A true cocktail that captures the essence of New York City would be a few parts horse piss, decaying garbage, smog, all shaken with taxi cab air freshners and then thrown in someone’s face that pissed you off. But in the spirit of the glamorous dreams of NYC, today’s cocktail is the Holly Golightly.
Today’s free space is to drink when a country mouse in the Big City cliché happens.
New York City cam: all the lights on Broadway. Standing in the middle is Mary Tyler Moore. Wait, no, that’s Rachel. She turns to face the camera and says, “I MADE IT.” [DRINK: standing on Broadway, eyes full of DREAMS!]
The group sits on the steps of a fountain at Lincoln Center, talking about how fired up they are about being in New York and competing. Kurt is in an outfit straight off the Wayland & Madame show, with fur encrusted shoulder pads and a Russian military inspired hat. [DRINK]
Finn wants them to buckle down and write some songs (because it’s just that easy) but Rachel runs up, overjoyed to announce that she bought 13 tickets to the longest running musical in NYC, “Cats.” [DRINK: Ugh, it’s a crappy musical, too.] Brittany goes bananas (she promised Lord Tubbington she’d get Rum Tum Tugger’s autograph) and Quinn mocks Rachel, reminding her that Cats closed 11 years ago.
Are we really expected to believe that Quinn Fabray knows more about Broadway musicals than Rachel Berry? The joke didn’t land, writers. That’s what we call in the biz a clunker.
Will checks them in to the hotel. The concierge asks how they’ll be divided up, “By gender” but she points out that other show choirs are divvying up by orientation. (Oh, we all know Kurt’s going to room with the girls.) Rachel asks Finn why NYC always smells wet (ahaha) and he tries to flirt with her a little bit, but she’s oblivious to it. No boys, no distractions, nothing until they win that trophy!
Will asks Finn where Puckerman is, and he’s at the bar with Lauren trying to get a Manhattan. Uh, nice try. Will collars him and gets all the kids upstairs. He says they’re on lock down until they get some verses written. He excuses himself to “take care of some paperwork” and seems nervous. Finn can’t stop sending adoring looks towards Rachel. Kurt is just excited over his room service options. “I feel like Eloise!”
Brittany responds, worried, “I have pills for that.” [DRINK]
Will hops out of a cab and looks up at a sign, “Crossrhodes: The April Rhodes Story.” Oho.
Brittany, meanwhile, has put her nose to the grindstone and finished up a pop song that she performs for the group with Artie accompanyies her on vocals and Puck on guitar. “My Cup.”
Best lyrics: “Gonna take you to my lips, empty out every last drop.” My cup. MY CUP. [Double DRINK: entendre + Brittany zinger]
The kids realize they need to get out of the hotel and experience New York for inspiration. Quinn claims that New York will write their songs for them. (Yes, for $250 a line.) They wander all over the city (Central Park and the Lincoln Center, mostly) and sing a mash-up of the songs “I Love New York” by Madonna and “New York, New York.” Honestly, I’m not a fan of this number. I actually thought it was an original song and got nervous for them. [DRINK: all the iconic locales]
But it’s cute to see them all dancing around the actual city (and real people’s reactions to the filming) and Santana flirting with a mustachioed cop is pretty funny. But I was worried about Artie in his chair up on that fountain. I can’t help it, I don’t want him to skid into a face plant.
They all troop back to their rooms and Finn tells the guys he thinks he should do a duet with Rachel. They don’t care, go for it. Puck says, “Can we talk about the Jewish elephant in the room? Ask her out, dude. Take her out on one of those big, awful dates on those unwatchable romantic comedies that you grow a vagina if you watch it all the way through.”
Sam also thinks he should go for it. If he wasn’t homeless, he’d totally go after a girl he’s got the hots for. The camera cuts to the girls having a pillow fight in their room (honestly? Who does this? No one except for in movies, that’s who. [DRINK]) Rachel gets a text: Meet me in Central Park – Dress up.
Will is on stage at the theater and sings “Still Got Tonight,” which is a song off Matthew Morrison’s debut album. (I see what you did there.) Now, he’s a competent singer. Talented. He has stage presence and is a good performer. But I don’t care about this. I want to see the kids perform, not their teacher who is going to leave them. Sorry.
Then a security guard shows up and has to carry the water for the writers and their monster Schoners. “I have been here for 25 years and I have never in my life seen anyone as talented as you. And I’ve seen Tony Bennett, Mel Torme, and Josh Groban sing in person. That Josh… he kept hitting on my mother, trying to get her to drink. Wack job, that one. But still: they’re a bunch of screeching monkeys next to you.” [DRINK: security guard builds up your confidence.]
It’s a gorgeous spot in Central Park and Rachel is dressed in her retro best, down to the white kid gloves. Finn gives her flowers and says she looks beautiful, but that this is a business date. Or something. He takes her to Sardi’s and she marvels at the drawings of famous performers everywhere. “I’m going to have my picture here one day!”
