By Andrew J. Stride | TV | October 26, 2009 |
By Andrew J. Stride | TV | October 26, 2009 |
Open on a Big Quench cup being filled with grape slushie. The camera then follows the young slushie’s journey down the halls of McKinley High School as “Flight of the Bumblebee” is performed through choir. Threatening several Glee Club members along its path, the bright purple slushie is eventually tossed onto its intended target, an unsuspecting Finn Hudson. Finn does not take this insult lightly. Confronting Karofsky, a fellow football player who had been waiting a long time for this opportunity of revenge, Finn and Quinn find that they are no longer at the top of the social food chain. “Welcome to the new world order.”
Meanwhile in the faculty lounge, Ken and Emma join Will Schuester at his lunch table. It seems being in a cold, touch-free, loveless relationship isn’t their only problem. Neither can agree on a wedding song for their covert Hawaiian wedding. Ken wants Sisqo’s “Thong Song” but Emma prefers “I Could Have Danced All Night” from My Fair Lady. Guess which song Will is a fan of? They ask for Will’s help in creating a mash-up of the two polarizing songs, as well as some dance lessons. Will agrees to help as a wedding gift.
Cleaning the grape slushie from Finn’s face, Quinn Fabray and the rest of Glee fear for the safety of their well being. With the two most popular students targeted, this can only mean open season on all Glee members. Will then arrives with an assignment for the group, creating another mash-up. This time they have to find a song to complement Young MC’s “Bust a Move”. With none of the Glee men feeling up to performing, Mr. Schuester steps up to the plate. What comes next? Will busts a move, or several, to a great rendition of the song. Keeping the catchy bass riffs and drum samples, the song is improved by some great backing vocals from the girls of Glee. Will also tears the room up with some impromptu dance moves, showing off some impressive dance skills he hasn’t shown before.
Desperate for some help, Quinn and Finn decide to visit Emma for popularity advice. Being themselves isn’t good enough, as Quinn relates social status to currency: the more you have, the more you can get away with. Currently, their popularity is the equivalent to 20 shares of Bear Stearns. Will Schuester walks by, decked out in shades, stealing Emma’s attention for a moment. “Sunglasses are so sexy!” she gushes. Covering her tracks, she inadvertently advises Quinn and Finn that a good choice in eyewear will help improve their popularity situation.
That evening, dressed in a full wedding gown, Emma visits Will for dance lessons. Fearing a misfortune similar to her cousin’s wedding dance fiasco, Emma wants to make sure she can move in a wedding dress. Up to the task, Will switches on Sisqo’s “Thong Song.”
Despite it being slightly bizarre to watch someone who’s normally passionate about show tunes sing a raunchy R&B song, Will is definitely a talented dancer. It’s a fun and flirty performance, but he gets overzealous and soon ends up crashing into Emma, knocking her down on top of him. They share a brief intimate moment, and of course Ken is watching them from a hallway window.
Back at football practice, Finn is losing control over his teammates. They question his leadership over his “gay” decision to join Glee. Coincidentally, an ironic remark about Finn not being man enough to knock up Quinn sets Finn to his breaking point. Ken intervenes the brawling players, and berates them for not behaving like part of a team. His solution is to add an extra practice on Thursdays, which un-coincidentally is the same day as Glee rehearsal. The football players will have to make a choice, football or Glee.
Meanwhile, a practice-skipping Noah Puckerman shows up where he’d be least expected, playing acoustic guitar to “What a Girl Wants” as sung by Rachel Berry. It doesn’t take long until the two “hot Jews” are making out on Rachel’s frilly purple bed. It turns out Noah wasn’t just hard up, but his decision to try and sleep with Rachel was a message from God. I suppose it’s better than being told to bomb a foreign country for oil — he is part of God’s chosen people after all. Rachel won’t just give it up to any man (at least one that’s not Finn) and she needs Noah to prove he’s man enough to perform a solo.
Standing up for his manliness and his “guns,” Noah takes on this challenge. The next day he performs “Sweet Caroline,” by his own personal Jewish icon, Neil Diamond, in front of the entire Glee Club.
Noah performs an edgier interpretation, infusing a little more rock into the poppy song. He has a great voice, and it’s nice to hear him perform a solo again. He successfully tackles Rachel’s challenge, but he also catches the attention of Quinn, who realizes there might be more to Noah than just a mindless jock.
Finn and Quinn have taken Emma’s advice a little too seriously, and they are seen parading down the hall in dark wrap-a-rounds. Unfortunately, sunglasses don’t keep them from a full on Slushie assault from the football jocks, but at least they protected Finn’s corneas from getting corn syrup in them again. Worse yet, this was just a warning: things will be much worse if he chooses Glee over football. “Bros before heigh-hos dude.”
This week’s “Sue’s Corner” focuses on love and intimacy, and Proposition 15 which one can only assume is about legalizing bestiality (and you thought Massachusetts was progressive!). During commercial, Rod the lead anchor and local celebrity steals a moment with Sue Sylvester. Recently and suspiciously widowed, he asks Sue out on a date and she agrees.
Showing that sometimes all you need is love, Sue has turned a 180. Rod has successfully sunk Sue’s battleship. Will finds himself giving another dance lesson this week as Sue needs to be prepared when Rod takes her to the 2nd annual Allen County sickle cell anemia dance-a-thon. Despite some crafty editing, Lynch is not a bad dancer. Although I wouldn’t recommend she try out for “So You Think You Can Dance,” (Wednesday’s on FOX!). Has love created a whole new Sue, or is this another trick? She does reveal to Will Ken’s intention of sabotaging his Thursday practices. It is possible that for once, Sue has truly learned to “live and let learn.”
