Glee/Recap/S2/E18 Born This Way

    Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
    < Glee‎ | Recap‎ | S2

    We begin at McKinley's auditorium. Mr Schue has decided that the Glee club needs to work on their dancing, so they're going to practice. The vengeful spirit of Murphy (the Law, not the creator, though him too) is hovering, however, because about five seconds later Finn accidentally hits Rachel in the face and breaks her nose. Oh, we're off to a good start tonight.

    Finn gets Rachel to a doctor. The doctor tells her that her nose is broken, but it was a clean break so it should heal just fine. However, he suggests that she should get a nose job. Rachel is reluctant, but the doctor says that it could actually help her singing voice.

    Back in the music room, Rachel tells the club that she's thinking about the procedure. Will is horrified that she'd risk her health for vanity, but Santana points out that everyone has things about themselves that they don't like. She says that if there's something you don't like about yourself, you should change it. Will tells the club that often the thing they don't like is what's most interesting about them, but Mercedes points out that it's what people use to crush them.

    In Emma's office, Will laments that his students have image problems. Emma says that it's hard for adults to accept their eccentricities, so maybe asking teenagers to do the same is asking too much. Will says that he's happy helping Emma with her OCD (they're cleaning her grapes (not a euphemism)). Emma doesn't like him calling it OCD, though. Emma has given up on trying to change herself, saying that even though she wasn't born with OCD, it's permanent so she's not trying to change it. Will hears her say 'born this way' and gets a flash of inspiration. He's going to help the Glee club through the majesty of Gaga.

    In the hallways, Santana monologues internally that if she becomes Prom Queen, she can convince Brittany that it's a royal decree that Brittany has to break up with Artie and get back with Santana. She needs more votes from the jocks, and Sam isn't enough to get them. But there is someone else- Karofsky. Karofsky stares at Sam's arse as Sam walks past him, and Santana's gaydar goes off.

    Tina, Mercedes and Santana meet Kurt and Blaine for coffee. Kurt's pissed that Dalton lost at Regionals. Tina and Mercedes tell him that they miss him and ask if he can't come back to McKinley. Kurt wants to, but Karofsky's there. Santana realises that if she could get Kurt back, she'd be a hero and everyone would vote for her. The key is Karofsky, and she runs off to put her plan into action.

    Will and Emma announce that they're going to do Lady Gaga's new song 'Born This Way' to help them deal with their flaws. Emma's there to demonstrate the costumes: they all need to get a shirt bearing something that they're ashamed of or would like to change. Emma reveals her shirt: 'Ginger'. Everyone has a collective "What the fuck?!" moment as Emma blithely continues going on about how she's embraced her gingerness.

    Lauren stares at the Prom Queen crown. She tells Puck that she hasn't worn a crown since she was a toddler. When she got older, she had a growth spurt and was kicked out of the pageant circuit. She sees Quinn hanging up posters and is angry that perfect Quinn will be prom queen, so Puck tells her that he'll help her win.

    In the doctor's waiting room, Rachel and Quinn wait- Quinn is Rachel's nose model. Rachel asks the doctor if there's a way to see what she'd look like with Quinn's nose. The doctor gladly complies, and Quinn and Rachel start singing a mash-up of "I Feel Pretty" and "Unpretty".

    In the hallway, three students see Lauren's campaign poster. They're excited that someone like them is running for prom queen, and want to vote for Lauren. Quinn tells Lauren that she might win, but anyone who votes for her will be doing so as a joke. Lauren just wants to win, she doesn't care how. Quinn gets angrier and angrier, and Lauren responds in kind. Finally, Lauren tells Quinn that she may have been born pretty, but she's ugly inside. Quinn tells Lauren that she just made the whole thing personal. Dun dun dun.

    Santana and Karofsky are having coffee. Karofsky says it's about time Santana asked him out, since he's such a stud. She tells him to drop the act, since she knows he's gay. He tries to deny it, but it doesn't work. She tells him that she's a lesbian, but she needs a beard to be prom queen, and threatens to out him if he doesn't play along.

