New Directions – We Are The Champions
Sophy says: Unfortunately Rophy were not overly fond of any of the performances in this episode. Or, you know, of any of the scenes. See below.
However, there will always be a place in our hearts for Glee kids hugging Will. If we squint, we can pretend he’s still the same plucky, salt of the earth guy he was back in season 1, and let the warm fuzzies roll.
It is a shame though that they dropped the ball on Will/the kids over the last couple of seasons, because if those relationships had been more layered and more present this whole number would have packed so much more punch.
If wishes were horses. There’s a lot of that going on in this episode.
Anyway, I can’t say I was all that dazzled by the kids’ rendition of ‘We Are The Champions’, nor by their most obvious of obvious choices of song to sing in the first place. And, you know, it felt kind of ironic to me that they were singing Queen to Will. Because maybe it should have been taking me back to ‘Somebody To Love’. But it wasn’t. It was taking me back to ‘Bohemian Rhapsody.’ Basically it just hammered home exactly what my problem with the whole Nationals set was.
The New Directions finally won Nationals. By being more like Vocal Adrenaline.
Really, long before they broke out the Queen I had that thought. The New Directions have always stood out for me by being fresh, quirky, and more than anything by having a whole load of feeling and a whole load of truth going on. Generally speaking, and certainly when they’re at their best, the only stories the New Directions tell up on that stage are their own, real stories. Their performances are all about who they are and what they’ve been through and where they’re headed. The only time they’ve strayed from that was arguably with ‘Valerie’, though even that competition had a bit of what they stand for going on with ‘I’ve Had The Time Of My Life’. At Nationals? You could argue that singing about being on the edge of glory is partly them singing their story… but it’s a little less plucky and adorable and a little more, well, vain and presumptuous. As for the other two songs I don’t see what remotest meaning they have to the group. I don’t see how they are in any way telling the story of the New Directions. And on a narrative level, it kills me that they won with songs like that.
I always knew Glee were going to come up against a problem when they introduced the concept of the kids writing their own songs in season 2. Because really, how on earth do you top that? How on earth is any Nationals-winning set going to be as exciting as that time Rachel belted out ‘Get It Right’ and all the kids burst onto the stage singing ‘Loser Like Me’. You can’t go up from there. Even the second lot of original songs kind of felt like a let-down after the sheer joy of the first.
So it was always going to be tough to hit a high note after that. But they succeeded. And you know how? Via the means of Michael Jackson. Because Michael Jackson is how you top the untoppable. Not Meatloaf, not Celine, and certainly not Lady Freaking Gaga. I mean really, if there was ever a time to play the Beatles card it was now.
Or even the U2 card? Or how about the freaking ABBA card?
Could there have been anything more adorable than this group of kids singing ‘Thank You For The Music’ to each other? MY CRYING WOULD HAVE BEEN OBSCENE.
Because it pretty much would have been the performance version of “Being a part of something special makes you special.”
And oh my god, can you imagine Quinn singing the “I’ve been so lucky, I’m the girl with the golden hair” verse. I just. I cannot.
I want to have obscene crying just thinking about it.
And meanwhile, let’s talk about the fail of Nationals being the Finchel show. Rachel being the star I will always understand. She’s their MVP and she’s their MVP for a reason – or a whole damn lot of reasons, actually. If there needed to be a big solo ballad (which I question) then unquestionably it should have gone to her. But it still grated on me how little Mercedes had to do. That girl is the ace up their sleeve for god’s sake. Why was she not belting out some amazing high notes? Was that the point of her being sick? Except even if it was I”m confused because she was magically cured? I don’t even understand.
I understand even less how the hell Finn was the unequivocal male lead. On a narrative level, yeah, I get it, this is the Finchel show, and we’re going obviously to go back to our Finchelliest roots for this performance. But in the real world? No way Finn would have been lead. Not when you have Artie, who has a much stronger voice, and Blaine who has a stronger voice and also would have killed the acting side of things.
