Rachel and Kurt – Defying Gravity
Sophy says: Hummelberry. It begins. This is the first of many show-stopping duets, and the perfect partner to their New York number from the same musical. By the time they’re singing on that Broadway stage, they have become friends – will become, and I quote, “soulmates: – they have been changed, because they knew each other.
At this stage, however, there’s still a certain amount of rivalry there, and also a certain amount of Everybody Hates Rachel. But mutual respect is emerging, gradually, and I really think that while Kurt was watching Rachel sing that wistful look on his face said “Okay. Alright. You really are the best.” That’s actually what I thought I was seeing when I first watched the episode: Kurt realizing that for all he shouldn’t be barred from getting the part because he’s a boy, Rachel shouldn’t be barred from getting it because she’s an ambitious little feather-ruffler everybody’s desperate to take down a peg. I thought I saw on Kurt’s face a melancholy acknowledgment that gender was no longer the issue – sheer ability was the issue – and on that issue Rachel Berry was winning, hands down. I thought he missed the high note because he was feeling emotional and didn’t have the drive to make it up there in the moment. Because he knew, whether he hit it or not, he’d already lost.
Of course all of the above turned out to be moot, because when Kurt talks to Burt we’re informed that he threw the note on purpose, because he realized, while sitting there, that singing the song in front of everybody would bring more abuse and harassment down on his dad than he could handle. And that’s nice. That’s lovely, actually. Lovely and sad and wrong and right. And the scene that ensues between Kurt and his dad is just beautiful. But I still think my conclusions whilst watching the two of them sing were more obvious than the actual conclusions.
Okay, I’m a rabid Rachel stan. Yes, that is what this is about. And I understand that this plotline wasn’t supposed to be about Rachel – it was Kurt’s. I get that. But the bottom line is that Rachel sang the song better than Kurt. Much, much better. This is not me dissing Chris Colfer. I love Chris Colfer. I think he has a beautiful voice. But with this particular song? Lea’s was just smoother, stronger and more nuanced, from start to finish. It sounded to me as though Kurt was reaching for the high notes, whereas Rachel was landing gracefully on top of them. She performed with an ease and an assurance that should have left the whole group speechless – that should have had Will in teacherly raptures.
But no. Everybody’s just disappointed that Kurt didn’t hit that high note, as though they would all have been ready to choose him as the winner if he had, as though they were all so damn disappointed that they couldn’t pick him over Rachel.
Rachel was right: it was a popularity contest. And whilst it’s natural to be bummed for your friend when they don’t perform well, it would have been nice to see the kids, or at least Will, give some joy to the girl who just sang her heart out?
Or, you know, maybe while he was talking to Burt, Kurt could have shrugged and said “Rachel was better than me anyway. And if I’d hit that high note, there’s no way she would have won.” With a wry smile: “I guess it’s good to know I’m popular.”
Chris Colfer’s little face is the most darling thing. It’s funny, because he’s grown into this handsome lean-cheeked lad in series 4 and when I look back at these caps I just… HIS DARLING LITTLE FACE.
Rin says: Oh my god, I LOVED THIS so much. And yeah, it’s so great to have the two Wicked songs be like bookends for the Hummelberry relationship. Wicked is one of my favourite musicals, and I think these two have done in justice both times, and it’s such an appropriate musical for the two of them. (It’s also really appropriate for two other people I know.)
I also read on the credible source, wikipedia, that this storyline was taken from Chris Colfer’s real life when he wanted to sing Defying Gravity in high school, but the teachers wouldn’t let him. (AND THEN HIS GRANDMA LET HIM SING IT IN HER CHURCH.) So while I totally agree that Rachel would have gotten the solo based on merit, and there probably needed to be more emphasis on that rather than the blown note, I do really love that they held the audition in the first place.
And why have we gotten two Rachel/Brody duets in season 4, and no Rachel/Kurt duets? What the fuck is wrong with Glee’s priorities?
Sophy says: I am so angry about this. Like, I reflect on my anger about this daily.
