New Directions – ABC
Sophy says: You know what I was filled with whilst watching this? Glee. How about that.
I was thrilled to get see Tina perform, not because I think she’s a particularly interesting singer, because quite honestly I don’t. She’s not a Rachel Berry. She’s not a Santana or a Mercedes or a Harmony for that matter. But she does have star quality, in that she’s bright and shiny and wont to put a smile of the snottiest of faces. And you know, I can’t lie, part of my joy in her performance was seeing someone who has been solid and loyal and a true team player get the chance to not only do a solo part, but take her team to a victory against all odds.
Basically: Go Tina, you are awesome.
It was also a treat to get to hear Kurt sing in a lower register – they should get him down there more often – and they should get him up there more often too – they should just get Kurt singing more often, because I love him I love him I love him. And his little face when he spun around? I had to put in a special request for a cap of it because it was just that adorable.
AND DON’T EVEN GET ME STARTED ON HIS SEXY DANCE WHICH I WILL NEVER BECAUSE OH MY GOD.
I think show choir, insofar as it relates to musical theatre, is really about entertaining an audience in a holistic way, and to do that you have to have a sense of humour and a whole lot of love. It’s really not going to matter if the vocals are insane or the choreography is military-tight, if there’s no warmth or wit in the performance. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying joy by itself is enough to make a great show choir performance, but in my opinion it is a necessary condition, and this performance had it in spades. It was fun and funny, light and youthful, but meaningful, and on top of that it was very nicely put together, and executed competently by all, outstandingly by some.
Okay, okay. On rewatching sixty billion times I’ll have to change that ‘competently’ to ‘patchily’ where Finn is concerned. Cory really isn’t the best at the whole feet together knees apart deal, is he? Although to be fair everyone kind of looked like a loser doing that step next to Harry.
Anyway. What else did I love about this, apart from, oh, everything…
I loved that there were so many performers featured – Tina, Mike, Quinn, Kurt – and Sam with his gyration action, which, incidentally, was so brilliant – bringing that into the performance in a comedic way was the perfect compromise. They weren’t saying ‘It’s cool to sell sex’ but they were saying ‘Sam shouldn’t be ashamed.’ Basically it was a Sam’s right and Blaine’s right situation, and I always like it when nobody’s wrong and nothing hurts.
ALSO KURT VAULTED MIKE CHANG. HE VAULTED, YOU GUYS. KURT VAULTING MIKE CHANG SHOULD GET A TROPHY RIGHT THERE.
And. I love how the song tied in with what was going on in the kids’ lives. Yes, it’s ridiculous to suppose that Tina and Mike could see Asian Dad from that distance with the stage lights up and the house lights down. I know this to be true. But having said that, being a fan of Glee involves making an art of the suspension of disbelief, so. And the slow motion worked so well, in that we could see them both taking in his presence, but be confident that in reality their concentration only wavered for a second, so the performance was not compromised.
In the same vein I loved the moment when Kurt saw that slimeball Meerkat Face show up, and proceeded to burst forth and establish his dominance by VAULTING MIKE CHANG. KURT VAULTED, YOU GUYS.
Rin says: I think it’s going to be hard for me to talk about these songs individually, because for me, such a big part of why I am still floored by this performance is that they took us on such an unexpected journey. Maybe I was the only one who didn’t know they were going to touch the Jacksons, ’cause I never watch any promos or read about upcoming episodes, so I was just in a state of ‘Oh my god! Really? Awesome.’ And then it turned out to be this perfect little trilogy of Jackson music and like. Cannot. And I think so much of the brilliance in the performance is that it wasn’t about Michael Jackson. It didn’t feel like this was one of those ‘oh we better jump on the bandwagon!’ moments — which I hate to bring it up, but that’s what ‘Man In The Mirror’ felt like to me in JJ’s series 4 episode. It’s one of the very few times where I think Skins got it wrong in the music dept, but they get it right so often that I can side glance that discrepancy. Now that it has been over 2 years since MJ’s death, it’s a decent amount of breathing space and we can focus more on the songs and why they chosen. They weren’t all for show, I mean they were cause they’re classics, but they each served a purpose musically, for the judges, and conceptually, for us viewers.
Plus they’re all pop songs. And pop songs generally don’t go down well for us when it comes to sectionals/regionals/whatever-else-ionals. But because there was this undeniable cohesion between the songs, it worked really well. And no, this doesn’t mean they can start doing trio’s of Katy Perry. That will never be okay.
Okay, now I feel like I can talk about the songs individually.
ABC isn’t even my favourite Jackson 5 song (I Want You Back & I’ll Be There take that spot!), but I couldn’t think of a more appropriate song for ND to kick things off. So much of what this episode was about, was growing up. And the irony in that is that in doing so, they found it was okay to not grow up. Not quite yet, and that’s completely okay. Because, high school! They’re still in it! So it might be a little literal, but what better way to convey this than starting with ABC, and ending up with Man In The Mirror.
And they all wore white tuxedos.
I was not prepared for that.
And trailing on from Sophy’s thoughts about show choir… personally I have never really had any experience with it. It’s not really a thing here, so I haven’t had the opportunity to see it for myself. But I do think it’s probably just like any other performance, theatre, musicals, concerts, dance etc. where in you can technically nail a performance, but still leave the audience empty because there was no connection. And that’s the best way I can describe why I’ll always prefer New Directions over any other show choir. Whether it’s Vocal Adrenaline, or the Trouble Tones — whose performances I can enjoy, and respect their obvious talent, but we’ve all seen talent before. Especially in this day and age where you see 5 year olds shredding up a guitar, whilst balancing on a beach ball and reciting the Bill of Rights on YouTube. But first and foremost it’s always going to be the story that draws me in. We’ve seen New Directions right from the beginning, as they were just a bunch of 6 misfits, and we’ve watched them struggle and grow for 52 episodes. We know each and every one of their stories, and where they’ve come from, and how Glee for them has never been about the competition. So is my loyalty going to lie with them, or a club that was formed 7 episodes ago with the sole purpose to beat out their friends.
Am I feeling a little ND pride because I feel like everyone has been giving them a hard time as of late? Yes. Honestly, if I had it my way there never would have been a breakaway in the first place, because the 3 girls in TT are completely part of the ND family in my eyes, and I hated that they tried to tear them apart. Because seriously, they’re so much better, and more powerful, as a whole. Just look at We Are Young. More on that later.
AND I HAVE TO TALK ABOUT QUINN. Because apparently I really love her. Okay? The lyrics ‘that’s how easy love can be’ kind of clicks with what I was saying last recap about how Quinn really doesn’t know what love is. (Do I wish she had performed a solo of Foreigner – I Want To Know What Love Is? Yes, ofc I do.) She hasn’t had it, and in return hasn’t shown it. So it’s fitting that the moment she starts to open herself up to love, and being a more genuine person, it starts to happen with ABC. It was only a few minutes ago, before the TT’s performance, that Quinn was ready to spill the beans and ruin everything, sentencing the rest of life to be full of regret. But somehow she lets some sense get knocked into her, and the next thing we know she’s on stage. And she’s free.
