There was so much to love about this episode! While last week’s show pulled at my Kurt and Blaine loving heartstrings in such good ways, this week’s episode was full of classic Glee moments: cheesy group numbers, an endless supply of Santana’s insults, poignant character moments wrapped in the guise of stupid teenage behavior, and an emotion-wrenching number ending the episode and presently residing at #2 on the iTunes chart. So Santana’s been outed, Puck’s “Hot for Teacher,” and dodgeball claims an Irish victim and a student body presidential candidate. Let’s play!
Opening the episode with a tribute to the 80s under the guise of Puck’s fantasy about Shelby was a stroke of genius. I laughed and laughed at Puck’s facial expressions and Mike and Blaine’s back-up dancing, complete with crotch rocking and microphone stand fencing.
I have no idea where they got those crazy moves from, but the whole song put a huge smile on my face, which is not a bad way to start an episode. I’m not complaining about the shot of Puck’s ass moving toward Shelby’s desk, either.
Credits have never made me so mad.
I’m glad Shelby’s being loud and clear that she’s not interested in this love affair Puck’s decided they are destined for—the only problem is that I don’t believe her. Puck’s turning his charm up as high as he can, and that can be dang hard to resist, even with his godawful mohawk. I don’t believe that Puck’s in love, either, and I liked the confirmation that being a family man is really what this is all about for him; he’s equating that desire with a romantic desire for Shelby, and that won’t end well.
Shelby and Will sounded gorgeous together on the “You and I/You and I” mash-up, but that wasn’t the best part of that performance. It was the sheer amount of fun all the students had listening to it, each of them bopping out to it in their own way.
It was a gleeful reaction to the song, and I love when the show reminds me that fun and joy is what show choir is supposed to be about for these students most of all. Heck, Sugar’s off-tempo swaying was adorable. I’m beginning to find her lack of self-awareness endearing, especially when she chimed in that she sang just like Adelle when Mercedes suggested using her music for the Troubletones performance.
Another character that had a chance to shine this episode, at least in the fashion department, was Tina.
No, not those boring flower patterns--the dress on the left!
That dress is so cute! I don’t like how far she’s moved from her goth wardrobe, but Jenna Ushkowitz looks fabulous in Tina’s outfits, so I won’t complain too much. Tina and Rory’s voices together on the Hall & Oates mash-up, “I Can’t Go for That/You Make My Dreams Come True,” were heavenly, but my favorite part of that performance, beyond the ultimate cheesiness it produced, was realizing that Blaine’s loosed curls, all on their own, could stand up just fine to the wigs the others wore for their Oates outfits.
I love Darren Criss’s curls, but they cracked me up during that song. The moustache helped, too.
In addition to enjoying his vocals during that number, I dug Rory a lot this episode, especially his failed attempt at insulting Santana, because I’m pretty sure “You’re skinny like all the crops failed on your family’s farm” wouldn’t be considered an insult in Ireland anymore, much less in the US. Speaking of dodgeball and Rory, I would like to take this minute to let Kurt Hummel know that it wasn’t dodgeball to blame for Rory’s pummeling—the game was already over. Rory was the victim of Santana and her Cheerios bullying the foreign exchange student because he said something Irish. It’s bullying in general that’s the problem, not dodgeball. I was obligated to give that defense as playing dodgeball was probably the most fun I had in any PE course I took. Rainy days were awesome!
The dodgeball playing portion of the scene was awesome, too. “Hit Me with Your Best Shot/One Way or Another” made the most sense as a mash-up to me, and Finn and Santana did a great job antagonizing each other throughout it. But the choreography was the biggest star of that number, especially all the leaping, cartwheeling, and Quinn’s waving hands.
Cartwheels holding dodgeballs! It was glorious.
Ultimately, I think this scene and the bullying of Rory spelled out for me that the Troubletones aren’t going to win sectionals, because they are composed of Cheerios for the most part, and Cheerios are winners. The Troubletones are being positioned as the winners right now, too. They are the ones who claim defectors from the New Directions, and they are the ones with the better show choir coach. To me, all that adds up to having the New Directions win yet another underdog success.
Rachel had a moment of character growth this episode, coming from the lovely scene when she asked Shelby for a letter of recommendation. She realized that she’s not the underdog in the NYADA field; that position belongs firmly to Kurt, and it was selfish of her to try and claim the one extracurricular he thought he had a shot at. It was adorable how much Rachel missed Kurt’s friendship, especially when she continued rambling on in the face of his blatant disdain before the dodgeball game started.
I’m glad those two have patched things up.
Patching things up looked like the last thing on Santana’s mind when she slapped Finn. The Adele mash-up was a stand-out performance and definitely makes my all-time favorites list.
Naya Rivera did a wonderful job on showing all the emotions running through Santana’s head during it, and she and Amber Riley continue to prove that they are a vocal match made in heaven. However, I don’t think Finn deserved that reaction; I don’t think he intended to do anything to Santana in the hallway scene beyond hitting her where it hurt—her insecurities about Brittany and about coming out. As a stupid teenager, he didn’t realize he shouldn’t talk about it in a crowded hallway, but Santana didn’t seem ruffled by him doing that until she watched the video at a later date, though she was shook up by his words on her cowardice.
Plus, she taunted him all the way to that point, which is another stupid teenager moment–I think Santana actually intended to apologize to Finn, but she just couldn’t suppress her defensive, insulting tendencies because trying to be genuine and apologize makes her feel super insecure. And when Santana’s insecure, she releases the beast that is her tongue. It was ironic that she ended up insulting Finn more harshly than before at the moment she was trying to apologize for doing it at all. She couldn’t control herself, just like Finn couldn’t control himself in retaliating long enough to realize that he was talking about her being lesbian in the middle of the school hallway. They are both at fault for that confrontation, and it’s a shame that someone else, an adult even, used it against Santana in such a cruel way.
The funniest lines of the week were a combination of them in the form of Sue’s campaign commercials.
Oh the baboon heart, and the marriage to a donkey! Mike O’Malley’s expressions in some of those shots were hilarious even without the context of making a mockery of campaign ads. And they left me wondering how Sue went from Carole to a donkey. I want to know how her mind works!
To sum up, I thought this was an example of Glee at it’s best, mixing fun numbers, emotional numbers, and making full use of the ensemble cast. See you in two weeks for my thoughts on Episode 3.07, “I Kissed a Girl”!
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Pictures courtesy of TV-Caps.