Hold on to Sixteen

Posted on December 07, 2011

Oh, Glee. You’re never going to let us quit you, are you?

Halfway through New Directions getting their Jackson on we realized with some surprise, “This is the most tightly scripted episode in the history of Glee.” The surprise came because, well, it wasn’t necessarily the most engaging episode of Glee.

Maybe “engaging” isn’t the right word because once Sectionals got underway, and straight through to the sappy reunion song at the end, we were totally into it. It’s just that what was happening before and between the songs was fairly by-the-numbers from a dramatic standpoint.

Mike’s dad did a total 180 and literally embraced his son and his dreams. Was this something that shocked anyone watching the show? Did we all not think this was exactly how it was going to play out? Dad sees son dancing up a storm and his heart grows ten sizes bigger right before our eyes. But much like New Directions winning Sectionals, it’s not about narrative tension. Of course ND would win; of course Mr. Chang would come around. Glee isn’t about twists and turns. If anything, it’s about taking the hoariest of old plot cliches from musical theater, blowing the dust off them, and plopping them down in the 21st Century to see if they still work. Was Mr. Chang’s slow clap and standing ovation anything but a cliche? No, but we did feel the emotion of the moment. That’s what made this episode work for us. Nothing really played out in any way other than how we knew it would, but all of the moments of payoff felt earned, and that has happened so few times with Glee that we’re hard-pressed to come up with an example of the last time it happened. There was a setup, people acted pretty much how people act, and then there was some form of resolution with accompanying growth. This is basic storytelling 101, but it’s not something the show has ever really managed to do well. Setups and payoffs are hard to make work and Ryan Murphy and his team were clearly more interested in crazy moments and downloadable songs prior to this season.

What surprised us was all the other narrative wrapups, because this episode was chock full of them; from Quinn rescuing herself from a bad downward spiral, to Shelby walking away from Puck, to Finn and Blaine burying the hatchet, to the integration of the Troubletones back into New Directions – it was all playing out exactly as one would expect all these stories to play out. In fact, so much was resolved and so many plot threads taken off the table that we’re left wondering what exactly the story’s going to be going forward.

Certainly the whole Kurt vs. Sebastian thing has real teeth to it. Their little bitchslap contest was easily one of the funniest scenes of the season and “You smell like Craigslist” is definitely entering the rotation of bitchy comebacks in the T Lo lexicon. We’re surprised to find ourselves smiling at the prospect of Sam (whose return was well-handled and strangely welcome to us, considering we never had strong thoughts about him either way) fighting to get Mercedes back. But aside from those two conflicts, nothing else is on the horizon. Sue has been sidelined; Santana’s out of the closet, Quinn has her head on straight; New Directions has a newfound unity and sense of camaraderie; Mike reconciled with his father; Rachel and Finn appear to be on solid ground. We’re almost frightened at the prospect of the writers finding new monkey poo to fling at the walls. Who knows what’s coming with that crew.

But for now, we’re pleased. What has us most optimistic was how the musical numbers were handled. It was a pretty bold move on the writers’ parts to take Rachel off the table for Sectionals. We thought her grief over that situation was a little underplayed but we admired them for going through with it. Rachel’s dominance has long been a fan complaint but this season it became a major plot point, the end result was that fantastic Jackson medley, where every single character got at least one (and in most cases, several) moments to shine without Rachel hogging the spotlight. Tina in particular had a banner episode, both from a story and a musical point of view. When the boys all lined up to sing “Man in the Mirror” it occured to us that this is the strongest male lineup the show’s ever had. Finn will never be a major performer, but with Blaine, Artie, and Sam all on the team, it’s never had so many talented male voices at one time.

One of the things that struck us about the performances was that everyone was seriously on their game. The arrangements were pretty much karaoke versions of the original songs (which means they weren’t very interesting) but the performances were some of the best of the show. Mercedes was ON FIRE on that stage, shaking her tailfeather like never before. Even Finn’s dancing has improved. Tina, Artie, Santana, Mercedes, Kurt and Blaine all managed to snag major onstage moments; something the show has never managed before. Our one disappointment: When Quinn opened her mouth and said “This is a story about control,” we squealed with delight, because Janet’s classic message of defiance and empowerment could not possibly be a more apt musical number for her. Instead it was passed off to the whole group. That’s fine; Dianna Agron isn’t the strongest performer musically and she might not have been able to handle the number on her own, but it was one of those moments where the song and the character were perfectly matched.

It wasn’t the type of episode that left us crying or sent tingles up our spine with some amazing musical interpretation, but we’ll quite happily sit and watch a highly entertaining, well-written hour of television and for once in its life, Glee managed to give us exactly that.

    • Anonymous

      Agreed on all points. If they could continue this for the rest of the season then maybe there’s some hope left for the show

      • Anonymous

        I would agree except consistency has never been this show’s strong point.

    • Sobaika Mirza

      Tina had some lines! She even got to sing!!

      • http://foodandwinehedonist.wordpress.com/ thefoodandwinehedonist

        The Troubletones choreography was awful!  It reminded me of the Napoleon Dynamite dance scene… not the good one with Napoleon – but Summer’s happy hands dance http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwqWp0xzZYo

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1046681022 Paula Berman

      I liked the episode a lot, with only one minor quibble: the Troubletones’ choreography was really bizarre and more than a little lame. All the weird arm gestures seemed to compete unnecessarily with the amazing singing.  I think they were going for disco moves, but it didn’t really come off that way.  More “air traffic controller with epilepsy.”

      • http://twitter.com/bigknittrouble Big Knitting Trouble

        Waacking, girl.  Read about it:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waacking  I thought it was pretty darn awesome.

        • http://inkblotphotography.blogspot.com/ Cate

          omg…. “read about it”. i’m so stealing that. 
          but i am REALLY pissed troubletones didn’t win. i know, logically, they couldn’t because glee is about ND, but mercedes and santana are so amazing together i was TOTALLY on their side. except for those costumes. costumes were awful. ND’s costumes were amazeballs.

      • Anonymous

        It sort of seemed like a combination of disco and “whacking” (a style related to disco and vogue with a lot of arm movements) but a lot of them had really sloppy hands and didn’t engage there arms so in parts it was just a lot of flailing. 

      • Anonymous

        Thank you!!  I had such issues with the arm movements.

      • Anonymous

        It may have been an attempt at whacking but it just looked frenetic and awkward with the song. I hated it!

      • Anonymous

        Agreed! at one point Mercedes appeared to be doing jumping jacks — that was strange!

        • Terence Ng

          The jumping jacks made me think about how she was falling to pieces doing rehearsals with the New Directions, but apparently in the Troubletones, she doesn’t have to work as hard? But she’s doing jumping jacks and tons of new choreography? Were rehearsals with the New Directions actually that hard? Or is it another continuity issue?

          • Sobaika Mirza

            I’m going to assume the issue was doing a lot of work without any of the spotlight.

            • Terence Ng

              See, that’s what I don’t get. So like, was the puking and all of that just an act? There was this debate about whether Mercedes was faking and being entitled or if she was literally stressed and people were being too hard on her. So now I’m confused, since I thought it was supposed to be literal stress.

            • Sobaika Mirza

              This isn’t the first inconsistency on Glee. The writers have a spotty history with Mercedes in particular.

              In this episode alone I was wondering why Rachel was so preachy about outing Shelby and Puck when she got Sandy fired for inappropriate touching in the very first episode. If there’s one thing she gets, it’s unfettered ambition to get what you want.

            • http://www.facebook.com/people/Heather-Waddell/10401341 Heather Waddell

              I think the difference with Rachel is that she learned from her mistake when she stuffed the ballot box.

              Also, Sandy (unlike Shelby) was a terrible teacher who had several fireable moments even without Rachel. In TVland, hurting a good person is always much worse and less forgivable than hurting a bad or comical person.

