Rachel & Rachel Berry – Torn
Sophy says: Okay, first let me say that this blast from the Aussie 90’s Classic past was much appreciated. Next, let me say it’s too bad Lea Michele didn’t get to angst around in cargos and a hoodie and whatnot, but that’s a small price to pay for the genius of the way the song was used. I love it when Glee uses super-earnest songs in an ironic way and this has got to be the mother of all examples of that. Natalie Imbruglia was pouring her heart out about some guy who wasn’t what she thought he was and he tore her perfect sky and left her cold and naked on the floor. Rachel is singing the same words, but she really doesn’t give a damn about their actual meaning. As long as the chorus has a line in it about being torn, this will be a suitable anthem to reflect her dilemma as to whether to do a nude scene or not. And that is so Rachel to me. She’s a smart girl and she has a major passion for the arts but she does tend to lack sensitivity and subtlety. She would blast through the lines about the random guy Natalie Imbruglia got all het up to just to get to the line that fits her situation. She would take the bull in a china shop approach.
And the idea of Rachel singing a song to Rachel? A Rachel/Rachel duet?
Has the show ever had a better idea? And how on earth did it take us this long to get to this place?
Honestly, the whole thing was so brilliant that I am almost at peace with Rachel’s hysterical conversion in the name of it. Of course, that’s on the proviso that the hysterical conversion really is meant to be a hysterical conversion and we’ll be getting at least something of the old Rachel back from here on out. But I’ll discuss that more below.
For now I’ll just note that it was completely genius to have Old Rachel singing into her garishly decorated pink hairbrush and New Rachel using the sleek black hairbrush while singing. Isn’t that just one hell of a nutshell filled with what has happened to the character? She hasn’t just started to grow up. She’s simply lost her silly, as surely as if a leg had been lopped off. And let me just say that growing up doesn’t mean having your silly lopped off. It certainly doesn’t happen this fast or to this extent, but you know what, sometimes it doesn’t really happen at all. This show and the people who watch it are testament to that. The writers aren’t in high school and neither are Rophy and yet clearly we all thrive on silly, as I know do many of our beloved commenters. The thing is that I lead a normal adult life, but I still own 6 teeshirts with dachshunds on them which I wear. And I think that’s why when the reindeer sweater came out I was just about ready to cry.
But the things that it stands for are not the only reason this is best song. It’s also best song because there is nothing more beautiful than a Lea Michele accompanied by a Lea Michele. Seriously. And Rin and I were pretty dazzled when she started doing the guitar solo with her voice…s. Glorious.
Rin says: Yes. Glorious. There is no other word to describe the last 30 seconds of that song other than glorious. Especially because the original doesn’t have that extra special something at the end of the song, and I guess when you have a Lea Michele you can use her for all sorts of things. Evidently mimicking an electric guitar is one of them. AND THEN SHE SWOOPS IN WITH THE LITTLE ‘OOOH’s and ‘Oh yeahs’ underneath. God. Christ. Jesus.
And I have to agree with Sophy that one of the things I love about this song choice, apart from the nostalgia of it all, is how Glee re-purposed it to suit their needs. They lyrics don’t match, yet when she’s singing with old Rachel and new Rachel that’s what it is for me. Being torn between who she used to be and who she’s trying to be, and being a little regretful that she tried to move on so fast that now she’s lost sight of who she is. So when old Rachel sings at the new one, that she doesn’t seem to care what her heart is for — it feels like the beginning of the end of Rachel 2.0.
All of it is a symbol for the fight going on inside Rachel, because she’s been trying so hard to get away from who she used to be in an effort to grow up. And it’s finally this big decision on whether or not to go through with the film that has forced Rachel to really take a step back and question whether or not this is who she wants to be now.
That’s probably why I really love how they did this song. It takes a real stroke of genius to construct something like this and have it portrayed so brilliantly on screen. Technically there are some really cool things they did with Rachel vs Rachel Berry, one of which comes towards the end when old Rachel is looking into the mirror and it pans around to show new Rachel in the mirror, but then it keeps panning and she’s standing in the room.
The main thing I took away from this performance is that they know. They know that they took Rachel away from us, and that she has DRASTICALLY changed, but don’t worry because it was part of the bigger picture? It’s probably why I felt so teary about it all, because our Rachel could possibly come back to us.
Oh and I guess the harmonies and stuff were pretty gorgeous. It’s the first time I’ve been excited about Lea’s album, I’ll tell you that much.
“…and gave birth unto these United States a pose so limber, they named it The Regal American Not-So-Bald Spread-Eagle.”
Sophy says: Oh God. Every time she said ‘taco’. And Finn’s faux-teacher suit. Best.
Rin says: I am thoroughly enjoying the Finn/Sue dynamic this season because it’s bringing back everything we love about the Sue of yesteryear. Yes, it’s pretty much just another version of Will/Sue, but what I like about it is that Finn likes to play games with Sue. He took a leaf out of Santana’s underboob and recorded her confessions for the love of god.
I have no idea how Sue gets away with saying stuff like, ‘The Regal American Not-So-Bald Spread-Eagle’ … just. So wrong.
Jane and Cory have some really wonderful chemistry too. It’s nice to see Finn be a little more light-hearted and fun and playful. As opposed to always worrying about how he doesn’t measure up to Rachel and isn’t good enough. WE KNOW. Just. Teach now. And maybe look into getting into college to become a qualified teacher? I’d like that.
Sophy says: HE TOOK A LEAF OUT OF SANTANA’S UNDERBOOB. You may be interested to know that I immediately pictured Naomi Campbell sophiaing past Santana and plucking a leaf out of her bra. It was ace.
“After the break, a Fort Wayne squirrel who’s also… a doctor?”
Sophy says: HAHAHAHAAHHAHAHHA THIS WAS SO PARKS AND REC OF THEM TO BE HONEST. I KEPT EXPECTING ROD TO TURN INTO PERD AND LESLIE TO POP UP NEXT TO HIM TO DISCUSS THE DOCTOR SQUIRREL.
Rin says: This was definitely reminiscent of something you’d see on Parks and Rec. Lol omg, I just googled Parks and Rec and Glee to see which show came first, and… Parks and Rec did. HOW IS IT THAT I WENT WITHOUT PARKS FOR SO LONG?? It seems like I’ve had a lifetime of Glee, and just a short romantic whirlwind affair with Parks. Sigh.
THE SQUIRREL IS WEARING A DOCTORS COAT, A TIE, AND A STETHOSCOPE.
HOW DO I GET INTO WORKING THE GRAPHIC DESIGN DEPARTMENT FOR TV, IF ALL I HAVE TO DO IS PHOTOSHOP SQUIRRELS INTO HUMANS???
“You’re not a porn star, even though your hair and your makeup makes you look like one.”
Sophy says: OMG RACHEL YOU TELL YOURSELF. WAY TO GO. Seriously though, it was such a relief to see the show even acknowledging that Rachel has changed – and not necessarily in an organic way. What’s really been devastating me up to now is that the show was presenting us with this new normalized, sexified Rachel without comment, as though we were supposed to accept her not only as an improvement on the original, but as entirely authentic, the simple end point of character growth. Now, via the nude scene plot, they’re telling us that they get it, and that Rachel is not entirely who she is supposed to be right now even if a part of her wishes she was. If this whole thing has been about Rahel wanting to “grow up,” inverted commas intentional, about her wanting to try to build a version of herself that is not going to have slushies thrown at it for three years, about becoming someone who thinks it’s cool not to care so that she doesn’t have to miss everything she’s left behind so much including Finn?
Then I could be okay with it. And I do have hope that Glee isn’t just teasing me here. I do believe this business of being torn relates to more than just the sex scene, because otherwise they wouldn’t have been so explicit with the comparison between the old and the new. And I don’t just mean the outfits. I mean that everything about Lea as Old Rachel – the expressions, the posture, the diction, the super emotional singing faces… was so… Rachel. And I couldn’t help noting with the kind of relief that reminded me of fighting sweaty blankets off you in the middle of the night when you’re sick… that some of that carried over. Rachel, at the end of this episode, with Quinn and Santana, was significantly more Rachelly in her manner than she has been for some time.
