New Directions – Smile
Rin says: This was the perfect way to end the episode with all of its bittersweet gooeyness. Following on from that scene with Will where he tells them he can’t take them to sectionals, and then tells the kids they’re good…they’re really good. My god, my heart fucking melts. AND THEN HE TELLS THEM TO GO TAKE THE GLEE CLUB PHOTO WITH PRIDE.
And then this song starts.
And they’re all helping each other to get ready for this photo that no one except Rachel wanted to take in the first place. AND RACHEL IS BRUSHING HER TEETH FOR GODS SAKE. Vintage Rachel. I also really love how Quinn comes out of the stall with her Cheerios uniform hanging up, and is wearing one of her quintessential Quinn dresses. Baby bump out for all to see.
And then it ends on the jerks defacing their yearbook page but IT DOESN’T MATTER. It really doesn’t matter because the point of the thing is that they’re proud to be part of the team. It doesn’t matter if people draw on them and think they’re lame, BECAUSE THEY HAVE EACH OTHER GUYS. THEY HAVE EACH OTHER. And no amount of sharpie is going to take that away from them.
Sophy says: This is one of my favourite old songs and the Glee version is actually really beautiful. I love the softness of Lea’s voice as she leads us in and the way all the others come in and mingle so gently with each other is really gorgeous. And it kind of symbolizes the group coming together as a team, you know? With Rachel as the leader. Which is entirely appropriate.
This is really one of those sequences that makes you remember how special Glee was once upon a time – how heartfelt and how real, even as it was ridiculous and larger than life.
This was back when I believed that Will Schuester really loved these kids. Back when his pain was my pain, you know? Because there is something terribly arresting about the idea that this poor man had all of his own dreams of having a baby with his childhood sweetheart ripped away from him in a second, and now, because he came to the one place he still felt like he mattered and allowed himself the most basic comfort of a mattress for a night… that’s taken away from him too. He loses Terri and the baby. And he loses Glee club.
Except he doesn’t, not really. And that’s the beautiful thing. Because Will was the kind of salt of the earth everyman you really believed in back in the front half of season 1. Will was the kind of guy you knew found joy in other people’s joy – the kind of teacher who really did believe himself to be irrelevant except in so far as he can help the kids on their way. So just the fact that they can go on and do this without him is enough for Will. It’s enough to know that their dreams are not going to be trampled on even if his have been.
He wants to see smiles on all of their faces. That’s all. And they give it to him, gladly. All these kids who have been so weak and whiny about the school photo suddenly pull together and face their fear. Because maybe they realized that no matter how many penises people draw on your head, the only way you can really be embarrassed is if you’re not proud. And Will is so proud of them, right? He wants them to be so proud of themselves.
So they do it for him. For themselves. And for each other.
Go ahead and jump!
Rin says: I’m sorry but this is probably one of the most adorable things that has happened on Glee. The song is amazing. CORY’S AHHHHHHHHH IS AMAZING. The choreography is phenomenal. I love everything about this. Especially Artie with his little ‘JUMP’ sign. Oh Glee.
All of them had such ridiculous FACES during this routine and I really miss these kids.
Also the 4 faberry caps.
Also Harry and Hemo and their flips.
AND THE PYJAMAS. Everything is better in pyjamas.
Sophy says: This was really fun to cap before Cory died. And really hard to come back and look at after Cory died. It still makes me really sad to see how joyful and hilarious he was and know we’ll never see him again. And then, having lost Glee as well, it makes me sad to look back and see all the kids we spent so many years loving and remember how special they were.
BECAUSE THEY’RE ALL SO FUNNY AND CUTE. Seriously. All of them. And I miss them, terribly, I do.
Also, did anyone find it really tear-jerkingly adorable that the kids got Artie out of his chair and jumped him up and down on the bed? That’s just… it’s so freaking Glee, right? Leave no man behind.
And don’t get me started on Rachel running after Quinn and their stupid faces. I MEAN, I KNOW IT WAS CHOREOGRAPHED AND ALL BUT I DON’T CARE RACHEL RUNNING AFTER QUINN AND THEIR STUPID FACES THANK YOU AND GOODNIGHT.
“Think about it and turn around and go find your pocket square. Please?”
Rin says: This is ultimately going to be one of the more memorable scenes from Glee for me. More than anything I remember being completely shocked and taken aback by how intense it got. Let’s be honest, Glee is a show mainly aimed at teens, but god damn they proved in this moment that it could completely be for adults too. There was a level of maturity here that we hadn’t seen before… these weren’t just adults in a teens perspective, they were adults being adults.
