Another Tuesday is upon us and The Pop Gods have blessed us with an all new GLEE tonight on FOX. Being that I have been a shameless Gleek since its pilot episode, I couldn’t miss it!
Episode 5, entitled “The First Time” is already infamous in the media as the show’s cast revealed several weeks ago via the ever-hungry hype machine that the third season’s fifth episode would introduce a number of game-changing plot elements:
- New Directions over-achievers Rachel & Kurt (and as it turns out; Blaine) were to lose their virginity. This is bound to piss off tonnes of right-wing “family” groups even if it’s done completely tastefully.
- We were to see the return of the Dalton Academy Warblers, and with them; Sebastian (a new villain and hurdle for the freshly-happy Kurt and Blaine relationship) whom we shall hence forth refer to as the “Triflin’ Ho”.
- The return of David Karofsky. Fans were left wondering after last season’s “Prom Queen” what had become of the tortured (and totally cute) football bully after he ran from the gymnasium in fear of accepting Kurt as the queen to his Prom King in front of the whole school. After Max Adler tweeted that Karofsky would return, anticipation built quickly about the resolution or at least contination of his story arc.
- It’s finally time for “West Side Story”. The school musical is here and four of the episodes’ five musical numbers are from the show. (“Tonight Tonight”, “America”, “A Boy like That” and “One Hand, One Heart”). They are rounded out by the Warblers performing Billy Joel’s “Uptown Girl”.
Find out what I thought of “The First Time” as well as lots of Glee-cap action, after the break…
So, everyone is busy rehearsing for the opening night of “The Blaine & Rachel Show” (a.k.a West Side Story). The episode begins with Artie, who muses about how he has Mr. Shue to thank for helping him realize his true passion of “bossing people around”. We get a tiny glimpse of Artie the Diva-Director leading immediately into a number, “Tonight, Tonight” where Maria and Tony profess their love and longing only for eachother. While Blaine and Rachel moved Coach Beiste to tears, Artie tells that them they lacked passion and says that they cannot expect to convey the most basic human emotion if they have never experienced passion first-hand.
Suddenly our stars are left feeling insecure about their abilities to embody Tony and Maria without knowing physical intimacy. Meanwhile, back in their home lives we find them handling this criticism a little bit differently:
- Rachel immediately starts to lay it on thick with Finn, lingering just a touch too long in a kiss, ever so suggestively. Finn tells her he’s excited about a College Football recruiter who is coming to McKinley to check out the team later that week and invites Rachel to his place, as his mom and Burt are out of town working on his campaign for Congress. Rachel, eager to experience passion to pour into her role, quickly agrees and leaves Finn with another flirtatiously-charged kiss.
- Blaine, however, has the opposite feeling and doesn’t act on the criticism he received from Artie. He wants to wait and wants it to be special and for the right reasons. His boyfriend Kurt, however, sparks up a conversation about his own feelings of insecurity that Blaine isn’t sexually attracted to him, which Blaine quickly dispells and assures Kurt that there’s no reason to rush into things and jokes that he doesn’t tear off all of his clothes because he wears too many layers. (Adorable!)
If that weren’t enough romance for you, Coach Beiste reveals she’s had a crush on the College Recruiter Finn mentioned earlier for a while and we see flashbacks of him flirting with her but never reading her reactions as recipcroation. Artie takes it upon himself to try and make a love connection.
For some reason, Blaine pays a visit to Dalton Academy; The first all-boys private school to staff provocatively dressed, sexy female teachers. As luck would have it, he`s just in time for a musical number and the introduction of the Triflin Ho’. The boys sing Billy Joel’s “Uptown Girl”, which truthfully I liked better than nearly all of the previous Warbler numbers with Blaine on lead.
New Warbler: Sebastian, played by newcomer Grant Gustin, is all the villain we expected, and he moves in on Blaine with hunger in his eyes right from his first frame, saying he is “sex on a stick and sings like a dream”. This scene gets intercut with the brilliant and amazing Santana singing “A Boy Like That” as West Side Story’s Anita warning Maria about someone who will “murder your love, he murdered mine.”
All fired up from the attention he got from Sebastian, Blaine tells Kurt that he thinks it’s time to be adventurous. Hmmm, I wonder where this is going…
Meanwhile.. Artie’s plan to hook up Coach Beiste is coming along nicely.
Blaine is having coffee with Sebastian, though I’m not sure why considering how blatant the flirting is. Sebastian reveals that he would have no problem sleeping with Blaine despite his being with Kurt. Blaine tells him that he cares about Kurt and would never do anything to mess it up. (Since Sebastian is getting a several episode arc, we shall see…) Kurt arrives and Kolfer plays the immediate intuitive jealousy perfectly. Kurt can see the slime all over this scaly mother**ker. Claws are OUT. Sebastian suggests they accompany him to a gay club (“Scandals”) and offers to get them fake IDs and the two agree in the spirit of being more adventurous.
Finn and Rachel are at his house after dinner and Rachel makes her move. Finn agrees to take it to the next step but in the heat of it all, Rachel reveals that it has to happen before opening night. Thinking that her reasons for wanting this are solely to improve her craft, Finn is upset and retreats.
