It's going to take me a few days to write my recap for "On My Way." In the meantime, I will continue posting some of my recaps from earlier in the season.
Let the ritual worshiping begin. Everybody, talk to the Glove of the Great One. Oh, mighty Michael, wherever you watch down on us from your everlasting Neverland, accept this humble tribute from the unworthy RIB as their tribe of dedicated losers massacre all your hits and suck the life out of them in spasms of everlasting blandness, all the while trumpeting your greatness as they forget:
1. That you were a deeply troubled freakshow who may or may not have been much more evil than Sebastian is
2. That your greatness was history before many of these kids knew how to walk. Or moonwalk.
Now me, I had the Thriller album on vinyl, because I'm so old I remember when he looked like a really yummy black guy. No, I'm so old I remember when he looked like an adorable teenager, only a handful of years older than me. I'm so old I remember when he wasn't crazy, and a lot of dust got in my eyes the day he died and I realized he wasn't ever going to get better and prove he wasn't guilty.
So this business of all these high school kids walking around talking about "MJ" is their favorite thing ever strikes me as probably being pretty impossible, but I am so old I could be wrong. I do know my own daughter gets a cold shiver whenever she sees later pictures of the man, but she likes some of the songs. Not as much as she likes the Jonas Brothers.
No haters, please, she hates Justin Beiber like a good girl.
But I am going too far afield from the task at hand, which is to praise Michael, not bury him, so I begin by taking you to a school corridor where former members of the Troubletones are arguing with their conquerors about why they lost. Santana says it is because that freaky clown judge was as high as a kite. No, Santana, it is because your costume designer was as high as a kite. And so was your choreographer. Or, if both of those people were Shelby, it might have been because she wanted to get the hell away from Lima with her kid so she deliberately brought her Z game.
Um, Kurt.... there's a dead racoon on your head. Kurt thinks New Directions won Sectionals because they sang Michael Jackson songs. The raccoon agrees, but does not understand why the Troubletones, who get to perform at Regionals... as featured vocalists... in preferential treatment ahead of loyal New Directions members... are still upset about it. Apparently, the Troubletones just can't face another day because they haven't gotten to sing Michael Jackson since the Thriller medley during the Superbowl last year, which both Kurt and Blaine had to watch from the bleachers. Blaine mumbles something about Circque de Soleil, which has nothing at all to do with anything going on here no matter what music they are performing to, but at least Mercedes gets to whine Michael Michael Michael as if he were actually in the audience pondering the idea of being a guest star. All of a sudden, Will appears to approve the idea of more Michael for Regionals and Blaine says "OK! It's time for a song now!"
There's a lot of very clunky transitions like that this week.
Just like that, the Sockless Wonder is prancing down the halls of McKinley asking everybody around him if they wanna be startin' somethin. This appears to be the Song for the Gay Kids as Kurt, Santana and Brittney fall into the dance moves, through the halls, into the library (yeah, school library! with real books, still!) to find Quinn, Tina and Rachel doing homework. In true Warbler fashion, this activity must be disrupted. However, Blaine has come to understand that there are RULES at McKinley; he does not actually throw the homework or dance on the furniture.
Now, the sheer Michaelness of it all is too much for a simple school library and they have moved to their imaginations and the auditorium, with a panel of gleaming lights and a bunch of Gleeks wearing all of Michael Jackson's hand-me-downs. There's the Thriller Jacket... the Billie Jean outfit... a Smooth Criminal suit... and a really tight catwoman suit that, as interviews have told me, will haunt Chris Colfer's nightmares for the rest of his life. But dayum. MOVE dem hips, baybee. Kurt's been gettin' some.
Note that while they all LOOK like Michael Jackson, none of them sound much like Michael Jackson... at least, not in this song... My husband, who is NOT a Gleek, made me put on the earphones after half a verse. His memories were traumatized by the Kidz Boppiness of it all.
And now we learn something that I have long suspected: Lima time is a little different from real time. In our world, it appears that Finn asked Rachel to throw away her life's ambition and make him feel better about how his dad died - er, I mean, asked her to marry him - about nine days ago, but in Finn Time, it's only been three days and TIME'S AWASTIN' WOMAN! If you don't hurry up, girl, you ain't gonna be barefoot and pregnant in time for Spring Break! Rachel is selfishly dawdling over this. How can she stand there and ponder this life-changing decision, which will limit her choices, curtail her freedom, and prevent her from finding out that there might be a nice guy out there for her with an IQ greater than that of an average turtle? She's bumming him out! He's in great danger of getting his ego bruised!
Rachel says she loves him and wants to marry him... some day... (why?) but she doesn't understand why they have to be in such an all-fire hurry about this? Is Finn pregnant, or something? (No, wait, they already did that storyline.) Then Finn explains his hurry. Rachel is going to New York, whether she gets into NYADA or not. (This is the first we've heard about this. Is there a safety school or Plan B we have not been told about?) Rachel wants Finn to come with her, because somebody needs to move the furniture. But apparently, Finn realizes that it's going to be harder to be a couple there than it is in Lima. In other words, Rachel's going to be exposed to people who are more talented, more interesting, more attractive, and more suited to her than he is. If she agrees to marry him, those rings will always be a reminder that one day, after a piece of bad news from his mother, he guilt-tripped her into agreeing to marry him and now she's gotta follow through because only bad people break promises.
No, I am not a Finchel fan. I think he's a terrible, limiting match for her. Of the Big Three Couples, this is the one for whom I actually have the least enthusiasm. Why do you ask?
Rachel thinks it all sounds pretty crazy. So do I. She doesn't think she needs to marry him to keep from straying. He's the only one for her. Well, yes, sweetie, until you get to the big ocean that is New York and realize you are a dolphin and Finn is a guppy.
She's just about to turn him down sweetly- for now- when the guppy realizes the hard sell was a bad idea and he'd better extend that deadline until he finds a more convincing angle. She gets TWO more days to decide! That's enough time for him to work up a duet to break down her barriers!
