Confession time. I love high school RomComs. Love. Which, hey, I wonder why I like Glee? And who doesn’t love the ‘prom as the rite of passage’ trope? Can’t Buy Me Love, She’s All That, Encino Man, Rad… (Hey – the prom King and Queen dance was on BMX bikes in that one, please. Nothing can top that for cheese, nothing.) Last year’s prom episode was serious (and one of their strongest episodes, period) so it was time for them to go the traditional cheese route. Consider it a success on that score card.
But first, what about Rachel “I’m A Star” Berry and her dashed dreams?
Oh, they’re still dashed. But she’s being very chin-up about it. To the point where it’s clearly a boat ride down the River Denial. “Farewell, 18 years of crazy hard work and dedication! Time to look into opening a Merle Norman shop and giving up.” Best. Message. Never. “My dreams are smaller now. That’s what you get for not having a back up plan. My dream was like an old sweater that I kept around even though it didn’t fit anymore.”
Yep. River Denial.
She encounters Becky in the bathroom, who is practicing her Queen Wave (wrist, wrist, elbow, elbow) and cautions her to not get her hopes up. Because they’ll be dashed. She should know: she’s living proof. And that’s exactly why Becky doesn’t want Rachel’s proof stinking up Becky’s air space, loser. (Whoa, harsh.)
Figgins calls Brittany into his office to berate her for accomplishing nothing as class president. Well, there was that memorandum for “Drill, Baby, Drill,” which Brit now sees as a mistake. You shouldn’t drill for babies. (It’s dangerous, and there are no OSHA standards.) If she doesn’t turn it around, Figgins is going to do away with the whole idea of a class president because this is Ridiculous High. (No, it is. And you need to always remember that. It’s a part of its charm!)
I did love Brit’s reasons for not doing anything this year: exploring her sexual relationship with Santana, Lord Tubbington’s Ponzi Schemes – seriously, those re-purchasing people’s life insurance schemes are terrible. She should have realized that cats have nine lives – and for a while she simply stopped talking. (I noticed, Brittany.)
Brittany will make Prom her reason why she was a good president (she’s of the Bush mindset, I see) and meets with the committee, who has been meeting all year without her. Their idea: Castles in the Clouds. Um, that is physically impossible? Okay…Stairway To Heaven? POSITIVELY NO STAIRWAY! (Denied!) You get bonus points for catching that reference.
She fires them all and comes up with the theme on her own: Dinosaurs. What the…? See, the Bible taught her that dinosaurs and man lived together in harmony for millions of years, so they should celebrate that. I think her “bible” was actually a “Land of the Lost” coloring book.
Hilarious: the 40 year old woman in bangs posing as a high school student, and called “Rachel” by Brittany.
Sue announces the prom court over the school announcements, with Becky cheering herself on over Sue’s shoulder. My absolute most favorite C List character in the entire series is named as a nominee: Rick “The Stick” Nelson. (He flips a table and shouts, “You know this!” Seriously, that guy is hilarious.) Finn is also a candidate as well as Brittany. For King. Nicely progressive, McKinley! (More on this later.)
For Queen: Missy Gunderson (the most perfect name ever), Santana and Quinn. Becky, back in Sue’s office, is enraged and flies into a fit. “I was robbed, Coach!” Aww.
Rachel later tells Finn that she’s okay to be left out of nominations, because she will still spend the night dancing with her own T. Rex. Will tells the group that they will be the free entertainment again, which doesn’t seem to excite anyone at all. In fact, a few people look positively bored or irritated by the idea of prom. (Kurt and Puck, specifically.)
Brittany addresses her fellow Americans and tells them the prom theme: Dinosaurs! “I was inspired by the new girl, Joe, who reminds me of a cave woman. The food will be berries, meat and rainwater.” Tina cracks up in the back row. “And there will be a ban on hair gel.”
Blaine laughs. That’s preposterous! That Brittany…what a crack up! Um, she’s serious. It wasn’t invented then, and also, she doesn’t like the way Blaine looks. Kurt climbs over the seats with a shiv that he’s quickly fashioned from a chair leg and a brooch on his waistcoat, and slices her face open. “HOW DARE YOU. MY BOYFRIEND IS GORGEOUS.”
Sorry, that was my reaction. Apologies.
Will tries to get attention back on song selection as Blaine blinks in his seat with his hand in the air, ignored.
After class, Rachel sees a poster of Finn and Quinn together (that was fast?) and loses it. It’s just like before, her seeing Finn and Quinn get everything! Finn backs up with his hands defensively in the air. “Remember how I told you that when you come at me crazy right off the bat my head goes all empty and I can’t have a productive conversation?”
Ha! Finn? You’ve grown, and I like it.
