You know how you can tell it's going to be a Very Special Episode of Glee? They've got the warning sign up. Viewer discretion is advised, for suggestive dialogue, language, and sexual situations. This can arguably be said for any episode of Glee, but they made extra specially certain that we knew to cover Junior's eyes before tuning in to this one. Of course, it doesn't matter, since Junior and his sister have seen nearly every single interesting scene in this episode in spoilers on tumblr by now, but at least they can point to the convenient warning label when the Sanctimonious Society for Victorian Purity On Television comes screaming, as they certainly will, beginning last Friday.
Here comes Artie down the halls, and he's strutting like a peacock. I never knew somebody in a wheelchair could strut, but Artie has got it perfected. He's so full of himself he expects Puck to give him a high five... and who knows, if Puck had actually seen him down there, he might have actually gone along with it. Gone are the days when Puck stuck Artie in the porta potty. Artie's discovered his true passion for being an intrusive, inappropriate, bossy little prick, and he's going to be almost painfully insufferable all episode long. Of course, Artie is painfully insufferable fairly frequently, so it's not too much of a stretch. He's spouting opinions left, right and sideways, and we now know without question that he must never, ever choose clothing for Rachel again. I really want to know which scene he thought called for a floor length Victorian gown horribly blemished with what appears to be little mini Homecoming mums, but at least we know it wasn't the scene in which Maria and Tony pretend to get married. Maybe Emma talked some sense into him.
Artie is both happy and sad that the musical is only days away, and immediately after he tells us this, we see Rachel and Blaine rehearsing “Tonight.” Since the musical is only days away, my first worry is that they both still have their sheet music in their hands. Uh... running out of time, kids... you might wanna try to get off book... Blaine sounds pretty good, and Rachel sounds like an ethereal angel, in a presentation that makes me absolutely certain that Mercedes could never, ever have pulled this off as well. The beauty of their very nice duet makes Beiste cry because she's “such a girl.” And yes, this is the first line of what will be a long set of digs in this script about Beiste and hetronormative expectations. If you want to know why I am COMPLETELY over Beiste and her desire to seem feminine, just see my recap about I am Unicorn because I'm just... moving on. Ugh. Hypocrite. The Glee writers have some great kid characters, but they just can't write these adults for squat half the time, and this episode is no exception.
West Side Story is about racism and gang violence, but Artie seems to think it's about sexual awakening. He notices that Rachel and Blaine lack passion, and wonders why. Well, I can think of some reasons why Rachel and Blaine might lack passion in this song.
1. It's hard to make love with your body language when your nose is in a script.
2. Blaine's gay. He'd rather make out with the boy who used to be Rachel's best friend than her. And since he's done both, he knows this for sure.
3. Speaking of that, Blaine and Rachel have some seriously awkward history. Might just put a damper on their passion.
4. They are actually doing just fine, and Artie's just being painfully insufferable. I suspect it's been awhile since HE got laid. Maybe he should tell Brittany he's a leprechaun and offer her three wishes.
Artie asks them if either of them have ever had sex, and the two adults in the room do exactly the worst thing possible: They run like rabbits, embarrassed about their own respective virginities, rather than telling Artie to shut up and mind his own business. Yes, in a room full of five people, all but one of whom are clearly older than Artie, Artie the four-eyed wheelchair kid is officially the big sexually advanced stud, offering advice. Brittney made him feel like a man, even though he generally treated her like a toddler. However, it appears she called him by the wrong name four times. You know, Artie, that should have been a hint. When Rachel and Blaine admit that they are both still waiting for the right time, Artie tells them that they can't possibly convey their longing to the audience if they've never had sex. Of course, anybody who actually knows West Side Story knows that Tonight is sung BEFORE Tony and Maria have sex, when they are intoxicated by the sweet, sweet, anticipation of it all, so being a horny teenager who hasn't done it yet is actually perfect preparation for their show...But if Artie hadn't been invasive enough to tell Rachel that she had to get laid to get good, Finchel would not have had much of a story in this episode, so I guess I'd just better go with it.
Rachel is marching Finn up and down the hallways carrying large campaign posters that encourage student voters to Put a Berry on Top. Finn is balancing a fine line here; he's putting up her posters, but he still has not decided who he is going to vote for yet. "Kurt's my brother... it's kind of hard to vote against your brother." Rachel reminds him that he can't do... this... to his brother, as she kisses him. This is an unfortunate choice by the writers, since I am suddenly reminded of exactly what string of actions by Kurt, with what motivation, actually led to the boys becoming brothers in the first place. It's really best that they not invoke the image of Kurt and Finn possibly kissing. Ever. It doesn't matter if they are from Kentucky or not. It took too long for everybody to get over it and it was too hard and too painful and it nearly destroyed both characters. Fortunately, Rachel pulls us away from the bad memories by bragging about how well everything is going for her at the moment. She's apparently tied for first in the Presidential Race; I assume that she's tied with Brittany, and I really want to know how on earth she managed that after Brittany's dance routine in the tiny skirt.
Finn, in an effort to keep up with this cheerful display of sunny conceit, happily announces that a football recruiter from Ohio State will be coming to choose a new quarterback. Rachel is very happy and excited for him, and Finn is surprised that she's not upset with him. However, Rachel is fine with it; she knows he can't come with her to NYADA. I am relieved; for awhile there I thought her delusions about his performing ability were going to be a major theme for the entire season. There is a beat there as they both suddenly realize that their days as a couple may be numbered. Finn shyly notes that Carole and Burt will be out canvassing all week, so... would Rachel like to... Yes, she would. She will be there at six. Well, this is interesting. I am going to assume Rachel has been over to the Hudmel's house before, but somehow, the very fact that Mr. You Matter is going to be off gathering votes (instead of patrolling the halls of his home, looking for signs of People Being Inappropriate) causes this unspoken and mutual understanding that they have An Opportunity to... Be Inappropriate. OK, kiddies, so remember. The first rule about having sex with your True Love is Wait Until You are Sure You Won't Get Caught. All this time, I thought Rachel was waiting to have sex until she was ready, but now I wonder if she was just waiting until Burt's Sexy Spidey Sense was neutralized. So why didn't they go to her house? Rachel doesn't seem to have any parents worth discussing.