Artie – Dancing With Myself
Rin says: Oh my god, this was the absolute best. BEST. I actually just rewatched it to make sure that it was in fact the best, and yep, it is. I even feel a bit teary about it? I don’t know? But this follows directly after the rest of the Glee Club act like a bunch of asses and can’t be bothered to raise the money for Artie to be able to ride on the bus with them. And he’s obviously upset, but doesn’t want to make an issue out of it — instead he asks Mr Schue if he can use the auditorium to practice and .. and.. DANCES WITH HIMSELF. I JUST. DANCES. And the scene where he’s rolling down the hallway pulling all of his wheelchair moves is the greatest.
AND THEN THE SLOW-MO in the cafeteria when he’s singing about your empty eyes seem to pass my by and he’s looking on at Tina. OH MY GOD. It’s one of those moments that remind me of how BADLY Glee dealt with Tina/Artie and there really was a lot more to be explored between these two. I’m hoping we get at least some of them this season, that’d be nice, please and thank you.
I also love that Will watching Artie perform on stage was the push he needed to force the rest of the Glee Club to be good teammates and raise the money for Artie.
Sophy says: When I did my rewatch and this started happening I realized I’d mostly forgotten about it and I was just blown away all over again and remembered that there was a time when I really, really liked Artie.
I mean, I love Artie now, in the way where I love all of my Glee kids, but back in the front 13 of season one? I was a lot more attached to him than I am now. And I think that’s simply because the show used to let him have some plot.
Tina/Artie was really interesting, and Jenna and Kevin had lovely chemistry together. I can’t say I was heavily invested in it, but I was still annoyed when the whole relationship was just dropped between seasons, and now looking at those caps of him watching Tina laugh… I’m getting some actual feelings happening. I’m really hoping the writers will choose to redeem themselves this season by revisiting this ship and giving it the closure it deserved way back in series 2. I know, I know. I am being ridiculous. If they gave Tina and Artie any screentime, there wouldn’t be enough for Jake and Marley!
Be right back, bashing my head against a wall till what Jake and Marley look and sound like falls out.
But yeah, this performance was so beautifully done. Kevin sounded fantastic, his wheelchair moves were awesome, and there was such a sweet sadness to the whole thing. As someone who spent most of her high school life feeling curiously lonely even amongst friends, the sentiment here really captured my heart.
“The doctor said the shark fractured my spinal cord.”
Rin says: HAHAH, his fake crying is so amazing. And the fact that he actually SPIKED the brownies. Oh old Glee, so perfect.
AND HE USED THE TWO THINGS HE KNEW MOST ABOUT. “Lying and crime.”
Sophy says: FUCKING AMAZING. GOD PUCK WAS SO HILARIOUS AND WONDERFUL.
Rin says: I just, where do you even find….
Sophy says: Does he do private parties???
Will doesn’t know the first thing about Sue Sylvester.
Rin says: Oh my god. So I doubt there has ever been a Sue/Jean scene that hasn’t made my heart swell. I MEAN, HOW CAN YOU NOT LOOK AT THEIR SMILING FACES AND NOT JUST ADORE THEM BOTH? It was definitely an unexpected twist, but a very welcomed one. Even the most cynical of minds couldn’t fault Glee for trying to use Jean as a cheap ploy to humanise Sue’s character, because they never played it like that. It was just the way things were, you know?
And I’m sure we’ve said it in the past, but we really do have to applaud Glee for being as inclusive as it has been. Jean and Becky have been VALUABLE additions to the cast, and we’re so lucky that Becky is still in S4, even though we have no idea what year she’s in. Personally I’m find if they never even talk about it, and she just stays on the show forever.
And I honestly can’t with Jane Lynch in this scene. Especially when she starts to read Little Red Riding Hood to Jean, just christ on a bike. Lately they really haven’t given Sue anything outside of her usual snarky self, and it’d be nice if they gave her something of more substance. If only to see Jane Lynch in all of her glory, because yes she is hilarious and amazing, but she’s also seriously underrated as a dramatic actress.
Sophy says: Way to punch me in the feelings, show.
This is without doubt one of the best scenes in Glee’s history and one of the best TV reveals. Unless you were spoiled, I very much doubt anyone saw this coming, and yet when it did it made perfect sense. It certainly didn’t feel awkward or shoe-horned, or like some kind of artificial attempt to humanize Sue. It just felt like a hitherto undisclosed part of who she is – a part of her that Will – that we – know nothing about.
