New Directions – Keep Holding On
Sophy says: Okay, the first thing that struck me about this, beyond the fact that Rachel is turning around and shamelessly singing to Quinn about how she should keep holding on and they’ll make it through and Quinn is practically crying about it… QUINN ALWAYS CRIES.
Um. The first thing that struck me about this was how fucking Big Love it gets at the end there. Really, this is one of those times when it would have been appropriate for there to have been a different formation when the hand-holding starts, because seriously, the sight of Finn squeezing in there between the girl he (thinks he) knocked up and the girl he was making out with the other day and taking both their hands is SO FUCKING WRONG AND SO FUCKING HILARIOUS THAT I CAN’T EVEN PROCESS IT.
I mean. Couldn’t he have just held Quinn’s hand? Or if he really needed to make it a threesome maybe it could have been someone who doesn’t make him happy in his pants? Like, say, Mike. Mike could have held his other hand. That would have been nice.
Other things I love about this include but are not limited to the way Quinn looks at Rachel, Kurt and Quinn’s insane adorableness dancing together that makes me so sad the only real interactions they’ve had on the show have made me want to rip Kurt’s head off. I LOVE KURT’S HEAD YOU GUYS. I LOVE IT ON HIS BODY?
Um. Also, Tina’s outfit. Also Heather’s ass. I’m sorry but it is just special. The way Quinn looks at Rachel. And her face at the end there. Really, that grand, tearful exhalation Dianna does is a sign of things to come, in that by season three she’s going to be blowing us away with her acting, and also in that Quinn really, really has miles to go before she gets to be happy and at Yale and Rachel’s girlfriend.
MILES TO GO.
Rin says: LITTLE MISS MUFFET, COUNTING DOWN FROM 730.
I remember when I first watched this performance, I was a little moved by how heart warming it was. And I wasn’t even in the Faberry place yet. But when you see these kids band together for Quinn, someone who isn’t exactly sunshine and puppy dogs, and is barely friends with half of them and most likely wouldn’t return the favour.. it becomes a really nice gesture. The reason they do it is because she’s a part of Glee, and they take care of their own — which is the spirit of the club and the spirit of the show.
And I adore that. Here’s a show that yes, has conflict and all of the bitchyness you expect in a television show with teenagers, but it also has these incredible moments where it shows teens to be capable of a lot more than that. And I have a lot of respect for shows that respect their young characters. Skins did it best. Glee does it well.
And while we’re on the subject of being a lot more than that… is this song Faberry? Absolutely.
How can it be anything but Faberry, when the scene that leads into the song is Rachel looking on at Finn holding a crying Quinn. Maybe wishing that she had tried harder to make sure the story was never leaked, cause then she wouldn’t have to be standing there across the hallway, watching Quinn look so incredibly small and broken.
And then the song starts playing, and we fade into Rachel staring at Quinn. And this is the way Rachel makes it better. I have no doubts in my mind that Rachel orchestrated the whole thing, a performance dedicated to Quinn to show how they’ll support her and they’ll make it through. And you know, last episode Rachel was all about telling Quinn how she’s going to need friends that can relate, and how they’re going to be the only thing she has left. And in this episode, this is her proving it.
One of the big things about Faberry is that they’ll never stop being there for each other when it matters most.
And the exhale at the end is one of my favourite ways a Glee episode has ended.
Sophy says: DRIZZLE. I JUST. HIS FACE. AND THEN HER FACE. AND I JUST. I DON’T.
This is why I wish they hadn’t committed so damn doggedly to Finn being one half of an OTP. It seriously impedes his ability to be hilariously stupid and amazing like this. I’m not going to say that Finn/Quinn was in any way a functional or desirable relationship, but Finn sure was a lot more fun when he was in it.
Rin says: The fucking football as the dot for the i kills me. It’s so LAME and STUPID and I just
Cory has such an adorable and mushy face. I love it.
Dianna has the greatest face that has ever existed. I will love it forever.
One of my favourite things is also what follows this scene. Where Brittany just TAKES Quinn’s test to copy from and Quinn is all angry and takes it back. AND BRITTANY, ‘I just don’t understand anything.’ ‘That’s not my problem!’
