Best Glee Ever! Or so they told us. Over and over again. Well, there were definitely some amazing moments, and we can thank Mike Chang for that. This episode’s cocktail is based on the title and Mike Chang’s mother’s love for Dim Sum and all things good for you and for his waigong back in China rooting for him: Ancient Chinese Secret, Huh?
Today’s free space on your Bingo Card is to drink when there is a continuity issue. And seriously, egg whites are turning up in every high end cocktail bar I’ve been too lately. It does make the drink delish, NGL.
It’s booty camp! Everyone but Mercedes is there, putting in the hard work that it’s going to take to take them from 12th place at Nationals to Ultimate Cage Fighting Show Choir. She finally shows up and Will gets onto her for constantly weaseling out of the hard work.
Santana is also there, and that’s because no one on the writing staff thinks we’re paying attention. [DRINK] She says she’s loyal to them again, and way to undermine the affect of that firing on episode one, RIB. That was pretty powerful stuff, Will telling her to get the hell out.
But anyway. Mercedes is being a whiny brat. She half-asses some tappa-tappa and when Mike starts pushing her, she thinks she’s going to throw up, cry, cry. Whatever. Will’s had it with her excuses and attitude. They have to push themselves like never before! It’s their Oprah Farewell Year, damn it, is this going to be yet another lame make-over show, or her Australia adventure? Because we’re all going to Australia, Mercedes! WE ARE GOING! TO! AUSTRALIA!
Will finds a hidden stash of Emma-porn: wedding magazines. She hems and haws about having them, but Will tells her that it’s okay, it’s natural for a girl to want to plan out a wedding to a man she’s been chasing after for three years. Also, he wants no more secrets between them. He pulls out his porn stash, and it’s filled with unsavory “Butt-Chin XXX” mag and “Woolly ‘Dos Gone Wild.” He’s kinky, it’s true.
Will just wants them to move forward, and if she’s thinking wedding bells, then why hasn’t he been introduced to her parents yet? “Um, I have ghost parents.” One, we’ve done this joke before (Sue wouldn’t let Beiste sit with her because every chair was occupied by her ghost friends) and two, why you gotta be lying, Emma? She’s just not comfortable with that, Will, god.
At McKinley, Mike Chang Sr. has hauled Mike Chang Jr. into Principal Figgins’ office, demanding his son be drug tested. What the what now? Mike got an A minus on a Chemistry test, sir. Clearly he’s on drugs. Unless… it’s the girlfriend. Now that is something Figgins can get behind; he has no love for Miss Tina Cohen-Chang and her blood sucking ways.
Mr. Chang says that either Mike is on drugs, or he’s stretched too thin. Glee is going to have to go, because everyone back in his waigong’s village in the remote hills of Northern China are waiting for him to go to Harvard. And he is not going to Harvard with a freaking F. (A- = F, you see. An Asian F.)
This is why we all better learn how to speak Chinese, people.
Mike freaks out and is super apologetic and scared of his father and says that he’ll do better, he promises, and he’ll even hire a Chemistry tutor with his own money (damn!) and please, please don’t take me from Glee, even though it would evidently keep me out of Harvard! (What?)
Coach Beiste broke her foot after kicking a fire hydrant upon learning that Ace of Cakes was canceled. (I figured her for a Cake Boss fan myself.) While she drones on about a flesh eating bacteria in the locker room, Mike sits staring off into the middle distance, worried about his future.
“So wash everything, and that includes your bat caves (nostrils) and your bramble pouches (nards).”
Beiste says they’re all dancing in West Side Story, because learning ballet will make them better football players (it’s true!) and that’s the key to winning the biggest trophy an NFL player can hope for: The Silver Ball on Dancing With The Stars.
Finn is excused, as he works afternoons with Burt Hummel, but no one else is off the hook. And man, they’re just not using Cory Monteith this season, huh? But Coach! None of them can dance! Who can help them learn? Oh, Mike, you weren’t feeling too much pressure, huh?