I also adore her little part in the song. And the dancing. ALWAYS THE DANCING.
Sophy says: Just to be clear I’ve never had any experience with show choir either. Just talking out of my ass, everyone, okay?
New Directions – Control
Sophy says: Did you think we were going to play by the rules with this episode? Please. This song. Sublime continuation. And it had to be Quinn who did the opening monologue, right? I mean, there was no other way.
“This is a story about control. My control. Control of what I say, control of what I do. And this time, I’m gonna do it my way.”
Judging by the look on Shelby’s face, she got chills. So did I. And I think this was really important moment for Quinn, not as a performer, but as a human being. Her arc has been all about losing control – tumbling from the top of the human pyramid down to a hospital bed with a baby tearing its way out of her. When she got pregnant Quinn lost control of everything – her relationship with Finn, her non-relationship with Puck, her relationship with her parents, her home, her cheerios, and of course her own body. And then she got her body back and it seemed like everything else would follow her pretty figure home. But it didn’t. It couldn’t. Because by that time she’d lost something so much bigger that any of the aforementioned – she’d lost her baby – Beth – a child she made and bore and birthed. She lost a part of herself – how could she fail to lose her way?
The thing is that Quinn should have been in therapy before she even got out of that hospital, but this is Glee so she wasn’t, and the consequences have been not only crazy, but slow, sidelined, and very, very sad.
All the scheming Quinn’s been doing this season? It’s about loss and it’s about being lost. It’s about feeling powerless and alone. That’s why she’s so desperate to manipulate everybody around her – Puck, Sam, Shelby, and ideally Beth, if she could get her mitts on her. I think Quinn feels like if she can get control over everyone else, she’ll finally feel in control of herself. And if she can get that baby back in her arms she won’t have lost her anymore and so she won’t be so lost. And of course all of that’s wrongheaded and never going to lead to anything good. But you can see how it would make sense to her when nothing else does.
And now she has the power. All of it. She has all the power in the world to ruin Shelby Corcoran, and god knows she has good reason to want to get back at her.
But she doesn’t. Quinn doesn’t exercise control over Shelby. Or Puck. Or Sam. Or Beth. She exercises control over herself.
It was her choice, entirely. It was her time to get it right. And she did.
And you know, for me this song is mostly about Quinn, but it works for the other characters too – Mike and his struggle as to whether to exert control over his life or allow his father to run it – Sam and his decision to stop letting his family’s financial difficulties define him however hard it may be to not help – Artie, who has had so much agency taken away from him by being in a wheelchair and his discovery that, well, he loves bossing people around? And then there’s Blaine, who likes bossing people around too – or who at the very least wants to be heard. He finally sorted out his issues with Finn and got some control within the Glee club – and hopefully control of his own short temper. More on that later.
Now. Let’s come back to the overarching theme, because there is one and it’s pretty brilliant. What’s this song about? It’s about control. Right. But more precisely it’s about the kind of control you learn to take and to have when you become an adult – when you emancipate yourself – step out into the world saying This is who I am.
ABC was all about growing up – the joy of it, the innocence of new experiences, and just how easy life can be if you let it. Control was all about growing up – about having the courage and faith to define yourself on your own terms, and to let other people do the same.
And you know what? The more I watch this performance, the more I think it’s a shame Santana wasn’t in it too.
ALSO THAT BIT WHERE THEY DID THAT THING WHERE THEY ALL JUMPED IN UNISON? Up there with vaulting.
Rin says: Um. When this song started and it was Quinn doing the intro? My reaction.
I lost my marbles. My entire collection.
BECAUSE IT WAS JUST TOO SURREAL AND PERFECT.
And I don’t think I could have said it any better in how this was entirely Quinn’s moment than what Sophy has already said. Except that I was so so so happy to see it, that every crazy thing Quinn has done this season accumulated to this one moment, where you just knew she was going to be okay. She’s far from being ‘fixed’ (can a person ever really be fixed??), but you could see how her whole persona had changed and you felt like she was ready to take on anything that came next. And I love that it had to do with her performing and finding her passion on stage. She got involved in the arts and it saved her. Because it can do that, can’t it? Finding what you’re good at, finding your passion, it gives you purpose… and there isn’t really a greater, or more inspiring feeling than finding your place in this world.
And Control is a great interlude between ABC and Man In The Mirror, in both the continuity of the journey, and also showing a completely different facet of performance. Where ABC was fun, loose and youthful, Control was all about.. well, Control. It was hard hitting, sleek, and more mature. It was almost like they knew ABC was going to be criticised for being a bit one-note, so they went ‘HA, well, how about THIS then?’ It was the perfect contrast.
Also, if you haven’t already, I highly recommended getting the full version of the song, because oh my god the intro with Quinn is twice as long, and twice as delicious. Plus Blaine and Artie killed it.
And the synchronised jumping.
New Directions – Man In The Mirror
Sophy says: Well look what we have here, another Jackson family Coming of Age song. How’s that for a cohesive theme?
A lot of people out in fandomland think Rophy despise the song ‘Man In The Mirror’, and whilst we can’t fault their ‘JJ ruined everything’ logic, they’re wrong. We both adore this song. More than we’d adore A Skins 409? Probably not. But it’s still a classic track and a pretty big deal emotionally. And the New Directions, even sans Mercedes, Santana and Brittany, even sans Rachel Berry… they nailed it.
All the five guys in the spotlights did a great job on this song, but I’ve got to say that Puck absolutely blew me away with his moves. I mean just… wow. It made me realize how underused he has been as a performer, on every level. But more on that later.
This song is about a lot of people – everyone really – but it most profoundly resonates with Mike Chang, as the group sing about getting it right when you have the time, and we pan out to his father in the audience and see realisation on his face: this is his son’s time, and he has to be let him be true to himself. For his son to have a happy and fulfilled life, he has to make a change – and he does.
And not to harp on about Quinn too much, although whatever, yes to harp on about Quinn too much, because why wouldn’t I… this song is also very much for her, even if she doesn’t have a starring role in it. Her big moment comes after, in the soft, orange afterglow of Change, as she hugs Finn, and then, with quiet purpose and ceremony, walks over to Puck and hugs him too. It’s her moment to make peace – to put all the guilt and pain behind her as best she can and get on with living her life. She really is making a change in that moment, and okay, she really, really needs to be in therapy too, and since Glee undoubtedly won’t have her knocking on Emma’s door, I’m going to have to use my imagination about it. But when she comes tangoing through the door with Tina, and yells ‘Get over here’ to Rory, of all people, throws her arms around him like she’s the most free and the most happy she’s ever been… it’s honestly one of the loveliest things I’ve ever seen, and on second viewing it brought something of a tear to my eye. (Also on 3rd, 4th, 5th…)
And okay, a few things. Will’s deep breath and the sheer pride and awe on his face? Beautiful. Will has his flaws, for sure, but I still think he loves those kids in a big way, and he has worked his ass off to help to get them where they are, so it’s nice to see it pay off for him. And it’s even nicer that his joy lies in the performance, long before any decisions about winners and losers have been made.
Oh, and Finn and Blaine hugging? Cute.