To start with the fake pregnancy storyline was absurd and it was pretty ridiculous that Will didn’t know. How oblivious can a person be? But given the circumstances I can see how it’s entirely possible that he would fall under the spell and not want to see things that might tip him off. He wants a family so bad, and to some extent I’m sure he thinks that it’ll fix things between him and Terri just like Terri thinks it will.
Having said that. Ah Terri. You psycho. I love Terri. But she is batshit insane. And yet…can fully sympathise with her. Terri was one of those incredibly eccentric characters that are more characters than people, but sometimes when you look beneath the surface you can see remnants of who this person actually is. Or who they used to be. And do you know who Terri is? Terri is Quinn Fabray if she didn’t have a Rachel Berry.
HONEST TO GOD. That’s who she is.
Terri’s best years and achievements were all done in high school. And no one ever told her she was a lot more than that, so she didn’t try for things. And when you’re forever looking back you don’t have time to actually look forward. Will is her last tangible thing for something she did right, or at least something that reminds her of better times. So when it comes time that she might lose Will? Well, insane Terri.
SIGH. I do miss Terri. I remember when she showed up for the christmas episode and it was the best return ever.
Full props to both Jessalyn and Matthew in this scene. It really is one of my favourites.
Sophy says: This is actually one of the best scenes in all of Glee and it’s the lack of this kind of stuff in later seasons that kind of made the show dwindle to what it is now. Actual character development. Tough moments. Shit getting real. Glee wound up milking emotion on a regular basis from This Terrible Thing That Happened To That Character, and though the big scenes were well acted and sometimes even well written, they never felt earned like this one does.
What happens here between Will and Terri is totally organic and totally shocking at the same time. We’ve been building up to Will finding out Terri isn’t really pregnant ever since we knew, but the show rather artfully distracted us along the way not from what was coming but from just how bad it would be.
See Terri is a joke character. Will/Terri is a joke relationship. She doesn’t matter. They don’t matter. Except suddenly they do. Suddenly Terri’s implausible fake baby plot that has been replete with hilarity and ridiculousness and absolutely never treated seriously… suddenly it’s a real thing that happened. Will knowing about it makes it real and his reaction makes Terri real too.
And it’s a hell of a reaction. Will hasn’t exactly been the kind of joke Terri is up to this point, in that he’s believable as an actual person in the world. But he has been corny and adorable and the kind of person you’d expect to turn the other cheek about just about anything. What you don’t expect is for him to respond like a husband might in the real world – to feel betrayed, disillusioned and angry and to let it show. When Terri tries to paper over her big lie with another little one about how Kendra stole her the pregnancy pad so she could see if she’d fit into her old maternity clothes, and Will lifts the pad up by his head as she approaches… it’s a brilliant image of violence just barely restrained. And a second later, when he throws the pad past her head and says “Pick. Up. Your shirt.”
And then suddenly Terri is real and sympathetic, despite everything, and actually almost heartbreaking. When she asks him to turn around and go find his pocket square I almost want him to myself. I almost want the two of them to go back to being the ridiculous, toxic, ill-suited couple that they are just because of how much it will hurt them to change, no matter how good that change will be.
When she whispers “Please,” I get it. I really, really get it. Because as crazy as Terri’s plan was I’ve seen enough Dr Phil to know that these kinds of things do actually happen every now and then. People do lie about things that are huge and life-altering – things they know they’ll never get away with. They do it because they can’t help hoping that everything will work out okay in the end – because that hope becomes an addiction they can’t let go of.
Terri is a horrible person. What she did to Will was horrible. How she treats Will more generally is horrible. But I understood her in this moment. And I felt terribly sorry for her as I did.
“Who are we kidding Will? This marriage works because you don’t feel good about yourself.”
That’s a hell of a line. And Jessalyn delivered it in a way that really hit home. She didn’t try to make it funny, because as much as it could have been… it’s really not. It’s the truth about who they are for each other. It’s the truth about how they stay connected.
A Will Schuester who has self-love and self-respect, who is in touch with his dreams and his ideals, is not going to be interested in a Terri Schuester who is what she is. The fake baby was Terri’s way of trying to forge a new connection to Will as the old, oh so familiar one was breaking.
Will contradicts her. He tells her that their marriage works because he loves her. But it’s only partly true. As Terri says, he loves the girl he met in high school, but I think even as she says it she knows that’s not quite right either. Will is a good man. He’s a kind man. He’s an honourable man. He married that girl he met in high school and he’s not going to quit on her when she changes. So he does love her – he insists upon loving her, no matter what.
Or almost no matter what.
Terri runs after him pleading in the same way she normally badgers. But Will leaves, just like that. He’s gone. And the lingering shot of Terri as she assimilates the new emptiness of this house is excellent.