SEE SHOW? IT’S NOT THAT HARD TO SATISFY ME. I DON’T NEED TO HER TO BE IN PANT-SUITS WITH ANIMAL SWEATERS AND CRAZY EYES 24/7. But I also refuse to accept her with no-pants, greasy turkey hands and coy self-aware giggles. There is a middle ground and I have some faith now that the show is heading towards it. This is mostly because of the fact that Kurt, who is Rachel’s soulmate lest we forget, thought an intervention was necessary, and he didn’t just limit his concern to the nude scene. Kurt was clearly tying the fact that Rachel was considering doing a nude scene in a cheesy-ass college movie to the rest of her unusual behaviour. He saw it as the last straw, not as an isolated incident. And that has to mean something.
AS DOES THE FACT that Rachel listened not only to Quinn and Santana… but to Old Rachel.
“Your hair has gotten a little out of control.”
That was so adorable, as was the fact that New Rachel totally channeled old Rachel when she said it was “mean” to say she looked like a porn star. The Rachel I can’t recognize would probably have just shrugged and told the hallucination to mind her own business, she has better things to do than talk to an embarrassing imaginary relic from Lima, Ohio. But then again, the Rachel I can’t recognize wouldn’t even have things like hallucinations of the ghosts of Rachels past in the first place. So it’s all progress you guys, it really is.
Rin says: We knew from that spoilery picture tweeted a while ago that the reindeer sweater was going to come back. And for the longest time we tried not to let ourselves imagine anything coming from it. That they were just going to be massive teasers and have it be something lame and probably involve Brody. But every now and again we’d go, ‘…flashbacks?’ and then whip ourselves in punishment.
BUT WE NEVER SAW THIS.
NOT FOR A SECOND.
I was so surprised and almost moved to tears in the instant Rachel Berry showed up and starting SPEWING WORDS FERVENTLY and having crazy eyes and head tilts and a forehead. It was all BAM! RACHEL BERRY! And I had missed her terribly.
And right. We aren’t saying she has to revert completely back to this exaggerated version of Rachel, but she does have to display all the qualities of the Rachel that we fell in love with because they’re a part of who she is.
And I love that the first person to point that out is Kurt. Like Sophy said, Kurt is Rachel’s soulmate. And when he started telling her hard truths, Rachel didn’t want to hear it and was being her old stubborn, naive self. Telling Kurt that she’s just growing up and maybe he should try it. And you know, it really was made apparent in this episode that we’re not supposed to like everything that Rachel has become, and that she has lost herself. Because this scene, and what’s been happening, is such a parallel to LAST YEAR when she was going to the chapel. And the theme for this recap is that we very much HOPE that we were wrong to assume that they didn’t have a plan for Rachel. That this really was who she is now and we were going to have to accept it (we would never!!). We’d always suspected that Lea had been told to play Rachel very different this season, to be less Rachel and more generic-girl-no.4, but as eleven episodes went by we had lost hope that it was all a means to an end.
And maybe that’s why they waited so damn long before showing us their cards. To make the pay off that much sweeter. We’ll see. It all depends on how the next few episodes play out.
Also, old Rachel calling out new Rachel on practically everything and saying all the things we’ve been saying over and over again? Swoon. So much swoon.
Sometimes I think I’m not adequately expressing how much I love Rachel Berry. I love her like I love all the best things in life, you guys. I love her as much as Buffy. I love her as much as Harry Potter. I LOVE HER AS MUCH AS QUINN FABRAY LOVES RACHEL BERRY. So having her in my life again is like having a new Buffy episode air, or having a new HP book released. IT FELT LIKE THAT.
(I would say it’s like having listened to ‘Heartthrob’ but.. you fuckers.)
Sophy says: I COULDN’T BE YOUR FRIEND.
The OG’s (Original Gleeks)
“Lady Hummel called, begging us to do an emergency intervention.”
Sophy says: So… what happened to you when Quinn (and Santana) showed up on Rachel’s doorstep in New York? Did you cry? Did you punch somebody you love by accident (mostly)? Did you pause, light the candles you had prepared earlier and have a quick pray? Did you rock back and forth wailing? Did you try to mount your screen? Pee a little?
All of these may or may not have happened to us. We will never tell.
What we can say is this: the reunion of Faberry was, for us, the television event of the year. And the fact that we’re cool with how it all went down from there? That is nothing short of a miracle.
Rin and I were so sure the Faberry was going to be all wrong. And to give us our due, if the whole point of this episode hadn’t suddenly been reevaluating Rachel’s character, then it probably would have been… all wrong. Because New Rachel would simply not have had the same chemistry with Quinn as Old Rachel did and everything would have felt flat and weird and there would have been cosmos and penis paraphernalia, and you guys, Rin and I have decided that penis paraphernalia is only cute on Ann and Leslie or Miranda and Stevie, okay? Okay.
But you know, it turns out the whole point of Faberry being reunited was so that Quinn would help rescue Old Rachel from New Rachel.
DID YOU HEAR ME? THE WHOLE POINT OF THIS EPISODE WAS QUINN (AND SANTANA) HELPING RACHEL TO BE MORE LIKE HERSELF AGAIN AND NOT MAKE A HUGE MISTAKE SHE’D REGRET FOR THE REST OF HER LIFE?
How’s that for symmetry. I half expected Rachel to say, “I wanted to thank you, actually…” before the singing ensued.
Rin says: Shut the front door. HOW DARE YOU START QUOTING THE GREATEST SCENE THERE EVER WAS.
Sophy says: I AM SORRY I AM SORRY ABORT ABORT.
But seriously, it makes perfect sense that Quinn would want to help Rachel get back on track given that she was always, even back when they were only friends “I guess,” so very keen on helping to send Rachel on her way. What is more surprising though is that Kurt knows that about her and calls her to ask her to come to New York.
It’s obvious why he’d call Santana. She’d be the first person he’d think of to come and talk Rachel out of a nude scene given that she has a sex tape out there she can never take back. But Quinn? What is her particular relevance to the situation?
My headcanon has always been that Kurt still side-eyes Quinn just a little and isn’t sure she really has Rachel’s best interests at heart. This is because he has been shown in canon to be quite dismissive of Quinn and to characterize her as cold and self-involved, and because he has never been there for any of the big moments between her and Rachel. Kurt really knows little to nothing about Faberry and all the ways it has been the best thing that could possibly have happened to both of them. I’m not saying that from a ‘OMG they should get married’ perspective. I’m saying that from a completely canon ‘Rachel and Quinn have made each other better, healthier, happier, stronger women’ perspective. That is why Quinn is the first person I would call if Rachel needed some advice. But Kurt? How the hell would he know about any of it?
The only thing I can think is that Rachel told him. The only thing I can think is that she whined to him when Quinn was valiantly trying to stop the Finchel nuptials, that she told him that part of Quinn stealing Finn back from her was insurance on her Shining Star future. I can only think that she told Kurt about how Quinn agreed to come to the wedding even though she didn’t think it should be happening, how she gave her the rail passes and said that they had changed each other’s lives for the better and she didn’t want to lose touch. I can only think that she told Kurt about that time she didn’t want Quinn to ruin her life – and Shelby’s – and Beth’s – and Quinn listened and did the right thing and thanked her for it. I can only think that she gave Kurt the same prom-night rant she gave Quinn about how much she had been inspired by her, how becoming her friend was her proudest achievement, how she didn’t even know what she meant to her.
Maybe that’s how Kurt knows Quinn’s opinion will hold sway with Rachel. Maybe that’s how Kurt knows Quinn will be there in a heartbeat, shopping or no shopping.
