Several 'Glee' characters are having a tough week, and Spears is the only way to convey that particular brand of pop misery
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The third focus is our new kids, Jake and Marley. Unique has decided to arbitrarily become Marley's new bestie and begins plying her about who she's crushing on. It's Jake, who Unique calls out as a pickup artist by breaking into "Womanizer" as the girls of glee follow Jake around the school watching his lady-killer ways.
Even after Marley's seen it all (while dancing in gym-chic apparel) she still accepts his offer for a date. They meet on the bleachers, where Marley immediately pop-analyzes him about his attitude and says she used to be picked on too, but glee can be the answer. He says the group sings stupid songs, and they sing a mashup of "(You Drive Me) Crazy" with Aerosmith's "Crazy," which is an interesting attempt but we don't care enough about the characters or their supposed attraction for it to be effective. At best, they're redemption for the unrealized awesomeness of a longterm Rachel/Puck thing.
Jake leaves her with his coat, and stands up for her mom to the jocks in the cafeteria, but all his outburst buys him is a forced confrontation with his estranged brother Puck, who's flown back in from LA seemingly just to circle Jake in the choir room. The two connect over trying to impress their dad through macho showing off, but Puck explains that everything he tried to do didn't make him a better man. Glee club made him a better man, but even if Jake won't join Glee club, they're still brothers. It's a bit of whirlwind, and mostly Puck reminds us that we love Puck and we barely know Jake enough to care. Jake decides to join the club regardless, and Marley is happy about it until it's revealed that Jake is dating Kitty. Welcome to whiplash Glee that doesn't fit with anything else that's carefully constructed. We so thought we were done with you.
The episode caps with Jake coming into the Glee club and immediately being overwhelmed by everyone there in shots that make them appear more strange and absurd than ever. Marley asks to perform on one last Britney tune, "Everytime," and is overcome with her inexplicable and random emotions for Jake, with the song serving as a great soundtrack to the rest of the characters -- Rachel getting a chance to learn the tango finally and painting over Finn's name as Kurt watches, Brittany back in her Cheerio outfit but still sad because Santana and her aren't talking.
The cracks in new "Glee" are already starting to show this episode. The characters we know and love are strong, be they back in Lima or on new adventures in the big city, but some of the new kids are feeling out of place. It's like Jake and Marley (and Brody, to another extent) feel like they're on another show all together, some nondescript teen show that's canceled after a season, a pair of ABC Family castaways who can't find their way back.
The glory of Glee is everyone is a true misfit and over the top strange in some way -- not the stereotype, but that Sam is obsessed with Na'avi and Blaine is legit into bowties. Unique fits in because she's going to be more than herself and embrace the strange. Kitty is a mean caricature but at least that's more "Glee" than Marley and Jake's normalness. Brody we will give a pass because he's outside of "Glee" land in the New York landscape, which should be a more real world for Kurt and Rachel. He doesn't need to be weird, he's New York, and that's unreal enough.
Now we have "Glee" world, "Glee" in the real world, and there just isn't room or need for typical teen show world of Jake and Marley. They need to weird up or fall back, ASAP.