Glee! 3.1 – The Purple Piano Project

Is there anything worse than being slushied by a Ginger-mullet?

New Season!  New Gameboard! New characters!  Let’s get right to it, but make sure to get your new game card (notice there are some changes to what we drink for) and today’s cocktail is based on my own personal favorite performance of the episode, and the mythos behind the original singer, the Unusual Panty Dropper.


It’s the yearly “What did you do for your summer vacation?” video interviews with Jacob Ben Israel Schlomo Bashansky Stereotypeberg. He starts off asking “Who will succeed and who will fail?” Cut to Finn, looking nervous. “Finn Hudson, mediocre football player, mediocre Glee lead…” Poor Finn, he just looks caught in the headlights. He’s more of a day to day type thinker, I think we all know this.

Mike, with Tina, says that his mother hasn’t decided if he’ll go to Harvard or Stanford. Yes, Mike is a senior. We get a big anvil over the head that Tina is a junior (really?) as is Artie (really?!) Even Jacob didn’t know that about Artie. “It’s the chair, it adds a year.”

Rachel and Kurt, totally working the camera and their poses to hilarious effect, tell him that they plan on applying to New York-based art schools (sneeze-Julliard!) Kurt goes on to say that his big plans include being married by thirty le-gal-ly! I had to laugh at his “Put a ring on it” finger waggle.

Mercedes is asked if it’s true that she and Sam are dating, but Chord Overstreet was given a pink slip, so no, that’s not true. She has a new man, the soft-voiced Marcus who says he knows she’s a star and “When you win that first Grammy? We’re gonna make beautiful cocoa babies.” I love that Mercedes gets a love story, but man, this was pretty whiplashy. Sorry, Sam.

He then asks Brittany and Santana (arms linked [DRINK!]) what their plans for the future are. “Wait, are you working on a time machine, too?” [DRINK] Jacob wraps it up with a last look at Finn, who gets douched by slushies by the whole hockey team. “Taste the rainbow, Glee-atch!”

Will and Emma are an item still. She also still has OCD and won’t kiss in the morning without brushing her teeth. (Maybe that’s more about him than her?) They have a little routine that look boring and perfunctory already and it’s just episode 1. They make each other’s lunches in Superman/Wonder Woman lunch boxes. Really?

In school, Will has set all of their trophies out in the middle of the room. Brittany looks at them and says, “I was sure our Nationals trophy would grow during the summer.” [DRINK] He is going to push them hard this season, no more of this pipe dream I can do more than this stuff, he promises. Rachel says how sorry she is that the man that replaced him on “Crossrhodes: The April Rhodes Story” won the Tony.

They then rehash the “Kiss that Missed” – the big passionate lip-smack at Nationals. Kurt mentions how pithy the comments on YouTube are: “Why is the T-Rex eating the Jew?” Finn and Rachel seem to be happy and secure with themselves, a nice change of pace. We also learn that Lauren is gone, she dumped Puck because show choir was ruining her rep. (In her Team Edward fanclub? As president of Lonely Hearts Club? Do the writers forget season 1 when they do this? Probably.)

Also missing is Quinn. Sad faces! Artie says no one has heard from her all summer, “It’s sad. I miss her.” Artie, I’m hoping this is your year, because I adore you.

Will has three console pianos brought in, all painted in shades of purple. Yeah, that should help the kids. This week’s assignment is that he’ll randomly place those in the school, and every time someone sees them, they’re to bust out some music. This will show the school how amazing they are (will it?) and encourage them to join up for Glee, because with three people down, they need to recruit.

Rachel and Kurt go to Emma for advice, and Emma says how pleased she is that they finally got together, they’re the one combination that hasn’t happened yet! Ahaha. They try and correct her, but she hands them a pamphlet (new pamphlet!) that’s titled: Me And My Hag. Now, a comment on the drawing. The girl is fabulous and the gay boy on the cover looks like a CHAV’s granny. What on earth?

They talk about how they want to apply to Julliard, but Emma says something WRONG, that Julliard doesn’t have a musical theater department. I’m sorry, is opera not musical theater? Is musical theater not musical theater? Because they have that, it’s their Vocal Arts degree. Anyhoo. She instead suggests that they channel their energy into New York Academy of Dramatic Arts, which is quite elite: only 20 new students accepted every year. Fortunately, there’s a gathering of potential candidates that will be meeting up at a local hotel this week, and maybe they should go and check out the competish? “Yay! Yay college!” Emma cheers.

Sue checks the latest political polls.

  1. I don’t care, please stop calling during dinner
  2. Rapist in Prison
  3. Undecided
  4. Sue Sylvester

She realizes that she needs to be against something, not for something, like her previous pro-deportation stance. (Cough, what about the whole “Special Needs” platform because of your sister? Sorry, this pisses me off that they dangled that important carrot.) Becky offers a suggestion:

“What about toast? Bread’s already been baked, I don’t get why you need to cook it again?”

