Glee! 3.20 – Props

Do not adjust your monitor. This is only a head injury-induced hallucination.

Here’s what you missed on Glee: Tina! Tina crying, Tina swaying in the background, Tina not rocking the boat, Tina never being called out by the group for faking a stutter, Tina not being a goth anymore, Tina’s fabulous Fluevog boot collection… Basically you’ve missed Tina. For a few years.

(Well, it’s because she’s not enigmatic on the screen. I’m sorry. She’s lovely, she has a lovely voice, but she doesn’t bring it. There’s a reason why certain character’s stories develop over seasons, and another reason why others don’t. Hey, how about all of the awesome Rory scenes? Exactly. It’s not a slam on them as people, not at all. It’s just that as characters they don’t bring much. Harsh truth.) HAVING SAID THAT…Tina’s solo is out-freaking-standing. 

But first, Sue talks to Mercedes and Kurt about Unique being a new Show Choir Celebrity, all thanks to Jessie St. James. Um, Weezy and Porcelain are responsible for that happening, thank you. Sue has no recollection of insisting they get Wade to transform into Unique, but she does require that New Directions up their flame game and that means Kurt will be performing as Porcelina in a flapper gown. So get to smoking, Kurt, because that dress is a size two.

“Just because I’m gay doesn’t mean I like to dress up like a woman!” Kurt insists.

Cut to him and Blaine at Halloween, dressed at Snooki and RAHN, respectively. Ha ha ha! (I know you want to believe he was the Situation, but as a fan of Jersey Shore, I can tell you that he was actually Ronnie. There wasn’t enough douche-baggery to be The Situation.)

“It’s absolutely out of the question,” he insists.

Sue shakes her head sadly. Oh, sweet, sweet Porcelain; it’s Tucking Time.

Rachel sings Jason Mraz’s “I Won’t Give Up” (and it’s a version I really like, actually) and once finished, she calls Carmen Tibideaux of NYADA for the 14th time, and via voicemail reminds her that she’s determined to be a star, that she wants Carmen to hear her sing, and offers an invitation to Chicago to see Rachel win MVP of Nationals. Determined Rachel is back (as if there was a doubt, come on) and I couldn’t be happier.

In the choir room, Will runs down the Nationals plan: they’ll sing “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” (oh my god, Meatloaf) and Rachel will sing a Celine Dion solo. Everyone will work on a production of “What A Feeling,” featuring Kurt as Porcelina—

“Not gonna happen, Dragon Lady!” (Please note the bewilderment on Blaine’s face at all of this, especially when Sue refers to Kurt as she-he.)

Sue explains that she was Jennifer Beals’ dance double in Flashdance (Santana gives a fabulous WTF? face) and if everyone would look under their seats, they’ll find a box of costumes: welder’s masks and leg warmers. Sam immediately does a Darth Vader impression and is super excited at playing dress up, Jesus Joe reminds us he was creepy-homeschooled and doesn’t know who Darth Vader is, and Blaine worries that props are…cheesy. He’s not wrong.

Will gets mad at all of this stinking thinking and says that anyone not willing to put in their all to make this work, well, they can just leave now. Tina stands and walks out. Why? Because they don’t need her, they never have—she’s sick of being a human prop! Sue tells her to take a lap, “Asian Number One,” to which Tina hisses: “MY NAME IS TINA. TINA COHEN-CHANG.”

Mike follows her out, disappointed in her lack of support for the seniors. This is their last chance to perform, and let’s all just acknowledge that this is exactly how it works in high school. But Mike goes a bit too far and tells her she’s being selfish. Rachel comes out and offers her $50 to make this the best performance for Rachel that it can be (hahaha, who’s selfish?) because everything in Rachel’s future depends on this performance.

Tina reminds her that she’s one of the Original Five, too.  She’s been a happy team player for years, she just wants to get one standing ovation. Rachel gets them all the time, what’s the big deal? The big deal is that Rachel wakes up at 5am every morning. Rachel has taken every class, every opportunity to make herself better. Rachel has been at this since she was nine-months-old, actually, and not only does she devote everything to her future career, she also maintains a 3.86 GPA, is the captain of 16 clubs and manages to keep her boyfriend interested.