LOL WAIT SORRY SO DID FINN, HE IS BRILLIANT, HE ALWAYS WANTED TO BE AN ACTOR, THAT’S WHY HE AUDITIONED FOR WEST SIDE STORY AND WAS THE TONY TO RACHEL’S –
Finn is fine, you know. He hits the notes, pretty much, he scrunches up his face to show much he’s feeling it, he scampers around the stage and doesn’t fall over. It’s all good. But Blaine is an actual performer. And don’t give me ‘He’s a junior’ as an excuse. Glee has never made out that prominence was supposed to be based on seniority until last week with Rachel and Tina and the whole ‘Your turn next’ bullshit. This has never been about how old you are or even how long you’ve been at it. It’s about who has the chops, end of story. And Blaine has more chops than Finn, performance-wise. In fact, I’d say that Puck might even have more chops than him performance-wise, but he’s so rarely given any kind of chance to show it.
And then we come to the really naff part. The part where Kurt Hummel, despite recently wowing Whoopi such that he was a shoo-in for NYADA on the spot, was not featured in this competition. I mean, he may have had a line or something, sure, but he was not featured, in any way. He’s not a junior. Why the hell wasn’t it his ~turn?
His performance for Whoopi and her response basically established him as officially the strongest performer in the group. And yet, after three years of bugger-all, all he gets at Nationals is still bugger-all. It’s depressing that the only school Kurt could get to give him a real part at a Glee competition was Dalton Academy. AKA the school for gay kids.
Wrong move, show. Really, really wrong move.
So at the end of the day, this didn’t feel like the New Directions performing as the New Directions. It felt like the New Directions performing as Vocal Adrenaline. And I don’t know if that’s down to the way it was filmed to seem like Finchel were basically the only two people in the room after the first number, I don’t know if it’s down to the song choices that had nothing to do with who they are and the struggle to get on that stage, I don’t know if it’s down to the costumes that were eerily reminiscent of those blue numbers the VA kids wore way back in season 1… but there you have it. The New Directions finally won Nationals by being more like Vocal Adrenaline and frankly not doing it half as well.
I’m talking about Jesse-era Vocal Adrenaline here, but if I’m honest, I could be talking about Unique-era Vocal Adrenaline too. I really feel that their performances were similar and better. And it’s sad that I have to feel that way when my kids finally beat them.
Meanwhile what on earth was going on with Finn and Rachel singing Paradise By The Dashboard Light. Was it a sign that the show know how stupid and awful their teen wedding plotline is? Or was it just a further sign that they are blind as hell to it?
I want answers and I only have one episode left to get them. Here’s hoping they’re not the horribly wrong ones.
Rin says: PRAISE.
I kind of want to leave it at that. But I won’t.
Because I feel exactly like Sophy. Ticked off that in order for our kids, our babies, to win Nationals.. they had to become more like Vocal Adrenaline. And that’s always what they weren’t. They were the misfits, cobbled together by their mutual love and respect for each other. They were in Glee because they enjoyed it, and it was their safe haven within a school that wasn’t always so accommodating. I’m not saying they didn’t want to win more than anything, but I feel like their performances as a whole would have really struck a chord with me had they kept to their own style with songs that described their journey and how far they’ve come. And the idea that they would win on account of just having all the heart in the world and the energy and feel of the performance being entirely them had the potential to move me to tears. But it didn’t, and that’s pretty frustrating to me. The fact that we’ve watched these kids grow from strength to strength over the years, working towards that goal of winning Nationals.
And I really have to concur with the whole, where the fuck was Kurt and why was he not featured heavily? I mean, he had that moment where the gay alliance (excl. Quinn) stood front and centre for like, 10 seconds and that was cute. But there needed to be more. He’s an original, one of a kind for sure, and it would have been nice to see a moment where he shone and was himself (and not in a dress) and just NAILED IT. LIKE THAT TIME HE VAULTED MIKE.
COME ON YOU GUYS. THAT WAS ONE OF THE GREATEST MOMENTS ND HAS EVER HAD ON STAGE!
And then I imagine a bit in their song where all of the originals stand front and centre and have their moment and they hold hands and the song swells and oh my heart.
I JUST NEEDED IT REALLY BAD. AND IT DIDN’T HAPPEN.
What we got was the Finchel Show, and I can’t stand for that. The best part about New Directions was the way they weren’t like VA, in that it wasn’t just a one man (or two man) show. It was ALL of them. They all have their own unique (LOL PARDON THE PUN??) voice and place within the group, and they’re just.. THEY’RE OUR RAG-TAG BUNCH OF KIDS. And to me that’s very appealing, because I have no doubt in my mind that an audience would connect with that.