But perhaps the thing that made me happiest in the whole performance was seeing the Trouble Tones girls get up and start dancing. This is special to me because a) it’s like they were almost part of the performance, and b) it’s definitely like they were part of what the performance is all about.
Rin says: And where ABC was all about the fun, and Control was all about the edginess, Man In The Mirror was alllll about the emotion.
The choreography really helped in delivering the emotional punch in its simplicity. The Rent-esque spotlights shining down as each guy came in with their parts was divine. And there is just something about standing front and centre, with no fancy choreography to hide behind as you sing out to a crowd, that is just so ballsy. There was a vulnerability there that immediately drew you in, and as the song built you could really feel the conviction with which these guys were singing. You could say Man In The Mirror is one of those inspirational ‘message’ songs, but it’s also a song that can be quite personal, which is why it worked so great as their final number.
And as the ND all huddled together at the front of the stage, arm in arm as they sung the final ‘change’ under the lights, it helped to remind me of what Glee/ND is all about. But I feel like my rant for that is better served under a different category, which we’ll get to later.
A HUGE YES TO MARK/PUCK BEING AMAZING. His moment under the spotlight is one of my favourite parts of the entire ND performance.
And Quinn harping should be a requirement for all recaps. Glee or not.
“Give me a dollar.”
“Welcome back, Lisa Rinna. I’ve missed you so much since your family packed their bags, loaded them in your mouth, and skipped town.”
Sophy says: WHITE CHOCOLATE. CAN’T. AND RACHEL’S FACE.
AND JUST. LATER WHEN HIS MUM WAS ALL ‘THOUGH I DON’T KNOW WHY THE DAIRY QUEEN MAKES YOU PUT GLITTER ALL OVER IT’. AND RACHEL. ‘It’s not like he’d be homeless!……. though there is a quiet dignity in that.’ And the dollar. and JUST.
And then there is Santana with her little red notebook of trouty mouth jokes, which is the greatest. This is exactly what I was hoping for in terms of Santana’s development – that they would keep her snark but sweeten it up a little. Whilst she’s ripping on Sam’s physical appearance here, it’s also very clear from her demeanour, and from the fact that her jokes are so outlandish, that she doesn’t intend to hurt him. There was really nothing mean-spirited about this, for all Will’s ineffectual teacherly shuffling, Sam clearly knew that – and I think everyone else did too.
Also, “Love Santana” may be one of the most adorable moments in this whole show’s run. So much so that it could definitely be filed under ‘Head in Hands’ as well.
And on the subject of Santana and her fixation on Sam’s enormous lips, it doesn’t matter how many times I watch it, I still giggle to myself at the way she says ‘It was that damn trouty mouth’ at the end.
AND. ‘MAGIC SEX DANCE.’
Cannot. And while we’re at it…
“That’s not rude, following you around with a tuba and playing a note every time you take a step is.”
Rin says: The entire strip club thing had me lolling right from the get-go. I just. Anything to get Chord Overstreet naked. Which, I just checked to make sure I spelt his name correctly (WHICH BTW IS SUCH A MADE UP NAME..), and apparently he’s two years younger than me. Why am I so old.
But um. Rachel in a strip club just brought out the best facial expressions Lea Michele has ever mustered. I just. Cannot. HANDING OVER THE DOLLAR BILL WHILST NOT LOOKING AT SAM, IS THE BEST. THE BEST.
The best part about the bit with Santana is imagining her hearing that Sam was coming back and seeing her get a little red book and preparing for his big welcome home. It’s just adorable in my head, scribbling away every loving insult. <3 AND YES, ‘LOVE SANTANA’ AND HER FACE. AND THE WAY SHE HELD THE BOOK OUT IN FRONT OF HER.
Oh Naya. Awards.
“Dancing is your talent, your dream. […] And that’s what I saw tonight.”
Sophy says: OH MAN. OKAY. I DON’T EVEN.
I know this scene was sort of corny. I know the whole storyline was probably too easily and perfectly resolved.
But I really don’t fucking care, you guys, okay? I just don’t.
And you know I really love that Mike’s dad turned out to be not the stereotype of hard-assed asian parent whose child must play the violin till his or her arms fall off and then must put his or her arms back on with his or her feet, because also he or she is an acrobatic surgeon, obviously.
I mean, yes, he wanted Mike to be a doctor. But it wasn’t because excelling academically and making wads of cash was all that mattered to him. I love that we saw in his conversation with Tina that his reservations about Mike/Dancing came mostly from genuine concern for his son’s future and whether he had the talent and drive to make it in a tough business. It’s 100% legitimate to worry about that, when you think of all the kids who never make it and wind up regretting taking a path that was more like the edge of a knife. And I loved that whatever the field, Mike’s dad still wanted him to excel – note that he wants him to go to the best schools, thank you very much.
And aw, Tina, it’s so much cuter when you send in applications for Mike than when Edward Cullen does it for Bella Swan because she hates college and wants sex-bruises instead. You get a Rachel Berry gold star for being you.
I mean, yeah, she was pushy and she was manipulative. Yeah, she went behind Mike’s back, and yeah I can see how that would upset him greatly. In a similar situation I would kind of want to break up with someone forever right now if they tried to talk to my mother about me in almost any context. But on the other hand it’s so fucking wonderful that she cares so much about someone else’s dream, and I actually felt several long-lasting pangs of jealousy with regard to this storyline. Because I wish I’d had a Tina to believe in me when I wouldn’t believe in myself. And I wish I’d had a dad like Mike’s, who, for all it took him a little time and a little help, really believes his kid has a shot at being one of the ones who’ll make it and is behind him 100%.
So. Way to redeem Asian F for us, show. I just hope this resolution doesn’t mean Mike and Tina get shunted into the background again. I’ve really enjoyed seeing both of them get a chance to develop as actors and to flesh out their characters. Needs more.
Oh and I’d love to see Asian Dad again, if only because I think the actor is wonderful.
Rin says: I cried like a little bitch.
It was probably because I was already on the verge of major tears during ‘Man In The Mirror’ and then this happened and and and I was just a goner.
I was also just really happy and relieved that this all panned out to mean a whole lot more than what it started out to be. It was a bit too much in Asian F with the apparating parents in school and what-not, but they really brought it home over the last few eps. And overall I’m pretty happy with the arc that Mike got, it was really sweet And moving Cause accepting parents :(((((((((
I think the next time I watch Asian F I won’t rage blackout. And that’s a wonderful thing.
Sophy says: I won’t rage blackout, but I might still vomit when Mike starts hallucinating people during his interpretative dance routine. Because.
“We’re kind of friends, huh?”
Sophy says: My initial commentary for this scene when going through was:
“FUCK I CAN’T AND I WON’T.”
And I stand by that.
But. Oh god, these two and the journey they’ve been on.
Honestly Lea Michele and Dianna Agron have some of the most potent natural chemistry that I’ve ever seen. And I want to say that’s why Faberry always takes over my brain whenever it’s featured in an episode, but honestly it’s not just that. It’s the writing too. The writing for these two has been really, really good. They make sense. They work. And that’s in the context of a show that absolutely revels in not making sense and so often doesn’t work as a result.
