Note: apologies for the lateness of this – I had a family emergency last Thursday that required all of my time and energy. Thank you for your patience.
This episode answers that nail-biter of a question: did Kurt and Blaine actually break up? Spoiler alert: all my creys.
We open on Finn not using the air gun but using a manual tire iron to remove lug nuts on a sweet-ass lime green Camaro at Hummel Tire & Lube. First, did you notice that the tire shop has increased in class and size by, like, three-fold? And two, I’m sure Finn is strong and all, but they had the hose for the air gun right by him at that lift. Tire irons are for roadside, bro.
Artie rolls in, stops Finn’s “I suck, I’m a Lima Loser, and clearly from the sight of this shop Burt is rolling in money–” I’m sorry, but mechanics with shops like that make a FANTASTIC living. “– but it doesn’t matter because I’m not a huge superstar” schpiel because Artie sang a romantic love song to Finn last season that was all about Finn being Artie’s hero because he’s “better than this.”
Is he? I mean, don’t get me wrong. Y’all know that I am actually a Finn Hudson supporter, and that’s mostly because I want to climb Cory Monteith like a tree and build a fort and claim him, but also because I get what Finn is supposed to be. Even though they miss the mark often. But…is he better than this? Is he really something special? More on this when Coach Beiste pushes this idea as well.
Artie wants Finn to come help co-direct the musical. It’ll be good for him! And if he won’t, then Artie won’t. No musical for the kids this year, so he hopes Finn can live with himself. Fiiiiine, Finn will do it. Hooray!
At the sign up sheet Sam is barely able to form letters, his tongue poking out of his mouth, as Blaine sad faces against the wall. Sam is pretty sure that as Veep and Pee, they get first pick of parts, but Blaine isn’t even going to be in it, okay? He is not in the right head space to properly portray a grease ball mechanic with a hidden heart of gold, all right? Not with the passion and temerity that the part requires. He doesn’t have the romantic spark necessary to sing about pussies creaming and being stranded and branded a fool. (LOOK. THAT IS THE SONG, OKAY?)
“Since Kurt and I broke up–” WAAH! “–I haven’t slept, I’ve lost my appetite; I don’t even gel on the weekends. He was my soul mate. We talked about spending the rest of our lives together. Retiring in Provincetown (LOL! That’s awesome.) and buying a lighthouse and starting an artists’ colony… He won’t return my calls, he won’t text me, and that Gilmore Girls boxset was returned to me unopened. He’s gone. Maybe forever.”
Guys? That is freaking serious. Kurt Hummel? I get it, I do, but oh, can we talk about the lighthouse? Blaine? Honey? Were you attracted to Eli simply because he had a lighthouse as his user pic? And that made you think of Kurt? That’s… silly. But oh, boys. Get it together, please, my heart is aching.
And Blaine’s is aching to the point that he bursts into an emotional rendition of “Hopelessly Devoted To You,” and let me just say that this was the song to sing when I was growing up. Grease was a sleepover staple (I wasn’t allowed to watch it, of course, as it’s a song about pregnant teens, losing your virginity, and smoking) and Olivia Newton John was our Queen. Darren Criss does a great job in making it his, and it’s unique enough by being a man’s voice singing it that I would happily buy the song off iTunes, I have to say.
He wraps the song up as his audition for Artie and Finn, overcome in a seriously melodramatic way, making both Artie and Finn uncomfortable for a minute. But even though everyone knows that Blaine is their “dream Danny Zuko,” Blaine does not have it in him, guys. He just does not. How can he play a romantic lead when he has ruined his own romantic life? He won’t be able to play the truth of Danny Zuko. (Oh my god.)
Well…is there any other part you could see yourself playing? Um, maybe Teen Angel? He leaves in a hurry, crying. And let’s just talk about this, shall we? The role you were born to play, Blaine Anderson, was Teen Angel, the beautiful, magical person that comes into someone’s young life and gives them the courage to find themselves and be who they’re supposed to be. (But that’s not all you are!)
And while I get that you’re heartbroken, Blaine, shoulda coulda woulda, Mr. Cheater Von Strangecock. You’re going to have to take your lumps, it seems, as is befitting your crime. (Oh gosh, I want these boys back together. I’m a ridiculous person, I know.)
Artie and Finn go back and forth on Finn’s insecurities about directing when Artie makes the big reveal: he’s called in Mike and Mercedes to come in as dance and vocal advisers, respectively. Slow mo happy greetings abound, and it feels really good to see them both. And I really hope they do more with Amber Riley while she’s here, because I’m tired (Effie, I’m tired!) of her being underused. Let those pipes sing out!