Michael Madness is now in full bloom as the gang sits around the Lima Bean and trades their favorite Michael Jackson memory.
Ooh! Ooh! I wanna play! I remember in the dorm, back when MTV used to play music videos, we'd all sit round and debate how much plastic surgery he'd had since his last...
Uh, Artie is talking about his first Michael Jackson memory.. when he was one. (Artie can remember when he was one?) He watched the Motown special where Michael first did the Moon Walk and uttered his first words: Hot Damn. So basically, Michael Jackson had him cursing when he was still in diapers. Then Kurt, whose head is unusually large today, praises Michael Jackson for pulling off the sequined military jacket long before one Kurt Hummel's superior attitude made Rachel understandably roll her eyes. Yeah, I did, too, and I love that boy. Or at least, I adored Season One Kurt Hummel, and I still adore Chris Colfer, but Season Three Kurt was a superior, sanctimonious little twerp a couple of times today.
Rachel doesn't get it. She likes Barbra Streisand better. Well, Barbra's certainly got the better nose. However, the table bursts into flames at this sacrilege on Rachel's part as Artie declares they are not on speaking terms. The others attempt to talk sense into her: Kurt points out that he was friends with Liza Minnelli AND Liz Taylor, a fact which certainly does not make his marriages more convincing. Santana wants to throw something scalding in Rachel's face. It's funny... for the moment... but throwing stuff in people's faces turned out to be pretty bad news today and I was actually disturbed by the line when I listened to it through the second time for the recap.
Rachel, who is not interested in being bedridden for two weeks because of injury to eyes caused by thrown liquid, graciously allows everybody else to sing MJ for Regionals. Then they hear an ominous rattle as the slimiest reptile ever to slither through a Glee scene slides into their space and hisses, almost deliciously, "That might not be such a good idea."
It'sssss Sebasssstian, my preciousssssssss.... sssssauntering and ssssssnickering into ssssssssight. He greetssssssss Blaine by name, asssss ussssssual...
And Kurt gets very agitated. Does he LIVE here, or something? Yesssss, my precioussssssss. And he knowsssssss all your plansssssssss. SSSSSSebassssssstian hassssss arranged to ruin their setlissssssst by performing their ssssssssongs firsssssssst....
What? Recycled storyline? That's been done before? Say it ain't so! But see, it's different this time because.... uh.... the opponent actually tells them, yeah, that's right! And Sue didn't have to sabotage New Directions. Apparently, Blaine has a big mouth, and he's still talking to Sebastian on the telephone on a regular basis. Yeah, Sebastian makes absolutely no secret that he wants into Blaine's pants, and he insults Kurt openly to his face, but Blaine's still cheerfully dropping off New Directions information as if he were... could it be... a DOUBLE AGENT????!!!!!
Duh Duh DUUUUUUUUNNNNN! No, he's not. He's just a naive idiot who can't set boundaries.
And Kurt would like to know just how often they talk. Blaine would like to disappear into the walls. Bad Blaine! BAD puppy! You piddled on the floor!
And now SSSSSSSSSebassssstian really warmssssss to hissssss tassssssk. Kurt'sssssss actually wearing boy clothesssssssss today...
Santana's had just about enough of this garbage. She's gonna give go all Lima Heights on his ass, but then not, because Sebastian's daddy is a State's attorney and he will throw Santana in jail. Well, well. Kurt's daddy is a Congressman and he will get his lobbyist friends and other brand new Washington cohorts to make life very difficult for Sebastian's daddy...
Wait. Everybody's already forgotten that Burt is a Congressman? What is the fun of being the kid of a Congressman if you can't get some bodyguards to throw garbage like this out of the Lima Bean?
But if she wants a pinata delivered... how about one that looks exactly like SSSSSebassstian's pointy, racist little head? SSSSSSebassstian is Captain of the Warblersssss now.... becaussssssssse ssssssssomething very unfortunate happened to Wessssssss and the othersssssss were afraid not to elect him.... and he'ssssssss tired of playing nicsssssssse.
The New Directions members march in angry formation against the latest maneuvers by the Hateful Horcrux of Hogwarts Ohio. Apparently Dalton without Blaine is like Hogwarts after Harry (Blaine) has left, and the place has been overrun by Snape's supporters and deatheaters. Tina thinks there must be some formal committee they can complain to. Blaine, desperately trying for damage control, insists that it's not that big a deal. Of course you don't want it to be a big deal, you dork, because if it is, you've screwed your friends with your big mouth. Puck feels even more strongly about this than I do; he thinks Blaine is a modern day eggs benedict. Me, I just think his judgement is pretty scrambled. If they just give the issue time to blow over easy maybe everything will be sunny side up before it's all over. Or maybe Sebastian will make an omelette on somebody's head. It's happened before. Quick, kill me before I pun again.
Finn thinks they should start focusing on how to beat the Warblers. Since they've already taken the Warbler's two star vocalists from last year, I would think this might not be so hard. However, this does give Will the opening to enter the room with the Assignment of the Week. (Does he ever do anything else anymore?) Will is not concerned about the actual setlist. Of course he's not. It's not the day before the competition. His lesson: WWMJD?
What would Michael Jackson do? If he was here right now? He'd make a plan and he'd follow through, that's what Brian Boitano'd do... oh, wait, sorry. Look, it was South Park or Jesus, and I don't want to discuss Jesus and Michael Jackson in the same sentence. What would Michael Jackson do if he was faced with Sebastian? Uh... Sebastian is a cute gay kid who likes to have meaningless sex with older men. Let's leave that alone. Michael Jackson would get his bodyguard to throw troublemakers off his property, and then go ride his rollercoaster with a chimpanzee. Then he'd write an awesome song about the experience, turn it into a revolutionary video with jaw-dropping choreography and make a gazillion dollars which is spent by next Wednesday. On plastic surgery.
"He would fight back" says Finn. Really? With his lawyers, maybe.
