Now that we've met our new friend, how will we survive without it? It will be a long, cold winter until April 13 when Glee returns, but there was plenty to keep us warm in the great show choir showdown.
Finally the kids in New Directions got a chance to compete at sectionals and it was not the rainbow covered unicorn pasture they had imagined. There were major shakeups in the group, and all of the messy secrets and relationships had their final reckoning and then...showtime! Artie loading onto the handicapped bus was just about the saddest 3 foot sojourn you ever did see, and not the triumphant razzle dazzle they imagined when everyone banded together to raise money for a bus. Wait, didn't they use that money to build a handicap ramp in the auditorium? Did Puck sell more drugs or something? Or did he win a bunch of money at fight club (Oh, never mind. Sue Sylvester donated the money for the ramp after visiting her handicapped sister)?
Their first big outing wasn't a total bust. Just look at all the great songs they got to sing.
"And I'm Telling You...": I'm sorry to all you Dreamgirls fans out there, but I am not a huge fan of this song, so maybe I was biased against Mercedes interpretation, but I wasn't that into it. However, all the kids were, so it was decided that Mercedes would sing it as the group's ballad at the competition.
Now that Will was ousted as leader during last week's Matressgate, they had to come up with a whole new set list. Of course Rachael took the lead—as she did more than once last night—and offered one of the many selections from her repertoire as the ballad. Emma, the acting Glee "coach," tells Rachel to give Mama Mercedes a chance, and she lights into this tune, much to the satisfaction of her classmates. Rachael looked like she was faking a positive reaction at the performance to hide her pain, but in the end she did the selfless thing and takes herself out of the running and lets the big belter have her moment. Mercedes was not going anywhere, and neither was Rachael. She did more for the team by stepping down than by stepping up. Finally Rachael is a big girl, and we never liked her more.
Everyone in the group loves Mercedes because she is fierce and confident and dishes all the dirt (is she going to tell everyone that Brittany and Santana are getting it on?). We thought she was being a lady by keeping Puck's secret, but it seems that her big mouth is as good for gossiping as it is for singing. Now everyone in Glee knows Puck's the father except Rachael, who figures it out with her "sixth sense." Sorry, Rachael, but as a female drama nerd, your sixth sense is called gaydar, not ESP.
Based on a hunch—and her very wiley Tay-Sachs ruse to suss out whether or not papa was a Jew—Rachel tells Finn that Puck is the father. A big fight ensues and Quinn lets out a whole bunch of tears, which wash away all her lies.
All of the sudden, everyone's telling everyone they're not going. Rachel fights for Finn, Finn fights for Quinn, Puck fights for Quinn, Finn fights Puck, and Quinn, well, she just wants to be alone. We're even more Team Quinn! after she handled her mess with class. She owns up to the mistakes she made, lets Finn walk away without lying to him, she pushes Puck away, and says she needs time and space to figure out what she's going to do. It's finally time for her to grow up and stand on her own. She also forgives Rachael for having the strength to do what she couldn't. And Rachael was honest about her motivations too. Since when are these kids so mature? It all seemed a little pat to tie up the whole "who's the babydaddy?" storyline, but it was satisfying and left enough up in the air that when the show comes back we'll still have some interesting dynamics.
Ken was also standing up for himself and trying to force Emma to love him when she announced she was pushing off their wedding for a few hours to get it "out of broad daylight" and so that she could take the kids to sectionals. He was none too thrilled, but let it happen anyway, for now.
"Don't Rain on My Parade": I know I'm asking for a gay riot after shitting on "And I'm Telling You...," but I'm not a huge fan of this Funny Girl classic either. The lyrics are awkward, the structure is strange, and I don't get why the sun is a ball of butter. Wouldn't it be really melty? Also, it seemed so obvious to have the weird Jewish girl with the big nose take on Barbra's big number. Then again, when the club is left to come up with a song on the fly, what else would Rachael fall back on? Like she said, she's had this prepared since she was four. And man, does she kill it. I'm getting a little teary just thinking about it now.
But it is strange (against the rules?) to have one girl do a whole number on her own without anyone else in the group uttering a note. That's not a show choir, that's the Rachael Berry Show. We loved it, but it wasn't what this competition is all about. And is it really a ballad? I'm not sure what else I would call it, but a gut-wrenching rouser like this doesn't scream ballad to me. Still, when she throws her arms out and introduces the "band" and our merry mass of misfits walk (and wheel) down the aisle...ugh, here come the tears again.
There was a giant storm cloud looming over the whole proceeding. Not only was Mr. Schue banned from competition, but Finn also quit the group in the wake of Quinn's big reveal. The only replacement they could find was naughty nerd Jacob (his trying to cop a feel while "comforting" Rachael on the bus was an awesome detail). Then, of course, when they arrive, they find out that the Jane Addams girls and the Haverbrook deaf kids have stolen all their numbers thanks to Sue Motherfucking Sylvester.
Surprisingly, it was Rachael who came through for the team, and for a change, it wasn't because she was trying to make herself look like a queen. She even tried to get Mercedes to sing a ballad like they agreed, but the group insisted that she take the solo. Wow, she actually tried to step to the side when center stage was offered. You grow, girl!