Lea Michele’s face when she says “We’re kind of friends, huh?” should earn her an award of some kind. And then the way she looks down and smiles to herself with the kind of blush that isn’t a colour but a feeling? That should get her an award too.
AND JUST ON AWARDS FOR FACES. What about the way Quinn smiles at Rachel when Rachel says she hopes the Nyada admin will take her misdemeanour as a sign of her artistic temperament? That smile is pure affection, you guys. It is pure fondness. It is love, okay? And when Rachel tells her that she’s better than she knows? A better performer and a better human being in the same breath? There is no other word for the look on Quinn’s face than ‘inspired’. She looks fucking inspired, okay. Because Rachel Berry believes in her.
On a not-quite-Faberry note, I love the way Quinn says “No, for me,” with regard to Yale. Because for someone who has been consistently characterised as selfish beyond the telling of it, isn’t it interesting how strange that sounded?
No, for me.
It’s like she’s finally remembering that she’s a person, not just a set of crossly flailing arms. It’s like she’s taken all the anger she was directing at Shelby – Don’t talk down to me, etc – and magicked it into new self-awareness and a quiet strength.
For the first time in a long time, Quinn has some serious dignity in this scene. She’s at the top of the pyramid again, the living doll – picture-perfect in her white dress, and gorgeously, powerfully self- contained. That’s who she used to be, and now that’s who she is again – except a little older and a lot wiser, and kind of friends with Rachel Berry.
Rin says: I don’t want to do this.
I’ve taken numerous deep breaths, and I still feel too light headed to try and do this.
YOU GUYS. For me this is just like, we’ve been collecting all these pieces for a few years, a piece here, a piece there, and then suddenly? We have every fucking piece and the puzzle is complete.
And I try to stop myself from making big statements, because I might regret them later. BUT. I don’t think I could ever regret this one. They’re my favourite relationship on the show, and I feel they’re the most consistently well written relationship too. Now, relationship doesn’t equate to romantic relationship — no matter how badly we want it to. But I am completely fine with it never going there because what they do have is already beautiful in itself.
They have literally gone from Quinn’s very first scene (her doing the splits in the air does not count as a scene, no matter how glorious it is, okay?!) of her writing nasty comments on Rachel’s MySpace, to now, where Quinn winds up thanking Rachel for stopping her from making a huge mistake. And I think the fact that it has been a slow burn, developing over years, instead of a few episodes, has made it all the more special. Because we all saw it before they did, or before they would admit it to themselves, that they would make much better friends than they do enemies. And now they’re ~officially friends and I don’t think I’ve ever been more excited to see two people be friends before. It’s kind of ridiculous.
And I just need to get this out of the way. Where the hell are they in the school? Is this like, the secretary’s office to Figgin’s office? Or maybe the Career’s office? Or? It doesn’t seem like a proper office! There are glass walls on both sides and doors on both sides! I just! … I’m perhaps thinking about this too much. But the reason I was curious is because why is Quinn asking Rachel to meet her there? And how did she get Rachel there in the first place? Did she put out a message over the PA system? /writes a whole bunch of head canon. CAUSE SHE SAYS, ‘I came here to talk to you actually.’ .. LIKE IT WAS ALL A PREDETERMINDED MEETING AND AHHHH. Apparently my brain goes completely mental when Faberry are involved.
And yeah. The smile Quinn gives Rachel as Rachel goes on one of her ramblings is too much. It’s like sunshine exploded on her face. I can’t.
And I love that Quinn stands up to be on Rachel’s level (well, a few inches above) as she tells her she loves Beth and she wants to thank her. And oh god, the small smile that plays across Rachel’s face, as she looks down. AND THEN QUINN SMILES AT RACHEL SMILING AND WHAT IS AIR? Honestly Quinn, you have never exuded more adoration before in your entire life. Not even when you held baby Fabray in your arms. So. You might want to give that a little thought.
And then I don’t care how many times I have to repeat it:
“We’re kind of friends, huh?”
And there is just something adorable about how they openly talk about if they’re friends or not. Well, that Rachel seems to like to bring it up:
“We’re friends, right?”
“Yeah, I guess so.”
“We were friends once…”
Just. My babies. How they have grown! The difference between then and now is kind of amazing. And did I really just say that, yes, yes I did! And oh my gosh how brilliant is Quinn with her cheeky ‘kind of’ reply. Cause they have banter now you guys. FRIENDLY BANTER! And then Rachel smiles that Rachel Berry smile and she looks like she just won her first Tony award. But that scene from Original Song is a nice comparison to everything that goes on in this scene because a complete 180 has happened since it occurred.
When Quinn asks what Rachel thinks about Yale, I was surprised, because Yale and Quinn was never something I pictured. And I guess it’s because it’s something that Quinn never let herself picture either. I mean, the last we heard from Quinn it was all, “Do you want to know how this story plays out? I get Finn; you get heartbroken. And then Finn and I stay here and start a family. I’ll become a successful real estate agent and Finn will take over Kurt’s dad’s tire shop. You don’t belong here Rachel, and you can’t hate me for helping to send you on your way.” Or it was, ‘even if she never gets out of Lima, she’ll still have Beth.’ But an out! She found an out! And it’s Yale, which… really awesome? And she just seems to have this new energy and zest for life and oh Quinn, I’m so happy for her.
And Rachel! So encouraging, and she continues with their new-found banter! “And especially since you won’t have me to compete with.” But of course Rachel Berry wouldn’t be Rachel Berry unless she mentions how much she believes in Quinn.
“You’re a lot better than you know.”
And the way she says that? No WAY is she just talking about Quinn as a performer. And that’s what Rachel has been trying to tell Quinn all along. That Quinn. Just Quinn? She’s more than enough. SHE’S A LOT MORE THAN THAT. And for whatever reason, Rachel has always been able to see that in Quinn. And. My heart
And then that lady comes back in and cockblocks. Srsly, lady. Why?
AND RACHEL OFFERING TO HELP WITH THE APPLICATION. I JUST. She wants to spend time with Quinn now that they’re friends. And honestly. She’s such an Emily Fitch right now. I wouldn’t be surprised if next episode Quinn comes home to find Rachel in her bedroom with her forms all filled out, and flyers made, even though they would serve no purpose.
And ‘there is something you could do for me..’ Just. Rachel would do anything for you Quinn. Though I kind of feel like that’s always been the case. Rachel’s like a helpless puppy dog when Quinn’s involved
And, as my final and, I need to draw your attention to this tumblr post. It’s amazing and deserves to be shared. That’s the kind of shit Skins pulls. So, colour me impressed Glee. Colour me impressed.
Sophy says: The truth is that when Quinn said she wasn’t going to tell about Shelby because she loves Beth, I honestly expected “Because I love you” to come out of her mouth. In my head Quinn cares way more about Rachel more than that tiny blonde baby she had. Delusional shipper, at peace with it
Rin says: Omg, when I told Sophy that I thought she was going to say ‘Because I love you’, she immediately, and quite casually, said, ‘me too :-j’ .. it made me feel less alone. Less lonely.
Sophy says: Yahoo needs to develop a new emoticon of a small, round yellow person sticking their hand through a cat flap.
