S3E2: Glee, as the Aussies say, good on ya. It seems the series really is inching back towards that feeling we all got hooked on in Season One. Sure there are still plenty of kinks to be worked out – go away, Sugar Motta – but the storylines are stronger, the emotional connections are more poignant and the stakes are higher. This could be Glee’s comeback season after wheeling out of control last season.
“We’re going to all it ‘Kurt Hummel’s Bulging Pink Fun Sack.’” – Brittany
Let’s start with this whole “unicorn” notion. Of course, it’s a Brittany-ism; unicorns are special people who understand how special they are. As Burt Hummel says, a unicorn with a horn is “just a freakin’ horse.” So, Brittany wants to use this metaphor to help Kurt win his campaign for class president. There’s just one problem: Kurt doesn’t want to appear “that gay.” By the time Britt starts putting up posters, Kurt berates her and essentially fires her.
Then Santana, who’s not completely heartless, steps in and convinces Brittany that she should run, even though she thought she wasn’t smart enough, Santana convinces her she is. Of course, Kurt holds no hard feelings, but it’s still not easy for him to accept that he’s got Britt as competition. But more on that in a minute.
“You look like a Real Housewife of Reno.” –Puck
Quinn continues to trudge along with the Skanks, chain-smoking and terrorizing girls for lunch money, when Sue asks her to be a part of her arts-smear campaign by being the subject of a video about how the arts ruined her life. This quickly falls apart when Quinn confronts Schue, plays the victim, and gets what’s coming to her: a demand for her to grow up and stop blaming her problems on others.
This is bolstered when Shelby Corcoran (Idina Menzel) returns as Sugar Motta’s own personal choir director (a plot so inane I’m not even going to acknowledge its presence – but at least it brought us Idina). She wants Quinn and Puck to be in baby Beth’s life since she regrets never being in Rachel’s – a thought brought on by her beautiful impromptu duet with her daughter – but not if Quinn is still trying to be a badass. After Puck so sweetly visits Beth, Quinn decides she wants to see the baby too, but Shelby insists she clean up her act first. She flips quickly to rejoining the Glee club with newly dyed blonde locks, but her inner struggle isn’t solved that quickly (thank God). She’s just keeping up appearances to help her new goal: getting custody of Beth. Duh-duh-duh.
This is going to be good – and that’s only one side of the Shelby coin. We still have to deal with the Rachel side, which was cracked open ever so gently when she gave Rachel audition advice and sang “Somewhere There’s Place For Us” with her.
“We need an anti-Sue.” –Bieste
With Mike Chang’s Booty Camp dance classes well underway and handing off the glee musical to Bieste, Emma, and Artie, Schue’s got more time to focus on taking down Sue. When Quinn returns to the Glee club, Sue uses it as ammunition, painting Quinn as an addict, returning the clean-cut ways of the Glee club from her Skank life. Right. Somehow, this psycho-babble campaign is working, and she’s become number one in the polls, which means they need someone else: [Spoiler if you didn’t see our post last week] that someone else is going to be Burt Hummel.
I get why this plot is here, but the notion that Americans really would turn so vehemently against something as wholesome and nurturing as the glee club is beyond me. Sure, they may support budget cuts, but this “war on arts” thing is a little over the top – even for this show.
“You’re gay, and not like Rock Hudson gay.” –Burt
The class president campaign isn’t the only place Kurt is finding trouble with his image. He’s also feeling left out with regard to the Glee club. Rachel is the obvious pick for Maria in West Side Story, and the plan was for Kurt to play Tony so they could both have ammunition for their NYADA auditions. The rub is that no one wants Kurt to play Tony – well, except for Emma. He auditions beautifully, and adeptly with a Barbra Streisand song but it only serves to exacerbate the fact that Artie sees him as delicate and Bieste thinks he’s too much of a lady.
After he auditions a second time with Rachel and a scene from Romeo and Juliet and is laughed offstage (which only makes sense for plot because the performance wasn’t in any way laughable), he approaches Burt with his issue. He wants to nab the leading romantic roles, but he has to tone it down to do so. Burt sides with Brittany – why hide his unicorn horn? He should start forging the path for new types of leading men who are more akin to his style – he needs to be a pioneer. Now this is an after-school-special type moment that I can get on board with because it’s something current and pressing for many young high school kids and for the arts in general. It’s an issue that deserves to be explored.
Still it seems that Kurt isn’t quite ready to move forward with this notion. When he watches Blaine’s magnetic audition song, “Something’s Coming” – which lends an optimistic tone to Burt’s words about creating new roles – he overhears Artie ask Blaine if he’s consider auditioning for Tony instead of Bernardo. We’re left on an actual cliff-hanger for once as Kurt storms out and Blaine stands there, speechless, with a quivering lip.
Thank God you’re back Glee. I knew you had it in you. Who’s ready for next week’s episode? This girl.