It’s been only two weeks since the last new episode of Glee aired, but to this Gleek it feels like a lifetime. How about you?
Tonight, Glee returned on FOX to the delight of Gleeks everywhere who were left devastated by the events that took place in the amazing but intense final five minutes of Season 3’s sixth episode: “Mash Off”. If you don’t recall, our favorite still-in-the-closet, tough-as-nails, Cheerios Captain: Santana was faced with being an unfortunate casualty of a political slur campaign which is about to result in her being outed on a television spot to her entire hometown. To add insult to injury, she’s hardly come to terms with being a lesbian herself, let alone admitted it to her family. Her inner conflict and anger are all directed at a Mr. Finn Hudson – who called her out on her repressed sexuality in the hallway at school and unfortunately someone overheard and started this whole mess resulting in one hell of a slap in the face at last episode’s conclusion.
On top of furthering Santana’s story arc, this episode also promises to bring two of this season’s main storylines to a head. It’s a double election day! We will see the race for McKinley High’s Senior Class President and the Congressional Race come to a close. Who will win? How will the losers take it? It’s a nail-biter, folks. A NAIL-BITER!!!
An early synopsis of the episode also states that the Puck/Quinn/Shelby storyline becomes more complicated and that there’s some sort of “shocking” event that will complicate New Directions’ chances to compete at Sectionals. Read on for my reactions, opinions and general musings about Glee’s latest episode: “I Kissed A Girl”.
(As always, and I’m sure you all realize this, there are many many spoilers after the break. You’ve been warned.)
So, as it turns out: the bitch slap heard round the world was a bigger deal than I anticipated. It’s easy to forget sometimes that we’re dealing with high school problems here because so many of the actors don’t look any little bit seventeen! Coming back to the “reality” of it all, Santana struck a fellow student and that means she now risks suspension…
We open the episode inside Principal Figgins’ office, where all involved parties are discussing the incident. Santana attempts to evade suspension by reminding Figgins that students in the school are assaulted with slushies all the time, but to no avail. Apparently slushies (and insane cheerleading coaches who beat up students in the hallway) are not on the school board’s list of “suspension worthy weapons”. Obviously feeling terrible about what his words to Santana in the hallway have set into motion, Finn tells Figgins that Santana only “stage-slapped” him and that since she didn’t really hit him, she cannot be suspended.
Later in the hallway, Santana asks Finn why he would let her off the hook. In one of the occasional moments that remind us all why we fell for Mr. Hudson’s goofy charm, he tells Santana that despite the way they’ve been at eachother’s throats lately, that he thinks she is awesome and that he is worried about her because she acts out when she tries to hide who she really is. Santana is touched, but in her always abrasive way, isn’t letting it melt her icy demeanor. Finn says he wants the two rival Glee clubs to come together again, because he has an idea, but it’s up to Santana to help him make it happen. As an added bit of motivation he reminds her that if she’s not on board, he can easily ensure she’s suspended and unable to compete at Sectionals next week.
Rachel is worried that Kurt won’t win Senior Class President and as a result, won’t accompany her to NYADA. Brittany is revealed to be in the lead and Kurt is considering cheating because he’s desperate to get accepted.
Meanwhile, In the choir room: Finn explains his idea to the two rival Glee clubs. This week’s conveniently topical assignment: “Music by ladies, for ladies”. Santana is still spitting venom and Finn is being the sweetest person ever, assuring Santana that everyone in the room accepts her and her love for Brittany and just want her to realize that she has people who care about her. Members of the group will perform a “lady” song dedicated to Santana to show her their support.
First up, it’s Klaine singing P!nk’s “Perfect” but perfect it is not. While I’m a big fan of this song, this rendition just seems a bit emotionless and contrived. The “rap” parts were awful and there was nothing interesting in how the scene was choreographed. Meh. They finish their (er…) touching tribute but Santana isn’t having it.
Meanwhile, convinced she needs a romantic interest to win the hearts of voters and avoid the bad press from the soon-to-air slur campaign implying that she’s a lesbian, Sue goes through her book of “Sue’s Booty Calls” to find a man she can use to improve her public profile.
Coach Beiste tells Will & Emma how happy she has been spending more time with football recruiter Cooter Menkins, saying: “he’s the only one for me”. (I feel a song coming on…)
Enter Noah Puckerman, jamming out to Melissa Etheridge’s “I’m The Only One”. I admit I’ve never been a terribly big fan of Puck’s singing voice but he does a pretty decent job of this track, obviously singing it to Shelby who looks on while Quinn fumes with jealousy. At it’s conclusion, he covers by dedicating it to Santana and saying he is honored to have been “part of a phase” as she was figuring our her sexual preferences.