So. Whatchu got, Ms. Cohen-Chang? Good grades? A smile? A decent voice? Mm. “It’s exhausting being me,” Rachel says. I love that you can see that Tina never really thought of all of that before. Rachel switches gears and says that next year it’s all going to be Tina’s. She’ll be the lead vocalist, the captain, the everything.

At the mall, Blaine and Kurt are indulging in a little pampering (the only kind available in Lima, I suspect)—one dollar chair massages. Blaine tells Kurt how he supports Kurt’s decision to not go against who he is by wearing a dress. Tina, there buying fabric for the costumes, is texting angrily to Mike while telling the boys about her frustration. Stomping off after a particularly prickly text from Mike, Tina falls into a fountain and cracks her head on the bottom. OUCH. Nice sound editing, because I totally winced.

You can hear Kurt scream, “Get her! Get her!” as Blaine struggles to pull her out (these boys, I love them) and the knock to the noggin has scrambled things up in Tina’s mind. (They must have had an absolute blast doing this.) Tina is now Rachel. Blaine is Puck. Or…Puck is Blaine? Kurt is Finn? Freaky Friday is happening, basically. Here’s the final switch list:

  • Tina and Rachel
  • Puck and Blaine
  • Finn and Kurt
  • Artie and Santana (my personal favorite)
  • Brittany and Mercedes (eh)
  • Mike and Jesus Joe
  • Rory and Sam
  • Sugar and Quinn
  • Will and Sue. Will as Sue was pretty funny, I have to say.

Hilarious moments: Mark Salling overselling the Blaine head motions, and Darren Criss’ drugged out, bored stupor as Puck. Naya Rivera’s quiet eagerness as Artie was another highlight. There are lots of Klaine moments (with Cory and Mark) and I know it’s funny because it’s two straight guys, har har, but I choose to think that in Tina’s fantasy, they’re always touching and cuddling in her eyes. Also, Santana and Brittany cuddle and hug and coo, (it’s Artie and Mercedes) and I thought that was cute, too.

In class, with Tina still thinking she’s Rachel, she’s given a chance to sing a solo and panics. Because it’s Tina and Tina doesn’t have the confidence that real-Rachel does. Finn (Kurt) pulls her aside, concerned, because Rachel (Tina) never turns down a solo. Also, because her boobs look weirdly bigger he wants to make out afterward.

Rachel (Tina) sings “Because You Loved Me” by Celine and knocks it out of the park. I can honestly say that this is the first time Tina’s voice has blown me away. Not been simply a solid voice, but a voice to take note of. Well done, Jenna! She gets a standing ovation and she whispers excitedly to herself about it. Afterward, she approaches Tina (Rachel) and gives her a pep talk about how next year it’s going to be all about her, and to chin up. (There are several digs at real-Rachel’s treatment toward real-Tina here.)

Not-Tina (Rachel, oh my god) says that she wishes Not-Rachel (Tina) wouldn’t give up on her Broadway dream, that Not-Rachel needs to find Carmen Tibedeaux and force her to listen to Rachel sing. Good advice! They hug, and it would have been primo if Tina-as-Rachel had said, “I’m going to hug you now,” before they hugged. Tina comes out of the fountain, sputtering, and everything is back to reality. She grins because she gets to be her again—being Rachel probably sucks.

As the group works on their Flashdance number, Sue gets pissed off at the lack of musically timed sparks from the guys on metal working equipment. Sam says, “Shouldn’t we be in some type of grinding union?” Wanky! Sue tries once again to convince Kurt to put on a dress, but nope. He has a better idea….

Santana, Brit, and Mercedes confront Shannon Beiste about not leaving Cooter for abusing her physically. (Flash to her being berated emotionally by him, still. She’s standing at the sink, a knife clutched in her hand before dropping it into the soapy water. Oh, Shannon!) Beiste tries to say that they can’t understand, but Mercedes makes it simple: he hit you, you should leave. She’s right. The girls ask her to join them for Nationals as a chaperone, if only to get her out of the house, but she turns it down.

Later, in the locker room, Kurt shows them a black and white film he took (“Because I worship The Artist.”) of Vocal Adrenaline rehearsing. They’re “flawless” we’re told, even though it doesn’t look magical to me. Will is shocked that they’re doing a dance move called, “The Human Centipede”—um—which is apparently the most difficult and challenging dance move in the history of show choir.

Blaine wins all of the awards for his puzzled, “That actually doesn’t look that hard.”