Artie gives a very sketchy and incomplete anecdote about the rousing, Michael Jackson spirit as he fought to get Billy Jean played on MTV. Not a lot of detail there, Artie. Not very inspiring. Great video, though.
Blaine thinks Michael would take it to the streets. Apparently, Blaine is confused and thinks Beat It was a documentary. Was Beat It awesome? Amazing? My favorite Michael Jackson video of all time? Yes. Realistic? No. And probably not a good example of Michael Jackson's problem solving skills. But in the Glee world, Blaine has decided that the Warblers and New Directions will solve this controversy with a musical rumble. He's still got West Side Story on the brain.
So, in the dead of night, we see Santana and Blaine donning hoodies to look gangsta as they wait for a bunch of prissy boys in prep school blazers to meet them in the dark underbelly of the faculty parking garage. Can't you feel the danger? The proposal: a Jackson-off. Winner gets to sing King of Pop for Regionals. It is unclear how the winner is supposed to be decided in this contest, since there is no judge and all they do is mill around looking unbelievably pretentious while crucifying Michael's music until Blanket cries.
Sebastian wants to know if they are bad, at that little public school of theirs. Santana, who is probably the closest person in either organization to "Bad" in the Michael Jackson sense of the word, snaps her Fingers of Power and summons New Directions, all dolled up in leather jackets as if they actually understand they are supposed to be in some kind of gang duel thingy. See, they just did West Side Story.
With that, the music begins. It's "Bad." As I recall, that was the video where Michael pretended to be a tough gang member while wearing more mascara than Lisa Marie probably did on her wedding day. And the leader of this musical gangsta grudge match is the geeky guy in the wheelchair. Sounding pretty good, Duchee, don't get me wrong, but it IS funny. Which might even be the point. And then they really get into the choreography and I decide... this is all really very dumb. The choreography is muddy, indistinct, not NEARLY intense enough. I don't get a strong sense of emotion and I don't really come out of it feeling like they are using dance as a metaphor for real fighting like I did in either West Side Story or in the Bad and Beat It videos. Even when they begin pretending to throw punches, it's so obviously pretend, even in their world, that I am left cold. This number does not work. New Directions is doing almost all of the singing, and I really don't get a clear idea of what this rather sloppy and confused dance number is supposed to mean or accomplish. And... I will be saying this A LOT today... why, from a narrative standpoint, isn't Kurt singing in this number? He's the one who really hates Sebastian. He's the one whose boyfriend Sebastian is trying to steal. Why are Artie and Santana doing all the work for him?
And then... remember the Warblers last year? They were the sweet happy fun fun guys singing and dancing in this lovely utopia of peace and love and nonviolence and rainbows and gumdrops. Well, forget that. These F****ers have a slushie waiting in a paper bag. It's like... a switchblade. And all of a sudden the dorky fake violence takes on a genuine chill. But after all, it's just a slushie. Somebody is helping Sebastian with it. They knew. But it's just a slushie. Sebastian has it. He's aiming it. He's going for Kurt. Blaine shoves his boyfriend aside, and gets the thing full in the face. But it's still just a slushie. Until he's screaming on the ground. Kurt is stricken. (Why was he not singing in this scene? He's very important here. Why was he vocally invisible until the violence struck? )
Sebastian looks like something has gone a tad awry. He's thwarted, but not ashamed. The Warblers... they used to sing with Blaine. They used to worship Blaine. Some of them are alarmed. This is not what they intended.
Kurt reports the bad new back to New Directions. Somehow, a slushie has left Blaine's right eye deeply scratched, and he has to have surgery. A ritual that most of these kids endure like they go to the bathroom has somehow become a Deeply Traumatizing Event for Blaine. The reason, of course, is that Darren got to be on Broadway and they had to come up with an injury that forced Blaine to the sidelines for a week or two. So they came up with... a... slushie. Artie can take TWELVE of those suckers and Blaine is felled by one. Kurt gave one TO HIMSELF just to help a friend, but Blaine can't stand it. Why? What has happened here? Why does Blaine appear to be such a pathetic wuss at this particular moment?
Well, it was a manuever he did not learn at the Dalton Fight Club, that's for sure.
Will is flabbergasted. In all his years as a teacher and a student, he has never known a slushie to do that kind of damage. In all his years as a teacher, he's never made a single attempt to, you know, PREVENT STUDENTS FROM HITTING EACH OTHER WITH SLUSHIES.
Finn is pretty sure there was other stuff in the slushie. Rocks, or something. Finn is pretty sure that Sebastian meant to do damage. Will says that, unless there is proof that the slushie was tampered with, the police will not be interested in getting involved.
Might I suggest... the doctor's report, where they examine his eye and face for residue and find rock salt?
Or picking up the goddamned cup that slushie came in and showing it to the forensic specialists, where they will find rock salt? I'm tearing my hair out here.
Kurt states the obvious. "Sebastian is evil. He needs to be expelled." Yes, and you and Blaine both need restraining orders too, sweetie. Will says Figgins and Dalton's headmaster are opening up an investigation. Yeah, that will be effective. He wants New Directions to let the System Handle It. Well, New Directions watched how The System handled David Karofsky when he threatened to kill Kurt.
Artie.... rebels. Artie... grows. Artie... becomes a full - fledged, powerful character, full of conviction, stating awesome truths all others avoid. Kevin McHale gives the best scene of his LIFE, and all of a sudden I think that New Directions might actually have one single, solitary person who can carry this show next year when they make all the talent graduate. Artie is MAD.
Artie does not give a DAMN about Regionals. He is tired of being mistreated and taunted, and he is tired of letting them win. Will, who ignored it while Kurt was getting tossed in dumpsters the very first episode, spouts tired cliches about how he gets how upsetting it is. No, he does not. He does not have a f***ing clue. Artie does not want it to get better. He wants it to be better. NOW. He wants the bullying to stop NOW. He wants to give them his pain because it's all he has left.