Also Sophy said this earlier to me, about how they essentially lost last year because they made it the Finchel show.
DID WE LEARN NOTHING???????
And I think the whole thing with Mercedes was supposed to be a way for Quinn and Tina to be included in the Trouble Tones performance. Which is such a weak and flimsy way to do that. Honestly, if they just said, ‘we need more singers for our performance’ that would have been 100x more acceptable and believable. Stop making a huge fuss over Mercedes being sick and then miraculously cured. That time could have been better spent elsewhere, that’s for sure.
And I still hate all the randoms in the Trouble Tones. WE DON’T WANT OR NEED YOU. GO AWAY. I JUST WANT TO SEE OUR GIRLS. AND OUR GIRLS ONLY.
I guess nothing will ever top their sectionals performance from this year. When it felt like everybody really got a turn to shine. Tina, Mike, Kurt and Quinn in ABC. Quinn, Blaine and Artie in Control. Puck, Finn, Sam, Artie and Blaine in Man In The Mirror. And the Trouble Tones. And it’s ridiculously easy to just throw Rachel in wherever, so that’s not an excuse.
Oh look at us. TURNING EVERYTHING INTO A NO AGAIN.
And I haven’t even said a word about We Are The Champions yet.
It’s only here because of the hugging line. Which was adorable and Will’s face, because this is the start of the farewell to these kids and oh my gosh.
And Quinn kissed his cheek instead of hugging him and HE HAS HER LIPSTICK ON HER CHEEK OMG.
And I didn’t even really like this as a song because it was a bit off for me. Yes they won, but it seems like singing about being champions and having no time for losers is NOT them. HELLO? Did we forget that they once wrote a song called Loser Like Me?? It just felt a bit elitist and exclusive, when that’s entirely what Glee club is against.
And yeah yeah I know it’s just a fun victory song It was just jarring. They deserve all the rights to gloat and be happy and celebrate their win. I’m not trying to take that away from them. I promise.
Oh and. Can we please please please get MORE Kurt/Quinn? The type where they sing arm in arm and not the type where Kurt belittles everything about Quinn’s experience? Thank you.
Sophy says: PRAISE RIGHT BACK AT YOU.
And yeah, it’s like they all sat down and brainstormed and Finn was all ‘Hey guys, I was thinking, last year we lost because Rachel and I made out on stage – maybe this year we should sing about our teen wedding! :D’ And nobody told him Spain hated him.
Meanwhile, I know exactly what you mean about ‘We Are The Champions’ feeling a little bombastic and kind of not-my-kids. I would have preferred something more gracious and sweet, but maybe that’s just me.
And yes, the show really needs more Quinn and Kurt interaction in a positive way. I’d love to see them have scenes in New York when Quinn visits Rachel for those weekend sex romps she’s been dream journalling about.
LASTLY. I WANT QUINN’S LIPSTICK ON MY CHEEK.
Rin says: Oh my god. If I had Quinn’s lipstick on my cheek I would never wash my face again. It’d be like that episode of The Simpsons when Bart’s babysitter spat on his hand and he never washed it and it got ridiculously gross. I’d have gummy bears stuck to my face, just like he had
“Most people don’t realize I lost ten pounds during that performance.”
Sophy says: I almost couldn’t LOL at this because I was too busy being sad about the lack of these two rekindling. They need to rekindle damnit.
And I don’t just mean that in an ‘Anything but Finchel’ way.
Although… anything but Finchel. Including Rachel/Teen Jesus.
Rin says: I just really love his hair and his smarmy face.
Sophy says: MY SHINY, SHINY BABIES.
As mentioned above, it was slim pickings for best scene. Pretty much everything either had us yawning or growling. This, however, was too gorgeous to be denied.
I mean sure, it was kind of sad that I couldn’t enjoy it the way I might have if I’d felt their win was magical and deserved at the same time and was basically on the kind of giddy high I was feeling post Man In The Mirror. But at the same time Rachel Berry signed her first autograph and had that look on her face, and Santana and Becky were giving each other the thumbs up, and confetti-slushies were thrown and there was trophy-gazing and Brittany kissage and okay, Joe was next to Quinn way too much of all the fucking time, but I’m not going to let that ruin her face for me.