Ah, this show. It was such straight up good TV back in these days.
AND RIN I MISS TERRI SO MUCH TOO. And yes she is absolutely Quinn if Quinn didn’t have
Rachel Glee. It’s hard to fathom, right? It’s hard to imagine that our glorious Quinn Fabray could really wind up a shrivelled harpy obsessed with her craft room and scheming and manipulating and browbeating and generally being weak and petty and hopeless and small.
HOW COULD THAT EVER HAPPEN? But it could have. BBecause once upon a time Quinn was mean and hard and cloistered within herself. Once upon a time all she ever saw for herself was Finn, the high school boyfriend she lied to about a baby, a career in real estate and Lima forever. And because once upon a time Terri was beautiful. Terri had soft hair and shining eyes. Terri really believed she loved Will and always would.
“I don’t wanna be on a team where I only appear to belong.”
Rin says: I feel like I need to make it clear that Sophy made the caps for this episode. And I couldn’t be prouder. The student has become the master etc. etc.
I MEAN. LOOK AT ALL OF THAT GLORIOUS QUINN? AND CHEERLEADER QUINN FABRAY AT THAT.
Do you know. DO YOU KNOW what this scene is? Because I’m sorry, no one wanted a yearbook photo except for Rachel Berry. NO. ONE. No one. Because this is before they have that talk with Will and find out he won’t be their coach for Sectionals. The last we heard about the photo page was that everyone was avoiding Rachel like the plague, even Finn, because they didn’t even want to sit beside her to be in the small two-person photo. (IF ONLY RACHEL HAD ASKED QUINN, BECAUSE QUINN NEVER SAYS NO TO RACHEL) And yet here we go, Quinn taking it upon herself to blackmail Sue into giving up one of the Cheerios pages for Glee Club, and then telling Sue
to go fuck herself that she doesn’t want to be part of a team where she only appears to belong and she’d rather be part of a team that is proud to have her. Our little baby is growing up and it’s beautiful.
Yes sure, it was for the whole club. But you can’t even pretend that a little of it was about Rachel too. And the way Rachel so deeply cares about and believes in Glee Club. The rest of the club are lame and embarrassed to be open about how much they truly love Glee. IT’S THE BEST PART OF THEIR DAYS. But they don’t want to be in the photo because they’ll get picked on. Fair enough whatever. BUT RACHEL DOESN’T CARE. Rachel is never ashamed of what she loves, never. And she will take all the defacing and slushying that the rest of the school will give her, but that doesn’t mean she’s going to love Glee or the people in Glee any less. And that’s what she wants to celebrate.
Quinn learns from that example.
She fucking learns and throws caution to the wind.
Yes I love Glee Club. I don’t care what you say.
Sigh. These two. Always.
Sophy says: Okay, so. First of all, you know how I mentioned above that when the kids had their pep talk from Will at the end of the episode, they all pulled their socks up and stopped being whiny and weak and smiled for the camera, right? You know how I said that? Well, as Rin points out, that’s not exactly how it went down when it came to one Quinn Fabray.
Because out of everyone in that club. OUT OF EVERYONE IN THAT CLUB. Quinn was the first to get it. She was the first to follow Rachel’s lead. She was the first to stick her neck out for what matters. And let’s think about how hard this was for her. Because out of everyone in that club she’s the one who’s just been humiliated in the worst possible way. She’s pregnant and scared and been stripped of her status and kicked out of the Cheerios, which, up to now, had been her primary source of self-esteem and social power. It’s all gone. And so she goes to Sue and plays hardball with her – and oh my god her little face when Sue compliments her on her ruthlessness HOLY MOTHER OF GOD IT’S SO CUTE – I’m back. Okay. So she goes to Sue and plays hardball with her and Sue offers to give it all back. Well, not all of it. She’ll never be Captain. She’ll never be at the top of the pyramid. And the moment her baby bump does become a problem she’ll be mocked and bullied and left out. But I doubt Quinn is really seeing that far ahead in the moment. All she knows is that being a Cheerio again would mean clawing back as much of who she was pre-pregnancy as possible. All she knows is that that uniform made her feel safe.
But she turns it down.
SHE. TURNS. IT. DOWN.
Because you guys she is already on her way and there is no turning back. ;LSKAFJ;LDKFJ;ALDKJF.
Quinn has already started learning from Rachel – she has already started being inspired by her – and now suddenly she knows that wearing a uniform isn’t enough. She wants to really belong. She wants to own who she is and what she loves – to be proud of her friends and what they can do together. And yes, I am crediting Rachel with this as opposed to Glee, I don’t even care. Because Rachel was the Glee club in this episode – she was the Glee club the whole time Quinn was falling in love with it and what it meant to her and for her.