Wow. Uh, Ryan. You got this one right, man. I have been in Artie's shoes. I wish you had followed through.
Will tells Artie to take a break. He is not paying one bit of attention, because the only kid he cares about in this whole bunch is Finn.
At this point, the awesome power of Artie's inventive imagination takes over, and he rises to his feet, freed from the bounds of reality because Kevin McHale is a very good dancer. Mike joins him as a fantasy protestor against what happened to Blaine
Artie is walking. Artie is Michael. Mike is Janet, though he doesn't sound much like her. Artie is screaming. Artie's in Scream. What we get next is a vanity exercise in what Kevin McHale would look and sound like if he were not required to be in a wheelchair and wear glasses all the time. Apparently,being in a wheelchair all the time makes Kevin want to scream, and I don't really blame him. The number is out of this world.
As they head back into the here and now, outside Artie's head, Will asks Artie where he is, and Artie chooses to roll away, angrily.
Will is officially completely ineffective.
The trend of wisdom and sanity from completely unexpected sources continues in the girl's bathroom. Quinn, or The Blonde Formerly Known As the Most Disturbed Person in New Directions, is adjusting her makeup when Rachel comes in, desperate for her advice. Regarding Finn. Quinn's own ex-boyfriend, Finn. The guy they've been fighting over for two years. Sometimes very hatefully.
Rachel begins so badly Quinn at first fears she is pregnant; possibly Quinn jumped to that conclusion since she's got genuine expertise in that area and it's about the only reason why Rachel ought to be confiding in her about.... Finn. Rachel thinks Quinn is the only person who will give her a straightforward, thoughtful answer about this. (Maybe she figured Finn's stepbrother was too close to the issue, but I understand we get his take on this situation in a later episode, so I'm good.) Quinn agrees to keep her secret, so Rachel tells Quinn about the proposal. Quinn's facial expression is far less crazy jilted ex-girlfriend to Finn and far more supportive girlfriend to Rachel than we have any reason to expect. She's downright mature. And when she says "You CAN'T" she speaks with calm wisdom rather than rage. Quinn hands Rachel a piece of paper. Quinn has gotten into Yale. Apparently, she wrote a killer essay about maintaining an A average while pregnant. Rachel hugs her, clearly jealous that Quinn has gotten her letter while Rachel has not. Quinn catches it immediately, and assures her that NYADA will get to her.
A lot of people are gasping about how Quinn could not possibly have gotten into Yale, but I actually buy this one pretty easily. She's always been depicted as very bright, with excellent grades. She was also a Cheerio, off and on, for three years while competing in Glee Club. She was once a soloist in a competition they won. She was Cheerios Captain for a year. If she kept those As up while struggling with her pregnancy and near homelessness, AND she aced her SATs, then... yeah. Yes, I think this could have happened. Compared to most of the bullcrap that went down this episode, this is downright plausible.
But Quinn is not actually thinking primarily about Quinn, as shocking as that is. She's got a point to this. She's dated Puck, Finn, and Sam, but by next winter, they will be old news to her. Sorry, Quick fans. That happy ending is not coming, and for awhile I thought it might, too. Quinn doesn't think Finchel should break up... yet. They should make the most of the next few months.
This monologue from Quinn is really quite extraordinary. Ryan Murphy wrote this episode, and there are passages in it that are just wise and beautiful. Paraphrased, she thinks that Finn is an anchor that she would not want to drag into the bright lights of HER future. If Rachel wants everything she ever dreamed of.... eventually she's going to have to break up with Finn.
Yes. This. It's amazing. The Truth Is Out There, and the show's head writer is gently telling us what it is. Finn is a drag on Rachel. It's obvious to many of us. "Look," says Quinn. "You wanted STRAIGHT and THOUGHTFUL." Quinn understands that women have choices now. They don't know what they will want for the rest of their lives when they are still in High School. It is the nearest thing to a feminist statement Glee has ever made.
For the record, this is also true for the boys. They are also too young to say they will stay with the one person they are currently dating for the rest of their lives - even Klaine, which is closer to healthy than any other teenage romance on the show except the almost invisible Asian Fusion. Consider this: Terri and Will were high school sweethearts, and in the end, that is not what Will wanted forever. Quinn thinks Rachel will have to say goodbye.
And with that, Quinn says goodbye. It probably is not her final episode, but it sure feels like it as she launches into a fantasy sequence based on "Never Can Say Goodbye". She is looking sophisticated and glamorous on the stage in front of the Michael light panel as Puck takes his curtain call in the drama that is her love life. Quick fans at least get this; canon officially dictates him as the most important of the three boyfriends she is bidding farewell with a snuggle and a little dance move. The next hug is for Finn who kind of shuffles his feet because he still can't dance for squat, and then finishes up with Sam, who is so cuddly we KNOW this is a fantasy sequence because he's just not that into her anymore.
Quinn moves back into reality and shows us her locker, where the picture of her as a cheerleader is partially covered by the photo of her daughter with the touching speech bubble: "Hi, Mommy!" Quinn has THREE pictures of this baby in her locker. Well, there's one person Quinn will have trouble saying goodbye to, even though her shenanigans this year virtually guarantee she will never, ever see her again. It's really very sad.
There is a picture of Finchel in her locker. Rachel's face has been blotted out.
Ah, the bitterness remains. Well, Quinn, either I've misjudged your motives and you told Rachel that Finn is history in spite, or you were awfully gracious to offer genuine advice to somebody for whom you still have such resentment. She has also kept a picture of herself during the depressed pink hair period.
Then Quinn is singing happily in the choir room, at peace with her romantic past. She happily announces that she got into Yale (again) so that Kurt (WHAT is he wearing?) can be happy for her and then worried about Rachel. Will hands her her Glee Lifetime Achievement Award. Quinn would like to thank The Academy, and each and every one of her friends who actually did not support her all the time, as Puck so insightfully realized during Kissed a Girl just a few short weeks ago. Quinn says that without all her mistakes, she would not have dreamed Yale to be her future, and there is great wisdom in that reflection. And then she's talking directly to Rachel. You cannot change your past, but you can let go and start your future. Finn side-eyes her as Rachel looks away. He knows something is cooking that might interfere with his plans.
