Glee: Dance With Somebody

The New Directions seniors get mushy about saying goodbye to McKinley and their significant others. Will intends to rap at his wedding. Everyone mourns Whitney Houston.

How strange to have two tributes episodes in a row, both elevated above what’s become the norm for Glee (an overstuffed melange of plot-threads) by tying the central theme to the ongoing plot of the McKinley seniors’ impending exodus. I’m not complaining – it is refreshing to have an episode that holds together long enough to do what Glee does best – evokes a feeling. Admittedly, it’s a reiteration of what we felt last week, but to me, Whitney’s death is a more powerful vehicle than the songs and plot of Saturday Night Fever. The kids’ mixture of grief for Whitney, and sadness for what they’ll be leaving behind after Graduation lent a certain gravitas to the proceedings this week.

Bartender, Get Me A Klaine, On The Rocks *snaps fingers*

Gravitas like, for example, Kurt and Blaine were in trouble – Oh Noes! Okay, I am pretty sure none of us thought for a moment those two lovebirds were really in jeopardy, but the writers pulled a neat trick here, in that they took all of the lack of effort they’ve made with Klaine this season, and used it as fuel to explain why there could be cracks appearing in the relationship. Were you wondering why Blaine has had eight solos this season when Kurt’s only had one? Well Kurt has been wondering too. Even though it’s obvious Kurt has only been underutilised this year because the writers do indeed have a new ‘Alpha Gay’ to play with, they did an ok job of making it seem like actual groundwork has been laid for this plot. It’s a sign of good writing when the characters feel as if they have thoughts and actions outside of what you actually see on screen, and Glee is particularly poor at creating that feeling. This is mainly because it rushes through plots and pulls its characters into the shape they need to be to fit the story of the week, so the fact that I actually started wondering how Kurt has been feeling about all the Blaine performances (that we have all been enjoying so much) is something to be applauded.

Back to Kurt and Blaine – I found it hard to believe Kurt would be so into texting this Chandler guy, even though he came across as a pretty well-drawn and likeable character in the space of one scene. What’s easier to stomach is that Blaine has been emotionally withdrawing in order to deal with the prospect of a McKinley High without Kurt, causing Kurt to feel neglected and undesirable, and need something to provide an antidote to that. Sending flirty texts is an appropriate transgression for Kurt because it can be essentially harmless, or a worrying indication of cheating that is occurring or about to occur. In Kurt’s mind, it was perfectly innocent. When Blaine discovered the texts, we could see he was already mentally racing ahead to the point of discovering Kurt in bed with this other guy. The scene with Emma where they finally started talking openly to one another was the strongest of the episode. But is it really going to be as easy as a nightly Skype conversation and weekly visits to NYC after Kurt leaves Ohio?

What To Do With The Time That Is Given To Us

I enjoyed the scenes of Puck and Rachel trying to make the most of the little time they have left with the boys and Santana respectively, but both would have been far more powerful with a little build up. We’ve seen very few personal bonding moments between Puck and anyone other than Finn this season, in fact the shot glasses really needed some history such as ‘ND Boys Drinks Night’, or at least for the boys to have bonded during Blame It On The Alcohol. Also, the Rachel/Santana duet came completely out of the blue, they’ve never had much of a connection - Rachel jumping straight to ‘here’s a photo of me to gaze at every day’ was a bit premature. So, while I appreciated the sentiment, the only one of these ‘why must it end so soon?’ scenes I truly enjoyed was between Kurt and Burt. It is a shame we haven’t seen much of Kurt’s home life this season, since potentially five main characters, Kurt, Blaine, Finn, Rachel and Burt spend significant amounts of time there, but Mike O’Malley is so good that we believe he has been skipping dinners with Kurt because he finds it painful to contemplate how temporary their situation is. He’s helped by having a great monologue that manages to reference Kurt’s mum’s death and tie it in with fatherhood and watching your children grow up and move away, thus drawing a more solid connection between Kurt and Whitney Houston’s passing. I am gonna miss you too, Burt. Let’s hope Glee can find a way to keep Mike O’Malley on for Season 4. The way the episode ended, with Kurt gazing into his locker as if was a time capsule, was the perfect shot to encapsulate what Burt was talking about. In fact, it said it far more succinctly – in no words at all.