Sure Rachel’s being selfish, and sure, Quinn can’t “technically” dance, but she has to sit by herself at her senior prom and watch those two be together and she just can’t stomach it, not after all of the disappointment she’s been swallowing for the past week.
But about that “Quinn can’t technically dance” thing… She and Joe are at rehab (she has a super cute purple bandana on her head and looks so pretty) and Quinn manages to take a few steps without holding onto the rail! Sure, she falls to the ground right after, but clearly she is going to be 100% fine. Joe wants her to run into the choir room and tell everyone the news, but she convinces him that two steps doesn’t mean running and she wants to wait until it’s a “big moment” to reveal her progress.
Helen Mirren continues to be amazing by providing Becky’s inner voice again. Becky moves through the halls, still upset, and has the glorious Mirren voice over. “Sometimes queens look different. Sometimes they’re shorter. Or wear glasses.” She sighs as people watch her move through the crowd. “It’s not fun to be stared at.” Poor Becky. I love that she doesn’t use her Downs as a crutch (that the show doesn’t) but they also don’t fail to recognize that while Becky is a strong person, and really is another Santana, she still has the issues that come with her disability.
Sue sits her down for a conversation. “This scorched earth reign of terror must come to an end.” But Becky was taught by commercials that being Prom Queen was important! “Oh, Becky. Commercials aren’t real life. Advertisers are manipulative alcoholics. Haven’t you seen Mad Men?”
“Me, neither.” Ha! (Here is where you can catch up on Mad Men, by the way. [/plug!]
Funny lines: a shot of Becky’s campaign poster where she’s written “veto” instead of “vote.”
Sue: Your posters sent a mixed message.
Becky: But my paintbrush doesn’t have spell check, Coach.
Rachel, in the auditorium, begins singing Fergie’s “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” and Kurt joins in (and Chris is sounding a little tight-voiced, like he didn’t get enough time to warm up. Then again, he probably didn’t. They have a ridiculously full schedule). Blaine comes in, carrying a chair, and please note Kurt licking his lips as Blaine straddles his chair, because I did.
Rachel is singing out her frustrations – she doesn’t want to go to prom just to watch Finn and Quinn (which is ridiculous, of course, because they wouldn’t have to be together all night, but again, see: Ridiculous High.) Kurt also agrees that prom sucks, and he has a legitimate claim to think so. See last year and his being crowned Prom Queen as a way to humiliate him. Which is did, even though he put on a brave face.
Blaine also isn’t interested in going, now that he can’t wear hair gel. Guys, he has baby fine hair, and you add in balloons and taffeta… The static electricity is going to be awful. He says they’ve never seen him without hair gel (did he just have pomade in his hair for BIOTA? And why not use hair wax, Blaine? There are ways around this.)
Kurt presents that they don’t actually have to go to Prom….
Rachel announces to the Gleeks that they’re going to have an anti-prom party. It will be way better than prom, what with the longer time and catered food. Note Tina and Mike being adorable and attentive to each other in the back. Oh, kids, you’re such a cute couple with so little screen time. Thanks for always selling it in the background.
Finn will come after his “obligations” for the real prom are over, because he supports his girlfriend and brother. Aww. Kurt excitedly tells everyone the dress code will be “Creative Black Tie,” when Rachel cuts him off, “OPTIONAL. Optional. Optional.” Ha ha ha!
Puck’s in – he doesn’t want to fail at trying to spike the punch, as is tradition – because he’s still feeling the sting of possibly not graduating with them. Santana comes down hard on Rachel for detracting from the night because of her butt-hurt. It’s selfish. Santana plans on going for a night of dancing with her girlfriend and friends. I love that it’s totally okay for the girls to be dates. I choose to believe it’s because the school has progressed now that Azimio and Karofsky are gone, myself.
After class, Quinn and Finn chat about the prom and expectations for the night. One of the girls from the Prom Committee fawns all over Quinn, who uses that as a way of garnering a sympathy vote. That creeps Finn out, but hey – Quinn is going to win, goddamn it. It’s the only thing she’s ever wanted.
Prom Time! And the gym is decked out all cheesy, as is tradition. Mike apparently never got over his four year old self and loves the dinosaurs. Brittany, wearing a Tarzan-type dress, starts to look bad ass dancing to a seriously lame song, “Dinosaur” by Keh- dollar sign – Ha. And I think, yay! Heather dancing is always awesome! And then the Cheerios come out with T Rex heads and it quickly becomes something awful.
Which, if you’re paying attention, is traditional for prom-themed shows and movies.
