By Andrew J. Stride | TV | November 30, 2009 |
By Andrew J. Stride | TV | November 30, 2009 |
Open on Will Schuester in the faculty lounge reviewing some papers with a couple cookies and some milk. Unfortunately nothing ruins snacktime more than a run in with the school bully (Sue Sylvester) boasting about being named cheerleading coach of the decade in Splits magazine. Her real motive for visiting Will is to gather information about Glee’s plans for sectionals. Throwing her title of Fine Arts Administrator in his face, she will not take no for an answer. He suspects something, and with Sue you can never be too sure.
Will confides to Emma that Sue might be leaking the Glee Club’s setlist for sectionals to the other competing schools; Jane Adams Academy and Havenbrook School for the Deaf. Emma suggests a direct approach, visit each school personally and confront the directors point blank. Annnnnnd….
In his visit to Jane Adams, Will Schuester encounters more security checkpoints than a Middle Easterner flying Delta cross country for the holidays. And if the school didn’t seem tough enough, their Fine Arts Director is none other than former rap star Eve. A point-blank approach regarding Sue’s possible espionage doesn’t fair well, and Miss Hutchins lays on the guilt trip thick. Soon enough he’s apologetic and invites them over to use the rehearsal space in McKinley’s auditorium.
She accepts, and her class of thieves and arsonists are soon over to perform Beyonce’s “Bootylicious.” It’s very nice that Jane Adams Academy realizes the disadvantaged and dysfunctional backgrounds of these girls and helps nurture them for a future career in stripping. The choreography and skills of the dancers are great, but watching young women supposedly in high school help each other booty clap might make you feel as uncomfortable as Will does. Thankfully it’s an all-girls’ school.
Here it is in slow motion because Fox banned all the other links and some of you are into that sort of thing.
Will seems concerned and slightly sweaty after the performance. Fear not; Rachel breaks it down to being mostly smoke and mirrors, or in showbiz terms, “Hairography:” the use of flashy outfits and bouncy hair to distract from an otherwise average performance.
Of course this leads to Will over-thinking the problem and soon enough he acts on impulse, showing up to practice the next day with a new number for sectionals and a bag full of wigs. Despite Rachel’s objections, Will admits the Jane Adams girls freaked him out a little, and not just in a “cut a bitch” way.
Puck still hasn’t given up on being a father to his and Quinn’s child. Once again he tries to prove his ability to support with a stolen copy of How to Raise a Baby on Five Dollars a Day. I’m guessing that wasn’t one of the suggestions written on the inside cover. Quinn is also starting to have doubts about trusting her child to a woman so fearful of losing her marriage she fakes a pregnancy. She surmises that her problem may not be in keeping the baby, but with keeping her choice of a father, Finn Hudson. Something she has the luxury of choosing after the fact. Maybe if she can distract Finn, she can take Puck for a test drive. Eyeing her Glee classmates she spots Rachel; with a little work she might make a good distraction.
Not wanting to be directly involved in Rachel’s makeover, Quinn enlists the one person she knows with a keen sense of fashion, Kurt. He admits it won’t be easy, as Rachel “somehow manages to dress like a grandmother and a toddler at the same time.” He agrees to the challenge if only to help the future of Glee.
That night at the Schuester residence as Terri and her husband lie down to sleep, Will attempts to mount her bunker of pillows for a little intimacy. Being in the later stages of her faux-pregnancy, she quickly discourages his actions for fear of being found out. Will seems hurt, but as long as it will be all worth it when the baby arrives, he’s happy. Terri realizes how caring Will is and feels some remorse for her actions, but there is no turning back by this point. Much like Quinn, she needs to find a distraction for Will until this is all over.
Kurt meanwhile is doing his best to give Rachel a new look. He wants to broaden her appeal so all the boys in school will notice her, but she admits she only wants the attention of one, Finn Hudson. The reveal comes as a shock to Kurt who just happens to be madly in love with the same person. His tone changes quickly: the conservative look is out, dressing like a ho’ is in.
In a mall parking garage, Terri brings Will over to his new distraction, a vintage ‘68 Pontiac Firebird, the same as his old high school car which he affectionately refers to as the “Blue Bomber.” As Quinn and her sister Kendra unexpectedly show up, Terri sends Will back to the mall for a frozen yogurt. The reason for the surprise visit: Quinn has decided to keep her baby.
Back in his office, Will receives a visit from Mr. Rumba, the music director at Havenbrook. He’s a little miffed at not being included in sharing rehearsal space at McKinley. Michael Hitchcock is a great character actor and his portrayal of a mostly deaf choir teacher is fairly entertaining. Hopefully he has a scene or two with Jane Lynch.
Terri is freaking out and doesn’t know how to handle this new dilemma. Her sister, however, is a good improviser: if Quinn needs money, have her come over for the evening and babysit. What greater deterrent to motherhood than exposing her to three of the biggest reasons for birth control, her triplets.
Kurt was right about one thing; no better way to get a guy’s attention then a low-cut dress and high heels. Passing Finn in the halls of McKinley, Rachel asks him over on Friday and he is flabbergasted. In turn he asks Quinn if he can “ask her permission to maybe, do something on Friday night.” She quickly agrees and the plan goes into full effect when she in turn asks Puck if he’ll come babysit with her Friday night.