Sue makes it simple: VA has a “Unique” factor, unlike McKinley—no, Berry doesn’t count, as every school has a small, big-nosed singer in their stables—and unless Kurt gets in a dress, they’re going to lose. Puck can’t believe that all they need is someone in a dress to win. “Really?” Really, Sue affirms.

Rachel warms up her vocals on the empty stage as Tina comes in and tells her about her Freaky Friday hallucination, and how she had really good advice (from Rachel as Tina) to go find Ms. Tibedeaux. And it so happens that she’s teaching a Master Class at Oberlin, a short drive away. So how about it? Yay!

And my favorite bit-character shows up, Rick “The Stick” Nelson, to give Puck shit about being a “Lima Loser.” He taunts Puck for showing up in a dress, for not graduating, and for basically beginning his complete transformation into Matthew McConneghey’s character from Dazed and Confused. (“All right, all right, all right! That’s what I love about these high school girls, man. I get older; they stay the same age.”) Puck’s ready to fight, but it should be a fair fight. Rick has three guys with him—better bring two more so it’s not unbalanced. (I love Bad Ass Puckerman.)

The girls are on their way to Oberlin where Rachel has a moment of doubt about actually becoming a star. She indulges herself in rolling in the muck for a minute before shaking it off and putting on her “Rachel Berry, I’m A Star” persona, which Tina admires. Tina gets it now, just how much work goes into being Rachel. And she wants to get there next year. Good for you, Tina. They have a moment of being friends, promising to sing together before the year (episode) ends.

Out behind the school, Rick starts in on Puck, talking about his “garbage father” and taunting him before they go at it, and they really do. They slam their fists into each other, tackle one another into metal dumpsters, all while a crowd cheers for Rick to destroy Puck. Eventually Rick gets the upper hand, and two of his buddies toss Puck into a dumpster.

While he’s lying there, the crowd begins to chant “Loser! Loser!” Puck gets himself together, climbs out ready for more, and pulls a switchblade, freaking Rick out. (Just like a hockey player to bring fists to a knife fight.) Before things get out of hand, Beiste is there, breaking up the fight and dragging Puck off to talk.

He explains that it was a rubber knife from West Side Story, but he just couldn’t take it anymore. And talk about characters getting their moment to shine, Mark Salling brought me to tears in this scene.

“I’m nothing, don’t you get it? I’m a failure. The school joke. I feel [worthless] every day of my life, every damn day! You know how many football games or concerts my mom’s been to in the last four years? None. Not one.” He says how his dad split when Puck was ten, and good riddance since he called Puck garbage every day. “He must be proud, because that’s exactly how I turned out.”

His voice breaks and he turns away as he begins to cry, saying, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” over and over and good lord, this poor kid! Beiste pulls him into her arms and holds him as he sobs, this tough, never anything beyond the surface kid. She says, “We’re bad asses. Nobody thinks anything hurts us, but it does.” Oh my god, I never saw these two connecting like this, and it’s just perfect.

Carmen Tibedeaux listens to a student sing (mediocre) and then turns to find Rachel. Boy, does she think Rachel is entitled. And every time she wastes Carmen’s time, it’s time that could be dedicated to an actual student. Who does she think she is? Tina steps in and says, “Yeah, she’s awful, right? Always gets what she wants. And it’s because she’s exceptional.”

Rachel takes the moment to ask Carmen, “You’ve had an amazing career—did you get there by playing it safe?” She again extends an invitation to the Chicago Nationals, when Carmen says it’s time for them to go.

“OK. But you’ll see me next year. And every year until I get in.” And um, Rachel’s pretty sure that Carmen auditioned four times to get into Julliard, so… The girls leave and Carmen stands still, mulling that last bit over.

Beiste goes home to Cooter, who’s ordered some apology pizza, saying how sorry he is for the latest fight, and he’s just so worked up and she knows how he gets, blah blah. “I feel like I’m always disappointing you.” Um, that’s because you are, Cooter.

She tells him that she’s been sleeping with a knife under her pillow, and she’s done. “I’m out.” And in another of those moments that I think are so important, she continues. “I’ve got shame about what happened between us. But I leave that here with my ring and you.”

Girls? You have nothing to be ashamed of, that’s the shit that pisses me off. Would you be ashamed if someone ran their car into you without any fault of your own, except for being in the wrong place? No. So don’t feel shame for someone being a dick to you. It’s on them.

