Bring in the Funk: 'Glee' Plot Twists the Night Away



Did you know that “funk” has several different meanings? We were hoping that “word with several meanings” had some fun term ending in “-nym,” but turns out that’s just what words are. Anyway, if you aren’t acquainted with the myriad uses of “funk,” you will be by the end of this “Glee” episode.

The glee kids show up in the April Rhodes Civic Pavilion to find Vocal Adrenaline, who perform “Another One Bites the Dust” to crush the spirit of their foes. Jesse announces he has returned to V.A. because the glee kids didn’t accept him or his ideas. Then, he gives Rachel a good dose of tortured gazing — only at this point we suspect that tortured gazing is how Jesse looks at everything. Styrofoam cup, how could you do this to me? Jesse’s gratuitous use of tortured gazing has rendered it meaningless as a plot point.

V.A. has also TP’d the choir room. Someone asks how V.A. got all that equipment into the auditorium, which we thought was going to be an offhand, rhetorical comment showing that the show is aware of its inherent absurdity, but no, Sue let them in. She wants to make the choir room into a “trophy annex” after they lose Regionals.

Everyone is in a funk (the depressed kind).

Will’s funk: His divorce is finalized and he’s stressing about Regionals. He goes to Sandy to buy pot (whatever halo he had left after making out with Shelby is now gone) and Sandy notes that V.A. cannot do funk (the music kind). Will announces that the club will bring down V.A. but doing a funk number. He says “Funkytown” and we all cringe.

Rachel’s funk: Blah blah blah blah Jesse.

Intermediate non-funk plotline: Will realizes that the way to secure his club’s safety is to seduce Sue. He waggles his tush at her while singing “Tell Me Something Good.” He even does a textbook Bend and Snap. Sue glowers vulnerably, because all strong single women secretly want boyfriends. That seems like a lazy interpretation on our part, but Sue later confirms it: She’s lonely and she wants a man. No subtext here. Also: As if Sue would be turned on by anything less than a majestic centaur! We hear they’ve already lined up Harry Connick Jr. for the role in season three.

And why didn’t Emma walk in on Will’s macking-on-Sue session? Emma exists only to be hurt by Will’s bafflingly inconsistent actions. In other words, Emma is the stand-in for the “Glee” viewer.


Finn/Terri/Puck’s funk: Finn and Puck go to work at Sheets-N-Things to pay for the damage they did to V.A.’s Range Rovers. Teri makes a couple racist comments so the audience remembers on which side their bread is buttered (WILL’S), then they all perform “Loser.” Teri broadcasts mild sexual interest at Finn, which is the least creepy transaction in this episode as Cory Monteith is 28, not 16. This is why you’re still getting carded at 35 — TV has tricked the world into thinking teenagers look like mature adults. Teri decides to help Finn find a funk number by typing “funk” into iTunes.

Do you know what actually comes up first if you plug “funk” into iTunes? “Give Up the Funk (Glee Cast Version).” “Glee” is bending the space-time continuum to its will!

Quinn’s funk: She feels ostracized by her pregnancy. So she performs “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World” with a cadre of pregnant, teenage backup singers who perform moves that no actual pregnant woman would be able to do.

Sue’s funk: Will stands her up for a date. At Will’s apartment, he brings her up to date on his scheme. She goes home and won’t get out of bed for Nationals, and the Cheerios freak out and wander the halls like disheveled extras from “Les Miz.” Will goes to Sue’s trophy-ridden home and gives her a speech about love.

She hauls herself up and wins her sixth consecutive Nationals tournament. Then she goes to Will’s apartment and offers him a deal: Kiss her, or she’ll install her ginormous new trophy in the choir room in a bullet-proof case. He goes for it! And she humiliates him so poisonously she doesn’t even have to rag on his hair. Please, please let this have been Sue’s endgame all along, and we can just ret-con all her earlier Will-desire.

Rachel funk: Rachel goes to meet Jesse, hoping for reconciliation. She gets egged by V.A. — and Jesse, who also throws in some tortured gazing and tells Rachel he loved her. So let’s break this down: Why is Jesse all hostile? First, he wasn’t sent to spy, he was sent to lead Rachel to her bio-mom. TWIST! He was supposed to befriend her but seduced her instead. TWIST! He admits that he’s started to like her. TWIST! Then he breaks an egg on her face. TWIST? You only get so many twists, “Glee,” until we suspect you are twisting for no purpose other than force of habit, like M. Night Shyamalan. The Village is NOW!

Funk resolution: The glee club invites V.A. to watch them perform “Give Up the Funk.” V.A. is stunned and horrified at their funk prowess.

Next week: Regionals.

Photos courtesy Fox

Holly J. Morris is Express' managing editor for features.
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express · June 2, 2010