'Glee': Defying gravity and handicaps...and bad cupcakes

glee_290.jpgAt long last, "Glee" is back in our lives! Jane Lynch, I've missed you so... And though the pregnancy plot is still full steam ahead, it didn't bother me nearly as much without Terri's psychotic fake pregnancy making an appearance. And an additional thumbs up for using the awesome Nouvelle Vague version of "Dancing With Myself" for Artie's song. Nice work, "Glee."   

Baby Mama drama: Quinn's medical bills are adding up, and she demands that Finn join the workforce and prove to her that she chose the right guy to have a baby with. "Chose" being the operative word here. Puck makes a serious effort to help provide for his baby mama (without sacrificing his dip and nunchucks, of course), but Quinn doesn't care "if the baby comes out with a mohawk" (ADORABLE), she'll go to her grave swearing it's Finn's. Cue a flirty fight between Puck and Quinn, and a real fight between Puck and Finn.

And I gotta say...Team Puck!  And not because I'm hoping he'll shave their baby's head into a mohawk, either. Well, not just because of that. And I'm going to take this opportunity to link to what may be simultaneously the most frightening and most pointless video on YouTube. This is what happens when you google "baby mohawk," people. Though I'm not sure what I expected to find... At any rate, Quinn is moved by Puck's efforts, but sticks with Finn, who is risking eternal damnation - or at the very least, terrible karma - by pretending to be handicapped in order to get a job. 

Sue gets a little backstory, and a soul: Word on the street is that the Cheerios don't have a shot at Nationals without Quinn, but Sue claims she's merely being practical: "In order to win, my Cheerios need to appeal to that panel of judges. So if I have a pregnant girl doing a handspring into a double layout, the judges aren't going to be admiring her impeccable form, they're going to be wondering if the centrifugal force is going to make the baby's head start crowning." Fair enough, I suppose.

The principal insists she hold open auditions to fill Quinn's spot, with Will supervising. One hopeful, Becky, is developmentally disabled and largely incapable of jumping rope (which figures heavily in their Nationals routine), but Sue chooses her to join the squad. Will guesses evil plan or brain tumor, especially when she also pays for three new handicap ramps. But in fact, her older sister is also developmentally disabled. Are you getting this? Sue's an Actual. Human. Being. Wow. And the scene when she visits her sister in the hospital is incredibly sweet. 

Wheels: The school can't afford a handi-capable bus to take Artie to Sectionals, but Will is determined to find a way to pay for it himself so that Artie can travel with the team, even though the team is more than ready to shove Artie into a car with his dad. They hold a bake sale to pay for the bus, which is eventually a success thanks to Puck's pot-laced cupcakes. To give the team a bit more empathy for Artie's situation, Will has them use wheelchairs for three hours a day, and stages a wheelchair number: "Proud Mary." It's good, but a little odd. I get the intent, but all those able-bodied kids in wheelchairs singing "rolling, rolling" just struck me as off somehow.   

I'm happy to see the various Glee Club-ers getting backstories, but this episode had a tinge of preachy after school special that wasn't completely avoided by Artie's emphasis on the functionality of his penis. Duly noted, Artie. Duly noted. His burgeoning romance with Tina, however, is interrupted when Tina confesses to faking her stutter in order to push people away. Artie, who thought they had something in common, is upset that she gets to be normal - if painfully shy -  and he's still stuck in the chair. Aww. 

chriscolfer_glee_290.jpg"Everyone deserves the chance to fly...": Will has done a little research, and the judges at Sectionals have a history of preferring songs that are more accessible than Glee's pop repertoire, so he's adding in some Broadway. Specifically, "Defying Gravity" from "Wicked." Yaaaay! Kurt deeply, deeply wants the solo, but Will won't budge from Rachel until Kurt's dad runs to the principal claiming sex discrimination. Kurt's dad rocks, you guys. Will agrees to let him audition, with the Glee Club voting for the winner.

And you guys, this just killed me. After Kurt's dad receives an anonymous call calling Kurt a fag, Kurt throws the solo, allowing his voice to crack on the final high F after an otherwise beautiful (and much more emotionally poignant) performance. Chris Colfer can SING, y'all. In a truly touching speech, Kurt confesses to his dad that he blew the audition to protect him from harassment like that phone call: "I'm just saying that I love you more than I love being a star." And that's saying something. 

Quotes:

  • Finn: "Kids are busier than when you went here. We've got homework and football, teen pregnancy, lunch..."
  • Puck: "The doctor said the shark fractured my spinal cord." Sandy: "This is why I don't go to the aquarium."
  • Sue: "You think this is hard? Try auditioning for "Baywatch" and being told that they're going in another direction. That was hard."

Songs:

  • "Dancing With Myself" by Nouvelle Vague (originally by Billy Idol), sung by Artie
  • "Defying Gravity" from "Wicked," sung by Kurt and Rachel
  • "Proud Mary" by Ike & Tina Turner, sung by Glee Club

How did you feel about Kurt's decision to protect his dad rather than get the solo? Are we all on the same page as far as Team Puck goes? What did you think about the wheelchair number?

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