MAYBE HE KNOWS THIS BECAUSE RACHEL TALKS ABOUT QUINN AND THE WAYS SHE MATTERS ALL THE TIME AND OH GOD WHEN I CONSIDER THAT POSSIBILITY I HAVE PROBLEMS WITH FUNCTIONING.
And what kills me is that it’s Quinn who gets to say all of the outright emotional lines in the intervention. Santana does the exposition, explaining why they’re there, but Quinn is the one who gets to look Rachel dead in the eye and just say, “You.” And she really does have this marvelous way of drowning out the actual context with pure, unabashed You, I want you, only you, all I ever knew. That’s why Rachel looked so uncomfortable, you guys. Not because there was an intervention afoot. Because of all the sex vibes she was getting off Quinn.
WHAT, RACHEL? DID YOU THINK THE SEX VIBES WOULD STOP JUST BECAUSE THE TWO OF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN EACH OTHER IN A FEW MONTHS? Pssch. If anything they were only going to get stronger on account of being pent up all that time.
And you know, Quinn does participate a little in the actual counselling, bringing up the 2/2/2 rule, but then Santana kind of takes over the practical side of things and leaves Quinn to do things like stare intensely at Rachel and say how they care about her and literally plead with her not to do it.
Let’s take a moment to appreciate that. Quinn didn’t just advise Rachel not to do it. She asked her to please not do it. This is significant in two ways: first, it hammers home how much Rachel’s future happiness and success matters to Quinn, and not just in an abstract, friendly kind of a way – in an up close and personal ‘I hurt when you hurt’ kind of a way. Second, it betrays a willingness on Quinn’s part to think that she means not just something but a lot to Rachel, to the point where she can ask her not to do something for her. And I can see why she might finally be at the stage of thinking that could happen. For all Rachel’s huffy bluster, in the end she has done what Quinn has wanted her to do. Quinn didn’t want her to marry Finn? She didn’t. Quinn didn’t want her to stay in Lima and put her bright future on hold? She didn’t. I mean, sure, she did kind of disobey her when it came to sleeping with Finn, but she’s not doing that anymore, so I guess she’s learned her lesson?
If Quinn knew about Brody I firmly believe she would have told Rachel to move his ass back out. As a concerned friend and as a jealous would-be lover.
And Rachel would have rolled her eyes and folded her arms and told Quinn to respect her choices and she’s not coming to the Brochel wedding if she can’t behave, etc, etc, etc.
But eventually she would have kicked him to the curb.
PS. The google results for Santana Lopez are the best things in the whole world. IN THE WHOLE WORLD.
Apart from Faberry.
Rin says: People should just know that when we make big statements, there is always a Faberry clause in not so fine print. Like the header for every page is ‘APART FROM FABERRY’ in 72pt Faberry Font, in a document entitled ‘Apart_From_Faberry.docx‘.
TELEVISION EVENT OF THE YEAR.
THE SADDEST PART, IS THAT SOME OF YOU PROBABLY STILL HAVE SOME FAITH IN US AS BEING NORMAL HUMAN BEINGS AND THINK SHE’S EXAGGERATING.
But she’s not.
It really was the television event of the year. We don’t even need the other 11 months to deem it so.
I can’t even tell you how many times I told people that this was it. This episode was either going to make or break us, and determine what our future was going to be with Glee. FOR REAL. Because everything’s so fragile. There are so many things they could have done to break us, to show us that they didn’t get Faberry and they didn’t give a damn about those that did. The thing that we were TERRIFIED of was that they would suddenly make Quinn and Rachel BFFs and OMG SO PLATONIC, SEE! If that ever happened, I would be done. It is so far from how I see Faberry and everything that Quinn and Rachel mean to each other that I wouldn’t be able to see past it. They’ve constructed such an interesting and ambiguous relationship, and it’s taken them YEARS to get to where they are now, so having them suddenly be BFF is the worst thing they could do.
So when Rachel burst into the apartment SCREAMING with excitement over seeing Quinn!! ..and Santana (go back and check the slow motion replay), and then having Quinn’s first word be ‘You’? I felt a bit relieved. And a bit light-headed.
AND THEN EVERYTHING WENT SO SMOOTHLY AND FAVOURABLY AND. I DON’T THINK I’VE EVER BEEN HAPPIER?
WAIT I HAVE TO CUT-IN, YES, I’M CUTTING IN ON MYSELF.
BUT can we take a moment to sit back and revel in the realisation that this is the first time Rachel and Quinn have seen each other in months and it’s to talk about a topless Rachel? We’re taking a moment.
And we’re done.
BECAUSE NOW WE HAVE TO TALK ABOUT THINGS. CERTAIN THINGS.
Like how Quinn brings up the 2/2/2 rule, she knows that it’s going to knock some sense into Rachel because she knows Rachel. She knows that if she can just get Rachel to actually think about how she’ll feel about it in the future, she won’t go through with it.
And then there’s this little detail of when Santana is making fun of Rachel and her mosquito bites, and Quinn interrupts her. BECAUSE SANTANA. THERE IS NO MAKING FUN OF RACHEL WHEN QUINN IS ABOUT. OKAY? Just don’t fucking do it.
And Rachel. Rachel doesn’t ask Quinn why she is taking advice from her, like she did Santana.
But Quinn tells her anyway.
“Look. We care about you.”
Fucking fuck fuck fuck. Fucking fuck.
And then the motherfucking fuck fuck kicker.
“Please don’t do it.”
AND SOPHY IS SO RIGHT. The writers put Quinn in charge of doing all the emotional groundwork for a reason. The way Santana shows she cares is the way any old high school friend would care for another when they’re about to make a big mistake. And then there’s Quinn. The Quinn who never asks for anything, telling Rachel that they care about her, and PLEASE DON’T DO IT. It’s like if this was a real intervention…
Santana is the friend.
Quinn is the boyfriend.
God, I’m just so happy. And some of you are probably wondering why we’re being so rambly when not much even happened. BUT THAT’S KIND OF THE POINT. Faberry haven’t changed, after all this time, and after all of the new Rachel. She was very much her old self in this scene, and they still had their chemistry. Rachel was shy and apprehensive. Quinn was gentle and straightforward. And Santana being there really didn’t change it all that much, maybe because out of everyone Santana knows the most. Maybe that’s why they brought her into the scene…if they’re setting up things. (WELL THINGS THAT ARE UPCOMING THAT I SECRETLY UNSECRETLY WANT TO BE ABOUT SOMETHING ELSE.) Because Santana was THERE. She was there when Quinn rigged the votes to crown Rachel her Queen. She was there when Quinn stood up in front of the other girls and let Rachel know that she was the shining star of them all. She was there when Quinn PLEADED with Rachel not to ruin her life by marrying Finn Hudson.
And now she’s here. Watching Quinn plead with Rachel to not ruin her life by going topless
for someone other than her.
How many times has Quinn saved Rachel? How many times has Rachel saved Quinn?
It’s what they do for each other because they CARE. They care so much about each other, for their today’s and for their tomorrow’s.
In 2 weeks.
In 2 months.
And in 2 years.
They’ll still care.
Sophy says: Omg, how dare you play 2/2/2 with Faberry. HOW DARE YOU.
AND FABERRY ALWAYS SAVE EACH OTHER. DOZENS OF TIMES. LOTS OF DIFFERENT WAYS. EVERY NIGHT THEY SAVE EACH OTHER.
Rophy Says No!
Sophy says: You know what? The sheer ludicrousness of these two singing ‘A Thousand Years’ is leading me to believe that the writers are actually shooting for satire with them, but the trouble is that the actors don’t have any comedy in them so it’s not coming across. That seems more plausible than that the writers intend us to take anything away from them but lols. And not because Glee isn’t capable of constructing layered relationships that will impact us emotionally. But because they have not even tried to do that with Jake and Marley.
