Article first published as TV Review: Glee – “Furt” on Blogcritics.
Oh, Glee, I realize some people might still be on the hate wagon with you, but you’ve completely won me over again. Last night’s “Furt” continued a great advance in your storytelling, and while not my favorite this season (that honor still goes to “Never Been Kissed”) you still proved there are plenty of reasons to not give up on you just yet.
Okay, I’m done pretending Glee is a real person, but I have to give credit to where credit is due: Glee has taken a very timely subject, bullying, and has presented the situation from some very interesting angles. I think the best part of the entire story arc has to be that the bully in question is not simply acting out of hate. Granted, there is hate, however an underlying cause also exists, one that was only glimpsed at a couple of episodes ago, and while we as an audience do not agree with his actions, there is a small hope that he will come to terms with the demons that are forcing Karofsky to act out in horrible, flat-out terrifying ways. So yes, hate does exist, but maybe more in themselves than at Kurt.
The episode, however, begins with some great news: Burt (Mike O’Malley, who continues to shine with each guest spot) has proposed to Carol in the same classroom where they were introduced. Kurt (Chris Colfer, who continues his streak as a true breakout star) is instantly overjoyed, and signs on as wedding planner. Finn (Cory Monteith) is not as happy, but only because the news seems so sudden. He has had other things on his mind though, most notably the fact that he wants to be seen as a leader again. Sure, he is the quarterback, but Sam still plans on getting that job back, since according to him, he is poised to rise as the coolest guy in school.
Rachel (Lea Michelle) decides it is time for someone to do something about Karofsky, and urges the Glee members with boyfriends (much to the dismay of Santana, who as Quinn puts it, is only getting naked with Puck, and not really dating him) to urge their men to stand up to him in Kurt’s honor. Finn isn’t sure this is a good idea and hesitates, but Mike and Artie take charge, and confront Karofsky in the locker room. The result: Artie gets knocked off of his chair, and Sam, who bravely jumps in, gets a nasty black eye. The group gathers later, and wonders where Finn was in all this. He says he was still on the field, but everyone agrees he should have been the one to organize the confrontation. Kurt is touched, but still lives in fear, especially since Principal Sue (whose story we will get to later) basically has her hands tied. Without any witnesses, there is nothing she can do.
Kurt decides to move on with the planning, and gives Finn and Burt dancing lessons in the Glee room. Finn is a bit uncomfortable dancing with the door, open, which is only made worse when Karofsky catches them and of course, makes a homophobic gesture. This angers Burt, who chases after Karosfky when Kurt finally admits that a threat was made on his life. Sue brings in Karofsky’s dad, who is wondering why his son has suddenly seen such a decline. Sue expels Karofsky, which means Kurt can at least breathe for a few days.
Another milestone in this episode: we get more insight on who Sue actually is, and why she might be the person that she is. Yes we can argue that Sue herself is a bully, but when the chips are down, there is a heart in that cold exterior, which actually comes through more often than not. This time we learn that Sue has had a bully of her own to contend with, a nazi-hunting shrew of a mother Doris, played by none other than Carol Burnett. Burnett blows into town after a long absence to attend Sue’s wedding to none other than Sue. Although she isn’t exactly June Cleaver, Doris wonders why Sue has given up on love, and has decided to show her affection by signing at Sue’s wedding. Can you guess how happy this makes Sue?
The wedding of Burt and Carol finally arrives, and now we get to hear some signing, to the tune of Bruno Mars’ “Marry You.” It’s infectious, especially when Burt and Carol arrive, however I think I can honestly say that this is the first time the songs didn’t outshine the story. In fact, the story was such a high point this week I actually had to look up to make sure they did in fact sing. Glee, however, would not be Glee without music, and the ceremony ends with a tribute to Kurt, or Furt, by Finn and the Glee Club. Finn realizes that he now has a brother in Kurt, and vows to be there for him no matter what, then goes off on another Bruno Mars song, “Just the Way You Are.” I’m in tears by this point.
But with all the joy, you knew something had to be up. Another conference at school, and this time with bad news: the school board has lifted Karofsky’s expulsion. He will be returning the next day, which terrifies Kurt. Burt and Carol decide that perhaps his safety is more important, and use their honeymoon money to send him to the Dalton Academy. The Glee Club is crushed, but without a zero tolerance policy on bullying, Kurt just doesn’t feel safe. It’s a sad end, but we know somehow, he will be back. At least we hope he will.
As I mentioned before, this episode really focused on story, and we as the audience, were richly rewarded. I’m not sure if it all going to end well, but with episodes like this, I will certainly stick around to find out. Next week: Sectionals!