            • Anonymous

              Sandy also didn’t have a kid that was going to be left destitute, and isn’t Rachel’s biological parent. The relationship between Rachel & Shelby has been one of many weird ones on the show, but one can imagine that she might have more compassion for her birth mom than she would for a creepy, self-described “predatory” stranger.

          • Sobaika Mirza

            I’m going to assume the issue was doing a lot of work without any of the spotlight.

          • Molly Conner

            I don’t think she was faking it — I think Will’s training methods were god awful. Yelling at the only overweight girl in the room to try harder in front of all of her skinny friends is not a good way to inspire motivation. Shelby, having significantly more show choir experience than Will (and having once been a teenage girl), probably knew yelling at Mercedes wouldn’t be helpful. My guess is that Shelby’s teaching and the promise of being the centerpiece of the group are what inspired Mercedes to improve so drastically.
             
            I would like to see Will acknowledge in some way that he hasn’t always been the best teacher, in regards to Mercedes, but that doesn’t seem likely.

            • Terence Ng

              I don’t think Will could acknowledge that without acknowledging that he’s a bad teacher in GENERAL.

            • Anonymous

              When Mercedes couldn’t get the routine Will gave her no way out with his in your face appoarch.  Learn this routine and you can dance in the backgound.  Finn ( Lord help the child he really can not dance)was praised, stroked and knew that he would be the male lead.
              Mercedes said to Shelby, I,m going to get that note.  Even though Shelby had just learned that Quinn had set her up to lose Beth she smiled, acknowledged Mercedes and thereby gave her what she needed.   Shelby is a teacher; Schu is a wannabe. 
              I have friends that teach and friends that are teachers.  If you just teach the lesson some students will manage to get it.  If you are a teacher a spark of wanting to do, to succeed is given .  Notice that Sugar can sing.  (Yes, daddy got up off the dough)  Shelby had the child rehearsing.

              When Mercedes approached Shelby there was only a one person (Sugar) choir member.  Mercedes brough in Santana and Brittany. 
              Sometimes you are not the one hiding your light under the bushal.  Sometimes, Mr. Schu, someone else has forced that light to become dim.  When the end of patience is reached usually it is loud and messy.  Santana and Mercedes can sing lead and with the Trouble Tones they became a force to be reckon with.

            • Anonymous

              That whole episode made me cringe, as a girl who decided not to do show choir precisely because she was afraid of that scenario playing out in real life.  (Huh, I just realized how much my school music teacher was like Will.  That’s. . .kind of terrifying.  Incidentally, after I sang something as part of a class project, he spent the rest of the year shaming me for NOT having tried out.)

      • Terence Ng

        I think my only issue with it was that the choreography wasn’t tight. The syncing among the members was really sloppy compared with their Adele mash up.

    • Anonymous

      Th survivor medley was by far my most favourite mashup on this show!!!! 
      and i agree about sam coming back – at first i didnt think id care but the guy just puts one hellova smile on my face, didnt realize how much i missed him! 

      • Anonymous

        River Deep. Mountain High.  It’s a tie.  Love Mercedes Santana duo.  Keep them together. 

        It’s good that after three years of no dates, no attention, no nothing  Mercedes has two men seeking her attention. ( of course she would smile)    Now let’s watch the writers blow this in a BIG way.

    • http://www.facebook.com/GingerBrandon Brandon Beall

      I thought the Mr. Chang thing was believable.  Yeah it might’ve taken a lot to turn him around IRL but in the end he was still telling Mike what to do with his life, with his blessing.  Not really that much of a change in my opinion with himself being in control.

      • Anonymous

        I said the exact same thing – I was watching the show with my mother and when he told Mike he was going to “Dance schools – the BEST Dance schools” I said “OH, now he’s just pushy asian stage parent”

      • Anonymous

        I’m in the theatre and my parents have NEVER been supportive and I was not allowed to apply to arts schools and so scared to do it without support. My mother actually thought if I moved to NYC, I’d be pushed in front of a subway train or something stupid. And we aren’t Asian. I’m nearing 40 and while I’m really happy in my life now, and doing quality local theatre, I never followed my dream because I was held back. I didn’t believe the quick turnaround of Mike’s father at all.

        • Terence Ng

          Neither did I. I would have better believed him seeing the performance, being intrigued, and considering it. Is it so much to have this character come around in say, three episodes, instead of in one? It would still be a victory if his dad said that he couldn’t deny Mike’s abilities, even if he still doesn’t want him to do it as a career.

          I remember that one of the members of Danity Kane only got her parents’ consent if she agreed to get a back up degree to support herself in case it didn’t work out. That would have been a pretty cool compromise. Mike’s clearly intelligent. It’s not like he’s only interested in dance and couldn’t find one other subject to study simultaneously as a backup career. 

          • Anonymous

            I found Mr Chang’s reaction unbelievable as well. I expected him to concede his son has a enough talent to possibly make it in this business but all the effusiveness he displayed seemed completely out of character for the man. I expected him to remain stoic and allow Mike to pursue performing-but ONLY if he went to a top school and maintained an A average

            • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

              Which would have been far more in keeping with the Asian parents I know.  (And I certainly do not know all of them, so maybe I only know crazy ones and all other Asian parents aren’t as pushy:)  It’s not a just a question of excellence and success, they tend to be fairly risk-averse as well… and the performing arts are a huge risk, no matter how talented the kid.  I mean, my husband’s whole family threw a fit when he majored in aviation because it’s a very competitive field if you want to go with the higher profile slots.  And it’s certainly more stable than dance.

            • Terence Ng

              All he needed were tears streaming down his face and the following line: “I’m so sorry, Michael. I was wrong.” 

            • Terence Ng

              All he needed were tears streaming down his face and the following line: “I’m so sorry, Michael. I was wrong.” 

            • Anonymous

              Well, he knew what it was like to give up his tennis career and go into business, so of course he’d be sympathetic!

            • Anonymous

              Yep.  I just don’t know why they couldn’t have hit some middle point–i.e. he goes to Stanford, but he gets to minor in dance.  The reality is that a lot of kids do just that–they balance a practical thing with the impractical thing that they love.  Or Mike goes to UCLA AND gets an agent in LA, etc. . . . 

    • Anonymous

      I agree, I was wondering how ND could possibly win after seeing the Troubletones (but I knew they would win) and when I saw that Jackson montage I knew they had it in the bag.  That was by far the best ensemble performance in the history of the show.  Everyone shined.  It was amazing and invigorated me and reminded me why I’ve stuck with Glee through some lackluster moments. I also was happy to see Sam back.  

    • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

      I kind of hated the Jackson medley. “Man in the Mirror” is IMO the cheesiest Michael Jackson song, and I cringed hearing it.
      They did well with the numbers, and I loved the camaraderie, but the material was cheesy.

      My favorite bit of the night though, was calling the other group The Unitards. *snicker*

    • http://twitter.com/karenwalsh Karen Walsh

      Liked that they showcased more singers, but my head was spinning from too many resolutions in 1 hour and what they will do now.  But, as you said, very musical theater of them to do that.

    • Anonymous

      I wish I still enjoyed this show. I don’t – it goes from cliched – to batshit dumb, the stuff we miss seems way more interesting than what happens onscreen. It has become High School Musical with numbers produced in the vein of Kids Incorporated. The song choice is so damn lazy…I will Survive? REALLY? I will watch to the end of the season…I wanted to see what they do with Sam from the Glee Project but I guess they’re saving him for next season. I hate Ryan Murphy. He should do miniseries – because he cannot sustain a series.

      • Anonymous

        Samuel from Glee project is going to appear in episode 10 or 11 of this season.

      • Anonymous

        I didn’t watch The Glee Project but I wish “the Gerber Baby” (Lindsay? Is that her name?) was going to get more screen time, she’s hilarious. I adored the “Anything Goes”/”Anything You Can Do” mash-up from the premiere (been waiting 2.1 years for some Cole Porter up in here!) and as for last night, I never thought I’d enjoy an ALW song that wasn’t “What’s the Buzz?” but that was a damn fun number.