Oh man. And I think that’s the most Quinn and Brittany ever talk to each other without Santana. For the entire show. lols.
Sophy says: OMG YES, THAT MOMENT. Adorable. Still not random enough yet though, sorry Britt.
Sophy says: I fucking love her, I’m sorry. She’s just vile and spectacular. CLOSE UP THEIR LEGS AND WALK ON OVER TO DR CHIN. And “I hate you, Will,” is probably the greatest moment in the show’s history, AND I’M NOT EVEN THAT MUCH OF A WILL-HATER MOST DAYS.
Rin says: I loved Terri’s sister. Not enough to stress my brain to try and remember her name, but enough to look back fondly and reminisce about how wonderfully not-PC she was.
Quinn’s got a lot she needs to express.
Sophy says: This. This was. This was the most ridiculous thing that has ever happened. Bar nothing. The guy without thumbs eating a thumb. Brittany trying to make her cat poo candy. Artie’s magic legs. Sue marrying herself. Finn wanting to be an actor. Rachel sending Sunshine to a crack den, the Bieber episode, Figgins believing in vampires.
NONE OF IT COMPARES TO THIS FOR SHEER FUCKING RIDICULOUS.
AND BY RIDICULOUS I MEAN AMAZING.
AND BY AMAZING I MEAN GAY.
I’m sorry to be so blunt, but this is the most homosexual thing I’ve ever seen a supposedly heterosexual female do.
She had a fantasy in which she turned her fellow cheerleaders into jocks.
BIG, SEXY, LESBIAN JOCKS.
And then she danced around them and rubbed up against things with her mouth open.
I mean. I don’t even know what the concept behind this could possibly be other than ‘Quinn is actually gay’. AND IT’S NOT JUST THE CONCEPT, IT’S THE EXECUTION. LIKE. THERE’S AN ACTUAL CAP OF QUINN LOOKING AT ONE THE GIRL’S CROTCHES WHILE SHE ROLLS OVER. YES, I INCLUDED IT ON PURPOSE. NO, I HAVE NO SHAME. ALL EVIDENCE IS ADMISSIBLE. I FIND IN FAVOUR OF THE GAYSPONDENT.
GAY GAY GAY GAYGDYAGYDGYADGYAGFEKFH;KEJ.
Okay, I’m trying to calm down. But really, looking back this is one of those times when I’m sure that she was meant to be in the closet early on. Perhaps it was just an idea – just a sketch for a possible future Quinn – maybe it’s nothing more than something they were keeping the door open on and then they decided to close it for whatever reason. It’s too weird having the pregnant girl be a lesbian? It’s too weird having two head cheerleaders in a row be lesbians and another one be bisexual? I don’t know. All I know is that if you look at Quinn’s narrative for the first block of 13 episodes it paints a completely coherent picture of a young girl who is majorly confused about her sexuality and majorly repressing that confusion.
And you know, Rachel’s the catalyst for it all to come tumbling out a bit, because isn’t Rachel always the catalyst for Quinn?
This? All of this – from the moment Quinn slams the locker and says “Listen up, treasure trail,” to that final shot of her standing out on the pitch alone, hot, bothered and out of breath… this is one of Faberry’s greatest hits. And I am just crazy about it in retrospect. I am just crazy about Quinn storming up to Rachel and getting as close as she possibly can to her face, which is pretty close, because she’s so angry, and isn’t that a convenient excuse to relieve the tension between them that Quinn can’t shake? And she calls her treasure trail, which, of course, Quinn is always sexualizing and masculinizing Rachel, sure, but this one goes one step further, because treasure trail, really? What struck me about her using that expression was that a treasure trail is something a lot of girls actually have. It’s just a matter of how visible it is, and I would hazard a guess that Quinn would hazard a guess that Rachel, being Jewish and a brunette, would indeed have the kind of treasure trail that you can see up close.
And I just. I’m going to this really gay and really adorable place where when Quinn tries to insult Rachel she actually just ends up paying unusual levels of attention to her vagina.
And then she looks at Rachel and she literally bursts into song.
LITERALLY BURSTS INTO SONG.