Cooter flips out and starts yelling at her, “Who’s gonna love you now?”

“Me.” Standing O for Ms. Shannon Beiste.

Puck is in the auditorium singing Taylor Swift’s “Mean,” and it’s good when he gets to rough his voice up on the rock bits. Beiste shows up and sings along with her country twang, and they’re just cute together. I really enjoyed their scenes, I have to say. They’re two sides of the same coin, and the show did a great job of showing it. Puck explains that he was working on the song in hopes of using it in Nationals, which he’s determined to win—he wants to win something.

Beiste says that she’s spoken with Puck’s teacher (the one who failed him) and talked her into giving him another chance, all because of the drive and selflessness he’s shown with Glee Club. (And let’s not forget last season’s football team, and how Puck got everyone back onto the field for the Thriller number after they’d all walked out. Puck’s grown a lot.) He can’t understand why she’d go to bat for him, even offering to help him pass the test.

“You’ll never know how much you’ve helped me. You’re loved, Punkin.” Here come the waterworks, again…

Tina, Joe, and Sugar are sewing costumes and Sugar begins bitching about the work. Why should she have to sew Rachel’s costume? Rachel should be doing it. Tina says it’s because Rachel is probably having her fourth rehearsal of the night, perfecting her voice so they all can win at Nationals, that’s why. And, by the way, Tina is sewing Sugar’s costume, because that’s what team players do. They all pitch in. Mike overhears and gives her a thumbs up.

(This is another example of how I’m just not overly impressed with Jenna’s acting. I don’t know if it’s because of the character, or what, but she’s just…there. Mind, I don’t dislike her, not at all. She just doesn’t leap off the screen like other characters do.)

Beiste shows up with a suitcase while Will and Sue finalize the setlist, asking if she can be a chaperone. Will agrees and says to bunk with Sue, but Sue booked an executive maternity suite, so no, that’s not fair. Okay, then, Shannon can bunk with Emma and Will.

Um, Shannon is cool with sleeping on the bus, then? She then explains that she’s left Cooter. Sue gets up, and without saying a word, wraps Shannon up in a tight hug. Sue can be good people.

Rachel and Tina start singing “What A Feeling” on the stage, doing all of those “oh my god, I’m having a feeling!” type dance moves that are so hokey, but so musical theater, and who cares, because everyone is excited to get on the bus for Nationals! Next stop, Chicago!

Show Discussion

I know that people online are up in arms about Tina and her treatment for three seasons, but I stand by the mantra of—it’s television. Yes, they want to make art. But they want people to come back every week, too. And if some people shine brighter, they get the story lines. That is how television works, gang, especially in an ensemble cast. And note that Tina wanted to be Rachel. Not Quinn, Santana, or Mercedes. Rachel. The lead, the captain, the one who has put more blood, sweat, and tears into winning than anyone at McKinley High. I mean…you can’t argue with that, at least.

So for someone who has happily swayed in the background, for someone to demand solos for the very last competitive performance, that’s a bit much. Was Rachel snotty in her treatment of Tina? Of course! She’s still Rachel Berry, after all. But I do think the point of “let the seniors have their last moment” is valid. And when I was in high school? That’s pretty much how I remember it, too. With a few rare exceptions.

And again, I really like Jenna. I really like Tina! I’m just not desperate for more of her, is all. I will happily watch her in Season Four; I’m looking forward to seeing how the season will play out with her as the female lead at McKinley. But I’m not going to be breathless like I was knowing that Santana and Mercedes were going to sing a duet that still stands as the benchmark of duets on the show for me, “River Deep—Mountain High.”

(Yes, even above Rachel and Kurt’s nod to Barbra and Judy. Which is saying something, because that is still pretty freakin’ outstanding, that and “For Good.” What can I say, I’m an R&B girl deep down in my soul.)

So. What are your thoughts? (And remember, no bashing. You can express yourself, just don’t malign someone to do so.)

Please like & share:
  • Laina

    Mark Salling BROKE MY HEART in the lockerroom scene. Oh my lordy did he sell that moment! Puck needs hugs and kisses and snuggles and someone to tell him he’s worthy and I was so happy to see Beiste comforting him and drawing some comfort for herself. Those two together were magic and like you, I honestly didn’t see it coming.