I love you, Becky. So does Sue, that twisted genius excites her. She hears a jangly piano with “Chopsticks” being played on it. By the Asian kids. (Really?) Sue marches over with some shears and cuts all of the piano wire with them, ripping them out of the top access panel. “Sorry I just realized that song might be the National Anthem of whatever country you’re from.”

Mike, shocked, says, “That’s really racist.”

She was moved by them helping her with her sister’s funeral and all, but she’s spent all year being nice to them, and that ends now. But…it’s only the second day of school? They race off and a Geometry teacher gives Sue praise for standing up to those art kids. They always think they’re above the rules, huh? LIGHTBULB.

Kurt and Blaine are at the Lima Bean (anyone catch the elderly couple that’s always there? Except they’re outside now?) Blaine comments on how quiet Kurt is being, but no, he’s not being quiet, he’s being passive aggressive. It’s been two days of school and Blaine hasn’t made a decision yet. What’s this decision? Why, to quit his prestigious private school that will look amazing on college applications and transfer to a backwater public school with a lousy track record, of course!

Guys, I love Klaine [DRINK], I love them together, but there is no way his parents should allow this. Kurt doesn’t want them competing against each other, and they make light of this, but really. This is a lousy way to bring him to McKinley. Did his parents fall on financial straights? Get separated? Someone died? These are valid reasons to not stay in an expensive school, not “wanting to see your boyfriend every day.” Kurt even says that he wants his senior year to be magic. WRITERS: STOP. That’s a cheat, and we all know it.

Quinn strolls into the school with a new bad girl look that is very 80s Madonna. [DRINK] They should have let her have hairy armpits, too. Pink hair, nose ring, bad ass attitude, and a whole new way of talking slowly. Santana and Brittany try and convince her to join the Cheerios so they can be the Unholy Trinity again. Brittany says, “We used to be the 3 Musketeers, but now Santana and I are Almond Joy and you’re a Jolly Rancher that fell into an ashtray.” [DRINK] Quinn is tough now, guys. She’s not gonna dance through your cool kid hoops anymore, okay? She has a nose ring and a black tee shirt with the sleeves rolled up.

She laughs at them and saunters off to join her new gang, The Skanks. They’re dirty, slutty, and proud of it.[DRINK] Rachel finds them under the bleachers and nervously approaches. She knows they’re not super close, but Glee was…is a family, and Quinn is a part of that. Maybe Rachel should have said something when Quinn dropped out of society over the summer and “started dating that 40 year old skateboarder,” but she’s here now, and they all miss her.

Besides, they’re going to do a cool Go-Gos number soon, and who doesn’t like the Go-Gos? One of the Skanks says, “I prefer the Bangles.” Well, that tells me everything I need to know about you, girlfriend. You go on and Walk Like An Egyptian while I’ll sing the amazing and sexy “Turn Into You.” (My fave Go Gos song.)

Rachel tries one last time: “I’m sorry you’re so sad, Quinn. I’m sad to not see you in the choir room. We’re a family, this is out year to get it right.” Quinn looks on without saying anything, the shades making it hard to know if she’s pissed or really, really lonely.

Evening news picks up at “…making it the zoo’s bloodiest weekend in six years.” It’s always the zoo, and it’s always six years. That is a steady joke that cracks me up every time. Sue’s Corner tonight is all about how the arts are stealing important money from schools, taxpayer dollars that should be going to insure that all kids can read at or above their grade level. Her platform: DESTROY GLEE CLUB. And Art Club. And Drama. And Music. Etc.

Will storms into Figgins’ office the next morning, riled up. He of course takes this personally. This is his job! And kids in arts programs have the lowest number of substance abuse! (“Tell that to Janis Joplin.”) This is threatening his livelihood just when he and Emma are thinking of starting a family. Then the most inappropriate conversation ever happens when Sue asks how things in the bedroom are for him and Emma, and Will answers her that it isn’t great. Principal Figgins is sitting two feet away, and I’m sure he loves this. [DRINK]

Sue brings Becky and Santana in her office, and encourages them to wet themselves with excitement, she’s put down the plastic: they’re both co-captains of the Cheerios this year. Outrage! Chromosomal slurs! (Damn, Glee, you’re really going on the attack this episode.) Sue quietly says to Santana, “You like playing both sides, right?” Ahem. So which team is she going to be on this year? “Team Sue.”

The Gleeks are having lunch when Rachel asks why they haven’t done anything about the piano in the lunch room. Um, because they don’t want to be killed? Finn says Rachel is right, let’s do this! They all bust out a great performance of the Go Go’s “We Got The Beat” with Brittany rocking out, Mercedes singing to her man, and Rachel up on tables, dancing. They sound as great as they ever have, but the crowd is as stony-faced as ever, unfortunately.

