By Andrew J. Stride | TV | October 19, 2009 |
By Andrew J. Stride | TV | October 19, 2009 |
Open on a slow motion bitch-fest between Will Schuester and Sue Sylvester. Though no words can be heard, neither participant is holding back, Sue shoves Will. Images of a gazelle being taken down by a mountain lion come to mind. When Principle Figgins assigned Sue to co-chair the Glee Club last week, conflict between the two was inevitable. Why did things escalate so quickly?
Cut back to last week in Principle Figgin’s office. Schue’ and Sue are doing their best to disguise how they really feel about working together. If Figgins found out that they are trying to undermine each other, he might take Glee from both of them. If there is any chance of Glee Club winning sectionals, one will have to destroy the other.
Sue has a plan: take a small difference within Glee and exploit the hell out of it. Her Cheerio moles have noticed that several of the students hate being background performers to Rachel and Finn. They also want to perform something a little more ‘black’. Even Kurt agrees they do too many show tunes.
Doing the democratic thing for Figgins, Will and Sue agree to flip a coin as to who will be directing the first number. Figgins insists they hug it out to seal the deal. Thanks to his leadership seminar, he will no longer be as much of a pushover. After some hesitation, they finally hug, muttering threats under their breath.
Finn and Quinn are at the OB/GYN for a first trimester check-up on their (her) baby. It’s a girl. Please don’t name her Lynn. Mr. Schue, stepping in where their parents should be, is waiting in the lobby. Finn claims he was too freaked out to drive, but the truth is he looks to Will as a father figure. Getting all of the worry and none of the responsibility, Finn feels helpless. He wants do the right thing, but he’s doing it alone. “It’s cool, Mr. Schue, you wouldn’t understand.” Finn explains. Little does he know how closely his situation and Will’s are connected. Seeing Finn and Quinn continue an unbalanced relationship must painfully remind Will of his own high school past with Terri.
Back in school, the creepy jew-fro’d journalist is back to terrorize Rachel Berry. Threatening to publish information about Quinn’s pregnancy, he blackmails Rachel for an unknown, but likely disturbing, form of ‘payment’. When only the members of Glee Club know about Quinn Fabray’s pregnancy, you have to wonder who fed him this information.
Sue, much like Two-face, makes her own luck. A trick coin gives her first run on choosing a performance piece. Betraying her word to Will, she announces half the class will be performing only for her elite Glee Club “Sue’s Kids”. The group is split once again, this time by race. Anyone with an ethnic sounding last name, alternative sexual preference, or handicap is recruited.
Back at the Schuester household, Will abruptly terminates a phone call between Terri and her sister. He’s still trying to maintain some control over the relationship, and announces that they both will make decisions regard their child for now on. He will be with her at the next OB/GYN appointment. Assertive Will is a much more dynamic character.
Finn and Rachel still remain close in school. She’s warned him that Jacob the journalist knows Quinn’s secret, and she had to intervene to stop him. Walking away, Will promises he will make it up to her someday. Rachel should learn that if you’re going to pay off a journalist by giving him a fake pair of your panties, you should remove the store tag first.
This week’s “Sue’s Corner” is littered with great Lynchisms regarding minorities. But don’t be offended, it’s cool, she’s 1/16 Comanche Indian. “I like minorities so much, I’m thinking of moving to California to become one.”
Sue knows how to rally people to her side and she appeases to the kids demands for current music. They perform Jill Scott’s “Hate On Me.”
Mercedes gets to showcase her powerful voice in this performance. Also the Asian guy, whose name is finally revealed to be Mike, gets to do more poppin’ and lockin’. I believe Sue chose the song to teach them that tolerance is about banding together and accusing other groups of being intolerant.
After losing his pianist to Sue, Will confronts her in the hallway. She denies any foul play, but he will not back down: “This ends right here.” She finally admits to wanting to destroy his club, but only to protect them from a man with curly hair that attracts ‘sulfurous egg-laying birds’. Her true motives are still hazy, but she will fight to protect the Glee legacy, and further the cause for healthier school beverages. “Those drinks are Crap! SLAM!”
Fearing Will’s involvement in her fraudulent pregnancy, Terri tries an entirely new tactic: kindness. She admits to not wanting to live like her sister. In fact, she offers advice to help Will at school. In order to win, he must sink to Sue’s level. You have to wonder what Terri expects by transforming Will.
He takes Terri’s advice, and goes beyond what you think him capable of. Will Schuester flunks most of the Cheerios squad, disqualifying them from extracurricular activities.
