“Glee” can get a bit after school special-y at times, I think we can all agree. However, I thought this episode did a solid job of keeping the “be yourself” lesson from becoming too preachy, largely thanks to the superhumanly talented Chris Colfer. He skated effortlessly between humor and raw emotion, and you can bet I’ll be rewatching his “Rose’s Turn” more than once before clearing this episode off the DVR…
Kurt’s Turn: Kurt’s upset his dad is taking Finn and his mom to a Red’s game, which, seriously … even if you don’t think he’ll like it, you gotta ask! When he confides to Sue that he’s afraid his sexuality is driving his dad away, she reminds him he’s never even kissed anyone before, boy or girl. After a little self-makeover involving plaid flannel and John Mellencamp, Kurt is unable to resist the charm of Brittany’s “make out with me so that I’ll have made out with every guy in the school” come-on. I mean, what is he, made of stone?
His dad catches them making out, and confronted with a son who’s increasingly in danger of becoming a “King of the Hill” character, he assures Kurt that he’s free to be himself, whoever that is. Unfortunately, this precedes yet another incident in which he excludes Kurt from an activity with Finn. And thank goodness he does, because it brings us to the greatest thing ever: Kurt singing “Rose’s Turn,” Ethel Merman’s big number from “Gypsy.” Chris Colfer kills it when it easily could’ve been pure camp. Seriously, one of the top performances of the season, no doubt. “Everything’s coming up Kurt,” indeed! Outfreakingstanding.
Even better, his dad sees it, having blown off hoagies with Finn because Kurt was so upset. Acknowledging that the gay thing is hard for him, Kurt’s dad assures him, “your job is to be yourself, and my job is to love you no matter what.” He may not be the most perfect dad ever, but he sure tries a lot flipping harder than most.
The drama queen gets some perspective: Rachel completely fails at an attempt to sing “The Climb” (which represents her struggle against glee club laziness) thanks to tonsillitis and an ear infection. When she freaks out that she may have to have surgery and damage her voice forever, Finn takes her to visit his friend Sean, who’s paralyzed after a football accident. Well, that’s one way to provide a little perspective, and Rachel is appropriately abashed. In addition to giving her perspective, Sean assures her that even though it totally sucks and he misses everything, being paralyzed has allowed him to see the things he’s got going outside of football, like math and singing.
Rachel goes back to visit him that night, thanking him for showing her that “just because I’m not good at anything other than singing doesn’t mean I’m not any good if I can’t sing.” Wow, she insulted and complimented herself about five different times in that sentence. And she returns the favor by giving Sean singing lessons, beginning with “One,” which becomes a full-on glee club performance. Two thumbs way up to Corey Monteith for that number.
Popular, I wanna be pop-u-lar: After Puck’s head is shaved by a dermatologist, reactions range from astonishment to smirking to “Who is that guy?” (The latter being Brittany, of course.) After the nerds are fearless enough to gang up and throw him in the dumpster, Puck decides to use Mercedes’ new popularity to boost him back up in the ranks. “Get ready, black girl from glee club whose name I can’t remember right now — the Puckster’s about to make you his.” Ha!
Mercedes shoots him down at first, but he chooses “The Lady is a Tramp” as his solo, since Sammy Davis Jr. was “a black Jew” and all, and it gets the job done. I mean, how could it not?! He sings like a naughty angel, and he dances right over to Mercedes to make his solo a duet. Quinn gives Mercedes a thumbs up once she’s satisfied Mercedes knows Puck is using her, but warns her that Santana might not be so understanding.
I was happy to hear Santana sing, finally, in “The Boy is Mine” with Mercedes, and I thought I heard a pretty good voice through the auto-tune. The duet devolves into a shoving match, but after Mercedes catches Puck tossing nerds in the dumpster, she decides she’s over her newfound popularity and quits the Cheerios, asking Puck to take a look at who HE is, too. Man, if Kurt winds up quitting too, Sue’s really gonna have it in for the glee club.
Odds and Ends:
- Anyone else think they named Jonathan Groff’s character Jesse just so Finn could sing “Jessie’s Girl” at some point? Not that I’m sorry — it’s overproduced for a rock song, but Finn does a nice job.
- Yikes, I didn’t used to think of U2 as “classic rock.” Stop making me feel old, “Glee.”
- Kurt’s “tough guy” face during “Pink Houses” cracked me up. And he did a better job vocally than I would’ve guessed, though it’s no “Rose’s Turn.”
- Um, how do you need a secret recording to prove people aren’t singing during warmups? Can’t you just hear whether they’re singing or not?
- Kurt: “I have exactly the same vocal range as 16th century castrato Orlando di Lasso. But you know what he didn’t have? A song by Miss Whitney Houston in his back pocket.” Hmm…somehow I expected Kurt to say Orlando was missing something different (but similarly located in the pants area).
- Puck: “I feel like that guy that lost all his hair, then lost all his strength.” Santana: “Samson?” Puck: “Agassi.”
- Puck: “I’m a sex shark. If I stop moving, I die.”
- Sue: “So you like show tunes! Doesn’t mean you’re gay, it just means you’re awful.”
- Rachel: “I’m like Tinkerbell, Finn, I need applause to live!”
- Brittany: “Now I know what it’s like to date a baby.”
- “Jessie’s Girl” by Rick Springfield, performed by Finn
- “The Lady is a Tramp” by Sammy Davis Jr., performed by Puck
- “Pink Houses” by John Mellencamp, performed by Kurt
- “The Boy is Mine” by Brandy and Monica, performed by Mercedes and Santana
- “The Climb” by Miley Cyrus, performed (sort of) by Rachel
- “Rose’s Turn” from “Gypsy,” performed by Kurt
- “One” by U2, performed by Sean, Rachel and New Directions
What did you think about Mercedes and Puck together? Did you miss Jesse, or were you happy to see Finn still fighting for Rachel? Do you think Kurt’s dad should include Kurt in his activities with Finn?