Glee on Fox

2009, TV Show

Glee Episode: "Born This Way"

Season 2, Episode 18
Episode Synopsis: While Will uses Lady Gaga's music for a lesson about self-acceptance, Lauren and Quinn duke it out to be prom queen, Emma faces her obsessions, Rachel struggles over a decision and Santana has something in mind that could alter the glee-club dynamic dramatically. New Directions' performances include Lady Gaga's "Born This Way." Other songs include Sammy Davis Jr.'s "I've Gotta Be Me" (Finn, Mike) and "I Feel Pretty," from "West Side Story" (Quinn and Rachel).
Original Air Date: Apr 26, 2011
Guest Cast Ashley Fink: Lauren Zizes Max Adler: Karofsky James Earl: Azimio
Full Episode
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Season 2, Episode 18
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Length: 57:38
Aired: 4/26/2011
Also available on iTunes, Amazon Prime and VUDU
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Glee Episode Recap: "Born This Way" Season 2, Episode 18

In this week's episode of Glee, Will teaches the club about embracing their uniqueness. Plus: The race for prom queen begins, Emma confronts her obsessive issues and Rachel will struggle with a life-altering decision.

Will decides that the glee club has a lot of work to do when it comes to dancing, so he sets up a "booty camp." Unfortunately, Finn still doesn't have his dancing skills in check, so he accidentally punches Rachel in the face. He accompanies her to the doctor, who suggests this is a perfect time for Rachel to get a nose job to fix her deviated septum. It will even make her a better singer.

Rachel announces her plans to get a nose job to the glee club and insists that it's not a vain decision, but Will is worried that there are too many risks. Santana breaks it down for the group: Everyone should stop lying about things they claim they would not change about themselves if given the chance (like Sam getting a lip reduction or Artie chopping off his useless legs.) While Will says these little quirks make each of them unique, Mercedes retorts that bullies use those oddities to crush their spirits.

Will confides in Emma about wanting to help the club with their self-esteem issues and notes that it may also help her come to terms with her germ phobia. "I may not have been born this way, but this is my lot in life," she says. Lightbulb! Will decides to use Lady Gaga's new smash hit single to help with this week's assignment.

Meanwhile, Santana plots her rise to prom queen so she can win Brittany back. She decides she needs Karofsky's help to win, and realizes he is gay after he sneaks a peek at Sam's butt. Even more proof comes when the glee girls meet with Kurt and Blaine, where they express their desire for Kurt to return to McKinley. Blaine says Kurt won't return because of Karofsky, which makes Santana realize that if she can get Kurt to come back, she will be a hero and everyone will vote for her.

New Directions' assignment is to sing about accepting both the bad and the good in their lives. It will culminate with the group singing Gaga's "Born This Way." As an added challenge, Emma tells the group that they will make a shirt branded with a fault they were born with and can't change. She reveals that hers says "Ginger," which disappoints Will since he thinks hers should say "OCD."

Puck finds Lauren longingly looking at the king and queen crowns for prom. She's crushed when she sees Quinn putting up posters promoting her and Finn to be nominated. But Puck decides he's going to win them the crowns.

Rachel asks Quinn to come to the doctor's office with her, so they can use her beautiful nose as a model for what Rachel might look like after the surgery. Quinn admits that being beautiful has given her a warped sense of the world, making her think she can get away with anything. As the doctor begins to take photos of her nose, Quinn sings TLC's "Unpretty" with Rachel, which transitions into a mashup with "I Feel Pretty" from West Side Story. This was a truly perfect song for this episode. The juxtaposition of the popular girl, who has seemingly always felt pretty, with Rachel, who is willing to go to great lengths to look beautiful, was seamless.

Although, Quinn doesn't look too pleased when the song ends, especially when she sees Lauren putting up posters for her campaign for prom queen. Quinn says that if Lauren's name shows up on the ballot, more people will make fun of Lauren than support her. People want to vote for a candidate they want to be like, Quinn says. Lauren spits back that Quinn is just used to being pretty, which angers Quinn, who says that this race just became personal.

Santana approaches Karofsky to set her plan into motion. She reveals that she knows he is gay, calling him a "late in life gay," who will probably marry and live a normal life until he's caught with a man. She admits that they play for the same team and they should be each other's beards so they can become prom king and queen.

Finn gets angry that Quinn is helping Rachel and doing the opposite of what this week's lesson is. He faces his faults by dancing with Mike Chang and singing Sammy Davis Jr.'s "I've Gotta Be Me." Finn has never been a strong dancer, so it's nice to see him give it the good ol' college try. He's come a long way from the semi-shy football jock singing alone in the locker room showers; even if Will doesn't agree.

As Rachel prepares to show the pictures of what her new nose looks like, Tina goes off, saying that she shouldn't change. While it may sound hypocritical, Rachel's decision to change herself so drastically has helped Tina see that she is beautiful as she is. The photos don't even look like Rachel, but she insists she's still going to do it until Finn puts his foot down, saying she's beautiful. It's still not enough.

Will confronts Emma about putting "Ginger" on her shirt rather than "OCD." He takes out unwashed fruit and tries to get her to eat it, but she gets very uncomfortable. He says she's an expert at deflection; helping others instead of facing her own problems.

