Last night the confusing plot lines on Glee came to a head when all the singing youngsters dusted off their cool aunt Karen's copy of a Fleetwood Mac album, stayed up all night doing blow, and screamed at each other. Well, not quite, but it was just as fun to watch.
Just like Fleetwood Mac, with their makeups, breakups and contentious relationships, everyone's opinion of this show is continuously divided. There are those that blindly love it, those that blindly hate it, and those of us who fall somewhere in between the love and the hate into an abyss of constant disappointment. Since so much of watching Glee these days is a debate on the relative quality of any episode, I'm going to have to put this one, featuring only songs from Fleetwood Mac's classic album Rumours, strongly in the win column.
Somehow this episode seemed to miss all the pitfalls of a typical Glee episode. It had a gimmick, sure, but singing Rumours to highlight the hookups and breakups of different band members in various and assorted configurations is a perfect fit. And, the episode wasn't all about the album. Instead it let the songs walk us through already established storylines as they find their way toward resolution. And there wasn't any crazy plot details pulled out of nowhere. Everyone seemed to be behaving like themselves for a change. Also, there was a guest star, the return of Kristen Chenoweth's April Rhodes, and the show used her to do a few numbers, but didn't make her the center of attention and derail the rest of the plot for another week. All in all, well done, Glee.
But then again, I might have been blinded by the brilliance of Rumours which was as much a part of the late '70s as key parties and hanging macrame chairs. Really, it is quite a brilliant album, and there isn't one song on it that you haven't heard before. We have a feeling that a lot of parents are digging through their old record and cassette collections today trying to root out the original for their kids, and that's a good thing. The only thing that was really missing was a kick ass cover of "Gold Dust Woman" by BG Kurt and Mercedes. I would have lost my gay mind.
Let's get down to it. April Rhodes eases on down, eases on down the road and comes back from doing her caucasian version of The Wiz on the Great White Way and she's out of money but not out of dreams. It appears she wants to produce her life story on Broadway and she wants Will to help her write the songs and lend her his auditorium so she can rehearse. This is all sorts of crazy, but I have finally come to grips with the fact that Glee does not occur in the real world and we get to see Kristen Chenoweth sing, so who cares. While chatting about all the drama in the Glee Club, Will and April come up with the idea to sing Rumours. Naturally April Rhodes sold her copy to buy drugs (what do you think I did with my collection of Nirvana CDs, sister), but Will still has it on vinyl.
While I wish it were just a touch faster, this rendition of "Dreams" gave me giant boners. But seriously, you can't really do much to fuck up what is already a great song.
The reason this album is so appropriate is because real rumors are starting to rip the club apart. First Brittany made an appearance on America's premiere bastion of journalistic integrity, Fondue for Two, and told everyone Santana plays for a different team. Then Sue Motherfucking Sylvester (Really with the disguises, Sue? You looked like a sad lost clown.) decides to resurrect the school newspaper The Muckraker whose motto is "If I heard it, it's probably true." That's funny, that's the Gawker motto too! Then Sue's mouthpiece publishes a blind item (OK, this really is supposed to be Gawker now, right?) that alleges Quinn and Sam are doing the dirty all over again. Add to it that Sam won't take Rachel to prom and Rachel still isn't over Finn and we have a witches brew of big dramatic problems.
When Artie hears that his girl Brittany and Santana have something on the side, he confronts her about it. When she tells Artie that they don't make out, they just have girl talk with their tongues really close together, Artie loses it and calls her stupid. She runs off down the hall and Artie is left to sing a song.
"Never Going Back Again" isn't my favorite song on Rumours, but the way it was presented last night was my favorite. I am so sick of someone singing a song in the choir room while the rest of the Glee Club listens and makes mugging reactions for the camera. Here it happened somewhere else and it wasn't so much happening in reality, but in Artie's mind. And the song fit perfectly with the argument he made with Brittany. He said that he's so insecure about their relationship and himself—hello, he's a paralyzed kid in high school!—that he couldn't handle her cheating. He's been down for a long time, and he wouldn't let Brittany fooling around bring him down again. And the way that the rest of the guitars joined in with him for the second round of the song was great. It became a number of solidarity among the men, who wouldn't let their respective women, or any woman at all, drag them down.
I guess that means that Artie and Brittany are broken up? Is that what happened? Let's guess so. So, while Finn joined in with a guitar that he wouldn't let a woman bring him down again, he's still spying on Sam in a motel room to see if Quinn shows up. He brings Rachel along for the ride because, well, obviously. For a second I thought the two of them really should go dressed as Fred and Daphne from Scooby Doo for Halloween. That really has nothing to do with anything, but neither does Rachel stalking Sam with Finn, so fuck it. Anyway, they don't see Quinn at Sam's motel room of love, they see Babygay Kurt. ¡Escandalo!
Speaking of homos, Santana tells Brittany that there is another Fleetwood Mac song that describes just how she feels about her. Wait, isn't she supposed to be using the Indigo Girls or Melissa Ferrick or some shit? Anyway, Santana sings a song.
"Songbird" was a good fit for our girl Santana, and she did a helluva job singing it. Christine McVie, who wrote this song, is so Santana anyway. Everyone loves Brittany and she gets all the attention, just like Stevie Nicks, but Santana (and Christine) that's where it's really at. Maybe it's just the middle child in me, but I love an underappreciated genius.