Kurt and Blaine are in Blaine's bedroom, which totally looks like the guest room you set up for when Grandpa or strange uncle Elmer come to stay. First he was a year older than Kurt, now he's a year younger, and his room says he's old enough for Social Security. The two boys are a study in contrasts; Blaine, dressed coolly and casually in a spare little white shirt, is moving and grooving sensually around the room while Kurt lays very still on the bed wearing enough layers to survive an unseasonable blizzard. As Blaine moves and grooves, he reveals his desire to go back in time to give Bryan Ferry a high five. As Kurt watches Blaine undulate, he reveals his growing desire... for Blaine. Oh, my little baby penguin. He's so cute. He has urges after all! First he reveals it as insecure fretting. (Of course he does. This is Kurt, king of the insecure fretting.) Does Blaine think he's sexually boring? We learn something about their sexual activity up to this point - no touching south of the equator, which I guess means no foot massages, and it's a relief to know that they actually have need for these mutual rules, because half the Klaine fandom was beginning to think they'd never touched each other at all. ("And why won't they let us seeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee??????????") Kurt wonders if Blaine has ever had the urge to rip each other's clothes off, making me quite certain Kurt's actually resisting the urge to rip Blaine's clothes off as he dances. Darren gets to utter the word "masturbation" which sends fangirls everywhere into a hysterical tailspin while also advocating one possible safe sex strategy for handling adolescent urges. That word also succeeds in making Kurt very, very hot under the collar, as he asks to open a window. I might suggest that he take off the overblazer and the tie and the vest and dress like a normal teenage boy in his boyfriend's bedroom, but that would spoil Blaine's big punchline. Blaine assures Kurt that whatever they do, he wants his precious little adorable sex-shy (increasingly horny) baby penguin boyfriend to be comfortable so that he can be comfortable, and it was only on the second viewing that I realized how important this setup scene would end up being, because boy, Blaine blows it. But for now, they will refrain from tearing off each other's clothes, because undressing Kurt would take half the day. Because of the layers. Nice big sweet kiss. Hetrosexual couples get that kind of moment like they get lines, but Kurt and Blaine kiss during Very Special Episodes that need a special parental warning. It's all terribly controversial, you know.
Where was I? Oh! Nice big kiss! Sparks fly up! Oh, wait, that's not Klaine. It's... the Beiste, and she's welding something. Just to remind us of how unfeminine she is, which is a mantra they will be hitting too hard in this episode. The line "I love to weld!" is laying it on just a little bit thick; why can't it just be awesome that she's able to help make the scenery for West Side Story? Because true female empowerment is Brittany in a tiny minskirt singing about how Gurls Rule the World? Artie the Insufferable Little Prick, now self-appointed guru on everybody else's love life, confronts her about how she ran out of rehearsal when he started grilling Rachel and Blaine about sex. I agree that she should not have left. She should have thrown him out of West Side Story for sexually harassing his cast, but this is even worse. First, Artie manages to convey his suspicion that Beiste is a lesbian, which she feels she must then refute, which is even more uncomfortable because Dot IS a lesbian and she had to say these lines that suggest she's set off Artie's gaydar. Then Beiste feels like she has to tell him that there's this one guy she likes, and I absolutely do not understand why she is having this conversation with a student. I understand that they need the exposition, but this conversation should either have been girl talk with Emma or a heart to heart with her best friend, Will.
The guy is a football recruiter named Cooter. Yes. Cooter. This episode will feature the tamest television sex scenes in the 21st century, but they name a potential male love interest "Cooter." Look, be tasteful or raunchy, show, but pick a side and own that. She thinks he's the bees knees, and anybody with even basic observation skills can tell that he likes her, too. In the first scene, he praises her skill and invites her to lunch, but she turns him down and offers her the half-eaten remainders of her chili. Given what we already know of Shannon's table manners, this prospect is even less appetizing than it sounds. Armed with all this extremely inappropriate information, Artie takes off to act as Cupid on Wheels, and I remember, after all, that this is Glee. At least Beiste is only sharing details about her love life with a student. Compared to Shelby, she's Teacher of the Year.
Scene: Dalton. I am hit by how much more attractive and classy Dalton is physically than McKinley, with the huge staircase, the circular windows, and the lack of oversharing faculty. Blaine, who looked pretty cool last time we saw him, has returned to his old hunting ground dressed in another Urkel Original. I am not sure why he's so allergic to socks, because that just looks stupid. In one familiar room, the Warblers are up to their old a capella tricks, even without their old lead singer. This is a very strange Warblers version of "Uptown Girl" - strange not so much because it's sung by Curt Mega rather than Darren Criss, but because, at various time, it is suddenly sung by Grant Gustin. Warblers don't usually give minor members random lines to sing, but this situation is different. Grant, also known as Sebastian, is a sneaky little minx with an agenda, and he takes focus to let Blaine into the Warbler formation and the song. Blaine is seen struggling to learn their new choreography for a few seconds before he's got it down perfectly, and as they sing on, they encounter...
A faculty member. Dalton actually has teachers! Dalton has young, pretty, female teachers! I am going to guess, from the tied back hair, the glasses, and the books that she is supposed to be their school librarian, because Glee always works in stereotypes and cliches. She must be new, because at one point she attempts to get them to hush, but pretty soon they've got her completely surrounded, dancing in step with them. Sebastian takes another random line to flirt with her, but she eventually herds them back into the one room that's reserved for them to jump on the furniture and throw papers, so Sebastian then starts a Crazy Move Dance contest that ends the numbers. You know, if Dalton had danced like that last year, they would have moved on to Regionals without New Directions in tow, but they probably still would have lost because of that ill-fated duet. Blaine looks to be absolutely ecstatic the entire time, possibly because he's actually gone to school at McKinley and his attempts at inpromptu musical numbers there seem to end in exploding pianos and people storming out to join a rival choir.
After the song, the Warblers approach Blaine, begging him to return to Dalton. I bet Curt Mega's character is happy to have a lead song to sing and might be less enthusiastic, but Blaine has not actually fled Slushie Central High. He just wants to invite the Warblers to attend West Side Story, and he has brought them all tickets. After dispensing this treat, all the Warblers who know Blaine well, who have sung with him through triumphs and losses, who once voted for him to get to sing a really bad duet with his boyfriend, all suddenly Exit Stage Right on cue, leaving Blaine to converse with a predator he's never met before. Blaine wants to know if Sebastian is a Freshman, and Sebastian gives a tart answer that totally leaves the question open so the writers can do whatever they want to with this character for as many years as they like. They are clearly waiting to see if he's going to be effective and popular, since they are graduating all the best and most effective student cast members, and that particular fact seems to haunt every episode this season as they seek replacements. Sebastian as possible replacement for Kurt. Hit me with an anvil, show. While I am already dreadfully sorry for the abuse Grant has already gotten in social media for coming aboard this rickety, confused project, I don't think I am ever going to not hate Sebastian. Fortunately, at least for now, that is clearly the writers' intent.