Becky walks up to Rachel and throws something green and slushy on her cream dress, inciting a food fight. Well….crap. Pandemonium breaks out in the cafeteria, Kurt crawls to safety with a tray up to protect his face, Rachel stands screaming and crying, and Brittany twirls in a circle in the middle of the mess, ahahaha. Brittany is MVP of this episode so far.

In the music room, Brittany picks food out from her uniform front. “I have pepperonis in my bra.” Santana makes a face, “Those are your nipples.” Ha! The kids complain to Will for his “brilliant recruiting plan” when some girl struts in. She’s a bit of an asshole, but says that’s okay because she has “self-diagnosed Aspergers.” Um, y’all know I have thoughts on this, see Drunken Thoughts after the recap. She says that she realized that she was better than all of them after seeing their performance, so she’s ready to show them what she’s got.

Funny moment: her flirting with Tinkles (Brad) on the piano. She tells them to get ready for some “sweet ear candy” and launches the worst performance of “Hey, Big Spender” in the history of performances, and guys, I seriously used to Emcee the Miss Utah pageant and saw a girl show off ribbon tied quilts as her talent. Basically it’s hilarious.

She waits for them to send her the rehearsal schedules, and Rachel cuts in, “Um, we’ll be in touch.” Will says that he can’t not let her in, he has a policy! Everyone can get it, right? What about that whole first day of “Nothing will stop us from winning Nationals?” Because Sugar is definitely not Nationals material, and he needs to know it. Funny moment 2: Brittany loving Sugar’s performance. Brit loves all of the performances.

Will tells Coach Beiste (yay Dot-Marie!) that this girl was terrible, but how can he crush some kid’s dreams? Beiste says, like this: Hammer to the sack of piggies, squeeeeeeeee! Hey, he has a team to run, and if they win, he just guaranteed that he’ll have a job for 10 more years. Emma comes in and says Sue moved up in the polls to be at #5, above “Anyone White.” Yep, they’re hitting everyone hard this ep.

Rachel and Kurt work on their NYADA mixer performance, full of themselves and their talent. They knock out a jazzy version of “Ding-Dong The Witch Is Dead” and while the vocals are great (look at who we’re talking about, they sound wonderful together) the dance is silly, the costumes are goofy, but it’s supposed to be. We’re supposed to see that they’re half-assing it, because they know how good they are. But the song is cute.

Sue, Becky, and Santana hold tryouts, not to let anyone in, just to watch people cry. Sue has no intention of letting anyone new on the team. Emma and Will show up in the middle and start recording Will “glitter bombing” Sue, trying to show how she’s destroying the dreams of kids everywhere. He dumps a bucket of gold glitter all over her head. In your FACE.

We have a close up on some tight red pants with a white belt and yellow shades, another shot of some shoes and bare ankles, and then a broad shouldered boy straightening a bow tie. Blaine Anderson is in the building. Kurt thinks he’s there for support when Blaine says, “For someone who loves clothes so much, I can’t believe you haven’t noticed I’m not in my Warbler’s outfit.”

Yes. He has left Dalton and is now at McKinley. Kurt is overwhelmed with excitement, then worry. He hopes Blaine isn’t doing this just for him, because although that is romantic he worries it could leave to resentment, which could lead to anger, which could lead to the Dark Side of the Force, and Blaine would look horrible in a black cowl and wrinkled, burned features! Blaine assures him that yes, he did it for Kurt. Because of love.

GUYS. Again. I love Blaine being in all the episodes, but this is such a writer’s cheat! But still, Klaine! [DRINK] But I know that the internet is already on fire with commentary on how Blaine is dressed, bow ties are Kurt’s thing, etc., so here’s my theory: he wants to please Kurt with his clothes, it’s a bit of a nod to his whole 60’s movie star looks, and he’s used to wearing ties to Dalton, so a bow tie is a transition to street clothes. (Also, those pants give me feeeelings, because the boy is handsome, I’m sorry.)

Kurt says he’ll think of a way to ease Blaine into New Directions. Oh, Blaine’s got this covered. Cut to the courtyard where he sings “It’s Not Unusual” by Tom Jones, with the Cheerios providing hot back up dancing for him. It’s adorable and hilarious, and Finn sees how much of a showman Blaine is and gets nervous, Santana flirts delightfully with Blaine, and Kurt is wearing a horrible quarter-waistcoat thing that just hangs in front of him. [DRINK]

The Cheerios squirt something on the piano (lighter fluid) while Blaine wraps up the number with a bow, and Quinn, watching this whole time, flicks a cigarette onto the piano, which goes up in a blaze. Uh oh. (Also, did you see the 40 year old man on alto-sax? Stranger Danger at the high school!)