Back in Figgins’ office, Sue has lost it. It turns out most of her Cherrios are indeed functionally illiterate; some can’t even spell their own names. At the last game, they incorrectly spelled ‘Go Team’ as ‘To Game’. Sue debunks Spanish as a ‘dying’ language, one spoken by only dishwashers and gardeners. Figgins rules in favor of Will, no free passes for Sue. Desperate, she threatens to upload his embarrassing in-flight safety video, but it’s too late. He has already posted it, and it only got two hits. Sue does not handle losing very well.
Back in class, Finn is also battling Quinn for more control. He wants to name their little squirt ‘Drizzle’. Quinn loses it. She can’t and won’t keep it. He then confesses that he wishes she was a little more like Rachel. Not the best choice of words dude.
Back in Glee Club, they are performing an impromptu cover of Nelly’s, “Ride Wit Me.”
It’s interesting that the director chose to put a raw vocal performance in the show. If you’re bothered by the use of auto tune, this is what the performances could sound like. They sound great, but I can forgive some of the vocal enhancement. Will walks in as Sue’s Kids exit and hands his five remaining members their performance piece: “No Air” by Jordan Sparks.
Almost parodying the last scene’s use of raw audio, this song starts with reverb and tuning effects. The show is also steering away from justifying the dance performances, and instead staging them as music videos. I like the creative direction, but Finn and Rachel walking down a brightly lit hallway with wind in their hair was a little ridiculous.
Quinn’s jealousy gets the best of her, and she convinces Will’s other two remaining members to join Sue’s rainbow coalition.
In a candid moment, Terri hesitates to strap on her fake pregnancy belly. She seems distraught over continuing her deception. If she truly does love Will and is doing this to keep from losing him to Emma, she would be honest. They probably haven’t even touched in weeks. Will on the other hand has become more forceful, and he’ll finally have a chance to look at his little boy. He’s decided that next week they will be visiting Dr. Wu.
Back in the faculty lounge, it’s Will and Sue round two. Being down to three kids, Will is furious. She makes him an ultimatum: if he passes her Cheerios, she’ll release his Glee members. Will refuses to compromise.
Terri and her sister visit Dr. Wu regarding her false pregnancy. When Terri can’t sweet talk Dr. Wu into playing along, her sister threatens a lawsuit. Her demon offspring were the result of Dr. Wu prescribing too much potassium during labor. The lawsuit wouldn’t hold, but anyone who’s ever met those kids would likely do anything possible to avoid the same fate. It’s a small town, what option does he have?
Back in school, Quinn confronts Rachel. She will not lose Finn to her. Rachel admits she helped Finn because of romantic ulterior motives, but she has it on good authority that Quinn’s cheating. Luckily for Quinn, the only cheating she knows about is her spying for Sue Sylvester. “She’ll turn on you too when she finds out,” Rachel warns.
Quinn walks off singing The Supremes’ “Keep Me Hangin’ On.”
The performance spotlights her as the popular head cheerleader she is, being followed by the rest of the Cheerios squad. There was some really great dance choreography too, though I had trouble believing some of the girls were in high school.
Now at rehearsal for sectionals, Will’s three members are performing for everyone else that Sue hijacked. She calls for a walk out before they even finish the first verse. Her poor impoverished minority children have suffered enough. Will loses it and they go into the full version of the fight from the opening scene. Sue mocks Will’s compassion for the “stupid little club that nobody cares about” in front of the entire Glee Club. Finn interjects, “Enough. If we wanted to hear mom and dad fight, those of us who still have two parents would just stay home on payday.” All Glee members, minority and majority, storm out. Sue seems betrayed; Will is devastated.
Later that day at Dr. Wu’s office, Mr. Schuester is distraught. He feels he has nothing left except for Terri and their child. At this moment, if he found out the baby isn’t real, Terri would lose Will forever. Fortunately for her, Dr Wu begrudgingly plays along. He plays Quinn’s sonogram DVD on the monitor, and points out that he misread the last one. It appears their boy is a girl, honest mistake. Will is brought to tears, not because he found out it’s a girl, but because he’s seeing his child for the first time. Terri grabs Will close, “Remember at this moment that we love each other.” She has him all to herself now.
The next day, Will visits Sue to make things right. Both let things get too far out of control and Sue decides to step down to a position of less power. She wants them to win sectionals, and Will is the only one who can help them accomplish that. Will admits to making mistakes, but she was right to acknowledge the Glee Club’s differences, because they are all different. This includes Quinn, as Sue has found out about her secret pregnancy. With her trust betrayed, and her chances of winning in Cheer reduced, Sue throws Quinn out of the Cheerios and parts ways.
With only Glee left, Quinn and the rest of the club perform Avril Lavigne’s “Keep Holding On.” It’s a pretty song with lots of harmonic sections that include everyone. The song also appropriately sums up how Quinn is feeling. At least she now has one less deception to worry about.
Andrew J. Stride lives in Omaha, somewhere in middle America. You can email him or leave a comment below.