I’d like to give a special thanks to Rin for not including the Finchel kiss in the above caps. She treats me well.
Meanwhile I have become oddly fond of Rory and Sugar. Perhaps they can develop that hilarious and adorable Rory/Sugar/Artie triangle further next season. I’m in.
Rin says: The thing about this episode is that no matter how adorable and cute something was, it always felt a little tainted by something else that was occurring.
Such as this scene.. there is SO MUCH adorable and omg the school is celebrating THEM and omgomgomg. And then they had a huge big NO within all of it that had to do with Wemma and D:
So we’ll just have to take the cute of it all and celebrate that.
It probably has more to do with the cast being extremely adorable more than anything and having their faces and spraying champagne and such.
And Quinn blowing kisses.
AND THAT BRITTANA KISS THAT LOOKED LIKE IT WAS IN THE MIDDLE OF A SOLDIERS COMING HOME PARADE.
I have to say I really did enjoy the editing of when the kids first enter the school. The lack of sound and how they were all together and it being slightly slowed down. I did like that. And the confetti of it all reminded me of the Glee Live tour, and that is always something to smile about.
And Quinn recording the others, while standing on a chair. And having an iPhone now because her old phone got ruined in the crash…..
AND LEA MICHELE. You seriously deserve way more recognition for your acting than you get. You shouldn’t be nominated for trash like the Teen Choice Awards. You deserve EMMYS for goodness sake. Because her face as she signs her first autograph (although let’s be honest, there’s a pair of Quinn’s panties that say otherwise) is utterly gorgeous and conveys everything that Rachel is feeling in that moment.
Sophy says: If I were a soldier I would like to come home to Brittana kissing.
Lea Michele always deserves more recognition. Like, if she got the Emmy, the Oscar, the Tony and the Grammy, all in the same year, I’d still be there saying she needed more recognition.
Best ‘Brittany is random’ Moment
“And plus my pillow and my blanket fell into the pool. Disaster!”
Sophy says: JUST.
The way she said it.
Rin says: YES. THE WAY SHE SAID IT.
Rophy Says No!
Stop. Wasting. Mr. St. James. FFS.
Sophy says: What was even the point of this? I was so sure that it had to be leading somewhere juicy, but… nothing. Jesse says some nice things about Rachel to Whoopi, and Finn continues being Finn. SO WHAT WAS THIS?
Was it supposed to be Jesse actually sanctioning the teen wedding and semi-reluctantly validating Finn as a life partner for Rachel Fucking Berry?
I feel like my head’s going to explode.
Please show, never ever waste precious Jesse St James screentime on Finn again. Not if it’s going to go nowhere after the handshake of doom.
Rin says: URGH. Why do they continue to waste Jonathan Groff’s time? HE DIDN’T EVEN SING THIS TIME AROUND. Like. WHY.
I don’t understand. Is this supposed to be Jesse becoming a “better person” because he’s not objecting to this unholy union?! I DON’T? LIKE HE’D HAVE NOTHING SNARKY TO SAY? I DON’T????
I’m going to take a nap and don’t wake me until you’re sure the pain will stop.
Sophy says: So Finn bet all of their honeymoon money which was $500 which is so depressing, and Rachel gets to be concerned for all of 0.2 seconds before finding it charming. And then.
Finn’s idiocy and immaturity are validated by him winning big and collecting for their Niagara Falls teen wedding boobathon.
I cannot even.
This was the moment I was sure of two things. 1) The show was going to surprise us all by having the New Directions actually lose again, and 2) It would spell the end of Finchel’s wedding plans.
Because you look at this and you think they can’t possibly be showing teen gambling as an adorable precursor to teen marrying. And yet, they appear to be.
Rin says: Finn’s a fucking moron who shouldn’t be rewarded for when he makes INCREDIBLY DUMB decisions like this.
Rachel argued for about a second, and then Finn smiled or some stupid shit, and she was back to not giving a fuck that he’s always ruining her/their life. I don’t understand. Why do they continually make Finn a jackass and then just have Rachel forgive him, or swoon lovingly, or tell him how sexy he is?
