Glee 4×05 ‘The Role You Were Born to Play’ review: Brunettes have more fun

Like Mike and Mercedes, I’m back, Glitches! On the heels of a hiatus, I must say, Fox’s programming ‘strategy’ just doesn’t work, at least for non-rerun-junkies like me who don’t even watch TV during prime time. Yes, I have a life. Actually, Glee is the only show I reluctantly watch ‘live,’ but that’s because my only bigger beef with Fox is their arrangement with Hulu and I hate streaming links. That being said, has absolutely everyone forgotten about Glee after it’s been missing from what most would call the biggest night on television? About half of the original watchers I’ve talked to have confessed to dropping the show.

Source: Fox

Despite the entrance of yet another jock with dyslexia this week (which I’m guessing is undiagnosed at this point), I thought this was actually a decent episode that probably won‘t make Finn Hudson puke if he decides to relive it. However, there’s so much going on right now that they glossed over Blaine’s funk really quickly and made no mention at all of Samcedes. We also missed Tina’s decision to audition as well as the audition itself.

It’s pretty clear that the biggest story lines in this episode were Emma & Will, Finn, Wade/Unique and the Marley-Jake-Ryder-Kitty love square. Let’s dissect. I don’t have a whole lot to say about Wemma, other than I’m glad that she stood up for herself, but I predict that the distance will definitely bring them down. Oh, and I have that same squirrel shaped nutcracker that’s on their coffee table when they talk to Bieste! Similarly, Finn’s inner struggle seemed to resolve itself over night, but I liked the double meaning in the episode title, pointing out that Finn was born to lead the glee club, which was extremely predictable if you ask me.

Source: Fox

As for Wade, though his story is ‘Unique’ from anything the show has done before, they’re reusing a lot of elements from Kurt’s story, such as always wanting to be on the girls’ team for mash-ups. I understand that this is completely different because Kurt accepts his male identity and Wade identifies himself as a female, which is even more compelling because he literally doesn’t know where he belongs in terms of bathrooms and such. I also get that he knows he’ll be bullied for dressing in drag everyday, but that didn’t stop Kurt. Hopefully by the end of the season he’ll accept that no matter what anyone says, he’ll need to walk the walk if he wants his identity to be taken seriously. There’s a lot of room for growth here though, so I shouldn’t complain that it’s not all happening at once.

I desperately could have gone without Sue’s restroom rant, though I think instead of using Marley‘s makeup she should have stolen her hat and thrown it in the garbage. Between all the body parts she mentioned and Finn talking about going #2, I was thoroughly grossed out. Maybe this is ignorant of me, but I did laugh when Figgins thought Unique was actually a girl, because that is just so true to his character. However, her uber-conservative use of the ‘slippery slope’ (the idea that Wade could threaten the Cheerios) was really annoying, and when Finn called Sue’s baby the r-word, I was like, OH NO HE DID NOT!

Moving on, there’s also the odd tug-of-war going on with the rest of our newbies. Obviously everyone is Team Marley, except for maybe Barney Stinson, but I think fans will definitely be split between Jake and Ryder. I’m rooting for Team Ryder, which may have something to do with watching The Glee Project this summer. Even as an admitted bad-boy-lover, I don’t see Jake’s appeal at all. Ryder is not only cuter than Jake (I know, my personal opinion), but he stepped up and acknowledged how awesome Marley’s mom is without his back against a wall. I just want to shake her for not instantly getting over Jake after that! What I can’t really tell is whether Kitty actually wants Jake back or if she’s just being her typical, vindictive self. Either way, she clearly hasn’t heard of One Direction if she thinks a third nipple will make Jake less attractive to teenage girls. In addition, if Marley develops an eating disorder after being tormented by Kitty, I will absolutely vomit scream because they will undoubtedly butcher yet another hot topic that’s very personal to me.

Source: Fox

Speaking of hot topics, as much as I love Blake Jenner, I can’t decide if I really hate what they’re doing to his character. Even though only the true-blue Samites remember him mentioning having dyslexia, I think this time they might actually portray a teenager with a learning disability half-decently. Take that with a grain of salt though, as I have next to no expertise on the subject. From what I’ve seen so far, Ryder is anything but stupid. He works his tail off to make good grades but until he realizes what’s wrong, he’s not going to get the specialized help he needs. I’ll also congratulate the writers for not reusing the tragically tired and creepy locker-room-recruitment tactic.

After examining the music this week, the episode is starting to feel like the ‘Duets’ of the season, which doesn’t leave much room for their annual contest. Blaine’s ‘Hopefully Devoted to You’ was okay, though I think it would have been better left for an episode in which every song is from Grease, because he pretty much got lost in the shuffle after that. I loved ‘Blow Me One Last Kiss,’ because I’ve been jamming on that song for weeks now and like Mercedes said, it was packed with energy.