        What I don’t really understand is, if she’s only a sophomore, why was Rachel so threatened by her at the NYADA mixer? I guess you could argue that she and Kurt got a wake-up call that they’re not the only talented kids in Ohio, but the premiere sort of played it as they were going to be competing with *those* kids in particular.

        • Terence Ng

          I agree. It seemed pretty clear that the other kids were direct competition. I think it’s a case of the writers wanting one thing, then another down the line. They wanted her to be threatening, but then they want to open it up for her to be a continuing character, so they go back on what made her a threat to begin with.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_K7VOQSAYZ7H2OBX6LOJNNIBSSE Amanda

      That’s the frustrating thing about this show. They have one great episode, followed by several “meh” ones and just when you’ve decided to give up and watch something else, they have another great episode. And the cycle begins again…

    • Anonymous

      I realized after all the resolutions happening so quickly, I wonder if part of the blame goes to the World Series. I know my biggest complaint form this season (along with other people’s) is so much plot has been crammed into a short amount of time. I think how the prior three episodes needed an additional 2-3 episodes to be better developed. The interruption in the schedule seemed to force them to be more abbreviated.

      I loved that Tina got to shine. I also love that Rachel’s absence has shown an important point. Without a doubt she’s the most talented performer in the group. She is the star. But New Directions has several talented people and they have really grown as a show choir that can rally together to do something awesome even without their star.

      I also loved the small moments the best. Tina and Mike’s slow motion realization that his dad was in the audience. Kurt being perplexed by the red cup song and everyone joining in. Mercedes secretly pleased smile from Sam being back in her life. And the smile she gave from his “magic sex dance”

      And that Sebastian is such an obvious asshole. It’s kind of eye-rolling that Blaine seems to be in denial that the guy is after him

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=811053804 Stacy Parker Cole

        I was LOL at Kurt’s reaction and befuddlement during the Red Cup Song! :-D

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=615187474 Trish Barker

        Those little Mercedes moments were my favorite part, too.

    • http://twitter.com/nova1000 sarah novak

      I didn’t enjoy this episode much, mostly because of the manic flip-flops in Quinn’s behavior and the too tidy resolutions. The sectional musical numbers were pretty great, but nothing can touch the Adele mash-up. The rest if the season is going to have to incorporate the two other “Glee Project” winners, so I imagine Samuel and Alex will each introduce new drama.

      • Anonymous

        I disagree about the manic flip-flops in Quinn’s behavior. She began the episode in the exact same emotional place she has been all season and slowly (and after being spoken too about it by Rachel then Sam then Shelby) through the course of this episode she was able to draw herself out of the funk she has been in. I would say that’s about as even in terms of storytelling as this show ever gets (I could see maybe the notion that she would recover/go back to her normal self over 2 or 3 episodes but I honestly think considering she has been a mess for 7 episodes that it was time for her to pull it together and I was fine with only one episode to explain it). 

        • http://inkblotphotography.blogspot.com/ Cate

          i actually thought she (Quinn) was on a rampage this episode. several times i said to myself “why is this bitch so CRAZY?!?!” i didn’t like that she got it together at the end because i didn’t believe it. throughout the entire series she’s been flip flopping b/w nice girl and queen bitch, and i wish they’d just have her neutral instead of actively trying to ruin everything for everyone all the time. 

          • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

            I find Quinn the most believable and consistent of all the characters.  (And I know I’m alone in that:)  Yeah, she changes personality and behavior on a dime — but she’s a teenage girl with a major psychological trauma not that far back in her past.  That’s completely normal behavior in that situation.

            • Terence Ng

              But that makes for an eye-rolling experience when she struggles for episodes to grow up after being told so, gets told what “being an adult means” by Rachel probably one day previous, and then strolls into the bathroom to tell the other girls what “being an adult means”. Not that teenagers don’t do that ALL the time, but come on.

            • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

              I guess that some of it is that I find most things the teenagers I know do eye-roll inducing.  My youngest brother-in-law just hit 20 and my nephew is coming up on it, and I just look at them regularly and go “Seriously?” 

              I find her very true-to-life, but that doesn’t always make for a good character.

            • http://inkblotphotography.blogspot.com/ Cate

              but see, i believe that she’d be damaged from the experience, but not that she would go on attacking everyone the way she has been. shelby didn’t STEAL beth. quinn put her up for adoption. she acts as though shelby did her wrong, as opposed to, you know, making sure the child didn’t end up in foster care…

          • Anonymous

            To me she has been on a rampage all season and has been queen bitch the whole time (anytime she was nice it was fake). My opinion is that in this episode finally there was a linear development out of this queen bitchery back to her more grounded and normal self as she was put in her place 3 consecutive times by 3 different characters. 

    • MilaXX

      Agreed. I liked last night’s episode a lot.  Mercedes did indeed rock the house. In fact I thought she sounded especially great on the Destiny’s child mash up song. My only quibble was while I thought the song control suited Dianna Argon I didn’t think she had the vocal chops and the ensemble performance of that song was the weakest one of the night. Still by Glee standards this was good entertaining fun even though I missed not have Sue there.

    • Terence Ng

      Wow, does Sebastian know the meaning of the term “gay face”? Because HONEY…

      • Anonymous

        I would disregard Blaine’s apparent “derision”; the writers just needed to have a conflict between the males and a point on which Blaine would blow up and storm out so that the scene between him and Finn could happen. It was just a classic Ryan Murphy move of using his characters like chess pieces to further the plot, I wouldn’t judge it as something integral to his character. 

        • Terence Ng

          It’s a bit ridiculous to me that Murphy doesn’t have the apparent ability to determine which comments friends say when they blow up and which comments people say when they actually want to be devastating. It would be like Rachel and Mercedes getting annoyed with one another and Rachel making a comment about Mercedes’ race out of frustration. It’s a comment with way more meaning behind it than appropriate if you’re writing a generally petty conflict.

          • Anonymous

            I’ve been reading some theories about Blaine that involve either prior sexual abuse or being the child of at least one alcoholic (hence his need to please and his constant singing about booze) which might explain the blow-up at Sam. Unfortunately, even when you can see the writers pulling the strings, once a character’s said something, it’s canon, so either Blaine does look down on sex work or there’s something deeper going on there that hasn’t been explained yet.

            However, I disagree that it’s analogous to making a racial comment. What one does for a living is still a choice, even if it often doesn’t seem like it. One’s race isn’t anything that can be changed.

            • Terence Ng

              I’m not equating the two by their quality, I’m analogizing them by their outlandish seriousness. They argued about dance moves and Blaine said he thought Sam was a cheap whore.

              Those sorts of comments belong in deeper story arcs, where there’s a natural build up to that kind of explosive release of underlying opinion. For it to manifest after he just met a character and over something as small as a dance move is bad writing. It’s like playing the ace to win against a hand of 2s and 3’s. It works…sort of? Like it’s technically something explosive Blaine COULD say to escalate the situation, but it makes little sense for him to say it, in lieu of something that would fit better. My original analogy with race is just aligned with that sentiment. If two characters argue over something relatively small and you need one to say something offensive to make the situation heated, you COULD write them making a racist comment, but why on earth would they say that?

      • Anonymous

        At first, I thought maybe Finn had told the group about where Sam was working, but that didnt’ seem to be the case. Then I thought, well maybe this is writer shorthand for Blaine’s frustration at walking away from a successful group where he was the lead guy to be with his boyfriend in a less successful group where he gets shit on…and then some dude waltzes like he’s their savior  in and gets the hero’s welcome.

        • Anonymous

          That’s an interesting pt to bring up. It’s must be especially galling since Sam rarely did leads and seemed content being in the background. Yes Blaine was the golden boy star at Dalton where everyone bowed down to him. At McKinley he’s considered a threat instead of an asset

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=720742723 Sarah Winningham

          It was such a nasty, rich-kid thing to say, bring back Karofsky.

