If you couldn't tell from the parental discretion warning before the start of the episode (a first!), tonight's "Glee" was prepared to (safely) push boundaries. Following last week's relatively consequence-free Alcohol Awareness hour, these sexed up storylines were a welcomed addition to the season, as they uncovered some shocking truths and truly heartbreaking moments that should carry us through Regionals and beyond.
Because McKinley's health and wellness teacher came down with a mad case of the herp, Holly Holliday (Gwyneth Paltrow) rode in on her leather-clad white horse to save the day and some severely clueless McKinley students. (Finally Finn's lingering ignorance from last year's hot tub incident is addressed! Brittany S. Pierce believes in The Stork? Well, sure, of course she does.) Along with HH came the return of controversial musical numbers and uncomfortable subject matter, most of which McKinley's adult staff are reluctant to discuss. But wouldn't you have enjoyed hearing Sue's take on sex ed? Or perhaps her regaling the Cheerios with tales of her former lovers? On second thought...
"Sex. It's just like hugging but wetter," Holly explained. And with that, the substitute moonlighting as the faculty-only Jazzercise instructor launched into a rowdy rendition of "Do You Wanna Touch Me" by Gary Glitter, backed by a sexy chair routine from Brittany and Santana, and later, a sultry tango duet to Prince's "Kiss" with Will. Her open and honest tactics didn't sit well with Emma, or as she called her, "Crazy Pope Lady," who had recently taken the helm of the school's Celibacy Club. "This is serious stuff, and it's not for kids and it's not for adults!" Emma complained to Will, which revealed that her marriage to Carl hadn't fixed her preexisting issues, but rather buried them deeper and deeper within. Fast-forward to her bicentennial-era performance of "Afternoon Delight,"and it's clear this counselor could use some guidance of her own. No, Emma. A "nooner" isn't eating dessert in the middle of the day.
But ignorance wasn't just a problem at McKinley. Dalton Academy, though superior in its levels of tolerance, student wardrobe and interior design, also failed to properly educate young men on the birds and the bees. After an ominous Sue Sylvester (who was M.I.A. for most of the episode, aside from popping in on Kurt and Blaine at The Lima Bean coffee shop—aw, get it?) warned the boys about New Directions' plan to sex things up at Regionals, Blaine decided to call for an emergency performance...in their secret, sexy warehouse. As fun a song as "Animal" by Neon Trees is, this Warblers' number just wasn't "screamworthy" (but Darren Criss always makes my knees turn to jelly. You can wink my way any day, Blaine). While they looked like they were having fun (bubbles! beach balls!), Kurt's gassy-sexy stares simply didn't cut it.
Like Emma, the ex-New Directioner was closed off when it came to talking about sex, mostly because he felt uninformed. "I have as much sexual appeal and knowledge as a baby penguin," he complained. Unfortunately, that was true, as Kurt's "sexy" stare looked as if Elvis had smelled some rancid milk. So at the suggestion of Blaine, Burt finally gave his son "the talk." Rightfully so, Burt focused on the emotional aspect of sex, reminding Kurt that he does "matter," rather than just reviewing the "mechanics" of it all. Kurt took away some new reading material, and we got another heartwarming scene between the men Hummel. Win.
The extent of Santana and Brittany's relationship has always been unclear—it's been hinted that the two share sweet lady kisses, but then again, they share kisses with just about everyone. Luckily, like us, Brittany wanted some clarification, and the two girls looked to Ms. Holliday for help. After recommending they express themselves through song (who is she? Will Schuester?), the trio performed the Fleetwood Mac classic "Landslide," which was enhanced by Gwyneth's guitar (thanks for the lessons, Chris Martin!). As Santana teared up, new beau Sam was feeling all warm and fuzzy thinking of ponies and rainbows. "Pretty cool our girlfriends are that close, right? I wish you and I were that close!" the Blond Bieber told Artie. Are any of the "Glee" guys ahead of the curve?
Following their performance, Santana approached Brittany in the halls, and in her most vulnerable moment yet, Naya Rivera totally delivered. "I'm a bitch because I'm angry. I'm angry because I have all of these feelings. Feelings for you, that I'm afraid of dealing with because I'm afraid of the consequences," she explained. "I love you, and I don't want to be with Sam, or Finn, or any of those other guys. I just want you." Raise your hand if you saw that coming, Crushers!?
But my favorite couple of the evening had to be Puck and Lauren Zizes, if only for the ridiculous logic that they share. Lauren admitted that she doesn't want to be a pop star like Rachel Berry, she just wants to be famous. Like a Kardashian (with a TV show and a fragrance). The Zizes figured a sex tape was her shortcut to the top, and fittingly, Puckerman was game. "It's easy to be comfortable when you look this good, you know what I mean?" While self-confidence wasn't a problem, child pornography laws were. Mission aborted. Despite the plan's ick-factor, I could watch these two comment on Egyptian cotton thread counts in the library all day long. "If I want to see Kim Kardashian be classy, I'll watch E!" Amen to that.
Emma sort of admitted to having feelings for Will, who made a move on Holly Holliday. And even though Quinn's back in the Celibacy Club, she and Finn are totally still hooking up. There was so much to unpack this episode, it makes sense that the performances fell to the wayside. Next week: New Directions takes Regionals by storm with original songs!
Check out Jim Cantiello's musical "Glee"-cap!
Were you surprised by Santana's confession to Brittany? How did Gwyneth Paltrow do the second time around? Let us know in the comments and on Twitter!