Really, I remember what it was like when Finchel was being built up. The ship has its flaws, no doubt about it, but at least the writers made an effort when they were setting it up! Back in season 1 Finchel was cute and fuzzy and sad and at times mortifying and totally tied up with who the characters were and what they wanted and didn’t want out of life and how they saw themselves and how they saw other people. It was complex and poignant. And it made loads of emotional sense. And you know, maybe that’s because Rachel and Finn made emotional sense as separate characters. Maybe it’s because Finn and Rachel, separately, were people the show made a point of introducing us to. But Marley and Jake are just blobs. Really they’re just blobs the writers blobbed in front of us. And it’s a shame, it really is. Look, I don’t want to be unkind to the actors. I can understand if people like Melissa. She has big blue eyes! Go ahead, like her all you want. I can definitely see why people like Jacob. I want to like him, on account of his voice being so pretty and the fact that he can do actual pirouettes and stuff. But there’s just nothing there on a character level. Jake loves Marley because. Marley loves Jake because. I can’t properly complete either of those sentences without resorting to the most inane cliches. And that sucks.
Rin says: This isn’t just a no for ‘A Thousand Years’ and all the levels of wrong, it’s also a no for Jarley IN GENERAL.
In an episode that is easily one of the best of the seasons, these two brought it down. They dragged this thing on and really, does anybody really care? Surely not. But doing the ‘I love…’ fakeout IS THE WORST. IT’S SERIOUSLY THE WORST FOR MOST THINGS, BUT ON MARLEY AND JAKE IT’S ESPECIALLY THE WORST. Marley and Jake both actually work a lot better without each other. I’m pretty sure both of them have wormed their way into our ‘Congrats! We don’t hate you!’ category, when they’ve actually been off having their own storylines that are way more engaging than this.
And when there’s Quinn and Santana in an episode, you two are the people I never want to see on my screen. Especially when you take up 1/2 the episode. Time wasters.
Sophy says: OH GOD. I was watching the time slipping by without Quinn and I think I just about screamed when Jake did his solo, because Jarley was getting another fucking song, seriously? I mean, he actually sounded lovely. But no. Just… no.
And another quick no: Brittany being a secret genius. That whole idea is great… as a fandom joke. It doesn’t work on the actual show as an actual reality. I suspect the show is shying away from Brittany lacking intellectual stuffing because they feel it will make her more relatable as the female lead they’re trying to turn her into. But it works the opposite way for me. Brittany being kind of stupid and hating being kind of stupid and hating being told she’s kind of stupid was what made her relatable. You guys, without that character flaw, Brittany S Pierce is a manic pixie dream girl. Or she runs the risk of becoming one if the writers aren’t very, very careful.
(Hopefully the test scores are a joke?)
Congratulations! We didn’t hate you?
Quickly becoming the Kitty Appreciation category.
Sophy says: Kitty is funny and silly and cute. She belongs on this show. And yeah it is becoming slightly disingenuous to put her fabulousness in the ‘:O We don’t hate you? :O’ category.
But you know… Teen Jesus is rasta-ing around in the background. We didn’t hate him either?
Rin says: True. Maybe we’re saying a big yes to the Kitty/Teen Jesus dynamic. Because Kitty is always like GRRRR and Teen Jesus is all about it. Actually Teen Jesus has been so much more bearable this season because
he’s nowhere near Quinn he’s staying in that nice little niche of BACKGROUND CHARACTER that occasionally adds in cute and funny. And knows that that is their role.
And Kitty makes the most amazing facial expressions.
Head In Hands
“My body is sort of… broken.”
Sophy says: Okay so I loved Finn in this scene? Like? This Finn is the best of all possible Finns? Qualities I have always valued in Finn: his gentleness and his willingness to try to do the right thing even if he can’t always figure out what it is on his own. Those were on full display here.
Finn may not quite have understood what Artie was getting at right away, because let’s face it, he’s a great big dope who can be slow on the uptake. So he just smiled good-naturedly and looked for solutions – like the one Artie found “deeply emasculating”- posing lying down with “a bunch of sexy pillows”. But when Artie cut through and flat-out told Finn he didn’t want to do it at all because he just wasn’t comfortable showing off his body, Finn did not hesitate to support him. It was a no-brainer for him. If his friend isn’t comfortable with it, he doesn’t have to do it. I guess what I’m saying is that the attempts to find solutions to Artie’s problem so that he could still pose in the calendar weren’t in any way attempts to pressure him. It was just that he didn’t get it. And when he did get it, he was quick to make Artie feel as comfortable as possible about it. And you know, he didn’t just leave it at a simple ‘You don’t have to.’ He actually turned back around and told Artie he thought it was really brave of him to be honest about it.
And it was SO SWEET. This is the thing. Finn is slow on the uptake, but once he gets hold of an idea he can be terribly sensitive in his own way. Because he connected to the fact that Artie would be feeling like a coward for not taking his clothes off and turned it around so that he was the opposite of a coward for not taking his clothes off.
Finn went out of his way to make Artie feel good about himself. Because he is his friend and he loves him. And I think it’s kind of brilliant that although Will was just as well-intentioned as Finn, you would never have seen him have such an easy and intimate exchange as this with Artie. I like that the show isn’t just forgetting that a few months ago Finn was Artie’s classmate. Just because he’s taking the class now, doesn’t erase the fact that they are buddies first and foremost.
Also, Kevin was really superb in this scene. When he said his body was kind of “broken,” I nearly teared up right then and there, just on that one word. And that’s the great thing about the way he played it. You didn’t get the sense that you were being set up to have a big emotional reaction. It was all pretty matter-of-fact and stoic except for that one word – “broken” – and the tears that just barely appeared in his eyes as he said it. All the awards.
Rin says: I really fucking loved this. Mostly because we got to see Artie again, and I really like that they’re giving him these little nuggets of plot that help reveal more about his character. And they’re doing it so well too! It’s not being overplayed, it’s subtle and it builds throughout the episode. From the get go he was reluctant to pose for the calendar, and it’s pretty obvious why, and yet when he told Finn it still just made you want to curl up into a ball and cry.
And that’s another thing.
I am so glad they are spending some real time in developing the friendship which should have started the moment Finn pulled Artie out of that port-a-loo. They work so well together and I think one thing that’s always been within Finn’s character is his ability to see people as people. And to treat them so. Which is probably why…NO MATTER HOW RAGE-INDUCING IT WAS, Artie dedicated ‘In My Life’ to Finn.
So many people still hate Finn Hudson.
But for me, this has probably been the best season yet for Finn. I’m really starting to love and enjoy him again.
“You know, Sam gave me the courage to follow my dreams and become a singer, and without him I probably would have never moved to L.A.”
Sophy says: LOVED IT. Rin and I really hated the Blam crush storyline in the last episode, but I have to say that with minimal emphasis on it and maximum emphasis on the friendship we previously loved, the two of them really worked for us in this episode.
Actually, Sam pretty much worked as a whole. I guess when he’s not spending time with Brittany he just becomes likeable again? Perhaps this has something to do with him not trying so damn hard to match up to her levels of random. Although he may not have to try much longer, seeing as how they appear to be wringing the random out of Britt’s character. Sigh.
But yeah, I just can’t even deal with how sweet it was of Blaine to get this video made and how adorable it was that everyone participated. Santana singing an excerpt from Trouty Mouth was the absolute best (though I’m not sure how she’ll feel about serenading Sam when she finds out he’s dating her recently ex love-of-my-life… although maybe she already knows and ships it. I wouldn’t put that past the show.) Um, moving on. Did anyone else get really unexpectedly emotional when Mercedes was in the video? Because they’ve just been so intent on crushing Samcedes that I was so surprised they would let her in on this Samathon and I just… it kind of bowled me over. And it really shouldn’t have, because they really were throwing the platonic, water-under-the-bridge crumbs at us… but I fell for it like a sucker and was sighing all over the place.