          • Ruminum

            Exactly. It wasn’t just some stupid, mean comment he said in the heat of the moment. It was privileged, nasty, and humiliating. It was Blaine saying “It doesn’t matter what you say because you’re beneath me” instead of “Your idea is tacky”.

            Maybe they’ll explore this, but considering that all the boys were hugging at the end, it doesn’t look like it.

            It’s interesting how Kurt and Finn had this exact same moment when Finn called Kurt a “faggot” in the heat of the moment. In that case, it was Finn being frustrated, and when he said it, it became an exploration into the deeper meaning of those words, the thoughts behind it, and the underlying prejudices that promote those thought paths.

            But when Blaine basically denigrates Sam for stripping to support his family, it’s just a meaningless throwaway comment?

            Sometimes you have to wonder, with all of Santana’s comments about people’s looks and weight and this situation, if Glee’s take home message is that being targeted for being gay is totally acceptable, but all other hurtful actions are just fodder for plot and humor. The gay characters can say the nastiest, hurtful things to others without a second thought or an admonishment, but the moment someone calls them out on their closetedness causing them to lash out at others or makes a sideways gay comment, all the air gets sucked out of the room.

        • Terence Ng

          I think the point of the scene was “Blaine is angry and says something contentious”, but, and this may be the writers just lacking ability, what he says that’s mean is in the pretty deep arsenal of “something mean you could say”. If the point is that Blaine is frustrated, and he’s hostile to Sam’s idea, there’s a host of other things he could say in terms of expressing that frustration (“You’re an idiot,” “I hate your face”, “You’re idea is dumb”) that aren’t as serious as “I think you’re a shameful person and literally a whore for stripping to provide for your homeless family, so how can you even live with yourself?”

          • Anonymous

            This soooo much.  Major miscalculation there, especially since I’d bet it will never, ever be revisited in a way that says anything about Blaine besides “if he feels threatened in some vague way, he’s prepared to be an absolute asshole with gross classist and sex-shaming tendencies.”  Which I don’t think is what they meant to be going for.  It’s pulling a nuclear option for something that should have been, idk, a water balloon.

      • http://inkblotphotography.blogspot.com/ Cate

        the blaine thing! omg, i thought was SO RUDE. i didn’t realize anyone other than rachel and finn knew about sam to begin with, but i thought it was so LOW of blaine to go there. what an asshole. esp since his issue was with finn, not sam. 

        • Terence Ng

          Right? And then he’s punching a punching bag imagining it’s Finn AND Sam? Why Sam? Because he suggested an idea you don’t like? WTH?

        • Terence Ng

          Right? And then he’s punching a punching bag imagining it’s Finn AND Sam? Why Sam? Because he suggested an idea you don’t like? WTH?

          • Anonymous

            I agree with everything except Blaines’ father does not accept him as he is.  Blaine knows how to repair cars; he expained this to Burt because his father thought if he learned the manly things it would elimate his gayness. This scene happened when he told Burt that he needed to speak with  Kurt about sex.

            • Terence Ng

              But apparently his father accepts him enough to pay for his schooling, provide him with a house to live in, boxing lessons, and clothes to wear. He hasn’t thrown him out.

              Though, to be fair, maybe they don’t pay for his clothes. From the looks of the ankle lengths on his pants, he may be forced to keep wearing the pants he got when he was 12.

            • Anonymous

              No, he borrowed them from Carlton. 

              I agree, as he explained to Burt, Kurt knows that his father loves and will always be there for him.   I get the impression Blaine has financal support only.

          • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

            Frankly, even if someone goes into sex work for reasons beyond being destitute, so what?  How is that Blaine’s business?  Why should anyone be looked down on for their job?  Plenty of people would find being a garbage man demeaning too, but they’d be pissed if no one did the damn job.

            • Terence Ng

              Word. So long as someone isn’t forced–physically or circumstantially–to do it, what problem is there and what business is it of yours?

            • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

              Or psychologically — I’ve known a couple girls that went into the sex industry as a form of self-destruction. 

              But there are women and men who just enjoy what they do;  one stripper I knew only quit because the hours didn’t allow her to be home for her family at night and the 3rd shift was killing them.  Her reason: she loved to dance and she didn’t want to pressure of being a “respectable” dancer (ie, someone on Broadway or with a ballet company).  Stripping meant she got to dance without making all the insane sacrifices.  And she said some men are going to ogle you no matter what you do, and some are going to think you want to sleep with them just because you’re female, so why let those guys — who she’d have to deal with regardless –detract from doing something she loved?

          • http://inkblotphotography.blogspot.com/ Cate

            with blaine, i think his reaction to sam was more of an “i’m generally irritated because my bf’s brother is an ass to me for no particular reason” so he lashed out at whoever happened to be there. in this case Sam. but i agree that as a gay teen, and knowing the realities of other gay teens who aren’t as lucky as him, he should NEVER have sunk that low. i thought he’s collect a few to the face for that, i’m kind of disappointed he didn’t. i get that the reason for the scene was to lead into the finn showdown, but i feel like that they disregarded how seriously out of place his comment was.

          • http://inkblotphotography.blogspot.com/ Cate

            with blaine, i think his reaction to sam was more of an “i’m generally irritated because my bf’s brother is an ass to me for no particular reason” so he lashed out at whoever happened to be there. in this case Sam. but i agree that as a gay teen, and knowing the realities of other gay teens who aren’t as lucky as him, he should NEVER have sunk that low. i thought he’s collect a few to the face for that, i’m kind of disappointed he didn’t. i get that the reason for the scene was to lead into the finn showdown, but i feel like that they disregarded how seriously out of place his comment was.

    • Anonymous

      I don’t know if anyone else is a SYTYCD fan but if you are how exciting was it to see Courtney Galiano in Troubletones (that girl has now been in Troubletones, Vocal Adrenaline, random pregnant girls who sang with Quinn in S1 and Quinn’s gang “the skanks”) as well as Kent, Robert and Pauline Mata in “The Unitards.” 

      • Steph Woerner

        Robert and Kent? Thanks for the heads-up, I was watching on a small screen so I completely missed them. I’ll have to look again on a bigger screen!

      • Ogden1990

        I let a big whoop when I saw them. Love it when tv worlds collide.

      • Onika K Morris-Alleyne

        Also Comfort Fedoke and Jamie Goodwin in the Troubletones

    • Anonymous

      I haven’t watched Glee since the middle of last season. The show was becoming all about football players and cheerleaders and not about the characters who initially drew me in. The amazing disappearing minority characters and general randomness just made it not a fun show for me anymore.

      Last night I was flipping channels and caught the end of the Troubletones and stayed for the rest of the singing. I really enjoyed it–having Tina be a focus was so wonderful, I love her voice. 

      The plot is clearly still nutso but it was fun to see a little bit of the Glee that I used to love so much.

    • Glen Coleson

      The one thing thats always irritated me about the competition episodes is that the show doesn’t really go to any effort to make new Directions actually look better than the other groups. Both the other groups handily outdid them, mostly by virtue of all (or nearly all) of their members being professional performers, as opposed to actors trying to sing and dance. 

      • Anonymous

        Word. New Directions is just lucky I wasn’t a judge.

      • Anonymous

        I thought New Directions looked a lot worse in this episode than it had in previous competition episodes.  Lea Michele annoys the heck out of me, but they really do need her (and Amber Riley, too, I guess, but she hasn’t been featured nearly as prominently).  It makes me wonder how episodes like this will fare without the show’s stars next year.

      • http://inkblotphotography.blogspot.com/ Cate

        i agree. i thought they were ok, but Unitards were technically superior and Troubletones were on point. even though i knew ND had to win, i was super pissed.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FLKS47RHXPOFWQZYB4MMW43VPE RS

      I feel like Glee has a tendency to do “mini seasons” – there’s usually a gap between fall and spring episodes and they don’t always feel like they match tone. Like the writers write for the fall, listen to feedback and totally change course, only to start all over again the next fall. So it doesn’t surprise me that the fall storylines got wrapped up (with the exception of Kurt/Blaine/Sebastian) and we’ll get new ones in January.