Quinn takes a bow, and exits the stage. I will be interested in seeing if she gets any more A plots. Or C plots. Or songs. Or anything. Is Dianna Agron done? Clearly she will not be coming back next year.
Santana is going her merry way when she sees Kurt sitting sulkily at a desk. He's trying to keep the flames from burning out of the side of his face, but I don't think this outfit is.... all THAT bad, Santana. Even though Kurt was not allowed to Scream with Artie, he does agree with him, as well he should, since that tainted slushie of doom was meant for him and he's been the victim of so much violence already. Kurt has a new name for Sebastian: The Criminal Chipmunk. Hmm. Chipmunk? More ridiculous than a cobra, to be sure. OK, I will try this. It's a little nutty but it just might work. Kurt has been writing a list of ways to get back at him, and I am dying to read it. Itching powder in his blazer? Arsenic in his courvoisier? Or an anonymous tip to the tabloids that the State's Attorney's kid assaulted a rival Glee Club member after hours and cost him thousands of dollars of medical care?
Santana wants to help. She loves this kind of thing. It's mother's milk to her. She has some wonderful ideas for tattoos. This is a wonderful opportunity for some great physical comedy from two of the show's most talented actors and the bright new rising interloper guest star, but unfortunately Ryan Murphy has decided that Kurt is the love child of Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King by way of the fabulous Carson Kressley, so he has to take the dull road, er, the high road. Suffering has made my baby very boring at times And occasionally insufferable. I like him better when he's being deliciously clever and bitchy, and I really want to see that delightful list of revenge techniques because THAT'S where my beloved Kurt is. If there's anything I loved about Sebastian when he first arrived, it's that he made Kurt snarl and Chris had something great to do.
Santana does see his point, however. She would prefer not to go to jail over The Criminal Chipmunk, so they will not beat Sebastian by playing dirty. But they are going to beat him.
Hey, kids, I have an idea. How about you call the police and tell him a boy has been hospitalized after Sebastian assaulted him? That's not dirty. That's pretty straightforward.
Mercedes has a text on her phone.
Gee, bossypants. Order girls around much? How romantic is that? And here she goes, meekly headed to the AUDITORIUM. NOW. When she gets there, she sees Sam lying in wait for her with his guitar. He's got M.J.'s initials up in lights behind him, and he's babbling about how Michael Jackson is one of his favorite singers, and I am thinking, uh, weren't you supposed to be the big country music fan? Mercedes wants to see the Immortal Tour when it comes to Ohio, and I am beginning to wonder what kind of deal Ryan Murphy worked out with Cirque de Soleil. Well, I found myself investigating the show closest to me, so it's working. Sam has also programmed the lights to say "Mercedes" because they are going to see her name up in lights. Mercedes, Shane's girlfriend, views this bit of extreme seduction and moves toward it as Summer Nights plays in the background. Sam wants to sing a duet with her. In Glee terms, it's almost like asking her to sleep with him, and everybody knows it. (See, this is why Finn blew a gasket when Kurt wanted to duet with Sam last year. Duets aren't platonic in Glee, unless it's Hummelberry, and I say, give it time as they go through all the other possible combinations.) Sam's verbiage even betrays that he knows he's asking for a romantic moment with the song; he says she can go back to Shane. He won't stop her. But... as far as we know, Shane can't sing a duet with Mercedes, and anyway, Glee Laws dictate that Glee kids must only date Glee kids. So Shane is doomed. It's just Human Nature. And then, despite Mercedes' protests, the music starts. Funny how these band kids just popped out of nowhere. Mercedes starts singing first. Funny. Amber is a better singer than Chord is, but this song is better suited to his voice than it is to hers. By the second verse, Mercedes is a goner. It's the Romantic Power of the Duet. It makes people completely lose their heads and do crazy, stupid things. By the end of the song, Mercedes and Sam are kissing, and the crowd goes wild with delight. Because, you see, it isn't cheating if you like the guy who is seducing her better than you do her boyfriend. It's the Glee Way.
Will is in Spanish class - hey, he has an actual school duty besides ordering these kids to develop song ideas for him - when Burt interrupts him. Kurt, who was last scene in language class bitching Azimo out in French, needs to come into the hallway. So Kurt is trilingual? Was that on his NYADA application? Will approaches Kurt with such gravity I fear that Sebastian has now physically attacked Finn or Carol. Either that, or Blaine somehow died of his injuries from the Slushie that Maims and Kills. Kurt is similarly concerned. Fortunately, it's just an envelope, and it's not even laced with Anthrax. "The mail came" says Burt in a tone normally reserved for draft notices, Dear John letters and official telegrams expressing condolences for the death of your beloved soldier.
It's from NYADA. This could not wait until Kurt got home from school? Really? Look, if it's a no, he's going to be too depressed to study for the rest of the day, and if it's a yes, he's going to be too elated and stunned. Either way, Kurt just blew his next Spanish test. Maybe he can sing a makeup.
Kurt's jitters are so bad he can't even choose a room in which to read his fate. After the fifth room, Burt asks him what on earth he is doing, and Kurt admits that this is a Crossroad of Life that will Determine Everything Forever. Well, yes, sweetie, it will, because you did not apply to any safety schools. Seriously, Emma needs to be fired for allowing this. Burt says he's here for his son, and Kurt opens the envelope.
