This was a great episode, plot-wise, especially considering that most Valentines Day themed TV episodes are insufferable. There was almost nothing involving Mr. Schue and the Bieste (yay), nothing at all from Sue (boo), plenty of things happened and yet I still have no idea what's happening with Finn and Quinn or with Blaine and Kurt or with Lauren and Puck. Nothing about anything is clear and love is confounding for one and all -- just like real life! Bonus points to this episode for making Quinn and Finn interesting characters again.
And the songs?
"Fat Bottomed Girls". B+. Puck is on a roll, making baby steps away from his soft rock comfort zone first with "Need You Now" from the Superbowl episode, and now finally leaping into something entirely new (for him). The harmonies on this sounded great, but the facial expressions of the entire ensemble are what really made this segment great.
"P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)". C+. One guy tried to sing like Michael Jackson, the other tried to dance like him. One was a lot more successful at his half of the impression, and it's not the one I would have expected going in. There was nothing particularly bad about this, but Kevin McHale's voice didn't come close to being up to the task (which was also the case with last episode's "Thriller"). In the meantime, Mike Chang is becoming kind of a genius. This guy can dance to anything!
"When I Get You Alone". C-. The scene that set this up was totally classic ("the Warblers haven't performed in an informal setting since 1927!") and convinced me that a Warblers-centred spin-off series has to happen. Watching uniformed Warblers geeks popping up from behind clothes racks in the Gap was hilarious, ditto for how the number concluded with a dance-off in front of the cash desks with all the customers dancing around the perimeter (there have been a LOT of nods to Michael Jackson on "Glee" lately).
There were two huge problems with this however. One, I'm starting to feel that Darren Criss is a one-trick pony, because if you hit mute and just watch his mannerisms, all of his performances (with the exception of "Baby It's Cold Outside") look exactly the same. And even musically, the fact that every Warblers rendition uses the same circa-1999 Backstreet Boys beats isn't doing them any favours (I mean sure, that's the whole POINT of the Warblers, they're a boy band reborn as glee clubbers, but watching and listening to the same thing over and over again is getting old fast). And second, Robin Thicke sucks and his song does too.
"Firework". B. Lea Michele tries yet again to turn a mega-pop hit into a show tune. I just don't get why she doesn't go more OTT with these kinds of songs, because her rendition sounded exactly like Katy Perry's except for a more satisfying delivery in the chorus. I like the song, and Michele almost always earns decent grades just on the basis of being a great singer, but just bring on the "West Side Story"-themed episode already.
"Silly Love Songs". C. The definition of average, but a good choice for the end of the show -- simple, sappy, and short.