hair as some kind of white-washing and hope that it is an internal narrative thing (ie, adopted by white parents who want him to look white?) as opposed to an external thing (ie, we don’t have enough white characters already, etc, etc). And if baby Blaine has his hair gelled back (who gels a four year old?!), people are seeing that as possible proof.

  6. “I’m starting to think Darren Criss plays Blaine with a depth and interiority that the writers don’t actually want him to have.”

    OMG! Yes. I think this is definitely happening. I plan on doing some gifs of Blaine’s body language because…DC is making some interesting choices. And, yeah, doing more with Blaine than is intended. I’m not too surprised though…seeing as how he’s managed to make Blaine go from temp gay mentor to kurt to main character.

    Also, I think the microaggression involved with the ‘man in a dress’ comment definitely might explain some of Blaine’s behaviour. Most people don’t notice microaggressions….until they pile up over years, slowly eroding at your self-confidence and deeply impacting you. Blaine might be responding to a long history of microaggressions from Cooper (and his parents). Like no over or even passive stuff, just small (almost invisible) aggressions that cause Blaine to still think people are good and trustworthy, while cringing and waiting for the next blow.

  7. I get the distinct feeling that I am watching a completely different show. Probably time to delete the bookmark.

  8. “I couldn’t exactly tell where the pivot was in this. Whether Quinn was being unrealistically hopeful, or whether Artie was being necessarily pessimistic, or jealous?”

    Same. The only thing I can think to do is to go with Quinn’s doctor’s belief that she could be walking again with the help of therapy. (She said her doctor said that, right? I could be wrong.) My gut feeling is to trust Quinn on this–not Artie, who probably knows very little about Quinn’s medical situation, and certainly less than her doctor.

    I’m not sure exactly how Artie feels about this situation. I think there must be a lot going on in his head.

    Also–the possibility that Sue’s child might have Down Syndrome did not occur to me until she was sitting in the doctor’s office, and then it hit me like a sack of bricks, because *hello*, they’ve only been relentlessly drilling the fact that she is an older mother into our heads for the last several episodes. *facepalm*

    (Love your blog, by the way.)

  9. Not a moan, just a reluctant conclusion. I happened by here months ago and thought there were some interesting takes on a show that often is maddening and ridiculously fun in a single episode. But I find myself increasingly frustrated with much of the convo concerning non-canon Blaine to the point where the polite thing to do may be to quietly leave. I dunno …

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