Best ‘Brittana is awesome’ Moment
THE TANNGGOOO BRITTANNAAAA. It’s a dark dizzy merry-go-round.
Sophy says: THIS. WAS. SO. FUCKING. AMAZING.
This episode didn’t really contain any random Brittany, but who could complain when they give us the above amazingness instead.
Rin says: So amazing.
I wish there was a lot more tango-ing and less arm flailing. Alas.
Rophy Says No! (Quietly)
“Quinn, you’ve got what I call ‘rich white girl problems.'”
Sophy says: Slim pickings for the Rophy says no this week. Mostly we’ve been saying ‘Yes, a thousand times yes!’ to everything. But Sam’s use of the ‘rich, white girl problems’ phrase did really rub me the wrong way – on a general level, because I hate the phrase, and in particular with reference to Quinn, whose problems are so clearly very much more. I do think it’s out of character for Sam to be a dismissive jerk to her – or anybody for that matter – so I’m going to go ahead and assume he doesn’t really know what he’s talking about it, and if anyone explained to him how it was offensive and how Quinn did have serious pain and deserved compassion and respect regardless of her skin colour or socio-economic status… I’m sure he’d agree and apologise.
Anyway, on the whole I loved this scene, mostly for how hilariously psycho Quinn was in it. ‘HI, YOU’RE BACK, I’M THIN WANNA DATE? AND ALSO RAISE NOT-MY-BABY Y/Y?’
And unfortunate phrasing aside, I love that just as Sam saw Santana’s snark for what it was, he saw Quinn’s psycho-wooing for what it was too. He knew what she needed to hear and he said it simply and confidently:
Hold onto sixteen as long as you can.
Hm. To be honest I’d find it a little depressing for someone to tell me that when I’d already hit 17. It just seems cruel.
But whatever floats Quinn’s sanity boat.
Rin says: Yeah I felt the stan in me rise up a little when Sam said that. But then I loved everything else about their interaction, so. If we just have to pick on the one line, I’d say that’s a win for Glee.
I love how expectant she is when she’s like, ‘YEAH, WANNA BE MY BABY’S DADDY??? :D’ And when he smiles she gets all whiny and asks what’s so funny. Oh Quinn. I hope we still get to see glimpses of your crazy because it’s kind of adorable when you’re so clueless.
“It means that I’m not for sale.”
Sophy says: CHRIST THAT THIRD CAP IS JUST CRUEL. Popeye-Blaine
I’m still not 100% sure whether I’m saying no to Blaine or the show with this one. Initially I felt it was really out of character for someone as goodnatured as Blaine to issue such a low blow to someone as goodnatured as Sam. But the more I think about it, the more I might be jumping the gun. I mean, we don’t know Blaine inside out yet, do we? And we do know that he does have a temper on him. So maybe this whole thing works, even if it completely shocked me in the moment. I guess my issue is that they should have gone a little heavier on the animosity coming from Finn’s side, because whilst I did notice tension, I’m not sure what we saw was enough to make this kind of outburst at an innocent third party excusable. It also would have been nice if they hadn’t just stopped at Finn apologising to Blaine – what about Blaine’s apology to Sam? Although I guess I can just assume it happened off- screen, seeing as they were so chummy by the end of the episode.
Rin says: Yeah, I remember just thinking, whoa wait, what?! Blaine being mean makes me sad.
But they managed to explain it, as well as Glee manages to explain things, with the following scene. I can see what Soph is saying, that they should have shown it a bit more, because a couple ‘No Blaine :-j’ is probably not enough to warrant such an outburst. But I can also see how to Blaine, just getting shot down a couple times can be a huge thing, because he’s an honest to god good guy who never hurt anybody, and just wants to use jazz hands!! Put in the same position I’d probably feel the same way too.
Cause I’m an honest to god good guy.
And hey, I’m never going to say no to boxing!Blaine, now that I know it’s an option.
Sophy says: OMFG BOXING BLAINE. BEST. I laughed so hard at “Which of course I can’t talk about” re: the fight club, mostly because Darren’s delivery was so perfectly matter-of-fact and frustrated and, yeah, of course, lame.
OH YEAH AND THEN LATER ON IN THAT LITTLE NUMBER AT THE END OF THE SHOW, THIS HAPPENED, AND I FUCKING DIED:
Head In Hands
“I want us to be able to look back on these next couple months and talk about how it was the best times of our lives.”
Sophy says: I love how small and how significant this was. One little gesture and we know they’re in this together, come what may. I will never be okay with Santana manipulating Brittany out of the New Directions in the first place, but at least she’s here now, consulting Brittany silently, holding her hand as if to say “If you wanna go back I’ll go back with you.” It’s gorgeous.
Also I loved that she was putting make up on her when the scene started. LITTLE TOUCHES, GIANT CARESS.
ALSO. Although we didn’t have enough random Brittany to make a random Brittany, we did have some Brittany in this scene that I really, really liked – that moment when she looked up with unchecked eagerness and asked if the New Directions would really take them back. It was a nice nod to the fact that she had never wanted to leave them to begin with.
Rin says: This was a little heart-clenchy to me because it was like a reality check for Brittana, in the way that affects every high school relationship. The hand holding felt like they were saying; will this still be the same once high school is over? Probably not. But we’re going to go through it together.
Sophy says: Aw, yeah, I was a bit wrapped up in the sweetness of it, but I can see the bitter too. There was a definite hint of sadness to the whole scene and the idea that these kids will likely be divided soon. I wouldn’t be surprised if both Brittany and Santana had a lot of fear on that score, and hey, wait a minute, with all the Nyada and Yale talk, are we ever going to be told what the rest of the kids are intending to do with the rest of their lives?
“I don’t care how big or bad your boyfriend is. I’m gonna fight to get you back.”
Sophy says: Okay, someone help me out here. What is it about these two that works so easily and effortlessly and adorably? I’ve been down on Mercedes. Let me tell you, I’ve been seriously down on Mercedes, but it seems like any time Sam is in a scene with her she becomes lovely and loveable again? I don’t?
And it’s not that I’m some kind of Sam stan who thinks all people improve by association with him (see my feelings on Blair/anyone who isn’t Chuck). I’ve never been that fond of Sam. I haven’t missed him while he’s been gone. And frankly that’s why I was shocked by how glad I was to have him back. I never expected to be clutching my heart at the sight of that doofy, blonde guppy faced kid, but there it is. I guess he’s kind of like Blaine in a way – the way where he’s so lame you can’t not love him.
Anyway I’m looking forward to getting a proper Mercedes/Sam arc now. I’m all for Mercedes ditching her asshole boyfriend, because Mercedes/whatshisface is gross and empty and destructive of her character, and Mercedes/Sam is cute, cute, cute.
I MEAN OKAY LOOK AT HER LITTLE FACE. LOOK AT IT. They’ll be back together for Christmas. Just you wait.
Rin says: I don’t even know. We’ve hardly mentioned Sam the entire time we’ve been recapping Glee, and suddenly it’s all, ‘OMFG TROUTY MOUTH 8-.’ AND HE MADE ME START TO LIKE MERCEDES AGAIN? WHEN DID HE BECOME MAGICAL?!
