This week’s episode of Glee is brought to you by Gandhi. Yeah, Mahatma Gandhi. You didn’t think this little ol’ 90-minute drama-fest could get any more complex, didja? Well I’m going to make it simple here, and whittle this whole awesome mess of insecure teenagers trying to get a handle on their basic sense of self without being complete assholes, down to something very basic. And yes, it’s Gandhi. As much as I’d like to make my usual funny jokes about all of Santana’s zingin’ one-liners (crème-filled puffy pyramid nipples for dessert, anyone?) and dwell on how Karofsky manages to make his Bullywhips uniform look both Maoist and gay simultaneously, there was actually a lot more serious stuff going on this week that needs unpacking.
For an extended-length episode, I was more or less expecting to get 90 minutes crammed with high-end production numbers and jazz hands abounding. But no—this episode was actually about plot and character development, kids! So hang onto your hats, because this is one of those “changing hearts and minds” episodes that GLAAD likes to shower with gold stars and approval. Who else spotted the famous quote from one of the world’s best known civil rights activists from the mouth of a gleek this week?
Be the change you want to see in the world, says Tina Cohen-Chang. (If she’d said it on Facebook, it would pop up as “Tina Cohen-Chang via Gandhi;” but instead you’ll just have to trust me that he said it first. Or, you could really go the extra mile and google it yerself). This one simple axiom pretty much sums up everything that happened in this incredibly plot-rich, extra-long episode of everyone’s favorite spazztacular weekly culture fix; but every single one of the characters had a different interpretation of how to enact this little piece of revolution and make it their own.
Tina ditches her blue contacts and tries to fill the void of Asian sex symbols in American pop culture herself (I guess she’s too young to know a good Margaret Cho reference?), while Emma finally starts taking some meds for her OCD, and Santana cooks up a plan to win Prom Queen just so she can order Brittany to date her by royal decree. Karovsky plays his part in the mutually beneficial double-beard proposal, and starts playing nice for the first time