AND HALF OF IT WAS RACHEL’S MONEY. And he didn’t tell her until after he made the bet?
It’s like we’re getting a glimpse into their financial future, and how Finn will take their life savings and bet it all on black. Because all I get from this whole thing is that they’re saying Finn will be able to provide for them in the future because see!!! He doubled their savings!!! …. I don’t.
Do you notice how every week our fury burns that much brighter?
Sophy says: WELL THEY KEEP FUCKING STOKING US.
Sophy says: It really, really upset me that Finn referred so dismissively to Quinn Fabray as “the head cheerleader”, basically writing her whole existence as a human being in his world off as an accessory he had to learn not to value. I mean, she’s standing right there.
GO FUCKING DIE, FINN HUDSON. I HATE YOU I HATE YOU I HATE YOU.
While we’re on the speeches, it bothered me that Rachel said she was just an annoying Jewish girl with two dads before she met Will. Bullshit. Rachel was the impetus for the New Directions being what they are today just as much as Will Schuster was. And she was much more than an annoying Jewish girl with two dads. She was the same talented, driven and inspiring young woman she is today.
Only less weighed down by her collection of bridal magazines.
Rin says: DIE DIE DIE.
I HATED THIS SO MUCH.
WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU TO SAY SUCH THINGS? HONESTLY?!
Let’s be honest. He probably thinks sound can’t travel through a curtain, so Quinn wouldn’t be able to hear him.
But honestly. What a fucking asshole.
And while we’re on the subject on OMG STOP DISMISSING QUINN YOU ASSHOLES, I have to say I was quite disappointed last episode during the Rachel/Tina car scene where Rachel was going on about how her and Finn will have a little church wedding after graduation and, “Hopefully nobody will get tragically injured this time.” Oh right, the one accomplishment you’re most proud of nearly died, but it was more of a nuisance than anything. What a Mrs Hudson thing to say.
Sophy says: What a gross parallel. Typical.
Sophy says: What. The fuck. Was this.
It feels like just yesterday I was praising this show for finally finding their footing with this whole Emma/OCD/Will plotline and oh would you look at that, it’s gone and fallen flat on its face again. I usually find Emma’s wildly inappropriate pamphlets wildly hilarious, but this one just made me feel mildly ill. And it really didn’t matter that she said it was for her as much as for him. Once that vile stuff about her man being a winner and her wanting to treat him like one by getting over her chronic psychological problems and satisfying him had come out of her mouth it was all over. You can’t come back from that, no matter how much “Oh but it’s not demeaning because she loved it” you pour on top.
Basically if you invited all your black friends over and put shoe polish all over your face and starting calling everyone the N-word, you would not be able to turn around and say ‘It was only meant to be partially racist.’
I’ve been struggling to hold on with Will/Emma, you guys. Just like I struggled to hold on to the hope that Finchel could be redeemed. Because they’re the ships, you know? You don’t want to be hating the ships, because it’s just exhausting and not fun to have to gag every time they touch mouths.
And there’s going to be a wedding one way or another – even if the show does the right thing and pulls the plug on Finchel before they get anywhere near an aisle… Will/Emma will be going ahead with their plans. And I don’t want to be sitting there feeling nauseating and bitter about it.
But I worry – after this – is it too late?
Rin says: Like I was saying earlier, this stuff was tainting the ND celebration.
The whole thing just read as if Will was now worthy of the sex. And Emma had just been waiting on account of that.. or like, some crap about how Will being successful was enough to overcome all of Emma’s intimacy issues. I just. It felt so wrong and completely NOT the right moment for this to happen. Emma’s OCD has always been about Emma, not Will. Will is a great source of support for her (LET’S JUST WRITE OFF ‘FIX YOU’ OKAY?), but ultimately it’s Emma who has to deal with Emma. So I would have liked to have seen her working through that a bit more…and are we really never going to see her talking to her therapist again? That was one of the most heartbreaking/truthful/honest scenes Glee has ever done, and really helped to open Emma up as a character, whilst adding more depth. It’s a pity that has fallen off the face of the earth where all good Glee plots go to die.
Also. The candle on Will’s cake. With the flower that opens up.
Rophy. Says. No.
Head In Hands
Sophy says: LOL OH MY GOD, OKAY. Those back-bends? They’re painful. For me. At the best of times. I have never been hit by a truck.
