Gleecap: Heavy lies the head...
Rather than overly-focusing on prom gimmicks, the folks at Glee thankfully got down to some good old-fashioned character development this week. Sure, prom was a central theme, and many of the characters' problems seemed to be tangled up in the adolescent rite of passage, but the event was used to illustrate already underlying problems, rather than create them for the purposes of the episode. So kudos, writers, for getting back on track. It almost makes us forgive you for what you did to that Adele song.
Everyone wants to believe in the prom fairy
Despite her I'm-all-that-and-two-bags-of-chips demeanor, Mercedes is still upset that no one asked her to prom. But Rachel has a solution: She, Sam and Mercedes will all go together in some weird ménage à prom. Personally, we're wondering where Kurt is in all this. He and Mercedes used to be best friends, and now she's left to twist in the wind. We're not suggesting he take her, we just miss the two of them swaying together in the back row of the rehearsal room and sharing secret handshakes.
In any case, Rachel's plan ultimately works out when Sam tells Mercedes that she looks beautiful and asks her to dance, which she claimed was all she wanted from the evening. You can see she assumes Rachel put Sam up to that line, but having a really cute and caring friend as your prom date is still pretty great. This also drives home how A+ of a human being Sam really is. That and his bolo tie.
Meanwhile, Artie is trying to simultaneously win Brittany back and get her as a prom date. Ordinarily, we hate "Isn't She Lovely," but the backup home ec. utensil instrumentals made this charming, adorable, and resourceful. We would have melted, but Brittany's upholding her resolve and self-respect all while letting Artie down gently was a thing of awe.
Read on for the cruelty of high school kids and more tiara mongering.
My boyfriend's back
Figgins has bungled getting Air Supply for the prom entertainment, so he enlists Schue and New Directions. Schue only agrees since Figgins will pay the club, and the kids prepare a staggered set so everyone gets some time to dance.
As if summoned by Rachel's amazing "Run, Joey, Run" request, Jesse St. James arrives back in Lima, fresh from failing (we think?) out of college and bearing an apology for Rachel that we don't entirely believe. The two then proceed to completely destroy "Rolling in the Deep." Okay, not completely. The verses were fine, but the chorus was more butchered than a Thanksgiving turkey. Take note, people: if you want to do that song justice a Capella, this is how it's done. Also, Jesse, take off that stupid scarf.
All you need is that glass slipper
As everyone gets ready for prom, Quinn takes on this dignified confidence we assume a royal-to-be gets before their coronation. It would be sickening if she didn't look exactly like a stunning prom queen/Cinderella should. Finn is entranced, at least until Jesse's return sparks some overprotective vibes and Rachel's emotionally over-saturated "Jar of Hearts" has him committing some serious eye adultery over Quinn's shoulder.
Naturally, when Quinn fails to take the tiara, it's Rachel she targets, with one mighty crack across the cheek in the ladies' bathroom. But being one who can "appreciate the drama" of the situation, Rachel quickly forgives Quinn and tells her her looks aren't everything. She is so much more than that, which is what we've been screaming at the TV every time Quinn's had a scene for the past three months.
What happens when you get a bunch of strung-out, musically inclined teenagers together in a room
...they play a kind of amazing version of Rebecca Black's "Friday." Honestly, if the world held any redemption for that song, this would be it.
But mostly, you get a lot of drama. Artie allows Puck to persuade him to spike Sue Sylvester's punch to impress Brittany. Unfortunately, Artie doesn't understand what that means as he does it with lemonade (Shenanigans! This is the guy that was mixing up the Bloody Marys for his hungover mates in "Blame It on the Alcohol." If you're advanced enough in your drinking to already have a hangover cure, you know what spiking is). Though we do get an excellent Sue torture scene (almost).
Meanwhile, Finn can't handle Rachel and Jesse necking on the dance floor and starts a fight, thereby getting himself and Jesse kicked out and forcing Quinn to stick out her junior prom stag. Santana is a tear-stained mess after she looses the prom queen title, but her best pal Brittany is there to back her up with some kind (and surprisingly wise) words and a prom queen vote.
The split screen montage here was excellent. It reminded us of what a hormonal, serially disappointing mess high school is, but how what seemed like the end of the world then was never really all that bad with perspective. We'd use the term "character building," if we weren't terrified of sounding like our father.
The homophobes are organized
In the final prom twist, Karofsky gets voted in as prom king...along with Kurt as his queen. We're still flabbergasted that Kurt got a "landslide" of votes (how bigoted can a 21st century high school get?), and are also dubious of Karofsky's previous tearful apology for bullying Kurt. However, Chris Colfer's reaction was so genuine, from his realization that people afraid of change can take a long time to embrace it, to his humble head bow when receiving the crown. If only Kurt's bravery inspired the Beardly Twins to clean the skeletons out of their closets. Instead we just got an awesome "Dancing Queen" cover sung impeccably by Santana. So, wash.
What did you gleeks think? Were you surprised by the prom queen vote? Think Jesse is on the level? Wish Brittany's mini top hat trend will take off? To the comments!
Notes n' Quotes
Puck: Our campaign strategy is to close the gap using a combination of intimidation and fear.
Jacob: Awesome and classy.
Brittany: I don't have a date. I'm just going to dance. Then all your dates are going to ignore you and come dance with me, so really, your dates are my dates.
Kurt: Go with god, Satan...Santana!
Karofsky: Sorry, no burning Liberace mannequins! OVER!
Brittany: I don't understand the difference between an egg with a baby chicken inside of it and an egg with an egg in it.
Tina: They're the same thing!
Brittany: Then this is basically a baby chicken's house.
Burt: I looked like Tony Orlando.
Blaine: Was that a designer?
Finn: Dude, that rocks, it's like gay Braveheart.
Sam: What do you think of my bolo tie? I saw Springsteen on the cover of "Tunnel of Love" wearing it.
Puck: Tora! Tora! Tora! Its go time.
Sue: I'm going to clean your teeth, which anyone can tell you is an exercise in intense oral pain.
Artie: No it's not. Who's your dentist?
Sue: Sue Sylvester.
Sue: You are the worst POW ever. John McCain is rolling over in his grave.
Santana: As soon as we get to New York I'm bailing to live in a lesbian colony. Or Tribeca.
Santana: They must have sensed that I was a lesbian. They must've! Do I smell like a golf course?
Sue: You are seriously no fun to interrogate or almost torture.
- Best song of the episode goes to Blaine and "I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance With You," which was amazing in all aspects.
- Seriously, we wish we could be as cool as Brittany, going to prom alone and rocking it out.
- We also love how Glee illustrates the age of these characters, like when Blaine doesn't know who Tony Orlando is or when Rachel predictably but adorably wears a pink, tea-length prom dress.
- Kurt's kilt was slammin.' They're hard to pull off, but he, Marc Jacobs and Alexander McQueen do it with flying colors.