Just a few weeks ago, I would have said Glee needed a twelve step program, but these days it looks like it's well on its way to recovery. Yes, the show had to get completely wasted to give us one of its best episodes in a long time.
Leave it to Glee to take a hokey theme like alcohol awareness and bring it around to something dark and true and awesome (and right back to hokey, but we're being positive!). We're going to give the credit to Eric Stolz, who directed last night's episode. Yes, that Eric Stoltz. Last night was all about getting drunk, and we're a little dizzy just thinking about how good it was.
Rachel is determined to write an original song for Regionals so that Glee will win. This is a horrible plan for a number of reasons but we know the real reason she wants to write an original song is so
the producers no longer have to share all that iTunes money with the people who write the songs that the cast sings
she can get Finn back. Her first diddy is the hilarious monstrosity, "My Headband." What a Rachel Barry thing to sing about, something that only she cares about, something completely narcissistic, and something that hasn't been in style since the second season of Gossip Girl. But look below for her funny song.
Finn convinces Rachel she needs to live a little to have something to sing about, and with the help of Puck and the other Glee kids, she throws the Rachel Barry House Party Trainwreck Extravaganza (which will surely be the name of the first Glee cover band). See, Rachel's gay dads are out of town so she invites everyone over to get krunk in their "Oscar room" in the basement, complete with a stage and luxe '70s decor. Obviously this is exactly what a gay couple who lives in Lima, Ohio's home would look like.
Rachel is uptight and doesn't want to ruin her fathers' house or bust into their liquor cabinet (knowing the gays, it's probably filled with vodka, vodka, and more vodka) so she's handing out drink tickets for wine coolers. After a few jibes from her cohorts, she decides it's time to get rip-roaring, and out comes the real booze. Everything about Rachel's party was perfect, from her Karen Carpenter dress to drunk Santana/Sam and Artie/Brittany makeouts to Finn's spot-on classification of the different archetypes of drunk girls to Quinn's annoyed side glances that her ex and her ex-bestfriend were sucking face on the couch.
While the kids were getting shitfaced at the Barry residence, Will Schuester was feeling sorry for himself. He's trying to be friends with Emma again (wait, weren't they hanging out just last episode?) and find some sort of comfort in his life now that he's divorced, has no dates, his object of affection is married to John Stamos, and Sue Motherfucking Sylvester is coaching the Glee club's opposition.
Naturally Rachel's party leads to singing. I sort of wish she had a Karaoke Bot 3000 or some ornate singing contraption in her basement because, obvs, but she and Blaine launched into the Human League's "Don't You Want Me" the old fashioned way: with bedazzled microphones and backing music from out of nowhere. This was really the perfect song for the episode because it was all about two people in a relationship having conflicting stories of what's going on.
While Rachel started the party wanting Finn, his story was that she was too needy. So she changed the story and after a healthy wine cooler buzz, she had different plans. Thanks to a serious snog with Blaine during spin the bottle, she felt the spark with the very gay prep school cutie. Then they sang together! For Rachel that's like letting him get to third base on the first date.
Of course Kurt still has the major hots for Blaine, and he even laid off the sauce at the party so he wouldn't embarrass himself in front of his intended. Blaine didn't have the same restraint and got completely blitzed. Babygay Kurt and Blaine just can't get on the same page about if they're friends or lovers. We have a feeling it's more frustrating for BG Kurt, who is into Blaine big time.
Ugh, Jamie Foxx. God, I hate Jamie Foxx. But New Directions' "Blame It on the Alcohol" was amusing. Not only was it a great production number, but if fit seamlessly into the theme of the story. It's still not going to make me like Jamie Foxx.
Thanks to the party at Rachel's house, everyone is epically hung over. Man, getting drunk in high school was the worst. No one knew how to handle their liquor yet and someone would always get sick and then you'd fell like shit the next day and you'd have all sorts of dried chunky liquids stuck to your pants and no idea how they got there. Man, high school drunks are the worst. Their hangover was so bad that they went for a very adult solution: the Bloody Mary. Yes, the Glee kids decided to stay on the alcohol train rather than getting off at Headache Station.
Blaine had it the worst, he woke up in Babygay Kurt's bedroom and was discovered passed out (with all his clothes on) by Kurt's dad. Awk-ward. Later on Kurt and Burt get in a fight about having a dude sleep over. Burt says he doesn't think it's appropriate, and BG Kurt is all like, "Why cause I'm gay?" and Burt is all like, "No, cause I don't want you sexing in my house. Wait, how do gays sex? I watched Brokeback Mountain and it seems to have something to do with tents and spit" and Kurt was all like, "You know how Finn sexes. Maybe you should learn how I sex! It's so hard to be gay!!"