The principal brings Karofsky into the glee club room, where he apologizes to everyone for his actions toward Kurt, and says how ashamed he is for being a bully. He praises Santana for helping him see the light. She steps in to say that New Directions is not complete without Kurt, and that's why she worked so hard to get him back. They've even been elected to a new group called "The Bully Whips," who roam the halls to stop bullying.

Kurt, Karofsky and their fathers meet to discuss Karofsky's change. Burt is pissed and doesn't think Karofsky will stop bullying his son, but Kurt says he believes him and wants a moment alone, where he grills Karofsky on his angle. Karofsky recounts Santana's plan, which both impresses and repulses Kurt. He agrees to return, but Karofsky must help him start a McKinley High chapter of PFLAG -- a group that will educate him and others on homosexuality.

So Kurt returns to McKinley, finally! The Warblers show up to sing him goodbye with Keane's "Somewhere Only We Know." Kurt cries (just Kurt, not me, I swear) as he says goodbye to his former club and is welcomed back with open arms to New Directions. He goes on to sing "As If We Never Said Goodbye" from Sunset Boulevard. While the song was beautiful, it was oddly placed in the episode. It was as if the writers had found out they had 90 minutes to kill and thought, "Let's let Kurt sing a full Broadway song!" Yeah, I said it. Commence yelling in the comments.

Later, as Lauren passes Quinn in the hall, she calls her "Lucy," which startles Quinn. The two go into a private classroom, where Lauren reveals that she found out that Quinn was formerly fat with braces before getting a nose job, losing the weight and transferring to the Lima district. (Finally, Quinn has a new layer! It finally makes sense why there were always slight cracks in her shiny veneer.) While Quinn still insists she'll win prom queen, Lauren doubts it, since she posted the Lucy photo on campus.

For as much as Quinn has been mean throughout this series, Lauren was really out of line. It's very hypocritical. She was hurt when Puck said she had a big butt, yet she'd out Quinn's past, the past she tried to hide so much? Just despicable, in my opinion.

After Puck tells Rachel her nose is a birthright passed down from generation as a sign of the survival of their people, she agrees to meet him the next day at the mall. There, she meets up with Kurt, who tries to explain that she shouldn't change herself because Barbra never would have. He kicks off Duck Sauce's "Barbra Streisand," with a flash mob that includes the rest of the glee club.

Emma decides to go to therapy, but she spends the entire session cleaning the chair. She confesses that she doesn't want to start taking pills because she feels it will change her, but the therapist says the illness is already keeping her from who she's supposed to be. Emma admits she's ashamed, and the therapist tells her that once she admits she needs help, she will start to feel better. Emma takes the prescription before she leaves.

Quinn thinks her campaign for prom queen is over. To show her that she's beautiful no matter what, Finn keeps a copy of the Lucy photo in his wallet. Not surprisingly, Lauren's stunt has actually helped Quinn in the polls because people realize she's not just a cold-hearted bully, but one of them. Lauren apologizes for her actions and the two find common ground.

As the episode comes to a close, the glee club members are wearing their shirts. Santana dons one that says "Bitch," while Brittany has one that says, "I'm with stoopid" with a graphic of an arrow pointing to her face. Brittany has made Santana a shirt that says "Lebanese," when she really means lesbian. While Santana says that Brittany doesn't love her, she retorts that the shirt is proof of her undying love.

The episode ends with Rachel's declaration that she's not getting the nose job. Kurt kicks off Lady Gaga's "Born This Way," with the rest of the group, except Santana, wearing the "Lebanese" shirt, sitting next to Karofsky in the auditorium.

So what did you think of Glee's super-charged self-esteem building episode? Are you rooting for Brittany and Santana? Do you think Karofsky can really change? Hit the comments with your thoughts!

Fun Fact! Here are the rest of glee clubbers' shirts:
Kurt: "Likes Boys"
Mercedes: "No Weave"
Rachel: "Nose"
Tina: "Brown Eyes"
Mike: "Can't Sing"
Finn: "Can't Dance"
Sam: "Trouty Mouth"
Puck: "I'm with Stupid" (with an arrow pointing, er, downwards)
Artie: "Four Eyes"
Quinn: "Lucy Caboosey"
Lauren: "Bad Attitude"
Emma: "OCD"
Will: "Butt Chin"

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In this week's episode of Glee, Will teaches the club about embracing their uniqueness. Plus: The race for prom queen begins, Emma confronts her obsessive issues and Rachel will struggle with a life-altering decision.

Will decides that the glee club has a lot of work to do when it comes to dancing, so he sets up a "booty camp." Unfortunately, Finn still doesn't have his dancing skills in check, so he accidentally punches Rachel in the face. He accompanies her to the doctor, who suggests this is a perfect time for Rachel to get a nose job to fix her deviated septum. It will even make her a better singer.

Rachel announces her plans to... read more

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Premiered: May 19, 2009, on FOX
Rating: TV-PG
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Premise: Musical comedy-drama about the misfits who make up a high-school glee club and teacher Will Schuester, the one-time glee-club star who leads them and must constantly protect "glee" from the malevolent schemes of diabolical cheerleader coach Sue Sylvester.

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