We were so excited about Glee's "The Puppet Master" episode when the cast and crew posted photos on their social media accounts a few weeks ago, but Thursday night's episode didn't live up to its potential. Not even the warm and fuzzy feeling of being stuffed with food could save me from my disappointment, and that's saying something. The episode was not entirely performed by puppet-versions of the cast and Darren Criss' Blaine Anderson was made to look like he had a strange puppet fetish which just seems unfair. There were a series of bizarre, conflicting story lines happening at once and Glee missed out on a major opportunity to perform at least one song that was made popular and originally performed by some of the great puppets of the past.
We knew from an early synopsis for the episode that "The Puppet Master" would be about Kurt and Blaine wanting to take over the creative decisions of their respective groups but we didn't think it'd be like this. The puppets come into play when Blaine has a gas leak-induced dream about being surrounded by puppet-versions of the New Directions and he later becomes so obsessed with puppets that he make a Kurt puppet in art class. (Sue actually started the gas leak herself so that she could tell the school board that she found and fixed it herself to secure a permanent position as principal of McKinley.) The puppets didn't get nearly enough screen time, in my opinion. Why have something as great as puppets and not put them front and center?
Even worse than pushing something as great as cast member-inspired puppets into the background, the New Directions performed "The Fox (What Does The Fox Say?)" at the end of the episode. Why? Please explain, Ryan Murphy. Puppets have been performing original songs for years, there had to be one that fit in with the episode (or not considering "The Fox" had nothing to do with the episode). You didn't think this one through, so here's a few songs performed by puppets that you should have covered instead of "The Fox".
1. "Mahna Mahna" — The Muppets
A classic. Blaine was talking about simplifying their approach to Nationals, there's nothing more simple than an iconic Muppets song with no actual words.
2. "Clint Eastwood" — Gorillaz
Not really puppets in the same way as the Muppets, but puppets nonetheless and this song would just be cool.
3. "The Monster In The Mirror" — Sesame Street
Seriously, embracing puppets could've been so fun.
4. "What Do You Do With A B.A. In English/It Sucks To Be Me" — Avenue Q
Maybe not this exact song, but Glee's creators definitely could've come up with a version fit for The New Directions and the NYC crew to the tune of this song.
5. "Rainbow Connection" — Kermit the Frog and the Muppets
This would've been a much better way to end the episode.
See, Ryan Murphy? There were so many better options than "The Fox" and definitely better ways to make this puppet-centric episode all about puppets.