      I thought a lot of the resolutions (esp Blaine and Finn) were a bit anti-climactic, and I wasn’t paying enough attention to be wowed by the Sectional numbers, but I did think this was the best Tina has ever sounded. I’ll have to rewatch later this week.

    • http://twitter.com/megelizah Megan Howard

      I loved that Tina had the chance to shine, although she might not be as vocally outstanding as, say, Mercedes or Santana, her performance is very joyful and pleasant to watch. Kinda wish Mike had apologized for not be STOKED that his awesome girlfriend would confront his scary dad, AND submitted his school applications. But whatever. 

      In the end, while it’s an “of course new directions would win” because it’s far easier to take back Mercedes, Santana and Brittany than for the entire cast of central characters to go over to the Troubletones, I though that one could argue that ND showcasing their multiple talents gave them a foot up, as opposed to the Unitards who showed only one and Troubletones who only showed off two. I hope that the writers will realize that Rachel is certainly not the only or most interesting character on the show. Having only one or two performers take lead inevitably makes the performance more about them rather than the whole group.

    • Anonymous

      Regarding future conflict-based plot points: I think we’ll see more of Sue and Bieste fighting over their man; and we were introduced to the sophomore girl from the other school who hilariously terrified Kurt.

      I enjoyed the episode not for the plot, but for all the musical numbers. This episode was full of them, and they were all pretty good. Sidelining Rachel was pretty refreshing.

      • Anonymous

        I don’t know if we’re going to see more of the Harmony (the sophomore girl). That actress was on The Glee Project and as a runner-up she won 2 episodes (and of course her first episode was back towards the beginning of the season when Rachel and Kurt visited that group of other theatre kids and she sang “Anything Goes.”) 

        • Anonymous

          Ah, forgot about her being the Glee girl. It did look like they were leaving the door open, though. And speaking of the Glee project kids, that Irish boy (Damian?) hasn’t had a whole lot to do beyond that one Lucky Charms bit with Britney.

          • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

            She’ll be trouble for the gang next season.

            Although so far, none of the new cast is making me want to stick around for next year. Even with Artie, Tina and Blaine.

            • http://inkblotphotography.blogspot.com/ Cate

              agreed. i hated lindsay on glee project. she is literally rachel in real life. but she is undeniably talented, and she was amazing last night. i really do want to see more of her. damien is boring me. they are not doing anything with his character. i cannot WAIT for alex. i want him to come to ND and diva off with mercedes.

    • Anonymous

      I didn’t watch the episode, but I’m sort of surprised that you even commented on the arrangements being middle-of-the-road uninteresting. I remember my biggest disappointment in the show from the very beginning was that they rarely do much of interest musically with a song. Plot and character? Sometimes (more frequently toward the beginning); but musically…not so much. Which is a choice that they made that I can abide; just curious as to in what instances others think the show might have gone in a more interesting direction with an arrangement.

    • foodycat

      It took me 10 minutes to figure out where “hold on to sixteen” comes from and now I have a Mellencamp earworm. I am unhappy about this.

      • http://twitter.com/lbcubbison Laurie Cubbison

        I’m just grateful they didn’t sing the damn song. I’ve always hated that song, and it was practically the state anthem of Indiana when I lived there during grad school.

    • Anonymous

      is anyone else worried that lindsay pierce’s line about “it’s crazy i’m only a sophomore, it’s going to be a bloodbath for the next two years” was the writers’/producers’ way of telling us that she’s taking over when the rest of the cast “graduates”? i don’t think there’s any better way glee could end up in the shitter, and now i’m really nerv.

      • Anonymous

        She goes to a different school, so I doubt it. I bet she’ll just appear as a rival in next season’s sectionals or regionals. 

        • Anonymous

          but Blaine transferred…

      • Anonymous

        That was my thought, too.  If the fan reaction to her is good enough, they might make her transfer and then Mercedes will have a mini-Rachel to deal with. 

        • Anonymous

          Mercedes is a senior.  Remember she did SpotLight.  

          • Anonymous

            Oh, ok.  I thought the only established seniors were Kurt, Rachel, Quinn, Mike, and maybe Puck.  Dang, b/c that cold have been fun to watch her deal with.  In the arts, there’s always someone coming up dying to take the spotlight.  Your main competition graduating doesn’t mean you automatically become the star.

          • Anonymous

            Oh, ok.  I thought the only established seniors were Kurt, Rachel, Quinn, Mike, and maybe Puck.  Dang, b/c that cold have been fun to watch her deal with.  In the arts, there’s always someone coming up dying to take the spotlight.  Your main competition graduating doesn’t mean you automatically become the star.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_MMOKMZXKMKZNYG73YE4JFFCQIM Jerry F

      It was good to see the show get back to its rhythm of having the competitions be the emotional high points of the series, after having mostly flubbed it last year.  During the first season, two of the episodes with the biggest emotional impacts were sectionals (when the team at first split apart due to the Quinn/Puck revelation but then rallied to overcome the machinations of Sue as a team) and regionals (when a loss brought about the — temporary — death knell of the club).  Last year, the show had its first emotional high point the episode before sectionals (the wedding episode), so the sectionals episode was fairly flat.  They corrected that with a strong episode featuring regionals (where the Glee kids addressed their feelings of inadequacy via song and Blaine finally fell for Kurt), but then the finals episode fell flat again following the oft-scorned funeral episode.  I hope that they follow up with regionals and finals as high points, because those events *should* feel like milestones.

      I was also very happy to see all the New Directions kids (except Lucky Charms) get their moment in the spotlight on stage.  One of the things that the club has historically failed to do is take advantage of their bench depth when competing.

    • Anonymous

      Funny, this was one of my least favorite episodes, and I thought the writing was straight from “ABC’s After School Movie of the Week”. Example (sometimes paraphrased) dialogue:

      Blaine: “You’re being a dick to me. I hate you.”
      Finn: “Dude, I’m really sorry.”
      Blaine: “Oh, okay. Let’s hug and go win sectionals.”

      Rachel and Finn: “We need you. We don’t care that you live 400 miles away and your family can’t scrape 2 dimes together. Please come teach us your dirty dance and help us win sectionals.”
      Sam’s Mom and Dad: “Do it son. Follow your bliss.”
      Sam: “Okay.”

      Tina: “Your son loves to dance!”
      Mr. Chang: “Then he’s not my son. He has brought dishonor on our family.”
      Tina: “You have brought dishonor on his gift.”
      Mr. Chang: “Oh, okay then. Let’s get him on SYTYCD”

      Quinn: “Ima gonna cut that bitch Shelby and get my baby back.”
      Rachel: “You’re going to regret it for the rest of your life. Like I regret not being the star with you all as my backup singers.”
      Quinn: “You’re right. I’ll leave Shelby alone and go win sectionals. I still hate you, though.”

      The musical numbers WERE good. But the rest of it was pure cliche.

      • Anonymous

        I always feel like, for the most part, there’s something about the style of Glee that avoids afterschool special territory. Sure, when we reduce the plot to exactly what happens it sounds cliche, but something about how it’s actually realized, perhaps through tone or through how we have come to know the characters, it still feels like strong television and strong plot development. I don’t know, maybe I’ve just drank too much of the Ryan Murphy Kool-Aid. 

        • Terence Ng

          I dunno. The Santana Coming Out Intervention seemed like After School Special territory warped into something hideous and offensive. Then you have basically anything having to do with Kurt’s sexual orientation.

      • Anonymous

        You are right about the writing being simplistic, but I never expect much more from this show; that’s what allows me to enjoy it.

      • Anonymous

        Don’t get me wrong – I don’t mind simplistic writing in itself. I don’t even mind it in Glee, though I’m not as in love with the show this season as I was the first year. What bugged me was that everything got tied up neat and tidy with little bows wrapped around it. My husband even looked at me at the end and said, “What happened to the original writers of this show? Did they all quit?”

      • Terence Ng

        These are HILARIOUS.