The idea that Quinn can even remotely do them at this stage is ridiculous. The idea that a doctor would not have sternly lectured her on not even trying that shit is ridiculous. The idea that a woman as smart and level-headed as Quinn has turned out to be would not listen to that after everything she’s been through is ridiculous.
But, you know, who cares. Quinn’s plotline was a bust, let’s face it. It was a dramatic wasteland – and if I didn’t have other things to be saying no to, I’d probably be saying no to that unfortunate fact.
BUT WHO CARES.
WHEN THE QUINN/DANCING IS THIS GOOD.
Rin says: WHO CARES IS RIGHT. Although I’m extremely annoyed that they put Quinn through that for absolutely no reason at all.
But, you know how we’re Faberreasy? Well I’m even easier when it comes to my true otp, Quinn/Dancing.
I’d really missed it you guys. Not saying that I didn’t appreciate the short detour we took to Quinn/Wheels, because that was new levels of AKAKAK cute, but nothing can beat the original flavoured two-feet-standing Quinn/Dancing. LOOK AT HER.
“I really do like to perform.”
Yes you do, bb. May you continue to for the rest of your life, for the good of humanity.
And. Those guns. It’s like, you know how actors beef up for roles if they’re going to play a fighter or something? It’s like Dianna did that, because after months in a wheelchair you’re bound to get some guns. (UNLESS YOU’RE LITTLE KEVIN <3)
BECAUSE HER OWN ARMS HAVE MORE CONTINUITY THAN THE ENTIRE SHOW.
I may be slightly delirious from that last cap and how that tongue is always sticking out.
And um. I feel like I should mention.
Did anyone else notice Quinn during Rachel’s solo? I’m sorry but, for 90% of the time she’s just STARING and STARING and STARING. Everyone else glances occasionally, but NOT QUINN.
I almost thought we’d have another scene afterwards where Quinn hunts Rachel down and asks who she was singing that song to. Oh Quinn. Never give up on your dream.
We knew you’d kill us if we left this out?
Sophy says: Okay, so I’m conflicted about this. On the one hand this moment was really forced and really cheesy and just all around a lazy attempt to make up for the lack of actual organic Holy Trinity bonding time since, you know, Santana got publicly outed, since, you know, Quinn got hit by a truck, since, you know, Brittany tried to eat her cat’s poo. Um.
But really, this was badly done, Glee.
And then on the other hand… THEIR LITTLE FACES? AND THE HAND-CLASPING?
HOW CAN ALL EVER?
Meanwhile Sugar meditating in the background is one of the best things I have ever seen.
Rin says: Yeah, this was totally them throwing us a bone. THAT SAME BONE THAT THE DOG LOOKS AT AND TURNS UP HIS NOSE.
But then eventually comes back to eat because LOOK AT THEIR FACES AND CLUTCHING HANDS.
But we should always demand more. Because this is not a real scene. It’s a glimpse at all the amazing Glee hasn’t given us in regards to these three. Seriously. We’ve had maybe TWO scenes in three seasons? Not okay.
Sugar meditating is very okay though. VERY VERY OKAY.
“I know. I’m sorry. I always go to the yelling place. I have rage.”
Sophy says: SANTANA, YOU MAGNIFICENT RAGE ELEPHANT, YOU. WE WILL NEVER FORGET. BUT ALSO NEVER LEAVE US.
Rin says: Watching this scene was like looking into a mirror.
And I liked what I saw.
You know what’s also the best?
That Santana and Brittany are still wearing their Cheerios uniform, despite not being in school. You girls have other clothes, I’ve seen them. If there was ever a time when they could have worn them, it’d be now! By the way, did the Cheerios compete at Nationals? Are we ever going to know about that? And how Quinn probably went along to watch and be Sue’s right-hand girl? Oh the pretty we could have.
Quinn Glory Shot
TALLER THAN THE OTHERS AGAIN
Sophy says: You just know that everyone was looking at the trophy except Quinn who was looking at the reflection of Rachel’s face in the cabinet.
Rin says: You are most definitely correct.
Just like the way Rachel put Quinn’s hair in pigtails for her.
And then proceeded to give her a back massage.
With you know.
Sophy says: OILSZZZZ.