In an unexpected moment, we get a Mike Chang scene!!! Mike’s father, furious that his son has decided to pursue dancing despite his previous warnings, confronts Mike at school and gives him an ultimatum: quit dancing or be disowned. Mike stands his ground and his father turns his back on him. (Dun, dun, dunnn………)
STOP EVERYTHING: Touching scene of the episode does not go to any of the more expected couples but to Dot Marie Jones when Coach Beiste gets asked out on a date by the College Recruiter. (I know he was given a name, but I’m not sure it’s important and I didn’t retain it). Coach Beiste has deep insecurities about her appearance and breaks down in disbelief when a man she sees as out of her league insists that he thinks she’s beautiful. She agrees to a date with him.
Rachel asks the others girls for advice about losing her virginity to Finn. Tina tells the story of her first time with Mike, causing Rachel to realize that it’s not just about Maria; she’s in love with Finn and wants him to be her first.
Blaine and Kurt arrive at Scandals. It turns out that it’s Drag Queen Wednesday (which quickly become a trending topic on Twitter.) Sebastian meets them there and greets them with drinks, an alcoholic beverage for Blaine and a back-handed Shirley Temple for Kurt. While an intoxicated Blaine and Sebastian tear up the dance floor, Kurt is approached by none other than Dave Karofsky who is dressed all in black. It is revealed (finally) that he transferred schools and is continuing to be in the closet while moonlighting as a gay man at Scandals and just “trying to get through high school”. In a hilarious moment, he also reveals that he’s discovered that he’s a “bear cub” because he’s “burly or something”.
When Kurt and Blaine leave the bar, Blaine is drunk and tries to be sexually spontaneous. Kurt is upset that he spent the night dancing with Sebastian and doesn’t want his first time to be with his drunk boyfriend in the back of a car. Blaine, upset by Kurt’s reaction, decides to walk home.
Everyone seems to be getting a touching moment in this episode and now it’s Artie’s turn. The curtain is about to rise on WSS and he’s nervous that his production is a disaster until the cast all take a moment to thank him for doing such a great job. Moved nearly to tears, he gives a speech about how despite often feeling like a kid in his wheelchair, relying on others for help, that working with them makes him feel like a grown man.
“America” was staged wonderfully and I loved seeing it with the Jets included. The accents were amusing, especially on Puck. Seeing Mike Chang leading again, even if ever so brief, was a highlight even if it was sad to see his mother, sitting alone in the audience, an empty seat next to her to remind us of the sacrifice he has made to be happy.
Neither of them successful in their quest to lose their v-cards before opening night, Blaine and Rachel continue to fret about their performance backstage. They decide to use the feeling they both had experienced in “finding their soulmates” and tap into that before walking out on stage.
Surprisingly, we don’t see their performance next. Instead we see Kurt coming to congratulate Blaine for his performance. The conversation (of course) results in Blaine apologizing for being pushy when he was drunk, assuring Kurt that Sebastian is no threat and that he wants their first time together to be special. Blaine asks Kurt to the play after party, Kurt suggests they go to Blaine’s house instead. (Cue the cheering and collective “Ooooooooooh!!” or “Ewwwwwwww”. Different strokes!)
Next we see Rachel knocking on Finn’s door. She too, came to apologize to him but first he reveals that the College Recruiter told him that his football career would end with high school. Finn’s insecurities about the future push him over the edge and he breaks down. Rachel comforts him and tells him he will find another dream and that he’s special and she’s realized that she truly wants to be with him for no other reason than that she loves him. Damaged but touched by her support, Finn looks at her longingly.
As the two couples cement their love in the throws of teenage passion (represented only by the couples laying in bed together), we finally see Blaine and Rachel’s performance of “One Hand, One Heart”, which ends the episode. The song is beautiful and the whole thing is handled MORE than tastefully, which is strange after hearing all of the hype about the “sweaty sex scenes”. They simply didn’t exist.
Overall, this episode was LEAPS AND BOUNDS better than episode four!
- From the opening moments onward, I felt there was very strong direction in this episode from start to finish. Camera work was sort of unexpected in places but innovative for the show and the placement and editing/inteweaving of the musical numbers with pivotal dramatic scenes was extremely effective and flowed well.
- Rachel and Santana KILLED as Maria and Anita. Seriously. Can we get a DVD of this entire WSS performance?
- We got lots of Finn and Finchel! Now if we could just get him singing again. Seriously, what gives?
- The Triflin’ Ho is the devil, but it’s a testament to the writing and to Grant Gustin that he was so immediately unlikeable. *HISS*
David Karofsky deserves better than a single update scene from a bar. The fans fell in love with this guy and we don’t even get to see any of his journey? I guess this is more realistic, that he would decide to stay in the closet until high school ended, but I wanted to know more about him and see more of what Max Adler has to offer. Why did we hint that he was musical and had ideas and a little inner glee club spirit if he was just going to disappear?
I’m sure Sebastian will bring lots of drama, but I personally would have loved for Karofsky to become the Klaine-Villain. I’ve always thought that Karofsky is a little bit in love with Kurt and I was hoping they would explore that more despite the fact that I have definitely fallen for the Klaine relationship. Until someone confirms indefinitely that Karofsky is done I will hold out hope that at the very least his presence at the bar was not a coincidence and he’s in cahoots with Sebastian. I admit, however, that it’s probably just wishful thinking.
Next week? Episode Six: “Mash Out”. Looks like McKinley High’s dual Glee clubs will… duel! We get TWO ADELE SONGS!!! (Dead… I can’t.). Get ready for “Someone Like You” and “Rumor Has It” to get GLEEKED by the Troubletones! As always, I’ll be here commenting and recapping! Check out @ThePopMessiah on Twitter for live reactions to the episode before the post goes up!