Santana, Tina, Mercedes – Shake It Out
Rin says: I loved the original of this song, I mean, how can you not? It’s epic and Florence and just a great song. And I wouldn’t essentially call this version better, but it definitely does the original proud.
I love hearing stripped down versions of songs because all we’re really left with is their voices. And Naya, Jenna and Amber together worked so freaking well that I’m upset that it’s taken this long for them to get together in this way. Their harmonies? I had to pause the episode because it was that beautiful and I couldn’t handle it all in one go.
And I am so so so happy that Jenna got a major part in the song too, because she doesn’t get to showcase what she can do enough. And this was the perfect song for that.
BTW. One of my favourite things is that Bieste uses a briefcase.
Sophy says: Absolutely gorgeous. And I agree with Rin, the girls sounded wonderful together. Though I have to say I feel the mix could have benefited from a certain tremulous alto – no really, Dianna has a sweet gentleness of tone that I feel could have woven in really well there. Not to mention, I don’t understand why she would not be involved in the Bieste domestic abuse plotline, other than the fact that they were obviously pulling a Tina with her. There were definite shadows of domestic abuse going on in Quinn’s family back in season 1, and it would have been nice to see that referred to in connection with Bieste’s situation.
Also, I’d just like to take a moment to say how brilliant this was from a story-telling perspective. All the way through the episode I’d been groaning somewhat at Bieste’s dialogue, because it was just so cliched that I was like OH MY GOD SHE’S BEEN STUFFING HER CHICKENS WITH CHEESE. No really, when she was describing her situation and her feelings about it, it was almost as though she was reading from a leaflet, to the point where it made me wonder whether the show, having rightly castigated the girls for making light of domestic abuse, was in fact making light of domestic abuse.
But then we came to this place where Bieste was an inspiration and she was crying and the girls were singing their inspired hearts out and there was hugging and hope and it was all a lie – it was all a facade – because she had given the MOTHERFUCKING FUCKING FUCK FACE FUCK a “second chance”. And that was when all the stilted falseness of her earlier pronouncements made sense – because in reality she hadn’t been processing and sharing and growing and learning – she’d just been going through the motions. And honestly, when I realized that she hadn’t left, that the song of catharsis was, for her, some kind of dirge, and that her tears of gratitude were equally tears of buried shame? One of the most poignant moments on the show.
It helps that Dot Marie’s face does awesome things that make you want to cry with her.
And yes, the suitcase was a briefcase. Epic.
One final thing, I love that they did this plotline with the coach specifically. Because if you were going to judge a book by its cover she’s the last kind of woman you’d expect to put up with getting beaten by her husband. And yet, it makes perfect sense – it fits her often very sad and insecure character like a very sad and insecure glove. And more than that, it subverts expectations and teaches us that it doesn’t matter what you look like or how you present yourself to the world, we are all vulnerable. We can all be manipulated and abused. And even if Bieste could probably right hook Cooter into orbit… it doesn’t mean she’s not as fragile emotionally as Quinn’s petite blonde twin-set clad mother ever was.
Rin says: Yes yes yes yes to all of the above. I also want to join in and say that Dot Marie is amazing and I’m glad she’s getting more to do, because as much as I enjoy her eating whole chickens… it’s so lovely to see her acting her pants off and making us sad with her cryface. And as much as it just plain sucks that Bieste couldn’t get away, and ended up giving dickface another chance, I really think Glee did a brave thing in doing so. Which made me appreciate the storyline that much more. Even though I do feel like Glee is going NUTS with all of their ~issues lately.
I do think Glee were inspired by Nene Leakes though, the actress who plays Coach Roz, as she was a victim of domestic abuse, but now has a charity that fights violence against women. Which I only know because of when she was on The Celebrity Apprentice. Ahem.
“If you don’t have a change of clothes, I have a tent you can wear.”
“I ruined my tent fashioning a neck hole in it.”
Rin says: SHE HAS A TENT SHE CAN WEAR.
AND THEN SHE FASHIONED A NECK HOLE IN IT.
I just. I love the Sue/Bieste relationship.. a lot a lot a lot.