Loved

- Nice bit of trivia - When Blaine told Kurt "I love you so much," he was wearing the same cardigan he wore when he first told Kurt that he loved him in New York.

- More trivia - The outfit Kurt was wearing in I Have Nothing was the same outfit he wore during his perfomance of As If We Never Said Goodbye, and both songs are his solos in the choir room.

- I wonder if we’ll see Chandler again? I hope so, he was very funny to watch, and you have to have love for a guy who comes up with the text “I'm pretty sure you were Cleopatra in a past life. You've got a great asp.” That’s a pretty potent pun!

- Emma’s ‘Say You’re Sorry With A Song’ pamphlet.

- This week’s fashion report: Kurt’s Hippo brooch becomes every Gleek’s must-have accessory!

Didn’t Love

- Sugar and Rory weren’t in the episode again. Maybe they’ve eloped? Sue wasn’t around either.

- The stupidness of Will’s marriage plot. It felt almost as if the writers had had the discussion of whether they could get the cast back together next winter for Will’s wedding, or whether this May will be the last time they can get everyone onscreen together, in which case it would be better to do the marriage in the finale. This seemed like as if it was that discussion, translated into a plot line. It also didn’t work in that Will really shouldn’t be obsessing over saying goodbye to the seniors – he’s a teacher, it’s what they do! Will has built The Little Engine That Could with New Directions – it should be sustaining regardless of the specific roster of kids.

- I am completely uninvested in Holy Joe’s Boner of Woe. This would be an interesting subject if Glee actually took time to explore it, and if it took a stronger stance, but instead it glossed over any scrutiny of Biblical orders to abstain, and didn’t give Sam Larsen much to work with.

- Boo, no gay kissing. We got a Brittana duet and a major Klaine romantic storyline yet there were hugs and no kisses.

- Argh, I have started using Glee-couple portmanteaus!

Glee Against the Music

How Will I Know performed by Rachel, Kurt, Mercedes and Santana:
Good idea to do this acapella although I thought it was a bit strange for Santana to be included – she doesn’t seem like the type to be Whitney obsessed. The shrine was both touching and hilarious. Did anyone else keep thinking “Shhhh!” during the library section? B+ 

I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me) performed by Brittany, Santana and the Cheerios:
The girls looked amazing in those matching dresses, and the choreography was spot on (also, impressive in those heels!) but I would’ve liked to see the background change colour for the video tribute section. Can you believe it took this long for Brittany and Santana to get a duet together this season? Grade B+ 

Saving All My Love For You performed by Quinn and Joe:
I suppose this made sense in that it could be taken to mean that Joe wants to be faithful to one person, and he’s trying to decide whether it is Quinn or God. But it also doesn’t make sense – it’s actually about a woman having an affair with a married man. I’d say that could be Quinn singing to Joe who’s spiritually married to God, but that’s really stretching things! At least a musical montage is a good way to show a courtship period in shorthand, which is just as well since I wasn’t feeling much chemistry between Samuel Larsen and Dianna Aggron. Good job their voices fit well together. Grade B-

So Emotional performed by Rachel and Santana:
I would’ve liked a scene prior to this to explain why Rachel and Santana would take the time to work on a duet together – their girl-pal vibe in the song felt a bit forced. This was also my least favourite Whitney song that they chose to cover. Grade C+

It's Not Right But It's Okay performed by Blaine with the New Directions:
And that folks, is how you do a Whitney tribute. There was the glass table, the group of judgemental backing singers, sexy police dancers and Blaine looking confident and gorgeous in that suit. It’s just a shame it wasn’t leather! This was also more integrated into the plot than most Glee songs. Grade A- 

I Have Nothing performed by Kurt:
Hurrah for Kurt finally getting another solo. This is the first he’s had since I Am Unicorn, and it reminded me what a wonderful performer he is. Also, check out the excellent Pointing – straight from the Cooper Anderson school of acting. I also enjoyed Blaine looking sad/adorable. Grade A- 

My Love Is Your Love performed by Mercedes, Artie, Kurt and Blaine with the New Directions:
Everybody say ‘Aww’! It was heart-warming to see all of New Directions arriving to join the song, and even more so to see them taking their Whitney shrine down and looking over some of the photos and memories they’ve made over the past three years. A beautiful tribute Grade B+

Quotes for Gleeks

Blaine: “This song is for anyone who’s ever been cheated on!”
Kurt: “This is insane, I didn’t cheat on you!”
Brittany: “Cheetahs have the fastest land speed of any living animal.”

