‘Glee’ Recap: Ricky Martin Spices Things Up in ‘The Spanish Teacher’
It’s not too often that an episode of ‘Glee’ reminds us that Will Schuester is, in addition to being the coach of the New Directions, the Spanish teacher at McKinley High. That’s probably because he’s a terrible Spanish speaker, and is painfully white. The episode opened to him and the Glee club performing a super-lame version of La Cucaracha in Spanish class, and Will admits to himself that he’s ashamed of how out-of-touch he’s become. He then finds out that a tenured position is opening up at McKinley, the financial stability of which will afford he and Emma the chance to start a family (foreshadowing, anyone?), and resolves to learn Spanish in order to nab tenure.
In order to learn Spanish, Will starts taking a night class taught by a fiery Latin man with great teeth named David Martinez (played by none other than Ricky Martin!). David admits that what he really wants to do is teach high school Spanish, and Will invites him to sit in with the Glee kids to “help them find their duende” (which literally means dwarf, but loosely translates to passion in the performing arts).
Sue is back on the rampage in this episode, and this time she wants to have a kid. She tells Will — in the most degrading way possible — that she wants his sperm. Being that Sue is in love with herself, it seems natural that she’d want a little Sue in the world.
“Baby gravy” isn’t the only thing Sue wants from Will. She also wants his tenure prospects. But she didn’t count on Roz Washington, the awesome insult-slinging swim instructor we we introduced to in “Yes/No.” Roz says that Sue’s Cheerios routines are out-of-touch, and wants her job. Looks like Sue has a new enemy.
Will’s assignment to the Glee club is Latin music, and he has Ricky — we mean David — in for the lesson. As predicted, David immediately steals the show and gets everyone swooning with a spirited rendition of ‘Sexy and I Know It’ by LMFAO. Even though this isn’t a Latin song, we can’t think of a better note for Ricky to enter on.
Mercedes and Sam are still confused about where their true feelings lie. Emma advises them to not speak for a week, hoping the separation will give them some perspective. Later, when Mercedes is having a “girls night” with Rachel and Kurt, Rachel lets it slip that she and Finn are engaged. While Kurt thinks it’s ridiculous, Mercedes can’t help but think of Sam, which sends her into a rendition of Gloria Estefan’s ‘Don’t Wanna Lose You.’ Confusing times.
Sam responds, along with all the other New Directions boys, with a medley of ‘Bamboleo’ (Gypsy Kings) and ‘Hero’ (Enrique Iglesias). Decked out in bolo ties and “Mexican hipster boots,” the boys seem to have been inspired by the Latin pop star in their midst. The whole club is warming up to David Martinez. and Will is feeling just a bit threatened.
Emma is a little P.O.’d about Sue wanting to have Will’s babies, and when she approaches her about it, Sue opens up. In a really heartfelt moment, Sue admits that she wants her child to inherit Will’s kindness, rather than her hardened meanness. Emma is still, of course, not having it, but is touched by Sue’s show of emotion (cue sad piano music).
Kurt is offended that Finn wouldn’t tell him about the proposal. “We’re supposed to be brothers,” he tells Finn, and then tells him that Rachel is wonderful, but that he doesn’t want to see his brother stand in her shadow his whole life. Kurt thinks he might be giving up on himself. Will Finn take back his proposal?
In the finale for this week’s Glee assignment, David Martinez performs Madonna‘s ‘La Isla Bonita‘ on stage with Santana. The song has all the Ricky Martin action that we’ve been waiting for, and makes Will feel a little bit competitive. Will, turn, does a Latin-flavored version of ‘A Little Less Conversation’ by a man famous for snubbing his non-white influences, Elvis Presley. Will is dressed as an authentic Spanish matador, and it’s super embarrassing for everyone. Santana is not impressed, and tells him that the performance was one big stereotype of Latin culture.
Will takes Santana’s words to heart, and after he completes David Martinez’s Spanish class, he offers David the Spanish treaching position, saying he’ll be teaching history. If this means more Ricky Martin on ‘Glee,’ we are so on board.
Sam and Mercedes’ week of silence is over, and they’re obviously dying to talk, but just as they’re about to, Marcus is there, and Mercedes once again walks away on his arm. Big ol’ frown from Sam.
The race to tenure is over, and the recipient is … Emma! Totally fitting that the one who gets it is the one who wasn’t trying and was just doing her job. Will is, of course, supportive, and the episode ends with them sitting down to a romantic candle-lit dinner. This will get everyone in the mood for next week’s V-Day episode.
What do you think of Ricky Martin’s spot on ‘Glee’? What Latin pop hits did you want to see?