Hello and welcome to another episode of Glee, a show about boys and the girls who dance behind them. This week Glee was mercifully jam-packed with musical numbers, leaving little room for Finn, Artie, Mr. Schuster, Irish Breakfast, Jacob Ben-Getoutofmyface, Mike Chang and every adult character besides Sue to speak.
Three pieces of business before we begin:
1. I know I’ve introduced and perpetuated the concept of Finn being a lesbian, but I’m sorry to say the man is now a Hasbian, which is a term I hate in every single context besides the one I’m inventing right now which is the “Finn is a Hasbian” context.
2. Finn is now officially a member of my own personally assembled League of Unnecessary Characters With Excessive Screen Time Despite Audience Apathy. Here, I made this graphic for you (ALL BY MYSELF!) of everyone else I’d like off my television set:
3. We need a shipper name for Will & Finn, The Dynamic Duo of the Daytona Speedway. Our options are (with source of suggestion in parentheses):
Schinn splints (@BisHilarious)
The good ship ‘Dork’n’Pork (@midnightfeeling)
WE SUCK (@dorothysnarker)
We open — where else? — in the haughty hallways of McKinley High, where Rachel’s gathering her homework and the seventeen folders required to execute said homework. Rachel tells Quinn and Quinn’s wicker hat that Quinn is more than welcome to solicit singing lessons from Rachel during this hard dark time.
Quinn doesn’t need lessons, because she’s a cyborg replicant killer from outer space with a plan to out Shelby & Puck’s affair to the Principal of Flexible Principles and thereby get Shelby fired. This’d clearly provide an opportunity for Quinn to snatch up the unsupervised Troubletones’ voices and trap them in a jar, a la The Little Mermaid.
Rachel: “First of all, Puck is 18. so what he and Shelby are doing, even though it’s just wrong and so gross, is not illegal, so all you’re doing is you’re getting her fired, which is going to take away her income to provide food and clothes and put a roof over her child’s tiny little blonde head… Beth loves her mom. Shelby is her real mom. You’ve done a lot of really bad things, Quinn, but if you tell people about Shelby and Puck, you’ll ruin this little girl’s life and then you’ll have really hit rock-bottom.”
Where Quinn comes from, there’s no rock-bottom, only rocky cliffs of horror, like Rocky Horror:
Smear to the Glee Clubhouse, where Finn is playing Pinky to Will’s Brain, except totally not funny and slightly off-putting. Bla bla bla sectionals we’ll loose bla bla what will we sing blooblah bla bla gahhh.
Blaine, dressed like my grandfather who died in 1989 and seriously did have that sweater, is drinking coffee out of paper cups with his male lover, Kurt, who is dressed like Hellen Keller in a flip-flopped collar-and-gemstone garment.
So, SURPRISE!, Kurt’s still freaking out how he and Rachel won’t get into NYADA and they’ll be forced to wile away their lives doing summer stock (a perfectly respectable job) and swilling java at The Lima Bean. Blaine is absolutely no help at all, whining that New Directions is a hot mess not dressed for success.
Kurt’s got nothing to live for, which is so cute and seventeen of him, but MAY I JUST SUGGEST Kurt, that you schedule an AUDITION with NYADA, ’cause that’s what matters most — and MAY I ALSO MENTION Kurt, Kurt! Kurt. Kurt listen to me — there are other schools. It’s not like NYADA vs. Jamba Juice, it could be NYADA vs. CCM or UofM or about 100 other schools with decent-to-fantastic musical theater programs. And Kurt. KURT ARE YOU LISTENING? No school — not a one — no school IN THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE will care whether or not your Glee Club wins Sectionals. Not even Julliard. That is completely fucking stupid.
I feel like Ryan Murphy was homeschooled. Blaine says this:
Blaine: “Every time I open my mouth, Finn gives me these looks like, ‘What does he think he’s doing?’ I know what I’m doing.”
Anyhoo, it’s time for the Gillin (Gay Villan), Sebastian, who slithers in to the Petulant Lovers Pod to shake things up.
When Blaine excuses himself to get more imaginary coffee, Kurt dives right in to Gillin, paws out:
Kurt: “I don’t like you.”
Sebastian: “Fine. I don’t like you either.”
Kurt:“I don’t like the way you talk to my boyfriend. I don’t like your smirky little meerkat face. I don’t like your obnoxious CW hair. I’m onto you.”
Sebastian: “Let’s get a few things straight. Blaine’s too good for you. New Directions is a joke. And one of us has a hard-luck case of the gay face, and it ain’t me. Odds are by the end of the school year, I’ll have Blaine, and a Nationals trophy, and you’ll have khakis and a Lima Bean apron, and that gay face.”
