Tonight's Glee was all about bullying. A serious episode, at least in Glee standards, it tackled deliberate and unintentional harm to feelings and self worth, particularly Kurt and Coach Bieste. Oh, and there was some boys vs. girls singing, too.
It all started because Quinn reverted back to her virginal ways. See, Sam was getting to make out with her on occasion, but not much else. During said make outs, he began having issues quelling his 16 year old boy brain. And after some guy talk in the locker room with Finn, who had been there, not only with Quinn, but now with Rachel, Sam learned that to cool off mid-hookup, all he had to do was imagine the exact opposite of what he was feeling at that moment. For Finn, as we all know, that's the time where he almost killed his mailman. For Sam, however, it was Coach Bieste, in horrific and compromising positions.
And it worked... sort of. Sure, it stopped Sam from having an accident, but it also caused him to murmur "Bieste" in Quinn's ear while they were in the middle of hooking up.
Back in the chorus room, all were happy that Puck was back from juvie! And, in a very different move for Glee they actually moved the sectionals/regionals/nationals plot forward. Does this mean the end of gimmick episodes? Probably not, but, hey. It's a start. Anyway, the kids found out they'd be, competing against an all boys a cappella group from Dalton, the posh all boys school, and a bunch of cute old people getting their GEDs called the Hipsters. Can't wait to see what they do with that.
To get them pumped up for the impending competition, Schue assigns them another Boys v. Girls challenge. Kurt pretty much called Schue out on not challenging them and being repetitive and boring, so he decides to give the BvG contest a twist. The boys have to sing traditionally female songs, and vice versa. This, of course, is no trouble for Kurt, as he's already got a nice repertoire of female songs under his belt. Victor/Victoria? Wicked? Lady Gaga? Babs and Judy G? Need I go on?
This affinity for female music, however, is part of the reason Kurt is getting teased so much. The taunting has morphed into constantly getting shoved into lockers by one merciless meathead football player who pretty much wants to wear Kurt down to the point where he breaks. He tries talking to his friends and to Schue, about it, but nothing happens. The disheartened Kurt decides to check out Dalton, not as a spy, but out of curiosity, to see if life could be any better at an all boys school.
Later, we find out the only reason Puck is back from juvie so soon is because he vowed to take Artie on as community service. Which, works in Puck's mind because Artie is in a wheelchair and a total nerd, so by being his friend, he is automatically doing him a service. Popular dumb jock logic at its finest. Their frist order of business? Totally breaking school rules to start busking in the quad at McKinley. Does it make any sense that there are kids with steel drums just hanging out at lunch? No. Does the scene make any sense at all? No. But who cares, their voices sound pretty together. See?
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After their little jam session, Artie admits that, though he totally blew Brittany off earlier in the year, he wants her back. So, Puck, as part of his self proclaimed community service, devises a plan to help get Artie back in Brittany's good graces. Which, to be fair, isn't all that hard. We all know how much those girls love dinner at Breadsticks. So they double date. And some other stuff happens, and Puck and Artie end up being friends for real, on account of him helping out with geometry or something. But really, who cares about that storyline? This episode was all about Kurt and the Bieste. I don't even know why they bothered with the Artie/Puck thing. Stick to what you know, Glee: outcasts.
Meanwhile, Quinn, still unable to process whole Sam/Bieste fiasco, approaches Sue for help. Sue's response was to use this seeming teenage lust after Bieste to get her fired once and for all. We never got the full outline of Sue's plan, but it involved turning Bieste into the new Mary Kay Letourneau. Sneaky!
Word then began to get around that Bieste is the perfect form of birth control, and even the girls succumb to her unsightly ways. Tina, in the throws of Asian passion with Mike Chang, let herself get too into the Bieste. In a tutu.
