Season 1 comes to a close, and our “will they win or won’t they” cocktail is The Bridesmaid. (Too spoilery?)
Our free space is to drink when someone has shown some emotional growth. (Next season comes with an all new Bingo game card!)
As Will puts up signs announcing the upcoming Regionals competition (because the McKinley High kids are just itching to go to a show choir contest) Sue lets him know that surprise! She’s going to be one of the judges. Well…shit.
The theme for this year’s judges is to be “Celebrity.” And everyone? Sue is… kind of a big deal. She has many leather-bound books and her apartment smells of rich mahogany. Will rants to Figgins to fix this (he can’t) but Sue isn’t listening because his hair reminds her of a brier patch, and maybe some racist Disney creatures are going to come tumbling out and set back the Civil Rights movement a hundred years. Why do you have racist hair, William?
Quinn flashes back to making out with Puck that fateful night when he talks his way into her cheer briefs by reminding her that in a few years, neither of them will even remember who Finn was, so give it up, baby. The Jesus painting over her bed weeps (and peeks through his hand for a minute.)
She finishes washing her hands at Will’s house, where they’re having an emergency Glee meeting. Everyone is devastated; they know Sue is going to make sure they lose. She even said as much during Cheerios practice. Tina starts weeping because Glee is over. [Her “glee” is over. Double entendre, DRINK.] It’s all Breakfast Club up in this bitch [Rachel cries: DRINK] and really, a great moment of levity would have been Brittany trying to make everyone smile by putting her lipstick tube between her boobs and applying a fresh coat. Puck would be the Judd Nelson part, clearly.
Will visits Emma the next morning, sad about how hard the kids have worked, and how he’s at a loss for what to do. “What is it you want from me, here?” she asks. He points to her “Guidance Counselor” title on the door. She straightens the blotter on her desk just so and reminds him of why he took over Glee in the first place: it’s about loving to perform, not winning, right?
Emma was the best teacher on the show. I mean, aside from the sex ed she borked. But still, she is an excellent guidance counselor. Right when Will’s heart begins to swell with hope for her, she shuts it down. “I’m seeing someone, Carl.” He’s her dentist and he has his own sterilizing equipment. Will had no chance, really. (And he feels like it’s okay to ask if they’ve had sex, and she feels like it’s okay to answer. Um…awkward. If you don’t know the answer to that, you’ve not been paying attention.)
Will, driving home in his Geo POS, flips through the stations until “Don’t Stop” comes on the Golden Oldies station. He pulls over to the side of the road and slips into an ugly cry. No, really:
On one hand, I’m glad he cares about the kids and the work they’ve done, but on the other, didn’t you hear what Emma said? Don’t make it always about winning!
Back at school, Finn calls out to Rachel on the staircase, and Trent Nixon, one of the Warblers from season two, shuffles past! Finn gets onto her for not acting like a leader back at Mr. Schue’s. By god, they are going to Regionals and they are going to win! She throws her arms around his neck and kisses him. This is why it works with Finn and not Jesse: Jesse worries about himself, Finn worries about them. And Finn believes wholeheartedly in Rachel. [DRINK!]
Will talks to the kids in the music room, and it’s actually a downer of a speech. You’re not going to remember everyone, you’re not going to even remember the set list without checking, life only has one real beginning and one real end, everything else is just filler in the middle. (I mean, it’s true, but for Chrissake, they were all boo hooing in your living room last night. PEP THEM UP.)
Also, Kurt is wearing a horrible red plastic blazer, and it just accentuates his red, swollen eyes. [DRINK.] Will changes tack and says, “I love you guys too much to not make the most of it.” They’re going to keep on with Regionals, regardless of Sue, and they will do ALL JOURNEY SONGS. They paid for that back catalog, and by god, they’re going to use it.