Sophy says: AND WHAT IS SHE GOING TO DO WITH THE CHICKENS, RIN?
THINK OF THE CHICKENS?
Super adorable. And I loved how the moment Sue started letting her serious and decent side show, she was calling her Shannon – not Bieste, not “John Goodman”. Shannon.
Really nicely done.
“You and Finn are gonna be great in New York together.”
Rin says: Like. Nothing in the world can sound more wrong than that sentence right there.
Finn/New York just makes me lol.
Sophy says: AAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
Rin says: x2
Deep in space there are giant interstellar clouds. Most of them just float through the universe, content to be balls of gas and space dust, but there are special ones. Maybe they collide with a supernova or are just made up of something extra amazing, but one day they just get too big for the nebulas they’re in and with the sheer gravitational force of their awesomeness, they become a star.
“I am that amazing cloud. My whole life has led to this moment.”
Sophy says: Could it be? Is this the real Rachel Berry I see before me? Did she in fact claw her way out of her Finchel-infested grave???
Not quite. The reference to her fiance being supportive threw the whole montage off and nearly threw my lunch off my stomach. And yet. Whilst I found Finn’s presence in this montage extremely ill-judged, especially given that he’s the only presence – only Rachel’s fiance is allowed to be her support system in this, you guys – not her dads, not her friends, not her Glee club coach, or even her multi-award winning Glee coach bio-mom, just Finn. Only Finn. Because they are everything to each other, you know?
OH GOD MY LUNCH, IT’S COMING AGAIN.
Where was I even going with that ‘And yet’? Oh yes, that’s right. And yet. In another context, say, in the context where Finn was not Rachel’s fiance, where he was not the only one who’s allowed into the montage, where Rachel had not just two weeks ago told him that she’d give up New York for him… in another, better, Finchel context, I would have adored them in this montage. Because LOOK AT THEIR LITTLE FACES? AND THE STOPWATCH? AND JUST?
Those caps are proof that it is simply no longer possible for me to ship Finchel. Because if they can’t win me back over to their side, then nothing can.
But enough. All no-ing aside, how can I stay mad at this utter gloriousness? Lea Michele proved once again why this show would be nothing without her. Every facial expression, every line delivery, every twitch, every pursed lip was pitch perfect – right up to the strange, uniquely Rachel mixture of supreme confidence and fervent nervousness that was You are going to shine so bright on that stage that the sun is going to cry with envy.
Also, Puck’s wink was not only completely hilarious, but made me pretty damn nostalgic.
(Yes, there was a time when I was on board the Puckleberry ship.)
Rin says: Yeah, ‘fiance’ is just.. yuck.
BUT AT THIS POINT I WAS JUST SO HAPPY TO SEE RACHEL, OUR RACHEL BACK OUT IN FULL FORCE THAT I COULDN’T CARE LESS. Her monologues are literally the best ever, and I will never understand how Lea Michele had never tried comedy before Glee. She is ridiculous and hilarious and honestly makes some of the best facial expressions I’ve ever seen.
AND I LOVED THE WRITING. STARS. METAPHORS. AND WALKING BACKWARDS. Amazing.
By the way, the supernova is Quinn Fabray. No further explanation needed.
Also, time for my ridiculous Faberry-stanning of the recap:
Rachel has two loofahs. A blonde and pink one. /shrugs
Sophy says: SHE RUBS THEM ON HER BODY.
Best ‘Brittany is random’ Moment
“Did he break his hand?”
Rin says: I love a good Brittany is random moment during a serious scene.
Sophy says: I think my favourite thing about this Random Britt is that you’re left wondering exactly how random it was. Because on the one hand it was so inappropriate and lols. But on the other hand… look at her face. LOOK AT HER FACE. She really wants to know if that FUCKING FUCK broke his hand so if he didn’t she can organise some way to do it for him.
Rophy Says No!
Sophy says: Wow, okay. I have strong feelings about this scene and some of the feelings are a little conflicting, so bear with me.
