Glee: 211 “The Sue Sylvester Shuffle”

Season 2 Episode 11
Airdate: February 6, 2011

Porpoise of Life name: “Super Bowl Episode”
Issue of the Week: Coming Together (tee hee hee hee)

This was the episode that followed the Super Bowl. I did not watch the Super Bowl, as I am not into the NFL. Also, I live in a house with a bunch of chicks, and had to check the web to even know it was on that week. Now, I grew up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, a region with a large Green Bay Packers fan base, and if I was a Packers fan, no doubt I would have eagerly watched the Super Bowl/had an interest in football to begin with. However, you know how as a kid, you get into sports through your dad and grow up watching the teams he watches? Well, my father was a Detroit Lions fan. Yeah, I know. But he was only a Lions fan because his father was. My grandpa, of course, was the only one of us old enough to remember when the Lions won an NFL championship (in 1957!). The Detroit Lions have been horrible for two generations now.

Trying to watch a Lions game in the late 90s was just sad. If I did, it was just to please my dad, who was always a little irritated that I wasn’t into his crappy football team. He’d say things like,”Oh, I’d guess you’d rather watch cartoons then.” Yes, yes I would. There were three channels that showed cartoons when I was a kid and they were much more entertaining than the fucking Detroit Loser Lions.

With that therapy session out of the way, let’s get down to the episode.

Glee episode 211

20 seconds in and this episode is pissing me off. It opens with the cheerleaders performing a routine to the Katy Perry song “California Girls”. Between this and the Black Eyed Peas halftime show, it’s clear how much Fox understands the Super Bowl audience.

Despite the fire, bicycle stunts, sparkling boobs, and crappy music, Sue proclaims, “I’m bored.” Me too! I haven’t encountered a television character who shares my thoughts this often since Archie Bunker.

Sue says she has completely lost interest in cheerleading. Quinn tells her it is because Sue keeps going for bigger and bigger routines and has reached her limit. “You have to find a way to top yourself,” says Quinn, which also sounds like a dare you give a lesbian.

Glee episode 211

The next scene takes us to the high school football game. Finn, the quarterback, tells the team that they don’t need to win this game, as they have already earned a spot in the playoffs. Very motivational of you, Finn. Karofsky, the closeted gay homophobe who bullied Kurt, argues with Finn, and then says, “I hope linebacker doesn’t get the jump on me.” I’m not sure what a linebacker is or what Karofsky meant.

Anyway, because the team could not get along, they lose. Everyone is pissed, even though we were all told the outcome of the game would be meaningless. An NFL team in that position wouldn’t even play their starting line. I know this because I have often seen what happens when professional NFL teams play the Lions.

Glee episode 211

Sue is searching for a way to feel alive again. She even went out and got a back tatoo. I would put up a screencap of that, but I am writing this the Monday morning after the episode aired, and it’s too early for me to look at a bare, redish back.

Sue is inspired by seeing a cartoon of a cat shooting someone out of a canon. Also, Sue has cartoons on in her office.

Glee episode 211

Sue buys a human canon from a carney and tests it by firing a man over a goal post. This feels very Monty Python to me, which is good, because 20% of the time, Monty Python was hilarious. Sue is so pleased that she shakes the man’s hand, even though, as she says, “I make it a habit of not touching carney folk.”

That’s good advice from Sue. Carnies have really ruined state fairs for me. I like three things about fairs in this order: petting zoos, fried dough, and rides. What I don’t like is having to pass through the row of carnies and their booths full of crooked games. I try to get out of their as quick as me feet will go, but all these carnie assholes are yelling at me, taunting me to play their dumb games. I hate how carnies think it’s acceptable to call people wimps and assholes because they refuse to play games that everyone already knows are crooked.

Fucking carnies. Maybe I would stop at the booth that sells Lord of the Rings swords and Confederate flags, but it’s in Carnie Row, so I just want out of there. Going to the fair is as near as most men will come to getting sexually harassed on the street. If Hitler had killed the carnie folk instead of the Jews, he would be history’s greatest hero.