The two boys sit down for coffee, and Sebastian starts oozing smarmy compliments fast and furious. Blaine was a legend at Dalton by the time he ended his sophomore year. He's sex on a stick. Sings like a Teenage Dream. As Sebastian asks Blaine why he left Dalton, we go into an interesting sequence in which the two boys banter while Santana and Rachel, as Anita and Maria, sing "A Boy Like That" in rehearsal. The girls both sound terrific, although my lack of formal vocal training must be showing here because I have repeatedly read that Lea sang Maria all wrong because she's not a real soprano. However, this juxtaposition is not completely working for me on a couple of levels. For one thing, Anita is not NEARLY pissed off enough at the situation, given that she's being played by a bitchy spitfire like Santana and Bernardo has only been dead a couple of... minutes. Maybe Santana is not really a great actor. Secondly, it is ambiguous what, in Blaine's situation, these juxtaposed scenarios criticize. I thought they were using the song to warn Blaine and the audience that Sebastian is a Boy Like That who would destroy what he has with Kurt, use him, and leave him alone; others have said that Kurt is the Boy Like That who stole Blaine away from Dalton. While your opinion of Kurt may be a contributing factor as to which of these scenarios you buy, I do agree that it's not just crystal clear. Glee is often guilty of garbled storytelling, and this is not the only scene in this episode for which this is true. The scene concludes as Sebastian, who has made it EXTREMELY CLEAR that he's sexually interested in Blaine, asks to have coffee again, and Blaine... agrees.
Blaine agrees. And he's not completely oblivious to what Sebastian is doing. He agrees, and afterwards, looks guilty and apprehensive. I think my interpretation of A Boy Like That is correct, at least partly because the instrumental of I Have a Love plays in the background for the sole purpose of reminding Blaine not to stray. I don't think Blaine really wants to hook up with Sebastian. He just wants to listen to Sebastian gush some more, but he knows it's a dangerous choice. He is clearly flattered by the attention. Unfortunately, I think they've sowed some seeds for a possible later direction with these two. Because love triangles, in which one person breaks up with his One True Love to dally with a disaster before realizing What a Fool He Was, desperate to Get That One True Love Back, is Glee's default setting for stories about romances. That was the whole Finchel arc last year, and this year the part of Rachel may very well be played by Chris Colfer, especially since Kurt is having kind of a ball-busting senior year already. Do. Not. Want. But I am bracing myself. Yes, they introduce the element that may destroy Klaine in the very episode that has them at their most intimate and vulnerable. Nice.
In the school locker room, we learn that Puck is a complete, utter, reprehensible, jaw-dropping idiot who is probably Lima's version of Typhoid Mary for STDs. Seriously, they wiped out about a year and a half of steady character growth with one shocking line meant for laughs. Glee does that. A lot. A whole lot. Way too often. Finn comes up to him in the locker room with a question. Apparently, Puck has done something wildly inappropriate with Finn's shoes, and we are left to wonder what, (I think he stole them) but that's not what the question is about. Finn wants Puck's advice on what condom to buy. Pucks' first reaction is to tear him a new one for cheating on Rachel, as Chivalrous! Puck! Defender of Rachel's virtue when he's not trying to take it for himself! rears its head, but Finn assures him that he does actually intend to use them with Rachel. Puck is surprised, because he always thought that HE would be the one to tap that first, but he explains that he can't help.... because apparently Puck, cougar prowler, former lover of the entire Unholy Trinity and half the women in Ohio, father of an illegitimate child his babymama now intends to kidnap... refuses to use condoms. Ever. Going without has been effective 99% of the time, a horrible line that both lampoons the effectiveness of condoms in general and points out the one time that this incredibly irresponsible philosophy turned out to be a complete first season disaster. Remember also that Puck is currently in a relationship with Shelb...EEEEEEEEWWWWWWWWWWWWW! MAKE IT STOP!
Beiste kindly comes to the rescue of the audience by introducing Cooter... Cooter... as the best eye for talent in Ohio. Here Cooter tries really hard to flirt with her, as he compliments her talent and her tube socks, but the sweet little nothings fly completely over this woman's head as she offers to lend him some. In the audience, Mike and Puck are clearly disturbed either by this obvious flirtation or how badly it is failing, so Cooter tells the football team that he will be attending the Friday football game to find talent for Ohio State. Finn is entranced by the idea of the recruiter, here to make his dreams come true, and Beiste is entranced by the idea of the recruiter, also here to make her dreams come true if she would only listen to him for a second.
Klaine are at the lockers, very close to a huge Rachel campaign poster that Kurt snidely invites Blaine to take down. Blaine then asks Kurt if they are too sheltered as artists, with the idea that West Side Story is about stepping out of your own little world to experience new things. Funny, Artie thinks it's about sexual awakening. I still think West Side Story is actually about how gang violence can destroy lives, since Tony and Maria would both have been better off if they had not stepped out of their little worlds to dance together. However, Glee is about shoehorning whatever Platitude of the Week or Very Special Moment they have in mind into whatever else happens to be going on at the time, so I guess I'd better go with this. OK, Blaine, West Side Story is now about breaking out of your little world. And I think of the line "you've been living in your white bread world" for a minute and finally realize why the Warblers chose that particular song. Does that mean Sebastian is about breaking Blaine out of his above-the-equator groping, white bread world? Welcome to the land of potential STDs, Blaine. Do. Not. Want.
Blaine asks Kurt if he wants to experience everything in life he can, and Kurt happily offers him his bucket list on his handy smartphone. Kurt wants to arrive at school in a hot air balloon, which I do not recommend, because I will bet you one of those little turds who hates him owns a BB gun. He also wants to lay a rose at the grave of Noel Coward, which is probably pretty possible and safe, and... get this. Kurt has a sexual fantasy on his bucket list. Have relations with Taylor Lautner on a bed of lilacs before he gets fat. Kurt, you sexy little romantic, you. Blaine's interested bordering on pushy. He thinks NOW is the time to be adventurous, while they are still young. He's moving a little closer to being on the make, maybe in an effort to replace Sebastian's face in his fantasies with Kurt's. Kurt strokes his own hand as Blaine walks away. They are getting closer..
In a development I really, really could live without, Artie decides to play matchmaker between Beiste and Cooter. (Cooter? Really?) Artie asks to see the recruiter in his office, and Cooter makes a rude comment about the handicapped stall that I could have done without. So could Artie. What Artie really wants to do is take him to the school auditorium, where this addled doofus drops his mouth, gaping, at the idea that a school has a movie theeeater or sumpin. Here, McKinley's self-appointed Guru of Sex on Wheels baldy asks the question... do you like Coach Beiste? Do you "like her", like her? Shall I help you pass notes to each other in class? Are you offended that I am this deeply involved in my old football coach's love life? Would you like her less if you knew she actually let me on the football team? Cooter actually does really like Beiste, and I mean "like her" like her, but the woman is so oblivious to his affection and insecure in her own ability to attract a man that she has accidentally turned him down several times. This actually softens me to Shannon a little bit, because it's suddenly very clear that she has hung herself on the same hetranormative pillory that she left Kurt out to dry on, and what she's done to herself probably has had longer running consequences than what she did to Kurt. All of a sudden it is clear that Shannon is a forty year old virgin who has never been kissed because she absolutely did not believe it was possible that anybody could ever want her. It's not that she could not attract anybody. She accidentally pushed potential lovers away.