    • When some of these actors get a chance to really put it out there, boy, do they shine. Mark wasn’t anyone that I thought of in a way to bring me to tears and carry me along on his wave of emotion, but there it was. Great scene work with him and Dot-Marie.

      Oh, Beiste, she’s become such a great character. <3

      • fm

        When some of these actors get a chance to really put it out there, boy, do they shine. Mark wasn’t anyone that I thought of in a way to bring me to tears and carry me along on his wave of emotion, but there it was. Great scene work with him and Dot-Marie.

        I felt exactly the same way. I didn’t think Mark could do that. I didn’t think he could make me cry, and he did. He and Dot-Marie were an unexpected but PERFECT character pairing to me.

        • It was unexpected and almost shocking with how RIGHT it was – because I’d never imagined it. Such good work.

  • Sarah

    I…just….oh my gosh. This episode! So much more then I thought it would be! I was constantly refreshing this page cuz I was practically foaming at the mouth to read your review!

    First of all, I love Tina. I was one of those who was mad she was pushed aside. Not in favor of the likes Rachel or Santana. No. More because they brought in new characters (Sugar, Lauren, PALTROW and the likes) and gave them more attention then her. It over cooked my grits. I do agree with you that her character can be a bit flat at times, but I think it is because the writers haven’t really given her anything to work with or TRIED to develop her. And I don’t for a second believe they planned all along to make her a year younger then most so they could focus on her once the senior class was gone. Anyway,I have high hopes, but I wonder where her character’s direction will go once Mike leaves. Hmm.

    But on to the more important thing. NOAH. PUCKERMAN. Oh my giddy aunt! Mark Saling knocked it out of the park with this one. (In fact, I may have rewatched that scene a few times) I knew Corey could act, and Finn has had plenty of emotional moments, but GEEZE! Well played, Mark. Had me sniffiling. It was just so raw! The male talent on this show is so impressive. And then with coach Bieste? Loved the bad ass comforting the bad ass. And for the first time in a long time, I saw Puck as a teen and not the adult that is actually playing him. Plus, I loved his duet with Coach. Surprisingly nice.

    The rest of the show was also good, but those were the two things that stuck with me. Phew. I need a sit down, now.

    • It could be (like with Amber Riley, who I have fawned over time and again) that Jenna didn’t get the story lines because of poor writing, too many characters to shuffle, who knows. I do know that my interest isn’t typically drawn to Tina even when she’s on screen. I just don’t think she’s an enigmatic screen actress. It sounded like she’d worked hard on her vocals this last half of the season, probably in hopes of making her the believable New Rachel for Season 4 – again, speculation.

      The writers have painted themselves into a corner by needing so many characters for competition. As a result, you have first string and the bench. It’s the nature of the show, unfortunately. (I just accept it, because again, it’s how they’ve set the show up.)

      NOAH. PUCKERMAN. Holy smokes, did Mark bring it in this episode. And Dot-Marie has taken a one-note character and really created something engaging, so kudos to her for that. I have to laugh at your “for the first time in a long time, I saw Puck as a teen” because YES. He didn’t feel like a 30 year old, right? Good work, Mark! He let that vulnerability out and got a serious pay off.

  • Anne

    Yes, clearly, the reason characters on Glee get ignored is that they can’t ‘bring it’. Those characters are… Let’s see, Tina, right? And Mike who only started getting lines after a year or two. Artie. And Mercedes gets more screen time – more than those three, less than anyone else.

    Who gets all the screen time in the world? Rachel. Finn. Quinn. Puck. Kurt. Blaine. Santana. Britney. So we have on the one side three non-white kid and one disabled character. You can maybe put Sam there — maybe. And on the other hand we have a a bunch of white kids and Santana. Who only got more screen time becayse of huge fannish demand, who’s maybe the most charismatic actress in the cast and yet waited two years to get an actual substantial storyline — even though fans screamed for it.

    If you think the only dividing factkr here is ‘who can bring it’, that leaves two options. Either the person in charge of casting only worried about charisma with the white actors, or, like all of us, your views aren’t as objective as they might feel. I’m perfectly willing to admit the first option might be right — after all, I’ve heard more than one person claim Mike (and poor Matt) never got any lines because they were bad actors. When your choice fr the only male non-white characters are people who can’t be trusted to speak, that probably means something.