Finn loves how she dreams big, he can never seem to do that. He tells her how pretty she looks tonight, and that he has something import-
“Patti LuPone!” Rachel has spotted one of her idols, and girds up her loins to say hello. She tells Ms. LuPone that she’s Rachel’s idol. Patti LuPone is touched, says how much she loved choir back in the day, and for Rachel to never give up. “I won’t!” she says fiercely. Patti then leans over and whispers to her, “He’s cute.” [DRINK: this whole experience.]
They walk back to the hotel and Rachel notes that this is almost like one of those romantic comedies set in New York where New York itself is the star. All that’s missing are some street singers… Cue the rest of the Gleek guys to start singing “Bella Notte.” The two get close, closer, and as Finn tries to kiss her, she pulls back. “Take a chance on me?” he asks.
“I can’t!” she says, and then runs off into the photogenic night, steam from the street rising all around as if she’s been taken by magic. [DRINK: do I have to say it?] This whole scene is cute. Silly, but cute. This is the kind of over the top stuff they do well.
The next morning Kurt wakes Rachel up. “We’re having Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” [DRINK!] They lean against the front of the store looking picture perfect and marvel at the bagels. Rachel knows that he’s the only one that will understand how important getting to NYC is. He wants to go, too, and Blaine agrees with him. But Rachel doesn’t know what to do about Finn. He’s a “typical country mouse” [DRINK: who actually uses this phrase?] but Kurt says it’s the age old choice: love and career.
Critique: until they start singing in a minute, Kurt is was too “actorly” here. It seems overly performy, like “I am playing the part of a dashing young man.” You don’t need to play the part, you are the part.
Anyway, they decide to break into the theater where “Wicked” is performing. As they walk to the stage, yet another of the amazing security guards only found on Broadway approaches them. [DRINK] He gets that they have big dreams, so go ahead and climb on stage with this expensive set and do whatever. Sure.
HOWEVER. They then sing “For Good” and it’s utterly sublime. Really, it just sounds phenomenal. This is definitely where those two belong. And all pretense, all “performance” is gone and they just sing. Now, them “just singing” is about a thousand times superior to other kids their age “just singing.” I have not one critique, it was flawless. And [DRINK] as Rachel is clearly emotional and tearing up over being in love with Broadway. Her choice is now easy, thank you Kurt.
Back at the hotel Quinn decides to destroy things by threatening to tell on Kurt and Rachel for sneaking out, which will put them on suspension, which will cost them Nationals. Santana is pissed and thinks it’s stupid for Quinn to be so petty over being dumped by Finn. Quinn is angry. She doesn’t want to get over it. She doesn’t care about stupid show choir. She just wants someone to love her.
Santana quickly assesses the situation and tells Quinn she knows just what she needs. “Thanks, Santana but I’m really not into that.” Um, she meant a hair cut? Oh, that sounds just fine, then.
Will apologizes to the management for the kids acting like assholes and destroying the room (how old are they again?) when Coach Dustin Goolsby of Vocal Adrenaline slithers over. He wishes Will luck for his big Broadway debut. Wait…what? How did he know? “It’s all over the Broadway blogosphere.” Translation: on Broadway.com.
He tells Will to not tell the kids, it’ll just upset them. Then Dustin talks about how much he hates his kids; they remind him of everything he didn’t do. Will, however, loves his. Working with them has been the joy of his life. Aww, that’s nice, Mr. Schuester. Dustin is grossed out that Will is getting emotional, people will assume he just broke up with Will, or something. Ha.
In the room, the kids have heard about Will leaving, and when he comes to bring them pizzas, they ask him about it. He’s shocked that they know, but Kurt and Rachel are supportive, as they understand what a big deal it is. They’re all sad. But Will isn’t going to leave now! (Huh?) He’s going to stay with them and they’re going to win this thing! Group hug!
Time for the choir competition, and Rachel runs through the drill: 50 states, top 10 of those go on to become 5 that ultimately compete for the title. Will tells them they have a really good shot at winning. Hands in, “New Directions!”
One choir is on stage, all girls, all in very ladylike dresses. Then they bust out Usher’s “Yeah” and I see one girl’s panties at some point and they’re all freaking and grinding and it’s very odd. Will follows Goolsby out to the lobby, where Dustin explains that Will isn’t going to win. His kids spent all week mooning over the city, not working. Tough luck, is he about a Large? Dustin wants to make sure he gets a signed T shirt when they win. Oh yeah? Will sees that t-shirt and raises you to an extra-Large, buddy.
Rachel finds Sunshine throwing up in the bathroom and gets really snide with her. Sunshine is throwing up because of her nerves. She hates performing now, and wants to call the Philippine consulate to revoke her visa so she can go home. It’s the only way she can get out of Vocal Adrenaline. (Blood in, blood out!) She doesn’t understand why Rachel’s always been so mean to her.
Well, see, it’s because Rachel is a very insecure and jealous little girl, and you’re talented and that’s threatening to her. So can you be best friends now? Sure! They hug and Rachel tells her to just find her in the audience for smiles and thumbs up to help her get through this.