I was pretty bummed actually, when at the start of the season they were all, ‘Sam is gone Here’s his replacement Someone no one likes or cares about :-j’ because I was actually looking forward to see how they would pan out after holding hands all cute and discreet-like at the end of last season. So yeah, I’m glad that they haven’t abandoned it and we’re going to see more.
And that Mercedes will stop being so unlikeable and back to the hair-braiding Mercedes we can all enjoy. Well, that you guys can enjoy. I still haven’t fully forgiven her (or Rachel) for that one.
Sophy says: Serious question: Would you shave Lea Michele’s head? (And don’t say yes just so you get to touch her.)
Rin says: Okay okay okay. If it’s a one time offence I’ll be able to let it slide. But if she does it again, I can’t be held accountable for my actions.
“And just think, I’m only a sophomore and I’m already this good. Next year’s going to be a bloodbath.”
Sophy says: BAHAHAHAHAAH OH MY GOD HARMONY. She is easily my favourite of the Glee Project kids.
I know a lot of people are huge Sugar fans but for whatever reason I’m kind of blind to her. People are always telling me about all this cute background stuff she does, and when they do I can see it… but until someone points her out she honestly blends in with the walls for me. As for Rory, I actually mind him a lot less than you so might think – as long as he’s not taking up half the episode with his songs.
But, you guys, Harmony is absolutely the best. I could actually possibly come back for a new generation Glee if she was in it.
I MEAN LOOK AT HER OKAY? LOOK HOW EXCITED SHE IS ABOUT THIRD PLACE. AND. BLOODBATH. AND.
Harmony’s face/Kurt’s face forever and ever.
Rin says: She’s my favourite Glee project kid too. I loved her first performance back at the mixer, and she did amazing this time around too. She’s just such a Rachel Berry clone, that I can’t help but love her. AND KURT’S FACE. So afraid. <3
And there was just. Something so amazing about the way her face just LIT UP when it was announced the Unitards (WHICH OMG BEST NAME EVER) placed third. She was so happy with shameful bronze!!
New Directions win.
Sophy says: OH MY HEAD AND MY HANDS ,THIS WIN. SO DESERVED ON EVERY LEVEL. SO SOFT AND SO GLOWY. SO WARM IN THE HEART. TEARS OF IRRATIONAL PRIDE AND RATIONAL JOY.
Let me be very clear: I’m not just making some kind of silly fuss over the New Directions performance because I can’t see how great the Trouble Tones were because I hate them or whatever some of you out there think. The fact is, I really think they deserved to lose, not just on an emotional level, for ditching their friends and their team, but on an objective level too.
Don’t get me wrong, Amber and Naya sounded fantastic – I’m never going to deny their talent and I’m never going to not enjoy their voices or their lovely selves. And the tangoing was inspired. But the rest of the choreography? Yikes. And yes, I’m aware that it’s a very frenetic and challenging form of gay disco dancing and maybe that’s a nice touch in the context of Santana coming out. But is a nice touch that isn’t even touched upon in the show really worth looking completely ridiculous over? I mean, I’m a dancer, and as far as I’m concerned, messages are nice – in fact, sometimes messages are amazing… but at the end of the day, it’s kind of crucial to actually look good whilst delivering them. And nobody is ever going to convince me that what those girls were doing up there on that stage looked good. (Except the tangoing because inspired.)
And meanwhile I Will Survive/Survivor? Really? Am I being silly in finding that monumentally banal? It’s one of those combinations that is so obvious you just kind of cringe about it, and I don’t know… even though I’m not half as sold on the Adele mashup as most of fandom was, I still think they would have had a much better chance of winning if that had been in their line-up.
But then who’s to say it wasn’t? To be fair, they did have two other songs that we didn’t get to see. And who knows, maybe those two songs were amazing. But I’m fairly confident I would still rate those wonderful New Directions performances above them, because I was that blown away to the amount of eleven.
But you know my favourite thing about this head in hands? I love, love, love that Quinn looks across in the midst of all the cheering and sees her girls standing there dejected and at a loss… and she thinks “I love you girls.” You guys, it is so clear that this is the moment when she knew what she was going to do. And that’s why on second viewing the genius part where the Trouble Tones stand there like some kind of living, barely breathing exhibition of disappointment… and the doors close on their hopes of performing at Regionals, bang, bang… on second viewing it’s kind of amazing to know that as quick as those doors close they’ll be opened again by their girl Quinn.
Rin says: Oh my gosh. Their shining, smiling, happy faces. It’s moments like these that remind me that they’re all just a bunch of kids, as they jump and celebrate and all reach out to touch the trophy.
And Will/Emma! If they keep going down this track of adorable moments between these two, maybe we can start to forget all the ways they wronged them in the past, and we can start loving them properly again. I really do miss Emma though, so I hope she gets to do more in future episodes. (Read: She better do more in the future or ELSE :-w)
AND YES. QUINN. Amongst all the happy, she looks across at the TTs, her friends, and realises she needs to do something about this mess that they’re all in. Because she’s been there too, and not more than a couple episodes ago she wanted to join the TTs herself. And now that she’s found what really makes her happy, it allows her to start trying to make other people happy too. It’s a whole pay it forward kind of deal
Sophy says: RIGHT. She knows if Shelby hadn’t said no she’d be where they are, so she wants to share her good fortune around. It’s neat.
Oh and just while we’re on the subject of heads/hands, this:
She beat us to it. Of course.
“Oh god, no.”
Sophy says: This is us in a strip club. I can only hope we’re wearing a coat half as elegant.
Rin says: Rachel’s face is my favourite face in the entire world.
Srsly, Lea Michele. More awards needed. I’m going to have to give her some of Emily’s CHEs. I don’t even care.
Our souls would die if we didn’t include these…
Just a lady and her lady, fighting the good fight.
Sophy says: Okay, you guys. Here’s where I’m going to have to talk about something. And that something is Rachel Berry, Quinn Fabray and the whole deal with getting it right. Rachel tells Quinn here that she’s had a taste of what it’s like to do the wrong thing and it feels awful – and okay part of her reason for stopping Quinn is selfish – well, no, none of it is selfish, actually, it’s just that it’s not Quinnish, I guess is what I mean. Except for how a part of it totally is Quinnish. As in there is a part of it that is all about Rachel not wanting Quinn to get herself hurt the way she herself has been hurt. And you know, that’s really a running theme with Faberry, isn’t it? From something as simple as ‘I think you should wait – look what happened to me’, to the grander arc that’s been going on with the two of them.
Because really, the roles were so perfectly reversed last season. Yes, Quinn’s primary and most obvious motivation for telling Rachel to let Finn go was the fact she wanted to hang onto him herself… but there was an undeniably Rachelish subtext going on too. Quinn admires Rachel. She loves her on some level. And that’s not the delusional shipper in me talking – that’s honestly just what I see on my screen.
Quinn wants – no needs Rachel to shine. It’s fundamental. Inevitable and absolute. And Rachel? Rachel knows the best parts of Quinn better than Quinn herself knows them. And ultimately, each helps the other to get it right – Quinn last season when she directly inspired the song of the same name and helped Rachel to see that following her own brilliant path was more important than any high school romance with Finn. And now this season it’s the other way around. Rachel is cruel to the be kind, like Quinn was. She tells Quinn to let it go, drop it, move on – because she’s better than that. Because she’s so much more.