        Don’t forget:

        Sam: I think we should do “sexy”.
        Blaine: I think you’re a cheap whore. How can you live with yourself?
        Sam: Let’s hug after nationals!

      • scottyf

        I’m REALLY liking the show (and I know that I sound like a broken record), but GorgeousThings’ format was too hard to resist.

        Mr. Schuester: I know we’re a mostly homogeneous group, with no black people in it, but why don’t we do a tribute to a black man complete with his moves, and a gospel-like sound at the end for Sectionals?
        New Directions: Sounds GREAT and TOTALLY PROGRESSIVE!!!!
         

        • Leslie Streeter

          I know, right? That was a really…not black version of those songs, wasn’t it? There wasn’t a bit of soul until the last part. And that’s not about black or white. It was about the Schuestering. I am SO glad he’s been dialed back.

        • Leslie Streeter

          I know, right? That was a really…not black version of those songs, wasn’t it? There wasn’t a bit of soul until the last part. And that’s not about black or white. It was about the Schuestering. I am SO glad he’s been dialed back.

        • Anonymous

          Pat Boone covering Little Richard

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IHWCJIMARF4OOW6PQZQS3RFOOA JillK

          The Jackson family is getting ready to release a new album of Michael’s music, so they’ve been all over the place promoting it. I have the feeling they knew about that when they taped this episode. The family may even have contacted the show to put some of Michael’s music in an episode to promote him.

      • http://inkblotphotography.blogspot.com/ Cate

        i am stealing this for my facebool status. genius.

    • http://asskickingadviser.com/ Ass Kicking Adviser

      And we got Evita! With Kurt and Rachel’s green-with-envy lip-synching! Cherry on top of a fun episode.

    • Anonymous

      My teenagers enjoyed this episode immensely and since I feel this show is for their demographic, I think Ryan Murphy hit a home run last night.

      I really enjoyed this episode and was happy to see so many stories wrapped-up.  The musical numbers had me smiling.  I’m surprised how excited I am to see Sam back and disappointed that they haven’t done more with Damian McGinty from The Glee Project.  Lindsay Pearse from TGP was lovely in everyway.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3AJ237ND3GAHDQJZ4TLCO4WLRA Emily

      Love that Sam wants to win Mercedes back!  Looking forward to that!

      • Leslie Streeter

        Seeing that the show paid almost no attention to that relationship in the first place, let’s see if they invest in it now.

        • Anonymous

          I know. I turned to my daughter and said, “Wait. Did we actually see them date or are they referring to some off-screen romance we didn’t see?” She had to remind me. This show is so fast-food for me.

    • CQAussie

      I enjoyed the Gay Cage match between Kurt and Sebastian (even though I don’t quite understand what “You smell like Craigslist” mean….)  I enjoyed the Survivor medley and am glad to see the end of Quinn as Deranged Psycho Bitch plot line.  Ditto the Shelby & Puck plotline.  And I think the handling of Sam coming back with a side of fighting for Mercedes was also well done.  Also loved the sectionals bit, the Jacksons medley was well done especially incorporating all the key cast members.  

      Tina had a great episode and she really stood up to Mr. Chang.  But his change of heart is not believable, sorry.  As an Asian kid – I know that most Asian kids have heard THAT speech….”You’ll never make any money…..there’s not much opportunity in that field and plus, it’s all just playing games and foolishness, you must find a proper profession!”  And really, there’s no 180 turn from that.  Usually, if the kid continues to push for what they want, it’s grudging semi-acceptance from the parents with regular heaping on of guilt.  Until the prodigal wins an Emmy/Grammy/Tony/Oscar or whatever else Success looks like.  The only thing believable was the “And you will apply o the best dance schools!’  But I understand they’re trying to make a point, not sticking strictly to realistic plot lines.  

      I see your points about plot lines being wrapped up but I guess I was hoping for more.  It felt like an after school special when by the end of the episode, everyone made up, all the issues reconciled and everyone was friends again.  Just kinda made my teeth ache.     

      • Terence Ng

        Craigslist is infamous for being a place where gay men (and younger gay guys, too) can post ads looking for sex, and sometimes, some really sleazy, sleazy situations. Kurt is therefore implying that Sebastian is a sleazy, promiscuous person, who probably trolls Craigslist for a hook up daily. Based on Sebastian’s characterization, especially since Sebastian is one of those deluded “str8 looking” types, Kurt’s probably not wrong.

      • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

        Even if you win a Tony/Emmy/Grammy/Oscar, you better have been an only child or had siblings fail, or you’ll still be compared unfavorably to your brother, the doctor — because that’s a properly serious and adult job.

        • Terence Ng

          I dunno. No one gave a flying fizz about my cousin’s non-profit, grass roots Katrina work until it got him on the news. The everyone was talking about it. It’s the FAME dah-link. ;)

          • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

            Oh you have the “country club Asian” family?  My husband has some of those, too:)  It’s not just the money or the “contribution to society”, it’s also how it looks.  Where more of the old school Asian family members are more interested in that it look good IN THE RIGHT WAY…  And oh, was it ever a problem for ALL of them when he brought home the glow in the dark wife with round as an anime eyes!  (To give you an idea of how very white I am, my husband is 100% Chinese… mixing his genes with mine got us 3 kids, only 1 of whom is recognizable as Asian at all:) 

    • Anonymous

      With all the kids crap seemingly ironed out for the moment, maybe they’ll revisit the Shue and Emma no-sex-yet relationship.  (This just goes to show you how long it’s been since Jayma Mays has had more than one line per episode – I had to look up her character name.)

    • http://twitter.com/stopENtalk Brittany Johnstone

      Can we talk about how silly my red solo cup was? There are much better “returning-home-i-love-my-friends” country songs out there. Who exactly were they trying to appeal to with that one? 

      • Anonymous

        I just heard that song for the first time yesterday (not a country fan), and was rolling my eyes the whole time. But it’s very catchy, like Achey-Brakey-Heart. Ooops, sorry I went there ;~

      • Rachel Hewitt

        Can we talk about teenagers AT SCHOOL opening up and consuming a bottle of champagne? Seems like a bad choice in so many ways—or will it be a plot turn in the future?

        • Jenny Hill

          It was Martinelli’s Sparkling Apple Cider. The unbelievable part was that one bottle would certainly not be enough to pour drinks for the entire group. 

          • Terence Ng

            Dammit, Glee!

          • Rachel Hewitt

            Good eye Jenny! Thanks.

    • Anonymous

      I am not watching this show regularly any more, but I have been following TLo’s posts so I sort-of knew what was going on.

      I just felt like the passion was missing last night.  For the first time Finn seemed like a 30-year-old guy playing a high schooler.  It was nice to see so many individual performers getting their moment in the spotlight, but it felt like they have competed so many times before and didn’t really have the desire to win.  I guess it’s just been around a few years, no longer a novelty and no longer quite fresh. 

    • Anonymous

      “Tlo said: Glee isn’t about twists and turns. If anything, it’s about taking the hoariest of old plot cliches from musical theater, blowing the dust off them, and plopping them down in the 21st Century to see if they still work.”

      Plot cliches from musical theatre mixed with plot cliches from After School Specials.
      The Quinn one was the one that rang least true, but then again, that’s kind-of par for the course for that character. All the 180’s she does can give a viewer whiplash. 

      It is kind of a bummer though that they finally win and it’s without Rachel. I think the viewer complaints have nothing to do with her talent. It’s something else.

      –GothamTomato

    • Steph Woerner

      One major plot point of this season was dropped though: Puck. You know the guy they had play loving and adoring father to Beth in a multitude of scenes? Where’s he left, now that Shelby has decided it was nothing more than a quick fling to feel young again? And which makes her even more of a creepy sexual predator: if she had been in love or lead astray by feeling overwhelmed and confused by her yearning for a ready-made family it might at least made her actions understandable if not laudable… But this? Why didn’t she just pick up some college student to scratch  her itch? Why use a kid at the school she teaches desperate for his bio-daughter and in love with the idea of having his own family? She came across as more sociopathic than crazy!Quinn.

