As we shake off the food-induced haze of Thanksgiving, we should all say thanks that there is an episode of Glee waiting for us in the DVR. Our dancing pilgrims had a lot of distractions, but just as many revelations.
It was worth waiting until after dinner on Thursday to check in with the marauding misfits of McKinley High as they got some serious competition from the other rag-tag teams they'll be competing against at sectionals. There was also lots of competition from within as our Babygay Kurt got devious on Rachel and Sue Motherfucking Sylvester (we missed you so!) came back with a new track suit and a sinister plot. All will be revealed in the songs, why don't you sing along?
"Bootylicous": This Destiny Child instaclassic is about an overabundance of self esteem. When it comes to New Directions, they were certainly not ready for the jelly that the Jane Addams girls (lead by Eve, the first lady of rap) brought to their stage. When they sang "I don't think you can handle this," they were more than right. The Glee kids were rocked.
And with that rocking came shaken confidence all around. Will was unsure of his clan's chances at the big sing-off for the first time. He didn't even imagine that these ruffian girls could pose much of a threat, and now that he's seen their moves (when they did the handstand booty bumps, just about everyone lost their minds with reverent jealousy) he feels like he needs some similar theatrics to take the prize.
Not only is Will having trouble at work, but he has a whole heap of padded-belly trouble lying in his own bed. Terri also helped to realign his priorities when she bought him a dummy version of his old Camaro (well, I don't know, it could be a Pinto or something—this isn't Jalopnik) he wanted to get back in touch with the young high school Will all over again. His need to relive past glories can be the best thing about Will—like when he wants to make Glee into something great and give the kids the wonderful experience that he had—but when the past distracts him from the future, it's a little bit sad and dangerous.
Rachael is usually not at a loss for some bravado, but thanks to a fiendish plot by Quinn and BG Kurt, they had her thinking twice about her style that budding designer to the stars Kurt accurately described as looking like a grandma and a toddler at the same time. Damn, he just stole the best-line-of-the-night duty from Sue Motherfucking Sylvester! Anyway, Kurt tells Rachael that her look needs an update and maybe she needs to get a little skanky in order to land her man. He says he's doing it to make her look better so the whole club looks better, but we all know that he has something else in mind.
"Papa Don't Preach": Good old Madge would be so pleased with this acoustic version of her hit (what I wouldn't give to see Quinn in the short, platinum Marilyn bob and tight black capris and bustier that Madonna wore in the original video!) and it was just enough to blow my gay mind. Quinn's solo numbers—this, "Say a Little Prayer," and "You Keep Me Hangin' On"—have been some of my favorites of the series so far. Team Quinn!
Along with this song, the other thing Quinn shares with Madonna are some serious daddy issues. Now that she's kicked out of the house, she's on the look out for a good father for her baby. When Puck steals a parenting book for her about how to raise a baby on $5 a day (and such a book is just begging to be stolen) she starts to think that he may be just the man to help her raise the little tyke, especially since he's the kid's bio-dad. When she tests him with a babysitting date, he passes with flying colors and she decides that if she and her mohawked hottie can keep these devil spawn at bay for an evening, they can handle 18 years of rearing the fetus that is growing her belly.
Terri has nothing growing in her belly and we're all sick of this subplot. At least the show bothered to show us a little bit about the machinations she's employing to keep Will away from her pillow baby bump, but this whole story line is a hard pill to swallow. We were grateful to have Terri's even crazier sister Kendra back, with her wacky plots and cutting punchlines, but really this whole thing needs to be put to rest. Even her little pillow barrier in bed and biting Will's head off when he tried to get "intimate" weren't worth it.
Speaking of preaching, the only one with a killer sermon was Sue Motherfucking Sylvester. She is definitely a dragon, but every so often she does something that reminds us she is a human being and that she does have some good ideas cooking up in that head of hers. We hope she shared some in her Splits magazine interview with all-star reporter Betsey Morgenstern. When she sees that Will is reverting to crazy tricks to win the competition, she tells Will that if he can't believe in his team's talent and get them to a place where they have earned their victory, then they don't deserve to win. It was actually a bit inspiring, until we realized that Sue MF Sylvester isn't above cheating to win, but at least she can get Mr. Schue to do the right thing.
"Crazy in Love"/"Hair": Sorry, Glee, you have used this mash-up trick too many times, and last week's "Don't Stand So Close to Me"/"Young Girl" was stretching it, but those songs fit together so nicely, we forgave you. This one is just a total mess. The songs have nothing to do with each other and their melodies fit together sloppily. Even worse, (to paraphrase Divine) you are convicted of ruining a Beyoncé song, and the sentence is death. OK, not death, but you are on mash-up probation.
Still, Will was definitely going crazy with this "hairography" stunt. Even the deaf choir from the Haverbrook School for the Deaf knew this number sucked. Will was so crazy trying to get his group to win that he had to resort to letting them whip their hair about like they were being tasered instead of just singing a song. At least his intentions were good.