And Quinn does drop it. She hears what Rachel is saying and it moves her and moulds her, and for a pair of kind-of-friends, it just blows my mind how much these two matter to each other.
And it also blows my mind how they tend to look like a bride and groom just because.
Meanwhile this cap?
This is what Quinn Fabray’s face does when she realizes Rachel Berry is following her. I mean, really you guys. I just cannot.
And one more thing. Call me a fanwanker if you will, because I probably am. But I really do think it was pointed that the whole episode opened with Quinn marching up to Rachel and telling her her plan. I really believe that Quinn told Rachel her plan because she was looking for solidarity or approval, or maybe, just maybe, a part of her deep down inside was looking to be saved all along.
Rin says: MUAHAHAHHA JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT THE FABERRY WAS OVER AND DONE WITH. THERE’S MORE. THERE IS ALWAYS GOING TO BE MORE.
Oh Sophy :((((( Get it right. :(((((
THEY GOT IT RIGHT. JUST LIKE RACHEL SAID THEY WOULD. Ohhhhh world. Am I listening to Get It Right now? Yes. Yes I am. I WOULDN’T BE ME IF I DIDN’T PLAY THE SONG IMMEDIATELY, OKAY?!
This is where they started off the year:
Sophy, I think you could absolutely be right. That on some level Quinn went to Rachel and told her her plan because a part of her wanted Rachel to stop her. Maybe it wasn’t a conscious thought she had, but come on, it is Rachel Berry after all. What were the chances that she would actually help Quinn with her plan to sabotage Shelby and the TTs? Especially since Rachel JUST GOT SUSPENDED and banned from competing.
OR maybe all Quinn really wanted was to go all Thelma and Louise with Rachel.
That option is good too.
Quinn Glory Shot
We may never recover. Nor do we want to.
Rin says: I was already warned before I watched the episode that I’ll have a fun time with what Quinn wears for sectionals. I was all, ‘lol yeah ok :-j’ and then.
Quinn tux. It may be one of my new favourite Quinns.
AND QUINN/YELLOW. ADD IT TO THE MASTER LIST!
ALSO SHE WAS THE FUCKING CUTEST THING EVER IN RED SOLO CUP AND I WILL NEVER.
Sophy says: It’s almost stupid how much I adored Red Solo Cup. Really. In many other episodes I would have been nagging Rin to make Red Solo Cup best song. Because okay it’s nothing to write home about musically, but what does that matter when it was so impossibly cute? Tina and Quinn singing into their cups is right up there with Rachel and her hairbrush, and the whole ‘You’re not just a cup’ ‘God no!’… and ‘You’re my friend!‘ I die? And I just loved how it was so obviously this sweet, ridiculous little homage to the real friendship that the Glee kids give one another, whether it be Santana or Sam or any of them at any given time… they’re always there for each other. Also Dianna doing her little bootscooting moves will never not be amazing. Nor, by the by, will Kurt mouthing ‘What is wrong with you?’ at Blaine and his freakish capacity for enthusiasm.
I’d also like to mention how great the Quinn/Shelby scene was. I mean, on the one hand, I was kind of angry, because as much as I understand and respect Rachel’s reasoning for not revealing what was going on, I still felt kind of angry that Shelby didn’t have to face the music. Because she really fucked up here, okay? What she did was just wrong on a million levels and she should be fired for it. But the trouble is, the potential consequences for that baby kind of cancel out all the justified rage.
And I know I’m highjacking this category but whatever, it was kind of a misc – for Rophy, misc is always Quinn Fabray.
But yeah, I wanted to talk about Puck for a second. He really got shafted in this episode, and I will be among the disappointed if his storyline with Shelby doesn’t get a proper wrap-up. I mean, I wish they’d never gone there in terms of giving Puck real, actual feelings for Shelby, but since they definitely did, they need to follow through with his loss having some effect on him – because it’s not like he’s just been dumped by some random MILF. It’s the mother of his child! Well… one of them. Anyway, it’s a very messy situation and it needs to not be shoved under the rug. And in that same vein, Rachel’s non-reaction to Puck/Shelby was not okay – not if they’re going to leave it at that, anyway. It should bother her a lot more that her friend – a guy she had a fling with, no less – had sex with her biological mother. With whom he has a baby. Sort of. Um. But Rachel/Shelby is a much broader issue, and they need to give the two of them an arc. So hopefully she’s not just going to fade away after this episode. So. We’ll see.
And another thing that’s getting some visual representation in the form of Quinn glorying here: the Trouble Tones girls getting guaranteed solos. A part of me really tried to be angry about that. Because I mean, really, why should they? Everyone in the New Directions works just as hard as they do, and they’ve proven that they can pull off a win, even without their strongest singers… so it kind of irks me that people like Tina will get probably overlooked since a third of the positions are automatically filled. And it even irks me that amazing, dedicated and hardworking performers like Rachel aren’t getting any guarantees when these girls are. But I can’t. It’s too hard to resent anything that gets our kids back together. A compromise, however unfair, seems worth it to me – and apparently it seems worth it to the rest of the kids too.
GLEE FOR BEING GLEE
New Directions – We Are Young
Rin says: So this is where I’m contuining my rant which started under Man In The Mirror. Because this song and just THIS THIS THIS reiterated my feelings perfectly about what Glee is all about.
And that to me, is belonging. Which, especially in high school, is all you ever really want to feel. And that’s what Glee club is to all these kids, because no matter where they’ve come from or what they’ve had to deal with, they’ve all been a part of something that is bigger than themselves — and no one will ever be able to take that away from them. They’re all each other’s chosen family, and you get the feeling that they’ll always be loving and accepting of each other.
And you know, that’s kind of a special bond and probably the biggest reason why we loved this episode so much. Because earlier this season that bond was violated, and in turn a lot of unsavoury things went down. Which, happens, being that it’s life and all. But this episode was all about moving past those things, growing and coming together and everyone being better off for it.
I felt like this performance was along the lines of My Life Would Suck Without You, in the way that so many things were happening and it wasn’t just about the singing. I was actually surprised this wasn’t the last episode before the hiatus, because it felt like they were closing a lot of doors, and then setting up a few to tackle later. And one of the things I adore about MLWSWY is the choreography and how they incorporated all the dance moves from previous performances, so you felt a real sense of closure. They did the same thing here, except it wasn’t in dance moves, it was just in who sung what part, who did what, who hugged who etc. It was gorgeous and felt like a completely organic way to bring closure to a few of the running plots this season.
If I had to make a list about the things I LOVED AND CAN NEVER NOW BE WITHOUT it’d be pretty long. It’d look something like this:
Rachel’s yellow hat.
That drum beat.
Omg the ‘Dog Days Are Over’ set!
The shaky camera filming.
Finn’s stupid smile.
The way Rachel jumps down.
Because they’re kind of friends now.
The way the TT’s walk in with their tails in between their legs.
Quinn’s rock and roll face.
