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'Glee' recap: Out of the flannel closet!

November 30, 2011 | 10:12 am

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It was "lady music week" on "Glee," but that didn't mean life would prove uncomplicated and entirely upbeat for the show's female characters. Quite the opposite, in fact.

For starters, Santana's forcible removal from "the flannel closet," as she put it to Finn, went down very quickly, propelled by the political TV ad that outed her and the encouragement from the New Directions gang -- including an especially insistent Finn, whose slow take on Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun," was not only a musical highlight, but also an emotional turning point. During the space of a single hour, we moved from the echoes of that angry "How dare you out me?" slap that rang out at the end of last week's show to a full-on declaration from Santana that she kisses girls and likes it (yes, she even sang the Katy Perry song) -- made to pretty much everyone in her life, from friends to parents to grandma to the bullyish jocks that rule McKinley High's halls.

Although Santana's fellow female glee-clubbers had her back when she proudly stood up to that leering jock in the school hallway, she sat before her grandmother, at a kitchen table, alone, her hopes bolstered, one imagines, by the fact that her parents, she said, had taken the news of her sexual orientation well.

Santana liked girls the way she was supposed to like boys, she told her grandma, and with Brittany she finally understood what love was. But when her grandma -- who moments before lovingly prepared her a plate of food -- responded, it was not with understanding and warmth, but rather with anger and rejection. Perhaps most sadly, it wasn't Santana's lesbianism that she most seemed to object to, but rather her decision to declare it. Enraged by her granddaughter's openness and honesty, Santana's grandma literally turned her back, ordering Santana out of her house.

I guess that's how they play things in Lima Heights. But the scene served as a reminder that, in real life, all gay teens don't get the support from their families that, say, Kurt Hummel, does. "Glee" sometimes shows us the world we hope for. Here it showed us how things often are.

Also weathering some rough winds on Tuesday night's show were …

Coach Beiste: She's fallen hard for Cooter Menkins -- "He's the only one for me," she declares -- so when Sue steals Cooter away (apparently he's been Sue's prime booty call for years, and Coach Beiste has been giving him very mixed signals) in order to bolster her hetero creds on the congressional campaign trail, Beiste is crushed. Her pretty blue eyes cloud with tears, and she treats us all to a song, a low-voiced version of Dolly Parton's "Jolene." Very sad.

Quinn: Quinn's character just gets weirder and weirder. In this episode, we learn that she's hatched a plan to get knocked up by Puck again. But Puck says (more or less) what we've all been thinking for a while: that Quinn's the craziest, most self-involved character on the show, but also that she has a resilience that may take her far in life -- and that she doesn't need a husband or child to do it, but rather just a nice healthy dose of self-esteem. Unfortunately, Puck may also have spilled his secret about Shelby, which may fan the flames of Quinn's self-involved crazy.

Rachel: Oh, Rachel. She meant well when she stuffed the ballot box in an attempt to help Kurt, her "best gay," as she calls him, win the senior class president election so he can accompany her to New York and NYADA. "What if I need an emergency makeover or a last-minute soufflé?" she wonders. But the faulty plan backfired terribly, as faulty plans often do. (All hail President Brit!) Now not only is Rachel suspended and unable to compete in Sectionals, but the misdeed will go down on her permanent record. Could her own chances of NYADA acceptance be in jeopardy?

Shelby: She's tried to resist Puck's entreaties (in this episode, he serenades her with Melissa Etheridge's "I'm the Only One," though he covers by saying the song was meant for Santana) but then breaks down when Beth cuts her lip and needs stitches. Puck swoops into the hospital waiting room like a hero, demanding the services of a plastic surgeon on Beth's behalf. Shelby's vulnerable and impressed enough to tumble into bed with Puck, but then immediately has regrets and kicks him out. Enraged, Puck goes in search of anger sex with Quinn -- and may have disclosed his secret tryst with Shelby. Uh-oh …

Coach Sue: Despite a last-ditch effort to show herself in a happy, heterosexual light (her booty-call list -- Dan Quayle? Matt Lauer? Johnnie Cochran? -- ranks among Glee's all-time most delicious sequences), Sue loses the election to … Burt Hummel. (It was "Dukakis bad," she says.) Will she lose Cooter to Beiste, too? (Here's hoping...)

What did you think of the episode?

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-- Amy Reiter

Photo: Lea Michele, left, Vanessa Lengies, Jenna Ushkowitz, Naya Rivera, Amber Riley, Heather Morris and Dianna Agron perform in Tuesday's episode of "Glee." Credit: Adam Rose / Fox

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