      Every Quinn/Rachel and Quinn/Shelby-scene was 100% about Quinn and her horrible pain, PAIN I tell you (never mind that she was miraculously sane in an episode where she offered a guy she hadn’t seen for months to get together so THEY could raise Beth and the boy – typical Quinn-style – earn their living.

      Where’s Shelby’s apology for taking advantage of Puck? For messing his life up. Will she go away and rip access to Beth from him? That’s what I wanted to get a resolution about, rather than hearing Mercedes and Santana getting GUARANTEED solos and leads in competitions as a reward for having left ND, losing with their group and being insta-coaxed back for no real reason other than a group number end. When there aren’t even fair auditions for rest of the members!

      Oh, and Glee saved on doing research again: in Ohio what Shelby did IS illegal, no matter how 18 Puck is. As a teacher, coach etc. or any person in authority  (even if not teaching that student him/herself, just working at their school!) she commited a crime by sleeping with Puck: it’s a third degree felony and considered sexual battery, sex offender registry included.

      • Anonymous

        Part of the reason I stopped watching the show: borderline creepiness, bullying and abuse from teachers towards students, and now, apparently, sexual criminal behavior. I can get all that from the evening news.

      • http://twitter.com/yankeefoxtrot Alex McGeagh

        But has Glee ever been very realistic? I don’t think so personally.

        • Terence Ng

          It’s apparently been trying, back when Murphy threw out the “we need to be realistic, so I’m firing some of my actors, I mean, they’re ‘graduating'” line a few months back.

    • http://twitter.com/BethReads ElizabethS

      I agree in that I had no idea I actually missed Sam until he was back.

    • http://profiles.google.com/edjerkins Erin Jerkins

      I’ve taken to having this show on in the background and not really paying attention to it for any length of time (instead cooking, doing laundry, playing on the computer, etc). This episode was the first one in a long time that actually caught my attention and kept it. 

      • Anonymous

        I agree. I often write papers while I’m watching glee and this week I really had to stop what I was working on and focus on Glee.

    • http://foodandwinehedonist.wordpress.com/ thefoodandwinehedonist

      Since there are a lot of seniors graduating in spring, I imagine we’re going to start seeing a lot more of the people that will be carrying the New Directions next year – Rory, Sugar, and the singer of the Unitards  who conveniently mentioned she’s only sophomore.  I see another transfer coming and she’s going to be the new Rachel.

    • Anonymous

      Granted Finn isn’t the strongest voice, but I thought he did awesome on Man in the Mirror. And it’s funny how Sam didn’t really feel that crucially important but it was really great to have him back! First full episode I”ve watched all season.

    • http://twitter.com/EspyRants Sonia Pao

      I love when you guys love (like?) Glee. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy…

    • http://foodandwinehedonist.wordpress.com/ thefoodandwinehedonist

      With a bunch of the seniors graduating in the spring we’re probably going to get a healthy dose of who’s going to replace them next year – Sugar, Rory, and the singer from the Unitards.  She conveniently said “I’m only a sophomore”.  I can see her transferring and becoming the new Rachel

      • Anonymous

        Yeah, caught that too.   I thought that Lindsay was fabulous.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1020680613 Aunti Laura

      I cant believe they brought trouty lips back but not my girl Lauren Zizes; BOOOOO!

    • http://twitter.com/drnels Nels P. Highberg

      I actually don’t like it when the show surprises me.  I watch Glee because of its simple world where things work out (unlike high school in real life for many people).

      The look on Kurt’s face during “Red Solo Cup” when I first heard it.  Damn that song for being released before the holidays so I have to hear it at least once at every party.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jessica-TallGirl-Freeman/1043623567 Jessica TallGirl Freeman

      I gave up on Glee a while back knowing TLo would give me the good dirt and I could decide whether or not it would be worth watching.  I guess I’ll check out the performances, but aside from that TLo has saved me countless hours of frustration over Glee.  Bless you men.

    • Anonymous

      Without the  formation of the Trouble Tones Mercedes and Santana, they are seniors, would have had one time in the Regional spotlight.  Santana one;  Mercedes none.   

      When Tina and not Rachel received the lead in the first season Rachel quite.  Rachel quite ( storming off just like Mercedes) and went to the drama club.  Finn had to woo her back.  From that point she never had to worry and every other female was firmly put in the backup position.  How dare they get tired of this!!!

      “You don’t miss your water till your well runs dry”  During Candyman,  Mr. Schu and Finn received a shot of reality.  These women can sing and not just backup as fillers to Ms. Barry.

      If they were not correct in their feelings and right in their actions why agree to giving them sometime in the sunshine.  Sometime out of the shadow of Rachel?

      • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

        “Feelings are neither right nor wrong, they just are.”  Words from every therapist I’ve ever met — and I know a lot.  Even if they weren’t being marginalized, there’s something leading to them feeling that way, and he should have really questioned what it was and how he could help. 

        For instance, when you coach football and you’re having a great season, a good coach puts in his second- and third-string players in games with a wide lead. Because if you want those players to feel like part of the team and be able to step up if they’re needed, they need time on the field. And if you want to have a good team after your seniors graduate, you have to have brought your younger guys along to the point that they can take over.

    • http://twitter.com/nicolahearts nicole seligman

      so glad i read this because i had not made a decision on whether or not i liked this episode yet. i do agree on all points made about the greatest number of cast members having a moment to shine and rachel growing as a character while in the background.

      major thing that i know no one in the blogosphere is going to mention: BUENOS AIRES WAS PERFECT. i heard the clip before the episode aired and couldn’t figure out who sang it. the whole gerber baby being excited for third was weird and confusing, but DAYUM that girl can sing and it was an amazing performance of one of my favorite songs.

      • Anonymous

        I loved the performance of Buenos Aires as well. Kurt and Rachel’s comments, facial expressions, and lip synching made the scene even better.

      • Anonymous

        Right? She’d be pissed at third. Except she never seems pissed about anything, she is so confident of her talent. 

    • Anonymous

      the real emotional payoff for me was the troubletones being reintegrated with new directions. and it was nice to see tina sing without crying for once. 

    • Anonymous

      I really wanted to like the show and for all the reasons our Fashion Godfathers mentioned, but I didn’t.  Bryan Moylan over @ Gawker has codified so much of what was wrong about this episode with his questions.

      http://gawker.com/5865929/118-questions-about-last-nights-episode-of-glee

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IHWCJIMARF4OOW6PQZQS3RFOOA JillK

        Brilliant, spot on rehash of this horrendous episode. Thank you for sharing it. I had all those same questions myself. Ugh, what a steaming pile of yuck this show has become.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1539480086 Rachael Dickson

      Can we talk about how terrible it was that the message that came out of that whole Shelby/Puck/Quinn storyline was that it would somehow be wrong for Quinn to report a teacher sleeping with a student? Uh. Even if he was 18, that’s COMPLETELY WRONG. And very rape culture supporting. I was really really really not okay with that storyline.

      • Terence Ng

        THANK YOU.

        Can you imagine some teenager watching this and thinking “Mrs. Jackson is nice, and my friend is 18, so it’s okay. I’d only get her fired, which is wrong.”

      • Anonymous

        Yes, Thank you.  The whole thing was just creepy–Shelby’s been shown to have awful judgment repeatedly, but she’s supposed to be a great single mother?  Hunh?

    • Anonymous

      I know you’re right and, OF COURSE New Directions was going to win, but I was surprised at how poorly distributed the songs were. I mean it may just be nitpicking but Harmony sang one song (really a soloist and her back up dancers — how that qualifies as a group performance I don’t understand) followed by the Troubletones singing 2 songs — an awesmoe mashup but still a mashup so really they sang 1.5 songs. Then New Directions takes the stage and sings THREE distinct unmashed songs?! Though I loved just about every minute of it I would have liked to have seen the other groups sing more or something.