    • Anne

      I should mayne mention that thiz made me angry (angry enough that I tapped all this out on my phone — sorry for any typos) not because of how much I care aboyt the show, but because this reasoning shows up *everywhere* and I really expected better of you. I’ve given up on the show’s ridiculous claims to doing things right long ago. The fans can still surprise and disappoint me.

      • “I really expected better of you.”

        Um, sorry, stranger on the internet? That actress doesn’t wow me. I still don’t feel like you need to say that I’m approaching this from race, because that’s incredibly offensive to me.

        And the show is ridiculous. I think people forget that. Well, I never expected everyone to always agree with me, so okay, then.

    • [Hey, this isn’t a site for vitriolic commentary, so you know. Fortunately, the vast majority of the internet is.]

      Rachel gets screen time like she does because she’s the star of the show. I happen to be a huge fan of Santana’s and was delighted that she got more substantial story lines, but Ryan Murphy wanted this as a vehicle for very specific actors.

      I’m feeling like you’re really wanting to come down on me as a way of expressing your anger with the show, and it’s just not the place. I don’t think Jenna has “star power” like Amber Riley. The show runners bear the onus of who got to be on screen more.

      This is a site that I own that I state my opinions. My opinion is that Jenna isn’t as charismatic as other actors – she probably lights up the room live on stage, which is where she’s from. Stage acting and screen acting are different animals. It could be that they didn’t want to let her go when she didn’t prove to bring the goods like some other actors did, who knows.

      I don’t think race is a factor here. You are free to argue that in your own space. This isn’t the place for angry finger pointing.

      • fm

        So here’s the thing for me, vis-a-vis Tina/Jenna. I think she’s gorgeous, I know she’s sweet and charismatic in person, I think her voice sounded amazing in this episode, and I think thus far on Glee she has not stood out in this exceptionally talented cast apart from a nice dance or two with Mike. Whether it’s because she’s not able to or because RIB keep writing themselves into corners by having more characters than they can possibly serve and Tina isn’t one of their favorites and doesn’t get meaty stuff, I don’t know, but a lot of characters get short shrift in any given episode. Most of the guest stars (Chord, Samuel, Damian, etc.) are lucky to get a line each week, and even the regular actors are quiet a lot (Mercedes, Brittany, Mike, Puck) when it isn’t their storyline. Hell, last season there was a whole episode Kurt wasn’t even in, and they almost left him out of the Superbowl episode, too. It wasn’t for scheduling reasons for Chris; it was because they didn’t know how to fit him in the episode when he was at Dalton.

        I love all of the characters in Glee, but the writers have a lot of time and story constraints that make it impossible to write them all in a big way. It only makes sense to me that they’re going to gravitate toward the characters and actors who most excite them and shape the show accordingly. They can only do so much in forty-something minutes each week, and only they can say why a character works or doesn’t work for them. Also, with this season clearly stating from the first episode who was going to be at McKinley next year (and at the time Ryan was saying for sure all of the graduating cast was leaving the show) it made some sense to focus on the seniors.

        I was just glad that they acknowledged that she’s been overlooked. We’ll see what happens next year.

        • Since you and I are Real Life friends (and thank you again for your support, m’dear) you know that I agree with everything you’ve said here. You’ve made excellent points (that I was unable to do due to time constraints on my end) and I thank you for it.

          I am REALLY interested in how Season Four is going to play out. (Not that I want to be spoiled, omg!) I’m just excited and anticipatory for it. :)

  • Sue

    HAVING SAID THAT…Tina’s solo is out-freaking-standing. Yes. Yes it was. For many reasons: because season one Tina was shaking (in character) about her singing, she’s got a fine voice, but the thing is that Rachel Berry is one in a million and Mercedes is not far behind her. Being a star in HS show choir is one thing, but when you’re in a group with 2 voices like that, it’s not so much about what you can do, but the fact that’s nothing that THEY can’t.

    When Shannon told Puck “Everyone thinks nothing hurts us, but it does,” I BROKE. Like I never have with this show before. She has such wonderful line delivery and she sold that so, so well. I know so many people who are like that: bad asses or super competent or seemingly unaffected by the little details that get many of us down that we don’t realize sometimes that they can still be genuinely hurt and the fact that we fail to notice makes it *worse*. I really enjoyed this episode, and I agree that while Tina has a lovely voice and she and Mike make a great couple, she just doesn’t have that spark as a character that comes across like Rachel, Kurt, Mercedes, Santana, etc. However, she made my least favorite (do I HAVE a favorite?) Celine song WORK, and that was freakin’ impressive.

