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You Can't Always Get What You Want

By Andrew J. Stride | TV | December 14, 2009 |

By Andrew J. Stride | TV | December 14, 2009 |

Woo-hoo Sectionals! Excited? Open on Artie, Tina, Kurt, and Mercedes in the rehearsal room debating over who Will Schuester’s replacement for sectionals is going to be. Rachel Berry impedes on their conversation to ask if anyone else has noticed the peculiarities of how Puck and Quinn’s relate to each other in regards to Quinn’s well being. The mood of her glee-mates quickly changes and they deny any knowledge of it, but nothing can fool Rachel’s sixth sense. Making excuses, they hurry off to leave Rachel and her supernatural powers behind (she sees unfaithful people!).

In a six-way phone conversation, the aforementioned students, as well as the two Cheerio moles Brittany and Santana discuss this new dilemma. Apparently, Mercedes has been busy running her mouth, and all of them have been extremely selfish. It seems the team camaraderie only extends as far as the performances. If Rachel discovers the truth that Puck is really the father of Quinn’s baby, any hope at winning sectionals is over.


Back in Emma’s office, Will can barely mask his enthusiasm when Emma tells him she postponed the wedding to take the Glee students to sectionals. Ken of course, was furious. Being an idiot is not one of his 74 flaws; he knows she’s doing it for Will and not just the students.

Meanwhile, Rachel devises a fairly clever plan. She frightens Quinn by warning her about a rare and fatal genetic disorder, Tay Sachs disease. Thankfully, Rachel suddenly remembers it can only be carried if one of the parents is Jewish. Of course that’s no comfort to Quinn, who immediately asks Puck to take her for testing, that is if his busy fight club schedule allows it (you broke the first rule, Puck). As Rachel keeps an ear to their conversation, Will Schuester enters and announces that Emma Pillsbury will be taking the students to Sectionals. He then tears up like a six-year-old at a hamster’s memorial service, and says goodbye. Without Will’s direction, the students quickly begin to quarrel over what numbers will make it into the competition. Challenging Rachel over her ballad solo, Mercedes breaks into ”And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” from the musical Dreamgirls. It’s probably her best performance this season which showcases her strong voice, and vocal control. The class is definitely impressed, and Rachel does the diplomatic thing by giving the ballad performance to Mercedes without challenge.

After class, Finn mentions that was pretty big of Rachel, and she admits she did it for the sake of team unity. Despite how bad the last couple of weeks have been for poor Finn, he is still excited for sectionals. Personal feelings however are not above the greater good of the team, and Rachel finally does what should have been done weeks ago; she tells Finn the truth about “his” child.

Finn snaps, as he likely should, and moments later has Puck pinned to the floor in a savage beating. Most likely it’s for the whole pregnancy thing, but Puck also needs to learn not to break the first rule, you do not talk about fight club. Will Schuester returns to break it up, but Finn is still enraged; he wants to hear the truth from Quinn herself. After months of deception, she finally admits that indeed Puck is the father of her child. Finn storms off, he is done with Quinn, Puck, and all of Glee.

Afterward, Rachel finds Quinn to apologize, but Quinn isn’t mad at her; Rachel only did what Quinn didn’t have had the courage to do. Sharing a moment of honesty, Quinn admits she should have handled things differently, and Rachel admits her intentions were to win the love of Finn. Puck then enters as Rachel leaves, and the two share a brief silent moment of shame and disgust. This time, without stealing books or selling drugs, Puck tries once again to take responsibility for their child. Even though she has no place to stay, no one to adopt her child, and no family to turn to, Quinn still would rather face this problem alone.

That Saturday morning, a group of mournful looking students load onto the wheelchair-accessible bus funded by Puck’s drug money. Will is there to see Emma and the kids off, including creepy Jacob, who takes over as a prop 12th member in place of Finn’s absence. Fittingly enough, “LIMA” is written on the side of the bright yellow and black school bus.

At the Western Ohio High School Show Choir Sectionals, the students wait nervously as Emma checks them in. Even though they will be performing last, are down an essential team member, and have no coach, they still do their best to keep a positive vibe. Unfortunately, things are about to get a whole lot worse.

(Un)Coincidentally, Jane Adams Academy performs “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” which Mercedes had just been elected to sing earlier. That may have been a coincidence, but when they next perform “Proud Mary” while all in wheelchairs, the students realize they have been sabotaged. It’s a little surprising that Grace Hitchens (the Jane Adams choir instructor) decided to cheat, but even more surprising that none of the performances included stripper poles. The kids freak and Emma is desperate for help. Will tells them to hold tight, he might have a way to help.

(Un)Coincidentally again, Sue just so happens to be at the school. She makes no effort to hide the fact she’s gloating over the Glee Club’s soon to be loss at sectionals. It turns out her motives were purely selfish, and the money funneled from her Cheerios to help support the Glee kids will soon come to an end. She also lays into Schue about his failed marriage, loss of coaching, and choice of lesbian hair style, something Sue should look into a mirror before accusing others of. Letting her walk away, Will proves to be the bigger lesbian, but part of me wishes he’d gone Finn Hudson on her ass.

As Will finds Finn cleaning out his football locker in the locker room, the two share another father/son bonding moment. Finn is rightfully upset, but the best Will can offer is that sometimes being special sucks, “You can’t always get what you want.” Leaving his car keys on the bench, Will lets Finn decide what is best.