    Finn and Quinn argue in the hallway. Finn doesn't like that Quinn's helping Rachel get a nose job, because this week's Glee lesson is about acceptance. Quinn says that she doesn't like this week's lesson. Finn says that he loves it. Cue the music room, where he performs "I've Gotta Be Me" with Mike dancing along. Afterwards, Rachel hands out pictures of her with Quinn's nose to the Glee club, fends off their objections and announces that she's getting the nose job.

    Will and Emma have a talk. He's upset that she put 'Ginger' on her shirt when he wanted something about her OCD. Emma thinks that the kids won't see her as a role model if they know about her flaws. Will says that a real role model would accept their flaws and work on them. Emma's still got the idea that since she wasn't born with OCD, there's no point in trying to change it. Will says that everyone puts up with it, but it's keeping her from enjoying her life. He says that she works so hard at counseling to avoid her own problems.

    In the music room, Karofsky recites a speech (written by Santana) where he says that he's reformed, gives the group a heart-felt apology and reveals that Santana helped him rehabilitate in the hope that Kurt could come back. And in the process, they fell in love. Karofsky and Santana have started a new club, the Bully Whips, which patrol the halls and stop bullying. A flashback shows them in action. Back in the present, Karofsky says that with Figgins' help, he'll try get Kurt to come back.

    Kurt, Burt, Will, Karofsky and Mr Karofsky are in Figgins' office. They have a long argument about whether Karofsky has really reformed and whether Kurt will be safe there. Finally, Kurt asks for a moment alone with Karofsky. He gets Karofsky to tell him what the real story is and is both appalled and impressed at Santana's plan. He agrees to return if Karofsky helps him start a chapter of PFLAG in Lima. Karofsky agrees.

    In the girl's bathroom, Puck and Rachel argue about her nose job. Puck asks her for one hour of her time the next day, and he won't bug her again. Rachel agrees.

    In the outdoor plaza, Kurt arrives. The Warblers and Blaine turn up to farewell him, and sing "Somewhere Only We Know" as Kurt tears up and swears to Blaine that "I'll never say goodbye to you." After that, Kurt sings "As If We Never Said Goodbye" as his triumphant return to McKinley - all uncut four minutes and fifty-five seconds of it, which earns him a long-overdue standing ovation from his groupmates.

    In the hallways, Lauren greets Quinn with "Hey, Lucy". They have a discussion in that it's revealed that Lauren and Puck did some theft and B & E and came up with information about Quinn- namely, that her real name is Lucy Quinn Fabray, and that she used to be overweight and pimply with brown hair and glasses. Quinn transferred schools after changing her name, losing weight, getting a nose job, contacts, and dyeing her hair. The kids at her old school used to call her 'Lucy Caboosey'. Lauren asks if she did it because she hated herself, but Quinn says it's because she loves herself. Lauren reveals that she's put up posters of Quinn with pictures of the old Quinn, and her old nickname (although how Lauren found out Quinn's old nickname before Quinn told her, God knows). Quinn runs outside and tears down a poster.

    At the mall, Puck and Rachel talk. Rachel refuses to listen to Kurt or Puck... but she will listen to Barbra Streisand. Cue the flashmob (set to, what else? Duck Sauce's "Barbra Streisand")!

    Emma's therapy session. Emma wastes nearly all the session's time cleaning her chair. Her therapist tries to convince her that OCD is a disease like any other, that can be cured. Finally, she writes Emma a prescription and schedules another appointment.

    In the hallway, Quinn and Finn talk. Quinn thinks that her campaign is over. Finn pulls out a picture of the old Quinn he keeps in his wallet. He says that it's a picture of his girlfriend, and he likes it more than the old one. Quinn walks down the hallway and sees the three students from earlier, gazing at her poster and saying that it makes her seem more real. They promise her their votes. Lauren joins her and tells her that Jacob's poll now puts Quinn ahead of Lauren. Lauren apologises, but Quinn says that she respects Lauren for loving herself the way she is, while Quinn had to change so much about herself before she could love herself. They reconcile.