Well, it's Artie Abrams to the rescue. God, I wish they had given this storyline to Will. It would have been so much sweeter, made so much more narrative sense, and been so much less gross. I also think they probably could have put it into a different episode, since there's too much going on in this one and nearly every storyline got short shrift. Anyway, Will suggests... no, dammit, it's Artie... Will insists that Cooter needs to ask Shannon out again. And this time, he needs to hit her over the head with the anvil of love, make it really clear.
Shannon. I. Am. Asking. You. Out. On. A. Romantic. Date. And of course, Will - no, it's Artie, damn - even knows what they should do on their date. And I bet everybody can guess what that is.
Blaine, in a spectacularly stupid move that suggests he's just asking for trouble, has invited his predatory stalker to meet him for coffee at the Lima Bean. I'd like to think that Blaine the Oblivious is in full glory here, but it's already been made too clear that he knows what Sebastian actually wants, so I can't let him off the hook, as much as I'd like to. Sebastian is already being very inappropriate as he asks for Courvoisier in his coffee. Hey, son, they may let you young adolescent types swig them fancy cognacs in Europe, but this here is Lima, and there's a legal drinking age. Take your dollop of syrup and get the hell out of my face. "When I lived in Paris, I drank it like it was mother's milk." Instead of recognizing this as the pretentious showboating it is, Blaine allows himself to be intimidated and impressed, even though it's entirely possible that this little turd is just making this up. It is only when Sebastian calls Blaine's bashful schoolboy act "super hot" that Blaine finally understands that he's not just going to be able to bask in benign compliments about how legendary he is. This is almost a date, and he's almost accidentally cheating on Kurt. He tries to clear the air by talking about his boyfriend... and Sebastian's "It doesn't bother me if it doesn't bother you" leaves no room for doubt as to what he thinks is happening, or wants to make happen. Fortunately, Blaine makes the very good decision to keep talking about how wonderful Kurt is just long enough for him to arrive in the flesh and overhear this whole conversation. In my heart of hearts, I really hope Blaine invited Kurt to join this coffee hour and it wasn't just a happy accident that he did. Kurt, who is apparently more observant than Blaine, Beiste and Cooter put together, figures Sebastian out in about .145632 seconds, and the very first thing that happens after that is that Chris Colfer shoots a nice big dose of territorial energy into a flagging scene. He eyes Sebastian, puts out his hand for an icy, civil shake, and sits down with his arm so tightly clenched around Blaine's that Sebastian would need a full demolition crew to pull them apart.
Okey dokey. New tactic. Now Sebastian decides he's going to take them both on at once, apparently, as he offers them fake IDs so that they can go to Scandals, the Gay Bar in West Lima. In a winning endorsement of the charms of Scandals, Sebastian cheerfully reveals, or pretends - it's hard to tell with this guy - that he met the man of his dreams at Scandals. They broke up twenty minutes after they met. Now the full sleaziness of this boy is full flower, and Blaine attempts to turn him down. However, Kurt, who is inching closer to wanting adventure and passion, has gotten it into his head that this is the kind of adventure Blaine wants, and he thinks he can take Sebastian down. So, they are in.
It's a romantic evening at the Hudmel residence, and Finn has gone out of his way to make things nice for Rachel. There is soft music and candlelight, and he has cooked for her. Rachel praises his cooking; she's never before tasted a meat substitute that tasted so much like real meat. There's so much wrong with this I don't know where to start: is it that Finn actually fed his vegan girlfriend real meat, or that she trusted him so much she didn't question it, which makes Finn's guilt even worse? And there's pound cake for dessert. Doesn't that require eggs? I don't even want to know if they had butter on their bread. At any rate, to get Rachel's - and my - attention off this epic fail, Finn offers her sparkling cider and they make a toast to four months of romance with no fights. That's an upside to the summer hiatus, I suppose. It's easier to leave these happy couples alone when there aren't any episodes going on. After the toast, Rachel, who knows pound cake has eggs in it, wants to skip dessert and... go sit by the fire.
My body is ready, Finn.
Finn is acting like it's his first time, too. Maybe we can pretend that nightmare with Santana did not really count, because it is different this time. For a couple that has been together, off and on, for two years, they are awfully awkward about this, but it's actually kind of sweet. Both of them have brought condoms, just so we can get in the Safe Sex Message of the week, in case any of the kids watching this want to follow suit, but before they get started, Finn asks... why now? She wanted to wait. Rachel begins with a speech about how nothing would feel more right than here and now, with Finn... and she loves him. This is where she should have stopped talking. Actually, it's where Finn should have stopped talking, too, because he starts babbling about how they could wait a few weeks and go to a nice Marriott instead. (My husband, hearing this conversation in the background as I rewatch and write this recap, wonders what Marriott paid for this product placement, and I think this is a great question.) Now, I don't know why Finn is so down on his own ability to create a love nest, unless he's still thinking about how he gave his vegan girlfriend meat for dinner, but in a moment it doesn't matter. Rachel, acting as if she is crossing items off a shopping list, needs to "get this done" before opening night. Somehow, realizing that Rachel views this special candlelit moment as a lesson in method acting kind of spoils the mood for Finn. Never mind that Rachel should be perfectly able to play a horny teenager without actually having sex - most teenagers are quite horny even without having sex, and I remember it well - the whole idea is insulting. Finn decides to have pound cake. With eggs. The night is ruined.
Mike is just putting some textbooks into his locker when his enraged dad appears, ready to spit fire. He is out of head with rage because Mike joined the school musical without telling his dad. He has lied to him. I am a little disappointed in Mike's mother when I see this scene; I thought she promised her son that they would tell this hot tempered blowhard together? Well, it's a patriarchal culture; as a woman in that household, she may simply not have had the status or the courage to stare this man down. Mr. Chang demands that Mike quit, and Mike declares again his desire to be a professional dancer. (Strangely enough, he does no dancing at all in this episode.) Then, Mr. Chang reveals that he once wanted to be a professional tennis player, but realized he simply wasn't good enough.
I think for a second. Chang. Michael Chang, tennis player. Hmm. Mr. Chang, did you ever win the French Open? You would be about the right age... No? Just checking. Named for him, maybe? Coincidence. Or an inside joke.
Mike insists that he wants to dance, and Dad insists that he mustn't, and then the script gets extremely melodramatic. "I no longer have a son!" "I don't have a dad anymore!" The first time I heard this exchange, I was actually alarmed, because it seemed to be very much the most important thing going on in the episode. What did this mean? Was Dad going to throw Mike out of the house, like Quinn's dad threw her out? Was he going to have to go live with Tina's family? Would they let him? Isn't this a much bigger deal than Blaine's inability to tell his stalker to take a hike, Artie's ego, or the fact that Beiste wouldn't know a romantic gesture if it kissed her on the lips? I'm worried now, dammit! And of course, it turns out to be a big nothing with no consequences at all that I can see. Not in this episode, anyway. Apparently, it is not as important to these writers that we know where people are going to sleep as that we know who they are sleeping with, and how soon.
