Glee 5×16 Review: Tested
With this week’s episode’s focus on STDs, sex, and relationship problems, it seems that Glee is going for all the hard hitting topics it can since its move to New York. The show has been surprising me for some weeks now – in a good way – and this episode was no different!
Artie’s storyline revolved around him testing positive for Chlamydia, and telling all of his sexual partners about it. I was surprised to find out that Artie was dating two girls at once and going for a third, Julie. Not only that, it was revealed that he didn’t use a condom when he was with the first two girls! I mean, really, Artie? It’s not as if he’s a dumb teenager; I for one never took Artie for the irresponsible type. But with this story line the episode was able to deliver the message about how STD’s can be very dangerous, there are social stigmas that come with having them, and that getting yourself tested and being responsible if you test positive is important.
Though I personally don’t care for the Sam and Mercedes hookup, admittedly the show is handling those two quite well. I was half expecting the episode to pull a ‘light candles and the girl will agree to sex’ cliché when Mercedes told Sam that she was still a virgin; instead, the two characters had a mature conversation about where they stood regarding sex. Mercedes said that she wanted to wait until she was married, as opposed to Sam, who told her that he would prefer to be close to her in an intimate way much sooner. Of course, no one should force their significant other into having sex if that person isn’t ready, but some do exert pressure on their boyfriend or girlfriend by giving him or her gifts, treating their significant other like royalty, etc., and expecting sex in return. Thankfully it appears that Sam understood Mercedes; he told her that he could live without sex, but not her, so it seems those two are in it for the long run.
I also enjoyed the conversation where Mercedes asked Rachel (Lea Michele) about her ‘first time’. Glee has handled certain things very well – Finn’s death, for instance – and the writers seem to have a good focus on Rachel’s character, too. Tested confirmed that Rachel is focused on her work and will start dating again when she’s ready. Good for her!
Speaking of good character development, it’s obvious that Kurt (Chris Colfer) has evolved throughout this season. His character is maturing in every episode – he’s more confident and sure of himself since his move to New York. Blaine, on the other hand, has clearly been feeling insecure for some time. For him, the balance of their relationship has tipped. When Kurt changed schools because of bullying, Blaine was there to help him; now, however, Kurt doesn’t need any help, and Blaine feels that his place in Kurt’s life is fading. I was glad to see them both talk it out like adults, though, because I don’t want any long lasting conflicts between those two. I want to keep seeing a happy, engaged couple on TV, a couple that talks about their problems rather than breaking up just for the sake of drama.
It did feel like a ‘filler’ episode meant to set things up for Rachel’s opening night of Funny Girl next week. Nevertheless, it was an enjoyable episode that talked about some important issues, and Kurt and Blaine’s “Love is a Battlefield” duet was amazing!
What did you think about the episode? Are you missing Santana? Please share in the comments!
Farid has a Masters in Psychology and an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Arousing the Legacy, Missing in Somerville, The Game Master of Somerville, and The Escaped Murderer of Somerville. He gives us insight on comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.
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