    Brittany shows Santana her shirt, which reads 'I'm With Stoopid', complete with an arrow pointing up. Santana's shirt says 'Bitch'. Brittany is disappointed and wants Santana to wear a shirt Brittany made for her, which reads 'Lebanese'. Santana angrily says that she's Hispanic, and then realises that it's meant to say 'Lesbian'. They argue, and Santana finally accuses Brittany of not loving her. Brittany says that she loves Santana, but clearly Santana doesn't love Santana, or else she'd put the shirt on and they'd dance.

    Emma's office. She stares at her bottle of pills before finally taking one.

    Auditorium. Will congratulates the club and shows them his shirt, which reads "Butt Chin". Rachel joins them with her shirt, which says "Nose". She isn't getting the nose job, but she can't join them because her nose is still healing. Santana's missing. The club sings "Born This Way". Their shirts read "Can't Sing" (Mike), "Can't Dance" (Finn), "Lucy Caboosey" (Quinn), "Bad Attitude" (Lauren), "Trouty Mouth" (Sam), "No Weave" (Mercedes), "I'm With Stupid" (Puck, though it's spelled correctly and the arrow points down), "Brown Eyes" (Tina), "Four Eyes" (Artie), and "Likes Boys" (Kurt). Emma joins them wearing a new shirt that reads "OCD". In the audience, Santana watches with Karofsky, wearing her "Lebanese" shirt.

    Songs performed:

    • "I Feel Pretty/Unpretty", from West Side Story and by TLC, performed by Quinn and Rachel
    • "I've Gotta Be Me" from Golden Rainbow, performed by Finn and Mike
    • "Somewhere Only We Know" by Keane, performed by Blaine and the Warblers
    • "As If We Never Said Goodbye" from Sunset Boulevard, performed by Kurt
    • "Barbra Streisand" by Duck Sauce, performed by a Flashmob
    • "Born This Way" by Lady Gaga, performed by the Glee club

    Tropes Present:

    • Aesop Amnesia: Remember way back in "Acafellas" when Rachel tells Dakota Stanley (right after firing him) that she doesn't need a nose job because Barbra Streisand didn't need one?
    • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: The trio of girls who decide to root for Lauren, then Quinn.
    • The Beard: Santana and Karofsky for each other.
    • Digging Yourself Deeper: After Santana confronts Karofsky about checking out Sam's ass.

    Santana: You really need to be more careful with your leering.
    Karofsky: I was just checking out what kind of jeans he was wearing.
    Santana: Like that's any less gay.


    Santana: I've gotta gay. Go. I've gotta go.

    • Fridge Logic: How did Lauren find out Quinn's old nickname? Sure, B & E will yield you a fair amount of info, but nicknames aren't generally put on someone's file.
    • He's Back: Kurt. In a top hat, no less.
    • Hoist By Her Own Petard: Guess exposing Quinn's former self to the school only ended up getting her more votes, huh, Lauren?
    • "I Am" Song: "I've Gotta Be Me," sort of.
    • Meganekko: Quinn.
    • Nice Hat: Santana's Russian fur hat and Kurt's white top hat.
    • No Yay: In-universe reaction to Santana and Karofsky hooking up. Tina says she might throw up. Puck nearly does.
    • Offhand Backhand: Done by Finn to Rachel courtesy of his terrible dancing.
    • Shout-Out: The nurse drawing the lines on Rachel's face for plastic surgery, backed by a pop song? Very Nip Tuck.
    • That Man Is Dead: Quinn hates her Lucy Caboosey self.
    • Took a Level in Jerkass: Will, we get that you want Emma for yourself now that she and Carl are getting an annulment, and the only way you can do that is to help her get over her OCD, but you're being a dick about it. Forcing unwashed fruit at someone with the severe OCD that Emma has borders on torture, and telling her that people only "humor" her mental-illness because she's "so cute about it" is verbal abuse. Acting like her illness is something to be cured because she wasn't "born this way" is condescending at best and insulting at worst.
      • Also, Lauren, when she spreads pre-weightloss; pre-contacts; pre-nose job Quinn around as part of her campaign.
    • Trailers Always Spoil: See the trailer for "Born This Way?" Sorry if it spoiled Kurt coming back to McKinley for you.