Beiste is in the locker room pumping iron when Cooter walks in. Those are pretty large weights, so either they are hollow or Dot is really pretty impressive. Cooter offers to spot her, and even makes a pretty overt sexual remark about what else he could bench if he had the chance, but it all flies completely over her head until he gives her flowers. At this point, I think she's just being obtuse on purpose. Graveyard? Really? Why would he think she's sick? Is she just so afraid of getting her hopes up that she blocks out any chance she might ever have with anybody? Oh, poor Shannon. Cooter, if you hurt this woman, we will send out the dogs, I swear. Whoops, I guess I am back on her side again. That was fast.
Then Cooter screws up his courage and lays it all out, very honestly. He wants to take her out on a date - a real date, where they dress up nice. This makes her... suspicious and angry, like somebody put him up to this, because she absolutely cannot fathom that he might actually want to go out with her. That's some heavy duty self - esteem issues there, Shannon. Is that why you wanted to cast Mercedes as Maria, so that the big girl got the sexy guy in the fantasy you attempted to create for yourself using your students? I am glad Artie and Emma intervened on that one, to keep the show from going completely off the rails, but it's quite interesting. And since we know for sure that Artie was the one who campaigned against Mercedes, at least he's good for something. In what may be the best scene of the show, Cooter informs Beiste that he only dates beautiful women like her - not pretty girls. Their date will happen on Friday, after the game. It's got to be an afternoon game. That's the only way any of this is possibly going to work, because Friday is a very, very busy day.
In the Spanish room, Rachel calls an emergency meeting of her all-girl support system to order. She needs help to discuss her love life, and she has invited these people to give her advice about sex:
- Quinn, the girl who got pregnant as a sophomore and she's now having a nervous breakdown about it. And she kind of hates Rachel most of the time.
- Brittany, AKA Rain Man with Boobs.
- Santana, the closeted lesbian who dislikes everybody but appears to have had sex with everybody, too.
- Tina. OK, at least that one makes sense.
Where is Mercedes? The only possible female virgin student besides Rachel left in their circle of friends? Why is her point of view not welcome here? Because she's still pouting, I assume. Maybe she was invited but the chip on her shoulder prevented her from being a friend. Maybe... she would have offered a point of view that kept Rachel from doing what Sweeps Week dictates she must do to help these badly flagging ratings.
Rachel mentions that the last time Rachel's Sex Advice Team Meeting was called to order, during their Madonna Lesson, they gave her unhelpful advice, but that was two years ago, back when the show was really hot, so maybe they will do a better job now. She spits out the painful truth: she and Finn were almost intimate, but she kind of killed the mood by admitting she only wanted to do it so she could play Maria better. Even Brittany knows that was a bad move. However, the girls actually try to make it better. Quinn, in her most rational, helpful persona in ages, advises Rachel to wait, because her own bad choices caused so much long term grief. I like this character. I wish she was around more, instead of that nutcase that usually wanders around in Quinn's hair. Santana offers what is for her, also meant to be helpful advice. She thinks Finn is terrible in bed. Which may even be true, or it may be her general distaste for all things male speaking up. (But Santana, really.... did you LIKE Puck, at least? Because before they decided to make you a lesbian, you were ALL OVER that all the time.) Still, I will give her points for answering the question as fairly as she could.
Brittany mumbles something completely unintelligible about cheerleading camp. Nope, didn't understand a word of it. LALALALALALALALA no, I did not hear her say that a guy climbed into her tent and alien invasion. They did not pass that off as a joke. They didn't. They did not have Brittney's first time be a rape! And pass it off as a laugh line! They... they did? Really? God, this character just doesn't work at all anymore on any level. Look, Heather, just... dance.
That anecdote seems to shake Rachel up enough to make her sure that she and Finn must wait to do the deed. However, Tina... speaks. What she says is actually important to the episode. She has an actual monologue. Tina says that losing her virginity was a great experience for her, because she was in love with Mike when she slept with him. As Tina discusses this, we return to the West Side Story stage where Rachel as Maria tells Santana as Maria how much she loves Tony. The song is "I Have a Love", which we first heard as an instrumental back when Blaine was considering Sebastian's forward moves. So yeah, Sebastian is the Boy Like That. Now, "I Have a Love" is a green light to make love to the person you actually care for. Tina does drop kind of a sad little bomb here. Mike was her first love.
That means she did not love Artie. Since Brittany did not love him either, this episode's self-appointed sex and relationship guru is really kind of a sad little figure, and for a moment I feel really, really terrible for him.
Night. At Scandals. The Gay Bar. Kurt looks nervously at his fake ID. It's very obviously fake. He doesn't think this will work. Blaine replies that his fake ID says he's 38. He knows they will work. How does he know this? Because he's read the script and he knows that they have to get INTO the gay bar for him to behave badly enough to ruin this evening for both of them. Sure enough, when they get to door, the bored looking bouncer looks dubiously at the boys, and then at the IDs, and then wearily lets them through. I think he's just so over the parade of fake IDs regularly offered to him by the teenage closet cases at Lima that he just doesn't care anymore. Kurt could probably have used his father's driver's license - or his own, with a fake birthdate ever so cleverly scrawled with a Sharpie marker - to get in.
Once in, Kurt attempts to enjoy his odd new surroundings by playing Guess That Famous Drag Queen at the faces. Cher in one corner, Tina Turner in another. One of them is so bad they must make guesses. And then they see... Sebastian, in civilian clothing, with a snake-like grin on his face. Kurt says he does not like Sebastian. Blaine is in denial. Sebastian greets them both with drinks: Blaine gets a beer, and Kurt gets a Shirley Temple with extra cherries. OK, you think he's a girl and frigid to boot. Got it. I notice that the beer is open when he gives it to Blaine, and I really, really, really, really, REALLY want to know what else he slipped into it, because there ain't no way Blaine behaves the way he does after just one beer.
A few minutes pass, and Sebastian is on the floor dancing with Blaine as Kurt sits glued angrily to his chair listening to ABC wail "Who broke my heart? You did! You did!" Somebody else is also aware that there's a problem. He hears somebody say, "Better watch your boyfriend" and he turns around to see...
David Karofsky. Yes. Last year's gay villain is now commenting on the shenanigans of this year's gay villain. And he's dressed just as Burt would be. Well, this isn't awkward or uncomfortable at all. It appears that running out on Kurt after the Prom Queen debacle was the last straw for dear old Dave. He ran to a new school where NOBODY knew he was gay, where he had never forced himself on anyone or threatened to kill them, where he could play football and pretend to be straight in peace. I am guessing that the bullies who forced Kurt to take that Prom Queen crown did, after all, make David his Prom King because they had also figured out his sexual orientation. Either that, or David thought they had, since Kurt never told anybody. Kurt is quick to remind him that he was not the snitch in this issue, although I think after the death threat he had every right to be.
