The kiss squee’d around the world! The loser songs! Tea Party jokes! This episode has them all. Since the vast majority of cocktails up until this point have been original, I want to have something straight-up celebratory. Sparkling Flower. (I will neither confirm nor deny that I’ve looked at some Georgia O’Keeffe today.)
Today’s free space is to drink when The Moment happens. And then happens again.
Blaine opens the door to the common room at Dalton and throws a bunch of papers in the air to signify his solo. The janitor snaps the handle of his push broom in half. (He was hovering in the hallway, because he pretty much shadows Blaine at this point, that boy is always jumping on things, walking on the furniture, it’s maddening!) Blaine sings “Misery” by Maroon 5, and his voice is a perfect fit, even if the song might feel like a dig at one fabulous countertenor. [DRINK]
Kurt rolls his eyes at the tossed papers, at Blaine walking around singing with verve, even though Kurt sometimes sways along with the other Warblers, but it’s in a mocking way, and he grinds his teeth a bit when Blaine lays his head on Kurt’s shoulder during one particular line. Not fair, Blaine, when he’s told you that he’s romantically interested in you! At one point there’s a soul train, and it’s adorable how these (mostly) white boys, one resembling a bleached cockatoo, rock out. When the song ends, Blaine declares this their opening number for Regionals. Everyone (minus Kurt) is excited.
Blaine notices that Kurt has Pavarotti’s birdcage with him and that it’s covered in a Burberry-esque material. Ha, of course it is. He also notices that Kurt is less than enthused about this performance. Kurt gets his ‘If I May?’ voice on.
“Can I be honest with you? Because it comes from a place of caring. Been there, done that. You’re amazing, your solos are breathtaking…and numerous.” Ooooh.
Blaine is affronted and asks if Kurt’s just jealous. “YES.” Kurt isn’t into being a Warbler if it means they’re more like the Pips to Blaine’s Gladys Knight. (Although I would give anything to see him sing “It Should Have Been Me.” Oh, that might need to be David Karofsky’s first solo! Work with me here.) You can tell that Blaine is not used to being challenged on things of this nature.
Back at McKinley, Rachel tries again with an original song, moving past the magical mystery that was “My Headband” with a number she’s calling “Only Child.” Best line in the song, “The only Berry on my family tree.” Finn offers critique in even, measured tones, “It still feels like you’re playing scared.”
“But I cry every single solo!” Not quite, I keep track with booze, Miss Rachel. But it’s close.
Quinn watches from the doorway and sees that they still have some chemistry, and starts getting nervous. She is not losing Finn this close to Prom Queen election (wow, she has lost all growth, huh?) and she wants a cheap, tacky, plastic Prom Queen tiara to go with the other crappy ones she’s won over the years. (Ultimate Grand Supreme, Western Ohio Junior Miss Division was her most memorable win. The first year she didn’t need a flipper.)
Prom Queens live, like, five years longer than regular people. (Smiling wards of germs, it’s a scientific fact, just like how menstrual blood makes sharks attack you. Even if you’re on land.) She realizes that Rachel and her stupid talent are standing in the way of her and Finn, so she’s going to keep her enemy closer. Get ready for a new BFF, Rachel Berry.
Kurt buffs his nails, whistling to his canary, Pavarotti. Except the bird doesn’t trill back. Because he’s lying on the bottom of the cage, dead. Oh, l’horreur!
The Warblers are having a heated council meeting, where Blaine is challenging the norm. “Gentlemen, I’m just suggesting that instead of wearing blue ties with red piping we wear jackets with red ties and blue piping!” My Chubby Warbler boo shouts, “This is a kangaroo court!” and the gavel bangs over and over for order. Kurt bursts in wearing a smashing black ensemble [DRINK] and I’ve only just noticed that he’s affixed a black ribbon with a skull pin to his lapel. Oh, Kurt Hummel, I adore you.
He tells them all, while holding back tears, that Pavarotti is dead. “I suspect a stroke.” Oh, bless, Kurt, not all loved ones die of strokes, your dad is going to be fine! He knows it was just a bird, but he was a Warbler, and he’d like to sing a song to him. He pulls out a tape from his jacket and sings a lovely cover to The Beatles “Blackbird.”
One, his voice is sublime here. Two, it’s lovely when the Warblers join in as backup, led by Blaine. Three, it’s outstanding when Blaine stops singing along and just sits transfixed, amazed by this emotional, talented, courageous boy pouring his heart out over a canary in front of a group of guys. Oh, are you catching up to what we’ve known all along, Mr. Anderson? It’s about damn time. Blaine’s face slowly moves from shock to the sweetest smile of realization.