      That said, I loved how Sam jumped back in and is determined to get his woman back. Go Mercedes! And his response to Quinn was hilarious… “rich white girl problems” indeed!

    • http://tinyglimpses.blogspot.com Meg P. W.

      Okay, I’m confused. They made it sound like Sam was going back to his parents’ place after Sectionals, not staying in Ohio to win back Mercedes. Where is he going to live? Finn or Rachel’s house?! 

      Did I miss something?

    • http://twitter.com/foodhussy foodhussy

      I loved that EVERYBODY got to sing! 

    • elzatelzabelz

      You’re right, GLEE is consistently inconsistent. They almost gave me whiplash with all the neat little story wraps at the end. I missed Rachel during the episode, her vocals are simply outstanding. I found the Trebletones performance to be -eh. Just kind of blah. PLus, “Red Solo Cup” was hilarious (even though it didn’t make sense at all), it was so funny.

      • Anonymous

        Yep, I loved hearing Tina have a chance to sing, but it felt incomplete without Rachel pulling a song into focus.  

        What I noticed during Buenos Aires is that they had to manufacture what’s-her-name’s power on the high notes, but Lea Michele has that power without help.  In some ways, it’s hard to recognize just how good Lea Michele really is because of all the jiggering of things in the studio, which it makes it sound like everyone sings on pitch and everyone has equally strong voices–the variation’s actually huge.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IHWCJIMARF4OOW6PQZQS3RFOOA JillK

      Well, par for the course,  disagree with you, TLo. I thought this episode sucked and was a prime example of what has gone terribly wrong with the glory that was Glee’s first season.

      Are you seriously saying you can actually hear a teenage boy say the things Finn said to Blane in the locker room? C’mon. Don’t be absurd. Those weren’t even grown-ups’ words. Almost no one has the balls to admit envy, let alone so eloquently, and certainly not a teenage boy.

      Quinn’s transformation was out of nowhere – POOF – she’s nice again. I mean, I’m glad she is, but please.

      And this episode was nothing but cloying preachiness to the Nth degree.

      And weren’t they just making fun of Rachel singing about her headband, but now they’re joyously singing about a freaking red plastic cup? That song sucked ass. Total ass.

      Then there’s the fact that Schu has been relegated to bystander practically the whole season. He doesn’t teach the class anymore and he doesn’t stop them when they’re being assholes in his class.

      And for G-d’s sake, where on earth did 3 dozen kids who are thrilled to be singing an dancing in a glee club come from? I thought Glee was filled with the misfits and everyone hated them? They’ve barely ever been able to keep the 12 kids minimum required to compete and suddenly they have enough of an over-abundance that they can have two glee clubs, each with plenty more than the minimum number of students.

      I’ll tell you what I think the problem is; In season one they found awesome music and wrote episodes around killer fun songs. Now they write the script first, fill it with teenage angst, then force modern songs into the story, even if they’re ridiculously absurd (yeah, I’m gonna bitch about that stupid red plastic cup crap again).

      I’ll suffer through the end of this season to say my goodbyes to Rachel & Finn, but after that, I’m done with Glee.

      • Terence Ng

        I want you to know that I appreciate your rage. It’s all true.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IHWCJIMARF4OOW6PQZQS3RFOOA JillK

          Thanks, Terence!

      • Anonymous

        I’m sorry but with this attitude, I don’t know how you got past the first episode of Glee to begin with. There has always been great songs (a mix of musical theatre, top 40 and classic rock), teenage angst, and absurd/cartoonish storylines. There were not 3 dozen kids. There were 2 dozen and it was well explained. The Troubletones’  extra members are all the cheerleaders who would have no problem performing (especially since they like Brit and Santana). New Directions got 2 guys from the band who always perform with them, plus Sam which brought them to 12. Quinn’s transformation was in no way out of no where. She has been a bitch all season (except when she was faking it and acting nice) and this episode 3 people who are important to her laid out everything that was wrong with her behavior and she eventually, and in a really beautiful scene after speaking to Shelby, figured it out. While Red Plastic Cup was a pretty lame song, it is a popular country song and they have always incorporated popular songs from various genres. This is nothing new. Sometimes Glee is preachy, but it ebbs and flows and this was not one of the preachy episodes. This is television and Glee has never claimed to be realistic, it has claimed to be relateable. People can relate to camaraderie (Finn and Blaine), even if it was a little rushed. Please just appreciate Glee for what it is or stop watching it. 

    • Anonymous

      I checked this comment wall this morning and left all sorta incredulous. Rechecking now, I see some more folks who had the same reaction(s) I did.  I won’t name them all again, but want to toss in how WEIRD it is (as in “wrong” and “totally contrary to the show y’all set out to create”) that there are total strangers in both New Directions and the Trubs.  Filler.  Nameless prop dancers.  WTF? We don’t know these kids, and the writers seem to be just fine with keeping it that way.  Probably closet populars.

      • Anonymous

        The extra people in Troubletones are all cheerios, allegedly (which makes sense because they all like Santana and Brittany). The extra people in New Directions were two members of the band that appear frequently off to the side (plus they added Sam which was accounted for). 

    • http://jessieliz.wordpress.com/ Super Red

      I’d been saving your commentary until I watched this episode, and I’m so disappointed. Not in your commentary, which is always fabulous, but in the episode. As I watched it, I couldn’t help but think that I’ve been defending this show week by week since the season started, and this was finally the episode that would break me from that. It was so so dull to get through. My favorite musical number was from the competing choir group (Gerber Baby is absolutely fantastic. I was so happy to hear her sing again, and had I been a judge, they would have won) and the rest I just found rather dull.

      I was pleasantly surprised that I enjoyed Sam being around the group again, but it felt contrived. (Though I will NEVER complain about the opportunity to see John Schneider. Hubba hubba) Granted, most of the show is contrived, but they play EVERYTHING so freaking seriously these days. It would be nice to see more tongue in cheek. Perhaps the biggest “huh??” moment for me was the beginning conversation with Rachel and Quinn. It seemed so weirdly out of character for both of them, and it’s so aggravating that Quinn just suddenly “changed her mind” on her self-destructive downward spiral because she wants to enjoy the last few months of her senior year. Good for her… I don’t wish the character ill, but it was such a sharp turn with no real explanation given as to why a major plot point of the last several episodes was just tied up.

      The best thing about this episode was the exchange between Kurt and Sebastian. More of that, and this show might be salvaged.

      I’ll watch the next episode, but if they continue being like this episode, it’ll be hugely disappointing.

      • http://jessieliz.wordpress.com/ Super Red

        oh! and I’d forgotton my other major frustration wth this episode. And, to be fair, any episode in which the choir is competing. Why is it that ND always gets three times the singing time than the other groups?

    • Anonymous

      This show has gotten so uneven, just when I’m ready to take it off the dvr, they have a decent episode. I wish you guys were still blogging on Boardwalk Empirel, the last two episodes were just so good I was hoping you would do a “things we’re watching post on that any maybe Homeland is you’re watching that, which is so excellent.

    • Anonymous

      This episode took the show straight to Judy GarlandAndy Rooney land for me.  Plots couldn’t have been more herky jerky.  Dancing was great.  Loved seeing Tina more. (Good heavens, can’t they throw the girl a solo every now and then?) But I was never really engaged.  I don’t expect the plots to be plausible but this show was absolutely all over the place.

    • http://twitter.com/hpenfield Hannah Penfield

      Oh. You enjoyed it. Huh. Agree to disagree. I did like that everyone that we never see solos from got solos, but I just thought everything else was really terrible.

    • Anonymous

      Felt to me like the costume designers had absorbed some of the lady-hate from Murphy and writers: that white tux jacket over pleated circle skirt made Tina and Quinn look like they were hiding a crinoline store in their drawers. But they can’t get women right.at.all.

    • Anonymous

      I still find myself very perplexed by those who watch this show and still NEVER have anything nice to say. Why do you watch it again? I thought it was a great episode and New Direction’s MJ mashup was just awesome!