S2E16: Alright. So, Glee is always a little obtuse and quick to jump the gun AND self-referential in a really masturbatory way and this episode was really no different. The good thing is that even though the show stayed on its recently obnoxious path, there was enough entertainment courtesy of the sheer excitement of regionals and a blossoming new relationship to distract us from the episode’s missteps. (And no, I’m not referring to Santana and Trouty Mouth.)
“Sometimes I don’t feel like we’re the Warblers. I feel like we’re Blaine and the Pips.” –Kurt
The episode opened with a Warbler rendition of “Misery” by Maroon 5, and you know what? They need to do this more. Opening with a fun, top 40 song to ease us into the inevitable concocted drama of the episode should be the status quo. After all, we don’t come to this show to follow a complicated story. We don’t want to be scratching our heads when it ends. We want to feel like singing and dancing and we should have gotten a few chuckles along the way.
Though the song was fun and upbeat and reminded me of how I used to feel about this show, of course it presents a problem: Blaine is the Rachel of the Warblers and Kurt is jealous as hell. Good thing for Kurt, when he brings it up, Blaine is a little less Rachel and a little more human but the problem is that the Warbler council decides these things and they govern like it’s the dark ages. But, here comes that “unexpected” death we all heard about. Pavoratti, the Warblers’ canary, has died. When Kurt sings “Blackbird” as a tribute, Blaine suddenly changes his tune about sharing solos and about Kurt.
Blaine gets the council – who were outraged over the idea that they might wear different color blazers to regionals – to allow Kurt to sing a duet with him. As happy as I am about this next part, I must point out that adding Kurt’s voice to the spotlight and having the rest of the Warblers as back-up singers doesn’t actually help fix Kurt’s original complaint.
Now, for the part we’ve all been waiting for: Blaine finally kisses Kurt. While I think this relationship wrapped up a little too quickly, I was happy to see it finally happen, and not just with a peck on the cheek or a quick little church-appropriate kiss, but with a real, passionate, emotional one. Thank God they weren’t shy about it – if they’re going to promote complete understanding and acceptance, they can’t be shy with something like a kiss between two young men. Kurt and Blaine wouldn’t have been tame about it if it were real life, so it’s only appropriate that they treated it thus on the show.
“What’s your favorite song?” –Schue
So remember how everyone voted Rachel’s original song idea down and they elected to do “Sing” by My Chemical Romance? Well, Sue’s evil doing has conveniently put the ball back in Rachel’s court. She tipped the scales and pushed the band to prevent the Glee club from performing their songs, but since this is Glee that just means those plucky kids are going to pull together something original and amazing, right? Did you hear that, Kings of Leon?
While Rachel tries to harness her emotions into a meaningful song, the other kids are singing their awful, terrible, painful, aneurism-inducing self-made tunes. First Santana sings a totally “heterosexual” song to her boyfriend or boytoy (we’re not sure), Sam, called “Trouty Mouth” and it’s just as bad as it sounds. Puck tries to make up for singing “Fat Bottomed Girls” to Lauren by writing a song called “Big Ass Heart” which is just as offensive but no one seems to notice. Mercedes takes the cake with a song that sounds great, but is all about saying “Hell No” to her mother’s requests like “wash your grandma’s nasty head.” The song also has the word diabetes in it and no song should ever have the word diabetes in it. Ever.
Clearly, this isn’t working so Schue gives them the same advice Finn gave Rachel. They need to tap into their pain – oh hey, biggest song-writing cliché ever. Anyway, their collective pain is being treated like losers so they decide on a song title, “Loser Like Me.” Wow, that was easy. I bet you we won’t see them toil and they’ll just miraculously have a “great” song. YEP.
“Whoa. Scary Quinn. Okay.” –Finn
Meanwhile, Quinn’s sole concern is going public with Finn so they can win Prom King and Queen. Sure, she likes him, but hey, bitch needs that crown. Finn’s been putting it off until regionals to keep from hurting Rachel and now he’s saying they should wait until nationals. (Well isn’t that surprisingly considerate.) That would kill their prom chances so Scary Quinn comes out and we’re pretty sure Finn’s getting some so he agrees to public after regionals, but of course sneaky Rachel hears it all as usual.
Quinn befriends Rachel to write an original song together and keep her away from Finn. This quickly becomes a Mean Girls moment where Quinn tells Rachel she’ll never be with Finn, then she switches to some story about how she and Finn are Ohio people and Rachel is meant to go on to bigger things, and THEN she switches to saying Rachel needs to stop expecting fairy tale endings and I wanted to scream at the TV and ask her how many different speeches she was trying to give. Even so, the whole mean speech works because Rachel goes home and pens “Get it Right” while crying over her composition notebook.
“I didn’t sleep with their drummer. The drummer I slept with was from Jimmy Eat World.” –Sue
Okay, regionals time. It turns out the My Chemical Romance letter was forged and it was just an excuse for Sue to pick songs catered to the judges: the local news anchor, a Sarah Palin/Christine O’Donnell hybrid Tea Party politician (Kathy Griffin, gross) and a nun. And yes, they were basically a montage of old SNL jokes and decade-old prejudices. Here’s the thing about satire, it’s only good when it’s smart. Just a tip, Glee writers. Anyway, the not at all stupidly named Aural Intensity sings “Jesus is a Friend of Mine” while swing dancing and it's awful.
First up, because we’re not counting Sue’s awful group, are the Warblers. Blaine adorably encourages Kurt, and they get out there to sing “Candles” and then Pink’s “Raise Your Glass.” I still don’t like Kurt’s voice, but I’ll give in for the sake of the story. It was cute, and really, really fun – other than Blaine’s insistence on doing that gangster move – and if we didn’t know the New Directions were going to win, I don’t think we’d be all that upset if the Warblers did. And in all honesty, Darren Criss can be dorky as he wants and still make it work.
“Oh my God they’re doing original songs.” – Kurt
YEAH WE KNOW, they’ve been talking about it for weeks. Rachel sings “Get It Right” and Finn looks like he gets it, cue Finn-Rachel-Quinn drama until nationals. The song was alright, but it got some serious help from the fact that it was a ballad. Then they move into “Loser Like Me” which isn’t as bad as I originally thought when we heard it WEEKS ago, but did not get any help from the weird leggings, shiny dress, combat boot outfits they were wearing. The thing that bothered me most about this was how masturbatory it all was from the famed Glee “Loser” L’s on their foreheads to their glitter slushies. Even so, I have to admit it was a little fun.
Clearly the New Directions win; we all knew they would because there are too many episodes left in the season for it to be over. Kurt and Blaine are upset – Kurt is CRYING not over the dead bird, but over losing – but Blaine, being the normal human that he is notes that they have each other. Duh. Sue punches the master of ceremonies as her revenge. Sounds about right.