Finn goes in search of Quinn as the song plays, and finds her in the bathroom. Standing. Oh, snap! Um, these are her very first steps ever? LIAR. Finn is livid that she’s done it again, lied to him and everyone, and there he is, buying it and leaving Rachel in the dust. He tells her how selfish she is, she has everything: the votes, Yale, all of her future happening like she wanted. And Rachel has nothing. She convinces him to at least stay for the mandatory dance for candidates, and I am just going to tell myself that the rules for Senior Prom aren’t the same as for Junior Prom, because none of this happened last year.
At the Anti-Prom Party, Rachel, Becky, Puck, Blaine and Kurt all show up (and Blaine looks so dapper in his tux I can barely stand it) ready to “party.” Kurt’s interpretation of Creative Black Tie means an open dress shirt with the sleeves rolled up, black vest, and a top hat. Keeping it casual, since last year he was Alexander McQueen fabulous. He tests the bounciness of the bed (oh, does he?) as Becky suggests they play strip poker. Um. It’s cool – she brought a sack of condoms if things get cray.
Kurt: Becky? Blaine and I are gay, remember?
Becky: Never stopped me before! [finger guns]
Rachel suggests a fashion show, Puck starts drinking, and Kurt gets excited. Blaine hunts for the remote. Party hard, guys!
At actual Prom, Santana sings Selena Gomez’s “Love You Like A Love Song” with Brit and Tina on backup. Funny moment: a tall girl dancing with a short dude (his face pressed against her chest) as she texts, bored, over his head. Mercedes and Sam are having fun, made all the sweeter when Mercedes sees that her ex is happy with his date.
Finn holds Quinn’s hands while she smiles in her chair on the dance floor (Artie could have shown you some moves, yo) growing more and more aggravated. He starts demanding that she stand up, causing a scene, when Joe comes over, all defensive. (Was he Quinn’s date? I can only assume.) Sue breaks it up, asking if she’s yet again going to have to toss Finn out of a dance.
Nope. He’s Audi.
Kurt and Blaine are watching Tabitha’s Salon Takeover on Bravo (Blaine is very excited by this) when Kurt says quietly, “If you wanted to go to Prom, I would have gone with you.”
“I’m not going to give in to Brittany’s insane ban on hair gel. Freedom to use hair care products is in the Bill of Rights. You haven’t seen me without an enormous amount of hair gel in my hair. It’s really bad.”
That’s when Finn shows up, looking for them all to join him. And then Rachel comes out in her prom dress, looking utterly gorgeous in soft pink chiffon. Finn says, “I love you. You’re beautiful. Prom sucks without you.” They kiss and please take note of Puck watching them while eating snacks.
Puck just loves love, and it’s hilarious. Finn encourages them all to come to Prom, because it’s the last time they’re all going to be together like that. He wants to dance with all of them. Puck refuses, because hey, he can always come next year… Aww. Blaine says he’ll act like an ice sculpture if Brittany looks his way as they all leave, minus Becky and and Puck.
They show up, and everyone has a smile for them. Joe starts singing One Direction’s, “What Makes You Beautiful,” with the other guys as backup and we have a Rory sighting! Point: Kurt and Blaine should have been singing the Harry/Louis parts, I’m just saying. Brittany stops them at the entrance, telling Blaine he can’t come in with hair gel. “I can totally smell it.” Kurt tries to buck him up, saying he can do this.
Figgins swim-dances, Sue shimmies when no one is looking, and it’s really funny. The guys end the song, Sam hoists Artie up in the air, and I have to ask why Will Schuester wasn’t banned from Prom for his hair gel? Ridiculous High, right. I need reminding every now and then. (Or maybe he used pomade.)
Beck and Puck are playing strip poker, and Becky is killing it. And I’m so happy about it, because Mark Salling is sitting on the hotel bed in nothing but one sock and black boxer briefs and he is a very attractive man. Becky is being aggressive because she’s still smarting over not getting voted as Prom Queen.
And Puckerman, who has grown so much since his dumpster tossing days of Season One, gets an idea. They’ve not crowned the anti-Prom court! He pulls on his clothes, grabs his knife, and while Becky stares at him adoringly, he cuts the box his beers came in into two crowns. He’s king and as he walks to her, she says, “I hope I get it…” Ha. He puts the “crown” on her head, and she’s so happy it’s just adorable.
In the hallway, Rachel tells Quinn she’s sorry for acting like such a jerk about the whole thing. It’s just that Quinn is everything she’s been told by Hollywood and the media to want and to want to be, and it’s just hard sometimes. Being her. (And can we all just say that in this moment, Lea Michele is utterly gorgeous? I think Diana Agron is a beautiful girl. But Lea is otherworldly here.)
Rachel is mostly proud that they found a way to be friends, she voted for Quinn, and Santana lumbers past, her arms laden with ballot boxes and says, “Stop making out with Berry and get in here to help me tally the votes.” Ha.