Blaine: “Do you know how many times you’ve texted me in the past two days? Four. And three of them were about finding peach-colored shoe polish.”

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

Brittany: “Joe is really pretty, but I heard she doesn't shave her armpits.”

Brittany: “And Quinn, you're still dancing in my dreams. And you can fly and breathe fire.”

Puck: “I’m sorry Finn, I tried to get your balls back from Rachel, but she’s got those on lockdown.”

Burt: “Everybody warned me when you were eight and bugging the crap out of me that one day I’d be begging for you to wake me up with a nightmare, or wreck the kitchen, playing restaurant.”
Kurt: “I was 9. Who knew paella was gonna be so complicated?”

Solid episode, but I am a little bit worried they’ve exhausted all the warm fuzzies associated with saying goodbye to the McKinley seniors already. Wait, this is Glee, there’s always more warm fuzzy. I’ll let you guys rate this one. How many “Green is for humidity controlled storage to keep in mint condition, to sell as memorabilia after Kurt gets famous” stickers?

6 comments:

Morgan India said...

Chandler made me really miss Sebastian. He also reminded me of my cousin on red cordial. But mostly he just made me miss Sebastian.

And Darren Criss's eyes are really sparkly.

celticmarc said...

As for the music is concerned, this was solid, so a 3.5

BUT ! Story wise, hum, lowering the score to 2.5

And I'm still wondering how they'll keep the show interesting if we loose some of the characters that we've grown to love....

Iago said...

I really enjoyed this which caught me by surprise since the tribute episodes normally leave me cold (last seasons Rumours being the other exception to that) but it was, as you said, because there was some actual character development in there even if it was just for Kurt and Blaine.

Whoever thought of using grief for Whitney Houston as a metaphor for leaving show deserves a raise - it gave the episode a coherence it doesn't normally have. Whoever is writing for Will needs to be sacked: I know I don't like the character (and I'm pretty vocal about it) but I don't see how *anyone* can like Will when he acts the way he does in this episode - being unprofessional, more bullying Emma, total inability to be an adult. I kinda want to grab Emma and warn her she's marrying a wife-beater-in-waiting.

I'm a teacher in RL and in a few months my tutor group, who I've had for the last 4 years, are leaving. They're my first tutor group and I've gotten to know them and really like them. I'll be sad to see them go but next year I'll have a new gang and a few years down the line I know I'll struggle to remember the names of my original gang. That's teaching, you get used to it. Will's inability to do so is more evidence of why he is the worlds worst teacher.

The music was great and the closing number has become my 'get out of bed' weapon. Hope this quality keeps up.

Patricia said...

The whole Joe/Quinn storyline made no sense to me at all, especially in context of what has gone on before.

WTF is Sam doing telling Joe that he may have to choose between God and Quinn? As far as he knows, Quinn isn't interested in sex; she certainly wasn't when she dated him. Aside from her initial time with Puck, whatever she did in her 'skank' phase, and her "let's make another Beth" idea, she's never been shown as interested in anything physical other than kissing and cuddling. None of the exceptions really suggest otherwise either. She also seems to have excellent self-control.

(Also, way to model the 'slippery slope' with the 'I was stripping so why not have sex' line, Sam. Ick.)

Meanwhile, Quinn is proclaiming that now she's in a wheelchair she'll never attract a guy again, right in front of two girls who have dated Artie (and broken up with him for reasons unrelated to his condition), and neither of them says anything.

Nick said...

Despite the fact that the episode was standard season 3 fare (with plotlines materialising out of nowhere) I still kinda enjoyed this one. Having that one theme of them anticipating graduation really worked.

Mike O'Malley is seriously awesome. He does the same heartstrings-tugging thing every time but it always works. Give the man an award already.

Sam Larsen's pretty wasted in his role I think, which is a shame :(

Anonymous said...

I think that this episode worked well as a compliment to last week's, as this one focused on letting go of the past, whereas "GLEE-ver" was about looking to the future.

Also, I flippin' love Whitney Houston, and most of these songs were seriously awesome. "My Love is Your Love" has become my favorite song in the span of a week.