Will tells the New Directions in class that he’s received a Cease and Desist letter from My Chemical Romance, banning the Gleeks from using “Sing.” Flashback to Will confronting Sue (who else would tell MCR?) and she informs Will that she told MCR all about his long legal battles with PETA. When you mess with the bull, you get the horns, William.
In class Quinn puts Operation Enemies Closer into play by telling everyone that they should support Rachel’s original song idea. Rachel is the most talented song writer, guys, and Quinn wants the two of them to team up. Everyone else jumps on the bandwagon, but they all want a chance to write a song. The more the merrier!
Later, Brit nervously approaches Santana in the hallway. “Did I do anything wrong?”
“I don’t know, did you?” Santana is not ready for anything less than a sorry and declaration of love. “You blew me off to be with Stubs McCripple Pants.” And since Brittany’s all about being with boys, then Santana and Sam are going to have the most amazing heterosexual song about heterosexuality that ever hetero’d! Sue pops up from nowhere and snipes at them for still choosing Glee over the Cheerios. “And in case you haven’t heard, I like to play dirty.”
The girls open their lockers and a mountain of dirt pours out of each, right into the girls’ faces. Brittany sputters, “I don’t even remember putting that in there!” [DRINK]
Back at Gay Hogwarts, everyone has decided that The Chosen One needs to just tell them all what to do. How would He like them to sway and bee-bop in the background, Oh Holy One? Blaine is grossed out by their fawning. Kurt’s constant standing up to him (or bitching about All UR Solos R Belonging To Blaine) is looking more and more appealing.
Funny moment: one Warbler saying that a particular song isn’t right for Blaine because it’s not in his natural key and the How dare you, sir!? reaction from another Warbler is hilarious. (I love the Warblers. Anyone not getting how tongue-in-cheek they are is just slow on the uptake.) The meeting is called back to order and Blaine says that they can’t just be his back up band, they need to make their big number a duo. Kurt leans forward and whispers to the council that he wants his name on the list for auditions.
Blaine says that won’t be necessary, because he wants to sing it with Kurt. Kurt, because he’s fair, says, “There are so many great voices, everyone deserves a shot at that honor!” Blaine puts it to a vote, and it’s unanimous. Everyone agrees Kurt should share the lead. Aww! I want to send him a Valentine with a cartoon train on it that says “I choo-choo-choose you!”
In Glee Santana shows off her amazing heterosexual song writing skills by playing “Trouty Mouth” in honor of Sam. It’s a juke joint number and she sounds great as usual [DRINK] but the lyrics…. Poor Sam, forced to sit in class pulling his lips in or covering them with his hand while everyone gapes at this very bad song. Memorable lyric: “If you tried hard enough you could suck a baby’s head, whoo!”
Well…that’s not quite right for Regionals. Puck, you mentioned you had a number? He does and it’s called “Big Ass…Heart.” Hurr. It’s a rockabilly style, so he gets to rock on the guitar, which is always nice, but I don’t know, guys, I don’t think he sounded that great. He sounded like he was really struggling to get the words out quickly in places. Also, the song is ridiculous, we know this. Also #2, since when does Lauren have a big ass heart in the first place? She’s mean as snake shit. That’s the point of her.
After class Finn and Quinn talk in the hallway about prom. Well, Quinn talks about prom, Finn could care less about winning any titles, he just doesn’t think it’s very nice to rub their relationship in Rachel’s face like Quinn seems to want to do. This type of thoughtfulness for another girl is something Quinn Fabray simply cannot allow, so she pulls out determined scary Quinn, Finn backs down and says they can go public after Regionals.
And Rachel comes out of a classroom, overhearing this, knowing that Finn’s officially with her rival.
Back at Dalton where they either have just the one common room or multiple common rooms that are decorated the exact same, Kurt sits at a table with a tackle box of seed beads and sequins and some craft glue. He’s bedazzling a casket for Pavarotti. Blaine comes in and tells Kurt that he’s trying to pick songs that have more emotion to them, like Kurt suggested. He’s looking forward to getting to practice their song, “Candles” by Hey, Monday.
Kurt asks why him, why did Blaine pick him without giving anyone else a chance? Blaine steels himself, takes a deep breath, and works out how to say one of the nicest things Kurt Elizabeth Hummel has ever been told by another human in his life, sans Burt Hummel.
“Kurt, there is a moment when you say to yourself, ‘Oh, there you are. I’ve been looking for you forever.’” He goes for broke and lays his hand tentatively on Kurt’s, then looks directly into his eyes, all cards on the table. Blaine scoots over a little closer to him. “Watching you do ‘Blackbird’ this week… that was a moment for me. About you. You moved me, Kurt, and this duet would just be an excuse to spend more time with you.”
