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Posted at 11:05 PM ET, 11/23/2010

'Glee' November sweeps wedding: We watch so you don't have to

By Lisa de Moraes

Doris (guest star Carol Burnett) and Sue (Jane Lynch) perform a duet. (FOX/Mike Yarish)

WaPo Team TV's Emily Yahr filed this blog:

This week on "Glee," Kurt's dad and Finn's mom get married. Kurt decides to transfer schools. And Sue Sylvester's mom comes to town.

But unlike many guest-starring gigs on TV, Carol Burnett, who plays Sue's mother, simply sweeps in for a couple scenes as Doris Sylvester, Sue's absentee, retired Nazi-hunting mom -- then quickly sees herself out when Sue bans her from her upcoming wedding.

A wedding, you say? Evil cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester finally found love? Don't buy the Pier 1 gift certificate yet. After learning of the impending nuptials of her former fling (Rod, the news anchor with the impossibly coiffed hair), Sue delves into the wonderful world of online dating. Not finding much luck on "eDesperate," Sue decides she has only one, true soulmate -- herself.

Sue sends out the invitations -- she's going to marry herself. Cue entrance of Doris who largely abandoned Sue and her sister for much of their childhood to hunt Nazis around the world. Doris doesn't have much rapport with her daughter -- though she thinks Sue still has a chance to grow into her looks someday. She doesn't think too much of Sue's chosen partner in marriage. They take a stab at a mother-daughter bonding moment (dueting to "Ohio," from the 1953 musical "Wonderful Town") but Doris can't seem to stop hurling insults at Sue. Sue realizes that her mother has treated her terribly her whole life, and bans her from the wedding, giving us some insight into what makes Sue -- well, Sue.

Waaah! We don't want insight into Sue's lousy childhood! This is turning into one of those After School Specials that clogged viewers' arteries with treacle in the last century.

Meanwhile, Kurt is in high school hell. Scary Football Player kissed him a few weeks ago and is now horrified that Kurt could spill the beans at any moment. So he ratchets up the bullying -- just enough to make the glee club guys step in and defend their pal. After a locker room smackdown, the glee club guys leave bruised but triumphant. Sue, who is the acting school principal, expels Scary Football Player -- which is from the After School Special playbook.

Sadly, the school board does not support Sue in this decision and only gives SFP a verbal warning. Sue resigns in protest -- looks like Figgins will be back before the end of the November sweeps after all. Kurt, devastated, makes the decision to transfer to Dalton Academy -- home of his new BFF Blaine. The glee club is stunned, but practical Rachel points out that Kurt is now their enemy -- glee club-wise. And just like that, glee club rivalries are back!

Noticeably absent all this while: Finn. It's because he's rattled by the announcement that his mother and Kurt's father are getting married ASAP. Kurt, however, is thrilled with the idea and immediately starts planning the wedding. In "Glee" World, teenagers can not only plan an entire wedding but throw it together in a few days. Before you can say "Lazy Writing," the whole glee club is singing and dancing down the aisle to Bruno Mars's "Marry You," in a manner suspiciously similar to last year's Chris Brown "Forever" wedding aisle dance/YouTube sensation.

After Mr. Schuester, who had approximately two seconds of screen time in this episode, inexplicably hops up in front of the wedding guests and performs Michael Buble's "Sway," Finn takes the stage. Having apparently done some Serious Thinking about Kurt and Kurt's being the victim of bullying, and also about their newly blended family, Finn decides it's time to forget about their awkward past (you know, Kurt getting too close for comfort when Finn made it clear he wasn't interested) and become brothers. Bad After School Special! Bad! Kurt gets teary eyed, and the glee club performs a special rendition of "Just the Way You Are" by Bruno Mars.

So, to recap: Kurt gets a step-brother and a new school. Kurt's dad and Finn's mom are finally happy. And Sue is left without a relationship with her mother, without the principal gig and presumably with a marriage certificate ... to herself.

Set list:

"Ohio" from "Wonderful Town"
"Marry You" Bruno Mars
"Sway" Michael Buble
"Just the Way You Are" Bruno Mars

By Lisa de Moraes  | November 23, 2010; 11:05 PM ET
Categories:  Glee  
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Great show last night! Loved the Glee club dancing down the aisle - and the bride and groom! Actually, I was scared to death something awful was going to happen to Kurt after the lovely wedding. Whew.

Posted by: MILWI | November 24, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

That was the oddest episode of Glee that I've seen in a while.

Posted by: StuckatWork | November 24, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

I watched the entire wedding scene nervous that an outburst of violence was imminent. I'm still thinking based on the amount of foreshadowing (unless Ryan Murphy somehow got leashed) that we're going to see some serious violence, and either Kurt or Finn is going to be the victim.

To be honest, if this doesn't get a little dark or unexpected, I might be done with Glee.

Posted by: MidwestTransplant | November 24, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

The plot line last night was just bizarre, but the music was mostly good. They definitely ripped off the J&K Wedding Entrance Dance, right down to the dresses and the flowers that the girls were carrying. The whole Sue storyline was beyond weird. Surely they could have worked in the very nice duet with Carol Burnett a different way! Kurt is one of the best characters on the show-- I can't imagine that they are dumb enough to write him out, so he'll be back. I was curious as to where they were going to go with the very dark storyline with the SFP-- that still bears some watching. But really, the writers need to stop being so lazy and write some reasonable scripts.

Posted by: inkydog | November 24, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

As several of you already pointed out, the writing was even worse than usual last night, but somehow I didn't mind too much. I do wish they'd figured out a way to use Carol Burnett more effectively so it wasn't just another case of sweeps month stunt casting, but she and Jane Lynch either had genuine chemistry or were able to fake it convincingly.

As for Kurt, I have no doubt he'll end up back at McKinley--maybe Blaine will break his heart? But I hope they'll string it out a bit, because I think there could be some real fun from making him and Dalton Academy arch-rivals.

Last but not least, bring back Emma!

Posted by: DCSteve1 | November 24, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, I meant making them arch-enemies of McKinley, not each other!

Posted by: DCSteve1 | November 24, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

After 2 stronger episodes - that was pretty bad; what a waste of Carol Burnett, what a waste of the Kurt/Finn story and their parents wedding – missed a real opportunity to have a moment of substance. I can’t help but compare this to Twin Peaks. Spectacular, innovative game-changing first season, then a second season hanging out on the edge of the cliff, just waiting to jump that shark.

Posted by: jandvon | November 24, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

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