S3E6: Well, this week’s episode of Glee wasn’t as bad as I expected. With all these storylines swirling into greater and great plot points, I feared that the episode would continue the Season 2 overload pattern. For the most part, the writers seemed to juggle the overwhelming amount of plot pretty well – though there are few points they could have done without.
”Why would someone assume I’m a friend of Ellen just because I’m mannish and highly aggressive and have short hair and wear only track suits, I coach a girls sport and I married myself? It just doesn’t make any sense.” –Sue
Let’s start with the storyline that needed some serious trimming. Bieste is all atwitter about spending so much time with Cooter, but while her…vigorous…description of her last date with the recruiter seemed to elude to sex, it seems that in reality, Bieste won’t even let Cooter hold her hand. This is a problem because Sue is looking for a way to keep voters from dismissing her because her rival’s campaign ad says she’s a lesbian – and Cooter happens to be an old booty call of Sue’s. Naturally, he’s the one she chooses to call, even though she could have apparently had Matt Lauer or David Boreanaz. Really, writers? Throwing these names in isn’t funny – and how much did Fox pay you to throw in a Bones star? The result is the pair parading around in front of Bieste kissing and being photographed for the local papers, and that leads to Bieste singing “Jolene” – a real improvement on her last song of choice.
However, even when Sue loses the election to Burt Hummel (what a small victory for what should have been a showdown), she still wants to date Cooter and he’s into it. Bieste confesses that she’s in love with him and that she won’t stop fighting for him. I do like that Bieste not only has to get over her intimacy issues, but she also has to come out of her shell to fight for her man, but it using Sue as the other woman because as Cooter says, he’s a “grown man” and he needs more, is just too much. It doesn’t make sense. I personally don’t see any reason Sue would date Cooter; they’re nothing alike other than the sports connection. It all just seems like an attempt to make Sue relevant again when we know that the real problem is that they overused her comedic talents early on and we’re all just a little weary of her schtick.
”You do realize that you’re forcing me out the flannel closet.” –Santana
Finn vouches for Santana when last week’s slap threatens to get her suspended. He wants her to compete at sectionals, and if she’s suspended, she can’t do that; so he uses this act of mercy to force her into participating in another New Directions/ Treble Tones collaboration: lady music week. He’s determined to get her to accept who she is – she isn’t so determined. Despite his and the club’s earnest efforts, including Kurt and Blaine’s favorite song to make them feel accepted, Santana is as cantankerous and unappreciative as ever until Finn finally tells her why he’s so concerned: he doesn’t want her to die. Okay, lets elaborate on that a bit. He saw that a kid from one of the It Gets Better videos – a series that helps young gay teens understand and accept their sexuality even though it seems impossible – recently committed suicide and Finn fears that when Santana grows tired of hurting others with her words, she’ll hurt herself. The rendition of “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” that followed was a bit odd – slowing down a song doesn’t make it deep – if you ignored the well-known lyrics and only gave heed to the emotional cues, the connection he forges with Santana is pretty powerful. And the fact that this comes right after he says he’ll always have a space for her because she was his first doesn’t hurt either. It doesn’t take long until all the girls are defending Santana in the hallway from a dumb jock before bursting into “I Kissed a Girl,” which was fun, but I’m once again suspicious about the fact that high school kids are singing Katy Perry lyrics like this. It seems that the song is more of a way for the other girls to attempt to understand Santana than it is an anthem for accepting being a lesbian – the song’s about loving the idea of the experimentation and being open, not accepting one’s sexuality in a serious, real way. But I guess I get where they were coming from.
”That song was mainly about babysitting for me.” –Puck
Towards the start of the episode, Puck chooses to sing a Melissa Etheridge song for lady week – “I’m The Only One” – and while it seems he’s singing to Quinn, she starts to notice he’s actually crooning for Shelby. He quickly covers it by saying it was about babysitting Beth. Right. Quinn invites him over to her house so they can sleep together but he turns her down because he says she’s insane and more high maintenance than Rachel. And while he’s covering that up, it doesn’t take long for Shelby to ask him to come to the rescue.
Beth hurts her lip and is in the hospital and Puck rushes to Shelby’s side, where he quickly takes charge of the situation, saving Beth from a possible long-term, ugly scar. This apparently whips Shelby into a frenzy because they end up sleeping together, but it’s not long before she says it’s a mistake and he storms out calling her a coward. Maybe it’s the all powerful nature of Idina Menzel, but there’s some part of me that wants this to work out for the two of them. As least he’s 18. That makes me feel a bit better about the way this series is directing me.
Hurt and angry, Puck takes Quinn’s initial sex offer, and she tries to sleep with him without protection so they can have another baby instead of getting Beth back. He realizes that him getting her pregnant is the reason she’s so screwed up and he tells her she’ll get out of Lima and that she’ll be great. They seem to be on good terms again as he holds her and then tells her his big secret. We don’t see how that goes, but we do see Quinn crying in class the next day and shooting daggers at Shelby. Something tells me we’re about to have a squealer on our hands.
”Rule wisely, rule fabulously.” –Kurt”
Kurt is losing the election to Brittany and starts thinking about possibly stuffing the ballot boxes in order to win. He needs the presidency to get into NYADA. Despite her clear lead, Kurt wins by a ridiculous landslide – and by ridiculous, we mean he won by more votes than there are McKinley seniors. Figgins threatens to suspend him, but it turns out that Rachel did it. Kurt could lose everything, but she says she can’t go to the principal to save Kurt because she might get suspended. It’s clear that she wasn’t helping Kurt, she was helping herself – like she says at the start of the episode, she needs “her gay.” Meanwhile, Kurt won and lost an election in the same day and has to smile and congratulate Brittany on her victory while simultaneously celebrating his father’s election and sending his NYADA application sans student council victory. He could come out an all around loser, but this is Glee so we know that won’t happen.
Rachel confesses to Figgins, but it will go on her permanent record – uh-oh NYADA – and she’s not allowed to participate in sectionals. Maybe she can listen on the phone and cry like Schue did back in Season 1.
”It’s selfish of you to make me feel uncomfortable.” –Santana’s Abuela
Santana’s parents are supportive when she decides to come out for real, but she still needs to tell her grandmother – someone we hear her mention time and again. Her abuela is obviously extremely important to her, so it’s heartbreaking when Santana pours her heart out to the old woman and she does nothing but kick Santana out and lecture her for speaking such scandal out loud. It’s very obviously the writers’ way of emphasizing that while many people are open and accepting of other forms of sexuality, that prejudice is still out there and it still holds some people back.
Even so, Santana busts out the final tune of the episode: a K.D. Lang song called “Constant Craving.” It’s a bittersweet end to what seemed like a small cross section of what Santana must really being going through, but it’s hard to give a single story line much more depth or attention on a character-saturated show like Glee. We’ve come to expect it at this point, but it’s just hard to put up with when the stories at hand could be so much more poignant.