Glee, that was weird. I mean, I get where you’re coming from. But that was simply the strangest. prom. ever.
And I’m not just talking about the fact that Heather Morris performed a Ke$ha song about geriatric perverts while flanked by Cheerios dancing in giant rubber dinosaur heads. I’m not referring to the fact that Blaine’s entire storyline this week revolved around Brittany’s hair gel ban and his fear of his God-given clown afro. I’m also not talking about how disturbingly stoked Will is when he tells the glee club that Figgins is going to let them perform at prom again. (You didn’t just win a new Ford Fiesta, William. Calm yourself.) I’m not even just talking about the fact that the glee club performs at prom to applause worthy of the second coming of *NSYNC, when they were still getting slushied in the halls a few weeks ago. I am talking about the fact that by the end of the episode, I’m not even sure what saccharine lesson the series was trying to teach us this week other than the fact that when the glitter confetti falls at prom, everything bad — even Quinn’s muscle atrophy that was “hopeless” last week — falls away with it. It’s just that simple.
But up until the glitter shower happened, I had more than a few questions, like: Why does the prom committee just give up the six months of hard work on their "Castles in the Sky" prom theme at the last minute? And: Why does the plot even call for Brittany to save herself from ending the Student Body President role forever at McKinley unless she hijacks three hard-working teens’ prom committee and throws prehistoric creatures at it? And: Why didn’t she okay “Stairway to Heaven”? Using that as the theme would give them an excuse to sing it and take up a good seven minutes of pesky dialogue time. Opportunity: wasted.
Brittany gets her half-baked dinosaur prom and Sue gets her Rydell High on when she announces the prom court nominees, accompanied by Becky on the xylophone. Rick “The Stick” Nelson, President Brittany S. Pierce, and Finn Hudson are nominated for King, while Missy Gunderson, Santana Lopez, and Quinn Fabray are nominated for Queen. And yes, we thought the Brittany thing was weird too, but don’t worry, she makes it all better when she wears a tiny top hat with her prom dress. When Becky realizes she didn’t get nominated and she’ll never be like the Downs Syndrome girl from the Positivity PSA on television, the xylophone gets it.
NEXT: Rachel, Interrupted.Just in time for her xylophone and keyboard-angled rampage, Becky’s inner monologue, Helen Mirren, is back, narrating all her Prom Court-induced turmoil. Still, even Dame Helen can’t cheer up Becky, so Sue takes it upon herself to explain why Becky didn’t get nominated: “You’re a b***h, Becky.” That’s definitely how cheerleading coaches talk to their underclassmen in high school without getting fired. It builds character, or something like that. The only thing it seems to build is Becky’s anger though, as another xylophone bites the dust.
Rachel, true to her teenage sensibilities, thinks that losing her shot at NYADA means she can never, ever, ever star in a Broadway play. Ever. So, she takes that despair and pours it into everything she does. Like when she sees Quinn and Finn’s prom court poster and screams at Finn like he forgot the name of her favorite Barbra Streisand song. At the moment, she’s shown to be selfish, putting her needs before a girl in a wheelchair. Naturally, she does the big girl thing and sings “Big Girls Don’t Cry” with Kurt and Blaine, and they all make the Big Girl decision to cry about Prom in the deluxe suite at the Red Roof Inn during their Anti-Prom party so Rachel doesn’t have to see her boyfriend be crowned King of the Popular Children alongside his ex. Despite Santana’s surprisingly astute smackdown pointing out that Anti-Prom is an excuse for Rachel to pull herself out of a situation she can’t control because she’s upset, the party goes on. Come Prom night, Rachel is hosting Puck, Kurt, Blaine, and Becky for the most boring hotel Bravo marathon ever. (Tabatha's Salon Takeover? You can do better, remote-master Blaine.)
And while Rachel is throwing one pity party, Quinn is turning her pity into votes. She is practically walking again, but she makes Joe promise not to tell anyone until “it’s real.” Because we are sweet, unassuming people, we believe her. But when Quinn writes a potential voter a sonnet about being in a wheelchair in order to get another check mark in her Queen box, we realize (at the same time as dopey Finn Hudson — get it together, Stahler) that she’s using her ailment to win Prom Queen.