Kurt takes a break from this uncomfortable glimpse into his nightmarish past to look back at Blaine and Sebastian, a possible glimpse into his lonely, heartbroken future. Well, crap. Memory lane seems to be the less awful option. "So, sailor, do you come here often?" or something like it, actually comes out of his mouth, and David begins to bring him up to date. Karofsky likes Scandals. They make him feel accepted, and he even has learned what sexual type he is in this subculture: a "bear cub". It occurs to me that this is the first ordinary, calm conversation we have ever seen David and Kurt have, where he is neither threatening extreme violence nor weeping with uncontrollable remorse, and for the very first time I see glimpses of the big teddy bear that his fans insisted was there all along. It does not last long: in the very next line the edge comes back as he asks if Kurt is judging him for remaining in the closet, (as if Kurt does not have other reasons to judge him). Kurt is just glad he's not beating people up. He may have forgiven, but he really has not forgotten, and probably never will. Now the past is too painful again, and Kurt looks back over at Sebastian wooing his boyfriend. Ouch. This is really Scylla and Charybdis. David and Kurt drink to getting through high school, and baby steps, and then... oh, thank the lord, Blaine gazes across the dance floor and begs Kurt to join him with his eyes.
That's all our little wallflower needs, as he bounds out of his chair, away from his bad memories, and attempts to wrest the encroaching threat from of his future. With a defiant little shoulder shake, he's thrown himself as a sexy little wedge between Sebastian and Blaine and does not let ANY AIR between them to give Sebastian another way in. Good for you, pup. Stop sulking and put a stop to this nonsense. Sebastian lets it go, aware that he's lost this round. For now.
After a some more dancing, Kurt decides it's time to get Blaine out of Scandals. It is, after all, a school night for both of them. For the second time in the show's history, Blaine is stinking drunk, weaving and babbling about how much he loves Scandals and how he wants to make art and help people and I really, really want to know what Sebastian put in that beer. Kurt, who for the second year in a row is the sober guy who has to take care of this inebriated mess, starts pulling Blaine toward the car to get him home. And, for the second year in a row, we learn that Blaine makes absolutely terrible sexual decisions when he's drunk. First he wants Kurt to kiss him. Then, after Kurt refuses and puts him in the car, he pulls Kurt on top of him forcibly and begins kissing and mauling and heavy breathing. "C'mon, Kurt, let's just do it. I want you so much."
Oh, poor little Porcelain. For so long, he's been on the outside looking in on the banquet of love and passion, unable to touch anybody at all, longing to hear somebody he loves say this to him. And when it finally happens... he's in a well-lit parking lot outside a very sleazy bar with somebody who may or may not have been drugged. Maybe it's his own fastidious nature, maybe it's the sound of his father's voice saying "You matter, Kurt", or maybe it's just the fact that Blaine smells like a brewery rather than a field of lilacs, but he absolutely does not want to give in right now.
He doesn't want to give in, because Blaine spent half the night dancing with another guy.
He doesn't want to give in, because Blaine isn't sober enough and he won't remember it the next day.
During "Sexy", Blaine came to Burt in an infamous scene in which he asked that Burt give Kurt some sexual education. At the time Wise Mentor Blaine insisted that Kurt was likely to get drunk at a bar and have meaningless sex without knowing anything about protection. Now, almost a year later, it seems very, very clear that it is Blaine who has a real, consistent problem with drinking too much and throwing himself around irresponsibly. Well, I guess we finally have some consistent characterization for him. It's a damned shame it had to be this. I'm really kind of sorry they dropped Wise Guru Blaine for this weak willed little mutt. Blaine storms out of the car, saying "I'm sorry if I'm trying to be spontaneous and fun". If you are a spoiler addict like me, you might know that Blaine isn't just saying this out of the clear blue sky. There was a conversation between Blaine and Sebastian, now cut, in which Sebastian said something about the need to be spontaneous and fun. Blaine rejected that invitation from Sebastian and tried to get it from Kurt instead, so there is some real hurt there that it did not work. He just isn't sober enough to know that he's gone about it the wrong way. Blaine decides to walk home, and Kurt freezes in heartbroken panic. If he'd been thinking straight, maybe it would have occurred to him how dangerous and stupid it is to let somebody as drunk and depressed as Blaine is to walk home in the dark, even if that's his choice, and I'm really disappointed in him here. Look, sweetie, despite all the director's efforts to hide it, you are several inches taller than Blaine, at least as massive, and you are actually sober. Just stuff him in the car and get him out of here. Oh, wait, last time you did that, he almost raped you. Right. What is it about November that makes guys force themselves on Kurt, anyway?
It's opening night for West Side Story at McKinley, and Emma is tending to her official duties as Person Who Peeks Out at the Size of the Audience and Squeaks in Terror. Now, this same group of kids could not get a single family member (except for Kurt) to attend their Night of Neglect last year, but for West Side Story, they have a full house. Clearly it's because Gwyneth Paltrow will not be singing tonight. In the dressing room, Tony and Maria are apologizing to each other for their respective failure to lose their virginities. Well, you know, folks, you tried. You hurt and frightened the Hudmel boys deeply in the process of attempting to follow Artie's horrific directing advice, but at least you know your priorities were in the right place as you apologize to each other. As long as you do not decide to fix this gap in your sexual education by losing your virginities to each other right before show time, all may yet be well. They would need alcohol for that, so it's not likely. Besides, somewhere in the wings Officer Krupke waits with his police stick, keeping the peace, and I bet he'd be quite happy to break that up by braining you both.
Hey, this is Glee. They surely could have gone there, and the only reason they didn't is probably because this is a Very Special Episode about love. Rachel thinks they ought to cancel the whole show because she can't possibly give an authentic performance. Fortunately, Bossy Artie snaps them both out of this cycle of self-pity by barking orders about their makeup. While their makeup is fine, he probably did just prevent Maria from running out on everybody, so that's another useful thing Artie has done as director.
As he wheels away from them, Artie gets caught up in a terrible moment of stage fright. He looks around at all the things he's actually set up quite well - the scenery, the lights, the costumes, and he is paralyzed with fear. School Counselor Emma, missing for so much of this episode when Artie clearly needed adult supervision, is here for them, telling him that what he's done is brilliant. The situation gets even more worrisome as Tina, looking like she's about to announce a cast insurrection, tells him that the cast wants to see him for a second. Artie's whole face distorts in fear as the cast corners him, and he prepares for his hasty execution.
Of course, it is menacing Puck who leads this malevolent advance. "Dude, we have a problem," he says gruffly. Then Santana comes forward with a huge bouquet of yellow roses. "We haven't properly thanked you for helping us."
Santana? They had Santana do this? Brittany's girlfriend, Santana? Full on bitch, Santana? Hates everybody, especially Brittney's old boyfriend Artie, Santana? Why couldn't Tina do this? Why not Blaine? He's right there. Is it to show that Artie's so incredibly awesome that even Santana must give him his due? Is it because those yellow roses just look smashing next to Anita's amazing red dress?