God, Chris Colfer is such a good actor. Kurt's back is to us. He reads. Closeup of his face; he looks like he's about to cry. It actually resembles the face he had when Karofsky kissed him. Stunned. Beside himself. Brow furrowed, eyes tearing up, he turns, and Burt's face is crinkled with concern. So is mine, even though Chris spoiled this result weeks ago and kept me from sulking in rage during the hiatus. (And I figured it out for several hundred people on Tumblr. Hee.) Kurt says, in stunned joy and gratitude, "I'm a finalist!" and Burt hugs the stuffing out of him. Chris masked that very well, and yet it was completely believable and in character that he would react like that, given how completely Kurt thought his future was sunk. (Are you sure you didn't apply to the performing Arts school in Cincinnati, Kurt? Why not?)
For some reason, Burt wants to be the one to tell Blaine, which confuses me a little bit because... hello? Who is closest to Blaine? You tell Finn and Carol. Papa Bear speaks joyfully for the entire Kurtsie contingent as we all breathe an immense sigh of relief that the Passion of St. Kurt has finally come to an end. "You beat them all! They threw everything at you. They tried to beat you down, but you're unstoppable, Kurt. I'm so proud to be your fan, er, Dad." And now we get to have all the fun celebrating and jumping up and down that somebody, somewhere, figured out that this kid was an unusually gifted and valuable person. They can never take this away from us. Right now, in this moment, on this day, we won. He won.
Leave it to Ryan Murphy to be the one to do that; in fact, he probably demanded to be the one who got to write this moment for Kurt. This boy can't get cast in a singing role in a high school musical in Ohio but a fictional arts school of the caliber of Julliard wants to see him. Will won't let him sing ANYTHING for New Directions AT ALL but NYADA wants to see him. Based on... a blank application? Well, maybe he included the little tidbits about Cheerios National Champion Soloist, Riff Raff, football kicker, and Mattress Commercial singer after all. Maybe they even saw Artie's Christmas Musical. Or may, in Glee Land, Officer Krupke is a great comic part with lots of funny lines and a whole song about how hard it is to deal with this juvenile delinquents who keep jeering at him. Or maybe he included a draft of Pip Pip Hooray in with his application. Or somebody at NYADA figured out that Kurt Hummel was the son of a Congressman and they did enough digging to find the Cheerleading title and the Christmas musical. Who the hell knows? It's Glee.
And now Kurt is running down the halls in slow motion, looking ecstatically for Rachel. She's at the lockers. Kurt's voice is so high I'm afraid he will shatter the windows. "IgotmyNYADAletterIgotmyletterIgotmyletterIgotmyletterwhere'syours?"
Rachel, who was genuinely happy for an instant, sombers up terribly. Rachel did not get a letter.
"Yet!" says Kurt hopefully. He's right, of course, but neither of them know that. Rachel crumples in resignation. It's all over for her. Kurt supportively tells her not to be stupid - he really needs to stop saying that to his close female friends, because they react badly every time - and Rachel dissolves in despair. Stupid? Stupid is watching all of your friends make plans for their future and realizing you have none at all. Stupid is not applying to safety schools. No plans, no college, nowhere to go, because you did not apply to any safety schools. All she has is her boyfriend! Yeah, that's a depressing idea, all right!
And so Kurt's minute of triumph is swallowed up in Rachel's fit of insecurity as he holds her weeping frame beside the lockers and the camera pans away. He got to be happy for himself for EXACTLY one minute before the Rachel Pity Party took over for another 45 seconds. Yes, I timed it.
Kurt is in Blaine's bedroom, reading aloud to him from entertainment magazines because his boyfriend has turned into a pirate. Blaine is wearing Kurt's pajamas. That's pretty adorable. Possibly Kurt left them there one night after they... got removed... ahem. The door knocks, and Finchel arrive with Chicken Noodle Soup. I am torn between thinking how very Jewish Mother to bring chicken soup, and how very Not Vegan to bring chicken soup. Maybe they were tofu chickens? I presume she did not cook it herself. Finn has brought pirate movies. Blaine thanks them, and then pulls out some champagne flutes for sparkling cider to toast the triumphant Broadway Debut of Darren Criss... er, the triumphant NYADA application of Kurt Hummel. Finchel gets very uncomfortable, and Kurt picks up on it. Blaine did not get the memo about Rachel.
Finn changes the subject by asking how long Darren will be out for his Broadway run, er, Blaine will be out for surgery. At least one episode, er, week. Blaine is frightened, so Rachel offers comforting thoughts of how Sammi Davis Jr. and others had great careers with only one eye. Now it's Blaine's turn to want to change the subject, so he mopes about missing Michael Week, and Finn offers to bring a little Michael to him. They are going to sing him a song about friendship with a rat.
And I am going on a full-scale rant here, because this PISSED ME OFF. This is Kurt's ONLY number in the show. It is one of TWO for Finchel. Chris is the ONLY member of the cast who sounds in the least like Michael Jackson, and he's singing to his OWN INJURED BOYFRIEND. Who was injured DEFENDING KURT. Who will miss Michael Jackson week and be out for surgery because he PROTECTED KURT. It is the FIRST TIME Kurt has EVER sung for Blaine... and he has to share this love song to his boyfriend with the show's alpha straight couple. The inherent narrative insult made me so angry I wasn't even able to enjoy the song. Now, if Finchel had provided harmonies in the background or a line here and there, that would have been OK, but they sing more of the total song than he does. Cory does not match at all. This was a terrible idea. And god, how awkward was this for Blaine? Excuse me, but no. The guy who is saved from the slushie from hell ought get to sing about his close connection to his rescuer all by himself without a pair of straight chaperones, and I don't give a crap if they thought it would sell better on I-Tunes with Lea on it. Hell, it would sell better on I-tunes with Darren on it, and that would turn it into a loving gay duet that would make more sense and be kind of adorable.
But I should not be surprised. This show is full to bursting with the sight of people doing things for others that they would do better for themselves, and Kurt will be guilty of this later in the show, too.
nd... here's another scene where somebody other than the injured party is hard at work doing somebody else's work for them. Santana has arrived at Dalton to confront Sebastian for hurting Blaine, while Kurt sits at home with Blaine watching Rachel and Finn sing to him about what a great friend he is for protecting Kurt. There just happens to be two awesome cellists in the room.
