The Glee-kly Recap: Glee Pays Tribute in “Dance With Somebody”

Well hello again Gleeks, is it that time again!? It feels like I just finished last week’s recap and it’s already time for another. True; that may be because I literally just finished last week’s recap mere hours before this week’s episode aired, but no matter.

This week Glee paid tribute to the late legend, Whitney Houston. I’m all loaded up with tissues, popcorn and a chocolate bar so I can eat my feelings before they come pouring out!  I think I am ready for this. How about you?

Just in case you didn’t catch Glee last week:
(Here’s what you missed, on GLEE!)

We jump right in with a song! Mercedes stands in the hallway at McKinley in front of a locker that has been decorated as a shrine. She is staring at a photograph of Whitney Houston as she begins the opening lines of one of her most iconic songs: “How Will I Know” as Mr. Schue watches from the sidelines. The following two minutes and thirty-three seconds of gorgeous, acapella perfection is to follow:

(GLEE!)

Will tells Emma that he’s concerned about how hard the kids have taken Whitney Houston’s passing, stating that while he understands she was an icon that it’s been two months and they’re still devastated. Emma can relate to how the students are feeling and she tells him how devastated she was when Princess Diana died, which would have been in her own senior year of high school. She says she believes her reaction to the death of Diana was a physical representation of her own pain; it represented the loss of her childhood. She thinks Whitney is filling that role for the members of New Directions as they contemplate all the big changes that graduating and moving on from McKinley will bring.

Later at glee club practice, Mr. Schue tells New Directions that for this week’s assignment they will be doing songs by Whitney Houston. It’s met with a little bit of pushback as Sam points out that Whitney had a turbulent and dark time in her life leading up to her death and several adoring glee clubbers immediately come to her defense. Mr. Schue adds that this is not about passing judgement on Whitney’s life but about celebrating her legacy and furthermore, to express and explore what’s “really going on” with them. (Lots of upcoming changes and goodbyes, etc.) New Directions argue that he’s way off-base about their reasons for mourning Whitney’s death but are excited about the assignment nonetheless.

In the hallway, Kurt tells Blaine how excited he is about Whitney week and says he may kill two birds with one stone and do a Whitney number for his upcoming NYADA audition. Blaine seems distant and not his usually warm and overly cheesy self. Later, Kurt is browsing at “Between The Sheets” (Lima’s main source for sheet music and stylish gays) looking for the perfect Whitney song to pick for the week’s assignment when from behind one of the store shelves emerges a young, hipster-looking kid who identifies himself as Chandler from North Lima and compliments Kurt on his ever-so stylish accessories. We learn he is preparing to audition for a program at NYU for the fall. The two hit it off right away with Chandler fawning over Kurt just enough to stroke his ego. He asks Kurt for his number and Kurt seems to consider it.

Cut to the next day at Glee club, where Brittany (in her first song in a long while, it seems) is performing an amped up (very autotuned) dance mix of “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me).” She starts the track solo in the choir room, trying to get several New Directions members to dance with her (including an uncomfortable looking Quinn), but is soon joined by Santana and we’re swept away into the auditorium. There, they are accompanied by a group of Cheerios in a wonderfully choreographed production number! The best part is that they have changed the lyrics to apply to them as a teenage lesbian couple. (“I need a woman who’ll take a chance, on a love that burns hot enough to last..”) Adorable!

In the hallway after practice, Joseph (a.k.a. Teen Jesus) checks in with Quinn to make sure she’s okay after the obvious discomfort over Brittany’s number in Glee club. She assures him she’s doing fine and when he asks about her physical therapy she reveals that it hasn’t been going well. He offers to accompany her to her next session and she questions his motives. He tells her that he cares about her and wants to help.

Next, Mr. Schue surprises Emma by hiring a well-known Ohio wedding planner to help them get ready for the wedding. Emma says she isn’t sure they need a planner just yet, as they are planning to marry in December. Will says he wants to move the wedding up to the month of May, but Emma tries to talk him out of the idea and assures him there’s no need to rush.

Rachel notices that Kurt appears to be doing a lot of texting and assumes he’s receiving cute texts from Blaine. Kurts tells her about Chandler and Rachel seems shocked and concerned that Kurt seems disenchanted with Blaine right now (and rather excited about these text exchanges with his new friend). Kurt tells Rachel that he and Blaine seem to be suffering from “Lesbian Bed Death” (when the thrill of infatuation wears off and you become more “like brothers.”) Blaine has seemed distant lately and doesn’t make him feel special. Rachel asks if he would ever tell Blaine about the text messages with Chandler and Kurt quickly says he wouldn’t, leading Rachel to suggest that maybe there’s more to this than he’s willing to admit to himself.