    • Yes – Lea Michele is a freaking phenom. Amber brings me to TEARS with her voice. Naya? Good lord do I think she’s outstanding and more than just as a singer. (I’ve not been impressed with Amber’s acting, but I don’t know if it’s because she has to play the Sassy Friend or because she can’t do much else.) Lea has impeccable comic timing, which is incredibly difficult. Any actress can cry, but to be funny like she is?

      Beiste just sold the hell out of her moment, right? And talk about two people that needed each other! (Who knew?) *cough* That particular phrase you mentioned…yeah. Hit me in the gut.

      I’m not a Celine listener (not because I can’t appreciate the sheer talent, but because I think Celine is a little weird in the bad way) but damn, Jenna made that song wonderful. A CELINE DION SONG. No easy fete. She’s been busting her ass behind scenes on vocals, I bet.

  • dlwendel

    My big problem with this episode was that it felt a bit like Tina was being put in her place, if that makes any sense? Like “Tina, you’re just mediocre and you need to realize it because the real stars need to shine and you’ll get attention next year when all the talented people are gone”, but that may just be me. I liked it a lot better when Finn made his football comparison, because while I understand very little about football, it just made her seem actually essential to the team, instead of just a back up singer that anyone could replace.

    That being said, I really liked this episode. The Freaky Friday thing was wonderful, as was Tina’s solo, and Bieste and Puck’s storyline was the stuff dreams are made of it was so perfect.

    • I can agree with that – the tone switch (in Tina) was pretty abrupt. Not a lot of subtlety. (And again, I don’t know if that’s the writing, the acting, a combination…) But yeah. It moved very quickly. I get that it has to by the constraints of the show, but.

      I very much loved Finn’s analogy (and am kicking myself for failing to mention that in the recap – there’s a lot to write up from last night! Without a rock-solid center, it doesn’t matter if you have a stunning Quarterback. He’s got to be delivered the ball (hee – that’s what the Center does, just in case you didn’t know.)

      I definitely believe in the team mentality, and like that the reminder was put here that it’s an ensemble cast – a lot of smaller roles had great moments in this episode.

      I loved the body swap so much. I was tickled by seeing the actors impressions of one another. (Chris Colfer tried the sideways smile of Finn’s! Ha ha ha.) Dot-Marie really pulled a fast one on the viewer, didn’t she? She’s not the gentle giant that eats chicken and gets insults hurled at her. She’s been showing wonderful aspects of her character for several episodes now, and I just loved it.

  • Beth

    i think some of the issues people have with abrupt tone shifts are due to the fact it was Ian’s directorial debut. The episodes he’s written often do the same thing although I feel he’s been getting better about the whiplash conclusions.

    I remember the whole “it’s the last chance for the seniors” mentality from high school so well. Isn’t that the entire idea behind things like Senior Night for sports teams? I don’t think it was terribly out of character for Mike to go on about that since well he’s a senior. And while I do understand and can see where people are coming from with the presumed message of “be happy in your place in the background” , it was also an important message that some people are happy to be in the background. (and really Sugar has become a popular character because of her background moments)

    Darren’s comedic timing in the past couple of episodes has been on point. I’m loving Blaine as the Lone Sane Man.

    MARK SALLING!! I remember an interview about Glee Ryan did where he said Mark didn’t have half the confidence of an actor that the writers did in him….oh Mark baby…that scene in the locker room..baby I hope you have no more confidence issues cause that was gold.

    • See, I don’t typically pay attention to the behind the scenes info like who is directing. I typically assume it’s Eric. :) I want to absorb what the final product is (which is why I ignore spoilers. I want no expectations other than my own enjoyment.) That’s interesting about Ian; I’ll keep my eyes peeled for future eps he shoots.

      Absolutely: Senior Night, Senior Skip Day, Senior Prom… all of that as a last hurrah. (Like class rings! We had a “gossip guide” that our high school put out every year – very tongue in cheek poking at the popular crowd, but EVERYONE was included, that way no one felt left out by the experience. It was pretty cool.) I thought that it was abrupt of Mike to immediately say that he was disappointed in Tina – that’s a parent tone, you know? But I think he’s the “hey, everyone should support everyone” guy, so it’s not out of character. Just a little harsh, to me.