Feeling betrayed; Will confronts Ken in his locker room of solitude. Ken claims Thursday practices are a necessity to improve his players’ morality, but Will believes it’s a personal attack. It is, but not because Will dislikes Ken’s choice in music. He admits it’s not about football or music, but about being a conciliation prize to Will Schuester. Will admits that though he didn’t encourage Emma’s advances, he hasn’t discouraged them either. He agrees to stop the flirtation, but it’s a case of too little, too late for Ken. He wants the students to decide who is first choice, and who is conciliation.
The bell rings, Rachel and Noah walk arm and arm down McKinley High’s hallway. Noah has one thing on his mind, and it’s not that Tommy Tune won Tony Awards in all four categories. Suddenly a splash rings out, Rachel screams. Noah has been hit point blank; chunks of purple ice and syrup run from his goofy mohawk all the way down his denim button down shirt. In the bathroom, Rachel tends to his insult. For the first time Noah knows what it’s like to be humiliated in front of the whole school. It’s too much for him to handle, and he tells Rachel he will be choosing football over Glee.
That same day at a wedding boutique, Emma exits a dressing room, clad in a stunning silver wedding dress. Sure she looks good, but can she dance in it? Luckily Will came prepared with an instrumental version of “I Could Have Danced All Night.”
They dance elegantly through the bridal boutique as Emma sings beautifully. “Yeah, you can dance in it,” Will admits breathlessly, but he has to return to school for Glee practice. He admits to Emma this may be their last practice, as Ken is holding the football players hostage.
Back in the rehearsal room, the clock ticks 3:30. But before the remaining members of Glee can feel abandoned for long, Mike Chang and Matt Rutherford, the two other football players, show up. They are followed shortly by Noah, who’s willing to take a slushie to the face every day than let the rest of the group down. Unfortunately for them, Finn has decided otherwise.
Flight of the Big Quench, round three. Passing by fellow Glee members, who’ve come to school prepared by wearing raincoats, a fully loaded Big Quench comes to a halt in front of Kurt. This time the assailant is none other than Finn Hudson. Retribution against Kurt for quitting football must be made, and the other teammates are watching. Finn hesitates, but Kurt decides to take one for the team and his face with a self-inflicted slushie toss. Hopefully it destroyed that designer rain jacket; it makes him look like a flasher from the future. Kurt is hurried off to the Ladies’ room for emergency spa treatment.
As if Kurt’s outfit wasn’t ridiculous enough, Sue Sylvester walks down the local news studio dressed in a cherry red zoot suit, complete with matching fedora and silk tie. She is shocked to come across Rod and his co-anchor Andrea locked in a passionate embrace. Unbeknownst to him, she showed up on an off-night to show off her specially tailored suit for their dance completion. Upon learning that “only the men wear those,” Sue is further embarrassed. She should know that no man with a tiger tattoo can be caged.
Watching practice from the bleachers, Noah re-evaluates his decision to choose Glee over football. Rachel joins him, familiar with watching Finn from the sidelines. She’s direct with Noah, and breaks off their relationship. The truth is they both love other people, even if those feelings aren’t reciprocated. She gives the “I hope we can still be friends” speech, but it just upsets him further. They “were never friends.”
Will also pays a visit to practice, but he’s there to speak with Finn. They play an almost father/son-like game of catch as Will tries to convince Finn of the importance of deciding who he wants to be, rather than being what others dictate. Will is an honest person, and he admits what they both know: “Of all the other students that I’ve had, you remind me the most of me.” He must feel similar regrets from when he was still in high school.
The message reaches Finn, and he takes matters into his own hands for once. Being a quarterback, and a leader, he tells Coach Ken Tanaka about his vision for a new world order, where one can be who he wants to be without others humiliating him for it. They should celebrate their differences and he shouldn’t be forced to choose. Ken listens to reason; there will be no more Thursday night football practices.
A woman scorned is one thing; Sue scorned is a force of nature. She stalks down the halls of McKinley like an un-caged tiger, and pounces on her first victim, Will Schuester. “I’ll need to see that set list from sectionals after all. And I want it on my desk warm from the laminator at 5pm, and if it is one minute late, I will go to the animal shelter and get you a kitty cat. I will let you fall in love with that kitty cat. And then on some dark cold night I will steal away into your home… and punch you in the face.” She then runs across Quinn Fabray. After stripping Quinn of her sunglasses, Sue takes glee in stripping her from her position in the Cheerios as well.
Nearing the end of the day, Will visits Emma. No matter how hard he tries, he can’t get her two wedding dance songs to go together. “That’s because they don’t,” Emma admits. She’s known all along that sometimes two great things are better off by themselves. The message reaches Will but the meaning does not.
The gang is all back at Glee and as an apology for leaving, Finn treats the club to a round of slushies. A toast is proposed: Glee and football do go well together but “Bust a Move” and any other song do not. Pregnant women and Cheerios also don’t mix. Remiss about her drop in status, Quinn takes some comfort in knowing she has friends who are there for her. After learning that Will has not had his ‘slushie facial’ cherry broken, the Glee Club answers with grape. Will ends with a full slushie bath and the local 7-11 laughs all the way to the bank.
Andrew J. Stride lives in Omaha, somewhere in middle America. You can email him or leave a comment below.