Later, in the choirroom – Joe and Quinn perform their choice for this week’s assignment, the classic “Saving All My Love For You” which they practiced all week while Joe was accompanying Quinn to her physiotherapy sessions. During the song, we see clips of the two in Quinn’s sessions where we can see some romantic chemistry building up and at one point, Joseph seems ready to lean in for a kiss but resists, leaving Quinn looking defeated.

They sound pretty cute together. As they finish their song, he frequently kneels down to look her in the eyes as he sings to her and I don’t know about the rest of you but that had me swooning.

In what I believe is a Glee first, Rachel and Santana sing a fierce duet in Houston’s  “So Emotional,” arranged in this case, as a bit of a rock and roll number reminiscent of classic Tina Turner. The two sound great together and it’s a wonder they’ve never been paired up before aside from the fact that Santana has always claimed to hate Rachel. As the two perform, Kurt is busy exchanging somewhat risque and flirtatious texts with Chandler while Blaine looks on in confusion. Check out the fantastic number below:

Later in the Girls room, the New Directions ladies are teasing Quinn about the obviously budding romance between her and Joe. Quinn doesn’t think anyone could have feelings for her while she’s in a wheelchair and tells them that whether she likes him or not, that part of her life “is over.” She goes on to tell them about the near kiss, blaming Joseph’s pulling away on her condition.

Will arrives home that evening to find Emma working with the wedding planner. Emma tried to gently break the news to Will that there is no way they will be able to secure a location and organize a wedding with everything he wants to include (namely staging for he and New Directions to perform) on such short notice and recommends they push it later (September? November?) but Will is determined and unwilling to compromise.

In the boys locker room, Joe asks Sam for some advice about Quinn. He tells his fellow God-Squad member that when he was helping Quinn at rehab he was having some unpure throughts and wanted to know how to deal with them. Sam tells him that while he’s a Christian, he doesn’t believe that sex is a bad thing and doesn’t believe in saving himself for marriage. He urges Joe to take on a more “modern” state of Christian thinking and asks him if he would rather be closer to God or closer to Quinn.

Blaine finds the text messages on Kurt’s phone and confronts him. He asks Kurt if he likes Chandler and Kurt says that he likes the way Chandler makes him feel, adding that Blaine never tells him that he’s special or compliments him. Blaine feels betrayed. He gave up his friends and his life at Dalton to be with Kurt and feels that the text  message exchange with Chandler is equivalent to cheating. Kurt argues that Blaine did the same thing with Sebastian but Blaine returns that he never liked Sebastian. Kurt sees Blaine reaching a breaking point and tries to calm him by apologizing that the text messages upset him and saying “it’s okay”. In another awful Blaine moment, he responds with “It’s not right.. but it’s okay.”

This cheesy intro line is obviously followed-up with his performing the classic Whitney song by the same name in glee practice the next day, airing their dirty laundry for the whole group by dedicating it to “anyone who has ever been cheated on” and then singing it to Kurt in front of the group before stomping dramatically out of the choir room. Watch for yourself:

Rachel surprises Santana by approaching her at her locker and points out that the two of them have spent the majority of three years at each other’s throats when they could have been slaying duets in glee club. Santana admits that their duet was awesome and that the bad blood between them was mostly hers. Ever the bringer of the reality check, Rachel points out that there are only 42 days left before graduation and Santana, sobered by this fact, admits to Rachel that she’ll miss her. Rachel hands Santana a small picture of herself and asks if she will put it up in her locker, adding that at least they can spend their last 42 days at McKinley being friends before giving her a hug. After she walks away, Santana puts the picture up in her locker and smiles. (Awwww!!!!)

Cut to Kurt in his bedroom, deciding what to take with him to New York. Enter Burt Hummel, who takes up issue with some of the items Kurt will be throwing away or leaving behind. This leads to the two having a heart to heart about how they haven’t spent much time together lately. Burt admits that while he’s been busy with his newfound political career, he’s been spending more time at work so that he can continue to pretend that his little boy isn’t leaving him in a few months. As usual, Burt is the most amazing TV Dad ever and he brings on the world’s waterworks as the two embrace.

Perhaps stirred by his Father’s speech about how everything is about to change, we cut to the choir room the next day, where Kurt is performing “I Have Nothing” from the massive soundtrack to “The Bodyguard.” It’s a heartfelt performance, and he hardly diverts his eyes from Blaine’s for the duration of the song; the other members of New Direction even looking up at Blaine to see his reaction. At the end of the number, everyone claps, including a teary-eyed Blaine.