Luckily, it doesn’t take Finn long to royally bust her spot. He finds Quinn walking in the bathroom and he threatens to leave, feeling he abandoned his sweet (also conniving and opportunistic — he’s got a type, eh?) girlfriend when she needed him. Despite Quinn talking about the audience applauding her recovery like Gollum talking about his precious, Finn agrees to stay until he gets fed up watching everyone make out like the horny teenagers they are and realizes... wait. I don’t know what he realizes. Perhaps that Quinn is a liar and he doesn’t care about her dream of being Prom queen. Perhaps that the only girl who's going to make out with him in front of his classmates is Rachel. Or perhaps he realizes that Rachel was right and he’s putting her into her freshman year loser box while he returns to his freshman year popular kid waltz and dances with the pretty cheerleader at the prom. He makes a scene, yelling at Quinn to get up out of her chair, but no one would suspect the girl in the wheelchair is faking, so he’s kicked out (a fact which is apparently forgotten 20 minutes later).
Finn shows up like a knight in shining armor to rescue Rachel, Kurt, and Blaine from the Red Roof Inn Honeymoon suite tower, where Rachel has conveniently changed into her prom dress with full hair and makeup just as Finn arrives. Blaine, Kurt, Rachel, and Finn leave and Puck stays with Becky. She locks the door and actually gets Puck to play strip poker — and she gets him down to his skivies. Despite the overwhelming dirty feeling produced by this scene, it actually turns into a nice one in which Becky confesses that all she wanted was to be prom queen, and Puck cuts up a beer box and crowns them King and Queen of the Anti-Prom. In exchange, Becky helps achieve his life (or at least that’s what he calls it) goal of spiking the punch bowl.
In a life-altering moment before Quinn and Santana count the prom votes, Rachel flips over to the sweet side again and apologizes to Quinn, adding that she feels new, humbled Quinn is a true friend. The guilt gets Quinn and when she finds that she won by one vote, she decides to give the crown to Rachel via “write-in vote." The episode closes with Santana and Quinn feeling awfully generous for giving poor little dweeb Rachel her Prom Queenship; Rachel suddenly and resolutely regaining her belief that anything is possible thanks to the surprise victory; Santana and Quinn invoking memories of an ‘80s movie their characters probably never saw with Berlin’s “Take my Breath Away"; and Quinn miraculously standing up mid-song without her breath wavering even a bit. Of course, Quinn’s choice to show off her Little Mermaid legs during Rachel’s King and Queen dance is a total thunder-stealer, but RB doesn’t care because she’s making out with Finn under a glitter cannon and enough hope to power 10 different ‘90s teen movies.
We’re hard on the series, but it’s still got its charms. Here are the best side observations from “Prom-asauarus”:
--Figgins calls Brittany a “Sexy teen trollop,” which is not so much funny as super creepy.
--Brittany is already accepted at Purdue... the chicken factory.
--It’s hard not to love Sue’s little homage to Grease’s Rydell High as she reads the Prom nominations into an old timey mic.
--Dinosaur Prom Refreshments: Berries, meat, and rainwater.
--“Advertisers are manipulative alcoholics … Haven’t you seen Mad Men?” - Sue
--Santana calls Blaine and Kurt “the two gay Winklevii twins.”
--Blaine thinks hair gel is in the Bill of Rights. And it’s okay because he’s so gosh darn adorable.
--Sue finally says something about Joe’s ridiculous rasta braids and calls him “Jar Jar Binks.” Whew. It’s time someone said it.
--Sam and Mercedes are all cute and lovey at Prom. More Samcedes, please. That is all.
--Kurt calls fro-tastic Blaine his “Brave, handsome, bushier boyfriend.”
--There were snakes living in the McKinley toilets.
Follow Kelsea on Twitter @KelseaStahler