Quinn confronts Puck about singing to Shelby but Puck says the song was meant to be about his devotion to Beth. Quinn calls his bluff by inviting him to her house and propositioning sex, but Puck tells her that she`s shown herself to be crazy, high-maintenance and “pretty much the most selfish person I`ve ever met in my entire life” and that he’s not interested. (Contender for best line of the episode: “Thanks for the offer but, I’d rather raw dog a beehive”).
Finn approaches Santana again to try and get her motivated about the week’s assignment. Santana is still resisting, feeling like she’s being forced out of the closet but Finn is supporting his ass off. When Santana questions his motives Finn reveals that he heard about a young kid who made “one of those it gets better videos” who committed suicide a few weeks before. He adds that he worries about Santana not dealing with her feelings because she was his first and whether she likes it or not he genuinely cares about her and couldn’t live with himself if he didn’t do everything he could to help her when she needs it.
In one of the weirdest but more interesting musical numbers of the episode, Finn sings a very slow and sombre version of Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” as he sits and looks Santana point blank in the eye and we see her vulnerability as she starts to let herself feel the love her friends are trying to show her. At the end of the song, she stands and thanks Finn and embraces him (and the whole world weeps).
Coach Beiste decides to drop in to what may be Lima’s only restaurant: Breadsticks only to find that her man-candy; Cooter is there on a date with none other than Sue Sylvester. We learn that while Shannon seems to think her and Cooter’s relationship has been heating up – Cooter has gotten the opposite impression and thinks that Beiste just wants to be friends and workout buddies. Beiste tells Cooter that she thought they were serious about eachother, heartbroken. (The world continues to weep…)
EDIT: I would like to take a moment to advise that the irony/hilarity in having two rather butch women who battle the percept that they’re manly or perhaps lesbian fighting over a man who’s name is also slang for a Vagina, is NOT lost on me. Perhaps in a future week, they should cover “Cooter” by Pandora Boxx. 😉
ELECTION DAY has arrived and as luck would have it, both the McKinley High Senior Class Presidential Election and the Lima Congressional Election are both happening in the high school auditorium. We see several of the Glee kids step into the voting booth to cast their ballots, some voting Britney, some Kurt (and Puck voting for Ross Per). Kurt is terrified he won’t win and won’t get into NYADA, but seems resigned to take the high road and not try and manipulate the process.
Meanwhile, Sue parades her new trophy guy for the press in front of poor Beisty’s face. She confides in Emma and Will about what went down at Breadsticks and says it feels like she’s living an old country song. (Hmmm… I wonder if one might be coming up…) Emma tells her that she needs to fight for her man and tell him how she feels before it’s too late and Will assures her that Sue is just using Cooter for the campaign. Will and Emma run off to vote for Congress and leave Coach Beiste to sing a surprisingly good rendition of the Dolly Parton classic: “Jolene”! (More Dot Marie Jones please!)
Much to Santana’s horror, it seems the slur campaign that threatened to out her publically has begun as students all through the halls of McKinley are staring her down, many of them with creepily hungry eyes. One such creeper, the sleazy looking Rugby captain named Josh Coleman says that girls like her are “just a challenge” and he’s willing to “make her normal”. When the other Glee girls come to her defense he calls them all a “bunch of lesbos” and they embrace it, resulting in the following FABULOUS musical number:
On a side note, I have never really enjoyed Katy Perry’s “I Kissed A Girl” until this scene happened. I’ve always found it obnoxious but within this context as a kiss off song to a homophobic jock. I loved it!
After the song ends, Santana reveals to the two Glee clubs that she’s come out to her parents and that they have accepted her fully. She has only one challenge left and that is to tell her Grandmother the news. This happy announcement is interrupted by Principal Figgins who is there to see Kurt and asks him to come to the Principal’s Office. (Dun Dun Dun…...)
After congratulating Burt on his early lead in the Congressional race, Figgins reveals that there’s been a problem with the vote count for Senior Class President. Not only did Kurt come out on top, but he did so by an overwhelmingly impossible margin. Kurt pleads with them that he did not cheat, but he’s told that he could face suspension for it.
Kurt runs into Finn and Rachel in the hallway and tells them what’s happened before running off in tears to find Blaine. Rachel confesses to Finn that she stuffed the ballots because she needs Kurt to win so he can come to NYADA. Finn tells her that she has to confess her crimes to Figgins because if not, this will ruin Kurt’s chances completely AND get him suspended.