Kurt, with his perfectly angelic face, not sure if this is even happening (those craft glue fumes can be pretty strong, it wouldn’t be the first time he’s hallucinated while crafting, I’m sure) holds his breath. As do fans of his all over the globe. You can see on his face that he’s completely flustered and trying to keep his emotions in check, he’s dazed and hopeful and afraid all at the same time. It’s quite a look, but we fans know he’s a terrific actor.
Blaine leans in and kisses him, really kisses him and Kurt exhales, his hand flexes and spasms (can I touch him? Is that okay to do? Is this really happening?) [DRINK!] Kurt kisses him back, hand on Blaine’s face (very lightly, is this what you do with your hands?) and they pause, taking a moment to catch their breath. Blaine smiles and shakes his head, slightly embarrassed. “Uh, we should practice.”
And the greatest line of the whole episode, “I thought we were?” Kurt smiles. And they kiss again, once more with feeling. [DRINK!]
We all need a moment to come down off that contact high, and what better way than to have Mercedes bust out a song she’s written, “Hell To The No!” [DRINK] I love me some Mercedes, and of course she puts some stank on it, puts her thing down, flips it and reversed it. But the song’s lyrics are pretty ridiculous. Pissed that people want her to eat Wheaties? So she doesn’t get diabetes? Hell to the no.
Will gives her praise for her singing (if not her song writing) and asks them to really dig deep. What’s their favorite song of all time?
Brittany, “My Headband.” [DRINK]
Santana, “Alanis Morisette’s ‘You Ought To Know.’” Hahaha.
Puck, “Marvin Gaye’s ‘What’s Going On?’”
Will asks, “And what are all of these songs about?”
Brittany, “Headbands.” [DRINK]
Pain. Emotion. Feelings. And yes, headbands. He gets them to name things Sue has done to them, like throwing sticks at them, filling their lockers with dirt, attempting to get them deported, swapping out their regular coffee with Folger’s Crystals. Horrible things like that. He writes on the white board, circling the words “LOSER LIKE ME.”
“Looks like we’ve got our song!”
Rachel joins Quinn on the stage’s piano for a song writing session. Rachel wants to get to brass tacks, after all, they kinda sorta bonded last year, what with Quinn giving Rachel’s mom her baby. So there’s no room for lying, right? So… is Quinn back with Finn?
Quinn looks her squarely in the face. “Yes. It’s like Groundhog Day with you, Rachel, how many times do you have to make the same mistakes to realize it’s not going to work out?”
Rachel knows that Finn had chosen her, picked her over Quinn last year, so Quinn needs to- “And how long did that last?” Quinn puts it out there for her. Rachel has talent. Rachel will actually be able to leave this two horse town and have a fabulous and interesting life. Quinn will follow lockstep behind every other Lima girl and marry her high school boyfriend, learn how to make 30 minute one pot meals and watch the clock tick down for the rest of her life. So Rachel can’t get mad at her for sending her on her way. Oh, there’s some bitterness in Quinn, and a massive amount of hopelessness. This is all she’s ever going to have. Rachel? The sky’s the limit for her, and they both know it.
Rachel decides to write something on her own, and as she turns on her heel to leave, bursts into tears. [DRINK] She works through her pain in her bedroom, sobbing as she writes draft after draft of something that she can pour every feeling about herself and her dreams into. [DRINK] The song is titled “Get It Right.”
It’s Regionals. (There’s a lot crammed in this episode, huh?) Sue tells Will that she is positively drunk with confidence. She forged that letter from MCR, but Will doesn’t care, her lies brought out the best in his kids, and they’re going to win. Oh, that’s precious, Sue tells him. She’s crafted a set list that is tailor made for that panel of judges.
Who are the judges? Rod Remmington, naturally, Tea Party Candidate and non-witch Tammy Jean Albertson, and former rider of the pole cum nun, Sister Mary Constance. (That was also her stripper name, strangely enough.)
Aural Intensity is up and they bust out an overly peppy version of “Jesus Is A Friend Of Mine!” with lots of fist pumping and precision dancing. They form a Star of David and end with a “Whoo!” The crowd loves it, especially Tammy Jean. Rachel tries to hide her laugh while sitting in the audience.
Backstage, the Warblers are prepping to perform next, and Kurt is beyond nervous. He’s never had a solo in a competition before. Blaine thinks it’s adorable, that he’s adorable, and after a friendly shoulder squeeze and an admonition to “kill this thing,” they take the stage. I wish I could love the song they sing together. I can’t, guys.