And then there was Finn’s bit which was quite frankly exquisite in its simplicity. I love that he remembered what Sam did for his family and brought it up in this context, because whilst it was all kinds of lols what with him being a teen stripper and all… the fact is that he was there for his family, no matter what, and he saw them through a tough time. That’s probably the greatest thing you can do in your life and it’s the truest test of character. So I loved that Finn brought it up and with such earnest admiration. And when he said that Sam was a really substantial person? I swooned. Because the word could not have been better chose. “Good person,” would have sounded so glib, you know? Substantial means you matter. Substantial means you have plenty to give.
And you know, I love this Finn. This Finn who may not always instinctively know what to say but does more often than not just because he works so damn hard at it. I bet he got out a thesaurus and made notes to prepare that little speech, and maybe he sent a couple of emails to Will and had palm cards out of the shot, and honestly, I adore him for it.
It’s interesting to me how much better Finn is faring than Rachel this season. For all Rachel is winning out of the blue never before one girl in all the world awards for her singing, she really isn’t all that centered or secure in herself. Finn seems to actually be maturing and coming into his own, as opposite to Rachel playing grown-ups and beating her own off with a stick. And whilst I suspect that being saddled with a new love interest from day one is part of the problem with Rachel, I’d still like to see Finn get one at some point. I’d like to see him date someone a little more low-key than Rachel, Quinn or Santana. You know, maybe someone like Marley except who doesn’t make you want to punch them in the face?
And again, Chord did a really lovely job with his reaction. I’ve been so irritated by his character recently, but in this episode he worked for me and I ended up sympathizing with him a lot. And I loved the way he simply stood up and hugged Blaine and we panned out to the planets and the comets hanging around them. It was just extremely simple and honest and adorable. And I loved everything about it.
Rin says: OH GOD.
Trust them to give us this after we spent the majority of last recap BASHING THE SHIT OUT OF THEM.
But all of this was too cute to deny. It really was. It was everything we LOVED about Blam again, and hopefully they keep it going on this path and not the other one. Plus, this is the SAM that we really grew to love last season, and it was nice to see him away from the eye-scratching-madness of making him like Brittany. BECAUSE HE’S NOT, AND NEVER WAS. Everything in the video reminded ME of the Sam I love. And Chord’s cryface from Whitney came back and oh gosh, it was incredibly sweet.
I LOVED SEEING MERCEDES AGAIN. Oh gosh, when will we get her back again?? And next time can we please NOT ignore Samcedes like they did during Thanksgiving? I would love some real interaction between the two, because they’re interesting and have a history. Please address.
p.s. I don’t think Santana has a clue about Bram. She wouldn’t have participated if she did. Plus, I think they’re saving THAT blowout for 414.
Sophy says: CAN’T MERCEDES JUST GET A RECORDING CONTRACT IN LIMA, OHIO. CAN’T SHE????
“And now, you’re Slutty Barbie asking Misogynist Ken to move in with you, doing pornos.”
Sophy says: Kurt’s general disdain for Brody and his naked ass is the best thing that has ever happened? I mean sure, it would have paled in comparison to Quinn’s reaction if she’d been at the breakfast table, which would clearly have involved reaching for the rubber gloves and the bread-knife. But yeah.
And I’m beginning to suspect that the writers actually intended us to dislike Brody all along. Because seriously, who does that? Who the fuck saunters out into somebody else’s living room stark naked and sits their hairy, sweaty balls down on one of their chairs? Fucking sociopathic narcissists, that’s who. And don’t get me started on how it’s his way of being supportive of Rachel taking her clothes off for a student movie that’s not-about-somebody’s-grandma.
He is the worst. End of story. And I’m glad that Kurt sees that, at last.
Rin says: I reckon. I’m so glad that Kurt’s original approval of Brody has slowly become deep and utter disgust and disapproval of Brody. He wasn’t staying blind to the whole ordeal because of Brody being what some people somewhere…in remote villages.. in the donkey pen… call “cute”. But his problem with Brody, who was sitting right there, wasn’t even the beginning of it. He was worried about Rachel, his Rachel. The girl he grew to love and adore and admire for the past 3 years. And more than anything I love that the people who are going to help Rachel find herself again are going to be her friends. The ones she once said she was looking forward to spending the rest of her life with.
My one big criticism of this scene is that they’re eating some Rooster O’s and not Cheerios. Rachel would get Cheerios. SHE WOULD DEMAND CHEERIOS. AND EAT THEM ALL. IN ONE SITTING.
And then have the cereal.
Sophy says: Brody probably bought her the Rooster O’s. Because he knows how fond she is of birds. Especially dead ones that she cooks for him.
“Ugh! Gross! Get a room!”
Rin says: Yes. Get a room. Far far far away from here.
And set it alight. That’s not a metaphor. Use actual fire. And burn.
Sophy says: Yeah, basically. Get a room under the sofa in hell.
“Those Twilight books are poop on paper, and we’ve turned them into a billion-dollar industry.”
Sophy says: Oh Kitty. You are a woman after my own heart, truly. As are you, Unique. TEAM JACOB, INDEED. Apart from that time he became a pedo in a special way.
Rin says: It’s true.
I own all the books.
Which I bought after I listened to them all on audio book.
I have a checkered past, you guys.
Sophy says: HAHAHAHAHAH YOU ACTUALLY BOUGHT THE ACTUAL BOOKS? Even I didn’t actually buy the actual books, and I wrote, like, 25 Twilight fanfictions.
Except wait, writing 25 Twilight fanfictions is probably worse than buying the books.
Quinn Glory Shot
Sophy says: RACHEL CAN’T HIDE FROM QUINN’S EYES. They’re always on her. For fuck’s sake though, seriously, what is this. I was saying to Rin while we were going through the caps that there’s this marked difference between the way Santana looks at Rachel and the way Quinn looks at Rachel. Like… all the way through this episode Santana is looking at Rachel with this totally platonic, almost motherly affection. Whereas Quinn is giving her these long, searching, melting gazes like she always fucking does. And it’s gotten to the point where it’s just pathetic and she needs to either tell Rachel she’s in love with her or stop looking at her that way.
MAKE OUT WITH RACHEL OR GET OFF THE POT.
EXCEPT ALSO SHE SHOULD ALSO NEVER EVER GET OFF THE POT.
QUINN/THE RACHEL POT FOREVER.
I was actually never really that afraid that the writers would get this wrong though, since I think it’s pretty much built into the way Dianna plays Quinn. But that doesn’t mean I’m not happy to see it?
And I’m equally happy and considerably more relieved to see that Rachel is still doing the ridiculous gazing at Quinn.
More on that later…
Rin says: HAAHHA. NO SPOILERS. THERE IS NO LATER. THIS IS THE QUINN GLORY SHOT. IT’S ALWAYS THE LAST CATEGORY IN OUR GLEECAPS. NOTHING TO SEE HERE!!!
When they sat down and first started talking, don’t fucking lie you assholes. You were all staring at Quinn staring at Rachel and for the first time in months it felt like everything was going to be okay.
And lolololol Sophy. Not even the most accomplished and brilliant writers of this world could put to pen and paper the way Quinn looks at Rachel, let alone put it in a Glee script. What I want you guys to do for me, is think of episode 408 (I opened up the recap) and how Quinn was with all the other kids from McKinley. How she showed old signs of Quinn, the one that was always a little bit of an act. The one that sure as hell didn’t look at anyone the way she looked at Rachel throughout this episode. There is a major difference you guys, and it matters. It’s part of the reason why Faberry is even a thing in the first place. Quinn is different around Rachel, and Rachel is different around Quinn. They bring out things in each other that no one else can, and that alone is a reason to ship them. Luckily for us, Faberry also give us every other reason for us to ship them. They’re generous like that
One of the best things Glee has ever done
Rachel, Quinn & Santana – Love Song
Sophy says: Okay so first of all I was feeling pretty happy because Rachel didn’t do it, you guys! And it’s not so much that I have anything against nudity personally as that I do think that kind of body-and-soul-baring is kind of wasted on a moronic student film no one will ever watch except anthropologists 1000 years from now. And more importantly I was relieved because Rachel was relieved – because the real Rachel who is still in there won out in the end.
