1. Heavy on the plots: This episode had a lot going on but they handled the many different plots very well (unlike the 'Night of Neglect' episode from last season - where all the plots were pointless and nothing related to each other). Most of the plot points were inter-weaved with each other (except the Puck/Quinn/Shelby disaster) and the pace of the episode moved rather quickly. Here is my take on things:
- The new kid – ok I was never sold on the whole 'Glee Project' thing but I admit that the kid isn’t terrible (although his hair is really hard to get past). I like the whole foreign exchange student plot, I like his relationship with Brittany and I like that he is going to give Kurt a run for his money on hitting those ridiculous high notes. I’m a little annoyed with them creating a “little brother” relationship with him and Finn – only because we’ve seen it before with Kurt (and since Kurt became his actual brother – I would like to see more of that instead of a reincarnated plot). Speaking of….
- Finn – Why do the writers constantly regress his character? Every time we get a Finn focused plot line – it’s always the same one: He’s a douche but then he learns that he is wrong, becomes a better person by the end. This was done well in season one with one of my favorite episodes 'Theatricality' (the one where Finn used the derogatory “F” word and was faced with the wrath of Papa Hummel – by episodes end he wears a shower curtain dress, declaring that they are all freaks that need to stick together). This time we see him stand on the sidelines and watch as the new kid (name?) gets bullied, he tells Brittany to stop being an “idiot” to which she feels “bullied” by (yet her GF Santana is the biggest bully of all…) and of course by episodes end he is taking said new kid under his wings and apologizing to Brittany. Can we please give the boy something better to do? And as hilarious as the comments about Finn being fat are – it really doesn’t make any sense. I feel like they are going to give him (as in Cory) a complex.
- Hummel vs Sylvester – Even thought this plot was spoiled months ago, I freaking love it. It is giving new purpose to Sue (and new life to Glee). Obviously, I am on team Hummel and -OMG- when he tells Will that the Glee club saved his kids life….that just about broke my heart. Sue now has someone else other than Will to torment (and her insults are already EPIC – like calling him “cheese grits” and “baboon heart”). Sue decides to run a campaign about funding special needs programs in schools because that will be hard for Papa Hummel to fight against (but really can't he just throw all the money she wastes on the Cheerios in her face???).
- Quinn/Puck/Shelby – Oh this plot is just ridiculous on so many levels. First, they are giving Quinn the most awful reason for wanting her baby back (because it is the only thing that Quinn has done that is “perfect”). Way to give the girl zero redeeming qualities. Then she decides the best way to get her baby back is to prove that Shelby is unfit (by planting horrible things in her apartment like books on baby sacrifice) but this would just get the baby sent into “the system” not into Quinns arms. Last – and this one is the doozy, Puck feels bad and tries to gather the planted items only to make out with Shelby (which seems like the best way to make her look like an unfit parent!!! Not to mention - FIRED). On a side note: I actually like Puck & Shelby together - they make a cute and somewhat believable couple. However, teacher/student romances are always juicy but the fact that she is also the legal mother of his child makes it all a bit icky.
- Santana & Brittany – Officially a couple, but just not in public – even though I am pretty sure everyone knows about it..right? Anyway, I love that Santana is still her bitch self – although I am unsure of how she is allowed to bully everyone and get away with it? She tore apart the new kid, Sugar and Finn in this episode alone. Doesn't Brittany see the way she treats other people? Or is she really an idiot?
2. Light on the music: I am really disappointed in this season so far on a musical level – I have still bought a total of ZERO songs from this season. For the past 2 years, I always notice Glee singles on the top ten chart consistently – this year I haven’t seen any. I enjoy Broadway songs, but nothing has been spectacular so far and I am getting really sick of the whole “West Side Story”. My biggest complaint though is that all of the new people are singing more than our core characters. The new kids version of 'It Ain't Easy Being Green' was a nice introduction to his voice, but also a little too obvious (everyone else is wearing red...I'm such an outsider...feel bad for me...blahblahblah). AND then the new kid got ANOTHER song to sing (the only highlight was Kurt's reaction to this new threat). Blaine singing ‘Last Friday Night’ was super fun but I would have preferred Artie’s voice (and a different song – it’s like Glee doesn’t know that Katy Perry sucks). I enjoyed Puck’s rendition of ‘Waiting for a Girl Like You’ – more for the fact that he was singing it to his daughter (although it could have been better vocally and emotionally). It also made me a little sad for Cory since he has really been pushing to sing a Foreigners song on the show (You have know idea how much I would bawl if Finn sings ‘I Want to Know What Love is’ to Rachel and I won’t even be ashamed).