Back in Glee, Brittney breaks down the basics of Hairography, or as she puts it, a form of cool epilepsy. Through the window, Will catches Sue spying on the class. This time, he confronts her directly and in front of the group accuses her of trying to destroy Glee club. She snaps back with accusations that Will is trying to hide his students’ talent with demeaning fruity hair tossing. If he does not relinquish the set lists and drop the hairography, she’s back as co-director.
Friday night at Rachel’s house, Finn sits nervously in the bedroom Kurt recently referred to as the place where “Strawberry Shortcake and Holly Hobby come to hook up.” Remembering they performed “You’re the One that I Want” from Grease when Finn first joined Glee, Rachel comes out of her bathroom dressed like Olivia Newton John. They awkwardly sing to a cassette recording of the song, but Finn is quickly turned off by this. I know how it is, Finn; my first time singing show tunes in a girl’s bedroom was awkward and embarrassing too. Admitting he prefers old Rachel over her latest incarnation, Finn quickly runs out, leaving her to wallow in “Summer Nights” by herself.
Elsewhere, Puck and Quinn find babysitting Kendra’s kids isn’t just a challenge; it’s a lesson in animal control. Finding a way to keep Puck from his phone and the kids from burning down the house, Quinn lulls them into complacency with a lullaby, an acoustic version of Madonna’s “Papa Don’t Preach.” It’s actually the same song Madonna still uses to ensnare men half her age, so it’s appropriately inappropriate.
When Kendra returns home she’s shocked that Puck and Quinn got the kids to go to bed on time, and Terri seems genuinely impressed. Puck is also fairly confident that parenting is something the two of them can do together. Papa don’t preach; Quinn’s gonna keep her baby.
Back at school Rachel confronts Kurt about being set up to fail with Finn. She gets him to admit the truth, that he is in love with Finn as well and just wanted to eliminate the competition. Being boy or girl doesn’t matter though, the harsh reality is that Finn is having a child with Quinn, and the two of them are nothing but distractions.
They aren’t the only two fighting over a man, as it turns out Puck had been sexting (sexy texting) Santana the whole night while babysitting. Santana doesn’t take this well and warns Quinn to back off, as her sexts are too hot. Yes, the noun form of sexting is sexts, which would mean one would be sexting sexts. Also kids, be careful what you send: once it’s out there, there is no taking it back.
Havenbrook School for the Deaf visits the Glee club to watch them perform a rehearsal mash up of Beyonce’s “Crazy in Love” with the title song from “Hair.” It’s a bizarre combination of songs as the lyrics from the two do not mesh at all. Also if you watch it with the sound off you can see why the students from Havenbrook were a little freaked out. Artie and Mercedes still do a great job with their performance, but it doesn’t top “Proud Mary” from two weeks ago.
Luckily, Will seems to realize the failure of hairography after the performance, though I do like the wig on Mike Chang, it makes him looks like a younger Ong Bak.
The students from Havenbrook perform next, and deaf singer John Autry performs a solo of John Lennon’s “Imagine” as his other classmates accompany him through sign language. Soon Mercedes, Artie and the rest of Glee join in on a very memorable performance between the two schools.
After rehearsal Quinn storms over to Puck’s locker, grabbing his cell phone to review his text messages. Santana was right, her sexts were too hot for Puck to erase. His excuse is that he has needs. He wants be a good dad, but he won’t stop being himself to do it.
Quinn gives up, Terri can have her baby again as she will need a good father. Coming home early, Will is surprised to find Quinn in his living room with Terri. Standing up to leave, Quinn gives Will a big hug before heading out. Will also had a surprise for Terri: he traded his precious “Blue Bomber Two” for a used minivan. He doesn’t want anything to distract him from his family.
Back at school, Quinn asks Finn for forgiveness. Finn has to be honest with her first, and admits having gone over to Rachel’s house. Quinn is understanding, as well she should be, and despite all the lying and deceptions with Finn, they profess their love and walk arm in arm down the hallway. As they first pass Rachel Berry then moments later Kurt Hummel, both lovesick students stop dead in their tracks to watch. Rachel and Kurt share a mutual moment of understanding; they both are just passing distractions to Finn Hudson.
Will then visits Sue Sylvester, with an apology and a copy of Glee’s newest set list. He was so determined to win he took Glee in the wrong direction, which Sue helped him get back on track. Scrapping the showy hairography, he decides to replace it with some good old corporate sponsorship with Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors.” It’s an amazing performance to end the show with, featuring very strong lead vocals from Tina and solid backup vocals from the rest of Glee. There’s no choreography, except in dress, with each member dressed like a different color iPod Nano complete with iTunes visualizations playing in the background. At least we know where the school’s budget for the projector screens came from.
Sue had been undermining Will all along and gives his set list over to the music directors Grace Hitchens and Dalton Rumba. They are apprehensive at first, but Sue convinces them that they should never let anything distract them from winning, ever.
In all, it was a very fun episode with some wonderfully touching performances. Though the truth behind either pregnancy has yet to be revealed, at least it seems like Quinn is going to finally leave Puck alone for now. A test drive is what got you into this situation Quinn, now it’s time to check the CarFax. Will and Terri have also managed to make competent decisions regarding their soon-to-be child, despite the actions they have taken to get there. As for Sue’s motives, I can’t see what she could possibly gain from setting Glee up to fail; she must have another trick up her sleeve.
Andrew J. Stride lives in Omaha, somewhere in middle America. You can email him or leave a comment below.