And I should have known she would the moment I saw that enormous fluffy pink robe.
So anyway. Rachel declines to do the nude scene, and it’s not just that that kills me. It’s the way she does it. How much more like the Rachel we all know and love was she, with her stuttered earnestness and her sweet little voice and her wide eyes that you could actually see? And even her posture as she walked away just before the song started was so much more Rachel, with her shoulders just a tiny bit girlishly slumped.
And then by the time she got to the auditorium she had her killer boots on, sure, but she also had on a skirt that had grown well past slut-length, and she was just, you know, Rachel, with her fresh face and her unfussy hair and her sheer joy in singing a dippy little song and being with these two super-sexy cheerio cool girls she worked so hard to become friends with on her terms as well as on theirs.
It was so perfect that I’m almost crying just writing about it, and when I mentioned to Rin that said crying was almost happening she kind of helped me work out why. It’s because Rachel has been on a journey – a little journey this season, maybe – a long journey since the day we first met her and she sang On My Own with an overeager tenderness and just a hint of cartoon menace. Rachel has been on a journey since the pilot of Glee, and the end point of that journey is not penis paraphernalia. It is not cosmos. It is not Brody. It is not using a year’s supply of eyeliner in a week or losing her face under her hair.
Because this season Rachel transformed herself into all the sleek, minxy, top of the pyramid things she envied in Quinn and Santana back in season 1 and now they’re telling her ‘No, actually, you were always better than any of it.’ It may not have been explicitly stated, but Santana, perhaps, Quinn, most definitely, caught a little bit of what it’s like to be silly from Rachel – a little bit of what it’s like to be a dork and proud of it – a little bit of what it’s like to be your authentic self, always – to refuse to mould yourself to society’s expectations – to be the best you can be, yes, but only if you’re still being you.
Quinn and Santana were both masters of pretense when we first met them. Santana was hiding the fact that she’s gay under aggressive heterosexual activities with all and sundry. She was also hiding the fact that she’s a solid, beautiful woman who cares about people behind a wall of bitch. Quinn was hiding the fact that she didn’t know who she was or what she wanted or what she was worth or what she could possibly mean to the world behind the perfect jock boyfriend, first place in everything that matters, and the skirt that perverts invented. Quinn didn’t actually have much sex, and what she did have she enjoyed about as little as Santana must have… but the two of them were determined to be “sexy” anyway. Because that was what mattered, right? Looking the part. Being a grown-up in a teenager’s body. Presenting a perfect and perfectly “normal” front to the world.
They’ve been grown out of it and now it seems like Rachel is growing into it – because she’s afraid that who she’s always been won’t be good enough for NYADA. It doesn’t matter that she’s been accepted into the school – her talent has never been in question. But her ability to make friends? Her ability, in fact, to not have people treat her with open contempt? That’s something Rachel was always worried about in my headcanon. And I can’t help wondering whether that’s part of what’s behind the new look and the new voice and the new not-so-crazy faces and the new appropriate. Rachel wants to fit in – witness her refusal to get involved in Glee club in the last episode, which is about as far from the actual, real Rachel Berry as it is possible to get. Basically she decided that the best way to fit in was to start over as someone else – to be what Quinn and Santana once were to her – the beautiful, popular girls in the short skirts, who never said or did the wrong thing when anybody was looking. And you know what else she did? She got herself the first perfect jock boyfriend she could get her hands on. Because Brody is undeniably the Finn of NYADA, in every sense except the fact that he’s a smarmy, sweaty-balled donkey. He’s the popular guy. He’s the one even her blonde, sexy dance teacher wants and if Rachel can have him instead that will mean she’s arrived.
Any of this sound familiar?
I like to think that Quinn (and Santana) showing up and being who they are today and not who they were in season 1, was a wake-up call. I like to think it reminded her that it was only ever illusion – that the jock boyfriends and the short skirts never made them happy and they won’t make her happy either. Do I think she’s over the New Rachel completely? No. But this might be a turning point.
Because you could see her, right? The Old Rachel? You guys could all see her in this performance? She was small and naive and humble again. She was cute like she used to be, instead of in a coy, self-aware way. She was simply care-free and brimming with Rachelesque glee.
Quinn convinced Rachel to please her, you guys. That’s the line she sings when she bursts into the auditorium. And pleasing Quinn means being as much like the girl who inspired Quinn to change her life as possible.
And what better song could the three of them sing than at this point than this sweet, bright little pop tune about love and control and being true to who you are and making sure it’s worth it?
I didn’t actually recognize the song at first, but then I realized I had heard it on the radio and I just hadn’t recognized it as Sara Bareilles because I always remember her as being terribly mournful and piano-laden? But I guess she likes to bop as well. And this song really felt perfect for these three, mostly because it was so flirty and light-hearted and after the storm.
And I know these things are planned and all, but within the framework of the show where totally amazing duets and even huge fully choreographed group numbers just seem to happen perfectly at the drop of a hat, I couldn’t help being charmed by the idea that Rachel was pointing at Quinn, that, you guys, she was basically commanding her to sing the next line, and she did and Rachel was all clasped hands adoring about it and I DON’T UNDERSTAND HOW TO LIVE IN THE WORLD IF THIS IS THE FABERRY I JUST DON’T.
I don’t know you guys. Maybe Rachel was gazing wistfully at Quinn on account of how she’s not-so-secretly in questionably platonic love with her and has been forever and a day and just can’t contain her sheer pleasure at getting not only to see her again, but to see her sing. And maybe Rachel’s as excited as I am by the fact that Quinn is actually getting to sing whole sections of the song like she’s some kind of equal singing partner with Rachel and Santana. I think that’s one of the things Rin and I enjoyed most about this episode – how many actual lines Dianna got to sing. It didn’t feel like she was just kind of getting a few words in here or there so that technically she’d participated, while Lea and Naya carried the bulk of the song with their powerhouse voices. It felt like she was an actual valued vocal force for once. And you know, she really showed why the show should use her voice more often, especially in the lower register. When I look back at performances like ‘Say A Little Prayer’ or ‘Papa Don’t Preach’ I’m just floored by how far Dianna has come as a singer. I mean, there was a richness of tone here that I wasn’t expecting, and there was an easy playfulness in the way she sang her lines that felt sort of new. Overall I feel like her confidence in performing has improved greatly, and I feel like we started to see that from about ‘Never Can Say Goodbye’ onwards.
And that makes such perfect sense, because that’s when Quinn got into Yale and was on her way. I feel like after that she really let go, and there is now a kind of relaxed, almost indolent vibe to the way she sings. It’s like she used to be cool and sharp and in control and now she’s warm and loose and in control. And I like it a lot.
But honestly, I’m not going to deny that Rachel had some cute moments with Santana and I loved those cute moments. Really, I’m am pretty fond of the Pezberry friendship, and it warmed my heart to see that Santana was there for Rachel in a crisis and that the two of them have come to this place where they’ll sing to each other and smile and hug and it doesn’t even have anything to do with Glee. But the Faberry shipper in me cannot deny that Rachel’s interactions with Quinn were just above and beyond. Quinn’s always going to be all over Rachel, that’s a given. But the way Rachel can’t keep her eyes off Quinn during this performance is just hilarious. Anyone would think she’s the prettiest girl she’s ever met or something??????!!!!
So yes, as much as this was a trio and I loved the Santana parts of it as much as anybody else… I was also chuffed to find that a lot of the performance was really just Faberry singing this song to Faberry and only Faberry. With Santana looking on like their personal fairy godmother. Which is what she is in my headcanon.
And you guys, the fact that Quinn had to take a moment to give Rachel one of her trademark meaningful looks and ask “No regrets?” at the end, just about killed me. Because honestly, I feel like a part of Quinn probably wants to ask Rachel that about Finn and the wedding too and this was as close as she was going to get. Basically it was like, ‘So you did what I wanted again… no regrets… again?” And the swiftness with which Rachel said a simple “None,” was just epic. Is Rachel ever going to have regrets about anything that has her singing and dancing with Quinn Fabray at the end of it?
