The Gleecap is a brand new column dedicated to recap and review the zany antics that occur in each episode of the television show Glee. Blog posts will be released each Wednesday following an episode. Beware, there will be spoilers.
This week’s episode of Glee is brought to you by their biggest sponsor, Broadway! It’s school musical time at McKinley, and directors Coach Beiste, Emma, and Artie are beginning auditions for West Side Story. Rachel, to no one’s surprise, auditions for the title role of Maria as Kurt vies for the role of oh-so-masculine Tony. Determined to pick up extracurricular credit, Kurt also joins with Brittany’s expert, unicorn-based campaign stratagem to run for Class President.
Broadway has also lent Glee one of its biggest stars, Idina Menzel, to reprise her role as teacher/Rachel’s birth-mother/adopted mother of Quinn and Puck’s lovechild. Safe to say, her reappearance as a McKinley teacher brings about both conflict and song.
Specifically, Shelby and Quinn deal with a head-on collision course for nearly the entire episode. Drawing from her experiences in giving up Rachel as a child, Shelby explains to Puck and Quinn that she wants them to be a part of Beth’s (her baby’s) life. Puck, complete with a drug test, proves himself to be on-board with idea and pays Shelby an unexpected visit.
Quinn, however, fights between her deeply-rooted desire to see her daughter and her deeply-rooted desire to remain a hipster. Ultimately, Quinn dons her baby doll blonde look once more since she has finally realized how to love and accept herself.
Oh wait, just kidding. She’s just masquerading that she’s okay in order to win full custody of her daughter from Shelby.
Fortunately, the other parts of the episode are much more light-hearted. Kurt spends the entire time learning that he is a tad flamboyant, and, after some hesitation and glaive-wielding, comes around to accept who he is (this smells familiar). In the wake of his identity crisis, Brittany decides to run against Kurt for Class President after realizing that she, like her opponent, is a unicorn.
There’s also a “Booty Camp” run by Mr. Schuester after school meant to
occupy the extraneous characters teach some students (read: Finn) how to dance (that familiar smell again).
Oh, and Sue’s still running for Congress.
Kurt – I didn’t 100% get the whole identity crisis here. Sure, I do understand his conflict in trying out for the musical’s lead, masculine character. It’s not easy wanting something so badly only to realize a lot of that decision is out of your hands. However, I did not understand his flamboyancy conflict when it came to his campaign strategy. The Kurt Hummel that I’ve seen for two years would not use a boring, black-and-white photo that looked it was taken at “Ye Olde Photo Shop” in your local theme park. There would be sequins, glitter, and hairspray residue on that thing.
Quinn – Overall, I was happy. We saw Quinn’s insecurities. We saw her fears. We saw that Quinn “edge” we’ve been so used to. And we saw why she was angry. But then, one moment ruined an almost perfect score. She had to go and want steal Beth away from Shelby. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad the writers aren’t making her pain a two-episode stint. But I had a horrifying PTSD reminder of season two when she turned into “Villain Quinn” in front of Puck.
For about four weeks straight last year, Glee’s promo for the following episode would be Villain Quinn. Look, Villain Quinn slapped Rachel at Prom! Look, Villain Quinn has evil plans in New York! Look, Villain Quinn is cannibalizing New Directions! (At that rate, it was going to happen.)
I understand Tortured Quinn has lead to Villain Quinn. But let me sympathize with the girl for a bit before I want Batman to step in a save the day and rescue Beth.
Santana, Tina, Finn – Wait…they were in this episode?
I think Glee’s writers heard me ranting about continuity to my friends this summer. After bugging my phone and listening in, they then typed up a list of all my noted storyline inconsistencies and addressed them in this episode.
Why don’t we ever see Kurt and Finn as a family? Oh look, there they are in Burt Hummel’s garage!
Why do Rachel and Quinn get silly storylines over more obvious, better ones? Oh look, here comes Idina Menzel to the rescue!
Why don’t they ever acknowledge that Quinn became close friends with Mercedes and had to deal with her parents separating? Oh look, there’s Mr. Schuester directly referencing every continuity inconsistency I pointed out in The Gleecap last week.
Glee writers, you can wiretap me for as long as you’d like if this is what I get in return.
“Somewhere” from West Side Story: It’s Lea Michele and Idina Menzel singing. Of course it was good. It didn’t particularly move me, but it did offer us a glimpse at Rachel’s Greatest Hits as far as facial expressions went. Forced Anguish, Crooning Through Angry Tears, and the Psychotic Singing Smile were all present and accounted for.
“I’m the Greatest Star” from Funny Girl: There were some odd moments in this performance. Between many high-pitched squeeks at the beginning, jungle-gym bonanza throughout, and a glaive-wielding ending, I really found myself speechless. The song did have nice vocals and Kurt was very funny with the comedic dialogue.
“Something’s Coming” from West Side Story. Call me an utter hypocrite, but I would have been game for some Katy Perry or Bruno Mars at this point. The first two performances garnered similar reactions from me, and this one did not deviate from the pattern. It was well-sung. It was Broadway. It was Darren Criss. Same formula throughout the entire episode.
“Out of all the kids in this school, I think you are the biggest unicorn.” – Brittany S. Pierce
“We’ll call it Kurt Hummel’s bulging, pink, butt-sack.” – Brittany S. Pierce
“I’ve gotta go throw ketchup covered tampons on the marching band.” – Quinn “The Skank” Fabray
“He owned that song like it was his prison bitch.” – Coach Shannon Beiste
“You dress like you own a magic chocolate factory.” – Burt Hummel
“I’m also a unicorn. Maybe a bicorn.” – Brittany S. Pierce
I did not expect this episode to surprise me so much with the sudden disappearance of Glee’s continuity amnesia. The overall story arcs, the hysterical one-liners, and general feeling that Glee really is returning “back to basics” really impressed me. Initially, the episode was well on its way to getting an “A-,” but the sudden re-emergence of the overused Villain Quinn and mediocre song variety sunk that ship. Still a positive impression overall.
“I Am Unicorn:” B+