'Asian F': Glee's 'best episode ever'?

A poignant, but still hilarious, outing may redeem the show to fans who bemoaned the series' dip in quality last season

Heather Morris (center) delivers a "rousing" performance of Beyonce's "Run the World (Girls)" in Tuesday's episode of "Glee," which some critics are touting as the series' best.
(Image credit: Mike Yarish/FOX)

With all the critical backlash Glee faced last season, it's easy to forget that it's produced more than its share of acclaimed television, from its beloved "Don't Stop Believing" pilot to its "Born This Way" ode to self-acceptance. After critics praised the third-season premiere for finding its footing again, they're now calling Tuesday night's episode, "Asian F," the show's "best... ever." In the episode, the chronically underserved Mike Chang and Mercedes both get long-awaited star turns. After Mike earns an A minus in chemistry (the notorious "Asian F"), his father threatens to pull him from the glee club, squelching his love of performing. Meanwhile, Mercedes goes up against perennial leading lady Rachel for the top role in a school production of West Side Story. Was the episode really that good?

Yes. Glee's never been better: "Glee has completely found its heart again," says Kristin Dos Santos at E! Online. "And then some." Focusing on core characters and the "emotional crux" that made the show resonate so strongly in the first place, "Asian F" was Glee's best episode yet. The musical numbers, including Brittany's rousing performance of Beyonce's "Run the World (Girls)" and Mike Chang's first-ever solo, were among the strongest the series has produced. But beyond that, the storylines were "tight, grounded, completely believable, and emotionally gripping."

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Kevin Fallon is a reporter for The Daily Beast. Previously, he was the entertainment editor at TheWeek.com and a writer and producer for TheAtlantic.com's entertainment vertical. He is only mildly embarrassed by the fact that he still watches Glee.