Shane, Mercedes’ new milquetoast boyfriend that we’re supposed to care about, sees her hugging Rachel. Oh, hell no, that’s the enemy! He gets on to her, because they’re competitors. Everyone in the school says Rachel’s the one to beat, but he knows it’s HER. She’s the real talent. (Well, yes, but… She’s a specific singer, she’s no triple threat, I’m sorry.) Mercedes eats the praise up with a spoon, and she’ll show them all she’s no Effie from Dreamgirls. She’s Deena Jones, y’all, Beyoncé up in this hurr. (Even though she sings Jennifer Hudson, aka Effie White, songs all episode.)
She starts singing “Spotlight” by Jennifer Hudson (see?) in a dream sequence, as Rachel and Mr. Schuester chat about who knows what, probably about how awesome Rachel is because no one ever calls Rachel out for being rude, bossy, or demanding. Rachel never storms out like a diva or bitches about people to their faces, or is called out for her bad attitude by Will. Um, except for all of those times that happened, which was 78% of Season 1 and 56% of Season 2.
But Mercedes sings about how she’s tired of no one noticing her (even though Rachel gave her the closing number in Night of Neglect, knowing she couldn’t top her song) as Kurt sexts Blaine in the choir seats and Brittany and Tina sing backup. I hate that my girl Mercedes is singing [DRINK] and I’m getting mad at her.
Guys, this whole “Won’t somebody notice my talent?” thing is old. It was old by the end of Season 1. Mercedes, you’re a star, and please, writers, give her something else. She’s better than this.
The dream sequence cuts to her auditioning for Maria in front of the Trio and she’s glammed out in a pretty black dress, because she wants them to see how gorgeous she feels. Rachel stands in the wings watching, looking nervous. (Because this is the season where we realize Rachel is nothing special. I’m sorry, but I’m still having a hard time with this because she is.)
Shane stands in the wings, proud of his boo, and the directors give Mercedes heavy applause.
Tina finds Mike at his locker and wants to make sure he’s ready for his audition. He’s been working on his singing, it turns out, and wants one of the supporting roles in the musical. Except now he’s not sure, because he got an A- and his dad is getting all Tiger Mother on him.
(Last night at dinner his father told him, “Of course I love you. If I didn’t, how could I be so crushingly disappointed by you?”)
Mike tells her he’s overwhelmed and might not audition.
Kurt and Rachel (who is rocking the ’60s looks this season, and I love every single outfit. [DRINK]) walk the halls as Kurt passes out campaign buttons. There’s only two days left for people to announce their candidacy, and he’s leading in the polls by 11%. No one seems to want one of his buttons, so I’m not sure where these polling number are coming from, but it’s Kurt, he’s wearing a fantastic bowtie and tight jeans, so I need nothing else.
Brittany and Santana come over and ask Rachel to vote for Brit. Uh…she’s ob-vee voting for Kurt, she thanks you. Well, way to diss your whole gender, Rachel, because boys got us in this mess: BP oil spill, low graduation numbers, double dip recession, double-downs at KFC: all because of boys.
Brittany snipes, “So you’re pledging your fidelity to the magical poop-stealing water chair?” [DRINK]
There’s going to be a flashmob performance to boost her ratings, so HIT IT! Brittany, in thigh high boots and a leather mini (and I do mean mini) starts rocking out “Run The World (Girls)” by Beyoncé, and when I say rock it, they take it all over the school, jaws are dropping, and it finishes in the gymnasium to a big finish of all the girls cheering and whooping on the floor.
“I’m Brittany S. Pierce, and I’m your next class President!” Hell yeah, you are. Kurt, I’m sorry. He gives the most perfectly panicked, “…shit!” face ever. Boo, it’s time to crank it to 11 and do something if you’re going to beat that. This is a popularity contest, and you better remember it!
Beiste and Emma talk over lunch about how hard it is picking a Maria. Mercedes came out of nowhere (did she?) with poise and glamor and maturity, and now they’re just not sure. They heap praise on Will for turning her around, and he’s pretty shocked, but pleased. They’re going to have to have a Maria-Off to decide who gets the part.
Mercedes doesn’t like that, but Rachel knows that this is a Call Back and how it works in the Biz. (She’s right.) But instead of letting the girls pick a song to sing, they’ve picked it for them. They’ll sing “Out Here On My Own” from Fame. You better bring it! (Oh, it’s already been broughtened!)