Rachel and Kurt head to the mixer, confident they’ll blow everyone away. What they find is a room full of Rachels and Kurts, but amplified. Oh…dear. They want to know the Gleek’s credentials, and then launch into a “little number they’ve been working on” and blow the lid off a great performance to a mashup of “Anything Goes-Anything You Can Do.” It’s every bit as good as the performance on the Tony’s, albeit with all Kurts and Rachels. One of the Glee Project runners-up is the Rachel here, and she’s pretty damn great. Nice footwork, kids.

Rachel and Kurt are devastated, and hide in Rachel’s car, sobbing. They feel utterly humiliated to think that they were such hot-stuff, when it’s only at McKinley where they’re hot. Outside, they’re “not even stuff.” Well, the only thing that’s left for them is a life of community theater. There’s always a performance of Nun-Sense or Bye-Bye Birdie to keep them busy. Kurt says it’s time to stop this stinkin’ thinkin’, and he’s putting an end to this pity party. Rachel is one in a million, and she will make it, and that’s all there is to it. She is going to NYC.

“You make me want to be your boyfriend,” Rachel sniffs.

They smile and try to pull themselves together. But what about my boy Kurt, lady? “You’re getting in, too.” But Kurt is short on extra curriculars, so maybe something in Student Council? (Oh, writers, how did you forget Prom Queen? There better be some back story coming for this to make sense.) Most important: they pinky swear/spirit finger promise they’ll do it together.

The next day, Emma tells Will how hot all of this “man of action” stuff is, and to turn that frown upside down and go break that child’s heart today! Rawr, go get ’em, Tiger! Will finds Sugar and says that he’s sorry, she’s not good enough for Glee. “Obviously your ears are busted because I worked that song like a hooker pole!” Ahahaha. He sticks to his guns, she can’t sing, he appreciates her confidence, and he’s willing to work with her?

Uh, he’s a Lima Loser, everyone knows it, and he can sit and spin for all she’s concerned, she knows she’s amazing, and he’s never even won Nationals. “Not. Aspergers.” Oh, good to know your being mean is just you being mean. (Sorry, my son was sad. I have to say this.)

Blaine comes in to Glee to some fanfare (mostly from Kurt) and Puck gives a great “wha?” face. Finn doesn’t like this, not one bit. What, Hudson-Hummel alliance, what?! He thinks Blaine set that piano on fire like a typical Warbler “bells and whistles” performance. (I’m sorry, what?!) Blaine says that he absolutely did not do that, and Santana backs him up, smugly saying it was a political protest. [DRINK]

Will wants to talk to her about that, actually. She’s out. She’s banned from Glee until she figures out how to be loyal. Buh-bye. Santana is pretty shocked that her usual “But Sue made me!” excuse isn’t working. Brittany didn’t participate, so that doesn’t hold water with him. Speaking of, that’s why Brit didn’t. “I’m a water-sign, so…” [DRINK]

Mercedes supports this whole “allegiance/loyalty” thing, for one. Will plays on one of the BROKEN PIANOS WITH STRINGS HANGING OUT OF IT. Sorry, but you cannot play a stringless piano. Sigh. Rachel changes tack by bringing up how they need to secure an amazing musical for this year, “West Side Story.” Of course she wants to be Maria. Kurt also makes an announcement that he’ll be running for class president. This should end well.

Rachel wants to get the ball rolling, and starts singing a slow version of “You Can’t Stop The Beat” from Hairspray, to “ Five! Six! Seven! Eight!” regular tempo with everyone joining in on the stage in purple outfits (they’re back to putting Kurt in Mr. Furley scarves [DRINK]) I love these fun numbers they do. More ensemble pieces!  Oh, I failed to mention that Mike, hand up his shirt, makes a Herp-Derp face, so.  [DRINK!]

Quinn watches them perform in  secret, sitting up  in the rafters.  She’s without sunglasses. So you can see how lonely she is. (I’m excited about new Quinn Fabray, not gonna lie.)


Drunken Thoughts: So my son has Aspergers, as does my brother. And I get that they’re making fun of this girl, that she’s supposed to be unlikeable because she says that she’s “Self-Diagnosed.” But my son watched that and got really upset. Why? Because he still gets called “retard” and is treated like an outsider because people don’t know what Aspergers is. Yes, there’s a bluntness to AS, but hmm. I’m watching this one closely. All I know is that I had to prepare my kid for school today, knowing he was going to be compared to Sugar Motta.


Next Week: Shelby returns! Baby drama with Quinn! And I’m guessing that Kurt and Blaine fight over leads.


So what did you think? Also, let’s not have spoilers in comments without SAYING SPOILER before and after, so the folks that like to be spoiler free can keep enjoying the discussion. So? Like? Dislike? More shimmy hip shakes in tight red pants?