A newly academic Puck turns several heads in Math class by answering a question the teacher posed to the group before getting a phone call to go to the hospital. It’s Shelby and something is wrong with Beth. He does, of course, rush to her side and she says she shouldn’t have called him but she doesn’t have anyone else. It turns out that Beth fell and drove her bottom tooth through her lip and now requires stitches. Puck embraces Shelby and she rests her head on his shoulder.
Cut to him laying in her bed after they’ve finished having sex. Yep, they went there. I still hate this whole storyline as much as I did last time and the time before that but I’ve started to accept it’s inevitability. Shelby (as usual) tells Puck that it’s a mistake and that they can’t be together. Puck tries to sell her on it a little but Shelby tells him to leave and that what they did was wrong. His feelings are hurt and he calls her a coward and storms out.
Santana’s second attempt to come out to her family doesn’t go as well as the first. She sits down with her Grandmother and tells her that she has something important to say. We see in their initial interactions that they are very close and that they love eachother very much. She starts by saying how much her Grandmother has inspired her by being a strong woman who was never afraid to live by her own terms and later reveals: “I love girls.. the way that I’m supposed to feel about boys” and that she’d tried so hard to push the feelings away that “everday just feels like a war… and I don’t want to fight anymore; I’m just too tired”. As she continues to bear her soul it is evident from the look on her Grandmother’s face that she is not happy. She tells Santana that some secrets are meant to be kept, that she’s “made her choice” and that she never wants to see her again. She stands and walks away as Santana pleads with her to reconsider. The scene is heartbreaking and Naya Rivera at her very best.
Suddenly we transport to Quinn’s bedroom where it seems that she’s trying to seduce Puck. Still fuming from Shelby’s rejection, he refuses her advances and believes she’s trying to get pregnant again since she can’t have Beth. Puck realizes that Quinn is a mess from everything she’s been through and apologizes to her that he hasn’t tried to help her through any of what she’s been going through since he got her pregnant. He tells her that she’s special and that he knows she’ll make something of herself someday and get out of Lima. She asks him to hold her and spend the night and he obliges. She asks why he’s so upset and he says he’ll tell her but she has to keep it a secret. (Predictable Storyline alert… Dear God, Puck.. if you tell her the truth she’s going to use it to get the child taken from Shelby.. *facepalm*)
Beiste goes to Cooter and tells him as Sue watches that she’s in love with him and she refuses to give him up without a fight. Sue doesn’t say much, but Cooter looks conflicted.
We close the episode in the choirroom, like almost always. Will and Shelby talk to the rival Glee clubs and thank them for participating in the assignment and allude to next week being Sectionals. Rachel is missing and Finn says she is “taking care of stuff”. We learn in a sentence or two from Kurt that Burt Hummel won the Congressional Race and Brittany won the Senior Class Presidential Race. No hard feelings however!
Will invites Santana to close the week’s assignment with her own song and she begins performing K.D. Lang’s “Constant Craving” which is undoubtedly the BEST NUMBER of this episode and definitely in the top 5 of this Season so far (probably my second favorite after last week’s Adele Mash-Up). It’s inter-cut with scenes of Shelby singing about her conflicted feelings for Puck and the two sound great together!
At the end of the number, Rachel Berry comes into the room crying and reveals that she told Figgins she corrupted the vote. The worst part: She’s been suspended and won’t be allowed to perform at Sectionals. [The-End]
- I don’t have much bad to say about this episode, actually, aside from the fact that Puck & Shelby did the deed. I think that if we have to put up with this stupid teacher & student romantic attraction we could have just had it bubbling under and made it more about Shelby`s struggle to NOT let the sex happen. The closing number would have remained powerful and it could all go away soon. Now, since it`s likely he`s told Quinn about the sex, (did you SEE the glare she gave Shelby in the episode finale?) It seems likely that Quinn will expose the scandal to have Beth taken from her in hopes of regaining custody (unlikely, though sweetie!). This also makes Puck the dumbest guy ever considering what an unstable, raging bitch Quinn has been this year.. why the hell would he tell her something so incriminating?
Overall, this was one of the better episodes in Season 3 thus far! I do need to watch again (Since I started blogging and live-tweeting I spend more time commenting and making notes than enjoying the episodes!).
Next week sees the return of Sam “Trouty Mouth” Evans – just in time for Sectionals (WITHOUT RACHEL BERRY!?? It seems New Directions don’t have a hope in hell since Santana and Mercedes belong to the other team.) O-M-Glee, what will happen???
As always, I’ll be live tweeting my reactions on Twitter and writing my rather excessive thoughts and recap points here. To all of you who read, thanks so much for tuning in and please, please, PLEASE leave comments and discuss! I always answer back!