In another uncharacteristic show of sentimentality, Puck gives the guys all presents (stolen novelty shot glasses) to say goodbye and remind them of “all the bro-ments” they’ve had together.  He says he will miss them all and he loves them, and they all have a dry toast in the locker room with the shot glasses. (Cute moment, but utterly pointless, plot-wise.)

Blaine and Kurt go to Emma for some “couples counseling.” She tells them that brutal honesty is the cornerstone of every relationship and encourages them to openly discuss their differences. Beyond the Chandler incident, Blaine reveals that he’s sick of hearing about NYADA and New York and he feels like Kurt can’t wait to get away from him. Blaine isn’t a senior and in a few months Kurt will be gone and he will still be here in Ohio, alone.  He apologizes for being distant and says: “I’m just… trying to practice what life is going to be like without you.” Kurt promises that Blaine won’t lose him, they profess their love and embrace. (The Klaine shippers breathe a sigh of relief!)

After excitedly telling Emma that he’s figured out the perfect venue for their wedding (a campground? how romantic!) Emma finally calls Mr. Schue out on his odd behavior, saying “Will, the glee kids will come back for the wedding if it’s in November!” This strikes a nerve, causing Schue to cry out “… but what if they don’t!?” Just like the seniors, Will is afraid of the changes that will come this year. He’s grown so much from being their glee club coach and is afraid they’ll all move on and forget about him.  Emma tries to comfort him and reassures: “If we had our wedding ten years from now on the moon, those kids would be there!”

Cut to Joe with Quinn at physiotherapy again. The strange part about all of this is that he’s not just there for moral support, he’s actually doing the therapy and as her flexes one of her legs he gets a little too close and she can tell Teen Jesus is a little… excited. (This place should really lose their practitioner’s license.) He tells her that she’s the most beautiful (nice smelling) girl he’s ever met but she dismisses it. He scolds her for putting herself down and says he wishes she could see what he sees in her, that she’s perfect. (This would be the ideal moment for a One Direction number if it wasn’t an all-Whitney tribute!) After telling her that he would like to be her boyfriend but it scares him that she makes him not care about celibacy and being “right” with God, he asks: “So, what is this? You and Me?” and she cautiously answers: “I don’t know. Something new…” (What shall we call them? Jos-inn? Quoe? or my personal favorite: Qu-een Jesus!!!?)

Blaine approaches Kurt in the hallway, back to his old self. He compliments Kurt’s ensemble and suggests they skip glee practice to do something together. Today’s practice was apparently deemed by Mr. Schue to be optional and many of the other New Directions members made other plans as well. Kurt seems happy that he and Blaine are back to normal but says he wants to go to practice because they don’t have many left togther.

When they arrive in the auditorium, Mercedes and Artie are already singing the 1998 hit “My Love Is Your Love.” More and more voices add to the mix as all of the New Directions (minus Rory and Sugar, who I’m pretty certain never appear in the episode) decide to cancel their plans and come to Glee club. Mr. Schue saunters onto the stage, expecting a few stragglers, only to find that the whole gang is here – not because they have to be, but because they love each other and want to spend every moment together that they can before everything changes.

The episode ends with the locker shrine remembering Whitney taken down and replaced with photographs and memories of the time they have all spent together over the last three years. While change is inevitable, New Directions have learned that it is far better to celebrate their remaining time together than to wallow in their feelings of fear and pain. [The-End]

Main Beef:

  • I’m sorry Blaine, but how you handled all the relationship drama really isn’t okay. Yeah, Kurt’s behavior isn’t something to take lightly but If I were Kurt and you flipped out like that over some text messages and accused me of cheating (in song, no less) in front of our closest friends, I would probably be dumping your ass right now and calling Karofsky to ask “how YOU doin?” As much as I enjoy Darren Criss, I just don’t think he does a great job on these angry songs they seem to be setting him up with lately. His voice just doesn’t have the bite and they end up sounding flat to me. It’s nice to see some turbulence in their relationship for once though, and in the end I liked the storyline.

Overall, “Dance With Somebody” was a fitting tribute to Houston. There was a nice mix of arrangements true to the originals and some that were seemingly based on remixes released of the singles. The most stunning of the numbers was certainly the opener, as they chose to go for a stripped down, acapella version of “How Will I Know?” much like the original acapella that made the rounds online shortly after Houston’s death and made many a person (myself included), shed many tears.

Next week, we have “Choke” which will bring judgement day for Kurt and Rachel in their quest to get into NYADA. The fabulous Whoopi Goldberg will guest star as the recruiter. As always, you know I’ll be tweeting about it @ThePopMessiah and will follow up with yet another long-winded, but (hopefully) fun and engaging Glee-kly Recap!

What did y’all think of “Dance With Somebody”? Post your comments and feedback! I love a good discussion!

Until next time…

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