Glee S5, E9 – “Frenemies”

We're singing! We're happy! Then it all goes horribly wrong...

We’re singing! We’re happy! Then it all goes horribly wrong…

Welcome back Glee! Oh how we’ve missed you! When last we left our faithful Gleeks, there were puppets, a gas leak and several identity crises. The usual. As we pick up in “Frenemies“, trouble is brewing both in Ohio and New York, as panic sets in. Getting what you want is a great thing but then comes holding onto it… Can friendships survive?

At the diner, Santana starts off with a patron who’s eggs are not hot enough (despite the steam coming off them) and whose bad Spanish reveals she thinks Santana is Mexican. Casual racism in the workplace for the not win. Santana keeps her cool – she takes back the eggs for some more steam, much to Rachel’s surprise. She encourages Santana to tell her what’s wrong – and well, Santana felt her awesome would instantly grant her fame and fortunate in NY but instead her one break has lead to a notoriety for being “that girl with the raging yeast infection” – surely not something you want to be typecast in. Rachel tries to be upbeat and has a great idea; she’s going to be on the cover of New York Magazine for some “Funny Girl” PR – why doesn’t Santana come and be one of the background models? This is especially nice because Santana reveals she was behind the full on “Hate on Rachel Parade” at McKinley and she sometimes feels guilty they’re friends now because of it. Way to be mature, Rachel! You’re a nice friend.

Let’s not get comfortable with this dynamic just yet.

Back in Ohio, Artie and Tina are patting themselves on the back for getting through four years of high school being mutually supportive awesome buds (despite the dating/break up thing). High five us! And well, Artie is going to miss their Tuesday lunches with Tina at Brown and him at Brooklyn Film School. Tina reveals she’s gotten wait-listed at Brown, which means her choices might be crappy vet school and Ohio State (not exactly a chump school Miss Tina) and she really, really wants to get out of Ohio. Artie tries to cheer her up, and promises their few remaining Tuesdays will be able music that makes you feel better. And friendship.

Cue the New Directioners in the hallway, starting the background vocals on the classic “Whenever I Call You Friend” by Kenny Loggins.

This is a lovely duet from a great Glee friendship; Jenna Uushkowitz and Kevin McHale rock the vocals, and are quickly joined in the choir room by the rest of the New Directions. It’s fun and happy and peppy and clearly we shouldn’t get too attached to this dynamic either. The title of the episode hangs over everything like the Sword of Damocles.

Becky enters and says mean stuff before telling Artie and Tina that Sue wants to see them. Dun dun dun!

Apparently Tina the Warrior Princess and Stumbles are in a dead heat for Valedictorian of McKinley. In order to determine a winner, Sue will be running a contest – a Blue Ribbon panel will hear their graduation speeches and make a decision. Oh and if they are overcome with emotion and begin singing? She’ll dedicate her life to making sure every beverage they drink for the rest of their lives has a little bit of her pee in it.

No singing. Got it.

Santana maybe doesn't want to be in the background anymore...

Santana maybe doesn’t want to be in the background anymore…

Back in NY at the magazine shoot, Rachel is a nervous excited wreck. Santana calms her down and sends her off to be fabulous – because she’s right where she’s meant to be. But as Santana watches the beautiful women in costumes flit around, she begins to sing the Sara Bareilles‘ “Brave.” Encouraging Rachel but maybe encouraging herself as she imagines being like Rachel, the center of the shoot, in a gorgeous gown.

The ladies trade lines and it’s a solid rendition, maybe one of the strongest songs in the entire episode.

Competition doesn’t bring out the best in Tina and Artie. They have a face off in the hallway – Tina needs to be Valedictorian so she can get off that Brown wait list but Artie thinks she should have applied to more schools. Which leads to a “I have nothing and you get everything” exchange, which rapidly deteriorates into precise and deadly attacks calling upon the Vapo-Rub incident with Blaine and Artie dating Kitty for popularity not love. It’s an argument that only two people who know each other very well could have, as each barb finds the soft underbelly. The competition is on and happy Tuesday lunches just got trashed.

In a clear repayment for Blaine being the “Puppet Master” a few episodes ago, Kurt is quickly losing his mind over the threat that is Elliot Starchild. The future-marrieds talk on the phone (well, Kurt rants and Blaine tries to talk him down from the tower) as Kurt insists that Elliot is trying to steal Pamela Landsbury. He’s calling it “his” band in a Village Voice article and he’s written a song they HAVE to do. He’s clearly a psychopath! (Thank God Kurt isn’t blowing this out of proportion!) Blaine encourages Kurt to follow the old adage – keep your friends close and your enemies closer. If he thinks Elliot is up to no good, don’t let on.

Kurt tries to get the girls excited about band practice tonight but Rachel is having none of it. She’s in a tizzy about the auditions for her understudy, currently underway, and they both need to realize it’s hard to be a star okay? She leaves, Santana looks thoughtful and I once again scream at the television, “It’s not a BAND, it’s a GROUP – no one plays instruments!”.

Moving on.

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