It’s time for the whirligig of entertainment that is The 2010 Show Choir Mid West Regionals Competition. The judges are: a finger guns shooting Josh Grobin (hide yo kids, hide yo wife, ’cause he’s into boozy blousy mamas up in here), Miss Olivia Newton John, Rod
Burgundy Remington, and one Sue Sylvester, author of “I’m A Winner, And You’re Fat,” and its sequel, “What’s That On Your Face? Smells Like Loser.”
First performance is Oral Intensity (be careful googling that, I think it’s also a fetish movie series) and they perform a cheesy mash-up of Josh Grobin and Olivia Newton John songs. Pandering can get you everywhere, never forget.
Will tells the kids that they need to remember: this isn’t about winning, it’s about enjoying the moment, feeling good, trying, making an effort, not letting The Man bring you down, that down here this is our time – our time! – because Goonies never die, that he can’t carry it for them, but he’ll carry them, Mr. Frodo, and that they’ll never take our FREEEEEEDOM!
Rachel and Finn take their places, Rachel tells Finn to break a leg and Finn tells her he loves her. D’aww. “Faithfully” plays and it’s all about them, they still love each other in that teenager way where that moment is the most important moment ever. He sounds great, she sounds a little shouty, but I imagine that hearing that live sounds totally different. She has those vocals that are perfect for live performances. And they’ve forgotten the audience by the time they sing, “I’m still yours.” Aww. Heart hands!
The whole group breaks into a medly of “Any Way You Want It” and “Lovin’ Touchin’ Squeezin’” and it really works, those two song. And boy, they sure have disguised Quinn’s bump well. To the point where I think the costumer forgot to put it on. Yes, yes, they have full ’60s style skirts on, but I’ve been pregnant. She’s got a lot of flat torso under that empire waist. I’m also happy to see Tinkles on a red (gag) piano, accompanying them.
Quinn’s mother sneaks into the audience, desperately looking for her daughter on stage as the group transitions to the big finale, “Don’t Stop Believin’.” It’s still a great number, and I’m not going to compare it to the Sectionals version, it’s just a good song that they sing well. I also like that everyone gets a moment to sing a duet, Santana [DRINK!] and Puck sound great, and Rachel and Artie’s voices are wonderful together. Mercedes kicks in the key change like a boss [DRINK!] and we see Quinn’s mom absolutely blown away. So sweet. I’m kind of a sucker for supportive parents, maybe you’ve picked up on that by now. (Speaking of, where is Burt Hummel?)
Standing ovation, they head backstage (Quinn holding her belly and looking worn out, nice job makeup people and Diana Agron for remembering what scene you’re building to) and Quinn’s mother steps out of an alcove to say hello. Quinn is clearly shocked. Her mom hurriedly says that she came to finally hear her sing, she was wonderful, and she’s kicked out Quinn’s father. [DRINK!] He was cheating on her with some tattooed freak. Oh was he now? She just wants Quinn to come home, they could maybe turn the guest room into a nursery?
Quinn stares at her, shocked. But not for why you think. “My water just broke.”
For an exit to commercial, that’s a pretty good line.
When we come back, there’s a montage that really works in places and really stretches my ability to stay with it in others. Vocal Adrenaline takes the stage and Jesse sings a solo (for the most part, and it’s a long-ass song) to “Bohemian Rhapsody.” One, Freddy Mercury is a tough voice to compete with, and Jesse doesn’t hit it, sorry. He’s fine for a lot of rock ballads, but again, it’s Freddy freaking Mercury. When he plays on the piano for “Too late, my time has come…” the guys in VA do an interpretive dance, and it’s more singer with dancers than show choir. My personal opinion, etc.
Quinn is being rushed to the hospital while all of this is going on, and the frenetic parts of the song underscore the crazy energy that having a baby just is. Mercedes, Puck and Quinn’s mother all go in with her while the rest of the Gleeks (minus Rachel) wait it out.