Will wasn't going to let dastardly delight Sue Motherfucking Sylvester ruin all the hard work he put in. SMFS was a bit less of a delight when she ran into Will in the hall at school. Not only did she list the things Will is not good at—being married, running a high school Glee club, and finding a haircut that doesn't make him look like a lesbian—but she uses every cruel tactic in the book to incite him. For a change, when she gave a little "victory" fist pump when walking away, we cringed instead of laughed.
To spite Sue and save his club, Will goes to Finn—who thanks to a blah blah blah plot device was in the school. Will sends his little alter ego to save the day with a pep talk and a new song. Ain't nothing going to get them down, and they find a way to march in their parade with umbrellas, even if some members are still a little pissed at each other.
"You Can't Always Get What You Want": Other than the silly organ version at the beginning of The Big Chill, this is the best cover of The Rolling Stones song I've ever heard, and New Directions found a way to turn it from a gospel-inflected dirge into a victory march. No wonder the crowd was up on their feet (and it seemed like a large crowd of white people considering there were only three choirs performing, one of the teams was all African-American, and none of the New Directions parents made the trip from Lima. Just who are these crazy white people going to random show choir sectional tournaments?).
This was a fitting song for Finn, seeing that he didn't get anything he wanted. His baby and Quinn were both taken away from him, even though the baby wasn't his in the first place. He doesn't even want to be the star quarterback or the Glee club hero anymore. He wants to be a normal kid, but Will thrusts the responsibility for saving the team onto him. Admirably, he steps up. Wow, his and Rachael's kids are going to be real leaders—and gay.
Thanks to Candace Dystra, fifth runner up of Miss Ohio 2006; Rod Remington, co-anchor of WOHN-TV and Sue Motherfucking Sylvester's ex-boyfriend; and Donna Landries, Ohio vice comptroller, New Directions does get what they want, the secional trophy. That means the girls from Jane Addams didn't get what they wanted, and they were big old cheaters. That has really got to sing. Eve really fucked up. Even though she tried to come clean before the final verdict was handed down, she didn't try hard enough, and McKinley High's squad was deemed the one that didn't suck the worst.
That means SMFS didn't get what she wanted either. Not only is the Glee club still around, but she got outed for being a big old cheater and deposed from the Cheerios. The way she told Principal Figgins "I beg your pardon" in about seven different inflections with different shades of meaning was amazing. That should seal up Jane Lynch's Emmy nomination right there. So, Sue will be down at her condo in Boca (of course) getting tan and she is going to come back to give Will a ride on the Sue Sylvester Express—destination: horror.
It was poor, stupid Terri who really didn't get what she wanted. When she sees Will in their house, it was a little bit sad and a lot bit awkward. She says, "I wanted so many things I know we'll never have, but it was OK because I had you." Way to turn the knife, Terri. And, sorry, we don't believe you. We believe you'd rather have a breakfast nook full of scented candles and Restoration Hardware dressers full of lilac sachets with some other dude than be all poor and married to Will. Now that they're over, are they over over or is it going to be Terri-lurking-in-the-shadows over. We kind of hope it's the later, because we need someone to hate hate, not love hate like we love hate Sue Motherfucking Sylvester.
When Will leaves he goes straight to Emma's wedding to find the ice sculpture melting and the Cheetos going stale in their bowls at the VFW Hall in Lima, Ohio, which is officially more depressing than a burnt-down Chuck E. Cheese taken over by wild dogs in Detroit. When he arrived (with a very nicely wrapped gift) he thought that he wouldn't be getting Emma, but it looks like Ken finally wised up and walked out. Though it wasn't all good news, Emma was leaving school because she couldn't face having to see both Ken and Will in the same building everyday. She doesn't want to be the rebound girl either, so when Will says that he and Terri are done, she does the smart thing and goes home alone.
But the next day, Will realizes he can't live without her, and they make out in the high school hallway like a couple of band geeks. But what happens next? Will they stay together? Will they leave school? Will Terri boil her bunny now that she is getting with her man? Damn you for leaving us, Glee! We can't get what we want, which is another episode next Wednesday.
"My Life Would Suck without You": I didn't realize how much I liked this Kelly Clarkson song until I heard it here. If it weren't for the very expected Emma/Will hookup during the number, it would have been another three-Kleenex kind of celebration, but alas. What was spectacular about the routine is that it incorporated moves from plenty of the other numbers—the "Single Ladies" ring finger, the coy "Say a Little Prayer" curtesy, the cowboy moves from "I Didn't Even Know His Last Name", and plenty of others that we had seen so far in the season. Not only was it a tribute to all the steps Will had taught the kids, but to the show itself. Seriously, Glee, our lives would suck without you.
Then we found out that Idina Menzel is about to sign as the coach of vocal adrenaline and Will's rival (and possible love interest?)! Who is Idina Menzel? Kill yourself! No, don't. Wait until April, because this is going to be more spectacular than a Sue's Corner marathon.