Emma and Will are in a therapy session about will she/won’t she join Schuester in DC, and Beiste is their therapist. Emma just doesn’t want to rock her boat, which is reasonable, but Will thinks it’s silly for her to want to stay at a job she loves. Beiste tells them the story of U of ‘Bama’s Bear Bryant (The world’s greatest college football coach after Mack Brown) who once said, “Feelings aren’t bad or good. They just are.”
I have missed Beiste’s random sayings.
Somehow Emma takes away from this that she needs to change for Will, agrees to go with him and gives him a hug. Beiste sees the unhappy in her eyes and files that away for later.
Mercedes, Mike and Finn talk about who could be Danny, since Blaine won’t. Sam? Nope, he has his heart set on playing Kenickie (I mean, let’s talk about the hickies you’d get from that Kenickie!) because he’s “been knocked out by a car door before and was really looking forward to recreating that moment on stage.” Hahaha. Joe? Nope, won’t cut his dreads. What about Puck’s brother? He’s not interested.
Finn is going to have to pull a Mr. Schue: perv on some dude in the shower, complete with planting weed on him so he can’t back out. Finn heaves a heavy sigh. He doesn’t even know where to score pot anymore. He heads out to the football field instead, and spies some goofy dude doing the Running Man on the sidelines, asks Coach Beiste about the kid and learns the following:
Ryder Lynne: not too bright, a bit lazy, generally clueless but has a nice smile and a decent heart.
Sound like anyone we know?
“He’s perfect,” Finn breathes. (And your transformation into Schue is now at 27% and climbing.)
Beiste mentions here that Finn is “special,” and again I ask: is he? Does he really deserve to be on Broadway, in Hollywood, etc? Or is he just becoming a good person? He was a lazy, clueless, nice (generally) guy that used homophobic slurs, and was only looking to stay on top in football and get some touch. He’s grown, sure, but he’s grown into a really good person with more work to do. Is that what counts as special these days? JFC, we need to improve as a people if that’s all it takes to be “special.” (And I really like Finn. I’m just being realistic here.)
Marley and Unique are freshening their lipstick in the girl’s bathroom, talking about how they want to be Sandy and Rizzo, but Unique doesn’t think they’ll let her play the part, since she’s a transwoman and not a biological woman. Sue comes out of the bathroom, admits to spying on them, and then bursts into a series of insults and trans-phobic slurs with the intent of getting Unique to not try out. Funny moments: Sue’s inability to come up with a mean name for Marley.
“You absolutely stunning kind-faced blue-eyed girl!” She does have that face, I’ll agree. Other funny moments: “Nut Whiff,” a new cologne fragrance and Sue using Marley’s makeup.
Marley comes to Unique’s defence and they take their outrage to the stage, performing Pink’s “Blow Me (One Last Kiss)” and let me say the following: I love this song, Pink is outstanding, and these two did her right with their performance. I absolutely loved Unique’s voice here and thought they both looked adorable (and their age) in their performance. Fun, fun, fun number.
I also loved that Artie addressed them both as “Ladies.” When Unique says she wants the part of Rizzo, everyone looks slightly shocked, which is weird, because who else would she want to play? Okay, maybe they were expecting her to be Frenchie? It’s a forced moment of drama, trombone “Wah wah!” noise.
Finn finds Ryder in his study hall class, creeps on him in a weird way (that wasn’t just me, right?) and tries to talk him into joining Glee to help get his bad grades up. (I assume this means Artie will fix his grades for him.) Ryder is all thanks but no thanks about it, but Finn gives him his patented sideways half-smile, and not even Ryder can resist that. He shows up on the stage where Finn is deciding among three jukeboxes.
Which means it’s time for the only song that can work here: “Uninvited” by Alanis Morrisette. Wait! No! It’s “Jukebox Hero,” and Finn starts it out low and growly to ease Ryder in (wow, that sounds dirty!) until Ryder joins in, and they sound exactly the same. Just me? Not that it’s a problem, I just had a hard time differentiating between the two with my eyes closed.
There’s a fantasy sequence that involved strippers, Ryder “fingering” his air guitar up on the actual guitarist’s jock, the guitarist getting really excited about that, and then a shocked, “Did I do it, Papa?” to Finn when it’s explained that he just auditioned. Really? Ryder honestly thought two bros were just going to sing and air guitar on an empty stage after just meeting, huh? Wow, he is clueless.
Ryder takes it upon himself to meet Marley, since there’s a good chance they’ll be working together, and she’s super excited that a cute boy is talking to her, and he happens to be nice, likes her mom, and is a little flirty with her. Oh, hooray! Naturally this has to be ruined by Kitty pointing it out to Jake so that Jake gets jealous. Kitty wants Jake to audition and wants to ruin any happiness Marley might have.
