Glee S5 Ep16 – “Tested”

Just sipping around, talking 'bout STDs.

Just sipping around, talking ’bout STDs.

Writer note: Sorry for the delay guys!

The Grown-Up New York Adventures continue this week on Glee, with “Tested” as relationships, faith and blood work all play into some difficult moments our plucky McKinley grads. More than the previous two episodes, I felt like we were being reminded that the safety net of Ohio is completely gone. There is no choir room to shelter a sing-off or the swapping of heartfelt apology songs. There is no adult coming to help – everything that happens is each person’s responsibility. No one is going to fix things – they have to do it themselves.

The pacing is definitely back on par with “New New York”, but the emotions are running high and the stakes raised to a dizzying point. As we countdown to the end of season 5, where will Glee spin us next?

With recent news from show runner Ryan Murphy that the show won’t be so NY-centric in season 6, one has to wonder if we’re being set up for something big to occur in the world of Glee.

Again!

We open with a 50’s black & white Navy film about the dangers of STDs. Sam, Artie, Blaine and Kurt – in cute sailor suits – are alerted to the dangers of the real enemy at home. Not Hitler, but unprotected sex! It’s funny and clever, with some spot-on over reacting, and it unexpectedly sets up the rest of the episode.

In a perky voice-over, we discover that Blaine is enjoying the abundant eating offerings of New York City – from international cuisine to cart food to the holy grail of sweets, the cronut, which he might be obsessed with. He even enjoys one from the breakfast tray – he’s still serving his intended breakfast in bed, every Sunday – as he watches Kurt do push-ups on the bedroom floor. But what’s this? Overindulgence has led to the dreaded Freshman Fifteen, as Blaine struggles to get into a pair of pants and is rewarded with a giant rip!

Side bar: Physical comedy flatters Darren Criss, as he throws his whole body into giving us the impression that Blaine has bulked up and not in a way he would like. Props to the costume department for purchasing what one assumes is a boys size 10 and another round to Darren for wriggling his way into them.

Also overindulging? Artie, who has discovered the joys of being the head hipster nerd of film school. People dressing like him! Girls wanting to get it on! (Kitty who?) Girls, girls, girls! Much like Blaine’s cronut lust, Artie’s blinded to the consequences of his actions. Vanessa and Jess are warm for his form for artistic and possibly fetishistic reasons but sweet Julie is the one Artie seems to like best. In the past, he would be afraid to ask her out but here in NYC? He’s feeling it.

Feeling it right into a version of “Addicted to Love” by Robert Palmer, complete with iconic hot girls in black dresses backing him up. It’s a pretty straight remake of the video, and a great song for Kevin McHale’s voice.

He asks her out but as she’s narrating his film (about a floating plastic bag, American Beauty shout out), she says no. She doesn’t date people she works with.

NYADA stage combat class! Hey, NYADA has more than one class at a time? I did not know that.

Kurt is the star of the show as he flexes and enjoys the attention of his classmates. After the bashing incident – and his brave actions – he’s got a rep going and isn’t that nice? Well, Blaine’s voice-over starts positive but as he sits in the corner, stuffing cheese doodles in his mouth, he admits that it’s not so nice. He’s feeling jealous! In the past, he was the center of the action, the one getting fawned over. The former fencer/boxer/Dalton Fight Club member was the man’s man and Kurt was more comfortable hanging with the girls. Now? Oh have times changed. The power dynamic shift has left Blaine off-balance.

In the Brooklyn Brownstone of Hot Make-Outs, new couple Sam and Mercedes are heavily petting on the couch when Mercedes calls a wandering hands time out. Mercedes says “I’m a virgin” and Sam says “I’m not” – which means the time out becomes a chat. She’s not ready to move forward to “all the way” and Sam is cool with that. He’s willing to go as fast or as slow as she wants. Sam, you are a nice man.

At Serendipity (after a house wait because seriously – it’s always an hour wait!), the boys share a little quality time. Sam needs a free clinic for testing purposes – he wants to ease Mercedes’ mind about his STD-lessness. Artie, Blaine and Kurt are supportive bros and all agree to go with him as a sign of solidarity (although Kurt’s mention of the “Eli C debacle” has Blaine in eye roll mode). Frozen hot chocolates arrive, which Kurt will only sip before jogging home. HealthNut!Kurt is a weird turn of events, considering he was baking things with frosting a few weeks ago for Elliot and then trying to solve fights with Rachel and Santana by offering food, not to mention Kurt’s endless interest in cookies.

Post-testing, Artie received the phone call no one in the world wants to get. The doctor at the clinic tells him he has asymptomatic Chlamydia, which means he could have been passing the disease around for a while. He leaves the clinic in a funk, envisioning himself in a giant green germ suit, with STD names written all over him. Worse than a scarlet A, let’s face it.

As the boys hang around the loft (Kurt’s eating a salad and Blaine has popcorn as he and Sam watch season 7 of Arliss – which is when it gets really good!) and Artie explodes with his news. He can’t keep quiet any longer – he has Chlamydia!

Artie: “I don’t know how it happened.”

Blaine: “Do you use condoms?”

Artie: “No.”

Blaine: “Then that’s how it happened.”

Blaine tries to be supportive but Sam is slightly hysterical. “I’m slut shaming you!” he declares, then goes to the bathroom to wash his hands. Kurt tells Artie he has to talk to the girl and when Artie says, “which one” Sam goes slightly more mental. Blaine tells Artie he has to talk to these girls so as not to further endanger their health.

Side bar: Chord Overstreet is very effective in this scene, funny and emotional at the same time. His hand gestures both while he has lines and when he’s in the background are hilarious.

The right thing to do is also something that gets you yelled at. Vanessa screams at him, Jess assures him she’ll just stop in at the clinic like it’s not a big deal. Artie rolls through the hall with that imaginary suit surrounding him yet again. At the worse possible moment, Julie stops him. She’s reconsidered her no and would like to grab some food with in a date-like manner tomorrow night. Artie says yes, even with panic written all over his face.

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