“Candles” is a cruddy song, and it’s a sad song about being sad and alone and wishing someone hadn’t left you, and where is my triumphant “two guys singing about their love to each other” number? What about Roberta and Peabo’s, “Tonight I Celebrate My Love?” Okay, that would have been hilarious. Or, hmm, “You’re All I Need To Get By,” because that would showcase their vocal strengths. Just…bad song choice, it does Chris Colfer no favors. They end the number and Rachel is the first to leap to her feet and applaud. I love it when she remembers they’re friends now.
The Warblers bust out another number, and they again make a ho-hum song much more enjoyable (even though nothing can be done about the unfortunate line “If you’re too school for cool”) by singing Pink’s “Raise Your Glass.’ The audience is on their feet, Blaine is the Ultimate Showman and nails it, and it seems like New Directions has some competition on their hands, because we don’t know if Trouty Mouth is going to get a chance to shine.
Backstage in the wings, Finn tells Rachel to break a leg. She tells him to listen closely, because she means every word of her song. She takes center stage, all alone (a theme she’ll experience throughout the rest of her life, I’m sure, the girl is a born performer) and starts singing her lovely song about always getting it wrong, pleading to know how many times does it take to get it right? Her voice is outstanding.
Kurt turns to Blaine in the audience, shocked that they’re doing original music, but seemingly happy for his former teammates. The other Gleek girls join Rachel on stage as backing vocals. Her song ends on a high, as Finn watches her, completely riveted by her performance, remembering why he loved her. And don’t think Ms. Quinn Fabray didn’t notice that.
The whole gang takes the stage and sings their big peppy number, “Loser Like Me,” a super catchy and fun number. The crowd loves it, Will is beside himself with pride in the wings, and the New Directions have a big finish of flinging slushie cups of glitter and confetti out to the audience. It’s cute.
The judges deliberate, and as expected, Tammy Jean is opposed to the “gay boys” singing to each other. Sister Mary is curious: is it a gay school, or does it just appear to be gay? (Sister Mary, if I may? That’s what fanfiction is for.) Rod tells them that his hairdresser, a gay, has been with his partner for 15 years. Also, a hairdresser. Ahaha. I love Rod.
The announcer wobbles on stage, completely trashed. “My husband is verbally abusive and I have been drinking since noon.” She jumps straight to the winner, no preamble. “THE NEW DIRECTIONS!”
The Gleeks are overjoyed, the Warblers are gracious losers, and Sue stomps over to the announcer and socks her so hard in the face, the announcer loses a shoe.
Back at Dalton, Blaine and Kurt are on the school grounds with a fabulously sparkled wee casket. It’s time to bury Pavarotti. Please notice that the grave marker is also be-jeweled. Kurt is upset, not just by the “funeral,” which Blaine quickly realizes is upsetting because Kurt must be thinking of his mother’s funeral, but also because Kurt just really wanted to win.
“You did. So did I. We got each other.” This kid, I’m telling you, he always knows how to say the most charming thing. Blaine Anderson, you are too much. Klaine-ship beats a lousy trophy any day. Blaine offers his hand, and they walk back to school together, literally and metaphorically.
In Glee, Will tells the group that he wants to start honoring an MVP after each meet. In a unanimous vote (meaning the winner also voted for themselves, ha) Rachel is this meet’s MVP. She jumps up to give a speech (making the group wish they’d thought this through) and she tells them how they’ve made her feel special and chosen, something she’s never felt her whole life. She smiles and thanks them all with tears in her eyes [DRINK!] and they all have a group hug.
Drunken Thoughts: Come on, are you kidding me? How romantic and sweet was that first kiss? That’s up there with the great TV kisses of all time, and that includes Sam and Diane’s “Are you as turned on as me?” “Even more!” kiss.
This was amazing when it first aired, and for me, it was amazing because I didn’t really think until after the scene was over that it was two males kissing in a romantic setting, it was just two people who care about each other. Which is always lovely. That’s how wonderful their slow build relationship is, you just root for them because they’re good people who deserve happiness. Oh, and it’s ground breaking television, too, and when I think about how important this is for some gay kid out in the middle of nowhere…. Well, there aren’t enough smiles.
I was on a trip when this episode first aired and my daughter (thirteen at the time) texted me “MOM OMG HAVE YOU WATCHED GLEEEEEEEE?” It was all her friends could talk about, both the boys and girls. That’s when you know we’ve accomplished something, when straight teen dudes in Texas think it’s great that two people so clearly in love got together, and aren’t fixated on them being gay.
Feel free to pour your Klaine hearts out to me in comments.
Next Episode: NIGHT OF NEGLECT! Sunshine comes back, as do a few other faces.