RACHEL’S VAGINA? THE HILLS ARE ALIVE?
Okay just. This scene is why I find it stunning that some people don’t’ understand Faberry – that they don’t see why it’s more passionately shipped than many mainstream couples. I really shouldn’t have to explain myself. It’s all there. I mean, let’s look at the way this episode has been framed and count the ways it’s all about Faberry. Here, Quinn is singing with brittle panic that somebody doesn’t really love her and is just keeping her hanging on. I say somebody because it’s unclear who Quinn’s referring to here, if it’s a specific person at all. You might think the natural interpretation is that she’s referring to Finn, who’s horsing around with Rachel all the time while she’s carrying his baby – for all intents and purposes – but really her focus isn’t on him for very long, and even when it is it’s still very much on Rachel too. The other person she watches while she pours her heart out is Sue, as in her notably butch Cheer coach whose favour may be slipping from her grasp. Other than that it’s pretty much just a big butch free-for-all.
But you know what’s so amazing? The fact that Quinn sings so angrily, to Rachel, because of Rachel, about how nobody really loves her and they all just keep her hanging on… and then at the end of the episode Rachel sings to Quinn, because of Quinn, about how she’ll be by her side and she’ll hold her hand and she needs to keep holding on and you guys. YOU GUYS???
This episode, in a Faberry nutshell, is Quinn feeling insecure and lonely and misunderstood and guilty and small and lost and unloved… and lashing out at Rachel about it… who assures her earnestly that she is none of those things. It’s kind of going to be a theme with them, don’t you know? It’s kind of going to be how Quinn ends up at Yale and Rachel is the one person she wants to take with her.
And finally, I must note that Santana and Quinn look like a couple of fierce gay cheerleading amazon women in their closeup.
Rin says: I have no idea how to follow any of this. But there were a lot of images that Sophy has conjured up in my head, and I’m not exactly certain what they are, but I’m also not hating them.
And there was a part where I ended up literally screaming nonsense at my monitor because I couldn’t handle it. Sophy’s whole end bit where Quinn is angry and insecure and lashes out, but in the end Rachel turns around and quells all of that.
Faberry have storylines that are purposely constructed to show all of their push and pulls, and contradictions. And that’s why they read so ‘otp’ to me, because they’re written like one. You don’t pay as much attention to a relationship if it’s not important, if it’s not meant to all mean something. Every scene, every piece of dialogue, every action.. everything with Faberry is meaningful and none of it is a throwaway. And that’s why Faberry are so important to us, because they’re important to each other.
OKAY THE SCENE BEFORE THE SONG. THE SMACKDOWN. For as much as I love the mushy parts of Faberry, I would just love to BATHE in the angry, frustrated Faberry forever. BECAUSE LOOK AT THEM. They’re all up in each others business, and when Rachel tries to walk away the first time, Quinn grabs her arm and spins her around. You know, the way people sometimes do when they’re about to dramatically kiss? And then when Rachel walks off the second time Quinn follows, all stomping and angry amused. AND THEN. MY FAVOURITE BIT IS WHEN SHE TWIRLS AROUND HER, AND THEY HAVE THEIR BEAUTY AND THE BEAST MOMENT AND JESUS FUCKING CHRIST. THE UST.
And then Rachel says something about ripping Quinn’s uniform off with her bare hands. Or says that about Sue doing so. Or something. Either way, Rachel has thought about it.
And then Quinn is all, YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW MUCH I NEED TO EXPRESS!!!
I really fucking love this song. It’s so cute from Dianna. Because she sings so much higher than she does now, and her voice feels smaller. It’s just adorable, okay? Especially when there’s that break in the song and she says, ‘And there aint nothing I can do about it!’ OMG. BE CUTER
And yes, gayest thing I’ve ever seen on tv.
This is Quinn’s head. THIS IS QUINN FABRAY’S FANTASY. Hot girls in skimpy footballer uniforms, pelvic thrusting all over the place, while she pushes herself up against stuff. I just. How did this even make it on free-to-air television?
I’m a bit upset they weren’t all dressed in argyle, but whatever.
Sophy says: ‘Fantasy in argyle.’ I’m sure that one’s played in Quinn’s head plenty.