This puts all the boys on high alert, and Mike, jealous of the effect Bieste has on Tina, lets the secret hook-up tool out of the bag. That's when Schue caught on. Realizing just how awful and degrading the whole thing is to Coach Bieste, he reams the boys out, asking them to stop and tries to ensure she never finds out about it. However, Bieste is not stupid and knew something was up with the kids. Schue then had the horrible task of telling Bieste what they were doing with her in mind. And she, heartbroken and embarrassed, quit her job. Sue rejoices, complete with confetti cannons, and Schue feels terrible. I feel terrible, and I wasn't even imagining her in a tutu or cleaving meat while hooking up with a guy. Dot Jones does an amazing job of portraying the softer side of Bieste throughout the whole episode, and your heart just goes out to her! How could you not love the Bieste!?
Eventually, Kurt made his way to Dalton, the all boys school. It took a total of, oh say 30 seconds for the look of despair from years of torment at McKinley to turn to happiness. It's very clear that Dalton is where he belongs. But if that wasn't enough, within ten minutes of showing up, a cute guy, Blaine (played by Darren Criss from A Very Potter Musical) grabs his hand and whisks him away to the beautiful Hogwarts like classroom where a bunch of gorgeous men in matching jackets sing Katy Perry songs. And they're the cool kids! Teenage gay heaven, Kurt Hummel has arrived. The only thing that could be better than all that? The cute gay guy who was clearly into Kurt was singing lead. I mean, he was basically narrating exactly what was going through Kurt's head. Skinny jeans. Living a teenage dream. A teenage dream filled with adorable questionably straight men choregraphed and tailored to perfection. I just wish this didn't give me Vietnam style flashbacks to college a cappella constantly singing all over campus all the time. All the time. Shudder. You know who you are.
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After the impromptu Katy Perry tribute concert, Kurt has a sit down with the Dalton boys. To his surprise, the boys are not bullies, not mad he is from another school, and are actually pretty awesome. He also finds out that the boy who sang "Teenage Dream" to him, Blaine, is openly gay! Just as he suspected. They share a moment, recounting what it's like to be the only one at your school like you. Blaine explains that he ran away to Dalton instead of standing up for himself and the right to be himself, and gives Kurt the strength to confront that meathead bully by refusing to be the victim.
When Kurt gets shoved by his bully again, he doesn't back down this time. He stood up, swelled full of gay pride courtesy of Blaine's text reading "courage," and gets in his face. And then this happened:
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Clearly not being able to handle the bully on his own, not after that kiss, Kurt brings Blaine, the more seasoned gay, in to help them work stuff out. But, Mr. Meathead retreats back into the closet, shoving Blaine and berating the two of them. Sadly, we find out that Meathead was Kurt's first kiss that actually mattered. And it was with a guy who would probably spend the next two years shoving him into lockers, only to apologize at their 20 year reunion, when he shows up looking like Cam with a Mitchell on his arm and a baby Lily hanging out in a $3500 stroller. Sorry, this is not Modern Family. I digress.
When Schue tells the kids that Bieste quit because of how they hurt her feelings, Santana, always the voice of reason, makes a very good point. If you don't put out, people get hurt. So be slutty, and everyone wins! Let that be a lesson to all you prudes out there.
Before she was set to leave, Schue tracks coach Bieste down and tries to get her to stay. And, in touching scene #2, Bieste explains to Schue that no man has ever been able to see past her hardened exterior. She's straight, contrary to popular belief and, at 40, has never been loved. She hasn't even been kissed. Then Schue in his first selfless and dare I say believable act, tells Bieste that she is beautiful, and gives her the kiss she's always wanted. And he meant it, as patronizing as it may have seemed.
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The boys use their contest song, a mashup of Free Your Mind and Stop in the Name of Love, to show Bieste just how much they love her and were sorry, by comparing her the very idea of a mashup. A nougaty, chocolate turtle mashup. Half badass and half soft and curly. It worked. The Bieste remains!
And they all lived happily ever after. Until the next episode. When they all get sick. And Gwyneth Paltrow joins the cast. I know Country Strong hasn't come out yet, but something tells me having her sing "Umbrella" by Rhianna isn't a good way to start off her country music career. I guess we'll find out for sure next week!