Artie gets to have a little mini Very Special Episode moment of his own. Stuck in his wheelchair, Artie has been coddled and babied his whole life, and he thought he would never be self-sufficient. Their trust in him made him feel like an adult. It's a really beautiful speech, one of the best spoken things Kevin McHale has ever done on Glee. In fact, it's so impressive I really, really wish everything else he did in the episode had been written as a lead-in to this lovely payoff. I would really have preferred to see Artie, the director hiding his self-doubt as he completely re-writes America, or Artie, giving stage direction to sassy Santana and egotistical Rachel, and making them obey him, rather than what we got: Artie, ordering his leads to go get laid before butting in on the love life of a teacher. Why did they write a storyline about what a great job Artie did by showing the one really bad direction he gave, the thing that caused some real pain and grief? Did they really think that a quartet of teenagers, three of them virgins, would not contemplate having sex unless Artie orders them to do so?
I notice that Kurt has not gathered to give homage to Artie. I am surprised that Rachel and Blaine are there, frankly, except that Blaine's such a love-hungry little puppy he'll go bask in whatever positive energy exists anywhere, especially when he's as sad and worried as he is right now. At least Rachel has this going for her; Finn is out somewhere in the audience, and she does not have to face him. Kurt's in this play, and I have no idea how they reacted to each other when they saw each other in the dressing room. Maybe that's why Kurt is keeping to himself, or maybe he's just mad that they decided Rory, who did not even go to this school when the first auditions began, was macho enough for a singing, dancing role as a gang member.
Finn is in the shower, fully clothed, weeping in enormous anguish and banging his fists against the walls. He bangs, and bangs, and his fist becomes Puck's as Bernardo rails against the racism he's faced in America. His Puerto Rican accent is awful. Anita's is marginal. Rory, who for some ungodly reason has been cast as a Shark, is so completely unintelligible even audience member Beiste comments on it to Cooter. Will Schuster is also in the audience, mostly so that Emma can tell him what a wonderfully risky and brilliant move RIB, I mean Artie, have made by having the Jets sing part of "America" with the Sharks. You know, we've gone through this whole episode without Shue and I didn't even notice he was gone. Sue does not make an appearance, either. Maybe we don't really need them next year as much as we need some of these graduating seniors, Murphy. And nice touch informing the audience that you know well you've staged America oddly, and we can all just hush up now. Got it.
America begins in earnest now, and boy... It's a shame that Naya reportedly does not sing as well live as she does in the studio, because she is KILLING it as Anita and I wish she could do a Broadway revival of it. This particular number really is very, very well done, and if it's an indication of Artie's skill as a director he has indeed found his calling. The arrival of the Jets to jeer at the Sharks works... almost... and we see why they did this as Mike takes a moment to look into the audience for his family. His mother is there, beside an empty chair, and she weeps with pride to see him. I think I am supposed to gather from that poignant little glance that while Dad's still very angry, Mike is not actually disowned and he's not sleeping on the streets. You know, I think I needed this story fleshed out more than Artie's or Beiste's. It's quite a bit more important, and of all the kids in West Side Story, Mike has paid the highest price to get there. Why do I just have to guess that he's OK?
In other part of the audience, the Warblers are in their seats, all bedecked in Warbler finery so the TV audience can tell who they are. Unless this is a school field trip and they are required to be in uniform? Kurt, dressed in his cop uniform, sees them... especially Sebastian. A boy like that... who got your love drunk... a boy like that, just take a hike, punk...
America, the best musical number in this very strong episode, gets the rousing standing ovation it richly deserves as I remember why I love, love, love this brilliant trainwreck of a show. Then, it's time for Maria and Tony to do their thing. Blaine is afraid that since they are both virgins, they cannot possibly convey the love and passion they are supposed to have for each other, but Rachel has a moment of sanity. They have not had sex... but they have both loved one person very deeply and passionately. It is the memory of love, not lust, that they can tap in to make this scene work, and with that, they hit the stage and the lights go to black. At least they didn't take this moment to remember their own disastrous romantic history with each other, and I am frankly surprised it hasn't come up. Yet.
Later, after the show is over and the audience has gone home, Blaine is dancing alone under the lights. He got it wrong. He got something wrong, and he has to fix it. Has to fix it. As he dances, Kurt quietly comes up behind him. He wants to know why Blaine isn't celebrating, but Blaine messed it up, and he knows he can do better.
"That's the beauty of the stage" Kurt says. "You can do it all over again tomorrow." There are second chances to get this right. They trade polite compliments. Maria and Tony were perfect. Officer Krupke brought the house down. Kurt's reply, that he can't help but pull focus, intrigues me. Apparently, Kurt actually was really good as Officer Krupke, and that is canon now. So, what exactly happened? Is that line a meta reference to the fact that Chris Colfer can steal a scene with a few well-placed facial expressions, meaning that he turned a tiny role into a major piece of comic relief? Was Officer Krupke actually a character with enough to do in this version of West Side Story that he actually did bring the house down? Did he sing all or part of "Gee Officer Krupke?" Can I get over how flamingly pissed off I've been that they gave him a tiny, non-singing role, with the information that he was impressive enough to bring the house down? Or is Blaine just trying desperately to say nice things to a boyfriend that he's hurt terribly?
But enough about Officer Krupke and polite small talk. "All your friends were here tonight" says Kurt, who was himself a Warbler for six months and should have counted at least some of those guys among his friends as well. Hey, they sang to him in the quadrangle. Surely they care for him some. But the real point is that Sebastian was also in the audience. Blaine puts the brakes on that discussion about five days too late. In a touching, heartfelt speech, Blaine takes Kurt's hand in his and puts them both over Kurt's heart. Then he tells Kurt that Sebastian means nothing to him, that he was drunk, and Kurt was right; their first time should not be like that.
"Well, at least it beats the last time you were drunk and made out with Rachel" quips Kurt cheerfully, bringing up an elephant in the room and quietly discarding it as Blaine's head slumps in grateful relief. I see that Kurt has noticed this disturbing pattern of behavior from Blaine, and I wonder if they will ever mention it again. Then Kurt apologizes for... uh... what, exactly? For trying to give Blaine the adventure he so craved? For not enjoying the gay bar more than he did? What does he mean when he says he was wrong for being too romantic to be a gay bar superstar? Is there anything at all that this guy did wrong, or is he just being very, very kind so that Blaine can stop kicking himself? Hummel will do that, which is why I love him so much more than anything else about the show besides the roaring musical numbers. Yes, he's a complete bitch to his enemies, but boy, if he loves you...
They kiss quite passionately, and it's completely satisfying if you have not somehow immersed yourself in a kiss count competition geared to prove how much gay Klaine has been short-shrifted in comparison to straight Finchel. Yes, the gay boys kiss less often than the straight couple. The gay boys are kissing, and they've had a love story for this episode that almost exactly parallels the love story of the show's original "It" couple. For Sweeps. If that is not an indication of how far Kurt's romantic possibilities have come as a character since he was moping around pathetically wishing he could wedge himself between Rachel and Finn, I don't know what is. He's arrived as one of the great romantic leads of a major network television show, and that is an accomplishment that cannot be overstated.