So she decides she’d rather have a photo for Glee than her spot back on the Cheerios. And since she knows full well she has enough leverage to get her both, she’s really making a statement when she picks one over the other.
This is what matters to her now: Glee, friendship, and what Rachel Berry wants.
BECAUSE YOU GUYS. WHO WANTED THE GLEE PHOTO MORE THAN ANYONE? RACHEL BERRY THAT’S WHO. AND I JUST. AND BECAUSE. AND.
In a couple of seasons’ time Quinn will be secretly crowning Rachel. But she started with her cloak and dagger chivalry right here. She used her power not just for good but for Rachel.
And apart from the dizzying Faberry of it all, it’s just so poetic that it’s Rachel, because Rachel is the one who’s brave. That’s one of the first things Quinn loves about her – one of the first things that makes her afraid and curious and inspired. Rachel’s bravery. And of course it’s eating away at Quinn all the time that she’s lying to Finn – to everyone. She wants to be brave enough to tell the truth about her baby and take the consequences on the chin, but she just can’t. She’s lost too much already – Sue, her dad, even her mum, and Puck has proven himself to be fickle and useless. Finn is the one thing she’s been able to keep.
So she can’t be brave when it comes to the baby. But she can be brave about the Glee club photo, right? Baby steps, Miss Fabray. Soon you’ll be lecturing Rachel herself about letting go and starting her future.
THIS IS THE WAY QUINN LOOKS AT RACHEL. CONFUSED AND AROUSED.
Most Retrospectively Ironic Moment
Rachel’s trusty lieutenant?
Sophy says: I found it pretty hilarious that Rachel’s first pick for co-captain was Mercedes. And that Mercedes wasn’t interested. I mean, I know the idea was that all the kids were afraid of being bullied if they stood up for Glee club, but given how much Mercedes has and will complain about Rachel getting everything and being a diva and stuff… Yeah.
Rin says: Rachel always does the hard yards, and everyone else just wants a free pass.
This is why we said No to Mercedes a lot in Season 3 with all of her diva shit. Yes you have made some really amazing performances happen Mercedes, and no one can deny your talent. But have you ever really worked for it the way Rachel has? No. And it’s as simple as that. People really needed to see that when we said all of that stuff and try not to boil it down to us being racist or fatophobes. Lol.
A + B = Quinn is gay as a window.
Sophy says: So Karofsky giddily draws pornographic, gender-bending graffiti on Kurt and later turns out to be gay and secretly crushing on him. He didn’t even need to draw hearts about it…
That was me.
Rin says: It’s interesting how much of Karofsky’s storyline and to an extent Santana’s, feels like it was meant for Quinn. Or that it very easily could have been. The drawing of pornographic pictures, the very deliberate scribbling of her while they’re just sitting around in the choir room, for recreational reasons and not because she was bored out of her mind in class. These things matter, okay? Not to mention the hearts which will never make sense.
Also I find it funny that Karofsky drew an arrow basically pointing at Rachel’s vagina and has labelled it lame. Sure it was probably aimed at her whole being, but it’s something that Quinn would probably do. SHE WOULD LABEL RACHEL’S VAGINA LAME.
Sophy says: AND THEN SHE WOULD DRAW HEARTS AROUND IT YES
Best ‘Brittany is random’ Moment
“Yes it will. I’ll be the one doing it.”
Rin says: I really could have done with a lot more Rachel/Brittany than we ever got.
They would have made a really great comical duo.
Sophy says: They would have! Each totally ridiculous in totally different ways.
Rophy Says No!
Rophy would sit proudly beside you, Rachel Berry.
Rin says: You mean like this?
I would never stop being your best friend Rachel. Never. Let’s make a blood pact.
Sophy says: YES LIKE THAT. EXACTLY LIKE THAT.
But seriously this was so upsetting. I can’t say that I wanted to stab Finn’s eyes out about it or anything, because I get that he was scared and he’s just a kid and sometimes we’re all less brave than we’d like to be. And I know that the only reason he literally left her sitting there with no one rather than coming and telling her he couldn’t participate was for dramatic effect… but still. As much as I forgive Finn for this it doesn’t make it any less horrible.
My heart BROKE for Rachel here. I mean I can’t even look at the caps without wanting to cry. And then at the same time feeling really proud and worshipful? Because she’s Rachel Berry and she soldiered the fuck on and how many teenage girls would do that? NOT MANY.
Plus Lea is really beautiful in those caps. Like. She’s just so… beautiful. Sigh.
