Here’s a poser: would we have hated this episode if it had followed directly on the heels of the excellent previous one, without the baseball-induced 4-week hiatus separating the two? Or would the high quality of “Asian F,” one of the best single episodes in the history of the show, have made “Pot of Gold” look all the weaker with only seven days separating them? Were we disappointed because we were experiencing a serious Glee jones and the fix was a letdown or would this episode have been a letdown no matter how much or how little we anticipated it?
Are you getting that we didn’t like this episode?
“Hate” is perhaps too strong a term, but we were bored, that’s for sure. And a boring episode of Glee is like a Law & Order where nobody gets murdered. What’s the point of the show if it’s not offering exactly what it’s supposed to? The big news, we suppose, was the introduction of Rory to the halls of McKinley High. We didn’t watch The Glee Project, so we’re afraid any excitement generated by his arrival eluded us. That one was for much harder-core Gleeks than ourselves. We guess if we were more into that show, we’d be more excited about his arrival, but we found ourselves annoyed that this awkward Chris Colfer look-alike (who admittedly can sing quite well) was getting so much screen time. Yes, the part about Brittany believing in leprechauns was cute (and to be fair, he did look like he hopped right off the Lucky Charms box) and in the end, gave her another moment where she stood up for herself. Brittany seems to grow whenever someone insults her and that’s a golden character trait. You can’t help but root for her. We don’t know about you, but Kurt and Rachel’s candidacies both look pretty freaking weak next to Brittany’s.
And yes, the “New Directions is falling apart and splintered” storyline isn’t exactly a fresh, new take on the show. In fact, it’s been pretty much the main storyline since episode one. As unlikely as the second glee club is, it’s the first time we’ve really bought the reasons behind a “fractured team” storyline. In other words, it all feel organic to us. Mercedes’ reasons for leaving made perfect sense given her character’s spotty history and now Santana and Brittany leaving make just as much sense. But we’re hoping the “It’s all Rachel’s fault!” trend doesn’t go much further than this. And if it does, we hope Rachel stands up and reminds all of these whiners that she’s worked harder than all of them put together to make New Directions work and win. There are valid reasons for certain members of the club to feel like they’ve been shoved to the side, but blaming the highly talented and hardest-working member for all of that is going to make people look like assholes.
And speaking of looking like an asshole, let’s all hear it for Shelby, who went from being likeable and, a rarity in this world, mature, to being just another fucked up adult foisting her shit on students. Worse, we’re back to characters doing things that make no sense just to move the story in a certain direction. We’re not talking about her kiss with Puck. That actually did make sense, in a certain respect. No, what we’re talking about is leaving her daughter in the care of her two teenage biological parents, when she made it quite clear earlier that she would only let them be part of her life if they straightened up their acts. Going from “You need to figure out your life” to “Okay, number’s on the fridge” with no scene serving as a bridge between those two contradictory ideas means that for all the improvement on the plotting front this season, Glee still moves its characters around like action figures in the hands of an 8-year-old.
As for the kiss, we’re not scandalized by it, but the show is FULL of parents, teachers, and other authority figures who are completely fucked up and foisting all their issues on a bunch of minors. We get why that is (a large audience of teenagers) and we have no issue with such a cynical take on authority, but it would have been nice to have one faculty member at McKinley High who isn’t grossly inappropriate with a student.
And speaking of grossly inappropriate, let’s hear it for Sue Sylvester. We have to admit, pitting Sue and Burt against each other is both brilliant and a little cynical. The former, because they’re the two most popular adult characters on the show and they’re polar opposites; the latter, because they’re the two most popular adult characters on the show and they’re polar opposites. It’s a little too neat and a little too obviously a practical solution as to what to do with these characters. But we don’t mind it too much. We have yet to see a real Burt vs. Sue throwdown, although we got a taste of one this episode, but we suspect such a moment will be highly entertaining. Sue is far more fun when she’s up against someone who really threatens her and Burt is too unflappable to let her razor-sharp tongue have any effect on him. It may be a practical and cynical move on the part of the writers, but it’s one of the better plot developments this season.
One of the worst, we’re sorry to say, is the attempt to turn Quinn from Mean Girl (after a short trip to Good Girl) into Crazy Bitch. Certainly, Quinn’s done a lot of shitty things to people; that’s her character. But trying to take a woman’s child away from her is similar to the Terri faux-pregnancy plotline from season one: you might wring some conflict and even humor out of the situation, but after a while, the sheer nastiness of it becomes un-entertaining to the viewers. We really hope this whole Shelby/Puck/Quinn thing doesn’t drag on all season.
As for the musical numbers, they were just okay. Blaine’s singing style still annoys the shit out of us, Lucky Charms got a big push, which must have made the Gleeks happy (although we were a little bored with the second number), and the TroubleTones had a fantastic number, staged with the school’s bottomless budget for putting on extravaganzas for empty auditoriums. It wasn’t an awful episode of Glee, but it wasn’t one that had us laughing and head-bopping all that much either.
[Photo Credit: fox.com]