Santana strides in, grimly and forcefully informing the Warblers that Blaine.... their one-time friend... might just lose an eye because of what they did. The chubby guy (sorry, I did not memorize the Warbler's names, but I think the actor's name is Dominic) has not lost his soul. He disengages from the Hive Mind with concern, and immediately is given a name for his exercise in humanity. He's Trent. Thanks for being a decent person, Trent, but the Chipmunk Criminal's got this. Sebastian thinks it's a bummer that pretty Blaine got hurt... instead of Kurt. He's not even trying to hide the fact that he wanted to cripple another person, without any particularly good reason. Santana wants him to admit what he put in the slushie, but Sebastian is a liar.
"Ssssssshe quessssssstioned my hooooooooonoooooooor" says the asshole who just hospitalized the Warbler's formerly beloved lead singer, and the Hive just stands there with their mouths open as SSSSSSebassssstian demandssssssss Sssssssatisfaction in Warbler Traditsssssssssssssion. I wonder if they are trying to process what a complete jaw-dropping dickhead their Captain turned out to be, or if he's actually lobotomized all of them. Wasn't Dalton the haven of zero tolerance and complete nonviolence? What the hell happened? Wes! Come back! Come back, Wes! Bring your gavel! It had POWERS, man!
I don't get what the heck Sebastian is suggesting, but Santana does. She asks the cello players to stay. They will duel to the... uh... end of the song. One on one. Everybody else needs to clear out, because gay Sssssebasssstian is going to make a lesbian who hates him cry by singing with her. And since, in Glee, a duet is ALWAYS about sex, even when there is no way the two singers could ever be a couple, the heat rises from Naya and Grant like a sauna.
What comes next is the best musical number in the episode, an extraordinary arrangement of Smooth Criminal with cellos that just makes my mouth drop. Once again, I do not see the point of the duel. Grant is doing more of the singing than Naya is, and he's got more of the ferocious edge that this song needs than she does. She's a bit too distant from the violence of the narrative to suit me. He's got the melody, and she's got the counterpoint, and about halfway through the song I realize that Grant is the winner, which is OK as long as I give credit to the actor rather than the character. And yeah, I half expect them to go at it like mating wolves the moment they stop singing. I suspect that was the purpose of the scene; RIB love to declare characters gay and then force them into situations that approach mating with members of the opposite sex.
Actually, you know who really wins this duel? Damn... those cellos were FIERCE! Talk about amazing and intense. THEY made this number.
As the song ends, Sebastian and Santana start to argue about which of them sang better, proving that the exercise is of no purpose at all and solved nothing. However, for reasons unknown Sebastian does freely admit to putting rock salt in the slushie that blinded Blaine. And oh, look. Two members of the Hive are back, and they've brought this asshole another slushie to throw at another member of New Directions. You have GOT to be kidding me. They are really willing to help him slushie Santana after what he did to Blaine?
OK, battle stations, folks. Santana's got the goods, and she needs to spill before Will arrives and spoils everything. Brittney does not know how to lock the door, so Santana does it, and explains. Artie bought her some top secret surveillance spy equipment... ok, it was a tape recorder - and she taped it to her underboob (new word!) and recorded Sebastian admitting he put rock salt in the slushie. Because the doctors could not tell that by examining Blaine's eye. Santana wants to show this gem to the cops and send Sebastian to jail. It's not playing dirty at all. Completely legitimate, except that I think tape recorded sessions like that may not be permissible evidence in a court of law, and Sebastian is likely to have a VERY good lawyer. Any lawyers out there who can help me with this?
But Kurt does not want to do this. Sebastian might get kicked out of school, but New Directions still loses here, because the rest of the Warblers still get to sing Michael Jackson songs and there is no chance whatsoever that New Directions can possibly beat them singing anything else at all. Well, that fighting spirit will win you all Nationals. Hell, New Directions beat the Warblers last year singing songs written by Finn Hudson and Rachel Berry! Or did the Warblers somehow get BETTER after Blaine left? Still, the point is that they want their songs back, so putting Sebastian in the pokey will not solve that problem. Although it might make the world a little safer.
Cue the music. Baby's about to try to save the world here. Honey, you don't have to be noble all the time. Some people deserve a swift kick in the ass. Kurt has decided that you can't go looking for payback every time the world wrongs you. Maybe because nobody who has ever hurt him has EVER had to suffer ANY consequences at all and he's given up. If Michael had gone after all the haters he wouldn't have had time to oh, Jesus, I can't even go there because it's still too soon, but you know damned well what. Maybe Michael should have been going after all the haters instead of internalizing his anguish until it showed permanently on his face. I do not want to know What Michael Would Do about real life problems, because the only thing he was ever flawless at was singing and dancing. The man was an entertainer, not a hero or role model. At any rate, Kurt has decided that, instead of punishing the Warblers, they are going to teach them a lesson. Santana rolls her eyes. Kurt has reserved the auditorium and everybody is to follow him.
Santana gets in a priceless barb: If Kurt had taped the top secret surveillance spy equipment to his junk, they would have had a whole week of songs about it. Yes, this is possible. No, wait, that would have been possible LAST season. This year, the week of songs was devoted to YOU, dear, or have you forgotten the Hug a Hurting Homosexual Hoedown so quickly?
While everybody files out to follow the gay Pied Piper, Finn asks Rachel to stay with him for a second. Yes, his brother, her best friend, is about to unveil his Master Plan, and Finn wants to ignore what's going on with New Directions and pressure Rachel again instead. You see, he's been practicing EXACTLY the same manipulation techniques Sam used earlier in the show. Really. They have recycled the same story in the same episode. Guys push girls to do stuff they don't want to do by singing love duets to them, and it's so romantic. Finn has called in even more musicians than Sam did. However, apparently they do not feel like they require Kurt's help in singing this song to each other; only the opposite is true. And by the end of the song, Rachel is so overcome with love and the conviction that she has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ELSE going for her at all, that she says yes to Finn's proposal. No, really folks. Listen to her speech again. Rachel accepts the proposal because she thinks she is not getting into NYADA. I cannot stress enough how important that is.