But really, both of them had a point. If a parent decides a teenager shouldn't be sharing a bed with a person he's sexually attracted to, then the child has to respect those wishes. So, yes, Kurt it's different when Finn has Puck sleep over than when you have Blaine sleep over. But, at the same time, Burt really should at least bother to know the mechanics of what is going on with gay sex so that he can better understand his son. We're sure he knows the birds and the bees, but maybe he wants to learn about the bees and the bees so he can have that awkward conversation with Kurt.
Speaking of Blaine, he's not blaming his attraction to Rachel on the alcohol. He thinks he might be bi or something, or maybe not entirely gay. I get that, I really do. Being a teenager—even a confident gay teenager—is confusing and it's a time when everyone is trying to figure out their identity. Why not try on a few different ones and see what you like? Rachel is hoping that he's really into her, because they have so much in common. Like BG Kurt says, this is going to be the first in a long line of homosexuals that Rachel crushes on and wishes she could have. Oh the life of a single lady in the musical theater! BG Kurt tries to tell her it's not going to work, but we can't blame her for realizing that he has ulterior motives for throwing her off the scent.
They go on a date and go see Love Story dressed as the characters and they both mimic Ali McGraw's dialogue. That is even gayer than drinking Muscle Milk while watching an episode of Glee.
Speaking of dates, Will goes on one with The Bieste. Well, it's a platonic date, but they get wasted at a honky tonk and sing the George Thorogood classic "One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer." I have a soft spot in my heart because this song always played on the juke box at the crappy pizza joint where I worked with my best friend in high school. My life was just like Glee, except if the choir director had abs like Mr. Schue's, life might have been a bit better.
This song is all about drinking ones troubles away, and that is just what Will and the Bieste do. Then they have a really serious talk about kids and alcohol and I just kind of blocked that After School Special moment out. Actually, I went to the kitchen and got the last slice of the coffee cake my grandmother made me on Sunday. It was way better than some half-baked conversation about alcohol.
Even though Will thinks that getting drunk is OK because he's an adult and he didn't drive, we see that booze has all sorts of horrible effects including, yes, the drunk dial. Along with its wasted cohorts the drunk text, the drunk email, and the drunk Facebook update/stalking, the drunk dial is going to be the unraveling of the modern social fabric. Will tries to call Emma and talk about his love for her. As soon as he picked up his phone, it was a bad idea. Along with getting a designated drive to take you home, there should be some sort of app that calculates your blood alcohol level and keeps you from calling exes while under the influence.
And finally, we get to "Tik Tok" hopefully the only hit by wretch pop act Key Dollar Sign Ha. This song is a celebration of being a nasty drunk skank, and thank you, Glee for bringing this un-ironic bachelorette party to an end with your puke-stained rendition.
At the alcohol awareness assembly, the kids from Glee perform this song. I would much rather have that than listing to a local news anchor talk to about how she drove drunk once and collided with a Dumpster or something like I did in high school. But the ending is spectacular. To get everyone over their hangovers and stage fright, Rachel made a nasty concoction with every time of booze she could imagine, ground Oreos, and cough syrup. That sounds like just the nasty kind of shit you drink in high school.
The gross brew makes Brittany puke on Rachel which makes Santana puke. Damn, this is like that story in Stand By Me! To make matters worse, when Will thought he drunk dialed Emma, he really drunk dialed Sue Motherfucking Sylvester, who broadcast his cooing message over the loudspeaker for the whole school to hear. Everyone was completely embarrassed by their boozy behavior. And just like every drunk with a hangover and a handful of regrets, they vowed to never drink again the next day. Mr. Schue even made them sign "pledges" to say sober until they complete in Nationals. Lame. He even put his phone number on the pledge in case someone does get drunk they can call him for a ride. Do you know how much trouble a teacher would get in if he picked up a drunk student and took him home? He'd get fired faster than you can say "endangering a minor."
Luckily everyone at school thought the "Tik Tok" performance and Will's voicemail was a parody and a cautionary tale, so they stopped drinking and Principal Figgins awarded them with coupons for 50% off of yogurt. While all the kids got off Scot free, Rachel still had to deal with Blaine. She thought she could kiss him sober and see if the magic was still there, so she planted one on him and neither of them felt it. Naturally Rachel is going to mine their relationship drama for her original song. It would be a waste not to. Also, we're glad that Blaine is definitely for real gay now. Please just keep him that way. Maybe keep him that way and shirtless. Oh, maybe Blaine should join the swim team and do an Esther Williams-style choreographed water number. Sorry, I let me gay fantasies take over for a minute.
Like languishing in a good champagne buzz, we were completely happy at the end of the episode and felt like we were floating along a sea of bubbles. That's the first time that has happened in a long time. I think it had something to do with a great story, a well-written script, imagining Eric Stoltz head in Mask, and the hilarious details that the writers got just right. From Becky's xylophone before Sue's announcement to the way Principal Figgins pronounced Ke$ha to the Carol King songs that underscored Rachel's quest for Blaine, nearly everything about this hour was perfect. Please, don't let us wake up with a headache next Tuesday.