All of the “Mama! OooOOoooh!” moments are cut between Jesse and with Quinn crying for her mama. Not gonna lie, that choked me up. (Fair warning: I cry every single time a woman gives birth on a show. Doesn’t matter the show, the cheese-factor, any of that, I just can’t help myself.) There’s a fantastic moment when Quinn, getting ready to crown, shrieks at Puck, “You suck, you suck!” as Puck looks completely freaked out. It ‘s about as honest a moment as you’re going to get.
The Greek Chorus/Let Me Go! bridge is the part that doesn’t work for me. Quinn shouting “let me go?” Why? Okay, maybe you could argue that she doesn’t want people holding her hands, whatever, but since she’s gripping people’s hands like a vice… It just felt like a forced moment to tie in with the song. And overall, I was not impressed in the slightest with the performance on Vocal Adrenaline’s part. It’s just… flaily. But I buy what they’re ultimately selling, so: eh.
The song winds down to the emotional surrender portion as the baby is finally born. Puck smiles hugely while hyperventilating. Rachel, who stayed at the auditorium, shares an intense look of longing and hurt with Jesse as he wraps the song up, and then Quinn is handed the baby. She’s exhausted and smiling and Puck’s eyes are as wide as saucers. It’s a sweet, tender moment for the temporary family.
Rachel approaches Shelby in the green room to congratulate her on Vocal Adrenaline’s performance. Shelby thanks her, but Rachel tells her “We beat you today.” She’s right. Rachel wonders if she’d consider joining Mr. Schuester at McKinley, because there’s a lot she could learn from Shelby. Well, no, because Shelby is sick of teaching. She just wants to be a mom. Oooh, not so fast, Rachel, not to you, but to a baby. (That’s ouchie every time they remind us how much Shelby does not want her biological daughter.)
Oh. Hmm. Well, Quinn just had a baby. “It’s a beautiful baby girl.” Rachel leaves with loads of hurt in her eyes, poor kid.
Sue meets with the judges, wanting to tell them who she believes should come in last. Before she gets that out, things get ugly and quick. Rod loved Vocal Adrenaline, Olivia only liked Aural Intensity as they’re the only ones that honored her in song, and Josh Grobin just wants to know if one, is Sue single? And two, how about that New Directions?
Olivia thinks they’re a “poor person’s school,” and hey, since that’s where Sue teaches, she’s as much of a loser as they are. She’s still stuck in Western Ohio, regardless of her “trophies” and “accolades.” That’s a viewpoint Sue has never had to face. They vote.
Sue comes on stage to announce the runner up and winner. Runner up: Orville Intensityism! They get a nice big trophy and leave the stage. It’s down to the two rivals, one will win, the others won’t even place. In first place: VOCAL ADRENALINE. The kids are devastated. They maintain their dignity, but they are utterly crushed.
At the hospital, Quinn and Puck look through the glass at the baby in the nursery. She asks him if he wants to keep the baby. “Do you?” No, she doesn’t. She asks if he ever loved her. “Yes,” he quickly answers. “Especially now.” Bless your heart, Puck, it grew three sizes today. You couldn’t say anything sweeter to a woman that just had your baby. [And: DRINK!] Shelby appears (magically) and points out their daughter, smiling. Puck tells her the baby’s name is Beth. Aww.
In school on Monday Emma is screaming at Figgins. Will races over to her as she storms out, and Emma is still worked up. She was fighting on his behalf, she is so livid with Sue, with the cheating, and some things are worth fighting for, why aren’t you fighting?? Will hints that maybe she’s fighting for him, and she says I AM DATING SOMEONE NAMED CARL, but he’s all I LOVE YOU SCHMOOPY and she makes a “huh?” face and then he kisses her.
FUNFACT: Jemma Mays didn’t know Matt was going to do that so you get an honest reaction of shock from her.
Rachel interrupts the kiss, asks Mr. Schuester to join the Gleeks in the auditorium. Everyone is up on stage. They all go around and tell him what Glee has meant to them.