First of all, I don’t buy this. I just simply don’t buy that Rachel Fucking Berry would choke at this juncture. Because she’s Rachel Fucking Berry, you know? Coming through when it counts is basically a way of life for her. Remember all the times the Glee club was about to fall apart before a performance and Rachel was the amazing glue that stuck everything back together into an amazing shape again at the last minute? Remember, specifically, that time when they were in a rut and nobody wanted to take a risk, and Rachel was there with her competition-winning original song to save the day? I’m supposed to believe that that girl not only choked, but also lacked the courage Kurt had to think outside the box? Please.
This feels very contrived to me. It seems like a cheap attempt to create drama, when we all know that in the real world a girl like Rachel would simply have sung her song and asked where she should go to pick up her enrollment form. More worryingly still, it feels like a way of teaching Rachel yet another lesson about humility, and there is pretty much nothing I hate more than when this show tries to teach Rachel lessons about humility when it comes to her talent and skill. I’m fine with them taking her down a peg or two in other ways, but this just smacks of ‘Hey amazing cloud, you’re not really such an amazing cloud after all. Once you stop thinking you’re such an amazing cloud then you’ll be worthy of this opportunity.’
I really hope that’s not what they’re doing. But I’m rapidly running out of faith with this show when it comes to Rachel.
And you know, the difficulty is that what Whoopi says to her is true: you can’t pull this shit on Broadway. You can’t choke, least of all when it counts the most. So what is the show trying to say? That Rachel’s not as strong as she thought she was? Not as smart? Not as focused? Just not as good?
That’s the last thing I want her to be learning. Ever. She felt threatened by Sunshine’s talent and reacted badly. She was seriously spooked by how great Harmony’s performance was and realised she might be more of a little fish in a big pond than she had thought. She learned and grew from both those experiences. But this is too far. She does not need this. The show does not need this. And okay, I’m just going to come out and say it. What’s bothering me most is that it smacks of tacit misogyny – they reward the cocky, talented male, but punish the cocky, talented female who has worked twice as hard and long to get here, because, you know, the ladies tend to let their emotions get the better of them when the pressure’s on, don’t they?
I’m not usually one to hop on the feminist soap-box. Really, I’m not. But this just feels off to me.
Okay so, to recap, I hate this. And I don’t buy it.
And yet I do buy it. And I also love it.
Hear me out.
Everybody chokes once in a while. Everybody. I was at the Australian Open final in 2009. Roger Federer knows. I know.
So whilst I still question the decision to run with this plotline, particularly in contrast to Kurt’s resounding success, it is possible for even one so brilliant and consistent as Rachel to just screw it up just because.
So it’s horrible, but it is plausible.
And as for loving it? Well… I basically just love it because Lea Michele. She absolutely nailed the panic and smallness and humiliation and disbelief and despair and OH MY BABY NOOOO
I actually teared up watching this. Because. “Please?”
I would also just like to say how deeply I resent that the guys cared more about Puck’s test than any of the Glee kids did about Rachel’s devastating experience with her audition. But, you know, the guys cared more about Puck’s test than any of the Glee kids did about Quinn almost dying. So. There’s that.
Rin says: I’m not as angry as Sophy. I’m not saying I liked, or agreed with it, but I think I just jumped to Sophy’s latter train of thought a lot quicker than she did. She was gnashing and I was all, BUT AT LEAST SHE’LL GET TO DO SOMETHING THAT DOESN’T CONCERN FINN.
Unless this is just a huge ploy to show how Finn supports Rachel enough and eventually it’s that, that gets her into NYADA. I will never stop raging if that’s what happens. I may even stop watching.
But I’m hoping it’s not. EVEN THOUGH ONLY A FOOL WOULD CONTINUE TO HOPE GIVEN RECENT EVENTS. But I am a fool.
And Lea Michele, I cannot sing you enough praises (I would never sing in front of Lea Michele) for the moment when Rachel’s not given another chance, and she drops her hands and walks forward as she utters, ‘excuse me?’ I love that moment a lot. A LOT A LOT.
ALSO I REFUSE TO BELIEVE that there won’t be a scene where Quinn comforts Rachel and tells her how amazing and brilliant she is and that no matter what she’s going to find her way to New York and make it onto that stage. IF IT DOESN’T HAPPEN, I’m calling OOC.