Kurt: “You smell like craigslist.”
BRAVO, Kurt. Bravo!
Finn has convinced Will that a fourteenth baby-faced boy singer is all New Directions needs to win, and thus he and Rachel are tracking down Sammy Boy at one of rural Kentucky’s many male-staffed women-targeted strip clubs, which Rachel believes, for some reason, to be dinner theater.
Moments after entering, “White Chocolate” is called to the stage. It’s Sam, duh, Sam and his abs and his penis and his Bieber hair and his trouty mouth, wooing the Ladies Who Lunch until they empty their pocketbooks. Rachel lurches to the orchestra pit to give Sam a dollar and get his attention.
We then segue to White Chocolate’s Fancy Dressing Room, where Rachel and Finn trot out old tropes about strippers while shaming Sam for taking this lucrative job — a job he seemingly enjoys, too — which enables him to support his family. Seemingly they feel he’s “throwing his life away” in that outfit and would be better off at his old job, selling overpriced ice cream for $6 an hour so the CEO of International Dairy Queen, Inc, can buy another yacht, which isn’t exploitative at all.
Regardless, Sam’s not old enough legally to be an exotic dancer regardless so I will restrain from my eloquent tirade regarding Finn and Rachel’s disappointing dialogue in this section. So, Sam’s quickly convinced to drop whatever random education situation he’s currently enrolled in and return to Lima, live with Rachel and/or Finn, and help Glee Club win sectionals.
Cut to Sam taking Finn and Rachel to his home via a fenced-in-lawn vaguely reminiscent of Ryan Atwood’s place in Chino. Once inside the home, however, we’re in a wonderland of shiny kitchen appliances and appropriate mood lighting and in the presence of very attractive parents who look like they invented soap or something.
Sam’s parents cut him loose and we’re off to The Glee Clubhouse, where the gang’s whining about global warming and the possibility of losing Best Jam at the 4-H Fair.
Of course the prospect of losing sectionals is ripe on everyone’s brain. “I know for a fact that we’re going to win at sectionals,” says Quinn like a total crazy person, pacing in her imaginary foreign hellscape of sinister baby-shaking terror.
But before the team can adequately assess the power of Quinn’s voodoo, Finn & Will arrive with Homeless Sam, who tells the class he “lost his way” but “true friends help you find the way back,” which, again, REALLY?, but also — WHATEVER.
Sam launches into “Red Solo Cup,” which I’d never heard prior to this episode, and almost immediately Finn sings/shouts “1-2-3” like Sam the Eagle on tranquilizers, causing me to throw up everything I’ve ever eaten in my entire life. Later, a wayward “GOD NO!” from Finn’s jowly jowls will assault my sensibilities and hurl me into an endless coma.
Often Glee Club impromptu dance numbers are a fascinating peek into the psyches of these dynamic children, who all seem to have their very own idea of how one celebrates the song in question, in this case, “Red Solo Cup.”
So basically; Quinn’s obliviously hopping around on her toes with her poofy skirt like a pretty girl at a garden party. Artie’s pumping his arms maniacally into the air like he’s surrounded by drunk college students on a Football Saturday, Irish Breakfast is moving his limbs in a pattern reminiscent of a really enthusiastic fan of Newfound Glory at his first Vans Warped Tour, Mike’s actually performing a mime act in Cirque De Soliell over in his GapKids-Wardrobed Section of the Room and Finn is lumbering around like a self-centered smarmy high school senior from hell named Finn.
Meanwhile Blaine’s up for Solo cups ’cause Blaine’s up for everything and Kurt is mouthing “what are you doing?” in this super couple-y cute way that makes them seem real. As if Kurt could ever overpower the power of Blaine’s desire to open his eyes real big and bop his head back and forth. And then — HARK! A VISITOR?
WHO IS IT?
NO, not Jesus! Santana! She’s kicking off the episode with a speech she wrote in anticipation of Sam’s return:
Santana: “I just heard the news Trouty Mouth is back in town. I’ve been keeping a notebook just in case this day ever came. Welcome back, Lisa Rinna. I’ve missed you so much since your family packed their bags, loaded them in your mouth and skipped town. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve wanted to enjoy a crisp pickle, but couldn’t find anyone to suck the lid off the jar. I assume you’ve been working as a baby polisher, where young mothers place their infants head in your mouth to get back that newborn shine. So glad you’re back, I haven’t seen a smile that big since the Abominable Snowman got his teeth pulled by that little gay elf dentist. Love, Santana.”
