Film & Television

The Gleecap: “Dance with Somebody”

By Jon Erik Christianson • April 25, 2012 at 1:00 pm


The Gleecap is a column dedicated to a recap and review of 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.

In my time here at the Gleecap, I have said the following quotes regarding Blaine:

  • “The Blaine and Rachel Show”
  • “The Cult of Blaine”
  • “Mr. Pirate”
  • My favorite: “Gay Darren Criss, the Stepford Husband”

And I stick by every single last one of them. He’s often been very poorly written, comes off as one-dimensional, and shares one too many hip thrusts, bow ties, and weird hand motions with the audience.

That being said, Blaine’s Eyes of Sadness were like Adele and Sarah McLachlan serenading blind, amputee orphans and homeless corgis on a sinking ship in the middle of the cold, chasmic Antarctic Ocean.

Now excuse me as I rob City Convenience of all its Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.

Story Overview

Using the death of Whitney Houston as a catalyst for the evaporating high school experience, the kids of New Directions begin to realize that they are about to depart from school and the sad consequences of this.

Kurt, neglected by a distant Blaine, resorts to texting a flaming fellow gay in order to get attention. Blaine catches wind of these texts (“You must have been Cleopatra in a past life, because you have a great asp”) and is utterly devastated. The couple dukes it out over song, and eventually resort to awkward couples’ counseling with Emma. There it is revealed that Blaine has been distant due to the growing realization that Kurt is leaving and that there’s nothing he can do about it.

Flaunting his usual level of questionable judgement, Mr. Schuester suggests that he and Emma move their wedding from November to this coming May. After several arguments and the return of Serial-Killer-Face Schue, it is revealed that he’s worried his New Directions students won’t come to his wedding.

After an insanely awkward physical therapy session with “Teen Jesus” Joe Hart, Quinn finds herself despondent towards her increasingly frustrating circumstances. Not only has she stopped making progress in therapy, but she lost an intimate moment with Joe due to what she perceived as him seeing her as disgusting. It turns out that Joe is simply struggling with his faith and sexuality.

Eventually, much reconciling takes place. Blaine and Kurt reconcile their differences. Quinn and Joe reconcile their confused relationship status. Schuester reconciles with the fact that his students will go to the moon for him. Even Santana and Rachel reconcile their long-enjoyed rivalry. In the end, everyone reconciles both Whitney Houston’s death and the end of their high school careers.

Santana Lopez, reluctant softie for the Rachel Berry fan club | Photo courtesy FOX TV.

Characters

Blaine— The Gleecap’s melodramatic introduction more than covered this, but Blaine proved to be much more complex than he has ever been. Don’t get me wrong, Blaine’s Eyes of Sadness are about as trademarked as Rachel’s Lone Tear, Schuester’s Serial Killer Face, and Finn’s Constipation are, but they were used much more for the Forces-of-Good Writing this time around.

Quinn— For once, the writers wrote Quinn as less-than-perfect without making her psychotic. Her “beat-up actress” level of despondency in the girl’s bathroom was chilling. All of her other conflicts in the show spawned anger, resistance, or backlash. Quinn finally seemed like she’s given up all hope. And then that one final perceived rejection from Joe crushed her. That is, until it didn’t. My past season Post Traumatic Stress Disorder towards Quinn is going away.

Kurt— Although the idea that Kurt would ever cheat on Blaine sounds like utter blasphemy, it makes sense in the context in which it was done. Kurt, upset at being ignored by his “Alpha Gay,” finally got some attention. He didn’t cheat in a major way, just in a manner enough to still really injure Blaine.

Rachel— Her moral convictions about Kurt’s questionable activities and her desire to be friends with Santana makes sense. And she would want Santana to have a picture of her in her locker.

Songs

“How Will I Know” by Whitney Houston: A song in a cappella is a beautiful thing. A song in a cappella by Whitney Houston sung by Mercedes, Santana, Rachel, and Kurt is an extraordinary thing. The resonating emotion between the curiously well-blended voices set an emotional tone for the rest of the episode. Visually, the gender asymmetry was striking.

