S3E3: Glee continues to keep the interesting storylines coming – and without any interruption from Sugar Motta! (Though I’m sure she’ll be back next week.) No longer do characters make empty threats and then come back with smiling faces at the end of the episode and while some of our issues seems to be wrapped up nicely – like Kurt’s sweet gesture to Blaine when he tells him he hopes he gets Tony (he does) –we know things are going to get messier down the road, so we’ll enjoy their little happy moments while they last.
“When I saw you dance, it’s when I fell in love with you.” –Tina
In case you were wondering, the “Asian F” title refers to Mike Chang’s storyline this week – because he’s a series regular now! He got an A- with all the hard work he’s dedicating to glee and football outside of his classes. This of course brings his father into the school to insist he quits glee or breaks up with Tina or he’ll be forced to assume Mike is taking drugs and that’s why he’s doing “poorly.” Mike promises to work with a chemistry tutor so he can keep dancing.
The result is a handful of scenes that really showcase our latest regular – and my potential new favorite. The first is one in which Mike uses the dance studio for practice and imagines his father telling him dance isn’t a career and then imagines Tina being sweet and encouraging. It’s this vision that convinces him to try out for the singing part in West Side Story and his performance of “Stay Cool” is one of my favorite in recent memory. Where has that voice been? The combination of his moves and he newfound voice are a severely untapped resource. This plot is brought home when his mother finds him and says she supports his dreams and she understands because she once dreamed of being a dancer. He teaches her to dance right there, and suddenly Mike’s character is the big leagues – and he brought a tear to my eye.
“Forget West Side Story, this is Clash of the Titans.” -Puck
Now that Kurt and Blaine are no longer vying for the Tony role, it’s all about Rachel vs. Mercedes. When her boyfriend tells her to stop acting like she has to beat Rachel and start believing that she’s amazing and that Rachel is the one who needs to surpass her, Mercedes stumps the directors with her show-stopping performance of “Spotlight.” They aren’t sure who to choose. They order a second audition with a song of their choosing, but not before the issue starts to get to Mercedes.
At dance practice, she can’t complete one of the moves and Schue calls her out. She wheels around and demands to know why Schue only puts pressure on her and not Rachel. She storms out and Schue says she’s out of New Directions, but not before we witness her in the Effie role from Dreamgirls as she tells off the entire dance class and leaves. Later, she faces off against Rachel and she’s clearly the better choice, but the judges decide to double cast the role. This is the final straw for Mercedes, who declines the offer and removes herself from the production altogether. Of course, I think we all saw it coming when she showed up in Shelby’s office offering to join her new glee club.
“So you’re cool flushing McKinley High’s future down the magical poop-stealing water chair?” –Brittany
Kurt’s now focusing all of his attention on running for student council and while he seems to be ahead in the polls at the start of the episode, Brittany runs through the student body with a viral video campaign of her performing “Run the World” by Beyonce to promote McKinley having the first female student body president (which still seems a little archaic to me). Her amazing performance – Mercedes and Rachel who? The dancers are the ones killing it this episode – seems to hook the female half of the students and it puts the fear in Kurt.
But it gets more complicated. When she thinks she’s going to lose the Maria role, Rachel gets desperate. She needs something for her NYADA application, so she throws her selfish hat in the student council ring. Kurt tells her what she needs to hear, which is that she’s putting material accomplishments before her friends and she’ll regret it. And it looks like she really will. After she gets the Maria role all to herself, she decides not to back down from the student council run. Finn’s disappointment is about as palpable as anything Finn ever does, but it’s not a pretty. She’s getting out of control and it could cost her Finn once again – the strange thing is that the prospect of their split doesn’t seem all that upsetting anymore. Maybe it’s the lack of romantic rivals?
“I was a bachelor for a long time. This kept me off Craigslist.” –Schue
Before we get into the real issue here, can we pause a moment to say “WHAT?” Schue not only brings out his secret stash of what we can assume are Playboys, but he implies that the only alternative for a single guy is random hookups on Craigslist. Whoa. That’s pretty ballsy, Glee.
Anyway, Will finds Emma’s stash of wedding magazines and starts thinking about their future. He’s worried that he hasn’t met her parents and after seeing a signed photo from Vera Wang that reads “Marry Up” – seriously, where the hell did that come from? – he thinks that Emma is ashamed of him. Beiste convinces him that he’s a catch and that if Emma won’t introduce her parents, he needs to bring them to him. So he does – and it turns out Emma was embarrassed of them because they’re awful ginger supremacist people who call Emma “freaky deaky” because of her OCD.
We finally see a little of the Season One Will when he stands up to her parents on her behalf and later, when Emma is still distraught over their behavior, he’s at her side to comfort her. They really are making this relationship more robust instead of letting it be just a fluffy little teacher romance on the side, which is wonderful.
This week leaves us with less of a cliff-hanger and more of a look towards the future. We’ll soon see Shelby’s choir forming, student elections coming down to the wire and the West Side Story production taking place. Oh and then there are those two other untouched issues of Sue’s political campaign and Quinn’s quest to regain custody of Beth. Things are likely going to get a whole lot more complicated before they get better, and with a dramedy, that’s exactly what we need. Just no more Mr. Schue falcetto, okay? That "Fix You" rendition was sweet, but a little weird.