Sam: “I love you too, Santana.”
Sam, who’s always been kinda the best guy of them all, can take a joke and embraces his old friend:
Back in the Haute Hallways of McKinley Technical Institute, Quinn reminds us both that Sam and Mercedes dated for a scorching hot minute last season and that Mercedes is now “with boyfriend.” Now that Sam’s returned from the dateless vortex of his prior life, he probably wants Mercedes back but won’t get her back and therefore Quinn thinks he should be with Quinn, because Quinn is desperate and sad.
I think all Quinn really wants is power over something. Anything.
Quinn informs Sam she’ll be getting her baby back baby back baby back shortly, ’cause if the scent of desperation didn’t already win Sam over, the prospect of caring for yet another child certainly will.
Bring ‘er home, Sam:
Sam: “Quinn, you’ve got what I call rich #whitegirlproblems. It’s a tough world out there, I know, I’ve been through it. But we only get one senior year. Enjoy it. You know that song ‘Jack and Diane’ by John Mellencamp? My favorite line is this one: ‘Hold onto 16 as long as you can.”
He walks off, leaving Quinn there to think long and hard about how to hold onto sixteen when she’s actually already seventeen. (Sidenote I found the usage of “white girl problems” delightful)
Oh by the way, that same Mike/Dad subplot is playing out for the third time, and it’s a pretty much identical arc to the first two times, so I won’t bore you with it. Instead I will bore you with THIS:
So back in Glee Club, everybody’s wicked riled up and whiny about who will be sent to the reaping. Will says something motivational and obvious, Blaine does a little hop-step, and then Sam thrusts his genitals in the air ’cause you can take the boy out of the strip club, but you can’t take the strip club out of the boy. Sam says the best way to win is to be sexy, which has already been suggested and carried out by the Glee Club seventeen thousand times in prior episodes.
Blaine: “We don’t have to resort to that. It’s cheap. It’s selling out.”
Sam: “I came back here to win. When you’re desperate, sometimes you gotta use your assets in order to get back the advantage. This…” – [COCKTHRUST] “–is the advantage.”
Blaine: “Of course that’s what you think; you have to think that in order to sleep at night.”
Oh, all those nightmares Sam had about making a lot of money by dancing in his underpants.
Sam: “What the hell does that mean?”
Blaine: “It means. That I’m not for sale.”
Oh, neat. Now I hate Blaine. NEXT!
Blaine’s getting all Eye of the Meerkat with the punching bags when Finnstein arrives, because he is all powerful and on an Odyssey of Redemption.
Finn: “Is that Sam’s face?”
Blaine: “Yup. Yours, too. Don’t act so surprised. After getting bullied so much, I took up boxing. I also started the Dalton branch of Fight Club, which I obviously can’t talk about–“
Blaine: “…what is your problem with me, anyway? Ever since I got here you’ve given me nothing but crap.”
Finn: “Honestly, dude, I was kind of jealous. I felt threatened. Your talent kind of freaked me out. Made me question whether or not I was good enough. Blaine, I’m sorry. I’ve been acting like a jackass to you… With Rachel gone, you’re the most talented, well-rounded member of this team, and now more than ever we need to be on the same page. United.”
Blaine: “Tell me what you need me to do.”
So jazzed for Finn’s Redemption, the story of an enormous terrible boy who enjoyed layering polo shirts and admitted he was jealous and Blaine made him question whether or not he was good enough, but apparently not hard enough ’cause I think Finn still thinks he’s good.
Then Sam tries to get Mercedes back and Tina tries to get Mike’s Dad back for Mike and they both fail.
Let’s skip to the part where Tina’s confronting Mike’s Dad at his Serious Office, pulling shit out of the sky like, “He’s gonna spend the rest of his life doing something he hates, dying inside.” Basically, Mike’s gonna die inside at Stanford, or die outside dancing on a street corner. JK, I bet he’d get lots of dancing jobs on TV shows and in ipod commercials.
Anyhow, enough about him, I’d like to talk about Brittany. It seems like when the dancing starts, there’s no more Brittany, it’s just Heather Morris, being an infinitely more skilled and talented dancer than anyone up there besides Mike, and it’s rarely (if ever) addressed. It’s just implicitly known.
Glee’s always obsessed over every child’s special snowflake talent — the thing that makes them SO exceptional — and wouldn’t Brittany’s character be so much more fleshed out if her Step it Up 3-D skills were given the same attention as tertiary Mike Chang’s? She may be stupid, but I bet you a million bucks she could snag a gig dancing backup for Beyoncé at a major awards show.