And then Quinn was just as ridiculous swift in saying “I’m in,” when Rachel wanted to buy her dinner. OF COURSE YOU’RE IN QUINN. YOU’RE ALWAYS ALL IN WHEN IT COMES TO RACHEL BERRY. But seriously, it was pathetic, Rachel had barely gotten the question out. What if she’d been about to say dinner-SAURS HAHAHAHAHAHHAA. Quinn would have looked pretty silly.
And Rachel looks pretty silly skipping out of the room, huh? Which is awesome.
Also this one time Quinn Fabray belted out “I’m trying to let you hear me as I am,” right at Rachel Berry’s face. Make of that what you will.
Rin says: Where do I begin?
Perhaps by getting the formalities out of the way and telling you guys that if you haven’t heard the FULL version of this song you should all do yourselves a favour and LISTEN TO IT NOW. Because there’s extra bits. VERY TASTY EXTRA BITS. AS IN. QUINN. SINGING ABOUT LEANING THINGS THE HARD WAY AND HAVING A HEAVY HEART.
Okay. So there’s that. Now will I let myself talk about it? I don’t know. I DON’T KNOW IF I CAN. There are so many things about it that I love, and I worry I won’t talk about them all and have to spend the rest of my life in regret. YES, I’M SERIOUS. THAT’S HOW MUCH I CARE ABOUT FABERRY AND GETTING THEM RIGHT. I’m still angry over not really talking about how Quinn never pegged Rachel Berry as the girl who’d be too scared to take on the world. Okay, these are my own issues. I’ll move on.
I tried to mount the screen.
NO!! Okay. Move on.
UM. This was the perfect song for the three of them to sing. It was uplifting and fun and inspiring? In a way that none of Rachel’s previous S4 songs achieved? In a way that made it sound like Rachel was more confident and sure of herself than she’s ever been? And I guess that comes from the song itself, because I remember reading ages ago that Bareilles wrote ‘Love Song’ because some music label wanted her to write them a love song that would sell. So for me, as soon as the piano kicked in (btw major props for having all those naked dudes. hilarious.) after Rachel pulled out of the film and stood up for how she really felt? Yeah. It was empowering. AND LIKE, IN THE REAL WAY. Not the fake strong confident woman they’ve been trying to push down our throats this season. It was a real actual Rachel moment, which is why she starts smiling whilst packing up her belongings and walking out of there.
It’s not a big deal. Rachel just said no to posing nude, which kind of seems like a no-brainer to the majority of us. But Rachel kept true to herself, and she knows it.
So she bursts into the auditorium singing with the biggest smile on her face. Because she fucking FEELS LIKE HERSELF, and maybe she thought she had to grow up a bit to take on New York, but you know what? If her friends believe in her enough to see her this way… to see her as enough? Maybe anything’s possible. YES YOU GUYS. I’M QUOTING BITS OF PROM-ASAURUS AT YOU. HAAH SUCK IT.
But it’s so true. Rachel’s ambition might be what drives her, but friendship is what fuels her.
Just look at her face. LOOK AT HOW HAPPY SHE IS. It’s the happiest she’s been in MONTHS. Whenever she was all ‘OMG KURT WE’RE IN NEW YORK! AND I’M IN LOVE!’ it always felt like a coping mechanism. Like she was much more telling herself that she was happy, than actually being happy. But Rachel’s face never lies. Look at her toothy grins. Look at her silly faces. It’s Rachel Fucking Berry and she’s not going anywhere.
Now. One of my absolute favourite parts of anything ever comes near the start of the performance. When Quinn looks at Rachel and sings out, ‘HEAR ME AS I AM’. And yes Sophy, I’m going to try to make sense of it, even if I’ve watched those few seconds over and over again and still don’t really know how to pinpoint the reasons of why I’m so in love with it. It’s the swell of the note, sure. It’s the swell of the camera, sure. But most of all it’s the way Quinn is looking directly into Rachel’s eyes and outright singing to her, to hear her as she is. Look okay, I know it’s a lyric in a song, and that it doesn’t necessarily have to mean anything more. But it feels like more. Seriously, sometimes that bit sneaks up on me and I almost burst into tears, and I’m not even being hyperbolic about that. Some of you will wave your hand and be all, Oh that Rin, always a Fadrama Queen, and some of you will be crying right alongside me (let’s catflap/hands). Quinn looks at Rachel and it’s seriously like she’s baring her soul for her right there and then. Singing to Rachel…for Rachel…about Rachel. Whatever is happening, however describable or indescribable, it is emotional. Quinn being emotional where Rachel is concerned. What else is fucking new.
OKAY. THIS DOESN’T REALLY BELONG HERE, BUT A PARALLEL JUST FUCKING POPPED INTO MY HEAD AND I DON’T HAVE TIME TO FIND A PROPER PLACE FOR IT. SO I’LL JUST VOMIT IT.
Rachel spent so much time trying to grow up this season. And the reason she wanted to do the topless scene is because that would have been the biggest thing she could do to prove just how grown up she is. Like saying, LOOK! I’m so mature, I can do a nude scene! Because you know, asking the boyfriend of 2 weeks to move in wasn’t drastic enough. And what did she learn by saying no? She learnt that she didn’t want to grow up yet. She wasn’t ready.
And yeah. This episode really was a big fucking parallel to 308, wasn’t it? Christ. Faberry. Stop it. STOP BEING SO IN LOVE. I don’t know how much more I can take.
Okay, back to where we were. I really love the choreography of this, the three of them on stage in an empty auditorium. It’s like they’re doing take two of Homeward Bound/Home just to include Rachel this time. AND I KNOW they’re two completely different songs and it kind of calls for them to be more bouncy and all big smiles, but it doesn’t mean I’m going to revel any less in the fact that Quinn fucking looks like she just won the lottery and the reward was puppies and Rachel. But the simplicity of it all is so amazing because the three of them feel so free together. They have an ease about them that causes them to be incredibly adorable and sweet and generally fucking outstanding. And you guys, I’m not purposely trying to leave Santana out of the performance. Santana is amazing and glorious and the performance WOULD NOT HAVE been the same without her. And her voice. And her cuteness. And her dancing.
But there was a lot of Faberrying going around, and a lot of Santana seeming like the third wheel. WHICH IS KIND OF HOW IT SHOULD BE. I mean, Santana doesn’t want to have sex with Rachel like Quinn does, so naturally. Plus I’m biased as hell, you all know it. I won’t deny.
UM. But let’s go with another of my all-time favourite moments? When Santana hands over the floor for Quinn to sing under the spotlight and have her moment. And Quinn steps into the light and fucking takes it and owns it. She loves to perform, and now more than ever.. with a little bit of Yale in her? Yeah. You can tell. She is VERY reminiscent of that ‘Never Can Say Goodbye’ Quinn and that’s one of my favourite Quinn performance ever. So, high compliments. The difference between performances like this, and Say A Little Prayer/Come See About Me.. is that those are completely choreographed and restrictive. STILL ABSOLUTELY FUN AND OH MY GOD I WOULD NEVER SAY A BAD WORD ABOUT THEM DON’T TAKE ME THE WRONG WAY COME SEE ABOUT ME IS MY RINGTONE. Um. But we don’t get to see Quinn really enjoy herself and lose herself in the performance. With Love Song you see it a whole lot. A WHOLE LOT.
Oh and. Ha. Rachel in the background during Quinn in the spotlight? There are no fucking words. There just aren’t any. It’s utterly ridiculous how fond she is of Quinn in that moment. Her eyes are glazed over for the love of god. Again, feel free to compare Rachel in the background of Quinn, and in the background of Santana.
“Promise me that you’ll leave the light on..”
HA. HA. HAHAHAAHHAAH. Because everybody is surely taking it in the way that Belinda Carlisle sang about. Right??? And then I’m in that place where Rachel is talking about Quinn’s tremulous alto and her Belinda Carlisle glamour and Faberry. Their story is the best story. BUT SERIOUSLY. Quinn wants Rachel to always leave a light on for her. Like she’ll do in return. And. Wow.