She sashays over to Marley and Ryder, is horribly awful to her prompting Ryder to say, “Wow. You’re kind of a bitch.” Good! Damage has been done, though, and fully embarrassed, Marley walks away.
Kitty gets Jake to audition with her, and they duet to “Everybody Talks,” and Kitty has that bubble voice style that doesn’t really work for me (and Jake’s voice is very sinus-y, another thing I’m not a fan of) but they’re cute and appropriate for teens, so whatever.
Sue gets angry about Unique as Rizzo, and takes it up with Principal Figgins, Will and Finn. Figgins doesn’t realize that Unique isn’t a “buxom young woman who’s got it going on in all the right places,” and yikes. Sue is anti transgender, calls it them being “confused” like it’s something they’ll grow out of, and is generally awful. She’s made strides in some areas, but only some. Finn calls her out on being a bigot, thinking that she should know better, what with having had “a retarded baby but–”
Oh. Oh no no no. Do not use that fucking word, people. (I know that’s the point, but the other point is that people USE THAT WORD.) Sue stands to stare him down, disgusted with him. He immediately back pedals, knowing that was wrong, knowing after it came out that it was the wrong word, but the damage was done. She leaves without another word.
Beiste calls Emma out for lying about what she really wants, which is to stay at McKinley. Emma worries she’s going to be like Terri, keeping Will from being fulfilled in life and won’t hear any more on the subject. Woman! He likes you because you’re you. If you stop being you, he’ll stop liking you. (That’s great on paper, but Will doesn’t like her OCD, her pamphlets, her scheduling, her cleaning…)
Mike tracks Tina down, and man, Tina has been nothing but a B all season long and I am sad for Jenna. Where is our dreamy-eyed girl in love from last year? Back and forth with let’s be civil in public! I can’t be civil in public! until Tina storms off. What is going on? Come on, writers, squeeze a line in. She won’t audition because she doesn’t want to be in the show with Mike. Eye roll.
Now we get to a really fun homage to the actual musical of Grease. The directors can’t decide on leads, so they bring back Marley/Ryder and Jake/Kitty to see who has the best chemistry. Mercedes leads them off with “Hand Jive,” which is one of the most fun numbers in the whole musical. They do a great job of the Cha Cha-Danny-Sandy love triangle, with the extra fun of Ryder, and I just miss the dancing talents of Brit and Mike, you know? It’s just… they’re not at that level yet.
But it’s sweet, and Jake actually sabotages himself and Kitty to make Marley and Ryder the real contenders and aww. That’s sweet.
A little side step with Finn talking to Unique about him wanting to give her the part of Rizzo, as long as she can take the heat. And here’s where I really wish Alex Newell was a better actor. This should be a really gut wrenching moment as Unique gets emotional about the stress of not having a place to fit in, about not having a bathroom to use, never feeling right in her own skin, but it’s so poorly emoted and delivered that I’m cringing for the actor instead of really aching. I ache in real life, don’t think I don’t, I’m just saying that I’m not the target for that conversation. It needs to be heard by people who don’t understand, and if you can’t act it out, they can’t get the message.
The official Cast List goes up, and I am so happy that Sugar is going to be Frenchie, I can’t even tell you. She looks like Didi Conn. That is some perfect casting right there. Brit will be Cha Cha (of course), Blaine is a reluctant Teen Angel (in more ways than one), and Ryder and Marley will be the leads. Kitty pisses and moans about being Patty Simcox (the buxom pony-tailed blonde do-gooder). And what gives? She prayed, like, really hard about getting Sandy!
Joe: Maybe he was too busy helping people with cancer? (Sam and Blaine give matching “So there!” faces)
Emma, back at home, is baking up a storm, stressed about not wanting to go to DC. After some back and forth she finally confesses to Will that she would be doing it for him, but she would end up resenting him. And he magically understands and stops pushing, realizing that they can get married after a few months, there is Skype and phone calls and visits, and they’re actually adults and this is just a few months. They’ll be fine.
The next day, he talks to Finn in the choir room about leaving. But don’t worry, he is passing the torch to Finn. Because Finn is special, and more importantly, has the #1 requirement to be a Glee Coach: he is unfulfilled. And since it’s evidently not an actual class (since when?) and just an after school thing, he can be the coach without being a certified teacher.
“And I think it’s about time you called me Will.” He turns the lights down low and sits next to Finn, his heart beat quickening. “There’s no greater joy than helping a young boy turn into a man.”
How very Sandy Reyerson of you, Will! Well, their relationship started inappropriately, so I guess it needs to end that way? (I don’t think Schue is leaving for good, he has to come back for the wedding, I assume.)
So next up will be some fun Grease moments and some Kate Hudson/Body smut. Whoo hoo!