Puppet Master is a confusing episode for me in regards to how I feel about it. On the one hand, it has the characters re-imagined as puppets, and in my head, I thought this could be a really awesome thing. Angel (from the series Angel) turning into a puppet was possibly one of my favorite episodes of the series, and heck, one of the most enjoyable episodes in TV for me. It was some fun absurd comedy, and I thought Glee might be able to pull off some of this. However, it didn’t pull it off for me. But I really, really, wanted it to, which is where I think the mixed feelings are coming from.
The problem with this whole episode is that Blaine is literally no different than the rest of the episode. He doesn’t change. He gets rewarded for being a crazy control freak. I’m not saying punish him, but I feel like we could’ve gotten some real depth from this story. Some insight into his character. Some change. But it really just ended up being really bizarre, and if you don’t like Blaine already (which I feel like is a growing trend), this is probably just the nail in the coffin, and it’s everything some people hate about this character. The whole story was a little too insubstantial for me to really enjoy as much as I could have, and it’s the most disappointing for me.
But let’s move on to Jake/Bree/Marley. Jake has apparently slept with literally the entire Cheerios squad (except Kitty, I think? Although maybe they hooked up back in season four when Kitty was the girl we all hated and they dated). Bree is disappointed despite the fact they aren’t in a relationship. However, she does get legitimately upset later when she tells Jake she’s pregnant, and request Jake come with her to the doctor’s appointment to have it, uh, taken care of. I mean, they don’t SAY abortion, but that’s the implication. However, Glee avoids the mess by having her not actually be pregnant (which, thank you for not doing that again Glee). And then she tells him he’s toxic, would make a terrible father someday and he probably will actually get someone pregnant at the rate he’s going. While I can’t help but be distracted by her hypocrisy, I really appreciate that for the first time, Bree resembles something like a real human being, and she doesn’t completely irritate me. I’m not really interested in her, but it’s progress.
Of course, her being horrible to him makes me go back to Marley talking about how broken he is, how he knows he’s horrible and she needs to fix him, blah blah blah. Fortunately, thank you, Marley says she can’t fix him and she doesn’t want to be in a relationship with him. I know there’s a lot of people that find Marley boring, but I really do respect her, and I really did want to hug her after she told him she can’t fix him. Because that’s one of the most annoying messages this show gives (see Will/Emma), and it’s nice to see them address that she is not the cure for Jake’s awful treatment of women. Still, despite my growing attachment to Marley, and Bree improving slightly, this is still a pretty forgettable plot. The most memorable part is Jake’s hallucination which doesn’t have puppets, but him dancing shirtless with some underdressed girls to the Nasty/Rhythm Dancer mash-up. And man, Jake can dance. I don’t really care about his character, but as a performer, he does win my heart as my favorite.
Our last Lima plot is Sue wanting to be more feminine to impress the superintendent. She also needs to impress the board that she should remain the permanent principal. She has a traumatic past of not being taken seriously when she used to dress in feminine clothes, and the trend of the track suits was born! She tries talking to Will about helping her since he manages to balance his masculinity and femininity well, and long story short, it ends in her realizing that Will’s advice is stupid. She gets Unique to give her a makeover, shows the guy she likes that she is a female, and manages to keep her job by fixing the gas leak which was causing all these hallucinations (including one of her and Will dancing to Cheek to Cheek. Although this doesn’t explain Blaine’s hallucination in detention. If it is a hallucination? I’m confused by that). She wins the principal position, but does not win over the man. Oh well. Sue having a love interest isn’t something I need. I’d rather see her being a terror to McKinley any day.
Which brings us to New York. Kurt, just like Blaine, is getting a little controlling with the band, Pamela Lansbury. He got them a gig at Callbacks, which everyone else thinks will be the end of the band. He’s already fantasized about how it would go. They’ll be doing Madonna’s Into the Groove, and the crowd will cheer (and we see this). The performance was so-so, but the outfits were terrible. Just because you’re covering Madonna doesn’t mean people should be wearing leg warmers. Please no. Anyway, the actual gig ends up with just one person in the audience who thinks it’s Angela Lansbury performing. Lucky for them, they impress the guy and get a gig at a better place. Happy ending with no resolution! And a random performance of The Fox, with the puppets on the New York and Lima sides, and it’s possibly the most awkward transition into a song they’ve ever done. The only thing I really remember about it is that Lea Michele still sounded beautiful on one of the dumbest songs they’ve ever done.
I think my general problem with this episode is the complete lack of seriousness any of this is taken with. The only story that they’re taking seriously at all is the Jake/Marley/Bree drama. Blaine’s story line is just a weird joke, Sue’s story is also a joke, and band story doesn’t even have enough time to be anything. I think if we worked on making Jake a funnier character who is taken a little less seriously, I would be way more invested in him. And if we treated Blaine’s story a little more seriously, and let his control freak and intimacy issues somehow resolve, or move in a direction, I wouldn’t be ranting about all the wasted potential.
So, I think this could’ve been great, but they just did not handle it right. Also, not enough puppets. Not enough puppets at all. Next week, we have a Christmas episode. Even though the show’s timeline is in some spring month I’ve yet to determine. Uh, ok.