Also, may I bags the gif that is cap 7 to cap 8 when the Quinning begins? Many thanks.
Most Retrospectively Ironic Moment
Kurt thinks they sing too many showtunes.
Sophy says: And he likes Mercedes better than Rachel. Lol, stop living a lie Kurt.
Rin says: Even Mike is smiling in disbelief at Kurt. “Lol, yeah right Kurt” he’s saying.
Rophy Says No!
Sophy says: I love how people call Rachel selfish and yet Mercedes was ready to sell Will and those darned whities out for Sue Sylvester of all people and with that look on her face because she thought it was going to be “great”. At least the other kids had the decency to have some reservations about it.
Again, I wouldn’t even notice something like this if it weren’t in such close proximity to Mercedes judging Rachel for being a selfish-ass diva, and if it weren’t for the fact that fandom goes around treating ‘Rachel is a selfish-ass diva’ as a fact and there is no such equivalent fact-bandying with respect to Mercedes.
Rin says: Yeah, that’s probably why we feel the need to take Mercedes down a peg or two. Because the fandom never really does. Mercedes is just as culpable for being everything that fandom uses against Rachel, but she never takes any of the heat. We like to level out that playing field, just a little.
Well okay, she may be getting a few more No’s in the future.
But in the greater scheme of things, this is all nitpicking, and more about the injustices of fandom.
Sophy says: Yeah. Honestly, when Glee is so good that you have to get up in Mercedes’ face all the time just to find a ‘No,’ you know you’re watching some pretty flawless TV.
Head In Hands
Rachel’s knickers. Etcetera.
Sophy says: Okay, okay, I know how the dominant reading of the text goes. And it is sweet and lovely and I love it, I do. Rachel sells Jacob Israel her undies in order to save Finn from humiliation and trouble. That’s nice. But the resistant reading is even nicer: Rachel sells Jacob Israel her undies in order to save Quinn from humiliation and trouble. And really, is it such a resistant reading? I mean, Quinn’s the one who’s really going to suffer if news of the pregnancy gets out, we see that very clearly in due course. There are no consequences for Finn – or for Puck once he’s found to be the actual daddy – but Quinn? She gets all the fucking consequences. The consequences where her dad watches her cry and plead for his love and walks away. The consequences where she gets abruptly kicked out of her home. The consequences where she gets abruptly kicked out of the Cheerios by the coach who once prized her. The way I see it, Rachel’s trying to do her bit to help save her from that, or at least to let her deal with it on her own terms in her own time. I mean, let’s just call it even. She does what she does with her knickers for Finn and Quinn. And you can’t tell me it’s just Quinn-because-of-Finn, not when she’s going to turn around and look Quinn square in the eyes and sing her feelings to her at her at the end of the episode.
AND HER KNICKERS? SERIOUSLY? I BET ISRAEL ONSOLD THEM TO MISS FABRAY IN SEASON 2?
Rin says: Do you guys think Rachel bought those undies as a secret present for Quinn? To match her eyes.
I am completely on board with Sophy’s rationalisation of Rachel’s motives. Are we surprised at all? Nope? Neither.
Also Lea kills me. Scroll up and look at that 3rd cap! That scrunched up face while pointing is the greatest. It reminds me of one of my other favourite faces of all time, Leslie Knope when she’s looking on from behind the glass at Greg Pikitis. Seriously.
Sophy says: TO MATCH HER EYES. TO. MATCH. HER. EYES.
I just really like the idea that Rachel’s knickers might need, for whatever reason, to match Quinn’s eyes.
Sophy says: A classic.
Rin says: SANTANA AND HER LITTLE C, ACCOMPANIED WITH THE SMILE.
I really need more ridiculous Jane Lynch, and less ridiculous pregnancy.
Also, Mike is once again, putting in his best background acting foot forward.
Sophy says: Mike really is a lot more special in the background than I gave him credit for the first time around.
We like to think of rophydoes as a rainbow tent that protects you from racism.
Sophy says: THE RAINBOW TENT. BRITTANY WANTS IN. ARE WE SURPRISED?