3. The Highlights: I love the subtle but still there competitiveness between Rachel and Kurt (“did you airbrush out your jowls?”). I am intrigued by the newly formed Troubletones because I adore Santana and Mercedes voices together, but I still don't think they compare to Rachel. I am disappointed in Finn’s storyline but was super pleased that he was in most of the episode (as opposed to the last 3) – he always makes me smile. I loved him trying to eavesdrop on Santana and Mercedes in the hallway, I loved his little dance with Rachel during Blaine’s impromptu song, I love that he is a bit jealous of Blaine taking over the Glee club and I especially loved when the new kid asked if “Hudson” was an Irish name – his response “no, my mom’s from Toledo”. Other quotables:
"She’s kinda like Rain Man with boobs". – Finn’s perfect description of Brittany
"Why couldn’t she have just wished for Lord Tubbington to quit smoking"? – Brittany
"You made me look 26, I asked you to make me look 22". – Sue to her make-up artist
4. The lowlights: Brittany believing in leprechauns. Again, this plot has been done (Santa, the stork, unicorns) – I agree with Finn, it’s just idiotic. I also did not enjoy the glimmer in Finn’s eye when Burt talked about him running the auto shop (Nooooooo! Glee writers, I beg of you do not do this to him! He’s not a Lima loser….remember?!!). There also was very little Rachel – always a mistake.
The First Time
1. Finchel & Klaine – I really like that equal weight was given to each couple’s “first time” – although I am not sure I appreciate that it happens because Artie inappropriately claims it will make them better “artists”. I guess it makes sense to give them a catalyst so to speak for all the sex talk to begin but it was just a little contrived for my taste. In my opinion, the episode was done really well simply because they don’t really focus on the sex (really, it was actually one of the less controversial episode’s in regards to sexual scenarios), instead it focused on the couples being “in love” and “ready” to take their relationships to the next level. Teens have sex – I think the world would be a better place if everyone just admitted that and moved on to the important stuff (like protection, education etc). The meeting amongst the girls was a really great scene (and utterly ridiculous at the same time) because usually Glee is pretty flippant when it comes to teen sex (as proven by the cheeky rape joke about Brittany’s first time – officially “the first time” Glee has offended me….well done.). Tina’s point of view about her and Mike’s first time was a fresh perspective that Glee has sort of avoided until now and it is very relevant to Rachel. Season 1 Rachel was the girl that claimed that the celibacy club was not realistic, she is the girl that claimed girls want sex as much as guys and she also claims to be in love with Finn – so I think it is perfectly fitting that she see fit to have sex with him. It did seem a little out of place for Rachel to comfort Finn (after being rejected by the Ohio State football coach) by giving him “something special”, but the scene was really beautiful so I will just pretend like Rachel planned on having sex with him that night before she even got to his house. Blaine and Kurt were super adorable in the beginning – Blaine’s excuse for resisting the urge to tear off Kurt's clothes? “Because of the layers”. I adore their relationship and this episode was obviously a huge step for network television and gay equality. I loved the whole Blaine, Kurt, Sebastian triangle (although as much as love Kurt – dayum Sebastian is H.O.T). Kurt’s reaction to Sebastian trying to steal his man was spot on – shimmying his way in between them dancing together. I know we haven’t seen the last of Sebastian and I can’t wait for a Kurt/Sebastian showdown.
2. The sub-plots – Although most of the ep was focused on the two couples, we also got quite a bit of other good stuff – Artie bossing everyone around (aka “directing”), Mike Chang standing up to his dad, Coach Beiste finding love (thanks to an extremely inappropriate meddling from Artie), and a very satisfying appearance from Karofsky – who we learn goes to another school and also goes to gay bars to feel accepted. All of it was awesome.
3. Highlights – Cory, Cory, Cory…..did I mention Cory? His acting was freakin’ impeccable in this episode (as expected). I wish there weren’t so many spoilers about this episode (I tried to avoid but it was damn near impossible) – I already knew Finn’s dreams were going to be crushed, but he still managed to kill me anyway with that breakdown scene. He is perfection and so far the biggest highlight of this season.
The best lines:
“As for the condoms…no idea…never used them. It’s worked out for me about 99% of the time”. - Puck's sex advice to Finn
“I don’t know who this Blaine guy is, but apparently he’s sex on a stick and sings like a dream”. - Sebastian
“You take my breath away” – Kurt to Blaine (cut to me…bawling).
4. Lowlights – Again, not into the whole ‘West Side Story’ thing so none of the music appealed to me, but I did enjoy Santana’s version of ‘America’- not enough to purchase it…but it was still entertaining. The return of the Warblers was unnecessary. Also, Sebastian…..can’t sing (still so hot). Artie’s entire arc was really annoying – I enjoy him as a director, but him suddenly giving sex advice to everyone (because he had sex once with Brittany) was just plain stupid (although I did like his little speech at the end about how he is usually coddled by people and has never been treated like an adult before).