For reasons I do not even begin to comprehend, the Warblers have come to the McKinley auditorium. There is no reason whatsoever for them to be here. Kurt has nothing to hang over their heads - maybe that's what he should have been using the tape recorder for. Why did Sebastian agree to this? As far as he's concerned, he's won. He took their songs, felled one of their star singers, humiliated his rival, and slushied the girl who tried to fix things. WHY DID HE BOTHER TO COME?
Maybe the Hive threatened to mutiny if he did not? Ssssssebassstian.... hatesss the ssssstench of public ssssschooolssss... but the Warblers sit meekly. Different members of New Directions explain that they have decided not to do Michael Jackson for Regionals because THEY are going to Take the High Road. But even though the Warblers may SING Michael, they don't..... uuuuuuuuuuuunnnnnnnndddddeeeeeerrrrrrssssssstttttttaaaaaannnnndddddd Michael!
Uh, what? And you do, New Directions? What, exactly, do you understand that the Warblers do not? This dialogue is just cliche-ridden garbage. And then, they head into one of my favorite Michael Jackson songs, "Black and White." Well, if the Warbler's behavior had included a racist element, this sequence might have made a little more sense, but it's kind of a non-sequitur. Is it because Black and White is a song about a biracial couple, and New Directions now has one of those? Is the point that people should get along and be civil to each other? Is Black and White the best possible Michael Jackson song to express that? And...
Why didn't Kurt get to sing? Wasn't this his project? Now, I like Artie fine, but he got to sing A LOT this episode, and he gets to do the rapping, which is right. Shouldn't Kurt have started this song? Or shouldn't he at least have taken Rachel's lines in the first verse? His own verse got cut. THIS WAS HIS PROJECT! HIS SOLUTION TO THE PROBLEM! CAUSED BY THE WARBLERS ATTACKING HIS BOYFRIEND!!!!! Why the hell did they silence him so completely like this?
Kurt finally gets to sing a line at the end, pounding the point about Blaine's eye - hey, I guess that's why they chose this song - and gee, he sure sounds quite a bit like Michael Jackson. Kurt's solos seems to have the magic touch to solve all conflicts, because all of a sudden, for no particular reason, Trent is on the stage dancing with New Directions. Apparently, this signals that he does not want the Warblers to do Michael anymore. And that's it. The Hive Mind dissolves completely and a lot of decent kids from a good school who don't approve of violence are on their feet trying to get the hell away from their toxic captain as fast as their little Warbler feet can take them. They are not interested in enabling his behavior anymore, and they'd rather dance with New Directions.
Who knows? Maybe the guys knew all about what was going to happen and Jeff and Trent have been talking to their old friend Kurt off-screen. Maybe this comes as a surprise to nobody but Sebastian, and Trent just gave the signal when it was time. After all, the Warblers were very decent people to begin with. That was... kind of their point, after all.
And then we have the Morphing of the Faces. Because we MUST have the Morphing of the Faces. And now we get to see what New Directions babies would look like if they tried some unusual combinations! Quinn, don't marry Artie.
Nick entreats Sebastian to give it up. Yeah, I think possibly the Warblers have been talking to Kurt and they actually already knew what was going to happen; that would explain how they managed to drag Sebastian here. Sebastian says "That's the kind of attitude that cost us Regionals last year" and I'm thinking... huh? Does he mean that being decent to Kurt cost them Regionals, because they allowed him to sing a bad duet with Blaine in front of a wildly homophobic judge? Or is he just spouting off because he wasn't at Dalton last year and doesn't have a clue why they lost? Santana threatens Sebastian with jail or expulsion, and brings out the tape to show that they can prove what Sebastian did. Because apparently doctors cannot tell when somebody has rock salt in his eye. But then she foolishly hands the tape to Kurt, who has pretty consistently warned her that he's not interested in getting Sebastian send to jail. So what he does next, while arrogant and foolish, is not really unexpected. Kurt wants Sebastian to be there when New Directions wins Regionals, (which we all know they will) so he tosses Sebastian the evidence. And Santana is right; the Warblers are now clear on the content of their leader's character, and it's not a pretty picture. Artie tells Sebastian to get the hell out of their auditorium.
Everybody has forgotten one important point. It is not Kurt's decision whether or not the Anderson family prosecutes Sebastian for harming Blaine. The Andersons should have made that decision. They are paying the medical bills. For the final time this episode, action is taken by somebody other than the person for whom that decision should have been reserved, and this time, it's Kurt who has removed the rightful agency of another person. Kurt forgave Karofsky; it was his right to do so. But just because the slushie was intended to scratch HIS eye rather than Blaine's does not mean he has the right to take away evidence that the Andersons are entitled to use as they see fit.
Although... really.... why couldn't the doctor tell there was rock salt all over Blaine's face and in his eyes?
And finally, Rachel walks quietly down the hall to meet Kurt at the lockers. She has an envelope in her hands. It finally came. She is a NYADA finalist, just like Chris told us a couple of weeks ago. Now, don't you all think he would know better than a grammatically challenged anonymous source who babbled about who "the finalist" was in an obvious effort to keep SOME secrets? Come on, people. No, they are not going to send only one of these people to NYADA. The whole concept was created as a new setting for Hummelberry as a duo back when there was going to be a spinoff and now when there is going to be a show within a show. This is no more in doubt than that New Directions is going to win Nationals this year. The only question is how, and what they will sing along the way. And now Kurt gets to be happy about NYADA! For ten seconds! Until he says, "Have you told Finn yet?!" And Rachel's grin dissolves in panic.
Oh. Yeah. Finn. That's right. Her, um, fiance'.
Rachel, honey, is there something about that NYADA letter and marrying Finn that is not compatible? Do we have a problem here?