Rachael was also crazy with her love for Finn and listened to all of Babygay Kurt's advice about how to look hotter and sluttier. We're sad that BG Kurt fell into the "gays can give a make over" cliche, but he wasn't really doing it to fix Rachel's eyebrows (and we love that he made them intentionally asymmetrical) but trying to eliminate her in the running for Finn's heart. To his credit, Rachel looks really hot in the little black dress she wore to school to tempt the quarterback. In fact, it was a little reminiscent of Madonna's "Papa Don't Preach" ensemble. But when she put on the wig and tight leather pants from Sandy's final scene in Grease...well, let's just say she's no Olivia Newton-John (but that doesn't mean you shouldn't put her in a headband for a "Let's Get Physical" routine—hint, hint).
When Finn tells her that he likes her the way she is, she is humiliated. The sad thing is, he not only makes her feel like a jerk, but he reinforces that she's the one he really wants. Way to set her free, Finn. Now she's just going to sit in her bedroom that looks like Holly Hobby's lesbian love den pining away for him instead of moving on and finding someone who isn't
so stupid blindly in love with a girl who continues to betray him Finn.
Kurt's betrayal was espeically evil though, because he not only played on Rachel's insecurities about her looks, but also her social standing within the group. He told her how everyone really feels about her, and pretended like he was trying to help her and be her friend, but he was really just trying to find a way to get closer to seeing Finn in a jock strap. Later, in the hallway, when the pair realize that neither of them are going to get their man, the looks on their faces were just devastating. Poor Babygay Kurt, we've all been in love with a straight boy and your inevitable dose of heartbreak is right around the corner and it is going to sting. It would be nice if this incident could bring Rachel and BGK closer together, which was suggested their little wave of acknowledgment when they see Finn and Quinn were making out in public like band geeks in every high school in America tend to do.
"Imagine": The singing a song and doing the sign language trick is as old as show choir itself and just about as cheesey. I was a bit disappointed that we pulled out this tired old gem, but when Mercedes and crew got up and joined them, it did bring a little tear for a second. And Mercedes and Artie continue to impress me with their abilities. They rocked it during their parts of this number. Along with Tina getting all Cyndi Lauper in the final number, it was quite a night for the supporting players, at least vocally.
Will saw the potential in their performance and decided that having his Rapunzel's let down their hair wasn't the right answer to win sectionals, but that they were good enough singers to carry the trophy home. That's good because the kids—or at least Rachael—got wise to what he was trying to do. They knew the number sucked, and it's great that Will decided to go another direction, because we would hate to see their confidence in his abilities shaken.
"True Colors": Just like in the '80s, it was Cyndi Lauper versus Madonna, and we loved both of the songs about equally. This tune is a gay classic as well, since it's about someone loving you even for your faults, but on Glee, sometimes the true colors aren't that bright and wonderful.
That is certainly the case with our favorite Sue Motherfucking Sylvester, who betrayed her previous sound advice and leaked Will's set list to his competitors so that they could defeat him. We know that Mr. Scarlet Fever is going to fall for her plot, but we hope that the first lady of Jane Addams doesn't take the bait. We'll have to see what her true colors are in the future weeks.
Also a true blue jerk is Puck. Quinn discovers that the whole time they were babysitting he was "sexting" (is there a worse word in the English language?) with slutty Santana. He tells Quinn that he wants to raise his baby, but he's not going to be faithful if she isn't going to put out. And even then, he's not going to "stop being him." That made us sad for Quinn, but it also made us love Puck a little bit more. There is nothing like a hot guy who will treat you like shit to get you horny.
How Quinn really feels seems to be a little ambivalent at the moment. It was sweet that she got back together with Finn and really seems to love his support after her little dalliance with asshole Puck. That said, she had to go behind his back flirting with another man to get there. When Finn confesses that he was with Rachel the other night and admits his attraction, Quinn doesn't say a word, letting her man think that she has been unfalteringly faithful the whole time. This isn't the way to keep your man happy, Quinny.
Will's true colors are much better than Terri's. Thanks to Puck's betrayal, Quinn is ready to give her the baby again, and she isn't going to share the secret of her fake pregnancy with her husband. He, on the other hand, has given up his Blue Bomber and bought the ugliest minivan from the cheapest used car lot in all of Ohio. He's ready to give up his past glory for his future family with Terri. If only he knew the kind of woman he has hitched his station wagon to.
And as for Glee, we saw its true colors as an excellent show. This was really an ideal episode where the over arching plot of the vocal competition was highlighted with the personal drama of the club's singers. We got some great lines from SMFS, a great guest star, a whole ton of jokes, and acoustic Madonna. That's even better than my aunt's cranberry stuffing!