"Glee" Tackles Religion in "Grilled Cheesus"

New Directions performs in the "Grilled Cheesus" episode of "Glee." Adam Rose/FOX

New Directions performs in the "Grilled Cheesus" episode of "Glee."
Adam Rose/FOX

NEW YORK (CBS) It took a health scare and a sandwich to bring the Gleeks to the discussion of religion on Tuesday night, which they handled deftly with both the plot and songs.

Finn finds God - literally - when he sees Jesus in his burnt grilled cheese. Convinced it's a sign, he begins praying to the half of the sandwich he didn't eat (hey, he made it because he was hungry). He announces his new religious awakening to the club, which gets mixed reactions, but the group agrees to take on songs focused on spirituality for that week's assignment.

Now, onto the numbers!

"Only the Good Die Young." Puck continues his streak of "doing only songs by Jewish artists" when he pulls out this Billy Joel classic. It's a standard cover, but it gets the class up and dancing.

"I Look to You." Kurt's dad, Burt Hummel (Mike O'Malley) suffers a heart attack, not long after the two argue about not having their usual Friday night dinner together and the younger Hummel criticizes his dad for his unhealthy eating. Burt's in the hospital and unconscious, and Kurt is crushed. He tells the group he doesn't believe in God, but the others try to help him the best way they know how - through prayer and pop songs. This one is Mercedes, taking on a Whitney Houston tune to tell her friend she's there for him.

"Papa Can You Hear Me." Lea Michele, as expected, KILLS this Barbra Streisand number. The gleeks go to Burt's hospital bed to pray for them, which makes Kurt furious. This is her plea to God - it's poignant, beautifully filmed and just plain good. But it's nowhere near as good as...

"I Want to Hold Your Hand." Was anyone else bawling after this song? This girl certainly was. Kurt recalls to the glee club that when his mother died, his father holding his hand at the cemetery helped him realize that things would be okay. And with that set-up, this usually-upbeat Bealtes tune takes on a whole new meaning. His heartbreaking delivery was interspersed with clips of a young Kurt with his dad. Dear Emmys, Chris Colfer deserves one. That is all.

"Losing My Religion." Finn begins praying to the "cheesy lord" for trivial things - for the football team to win its first game (they do), for Rachel to let him touch her boobs (she does) and for him to become quarter back again (he does, but at a price - new QB Sam dislocates his shoulder during a game). Feeling guilty for Sam's injury, he confesses to Emma that he thinks praying to the Grilled Cheesus made all those things happen. She practically explains that everything was by chance, and Finn, who thought he had a connection to God via his bread-and-cheese masterpiece, breaks this R.E.M. tune out.

Sue has her own problems with religion. She objects to the glee club singing about religion in a public school (if they want to, she tells Will, "they should enroll at Sweet Mother of God Academy on I Heart Jesus Street"), but her reasons are personal - she explains that her prayers that her mentally challenged sister get better fell on deaf ears. But, her sister assures her, "God never makes mistakes," and the Cheerios coach begins to see things in a different light.

"Bridge Over Troubled Water." Mercedes gets another tune when she convinces Kurt to come to church with her. Wearing his best Sunday hat (are you surprised?), he sits among the congregation while Mercedes sings a gospel version of this Simon and Garfunkel hit. She's in her element, and Kurt is moved by the outpouring of support.

"One of Us." The obligatory end-of-episode group number this week is Joan Osbourne's song about God being one of us. It ties the episode up nicely, with Kurt's dad waking up in the hospital and squeezing his hand; and Finn, now assured his destiny isn't tied to praying to the Grilled Cheesus, eats it.

Do you think "Grilled Cheesus" handled the topic of religion appropriately? What was your favorite song?

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