Source: Fox

When Finn and Ryder started singing ‘Jukebox Hero,’ I thought the song choice was a little too obvious since they were singing in front of jukeboxes, but it actually fit well because like the hero in the song, Ryder didn’t believe in himself until he started singing. Very cute. I was blown away by Jake and Kitty’s dancing in ‘Everybody Talks,’ but I thought they should have picked a different style after watching the San-Danny-Off. Furthermore, if I were Jake, I would have cut off Kitty’s ponytail after dancing with her, though their chemistry is phenomenal. ‘Hand Jive’ was so-so and also could have been reserved for an all-Grease episode, though they recreated the back-and-forth that we see during the dance contest in the movie. In my opinion though, it’s not as re-watchable as the other numbers in this episode. Yes, as much as I bash this show, I’ve been known to go on Netflix and just binge on Glee, often fast forwarding through songs I didn’t enjoy very much.

What did you think of this week’s episode? Are you glad to see the return of Glee or are you totally over it?

Tags: | Categories: Recaps
About the author: Rae Bradshaw
Rae Bradshaw
My husband got sick of seeing all my tweets about TV end up on Facebook, so I decided to start a blog. Then I decided I didn't have enough on my plate and I went looking for sites to publish my reviews. No White Noise seemed like the perfect home for me, especially because I literally hate silence. That means the TV is almost always on at my house, whether I’m sitting around watching it or actually doing something productive. This season I'll be covering Glee here at NWN. My favorite shows of all time(or my lifetime) are Arrested Development, Lost, and Friday Night Lights, to name a few. I also dabble in writing screenplays and the occasional teleplay. Check out my other reviews at Watch It, Rae!

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  • keeks

    Assuming Wade has always identified as a transgender woman, it’s appropriate to refer to her as “she” rather than “he/himself/him,” etc. I don’t watch the show religiously but I’m familiar with the character’s introduction into the show. So please respect her identity, or at least be aware of your misnomers. Also you have to understand that life as a transgender person is much more diff and implies a great deal more dangers than being gay or lesbian and cisgender. The death rate is much higher if you’re transgender for one. And even within the overall LGBTQ community there is a lot of transphobia. Just diff challenges and not a one-way solution for them. Outside of particular safe spaces you don’t necessarily know how people will react to your identity, and some will justify hostility toward you over some sort of “gay” panic. Kurt is a cisgender gay man who presents himself femininely. That is challenging since many in hetero and gay community exhibit misogyny and don’t like feminine men. This can be internalized by individuals like Kurt and it can be a continual battle, life-long even, to comes to terms with yourself and being able to accept yourself, esp without perpetuating the idea that women are inferior and not something to aspire to/embody. Anyway, while the show at times attempts to bring awareness and life to people who are generally marginalized and oppressed in real life and even in most of Western media it does behoove the creators and fans to also take the next step in furthering the education/critique.

    • http://watchitrae.com/ Rae Bradshaw

      Good to know. Thank you so much for commenting!

  • hummelberrygleek

    I do think that Finn calling Sue’s baby retarted was wrong,but I don’t think he meant it.He just said it without thinking and,let’s face it,it happens to everyone.Atleast Finn realized this and was sorry about it.Sue(and Santana) have both said much meaner things and gotten away with it.That’s why I think it ain’t fair that now people are hating him because of it.
    I loved having Merces and Mike back,but they should have given them more llnes.They didn’t tell anything about their lives and what they’ve been up to.Speaking of their new lives,how is it possible for them to just leave their new lives and go back to their old high school to help with the musical?I know this is GLEE but it still felt weird.But I missed them so I’m not complaining.
    Ryder is my favorite newbie so far.I just hope they won’t make him a copy of Finn/Sam,but so far he is ok in my books.Kitty is so bitchy and mean that it ain’t even funny anymore.I know every show needs an antagonist but she’s just pure evil.At first I thought that maybe Jake would become more interesting,but so far he’s just a lamer version of his brother.Marley is an ok singer,impossible to dislike but…I’m just totally indifferent towards her.There’s no spark whatsoever.I feel sorry for her mum and for Kitty’s behavior,but that’s about it.She doesn’t inspire me.Unique on the other hand does.She(or he,I don’t know which one to use) is very moving and has a great voice,but I’m not as interested as I am for many other characters.So Unique is ok for me.
    I liked Blaine’s version of Hopelessly devoted to you.He obviously hates himself for cheating on Kurt,and he’s devastated.Although I understand he wasn’t up to play Danny in Grease,I just thought that I hope it doesn’t come back to haunt him when he auditions for college(probably NYADA…)One thing that frustrated me was that no one was there for him despite that it was so clear how messed up he is.If this show wasn’t known for its lack of continuety it would make a good storyline though.Kurt was the reason he came to McKinley and now he’s gone,Blaine messed up their relationship and although he is liked by everyone in New Directions,he has no one to support him.We’ll…I guess I have to wait and see what happens.
    Jukebox Hero was a pleasant surprise from both Ryder and him.Hand Jive was great,but not anywhere near as good as the original.Blow me one last kiss was horrible.Both,espicially Unique,sounded off key.Marley/Unique friendship is cute,but two of them should never sing duets again.It did have a lot of energy,but that’s about it.Their voices don’t blend at all,and it make the whole thing sound messy.Everybody talks was fun,and I liked the way they danced.Vocally it wasn’t my cup of tea,but overall I liked it(as much as I hate Kitty).
    Interesting to see what will happen during this season.So far this season has been kinda sad,so I hope that things will turn out soon.I missed Kurt and Rachel,but it was good that the focus was on McKinley since New Directions is the main storyline of the show.