And I think a lot of that is down to how well Jane acted it. She was completely natural and just brimming with a sudden love, such I bought the two of them as sisters immediately. In fact, the chemistry between the two actresses was so sweet and so real that I remember wondering whether the two of them were family in real life, and thinking they must at least like each other very much.
So this was Sue’s softer side. And I think it worked perfectly. I’ve known people like this: people you just think are the worst bastards in the world… people who are the worst bastards in the world, for all intents and purposes… and yet 90% of the time they have someone they love. 90% of the time there’s someone with whom they are different – someone they trust enough to be vulnerable with – someone who makes them want to be kind.
Jean was that person for Sue. She lit her up.
(BECKY CAN STAY FOREVER.)
Most Retrospectively Ironic Moment
GUYS. WEARING. DRESS SHOES. WITH NO SOCKS.
Rin says: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHHA. AND KURT’S FACE. FUCK.
If Glee based Blaine’s entire character on that one line, I would have an all new found respect for them.
Sophy says: When I made this category I was sighing and giggling because it was so fucking cute… now it’s kind of just miserable.
BUT STILL. DRESS SHOES WITH NO SOCKS. EPIC.
AND. DRUMROLL PLEASE.
Best ‘Brittany is random’ Moment
“I find… recipes confusing.”
Rin says: OH MY GOD. RANDOM BRITTANY. Welcome!! WELCOME!!
God I love her face as she says that line. This really was the start of a brand new era for Brittany. To this day, some of her deliveries are just classic. THANK GOD Glee realised the potential of Brittany.
Sophy says: She has arrived. SHE HAS ARRIVED.
This is the first time, in my opinion, that Brittany was really random. Prior to this moment she was really just written as stupid, but here, the fact that it’s recipes and the fact that she’s announcing it with that trademark Brittany flatness to the group? It’s really her.
IT’S REALLY HER.
Rophy Says No!
“You’re irritating most of the time, but don’t take that personally.”
Rin says: I knew we were probably showing Artie too much love earlier when he got a Best Song award.
And now we resume to your regular program of, GTFO ARTIE. How dare you. If you showed up in New York right now and called out Rachel, I WOULD HAVE NO PROBLEMS WITH IT. BUT NOW? Way back when she was the most precious and adorable thing? You can just go fuck yourself Artie. AND FIND YOUR OWN WAY TO SECTIONALS.
Sophy says: I take it all back. I never liked Artie. I hope he asks Tina out in season 4 and she stabs his face off.
THANK YOU AND GOODNIGHT.
Head In Hands
The only way to travel.
Rin says: Sigh, is this just reminding everyone else about how badly we wanted Quinn to give Rachel a lift like this to class back in Season 3?
Sophy says: That was surely the whole point of doing the ‘Quinn’s in a wheelchair’ plotline. THEY MISSED IT.
Who needs context?
Rin says: EVEN IN CONTEXT IT’S NOT THAT FAR-FETCHED TO MAKE IT A FABERRY MOMENT.
Maybe Quinn was just really bummed that Finn got to Rachel first to tell him he was rooting for her. She’d been planning what to say all last night whilst falling asleep!
Sophy says: Honestly though, fluttery little smiles are not the appropriate response when your boyfriend has a moment with another girl. Unless of course you couldn’t really give a toss about the boyfriend and are busy admiring the girl’s pretty eyes and shiny hair or something.
Rin says: With my eyes on the prize… and my mind on you…
Sophy says: QUINN WILL DANCE WHATEVER DANCE RACHEL NEEDS TO DANCE.
Please tell me you’re not serious.
Sophy says: They were serious, Sue
Rin says: Thank god we’ve already done S2 and never have to revisit any of that Lauren and Lauren/Puck stuff. *shudders*
Quinn Glory Shot
Rin says: I have never been on board with Quick in a romantic sense, but this was pretty damn adorable.
JUST LOOK AT THE FLOUR AND COCOA ALL OVER HER. Like, no human being should look that cute covered in baking ingredients, but apparently that’s what’s happening. AND THEN THE WAY SHE’S SAYS, “WE’RE BAKING! :D” Oh my god.
Come back to me.
Sophy says: Quick never really worked for me either for some reason, but damn they are cute when they’re baking.
Oh Quinn. Rophy are up on the roof. Singing ‘Who needs the Quinnie-mart. We do.’