So, Santana totally confesses her love for Brittany and Brit is like, "Sing it for the Glee Club," and Santana is all, "I can't," and then Brittany says, "I'm working on a segment about lesbian prom dates for my Peabody Award-winning interview show Fondue for Two, why don't you come on and I'll ask you to prom and you just say yes." And Santana wipes a tear away and just nods her head, smiling for the first time in a long time. Then she wants to have one of their very close girl talks.
Finn and Rachel go on another stake out, this time looking more like Turner and Hooch (I'll let you decide which is which) to find out just how gay Sam really is. Are they trying to find out if he's a top or a bottom or something? Anyway, this time they don't see Babygay Kurt leaving Sam's Pussy Den, it's Quinn! She's been caught red handed!
Naturally there's a confrontation the next day, but Quinn is just as pissed as Finn because there's a report on Gawker (let's just stop pretending they weren't trying to be us) that he was camping out with Rachel. Well, Finn is all, "It's not what you think. You're doing it with Sam." And Quinn is all like, "It's not what you think either." What do they do? They go off and sing a song about it.
"I Don't Want To Know" is my second favorite song on the album (rock on "Gold Dust Woman") and this was a really good, if faithful, rendition. What really made it was the way Finn and Quinn acted toward each other while. Their mutual disdain brought out the irony of this upbeat song about a couple that doesn't know just why it's breaking up. I mean, Finn actually conveyed some sort of emotion which, wow! Good job.
They sing this song, which is kind of like a fight, and then they fight and Rachel is all like, "Quinn, you should sing more songs with Sam so I can sing more songs with Finn," and Quinn is all like, "Fuck you Rachel. He don't want you!" And Sam and Finn are like, "[Shrug]." And then Quinn says, "That's it, I'll quit motherfucking Glee if Finn and Rachel sing together again. Take that!"
While they're all taking it, Emma stumbles into something remarkable in the auditorium, it's WIll and April singing some weird ass song.
I'm not even sure what to call this song, but I was kind of hoping that the one number we got from CrossRhodes: The April Rhodes Story would be a little campier and more hilarious than this. A missed opportunity.
Anyway, Emma sees the song and tells Will that he inspired her so much to stop cleaning her grapes that he should really go with April and produce this on Broadway. Will is all, "I can't leave the kids, we're going to Nationals." Emma says you never know who might see the show and bring him to glory, but Will refuses. I think it's cause he knows what a turkey it is. Still, thanks to Gawker, the rumor gets out that Will wants to leave and everyone is really upset, but they're even more upset that it's Rachel's turn to sing a song.
You knew that as soon as Rachel's bedazzled microphone came out that things were about to get serious, and now she's singing "Go Your Own Way," which usually a dude sings. That's cool, it's a good song. Way to go Rachel. But isn't this the like 900th break up song that Rachel sang to Finn? I mean, how many times can she break up with this dude in song. At this point it's like Urkel saying, "Did I do that?" in the final season of Family Matters. Enough already.
Yes, we get it, Rachel is over Finn. Also, Santana is over Brittany, at least she's over going public with their love and Brittany is stuck doing the hardest interview of her life: getting honest answers out of her cat Lord Tubbington about his smoking habits. This is why you go to journalism school, people. Santana even tells Gawker intern Jacob Jewfro that she and Karofsky are totally straight and doing it and going to win Prom Queen. Brittany's heart breaks a little bit, and so does ours. I kind of liked Santana better when she was a slut of indeterminate orientation, but if she knows she's full lez, then she just needs to come out already. Yeah, it's hard and everyone needs to do it on their own time table (unless they are a public figure) but let's go, Santana. Being out is in!
Then everyone learns that the reason why Sam is in a hotel and everyone has been visiting him is because he's poor. Le gasp! That was a little out of nowhere, but we know so little about Sam it wasn't really that far fetched. The reason Quinn came was to spend quality time with his poor sister and BG Kurt came to give him the sequined riding shorts that wouldn't fit him anymore (damn all those lattes with Blaine!). So sweet. And here are Finn and Rachel being awful gossip mongers. How dare they! It was enough to make me quit my job as a professional gossip and open a T-shirt shop in a beach community somewhere.
They go visit Sam in his
Pussy Den Motel of Shame and they apologize and he talks about how hard it is, and cries a little bit and it's the most acting we've ever seen Sam do. Good job, Sam. You finally get a story! Too bad it's about you being poor. Well, they tell him that the Glee Club bought his guitar back because he totally hawked it to pay for another night in the motel. Oh, it's all so sweet.
Then he brings his poor ragamuffin siblings to Glee for the free babysitting (and so they can help Brittany with her homework) and everyone sings "Don't Stop" and suddenly it's not 1977 anymore, it's 1992 and they're all campaigning for Bill Clinton and everyone is happy and back together again. Except for Artie and Brittany and Brittany and Santana and Rachel and Finn and Sam and Quinn and Mercedes and a storyline that has nothing to do with her being a diva. Other than that, everything is right with the world and we end the episode with our hearts filled with sunshine and memories of our mothers rocking us in a hanging macrame chair while "Gold Dust Woman" strains out of the stereo speakers. Ah, it's good to go back.