“I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)” by Whitney Houston: How Brittany sang this song without a continent’s worth of autotune is utterly beyond me, yet she did. The performance’s dancing was incredible, and the vocals, especially when Santana started harmonizing, were impressive. My favorite facet, however, was how Glee changed the song’s lyrics for the story. Brittany sang about a woman she loved: Santana. No “straight-washing” lyrics here.

“Saving All My Love For You” by Whitney Houston: All things considered, this performance was nice. It showed off Joe’s voice very well, and it was pretty decent for Quinn. Her “classic” voice was a bit awkward in this song, but there’s nothing to really complain about.

“So Emotional” by Whitney Houston: Rachel/Santana duets have historically been entertaining, and this one does not break the mold. Rachel’s silky smooth singing ability and Santana’s spicy kick made for quite the tango. Also, the Kurt/Blaine drama throughout was heart-wrenching.

“It’s Not Right But It’s Okay” by Whitney Houston: Holy lack of bow ties, Batman. I can’t figure out which I’m more enamored with: the song or the visual performance. The fast pace, the focused range, and the vengeful anger all look new on Blaine. Visually, the simple cinematography, the dancers, and New Directions were incredible. Everyone’s “what-the-hell-Kurt-cheated-on-Blaine” face was hysterical, and the Choir of the Damned was haunting. I swear that Rachel was scorn-voguing and it truly terrifying.

“I Have Nothing” by Whitney Houston: Kurt, like Quinn, has a lovely voice in certain contexts. This song wasn’t bad. Unfortunately, all I could think of was how Mercedes or Santana would sound singing it. Womp.

“My Love is Your Love” by Whitney Houston: Although it was not quite the powerhouse performances that were present in the episode, it was an excellent denouement to both the episode and the seniors’ journey over the past few years. Seeing each of them stroll, or roll, in to join the larger group was touching. Even Schuester’s watching from a distance was a nice throw-back to the series’ pilot episode.

One-Liners

“And Quinn, you can still dance in my dreams. And you can fly and breathe fire.” – Brittany S. Pierce

“Finn sends me cutesy text messages all the time, they’re usually puns about my boobs but I still appreciate the effort.” – Rachel Berry

“Joe is really pretty but I heard she doesn’t shave her armpits.” – Brittany S. Pierce

“Oh crap, I think I just realized I’m going to miss you. Quick. Say something irritating so I cant get the taste of this out of my mouth.” – Santana Lopez

“You’re the love of my life and I’m pissed off.” – Blaine Anderson

Overall Score

When I go into watching one of these episodes, I usually enter with a stone-cold disposition and am left with indigestion and possibly a song stuck in my head. After last week, I went into this episode with more than just indigestion. And then I left with more emotions than I knew how to handle.

When a show can make one of my least favorite characters in the history of existence into the gatekeeper of all my feelings in under an hour, I have to concede at least some skill. Or witchcraft. One of the two.

Again, some of the songs were some of the best across the entire season. Most of the story lines (read: not Schuester’s storyline) were emotionally touching in some way (physically touching for Quinn/Joe too). It was both an excellent tribute to Whitney Houston and the series itself.

“Dance with Somebody:” B+


Jon Christianson (COM/CAS '14) is the zany, misunderstood cousin of The Quad family. His superpowers include talking at the speed of light, tripping over walls, and defying ComiQuad deadlines with the greatest of ease. His lovely copyeditors don't appreciate that last one. If for some reason you hunger for more of his nonsense, follow him at @HonestlyJon on Twitter or contact him at jchristianson@buquad.com!



Responses

  1. Tom

    I’m not normally the biggest Blaine fan but I really felt for him in this episode. Mr Shue continues to creep me out and I want to tell Emma to make a run for it since I love her.

    How have hugs become the equivalent of kisses for both of the gay couples on this show? Whenever the straights get focus on their relationship there are plenty of kisses to be had (just look at Will/Emma in this episode) but both the gay couples get denied off them. Santana/Brittany should have kissed last episode and on this one the hug between Kurt and Blaine in Emma’s office felt out of place. It was a natural place for a kiss between them.

    • That last part is beyond true. Those hugs were really awkward in the context of those situations and in the context of the show. We’ve literally seen Rachel and Finn make out 12,000 times. 12,000 too many times.