Mike is heading out for his chemistry tutor when he sees the dance room and just can’t help himself. He’s gotta cut loose, cut loose and kick off his Sunday shoes. Jack? Get back. He dances it out, Kevin Bacon style, because he’s filled with too many feeeeeeelings. He imagines his father there, telling him that he’s going to grow up to be a no good dishwasher with that type of attitude. What, does he want to end up at Stanford with all those Slingblade mofos pulling a shameful 3.8?
No, dad! I wanna dance!! And so he does. (He really is an astounding dancer, and I love watching him. But it’s kinda funny, come on.) Then Tina is there and she tells him that she loves his dancing, it’s what made her fall in love with him. That and his wash-board abs. He’s beautiful and wonderful and I love the Cohen-Chang-Changs.
He ditches the tutor and auditions for Riff. The directors want to make sure that he knows it’s a singing role. Yep, he’s been practicing. Now, his dancing? Sublime. This song? Eh. His voice? Fine. It’s nothing to write home about, but it’s a massive improvement from his “Sing!” performance. In other words, they’d be stupid to not give him the part. He dances it out, has the football players as back up, and they do a great job.
The directors are impressed, but worry that he may have wasted time teaching the other guys how to dance. “I love it. It’s never a waste of my time.” …hang on I have something in my eye. (I love you, Mike Chang.)
Shelby is under contract so she watches Beiste eat a huge amount of pasta before walking out to cash her paycheck. Will comes in and takes her seat. Beiste is carbo loading to deal with all of the work that’s piling up. Football, running the class president thingy, and the musical. Thank goodness for Emma.
Cue Will falling to pieces about Emma being ashamed of him. What? That’s crazy talk, Mr. Crazy, Emma loves you! Beiste loves you, but she’d snap you like a twig. So rest assured that it can’t be Emma not loving Will enough. He should just call her folks up and overstep his boundaries. Great idea! (And did you know Breadstix delivers? You do now!)
Kurt races to meet Blaine on the stairwell, and their theme song starts on the piano, and I’m already melting. [DRINK] Kurt asks him if Blaine’s nervous about the cast list going up. Well, a little, but he’s trying to not think about it. Hmm, maybe this bunch of a dozen roses will help? (They’re gorgeous, by the way.) Blaine breaks into a huge grin and says how beautiful they are. But what are they for?
“You killed the audition for Tony. These are to celebrate…you.”
Best. Boyfriend. Ever. [DRINK again, because there's not enough Klaine in this episode.]
Blaine loves the unpredictability of Kurt (really? This was unpredictable?) and wants to lean in to kiss Kurt, but they’re on the stairwell outside, and Kurt looks nervous about it, so Blaine gives him an awkward shoulder pat, instead. Boo. Just kiss, no one thinks it’s weird. Well, the viewers don’t.
I do have to point out the leather cap Kurt is wearing. It’s very Village People, where every other hat he’s worn has been tres chic. [DRINK]
Time for Booty Camp! And oh, how I wish that was a euphemism for a missing scene. Will tells the kids they have to do The Widowmaker, the most difficult dance there is for Show Choir (really?) and when they get it right, he or Mike will tap them out until only the worst dancer ever is left, and they all can point and laugh at them.
The kids all, five!six!seven!eight! it on the floor, getting tapped out. Brittany, Santana, Quinn, Puck, etc. are tapped until it’s nothing but Finn and Mercedes left. Finn just looks confused as to what he’s supposed to do. Puck makes fun of him, which eggs him on, and hey! He hopped in a circle! Well done, Finn. Mike goes to help Mercedes who can barely make her legs work, and she snaps at Mr. Schuester for singling her out all the time and making her feel bad. (Finn scratches his head, that’s usually his job?)
She gets irate and rips Mr. Schuester a new one for always making her feel bad, and hey, where’s Rachel? Why isn’t she here? Um, because Rachel has taken ballet since she was two? She says Rachel is obviously Mr. Schuester’s favorite and she’s tired, tired, tired of taking this. She’s better than all of them, they know it, the good people of Ohio know it, and they can all kiss her entire ass.
Will tells her that if she walks out now, she’s out of Glee. Forever! (Cough, Santana, empty threat. [DRINK]) It cuts to another dream sequence and it’s the Effie White number from Dreamgirls, “It’s All Over” with everyone in FAN-TAS-TIC pink sequined costumes as they take on various parts. Santana is Beyoncé, and hell yes she is!