      Darren has been a delight since Broadway. I’ve always enjoyed his performances, but he has really excelled in his screen performance since his return. His constant bafflement at Sue remains one of my favorite on-going jokes.

      That scene in the locker room was FABULOUS. Someone else mentioned that it was the first time they saw him as a teenage – I totally agree.

  • mollie

    HM. I totally agree about Tina’s solo. I totally hate that song, but she brought it and made it hers. Made me very teary.

    And let me be counted as one who totally loved PALTROW and her appearances on the show. I do not like the Sugar character.

    Mark Salling and Dot-Marie Jones are wonderful together. She’s making Beiste into much more than a stereotype. *Puck*’s breakdown made me cry, too. And L, I loved your comment about hockey players and fists and knife fights. Thanks for the smile.

    I love it that Sue still shows traces of her old ridiculous self, but she is becoming a more sympathetic (as in, I can almost like her, now) character.

    Lea was fabulous. What a voice. What a voice.

    I am new to this…feeling safe enough on the internet to make more comments than “I liked it.” It’s because of your repeated insistence that we be nice, that’s what makes it good here. Thank you very much.

    • So blown away that Tina singing made me like a song I normally do not. EXCELLENT WORK, JENNA.

      (I really loved GOOP on the show, too! I was grudgingly pleased by it. And then realized that damn it, I’d probably like hanging with her in RL. Damn you, Gwenyth! ;D)

      You are VERY SAFE here to just love something. Promise. Every comment on every post comes through me, so I’m aware right away of mischievous behavior and quickly set things straight.

      This is your comfort zone for squee, it’s the whole point of the site. :) (Thank YOU for supporting it!)

  • Oh, god, the Cooter Rationalization Ramble had me wanting to jump through the screen. When he said, “I feel like I’m always disappointing you.” I actually yelled back, “BECAUSE YOU ARE, DUMBASS!”

    Puck and Bieste together… damn. So much cry! And where she calls him ‘punkin’, that’s like Dot Marie Jones’ thing. Weirdly, it both pulled me out of the story and made it feel more real at the same time. If that even makes sense.

    As for Tina… As much as I like Jenna, (and I do) I just don’t think she has the same kind of charisma as some of the others have. I mean, they’re all talented and they all bring something to the show, but the writers and the audience both gravitate to The Charisma: Lea, Chris and Darren.

    There’s also something to be said for range and ability. Again, while the whole cast is talented, when it comes to acting, they don’t all have the same range or, for that matter, natural instinct. (I’m looking at you Damien.)

    Honestly, it’s all a matter of degrees, (sometimes, very small ones.) Can this be helped? To some extent, sure it can, but it’s a big cast and you have to go with what works best in the time you have.

    Simply by virtue of the characters alone, I think next year will be a very different show.

  • PS, I really loathe all that is Flashdance, especially that damn song. Sorry Tina and Rachel, but I muted most of it.

    • Ha ha ha, I totally yelled that at Cooter, too. :D If Dot-Marie had said it in all caps, I would have been thrown completely. :D (I think there’s a lot of DM in Beiste, actually. So that didn’t throw me, but I can understand why it would you.)

      Agreed re: charisma. I mean, it’s just something you have. Amber is almost there (when she sings, she’s all I can see. Acting? Not so much.) And everyone plays their part, and does it to the best of their ability. But like with most things, the cream rises to the top, so to speak. And I don’t mean that because cream is white. ;)

      Oh, that SONG. I’m of a generation that was beaten down by it (I was young when it came out, but old enough to be into the radio) and it does nothing for me. But they sounded nice. But I also didn’t buy it from iTunes.

      • Flashdance came out the year I was supposed to graduate High School (I got out a year early) and, like a damn virus, it was EVERYWHERE.

        I suppose I’m just afflicted with the old, but it kinda bugs me that pop-culture phenomena that I’m still sick of from the first time around, is now considered retro. You kids get outta my yard!

        But yes, they did sound nice together.

  • Phinney28

    I wish they had kept the switch for longer. They are so good at playing each other and that whole part was just awesome and hilarious.