So Britt’s not strictly allowed to be random yet, but she’s still adorable as hell sitting there being all befuddled but totally intrigued about a tent made of big gay love. And the following was just unbearably wrong and funny: “I know the Dutch are famous for being a cold people, but that’s no excuse for treating you like some half-price hooker in Amsterdam’s famous red light district.” This is the pitch-black comedy that used to balance out Glee’s after school special side. The racism angle this episode takes as a whole and the fearlessness with which Jane Lynch goes to the ‘teen prostitution is funny’ place. It makes me sad that as the show has grown it’s lost a lot of that early irreverence.
Glee cops a lot of flack in fandom for being (I believe) inadvertently offensive with respect to just about everything in the book, from race issues to to women’s lib to gay rights to suicide to “rich white girl problems” to trashing the straight, white male, to exalting the straight white male… I’ve participated in the bitching plenty, and I do feel it’s important to keep TV on its toes by noticing these things. But at the same time, I feel like we should all acknowledge more often how hard Glee tries. Because it really does try, more than most shows, to send a message of love and acceptance for all people. I feel like in recent times they’ve caved to the pressure a bit and tried harder and harder to be politically correct, when really the, shall we say, disrespectful gags were never the problem in the first place. In fact they were necessary. Glee is at its best when it’s a special mix of cynical and sweet, hilariously sharp-tongued and gorgeously naive. With season 4 fast approaching I’d love to see a little more bite in the show. And no, Kate Hudson lying rudely about being a good dancer is not going to cut it.
Just so we’re clear.
Rin says: But Sophy! We’re the most bigoted people in ALL THE LANDS! Haven’t you been paying attention to our comments?
Right there with you in trying to make a better effort in acknowledging the best in Glee, rather than the worst.
There has never been a prime-time show that has had as much diversity as Glee has.
And you know what I kind of hate, and feel like is becoming more common everyday? The fact that fandom has turned into one big parents television council.
SERIOUSLY. Every fucking day I read shit about people getting offended on behalf of others. And just? When did everyone get so fucking sensitive and righteous? I am right there with Sophy, if something is super wrong I will be the first to call them out on it. But also remember that this is television and its primary purpose is to entertain you.
Something I have always felt strongly about is that television does not have a duty to teach us things about the way we should behave as human beings. So many people have the attitude that tv is supposed to serve them, when I completely feel like it’s supposed to be the other way around. Like, ‘oh my god, this tv show is showing a lesbian sleeping with a guy! NOT ALL LESBIANS SLEEP WITH GUYS!’ … well. Some do. And some don’t. The point is that, it’s a character that these people have created. They have the right to make the character do whatever they please, it’s their creation, and most likely they didn’t create the character for you.
People want to see themselves represented fairly on screen, I get that. But like.. okay. Example time! Let’s delve into something about how Glee is racist because its ‘minority’ characters are never front and centre. First of all, Asians aren’t a minority. There’s over a billion of us. And if Tina was front and centre, what exactly do you think that would prove? That Asians exist? Well, yes, they do. You probably know some! Tina isn’t front and centre, because Tina isn’t a well-rounded out character. This may change, and I hope it does, but because I want to know about Tina, not because I need a strong Asian role model. I have my mum for that, thank you very much. And anyway, the character I relate to most on Glee is Quinn, and we don’t share any of the same experiences. At all. There is very little we share in fact, but I still feel the most for her. All the time, always.
And I get the other side of the coin too, where why oh why aren’t there are Asian leads in any show ever? Well, there probably are some in China. Maybe a few. But in the western world? Not so much. I fully believe there should be more lead roles (that aren’t stereotypes) for non-Caucasians. And I’m not even going to try and pretend to know the first thing about how to make that happen, but it might be something along the lines of, the right script, the right actors and a network with enough balls to take a chance.
Anyhoo, I’m way off-base at this point. The base is a dot to me.
I just have a lot of feelings sometimes.
IT’S LIKE. VIOLENCE ON TV = MORE VIOLENT PEOPLE. NO. NO. That is NOT how it happens.