They tweak the lyrics to fit the show’s story, and it’s a fun number, and let’s all take a moment to acknowledge that Mercedes can sing [DRINK] because if we don’t, she’ll be all up in our grill. Santana also lays down some musical voodoo [DRINK] and I would like to ask Matthew Morrison to stop trying to put “urban tones” to his vocals. Just sing, dude, you are not black, you have no soul, but you can SING, so just do that.
I have to say, and I know this is going to be unpopular, Kurt’s part took me out. I love a counter-tenor, but it didn’t work in this number for me at all. It was kind of flat, guys. Flat and a little screechy. SORRY.
Puck pulls some funk out after a wobbly intro, and it’s always great when they give a little grit to whatever Puck’s singing. Mercedes/Effie puts everyone in her place, they need to understand how tired she is, she’s not feeling well (there was a rumor that they were going to make Mercedes pregnant, but I think she’s just sick or whiny, personally) and as the song ends, she’s left all alone. “It’s over!”
Mike is in the studio again, when his mother walks in. Oh, is she a beautiful woman, and she looks pissed. She lied to his father about missing another session with the chemistry tutor, and he needs to be honest with her. He tells her that he doesn’t want to be a lawyer or surgeon, he wants to be an artist. He wants to dance! It’s just like when Sarah Jessica Parker told her Army dad that she wanted to be a dancer, you guys. And really, girls just wanna have fun. Ditto Mike Chang.
Mike says that it’s the only time he feels special, when he dances. Something in his mother breaks, and she tells him (as she tears up) that she wants him to live his dreams, not hers. She grew up with a Tiger Mother that wouldn’t let her live her dreams, and she’s not going to do that to him. And when he gets the part in the musical, the two of them will tell his father.
Mike asks her what her dream was. “To be a dancer.” Oh, my heart! He tells his mother that some people think he’s a good teacher, and he takes his mom’s hands and leads her in a little waltz and it’s just the cutest damn thing, I just don’t even know. All the hearts belong to Mrs. Chang.
Time for the Maria-Off! Artie’s thing this season seems to be breath spray (why?) and the boyfriends build up Rachel and Mercedes. They believe in their girlfriends, this is theirs for the taking, and take no prisoners.
Emma does a coin toss, Mercedes loses, and Rachel decides to go last. (Smart.) Mercedes takes the stage and the camera cuts between the two performances. Puck is super excited about this Clash of the Titans, because he wants to know when the Kraken will be released, and Kurt (wearing a shirt that I covet like nothing else [DRINK] whispers to Blaine that this will be something talked about for years. (…will it?)
Mercedes sings, and here’s the difference between the two of them. Rachel (Lea) knows how to work a stage song. She can deliver a quiet moment with enough control that the cheap seats know it’s a quiet moment without sacrificing the tone or notes. Mercedes starts at 6 and can go to 11, but she can’t do those quiet moments, she never has. She’s a big voice meant to fill a big room, not unlike Whitney (who also can’t do quiet. Big? Hell to the yes.) I honestly got the impression that Lea was purposely scooping on some of the intro notes to make it sound like Rachel was weak, because we’re supposed to think she’s not special, remember?
And then Mercedes actually delivers a quiet and powerful moment with her last “Help me help you” line, and everyone goes crazy for her. Every cut to the audience shows them loving Mercedes, but looking bored with Rachel. Rachel knows it, and when she’s off stage, she tells Finn that she was out sung. No, I think you were out personalitied, myself.
Rachel marches down the hallway in another fabulous dress (pink, knife-pleat skirt [DRINK]) to Coach Beiste to “tell her something important.” Uh oh.
Emma comes home to find a romantic dinner for four. What, now? Will’s brought her parents over, surprise! She hyperventilates in their bedroom and Will asks her to not be ashamed of him. Oh, it’s not Will, it’s them. What, now? Her parents are Ginger Supremacists. And I have to laugh because her father is Ralph Mouth!
They say they aren’t supremacists, they are preservationists. They only do business with other red heads, and frankly they’re a little concerned about Will’s hair, but those blue eyes speak of potential redheads in the family line. Emma starts rubbing her hands and scratching at invisible dirt, and her mother calls her “Freaky Deaky.”