1. The songs– Finally!! I enjoyed most of the music in this episode (even bought a few songs).
- 'Hot For Teacher' – so inappropriate as Rachel states (but then again she sang an inappropriate song or two – specifically when she had a crush on Mr. Shuester). But I loved that they did something different AND they looked like they had a ton of fun which always makes it fun for the audience. Plus, Cory + drums is what I dream about at night….
- 'You and I/You and I' – The songs went together beautifully. Plus I love Idina Menzel – her singing is always a highlight (bigger highlight was Sugar Matta swaying in the background).
- 'Hit Me With Your Best Shot/One Way or Another' – enjoyed the dodgeball – it was cute and fun. Although a little pathetic that The New Directions would lose (3 of them are football players…). Cory and Naya sounded fantastic together though. Purchased!!
- ‘You Make My Dreams Come True/I Can’t go for that’ – The song actually sounded really good, but they just looked way too ridiculous – it was hard to stop laughing. Proof that a haircut effects how old you look – because they all aged 10+ years for that performance.
- ‘Someone Like You/Rumour Has It’ – Freaking perfection. The tone, the dancing, the mash-up of the two songs - the whole thing was nothing short of sublime. Especially Naya's interjection of the “Don’t Forget Me” line – it is almost haunting. I’ve heard a few covers of 'Someone Like You' and none of them have impressed me (actually Amber Reilly posted a video of herself singing it months back – yes she sounds great but the tone of the song was missing). Purchased!
2. Finn vs Santana - In one of the most epic showdowns ever – it is truly hard to take a side (ok…not so much for me….Finn is my favorite always) but I do understand the huge impact that his “outing” of her in a public space will have on her life. As much of a BULLY as Santana is – she did not deserve to have the right of coming out on her own terms taken away from her. I use the term “bully” on purpose because Glee seems to take on the issue but they never give Santana any consequences for her actions ….I guess if you’re flinging hilarious (and downright genius) insults at people then it is A-Okay. I actually LOVE Santana as a character and Naya has been perfection with her story arc since last season. She is a character that one “loves to hate”. Finn on the other hand doesn’t really have a mean bone in his body. He may be a bit naïve and sometimes jealous but I don’t think he would intentionally hurt anyone. His “outing” her was never out of a malicious intent – he was more calling her out for being a coward and trying to tear others down because of her own insecurities (aligning her in the same league as the big bad bully of the school Kurofsky). After Santana pretty much insults Finn’s entire existence (kudos to Cory for being the brunt of some pretty harsh punch lines – none of which are true in real life), he understandably snaps. He stayed calm for most of her put downs and even after it all – he still complimented her singing in the brilliantly done Adele mash-off. I did not see that smack coming, but I was not surprised by it.
3. The Highlights – Most of everything that came out of Santana’s mouth was epic – especially her digs at “soft serve” Finn. Here is a sampling:
“Guys…Hurry up..go get some moist towels. We have to keep Finn wet before we roll him back into the sea”.
“At one point I must’ve liked that you looked like a taco addict who has had one too many back alley liposuctions”
“I’m trying to apologize to lumps the clown”.
“I’m sorry that you have no talent, I’m sorry that you sing like you’re getting your prostate checked and you dance like you’ve been asleep for years and someone just woke you up. Have fun riding on Rachel’s coattails for the rest of your life”.
“Manatees have really thick skin”.
But one of my favorite lines was from Rory (as he sweetly tries to back Finn up by “trash talking” Santana) – “You’re skinny like all the crops failed on your family’s farm”. HILARIOUS.
I also find myself enjoying the Shelby & Puck storyline – The three of them make a really cute family. I am just nervous if they get together (and get caught) that Beth might actually get taken away from her. I will NOT like that storyline. I also love the tension between Finn and Blaine – waiting for that to explode. My favorite “little moment” was the self-referential "stop the violence" line that Brittany sings (she memorably said this line last season during an epic Santana/Quinn fight. It was also nice to see Santana laugh - I feel like it's been a while since that has happened.
4. The Lowlights – Not many, as this was my favorite episode of the season so far. I did think the whole Sue vs Burt plot was overdone. The ad campaigns were just plain stupid and ridiculous – and obviously would never fly in the real world. The candidate speeches for student class presidents were just as stupid – none of the candidates had anything important to say. Rick “the Stick” wants the teachers to stop talking, Brittany wants to stop tornadoes and pledges to go topless on Tuesdays, Kurt vows to end dodge ball (and thus bullying?) and Rachel wants to stop book covers (but then decides to opt out of the race and back Kurt instead). Please, McKinley High - don't vote for any of them!!