Vocal Adrenaline takes the stage, Sunshine is out there for a long awkward pause, finds Rachel, who “thumbs up” as promised, and then she bursts into “As Long As You’re There” – an original song for this episode. The girl can sing, that’s for sure. The song is a little meh, but Charice is always vocally sound.
Backstage, New Directions is getting ready to go out there. Rachel complements Finn on his song. “I didn’t know you had it in you.” I get the impression that when they perform in competitions, that’s the first time they’ve sung the song together. Just me? Anyway, Finn asks her why she’s balking at a relationship, since that’s all she’s wanted and here he is begging her. She tells him that New York is her dream, and she can’t let anything keep her from it, even his super cute face and broad shoulders and earnest kisses and huge… ahem. Nothing will keep her from it.
Curtains rise and they sing Finn’s song, “Pretending.” I have to say that I like the song. It’s not spectacular, but it’s catchy and they sound lovely together and it has enough angst to further the plot between the ‘will they/won’t they’ of Rachel and Finn. I would, though, like to point out the unfortunate footwear on the ladies. [DRINK] The rest of the choir comes out and the song reaches its emotional crescendo: Finn planting a passionate kiss on Rachel at the end of the song. Everything goes silent, the camera circles them, and no one knows what to do when they stop. Which is a few minutes later. (Damn, son!)
Jesse has shown up because he can’t stay away (“From the show? Or her?” Will asked) and asks Will if the kiss was scripted. “No.” Will stands and claps, but only a handful of others join in. The groups starts the ensemble piece, “Light Up The World” and it’s another catchy number, bringing the audience to their feet. Santana sounds great, getting to lead things for a bit [DRINK] and it’s great to hear Artie and Tina’s voices again in a duet. I will say that the song ending with the head drop is so stage-y and hilarious to me. And…scene.
Afterward, Finn tells Rachel that was “the kiss of the century.” Jesse butts in, “You’re wrong. It was too personal and intense.” He goes on saying it was common and vulgar and will turn off the judges, and hello Rachel, you look wonderful. The two guys bow up and circle each other for a bit until they realize the list has gone up. They’re all nervous and can’t decide how to read it. Will volunteers to check.
He scans the list. Nope. They didn’t make it. Everyone is devastated, and Mercedes starts crying (noooo!) Rachel’s face begins to crumple as well. [DRINK] Poor kids. However, there is a show choir named “The Waffletoots” and that alone should make everything better.
Back at the Lima Bean, a besotted Blaine sits staring at Kurt with heart eyes as Kurt explains everything that happened. After the performance, Santana went loca en la cabeza on Rachel, getting all Lima Heights Adjacent on her because of that kiss.
“While I understand passion, I do think that was unprofessional. Sorry, keep going.” Blaine rests his cheek back on his hand to continue staring lovingly at Kurt. He talks about the silent plane ride back, and how everyone was sad to lose. Blaine comments on how Kurt doesn’t seem all that sad.
Well, he got a trip to NYC out it, and he sang on an actual Broadway stage and-
“I love you,” Blaine sighs.
Kurt tries to not choke on his coffee and says back, “I love you, too.” You can see that he’s trying to not fly out of his seat and shout to the patrons, “I’M IN LOVE, AND I DON’T CARE WHO KNOWS IT!”
Instead he smiles at his boyfriend and says, “When you stop to think about it, Kurt Hummel has had a pretty good year.” Seriously, draw all the glitter hearts ever around these two.
Sam and Mercedes show up, stammer about how they blah blah ran into this and um, something else. Blaine and Kurt are too busy being cute to care. (Best mention: the musical Kurt’s working on over the summer, Pip Pip Hooray, about Pippa Middleton.) Sam and Mercedes walk off and hold hands. Oh, do they, now?
Santana has a Rachel voodoo doll in her locker, but Brittany wants her to be happy about things. Glee Club was awesome for her. It was about acceptance, and it’s a family. “I know I’ll be a bridesmaid at Mike and Tina’s wedding, and I’ll be anxiously waiting like everyone else to see if their babies are Asian, too.” [DRINK]
She tells Santana, “I love everyone in Glee.” Well… this is making things very difficult for Santana to stay mad, especially when Brittany says she loves Santana the most. Santana sighs, “You’re my best friend. When did you get so smart?” The remaining glitter hearts need to be drawn around these two, because they are really adorable.
Rachel finds Finn in the library where he’s been hiding out from everyone, afraid they all still hate him because of the kiss. He does wonder what Rachel thought of it, because in his book, that was the Superman of Kisses. He gave it all up for that kiss and wouldn’t change a thing. She admits she wouldn’t either. But she really meant it: after graduation next year, she’s off to New York. Well, that’s a whole year away, so… what is she doing in the meantime?
Looks like making out with Finn Hudson. Aw.
Will has his arm around Emma and shows the club their 12th place banner and trophy when Rachel and Finn walk in. They’re all hugs and cheers, no animosity and Quinn again has on unfortunate footwear. I have high hopes for her fashion in Season 3 guys. HIGH HOPES.
Speaking of, I’ll see you all back here after the big Premiere! (Well, the next day, because I need to drink myself into a coma after all of this.) CHEERS!