Turns out that Emma is this way because of her parents, not being pushed in bovine poop at the age of 8 like we were told. [DRINK] Will watches Emma get worse as her father explains how they used to tie her thumbs together, but ha ha, she just nibbled through the twine! Good lord!
Will roars at them that they’re terrible for making fun of their daughter and calling her names that make her feel like a freak, and he’d be honored to have an OCD baby with her, now get out of my house so she can sterilize everything forty times! Aww, nice work, Will, you’re on a roll this season.
Kurt finds Rachel at her locker and asks her to kindly remove the knife from his back. She told Beiste that she’s running for President?! But see, Kurt, if she wins, she’ll make you her vice president! And if he wins, vice versa! [Dirty Politics, DRINK!] He explains that if she wins, then only she wins. If he wins, all bullied and marginalized kids at that school win. And maybe she needs to sit all by her lonesome and reflect on all the friends she’s thrown away like so much garbage. Harumph!
The directors tell Mercedes and Rachel that they’re going to share billing. And instead of dividing up the four performances, they’ll each get their own week’s run. Rachel accepts this, seeing as she’ll get her full number of shows, but Mercedes, smelling a rat and it’s spelled H-E-R-A-T-T-I-T-U-D-E, says thanks, but no thanks. They’re only doing this because they don’t want to hurt Rachel’s feelings. So she doesn’t want the damn part.
Um, no one has ever shied away from hurting Rachel. I’d say they’ve gone out of their way on occasion to make sure she knows how they feel about her. But no one asks me anything…
She tells Finn that she got the part, but it’s by default. Mercedes pulled out. Oh, and did he tell Kurt that he’s going to go against the family and vote for her? Finn looks pissed about that, and tells her that he doesn’t know who he’s voting for, which is exactly what he told Kurt. Bad week to be Rachel Berry.
Unless it’s a week where you get to wear her fabulous wardrobe. I’m not kidding, I have loved every single Natalie Wood inspired dress this show. [DRINK]
Emma rubs her hands eighty-three times before bed, until Will comes in and messes up her count. She starts back over, and her OCD has gone from bad to holy shit, we need some massive anxiety medication up in here. He apologizes for not knowing about her parents and inviting them over without asking her. He just wants to help her, but he doesn’t know how.
In a touching scene, she drops to her knees, her voice wavering, and says she’s going to pray for help, because God can always hear her better when she’s on her knees. Poor Emma. Will joins her, not knowing what to do beyond just being there for her. He starts singing Coldplay’s “Fix You” in a dream sequence where they flash to baby Emma in the same position, rubbing her hands, praying on her knees.
The scene cuts between this, Artie posting the cast list for WWS, and the group all in white singing the song (as Rachel looks sadly up at Finn and at a missing Mercedes.)
The cast list: Maria is Rachel, Tony is Blaine (he bursts into a smile and hugs Kurt, who smiles for a minute until he can safely make a “come on!” face.) Mike will be Riff, Santana is Anita, and Kurt will be Kripke.
Mercedes walks into Shelby’s office as the song ends, and says she hears there’s another Glee club, and maybe she needs Mercedes’ star power? Oooh, shit is getting real, y’all. Real forced.
NEXT EPISODE (with a two week hiatus, whaaaat??) Mercedes tries to get Santana to defect (loyal to Glee, schmoyal to Glee) and Quinn looks like she’s going to put hot sauce on the baby’s food to pin an unfit mother rap on Shelby. Uh… WE DO NOT HURT BABIES, QUINN.
But it looks like Burt will be running against Sue Sylvester?? His campaign slogan better be: YOU MATTER.
Drunken Thoughts: This was touted as the best Glee ever, and while there were some amazing parts to it (everything with Mike) there were some tired story lines, gang. I’m over the whole under-appreciated Mercedes plot they trot out over and over again. She’s not, she has a bad attitude that smacks of entitlement. Also, Rachel, why are you stabbing your best friend in the back? Ugh.
What do you think, guys? Best ever? Or some of the best ever and some re-tread?
NOTE ON SPOILERS: Let’s protect people who want to remain spoiler free. If you want to discuss things, use this code: [font color=”ffffff”>SPOILERS HERE[/font> then CTRL + A to read it after posting. :) (Change the bracket to a less than sign.)