Matt: In the beginning, I was just an extra that lip synced. And today I got an actual line.
Tina: I used to st-st-st- be annoying, but I had a great episode where I was a vampire.
Mercedes: The writers couldn’t think of anything, so they want me to say I was a closeted diva, which makes no sense.
Quinn: I was beautiful and feared. Then I had to wear a baby bump. At least I got to make out with the cute guys on the show.
Mike: I was afraid to pop lock without making shocked faces, but not anymore. Thanks, Mr. Schue!
Santana: I hated all of y’all. (I still kinda do.)
Brittany: Me, too. (I don’t know how to agree with her parenthesis, though. Do I whisper?)
Kurt: I was first portrayed as Gangsta Chic, but now my true beauty is shining through, thanks, Growth Spurt! [Sailor hat?! DRINK.]
Puck: I threw kids in dumpsters. Aren’t you glad I didn’t make a fetus joke here?
Artie: I hadn’t kissed a girl, but I have now, and – like Katy Perry – I liked it.
Rachel: I was getting slushied, but was a fabulous singer. I still am.
Finn: Quit being hateful, Laura, because I’m about to be tender and emotional. I didn’t have a father- (he cuts himself off.) -someone I could look up to. To model myself after. Someone who could show me what it really meant to be a man.
(Kurt clears his throat, because he would have gladly gone down that road with one Finn Hudson.)
Rachel assures a choked up Will that they’re okay with not placing at Regionals, because they won by having him as a teacher. Mercedes (who is tearing up) tells him that he is Glee club. “You’re in all of us, now.” [Inappropriate joke writes itself.]
Rachel starts them all on “To Sir, With Love,” and I was totally tearing up at this part, sympathies played like a violin be damned. For pity’s sake, Sidney Poitier! Idealistic teachers turning around a group of misfit students! Will has tears running freely down his face (me, too) as they take turns singing the sweet lyrics. (Rachel crying: DRINK.)
I would like to take a moment to thank every one of the awesome teachers I had that cared about me as a student and a person. Good teachers, so wonderful when you’re lucky enough to be in their tutelage. And the teacher Will is in this episode is who he should have been all along. The one that will do anything for his students to have a fair shot? That’s what you want.
Sue has slipped into the auditorium in the back, watching them sing, and she’s clearly moved. She sneaks out before anyone notices her. As the song ends, Will, unable to speak, blows them a kiss. It’s a very sweet moment. I literally choked back a sob. NOW YOU KNOW, I’m a sap. Shut up.
Later, Will is in the choir room packing up his things. Sue comes in, presumably to gloat. “It’s as barren as me in here, William.” He hisses at her for (he assumes) voting against his kids. If she’s the educator she claims to be, that was just cruel, because they were good, better than the other groups, and she should know it.
A flashback to the vote. Sue writes in clearly at the First Place line: New Directions. [DRINK!] Oh, but she can’t tell Will that, so she says, “I know you think I’m heartless. And you think I’m a bad person.” And then she throws a curve ball: I won, yes, but if you’re gone completely, what loser will I lord my superiority over? She told Figgins to keep Glee on for another year.
“You’re a good teacher.”
Will is flabbergasted. He grabs her hand in both of his to thank her, which grosses her out. “I’m seriously going to puke in your mouth.” Ha ha, oh, how I love you, Sue Sylvester.
Will calls the kids back in, gleefully (hurr) telling them they get to come back next year! As Rachel starts barking out orders, he shuts her up by saying he wants to sing for them as his thank you. Puck joins him in a great sounding version of “Over the Rainbow,” the one by Israel Kamakawiwo?ole. (Try saying that three times fast.) Their voices are really nice together, and I’m in full support of any chance Mark Salling gets to play the guitar.
Shelby, at the hospital, signs the final paperwork for adopting baby Beth and takes her home.
And we get one more year of cracked out musical goodness (mixed in with some pretty special moments.) Next stop, Season 2!