Glee episode 211

Back at the school, the football team slushees Kurt. All the Super Bowl viewers who are seeing Glee for the first time are probably complaining over why a school would allow this.

Will and Coach Beiste wonder why glee club and the football team don’t get along when half the starters in football are also in glee. Yeah, I’ve wondered about that, too, a lot. I like how the Glee writers think they can have stories which never make sense as long as they acknowledge it. Like how the football players hates Kurt even though he helped them win back in season 1. I guess it’s easier to do this than write so that they aren’t any plot holes to begin with.

Glee episode 211

Coach Beiste orders the rest of the football team join glee club for a week. None of the kids like it, but Will gives them a dumb speech about finding common ground and then Puck and Rachel sing “Need You Now” by Lady Antebellum. It is a country song, but in that Shania Twain/Faith Hill/Garth Brooks style of country that is really just pop-rock that comes out of Nashville. Really, you wouldn’t know it’s a country music unless you knew the band was called Lady Antebellum. I think someone at the record company realized this group needed a Southern sounding name or no one would be able to tell they are country. And they needed a word that said Southern but wasn’t “confederacy”, “klan”, “segregation”, or “inbred”.

It is kind of weird how they chose a name that celebrates a time when slavery was legal. I am going to start a country band called Miss Jim Crow and make a ton of money.

Anyway, it was during this song that it dawned on me that this episode was metaphor for the producers wanting to reach out to all the football fans of Middle America who assume Glee is that gay show on after American Idol. I mean, that’s an apt description of Glee, but still…

At the end of the song, one of the football players calls Puck a girl and the two groups start fighting each other. Will and Beiste get between the scuffle and have their backs up against each other like they are facing off against a ship full of enemy pirates. Glee would be much better if it was set on a pirate ship.

Later, Finn and Puck decide that they need to come together for the sake of glee and football. “We used to be best friends,” says Puck,”…before I got your girlfriend pregnant and made out with your other girlfriend.”

Glee episode 211

Sue wants to shoot Brittany out of the canon during the upcoming National cheer competition. Brittany has a problem with dying, so Sue tests it on a dummy first, and the dummy explodes. Sue says the thought of shooting a girl out of a canon makes her “feel alive again”. Sue gets orgasms from dead cheerleaders.

Glee episode 211

Principal Figgins finally tells Sue no for once, she cannot shoot a student out of a cannon (without the kid’s consent). Sue takes out her anger by ransacking the entire school.

In her anger, Sue has still not forgotten to screw over glee club. She has the Cheerleading Nationals competition moved to the same night as the big football game. This means the football team will have no halftime show, which I’m not sure really is a big deal, even though Coach Beiste seems to think this is the biggest problem in the world. Every halftime show I saw in high school was just the marching band, anyway.

Will and Beiste decide that the football team and glee club will join forces to put on the halftime show. But this means that Quinn, Santana, and Brittany will have tho choose between that and cheerleading. I would choose cheer. It is the Nationals. Somehow, that seems more important. Even when you factor in Sue being evil. You can’t get a college scholarship for putting putting on a good halftime show.

Glee episode 211

The three girls choose cheer over glee. For some reason, this meant they had to resign from glee club. Finn asks Quinn why she betrayed glee and Sam comes up to him and barks, “Why are you yelling at my girlfriend!” even though Finn wasn’t yelling at her. The boys then fight.

Sam and Quinn are going to grow up to be one of those white trash couples who go into bars to cause trouble. Sam will go play pool while Quinn will sit at the bar wearing a tank top and mini-skirt to lure guys. As soon as one hits on her, Sam will run up to him yelling, “Hey, man, what are you doing with my girlfriend!!” and then hit him over the head with the pool stick. They live in Ohio, he plays high school football, and she got pregnant before she was 16, it’s their destiny.

Glee episode 211

Will has an awesome (actually dumb) idea for the halftime show, a lame mash-up of “Thriller” that, Will says they will “mash it together with The Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ equally spooky single ‘Heads Will Roll’.” I suppose they are equally spooky in that neither of those songs are spooky.