Sue stops Tina from pouring a drink, assuming she’s going to spike it. She then tells Tina how awful her dress is. (The dress is fine, her gauzy wrap is awful.) Puck and Becky arrive with their made-up crowns to applause, and Becky (with Helen Mirren voicing) waves back, happy to be wearing a “crown and a hot piece of booty on her arm.” Sue tells her that she’s the queen of the joint. Becky distracts Sue with the fear of snipers in the rafters so Puck can spike the punch, and it’s just adorkable, isn’t it?
Please note that the 1988 “hit” that is in every prom movie ever, “Walk The Dinosaur” by Was (Not Was) is playing in the background. ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED: CHEESY MOVIE PROM. Well done, gang!
Santana and Quinn count the votes. Brittany didn’t win King, so Santana doesn’t want to be Queen. I love you, Santana. Quinn marvels at the amazing high school career the two have had, how they got everything they wanted. Oh, and Quinn won by a vote. And…eh. Quinn: let’s see if you can have a moment of growth that sticks.
She then asks if they shouldn’t want to leave making a difference.
I would like to state that I think Santana has. She did the anti-bullying brigade last season, even though it was for the wrong reasons. She’s proudly stayed true to herself, held her chin up, and is now a nominee (cruelty free) for the Royal Court and is there with her girlfriend. Just my thoughts on it.
The camera pans in on people making horrified faces, ending with Kurt. It’s Blaine, and his hair is nine feet tall and frizzed to hell. “Oh my dear God,” Kurt says before quickly controlling his expression.
Brittany tells him, “Don’t make fun of the new boy with the bad ‘fro. It’s hair bullying.” Brittany is trying to tackle Kurt’s anti-bullying stance from his campaign, have you noticed?
Blaine wonders if it’s really that bad (it is) to which Brittany agrees. NO, Kurt insists. It’s just.. well. Hrm.
Brittany says, “Yeah, it is. You made your point. I abused my power as President. To keep people from turning to stone when they look at you, I’ll give you special permission to wear hair gel.” She leaves to dance with Santana, Blaine makes to leave and fix his hair when Kurt stops him.
“I love finally getting to see the real you.” (Blaine’s hair stays perfect when they’re making out/having sex? That’s some seriously good hair gel. Or Kurt just isn’t into pulling/tugging on hair.) He’s proud of his brave, bushy-haired boy friend. He then calls him
Barrette BORAT, and leads him onto the dance floor. (Ha, Chris Colfer ad-libbed this, evidently. Also, Closed Captioning, why’d you tell me Barrette?)
The prom court is brought on stage (again, Senior Prom must not be the same as Junior Prom, because none of this happened.) and I would like to point out Rick “The Stick” is wearing a tuxedo shirt under a jacket. Seriously: favorite bit player ever. Kurt is brought up to crown the winners, looking nervous and I would like to point out the burlesque “Bum, bada, bum, bada!” percussion that is played as he comes up.
Finn wins, which pisses Rick off. Kurt happily puts the crown on his head and hands him a sceptre. For Queen, however, Figgins announces that yet again a write in vote has won. Kurt looks very nervous, the camera pans to Blaine who looks like he’s freaking, and then it’s announced.
Rachel Berry. (Santana gives Quinn a sweet smile. Oh, girls!) Rachel comes up, terrified, and Kurt whispers to just “smile and breathe.” She has a pretty tiara put on her head, and why didn’t Kurt get one last – right. Junior Prom, not Senior Prom.
Rachel and Finn take to the floor to dance to their song, “Take My Breath Away” by Berlin, and this was at every single dance I ever went to, so A+ on song selection for Prom, Glee. Rachel is worried it’s some kind of joke, but Finn assures her it’s because she’s wonderful and deserved it. She lays her cheek against his broad chest as he kisses her hair and it’s so sweet and so perfectly high school, come on.
As Quinn sings, there’s a montage of everyone getting their prom picture on a bouncing riding dinosaur (okay) and Tina cries in Mike’s arms. She just doesn’t want this to end, this night, this feeling, this year. Her boyfriend is graduating, her friends are leaving and it’s just…scary. Oh, Tina!
Quinn grabs the microphone stand and pulls herself up to everyone’s shock. Santana wraps an arm around her waist quickly, looking blown away. Will and Emma, everyone is amazed. Sam call sit a “prom miracle” and now it is officially a Cheesy Prom. Golf clap! (Wait, there should have been a slow clap somewhere.)
Kurt and Blaine dance (Blaine leads), Brittany makes an “I love you” heart to Santana who gives her a wink and Rachel realizes that maybe anything is possible after all.
Aww. Now let’s get pissed at the hotel room that they still have a key to!