Head In Hands
“You’re a lot to lose, Will.”
Rin says: These are the kind of moments that made us fall in love with Will/Emma in the first place. The times when she would be more supportive of him than anyone else.
But also the fact that Emma makes Will see the human in Terri. To help him understand her crazy, despite everyone knowing full well that she’s a little bit in love with Will herself and this would be the perfect opportunity to jump in. But she doesn’t. Emma is a lot more awesome than people realise, and it has nothing to do with her pamphlets.
Sophy says: REMEMBER WHEN WILL/EMMA MADE YOUR HEART FLUTTER? This was one of those times. I loved Emma in this scene. Jayma’s delivery on ‘You’re a lot to lose, Will’ was to die for, basically. And I loved that she started the scene assuming he would divorce Terri and then as soon as he indicated that he wasn’t ready for that step she backtracked and started basically CHEERLEADING FOR TERRI.
We all know how much Emma would like it if Will wasn’t married, right? But she’s not going to break up something that matters to him. She’s going to try to patch it up instead, by pointing out that though what Terri did was wrong it wasn’t coming from a terrible place. And I just. I love that she’s a friend to him first, you know?
Oh Wemma. If only you’d stayed this great.
We will never stop wanting this girl back.
Rin says: Rachel’s over the top bad acting is funny. Quinn’s reluctance to even look in Rachel’s direction is hilarious.
But this category is correct. We will never stop wanting this Rachel Berry back. This Rachel was a goof, an outsider, somebody who didn’t really fit into a box, but most importantly she was someone that would never apologise for being so. She was different, and maybe at times she hated that…but when push comes to shove she knew that difference was something to be celebrated and that eventually it would be the thing that makes her a star.
Her drive, her ambition, her pure enthusiasm — these are all things that everyone put her down for. Yet aren’t those the exact qualities anyone needs to get anywhere in life? If I had an ounce of what Rachel Berry had I kind of feel like I’d have achieved a lot more of my dreams by now. Which is kind of depressing, but at the same time is one of the things I loved most about Rachel as a character. It was so refreshing to see a young girl never have to apologise for what she wants in life.
I just wished we didn’t basically lose her overnight, because apparently that kind of character isn’t sexy or appealing to the masses.
Go fuck yourself Glee.
Sophy says: I love Rachel Berry so much. I LOVE RACHEL BERRY SO MUCH.
I LOVE RACHEL BERRY SO MUCH.
You guys, seriously. This girl. Her enthusiasm. Her brilliance. Her bravery. Her resilience. Her ridiculous little face.
She is everything. And I so agree with Rin. This blog would probably have Oscars by now if we were a pair of Rachel Berrys. Alas.
“Will, you’re blocking the TV.”
Rin says: WE DON’T FUCKING CARE ABOUT YOUR PATHETIC SCHOOL PICTURE. JUST MOVE OUT OF THE WAY.
BOTH TIES ARE HORRIBLE.
A BOW TIE WAS CLEARLY THE ANSWER.
SOMEONE GO GET BLAINE.
Sophy says: AHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. I JUST PICTURED HIM SOPHIA-ING IN WITH A SELECTION OF BOW-TIES. THAT HE KEEPS IN A SPECIAL BOX WITH ‘BOW-TIES’ WRITTEN ON IT.
Um, but seriously. He’s blocking the TV. Oh Terri, you were so special AND RIGHT.
Quinn Glory Shot
Rin says: She is so beautiful. So so beautiful.
It hurts to look at her because it brings back painful memories of everything that was right with this show. And how Quinn was a lot of the time at the centre of it all.
It was a simpler time.
You never really know what you’ve got until it’s gone.
No wait, more accurately it’s literally like a monsoon on my face.
Sophy says: I’M NOT CRYYYYIIIIN’ IT’S JUST BEEN RAININ’ ON MY FACE.
She is so perfect. And I think my favourite thing about these caps isn’t even so much the way she looks as the way she… looks. What I mean is, Dianna’s expression during this scene is so honestly downright soulful that you can’t help feeling what Quinn is feeling and take it seriously even when she’s quipping about her bastard child and making everything about being a cheerleader or not. With Dianna playing Quinn she never really could be as shallow as she was sometimes written.
Dianna’s a good actress and all but I suspect she might be incapable of playing a character that really is shallow without kind of ruining it with herself.
PLUS HANDS UP IF YOU LOVED THAT THE RACHEL AND QUINN MONOLOGUES WERE JOINED. FABERRALOGUES FOREVER.
Rin says: Faberralogues was honestly one of the moments that inspired ‘Welcome Home.’
Sophy says: FABERRALOGUES. SO DEVIOUS.