PEZBERRY HUG. Adorable. And snuggly. I am definitely looking forward to more Pezberry in the future. Please and thank you.
Then Rachel steps into the spotlight and has her moment and I am pretty in love with what Rachel’s eyes are doing when the light hits her face. For a brief second she has that really intense stare that she does, that is full of conviction. And then another MASSIVE FAVOURITE MOMENT. The bit where Rachel points at Quinn to carry on after her. It’s so playful and cute and I cannot deal with it. Especially because Quinn’s looking at her and singing to her again. And, any time Quinn sings at Rachel my heart just fucking melts.
Which brings me to my next few paragraphs.
Dianna Agron’s voice. Where the fuck has this been? Because this is new, you guys. SHE NEVER gets to sing this low on the show, neevveerrr. It’s obvious that Dianna has continually worked at her voice, so maybe it’s only more recently that she’s more confident to be in the lower register. But fuck. It’s like, more on par with that low speaking voice she has..YOU KNOW THE ONE. THE ONE THAT MAKES YOUR INSIDES FEEL WARM. YOU KNOW IT’S TRUE. So getting to hear it feature throughout this song caught me completely off-guard and I LOVE IT SO MUCH. She sounds so good and I hope from here on out we get to see her do more songs like this. Or have more songs in general. Either way I want more.
And I’m really damn proud of her and whoever arranged this song. Because they gave Dianna a real chance to not only shine, but also HOLD HER OWN against the likes of Lea and Naya. Of course Dianna will never have the big belty abilities of those two, but on the other hand she has something that those two don’t. And that deserves to be celebrated too! But I honestly think this is the FIRST time Dianna has been given background runs to do. It wasn’t just a couple lines here and there, they actually used her voice to add depth and character. A role that Lea and Naya are so commonly given.. and yet the ending choruses are riddled with Dianna. And I. Yeah. I’m proud. Really really proud.
There were SO MANY of her scrunchy faces, and those ones she does where she’s trying to be all rock-and-roll and really into the song and I died.
OKAY This is quickly turning into a recap of Quinn I’M SORRY. IT’S JUST BEEN SO LONG.
I’VE BEEN IN PRISON. THIS IS MY ONE CONJUGAL VISIT. I’M NOT GOING TO WASTE IT PRETENDING TO CARE ABOUT ANYTHING ELSE.
And then Faberry were suddenly arm in arm and my brain went nuts and my fingerprints fell off from keyboard mashing too hard. And this is really getting out of hand. So I’ll keep it a bit more brief.
Quinn sings ‘babe’ at Rachel. She sings to Rachel that she’d walk the seven seas. Rachel has adopted Quinn’s Quinn hands for the performance. When Rachel twirls around Quinn, she’s looking down at a certain direction where a certain behind would be.
And then everyone is floating around each other and looking at each other with such adoration that you can practically feel it oozing from your screen. And Quinn ends ‘todayyyy’ looking at Rachel.. looks to Santana… THEN BACK AT RACHEL. Yes, I’m sad enough to think that these things matter.
There’s not a lot more that I can say that hasn’t already been said. Yet I still feel like I’ve left everything I’ve wanted to say out. Faberry are back. And in the way we want them to be. We might have spent the absence thinking about all the ways they could be together together, but this kind of reminded me that Faberry have always just been something that we can’t put a label on. Their relationship is still the one thing that remains perfect and untouched by the hands of bad-Glee, and I continue to be in awe of them. Before this episode I had dug myself into a deep whole, convinced that they would get ruined and they were never going to be treated right. For some reason I forgot that these are the people that delicately crafted this intricate, 4 season spanning, non-friendship that has really made an impression on me. So even if things don’t pan out the way that we hope they do, after this great episode, well. I’ll be mad. I’ll be the maddest I’ve ever been at TV. But I’ll have to try to remember that Rachel and Quinn and their story really doesn’t end because they might try to say it does.
They’ll live on long after the show ends, and if that means I’ll just have to keep writing about how they’re one of the greatest stories ever told? Then so be it.
Sophy says: Okay, first of all I did not know that about the background of “Love Song” and that really does make it all the more of an anthem about staying true to yourself and sticking up for what you believe in and kudos to Glee for choosing it. Plus I’m totally reminded of that time I swooned over that song I can’t take my eyes off you when Willow and Tara were slow-dancing in mid-air, and then I found out Melanie Doane wrote it about her TV set and I don’t know you guys, it made me love it more.
And okay I need to express my feelings about what you said re: Rachel being driven by ambition but fueled by friendship. This is so accurate I could cry. And I think that’s why it hit me so hard when she told Quinn and Santana that you can’t make new old friends. Because these guys were the first for Rachel. She spent so long being an outcast generally and being absolutely despised by the likes of the cheerios. And getting to be their friend? Well Quinn is her proudest achievement, duh. But I think making things official with Santana before graduation was pretty special to Rachel too – and the fact that Santana is here with Quinn means it wasn’t all just end-of-an-era wank. It wasn’t Harmony signing Willow’s yearbook and Willow saying how she’ll miss her even though she hates her with a fiery vengeance. It’s more than that. She matters to Santana and Quinn and I think that matters enormously to her.
And you know what else I loved about that line? The fact that she prefaced it with ‘It’s like my dads always say’. I have always seen Rachel as the kind of daughter who adores her dads and everything they stand for, so I remember being kind of unnerved in the Thanksgiving episode when she basically denigrated their traditions and said that where they were didn’t feel like home anymore. It was just off. And I’m glad to see that along with denying the nudity and regaining some of her outward Rachelness, she has also started weaving her parents back into things.
Her dads matter. Her friends matter. She matters.
And on that note let me just make it clear that like Rin I was glad of Santana’s presence. It didn’t diminish anything for me, and I have to admit that I was scared that it would. Because I was scared the three of them would just be homogeneously friendly with each other and it would feel disrespectful to the much more layered and long-built relationship between Quinn and Rachel. But it really didn’t turn out that way. Santana’s involvement in the ‘Save Rachel from herself’ plot was nothing but an added Santana-y bonus to the Faberry, and her scrunchy faces and excited smiles are like nectar from the gods. NECTAR, YOU GUYS.
And I love that parallel Rin made between Rachel in this episode and Quinn in 308 and I’d like to take it one step further if I may, thank you caller, kind regards. I love that Quinn and Rachel both learned the same thing, namely that just because you have a gun it doesn’t mean you have to pull the trigger. Some opportunities you have to take – like NYADA – like Yale. You have to go for those things, no matter what. But sometimes you can just not take opportunities. When Quinn found out about Puck and Shelby she had the perfect opportunity to get Shelby into trouble. It wouldn’t have been wrong for her to report her. She had every right to do so and nobody could have held it against her. But she chose to control herself instead of controlling the situation. She chose to just not. Here, Rachel does the same. She’s been given an opportunity to be in an actual movie, which, though it’s a piece of crap student project, is still pretty flattering, especially for someone as prone to flattery as Rachel is. This is the ultimate in ‘You are sexy,’ even moreso than her live-in donkey telling her so twice before breakfast each day. Someone wants her naked on film. She has a chance to show the whole world how brave she is and how empowered she is and how sexy she is. And you know, there isn’t actually anything wrong with doing nudity. She had every right to make the choice to go ahead and take that robe off, and nobody who mattered would have thought less of her. But she chose to not. Both of them learned how freeing it can be to decide you have nothing to prove. Thanks to each other.
And a final note, when Rin said Rachel’s eyes were glazed over when she was looking at Quinn I pictured her as Homer Simpson drooling at a yellow four-fingered Quinn who may or may not have been roasting on a spit.
Yeah, I did.
In conclusion, Faberry own our souls. If we ever stop writing about them, you will know that we are not Rophy any longer… we are ROPHYUS.