Back at sectionals, Emma confronts Grace Hitchens and Mr. Rumba, Havenbrook’s choir instructor. Poor guy lost half his hearing and now half his pretzel. Emma tries to make them feel guilty for encouraging the students to cheat, don’t stop believing in your students. Ironically, “Don’t Stop Believing” is Havenbrook School for the Deaf’s first number, and now with three numbers stolen from them, Rachel calls for an emergency meeting in the green room.

Bickering amongst each other, they rightfully accuse Brittany and Santana of aiding Sue Sylvester in her sabotage. Santana professes her innocence and love for Glee, and Britney is too lovably dumb to stay mad at. To solve this, they will need to perform three new numbers. Rachel asks if Mercedes has another ballad, but she relents that nothing could compare to what Rachel can offer. Rachel might just have something she’s worked on since age four, and she is finally acknowledged as the group’s star. Queen’s “Somebody to Love” can round out the set, but they still come up one performance shy. Arriving unexpectedly, Finn Hudson enters offering back his goofy-adorable charisma, and a new number. Thankfully, Jacob and his jewfro won’t have to wander around on stage looking awkward; he can go back to the audience and look awkward. Finn and his new sense of confidence help breathe life back into the frantic Glee Club, but for Puck and Quinn it doesn’t mean forgiveness.

As Will Schuester nervously listens over the phone (are armed guards with photos of his face guarding the doors?), the McKinley High New Directions are called to the stage. Bursting from the curtains behind the audience, Rachel Berry belts out a pitch perfect performance of “Don’t Rain On My Parade” from the musical Funny Girl. This style of show tune is perfectly fit to Grammy Award winner Lea Michele’s voice and attitude, who got her start at age 9 performing on Broadway.

Her performance is immediately followed with Finn Hudson’s new song proposal and Mr. Schuester’s advice for life, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” by the Rolling Stones. It must have been a sound mixer’s nightmare to piece together the various singing styles of the group, but almost each member’s voice and personality can be distinguished. It’s probably the best performance they’ve had in which both their individual talents, and the ability to harmonize as a group, are showcased.

After all the performances, the most screwed up assortment of jurors since Brown vs. Simpson delegate the fate of the next Western Ohio High School Show Choir Sectionals champion. Thankfully the image of a guy being stabbed at Altamont Speedway takes precedence over the scantily clad Jane Adams girls in Rod Remington’s mind; the Rolling Stones just may be the winning ticket McKinley needed. Feeling some remorse for cheating, Jane Adams’ Grace Hitchens has also decided to turn herself in for cheating, but it’s a case of too little too late, the decision has already been made.

Back in what remains of the Schuester household, Will dresses in the finest tux a school teacher’s salary has to offer. Terri enters, home early from work, and the two are forced to recognize the elephant not in the room. She’s seeking therapy, as a legitimately insane person should, but it doesn’t do anything for Will. No matter how hard he tries, he can’t get that feeling of love back when he looks at Terri.

Arriving late for the wedding, Will finds that he and Emma are the only dearly beloved gathered there that day. Apparently, postponing the wedding to a man she’s refused to touch or introduce to her family in favor of helping a man with whom she’s been flirting with for the past several years was too much for Ken, and he finally dumped her. At a quiet table in the middle of the VW, Emma professes that all this time she has been secretly in love with Will (these two pick the most romantic hotspots). Also she can’t continue to work at a school with one former fiancé, and a love interest that is still married; Emma has sent her resignation to Principal Figgins as well. That does make sense; it’s probably not what you want your school’s guidance councilor to be known for. Once again, Will lets Emma walk away, but not without letting her know she makes a beautiful bride.

In Figgin’s office on Monday, just like a politician caught with her hand in the cookie jar, Sue Sylvester denies everything despite infallible proof. This time Figgin’s doesn’t let it slide, this was an inexcusable offense. He orders a full school suspension for Sue as well as her removal as Cheerios coach. He also contacted the Ohio show choir board and straightened everything out; Will is back on as the Glee Club coach. Outside Figgin’s office, Sue threatens that victory is to be short lived. She going to regroup and lounge, maybe put on a couple of pounds, and the Sue Sylvester express will return, destination: horror.

Returning for his first practice as newly reinstated coach, Will is greeted by the reunited Glee Club, and a trophy for first place. They also have a put together a special number in honor of his return, the appropriately titled “My Life Would Suck Without You” by Kelly Clarkson (brought to you by FOX!). A fun performance by the group, you can tell the choreography was a mishmash of moves each cast member decided to throw together. Will also realizes his life would suck without a certain guidance counselor in his life, and he runs down the halls of McKinley to finally stop her from walking out on his life. Without a word, Will kisses her in the empty halls.

Wow, almost all the loose ends were tied together in an amazing mid-season finale. The fate of Quinn and child is still unknown, and I expect that therapy won’t fare too well as an extremely scornful Terri Schuester will most likely return. Fake pregnancy or not; Will is still married to her. Hooking up with Emma only validates her reasoning for creating the faux-pregnancy drama in the first place. Otherwise, it’s nice that the group finally rallied behind Rachel and Finn, forgiving most of their differences (except of course with Quinn and Puck). I can’t wait for more performances, crazier love dramas, and more Sue Sylvester when Glee returns in April 2010.

Andrew J. Stride lives in Omaha, somewhere in middle America. You can email him or leave a comment below.

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