After a few moments of tenderness, they break away and Kurt says that he was very proud to be Blaine's boyfriend as he watched him sing on that stage tonight. Singing as aphrodisiac. This is a running theme with these two now, and I am beginning to think that all they need to do to live happily ever after is sing duets with each other all day, every day. Blaine's response is touching in its slight remembrance of shame. "I want you to be" he whispers, as if he is aware of the degree to which he could have blown that pride and trust. Then he has an idea. Maybe they could go to Artie's after party at Breadstixs?
Kurt may be fully and completely sick of Breadstixs by now, but he's got a better idea. "I wanna go to your house" he says, with just enough bite that Blaine realizes the adventure is finally on, and they are about to cross something off their bucket lists. There is a part of me that is saying "OK, Kurt, are you doing this out of blazing longing and desire, or are you doing it because you want to make sure Blaine knows he is forgiven? And that he can get sex from you rather than from Sebastian, whom I fear we will see again? And do you have condoms?" But here I am, being a cynical old codger in his Great Romantic Moment. I just wish this moment did not come with so much baggage. But hey, that's Glee. There's not a single kid in this show who has given up their virginity on-screen without a lot of painful baggage, and he's getting off lightly.
Little Red Riding Hood walks up to the Hudmel household bearing her basket of goodies. Rachel, wearing her silly Pink Cape of Seduction, last seen in Power of Madonna, has come to apologize to Finn. He sent her flowers on opening night, so she knows she has not permanently blow it with him. His murmured praise, "You were really good" sounds very hollow and cold next to the lavish praise Klaine was giving each other just a commercial break before, so we are left to wonder how angry he still is. There's definitely something wrong. He's sad, gloomy, sulky. He's referring to his own mother as Carol, as in "Burt and Carol are off doing political stuff so they've left me here alone to cry all by myself and they didn't even bother to see West Side Story, even though Burt saved the show and Kurt was actually in it". (Bringing down the house with about five spoken lines, apparently.) I have to say, this is not Burt's finest hour of parenting. He's left Finn alone on the day of what appears to be a moment of immense grief, he didn't support Officer Krupke, and he's not roaming the halls with his You Matter Sensors up, looking for signs of indiscretion. Ah, politics corrupts everybody.
Rachel fears that he skipped the afterparty because he was angry with her. However, apparently not everything in the world is about Rachel Berry. "He didn't like me" says Finn, his voice breaking. Cooter spent twenty minutes after the Friday afternoon football game talking to Shane, the new quarterback for Ohio State. He had a gentle piece of advice for Finn. "Just because your football career ends in high school, doesn't mean your life does." That's a good piece of advice, and I fear a number of these kids are going to hear something similar before this season is over, but Finn's beside himself with self-doubt at the moment. In one of the best scenes Cory Monteith has ever had, Finn loses it. He's not a good enough football player. He's not a good enough singer. (This is now canon. I wish they'd been realistic about this from the beginning and played Finn a little differently, because frankly, I think he's more effective and touching this way. What Cory can do, is ACT his butt off, and that's actually more important for the show's really important characters.) Finn thinks he's a failure and he'll never get out of Lima. Rachel urges him to understand that he's just grown out of his old dreams and it's time to find new ones.
And she's going to prove that he's special by giving him something that nobody else will ever get. Her virginity. Now she's just a girl with a boy she loves, and in phrases that go back to the speech Tina gave, she wants to remember this moment for the rest of her life. They begin to kiss as Finn's hands go down her back. If Kurt's reasons for wanting to go to Blaine's house bother me a little, Rachel's reasons for saying this bother me a lot. , Rachel has just offered her cherry as a consolation prize for a life-changing personal failure, rather than as a simple love gift. Even if she donned her Pink Cape of Seduction for the express purpose of getting it on with the boy she loves that night before she went over there, this unfortunate speech, and her comment about "I'm going to give you something that nobody else will ever get" thing puts the emPHAsis on the wrong syLLAble. There is a part of me that is saying "OK, Rachel, are you doing this out of blazing longing and desire, or are you doing it because you want to make sure Finn feels like he is still worth something? Is this about love or pity? And do you still have those condoms?" But here I am, being a cynical old codger in her Great Romantic Moment. I just wish this moment did not come with so much baggage. But hey, that's Glee. There's not a single kid in this show who has given up their virginity on-screen without a lot of painful baggage, and she's getting off lightly. Gee, I think I said that a minute ago.
Oh, Hummelberry. You two need to make up soon, because even your love lives are extraordinarily alike.
And then we flash back to Tony and Maria, singing to each other on the stage as they pretend to get married. They begin to sing "One Hand, One Heart." Only on Glee could you get a montage like this: the show's leading lady, and a hot young gay man that RIB probably wish they had allowed to be bisexual, are singing a love song to each other on stage, because that is the only way that Blaine can sing a love song to Rachel, and they are the show's itunes cash cows. Then they tenderly draw back to reveal the genuine love stories that Rachel and Blaine drew from to create their moment on stage. Right side up, on one bed, Rachel lies down with Finn. Upside down, on another bed, Blaine lies down with Kurt. Because showing the gay couple in bed right side up might actually make some heads explode, I suspect. Then Maria and Tony sing to each other some more, and touch hands.
Finn and Rachel touch hands. "One hand, one heart".
Kurt and Blaine touch hands. " A touch of the fingertips is as sexy as it gets".
Tony and Maria sing some more, and out in the audience, Beiste and Cooter on their Artie-arranged date, are also holding hands. Finn watches gloomily from the audience. Kurt is smiling with love and pride from the wings.
This tender montage is beautifully executed in its respect for the love the characters the characters feel. Of course, I assume that they show us only the very beginnings of foreplay, because if that's how they are dressed AFTER sex, then what they really did may be better classified as "really sweet cuddling" and we've still got a bunch of virgins here. (Not that there's anything wrong with that, and given the week both couples have had, it would not be the end of the world if they actually waited until the next Sweeps Week.) Still, I don't really need to see the gory details, and I only mention it because apparently even some of the mainstream reviewers found this surprisingly tame. Can't show gay boys really getting it on, no sir. Not on Fox.
How sweet was this montage? I feel that I can almost forget that at the moment of her sexual awakening Rachel is singing this , not to her own boyfriend, but to her gay ex-boyfriend who is now dating her ex-best friend, who is the brother of her boyfriend, whom he used to be in love with. I can almost forget that Blaine is singing, not to his own boyfriend, but to the girl who was his accidental beard for a week before he realized his feelings for her ex-best friend, who is the brother of her current boyfriend, whom he used to be in love with. Oh, you four. Just get a room and have an orgy, which might actually be a possibility in the future if these ratings don't get better.
And that's it. The only original virgin left on Glee, (besides Emma) is Mercedes, unless she and Shane.. oh, no. I don't even want to contemplate it. I leave you with two lovely couples loving each other.