'Glee' Recap: New Waters 'Tested' As New York Matures

Kevin McHale on Glee "Tested" 2014
Mike Yarish/FOX

GLEE: Artie (Kevin McHale) performs in the Tested episode of GLEE airing Tuesday, April 15 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.

"Glee continues" to pull the curtain back on the wonderland of New York City. Dreams come true, but everything isn’t as simple as a musical in that town. Finding yourself isn’t a straight-line process, and the tests that you take to get to who you are and how you relate to those around you is central to the “Tested” episode. "Glee" is familiar with the musical to dating -- when the song stops, find yourself a new partner and repeat the woes of how one relationships intersects another. This week it’s refreshing to see them forget the main character triangles and let characters instead dig deeper into what it means to be partnered with someone, for the short or long term depending. From Artie’s flighty lust to Kurt and Blaine’s long-term commitment, "Glee" focuses on the characters refining their sense of self, and how that sense of self intersections with their romantic relationships.  

Artie had success in romance in high school, but he never managed to reach "player" status. At film school, he’s a star and starts dating two different girls while courting another, inciting a stirring recreation of Robert Palmer’s “Addicted To Love.” All his free-wheeling fun comes to an abrupt halt when he tests positive for chlamydia. Sam slut-shames him, Blaine points out that wearing condoms might help him avoid disease, and Kurt reminds that he’s got to fess up to his partners now. Girl #1 freaks out, Girl #2 barely cares, and the girl he’s been after all along agrees to a date without knowing.

Artie can’t get his mind off STDs at the diner. He hallucinates Kurt asking if they want various forms of STDs instead of food at the diner. He freaks. He tells her they can’t have sex and promptly weirds the poor girl out singing a duet with Sam and Mercedes to Janet Jackson’s “Let’s Wait A While.” When he finally comes clean at school she’s more grossed out that he’s been sleeping around with such lame girls than for the disease, and tells him he’s a creeper. Artie’s had some questionable behavior around women in the past, so it’s nice to finally see him called out. Let’s see if his reformation sticks.  

Kurt and Blaine are having the roughest time this episode with meshing their selves into their relationships. Blaine’s biggest love affair right now is food, including an expensive multiple-cronut-a-day-habit. As he eats Cheetos in class Kurt is being fawned over by other dudes for his trim physique. Blaine voice-overs that this shifting dynamic of their relationship is throwing him off, and he reacts mostly by trying to fatten Kurt up with frozen hot chocolates and fettuccine. Then Kurt accidentally discovers Blaine’s favorite porn site on his browser and sets off an awkward tension that culminates in a stage combat class dance-off to Pat Benatar’s “Love Is A Battlefield.” It’s a striking sequence in only the way a dance fight can be, with the pair circling each other, charging each other and glaring daggers of death and sexiness.