  • QMargo

    I have to say I loved this episode because for me this was an hour of great music, good scenes and I for once liked all the characters involved in the plot (even the newbies) so for me this episode really lived up to the meaning of the role Glee was born to play!

    I’ll start with Finn – he has no idea what to do with his life, but I agreed with Artie when he said Finn was always able to motivate people and he was a good leader to the glee club – so seeing Finn actually being almost like Finn in the beginning of Glee – being able to inspire and encourage people – That is the Finn I like and prefer for Rachel – not the guy who pities himself and thinks he is worth nothing.

    Blaine made laugh this week with his mini break down at the audition – LOL he thought he could not even play Teen Angel – ohhh, I really wish he and Kurt work out their issues soon!

    Also I am so glad Glee is doing Grease! I love that movie and I loved how they handled the auditions for it. One thing that Glee always manages to do well is connect a song to the current situation – so that is why for once I could say I liked Kitty and Jake.this week. I also liked how it was connected to the whole love square they have going on with Marley and whats his face? Anyway “whats his face” is definitively cuter than Jake and he acted really cool towards Marley, so yeah, he rules. Plus, he seems like a good addition to the Glee club. Also the hand-jive song was perfect for the whole rivalry audition too!

    Ah, and seeing Mike Chang and Mercedes! Missed those two so much I didn’t even mind that we didn’t get any Samcedes scenes…I was never really a fan of them. But I wanted to see more of Mike and Tina, still hate the show for breaking them up!

    So overall I liked this episode…just in case its not clear the first 4 times mentioned it (LOL)

    Quick notes though:

    – Why didn’t we get to see Brittany audition for Cha-Cha? Why Cha-Cha in the first place?

    – How cool is it that Sam is playing Kenickie? I love howed he explained why he wanted the role since he has been hit by a car door before.

    – Haha, Brittany was wrong – OBAMA won!

  • http://twitter.com/deniseechang Denise Chang

    I usually watch Glee with more of a laid back attitude…if I start getting offended at everything they say on the show I would literally explode. The issues they explore and the things they say are extremely controversial yet important and they always find a way to poke fun at it a little so people don’t rage and riot. I am loving Marley cause Rachel was definitely a little overboard and excessive for me but then again Marley’s missing a little oomph and I can’t wait until they explore her character more. I’m not too excited seeing Finn back but I’m super tired of Will so I’ll bear with it if there’s more Finn and less Will. Team Ryder for sure!!! Glee has got it right! Finally introducing a cute boy who’s not afraid to stand up for what’s right. Finn was the hero in the past but it always took something to bring him down before he could save the day. Ryder just stood up to the challenge and whisked me – and hopefully Marley’s – feet off the ground! Kitty can suck it. I miss Quinn, bring Quinn back. Kitty is like a blonde Santana, just shorter and not at all as funny. I’m sure the writers will find a way for us to sympathize with her but until that day comes, she can suck it. Jake…oh Jake. I usually root for the bad boy but Ryder has got it in the bag this time!!

    I’m glad Mercedes and Mike Chang made a cameo! I think Glee is starting to get out of hand. They’re exploring so many characters that they’re losing focus. There’s no more MAIN plot and it makes it too messy. They need to start getting rid of some characters or resolve some plot lines. There’s too much. Get rid of Kitty first. It’s not even a love square…no one likes her, leave the triangle alone!

  • Brittany

    I enjoyed the brief second where Mike slapped Mercedes’ bum. Lol! Could have provided a moment where Sam’s like “WTF you doin touchin my woman bro?!”