Sophy says: The jury’s out for me as to whether there’s a causal link between fake violence and real violence, but I’m totally with you overall. I would never want to say that you can’t learn things from TV – small things like how not to wear florals, as well as big things, like what the point of love really is. TV has been one of my greatest teachers. But the bottom line is that it isn’t supposed to be a handbook on how to live your life, and when it tries to be it’s almost always fucking trite and boring. I think Spike said it best when he said “I’m not good, but I’m okay.” TV characters shouldn’t have to be created or portrayed in ways that are unerringly appropriate or slavishly dedicated to changing the world for the better. They should, first and foremost, be interesting.
But you know, it is a balance. I’d never want to preach to people about being chilled out about TV, because that would make me the most jumbo-sized hypocrite on this earth. I want everyone to rant their little hearts out, just like I do, whenever they feel it’s warranted, and even sometimes when they know it’s probably not but they’re too fired up to help themselves. But I do think that we sometimes we need to step back and appreciate that a show is overall a force for good in the world, and overall damn entertaining. And that’s Glee.
Also, I want more Asian people on television.
Quinn Glory Shot
Just don’t do it with her.
Sophy says: JUST. DON’T. DO. IT. WITH. HER.
Because that’s the whole fucking point right there isn’t it.
Rachel is the whole point for Quinn.
Rin says: This whole thing, I die for this whole thing.
The thing where Quinn is basically saying she would understand if Finn cheated on her with anyone but Rachel. Because what is up with that exactly? It’s Quinn, on some level, confirming that her feelings for Finn and the reasons for dating him aren’t exactly pure. And her feelings for Rachel aren’t as simple as ‘Me: Queen, Rachel: Loser’ and it’s a lot more complicated and messy than she’d like to admit.
There’s also the bit Quinn says just before, “You think she did that for me? Just to be a good teammate?” It’s half, Oh Finn please, you naive sophisticated newborn baby. And it’s half Quinn not even allowing herself to think for a second that Rachel could possibly have done it a bit for her too. She wants to make Rachel the villain, because last time Rachel was nice to her it made things confusing and she found herself turning around and watching Rachel leave.
Quinn isn’t telling Finn not to cheat altogether, just don’t do it with her. She doesn’t want Finn all to herself, he wants him to stay away from Rachel. And yes, it’s because she feels threatened by Rachel and Finn, and their connection. But shouldn’t she be worried about that too if Finn was to cheat on her with someone else? Isn’t that the entire point of, if it happened, Finn cheating — would be because he liked another girl. So that logic is kind of flawed.
It’s just the fact that Quinn will spend the next three seasons trying to keep Rachel and Finn apart. And it’s not because she wants Finn for herself.
So what other possible reason could it be?
Because it’s a major constant with Quinn. Um, as in, Rachel is a constant with Quinn.
Just don’t do it with her.
No more songs with her.
Because of Rachel? Because you still love her?
She has love.
Maybe it’s because she doesn’t want Rachel to be happy. Maybe it’s because she wants to send Rachel on her way.
Maybe it’s because a part of Quinn has always felt like she’s tethered to Rachel.
Sophy says: I WANT HER TO BE TETHERED. PHYSICALLY TETHERED. I WANT QUINN TO VISIT RACHEL IN NEW YORK AND TIE A STRING AROUND HER NECK AND AROUND RACHEL’S HAND. AND THERE MAY BE A BELL INVOLVED.
Look, there’s this thing I remember talking about in a Skins recap, with respect to Freddie/Effy/Cook, called, if I remember correctly, ‘Triangulation of desire,’ and I think that’s what’s going on here. Triangulation of desire is basically when one person has romantic or sexual or emotional interactions with one person primarily because they are close to another person. Basically it’s a situation where a whole relationship one person has with another is in fact all about another relationship that person wishes they could have with that third person. I may have my theories about how Rachel is so damn fixated on Finn as an essential part of her success and happiness, partly as an extension of a much more serious fixation on Quinn and all the ways she represents success and happiness to her. Those are just theories, and I can understand people pooh-poohing them. But things on Quinn’s end? They’re a lot more in your face.
This moment makes it completely obvious that Finn is romantically and emotioanlly irrelevant for Quinn except insofar as he relates to Rachel.
I wonder if he’s sexually irrelevant to her except insofar as he relates to Rachel too?