NEW YORK (CBS) Tuesday night on Glee, it was Brittany vs. Britney.
The pop diva herself was at the center of the show (even if her much-hyped cameo was minimal). The glee kids want to perform a Britney Spears song for McKinley High's homecoming pep rally, but Mr. Schue nixes the idea because he thinks she's a bad role model.
The brilliantly dim Brittany demands that no Britney Spears be performed in glee club, because the two have the same name - hers is Brittany S. Pierce (say it fast and you'll get it), and she feels she'll never measure up to the singer.
We also meet Emma's new boyfriend, the dentist Dr. Carl (guest star John Stamos), when he crashes a guidance office chat between Will and Emma. In a gesture meant to seem like he was fine with Emma's relationship, Will offers to have Carl come to teach the glee club about oral hygiene.
Carl makes them chew something that turns their teeth blue if they have tooth decay - Rachel, Artie and Brittany (who explained, rationally, that she never brushes her teeth but washes her mouth out with soda after meals) have it the worst and earn themselves a date in the dentist's chair. High on nitrous oxide while Uncle Jesse does his thing, each has fantasies involving Britney Spears and her music.
And now, onto the numbers!
"I'm a Slave 4 U." Finally, Heather Morris gets to be front and center! Hers is the first fantasy, and she rocks the song and the classic Britney costumes - the "Slave 4 U" outfit (complete with snake!), the "Toxic" sparkly bodysuit and the "Oops! I Did It Again" red leather jumpsuit. This is the first time we've heard her sing solo, and she's pretty good, but the dance moves win.
"Me Against the Music." Brittany comes back for more, this time with Santana. Don't ask how their fantasies intersected, they just did. But the set looks straight out of the music video, with Brittany again playing Britney and Santana taking the Madonna part. The whole thing is hot, and right at the end - It's Britney! Her first cameo of the night. No singing, but she compliments Brittany before she comes to in the dentist's chair.
"Baby One More Time." Britney's second mini-cameo came as the teacher in Rachel's Britney fantasy, where she sports the pigtails and Catholic schoolgirl outfit of the pop icon's first music video. Rachel likes it so much that she brings the look over into real life, which makes all the McKinley boys stare and makes Finn uncomfortable.
"Stronger." Artie leads this song on the gridiron in his Britney fantasy, where the singer makes her third and final cameo, chiding Tina for dumping Artie. Back in reality, Coach Beiste lets Finn back on the football team and allows Artie to join up too.
"Toxic." After much pressure from Kurt & Co., Schue allows the glee club to sing this tune at the pep rally - but only if he can do it with them. The song slows down, the dancing is Fosse-esque, and then it speeds up to classic Britney for the chorus. It's great - so great, in fact, that the school goes wild and, when Sue pulls the fire alarm, all hell breaks loose. The next day she comes in wearing neck brace and blames Will for her injury in the "sex riot."
"The Only Exception." The Paramore ballad seems out of place among the Britney songs, but it's a classic "Glee" sappy ending - Rachel, back in her normal clothes, asks Quinn to proposition the now-popular-again Finn. When he turns her down, she's reassured that he loves her, and sings to him in front of the whole club.
Now that Britney has been properly lauded, it's time for the show to end the tribute episodes. A "Rocky Horror" one is coming around Halloween, and a third is planned for after the Super Bowl (no word yet on the artist), but after that, "Glee" should return to its standard shows.
What do you think? Should the tributes keep coming, or are these more than enough?