Brittany bopping her shoulders.
The way Mercedes joins in.
The TT’s harmony.
The way they sing to each other from across the room.
Brittany reaching out, and then Blaine reaching out.
QUINN PUTTING HER FIST OVER HER HEART. AND THEN THAT SLIGHT PAUSE BEFORE SHE STARTS SINGING AND MAKING HER WAY OVER TO MERCEDES.
‘Carry me home tonight.’
The way the TTs all look as if Quinn is the hottest boy in school about to ask Mercedes to dance at the prom.
QUINN’S ‘COME HERE’ GESTURES. I CAN’T.
The way Rachel is hugging Sam.
Santana being left behind to sing her part. But she stands stronger than ever.
THE WAY RACHEL LOOKS AT SANTANA. WITH PURE UNDERSTANDING AND FRIENDSHIP AND LOVE.
Rachel going to get Santana.
Their hand holding.
Rachel beating her chest.
Quinn pumping her guns in the air.
The group shot of everyone singing.
Will looking on lovingly and proudly.
Rachel and that LOOK ON HER FACE as she stares at Quinn. Like???
QUINN STARING BACK AT RACHEL.
And her little arm movement in tune with the final note.
Quinn’s overenthusiastic clapping.
That final, beautiful shot.
Yeah, so those are just a few things that I love about We Are Young.
And I still feel really compelled to talk about my favourite bits
First off, it’s the way Quinn puts her fist over her heart. Because I don’t even know. I just really fucking love it, okay? And then she goes and carries Mercedes home. Because they have a really important friendship on the show, and I thought they’d probably continue it when Will pointed it out during 301, and when Mercedes welcomed Quinn back into Glee — but it kind of got lost along the way, with Mercedes shit and Quinn’s crazy. So it was really nice that they brought it back here… because remember when Mercedes let Quinn stay with her? And remember when Quinn gave that BEAUTIFUL speech to Mercedes about eating and taking care of herself? Yeah. So. I’m glad Quinn twirled Mercedes around
And the next moment that I get really flaily about is Rachel being the one to get Santana. And I’ve been trying really hard to pinpoint why it really stood out to me and made my heart swell and my eyes moon, because I doubt I would have gotten as swoony if it was anyone else who had done so. (I probably would have if it was Quinn.) I think what makes it so special to me is that Santana and Rachel have never really been friends, and they’ve actually been quite the opposite. Unlike with Quinn, they screwed each other over a few times, but they’ve always had their non-friendship friendship. With Santana it’s always been a bit of a hate/hate relationship. So when Rachel goes to get Santana and bring her in with everyone, it’s like they’re putting their past behind them and starting fresh. And New friendships Because they should be friends, actual friends. And I love that they realise that. It also feels on par to what Santana was saying last episode about how she didn’t want to fight anymore and just wants to be herself — sure she was referring to her sexuality in that moment, but I feel like after letting go of all that anger she’d mellow out in general. And just LET LOVE IN. (Couldn’t help myself.)
And just. The song is freaking gorgeous too. I’m sure it’s had a thousand plays by now. Definitely one of my favourite Glee performances ever.
Sophy says: Okay, I don’t really know what to add to what Rin has already said. This performance absolutely blew me away in that way where I hear Lea Michele’s voice and get blown away, and then Finn’s voice comes in and Mercedes’ layers over the top and I’m automatically transported back to the start of the whole show with those three ground level New Directions members and Oh.
There’s been a lot of New Directions versus Trouble Tones going on lately but with this one song I was reminded of the truth of the matter: these kids belong together. I mean ‘We Are Young’ is how it’s supposed to be, and I’m at peace with whatever deals and sacrifices had to be made to get us to this point.
And maybe I’m a peace with the Trouble Tones arc, too, now that it’s over. I will never approve of what Mercedes did. And that’s a sad thing, because if the story had been written properly – if she’d truly been working as hard as Rachel, if she’d actually never been given solos, if she’d been handwaved out of the school musical for not fitting the part physically, if she’d tried to talk to Will about it and been given the brush-off… if any or all of that had happened, I would have identified strongly with her and been her biggest cheerleader. But as it is the writers protected Will at her expense and so she came off as the bad guy. Santana I have less of an issue with, because looking at her arc over the last few episodes, it’s clear that her leaving ND had more to do with her emotional turmoil and her ‘get them before they get me’ attitude than anything else. Britt gets a pass because she did it for love and/or leprechauns. But honestly, all my disapproval can go fuck itself. I just don’t care anymore. They’re back. That’s what counts.
And the cool thing is that now, with Blaine in the mix, with Sam back, with Mike finding his voice and his confidence, with Mercedes and Santana and Britt back in the group and stronger than ever for their solo experiences, with Rachel’s ban lifted, with Tina, Quinn and all the others given a chance to develop in the spotlight… you can honestly believe that this is the Glee Club that will win Nationals. Because with all that talent they are above and beyond. And their trophy had better be freaking huge, k thx. SO BIG THEY HAVE TO GET MORE GUYS FROM THE BAND JUST TO HELP THEM HOLD IT.
So like I said, Rin has basically covered everything. But I will say that Finn’s derpy face on ‘My lover’ was so cute and stupid and cute and the best. And Brittany’s little shoulders bopping involuntarily to the beat of her friends’ joy? Amazing. And when Mercedes looked around her at her girls and they okayed it and she burst into song and everyone turned around like SO PERFECT. And then Quinn smiles because she’s so happy that it worked, that she did it, that she got it right and now everyone is there where they’re supposed to be. And okay you guys, my heart kind of died a thousand heart attacky deaths when Quinn went up to Mercedes to carry her home, and I couldn’t help thinking of all the things the show sweeps under the rug, like say how Quinn lived with Mercedes when she got kicked out of her own home, and it’s so fitting and right that she should love her friend and come get her and bring her back into the fold. And later, when Rachel sings the final ‘home’ and presses her cheek against Mercedes’ cheek? DYING.
But probably the best part of all of it was when Santana stood alone. After all her girls had rushed back into the fray, she stood tall and proud and utterly strong and still a little bit hard-edged… and when she sang for someone to come and take her home? It was Rachel. Of course it was Rachel. As she hugged Sam she thought how he had been a million miles away and she had gone to carry him home, and then she looked at Santana and thought how she has always been a million miles away emotionally, and she sang – Tonight – because now was finally Santana’s time to be brought home, once and for all.
And who better to do it? Because it’s the cliche of the cheerleader bully and the cliche of the bullied nerd acknowledging that that’s never who they were and that’s not who they’re ever going to be, either.
WITH THE SWEETEST SMILES. AND HAND-HOLDING. AND I CAN’T.
And can we please have a Santana/Rachel friendship forever and ever?
On that note, thank you, show. We do a lot of bitching, but when you are at your best, you are absolutely the best. And this was one of those times.
All hail 308, the episode that made Rophy let Glee back in. (Take care of our hearts, Glee, won’t you please?)
Rin says: Part of me is wary, but the other part just wants to throw up her hands and shout, ‘TO HELL WITH THE HEART CONDOMS!’
Sophy says: LET’S MAKE A PERFECT GROPHY BABY!!!!