Glee S5 E7 – “Puppet Master”

glee puppet master featured image

Glee celebrated Thanksgiving this year with an episode full of character insight, great music and…puppets. Last year there were superheroes, so it’s not like anyone should be surprised. In “Puppet Master” we find Blaine cracking under pressure, Sue having an identity crisis, Kurt trying to direct his band to success, and Jake with some serious regrets. Throw in a gas leak and we’re in for a wild ride.

And? We still don’t know what the fox says…

We open on a loud and busy choir room. Blaine enters and tries to call everyone to order. Seems that Mr. Shue is busy with an upcoming inspection and won’t be able to come to Glee Club, so Blaine will be glad to handle things. They have to focus on Nationals, and Blaine has some suggestions! Perhaps some piano accompaniment (from Blaine)? Or wait, acapella (he has some experience there)? He meets with resistance from everyone but Jake, and doesn’t make things easier when he points out he’s won more show choir competitions than anyone in the room. When the group continues to fight Blaine on his suggestions, he huffs his way out of the room. If they don’t want his help? Fine!

Get into the groove, you Brooklyn Hipsters!

Get into the groove, you Brooklyn Hipsters!

Kurt excitedly calls a meeting of Pamela Lansbury – they have their first gig! And they’re back to being a Madonna cover band! And the gig is at Callbacks! Rachel is blessedly excited but everyone else isn’t too thrilled. Also, they’re still a Madonna cover band? This is possibly something they should finalize before their first gig. No one thinks Callbacks is the place to be discovered (as a Madonna cover band?) or a place to get music critics (as a Madonna cover band?), but Kurt has it all planned out. He sets the stage – the colorful outfits! The adoring crowd!

Kurt’s fantasy is a great one – fun vocals, an enthused audience, and his lead performance winning everyone over. Madonna’s “Into the Groove” is a fun number, bright and finger-snappingly memorable. Kurt wins over his band mates. They’re on board!

Kurt’s phone is ringing – it’s his finance! Talk amongst yourselves.

Said fiance is furious, ranting about Glee Club and their dissing of his ideas. Kurt reminds him that folks at McKinley all have an equal vote and if Blaine pushes too hard, people might see him as a control freak. Or a puppet master. Blaine makes a face. Kurt makes a face, then changes the subject – Blaine was just in NY but hey, why  not take the magic portal from Ohio to NY on a weeknight and see the band! Blaine says yes, but he’s still shocked and bewildered: why would anyone would see him as a control freak?!

We have no idea, honey.

Sue stops to torment Figgins as he polishes the hallway floors. The board is coming for a final inspection and once she has passed, they will offer her the permanent position of principal of McKinley. Sue enumerates her triumphs to first Figgins and then the board members in her office. They become glassy-eyed at her successes, and it’s clear she has it in the bag. Then Silver Fox Superintendent Harris hangs back to sing her praises and Sue is clearly smitten. Until he asks her out for a beer – because he could use more male friends. Yikes!

She drowns her annoyance in ice cream and cookies with the lactose intolerant Becky. While Becky feels that Coach’s allure rises above male and female definitions, Sue questions her choices. Back in 1986, when she was just a newbie teacher, she rocked the feminine look – complete with Farrah-esque hair.

Flashback! Sue tries to police the hallways, but students laugh in her face. Enter Figgins (with hair! and a Crocodile Dundee accent!), who tells “new Cheerios coach Sue Sylvester” to try some pants as a way to gain respect. 1986 Sue takes his advice to heart as the first track suit makes its appearance. She takes scissors to her hair, and then stalks the hallways as the Sue we all know, love, and fear. The moment climaxes as she grabs a megaphone from a cowering student and orders the crowded hallway emptied.

They obey, in terror.

The tracksuits are the source/symbol of her power, but Becky thinks it might be time for a change.

The Muppets Take McKinley

The Muppets Take McKinley

A still flustered Blaine storms into the empty choir room. Brad, already at the piano, speaks (“You’re here early” if we’re keeping track for trivia reasons) and nearly gives Mr. Bossypants a heart attack. Blaine apologies for yelling at Brad – he’s had a bad week. Well, so has Brad. An online Blackjack addiction has brought Brad to the brink of ruin – owing money, house about to be foreclosed. Blaine has problems of his own, what with Glee Club dissing him and his fiance thinking he’s a puppet master! Life is rough all over. And if the other students want him to sit down and shut up? That’s exactly what he’s going to do.

Unfortunately the corner he chooses is one directly in front of a vent, where a gas leak has begun.

Blaine drifts – only to be awoken by his classmates. As puppets! They’re all adorable and perky and absolutely sorry they didn’t listen to him. They were wrong! He’s the bestest, and that’s exactly what Blaine needs to hear. Mr. Schue Puppet thinks they should dedicate this week’s lesson to the most inspiring person they know: Blaine! There’s even a sign, his name in lights! The puppets beg Blaine for a song and as we all know, he’s always got one in his back pocket.

Blaine chooses “You’re My Best Friend” by Queen, singing happily with his puppet friends. It’s adorable, with strong vocals and a charming kid’s show feel to the entire number. Blaine is in heaven – until he’s angrily awoken in the real world by his friends, who are upset he spent the entire period not singing or engaging with the group. A rude awakening after all that happy felt. Also? He’s still seeing puppets in the real world…

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