I remember seeing the “Thriller” video when I was around 6, on early 90s VH-1 or something. For some reason, I assumed I saw it when it debuted, but Wikipedia says that was in 1983, a year before I was born. I don’t know, the Upper Peninsula is usually ten years behind the rest of the country, so maybe I saw its northern Michigan debut. Anyway, I thought the song was dumb and not scary and not nearly as cool as Gumby.

The football boys all sing “She’s Not There” in zombie make-up. I don’t get it either.

Glee episode 211

Because the football team has sung and danced, they have been dethroned on the coolness ladder by the hockey team and are slusheed. I don’t hate the hockey team for this. I love the hockey team for their hockey hair and 29-year-old captain.

Karofsky and the other football players who aren’t in glee no longer want to perform for the halftime show. Coach Beiste gives them an ultimatum: either do the halftime show or get kicked off the team. Karofsky and the others quit en mass. Why does the halftime show mean so much to Beiste?

Glee episode 211

Meanwhile, at Hogwarts School for Effeminate Boys, the Preppy Prancing Pansies perform the old Destiny’s Child classic “Bills Bills Bills.” It’s song about a black women complaining about lazy black men, covered by a boy’s choir with, like, only two black guys.

Hey, you ever notice how when a white girl sings a song about a white man doing her wrong, it’s usually either about how he abuses her or cheats on her, but when a black woman sings about a black doing her wrong, he is either cheating on her or lazy and mooching off her?

Glee episode 211

Without enough players, the football team will have to forfeit the championship game. The solution is to have the glee girls join the team. It’s a musical, just roll with it, people.

The girls show up in football uniforms on game night. I think that fat girl–whoever she is and whatever she is doing in glee–might do well. Also, Mercedes, because she kind of looks like a football player.

Glee episode 211

This will go well.

Glee episode 211

The thing where the quarterback is given the ball happens. Rachel and Tina duck out of fear. Finn throws the ball but the other team catches it and runs to their end of the field. Going to their end of the field one time scores them…six points? That seems like too many points for doing one thing. I’m going to knock them down to two. Everyone has a brief rest and on to the next move. Tina gets the ball but is tackled by a tackler and is injured pretty bad. That’s why it’s probably not a good idea to have a 110 pound girl play high school football.

I quite know what happened, but I still think I can follow it as easily most Glee fans can follow a football game.

Glee episode 211

At halftime, Puck rounds up the other football players. Coincidentally, they were all in the locker room. They agree to return to the team. Finn also goes and convinces Quinn, Santana, and Brittany to leave cheer because Sue was willing to let Brittany die via cannon.

Glee episode 211

With everyone together, the glee kids and football players (and the marching band, but who cares about them?) team up to perform the big mash-up. It was basically 95% “Thriller” and 5% Yeah Yeah Yeahs, which, even though I like the YYY and don’t really like MJ, I enjoyed. I dislike the mash-ups and think they should have just done “Thriller” so at least they kept the mashing to a minimum.

Glee episode 211

The football team manages to come from behind and win by scaring the opposing team with their zombie makeup. Also, the crowd threatened to lynch the visting team if they win. The fans are intense. If you can see in the screencap, the green sign says “#22 is a ninja.”

Glee episode 211

After the game, we see Sue interviewed by Katie Couric, where it is revealed that Sue lost at Nationals, her first loss in seven years. Katie Couric’s got some nice old lady legs, by the way.

Glee episode 211

At school, Finn has won MVP and offers Karofsky a spot on glee if he apologizes to Kurt, but Karofsky will have none of it. He says that the football team will be back to hating glee club by the next episode. See what I said about the show acknowledging it’s plot holes?

Finn and Quinn kiss. She will be dating Sam in the next episode.

Grade: C-

I feel like the show was aiming high with their post-Super Bowl episode, but overshot themselves because this ep was subpar.

Best Musical Number:

“Bills Bills Bills” – Destiny’s Child. Performed by the Preppy Prancing Pansies

Kurt’s Best Outfit:

Void while he attends Hogwarts.