Valentine's magic may have given us the "Glee" we've been waiting for this season -- a good set of plot points, a timely tribute to a fallen star and good music all in one episode!
"Heart" doesn't pull any punches in the "Glee" arsenal, combining ballads both classic and modern, radio-friendly songs and upbeat throwbacks, and kooky plot devices mixed with a touch of real-world drama. Love isn't as clearcut as it seems at McKinley, and most of our couples or would-be couples have to wage their own battles this episode as we build toward the winter finale and hiatus.
Everyone seems full of romance in glee club as we open the show, except a morose Kurt since Blaine is still doing a stint on Broadway -- we mean, still recovering from his eye surgery. Mr. Schue wants the club to become singing telegrams to raise Regionals funds, but Sugar pulls out a wad of cash to avoid this embarrassing fate. Perhaps the integration of Sugar into the club means we'll never have to deal with a half-assed assignment plot from Will ever again! She also announces that Valentine's is her favorite holiday, she'll be holding a big party to celebrate at Breadstix, and that no one will be admitted without a date, even Sugar herself, thus commencing the quest for her hand by both Rory and Artie.
Meanwhile, Finn and Rachel are both mysteriously summoned to the auditorium under the promise of Mandy Patinkin, only to be met instead with two of "Glee's" most anticipated characters -- Mister and Mister Berry. They roll in on a piano singing "Going To The Chapel" and reveal to a shell-shocked Finn and Rachel that not only do they know about the impending nuptials, but they also approve of the plans. For a pair that have been noticeably absent from the show for two and a half seasons, they cram a ton of character moments into a single scene, including a very curious Tony Danza fetish/argument that we wish got its own entire storyline.
Faith hasn't been something Glee has shied away from in the past, but with the introduction of Joe, the previously homeschooled Christian who, in a wink to Glee's indecision on character's grades, "guesses he's a sophomore" and has named each one of his dreads after a book of the Bible, we get a further look into Glee's Christians as part of the God Squad -- Mercedes, Sam and Quinn. They decide to take up the mantle from glee club as singing telegrams to raise money for charity. In the cafeteria Puck is doing some charity work of his own, planning to take an entire sorority as his dates to Sugar's party. Kurt is out of his sulk thanks to all his Valentine's cards and gifts that he assumes are from a bedridden Blaine. When Artie points out that they're all signed "Your Secret Admirer" Kurt is nonplussed, but the audience knows this won't end with flowers and rainbows and a Blaine reveal, but the real drama is staved off by the comedic drama of Artie and Rory's fight for Sugar's heart, underscored by Tina and Mike's charming performance of "L-O-V-E." Artie has one sugar heart, Rory has an entire bag. Rory has a giant heart pillow, Artie showers Sugar in confetti hearts, Artie has a stuffed dog and Rory pulls out a live puppy, on and on while glee's longest standing couple dances sweetly.
Britt has made Santana a playlist of all the songs that go through her head when she thinks of her girlfriend, but she could only get so far as putting together the list and not actually burning the CD, so she brings Santana her entire computer instead. As the girls lean in for their first on-screen kiss ever, Figgins appears, bellowing "teen lesbians!" They are pulled to his office and informed of complaints by the students about their displays of PDA, and we're flashed back to a tame peck from the previous week. Santana points out that at the same time Finn and Rachel were having a much less gracious display of affection to no complaints. The entire exchange is both a perfect jab to the fans who've long complained about Brittana's lack of PDA on the show, and a very real explanation of why our gay couples aren't expressing as much outward affection in the halls -- it's not going to be met with open arms, even in a post-Bully Whip McKinley. It's revealed that a religious student's complained, which ties nicely to the arrival of Joe and the God Squad. Santana points out the insane double-standard at the school before she storms out of the office.
Back in hetero land, Finn and Rachel announce their engagement to mixed reactions. Tina and Mike are supportive, but Kurt and Quinn both express reservations. While the shock of the announcement has barely warn off, Artie hijacks the moment to perform "Let Me Love You" for Sugar, with Kurt, Sam, Puck and Mike doing an impressive job as boyband style backup (somewhere, Blaine Anderson is weeping behind his eye patch and he doesn't know why). In the end, Sugar leaps into Artie's lap and has him roll her to her next class, he's won this round. Out in the courtyard, the God Squad serenade Rachel with "Stereo Hearts" courtesy of Finn. Sam does his best Travis McCoy impression, substituting Trouty for Travie (yet we couldn't get Blaine instead of Ben a few weeks ago...). As they finish, Santana asks them if they're willing to deliver a singing Valentine to any student, then requests they perform for her girlfriend. Cue dramatic commercial break.