And god damnit. They all did care more about Puck graduating than Quinn almost dying. INCLUDING TEEN JESUS BY THE WAY.
Sophy says: To be honest it’s already kind of OOC that Quinn wasn’t lurking in the wings somewhere at the audition. Maybe it’s hard to lurk in the chair
Rin says: She would find a way. Nothing has ever stopped her before.
Oh and can we talk about that moment where Finn says, “I mean… I just don’t get it. It was a total choke. Okay. So, let’s hop on back to sunny Spain.” ……….WHAT?!?!?!?!?! Next time Finn, try to show that you care even less. The ‘love of your life’ just blew her biggest chance at achieving her dream, everything that she’s spent her life building towards, and your reaction is… I DON’T GET IT. IT WAS A TOTAL CHOKE. OH WELL, SPAIN.
Sophy says: Spain hates you Finn. I called and asked.
“I called dibs on all the chicks whose boobs aren’t done growing yet.”
Sophy says: This was not funny.
Rin says: Puck usually never crosses the line. He did here.
Not enough frowning in the world can express how upsetting this was.
Sophy says: WE NEED THIS ON ALL THE MILK CARTONS. STAT.
Rin says: I was originally going to write something funny (trust me, it would have been funny..) but I can’t even. NEVER has Quinn Fabray never not been in an episode. And it just feels wrong to not have any excuse whatsoever for her not being there. If she’s supposed to be in physical therapy, WHY NOT just say so? It probably wouldn’t ease my anger in the slightest, but at least we’d know why she wasn’t there and not have to assume it’s because they don’t give a fuck.
They better make this up to us. And also everyone keeps going back and forward on whether or not Dianna is actually officially, 100% confirmed, signed on for Season 4. And we’ve sort of just assumed, and especially now that there have been TWO episodes where she hasn’t had anything to do, that they just wouldn’t do this to Dianna Agron if she wasn’t coming back. They would give her a proper send-off… so maybe on that front it’s a good sign. BUT I DON’T KNOW. I DON’T TRUST THEM. So I’m scared and afraid and angry and cold.
And on that note. It’s downright frustrating that Joe got more screentime than Quinn. That just doesn’t seem right, does it? Because these days it seems like Quinn only gets screentime if it involves Joe or Artie, and yet those guys continue to get screentime without her. UNFAIR.
Sophy says: Co-signed.
Head In Hands
Rin says: Kurt’s performance was amazing and perfect and so Kurt. AND HE RIPPED OFF HIS SUIT TO REVEAL SHINY GOLD PANTS. I will never.
Also, I think it’s utterly adorable that the girls were wearing a slightly altered version of their outfit from their first Regionals. It’s just.. IT GAVE ME FEELINGS.
Sophy says: The recycled costumes were so adorable – a rare touch of realism from the show. Who knows whether that was the intention or whether they really were just recycling for convenience… either way, I appreciated it.
And yeah, Kurt’s performance was sublime. Hardly a surprise that Whoopi wanted him to come to her artistic bosom immediately.
Rin says: I do want to say that I was pretty upset we didn’t get to see Rachel as Christine though. HER HAIR WAS AMAZING.
AND ALSO, I LOVED TINA’S WHOLE ROLE IN THAT. AND HOW EASILY KURT DISMISSED HER
But she got to be in the performance anyway. <3
Hurricanes hardly happen..
(If any of you are confused, you need to watch ‘Small Island’ right now.)
Quinn Glory Shot
Did you really think we’d let you get away with it, Glee?
Rin says: When life gives you lemons…
MAKE A QUINN GLORY WALL.
And by the way? I wasn’t actively trying to make any of them Rachel related. That’s just how a lot of them turned out. IT’S NOT ME, IT’S THE SHOW. None of us made this Faberry shit up you guys, it’s real and it’s happening. Prepare your loins.
Sophy says: This is the best thing ever in the world? Or at least the best thing since that deleted scene in JJ’s s4 episode of Skins…