I think Glee has been on somewhat of a roll recently. I adored last week’s wedding episode, and I found this week’s “Special Education” to be charming and full of pretty great musical numbers. I do want to throttle whomever keeps picking terrible songs for the Warblers. Dollars to doughnuts, Maroon freaking 5 is next.
As the show opens, Will gives Emma a comp ticket for sectionals, calling her their good luck charm. Will wants to brag about the set list, at which point an uncharacteristically feisty Emma lays it out for him.
Emma: Let me guess. Finn and Rachel are going to do a ballad. Followed by the kids joining in for a classic rock number where Mercedes will belt out the last, jaw-dropping note.
Will: Have you been going through my desk?
Emma reminds him that Glee club is a “constellation of stars” and tells him to let some of the other kids shine for once. Since Emma’s is the only advice Will even listens to, he runs with this idea and gives the opening number to Quinn and Terminator Moppet 5000, as well as working in dance numbers to showcase Mike Chang and Brittany’s (yay!) cutting-a-rug skills. Rachel is, predictably, insufferable and pouty. Will wants everyone to feel special. Meanwhile, there is bean spillage from Santana about last years burger and a screw adventure with Finn. Rachel’s head spins all the way around and flames shoot out her eyes. Okay, not really, but I could tell she wanted that to happen.
Meanwhile, at Cute Boy Academy, Kurt is given a legacy canary to keep alive. Kurt makes jokes, the Warblers are either offended or confused. While deciding on their sectionals set list, Kurt offers a suggestion to sing Rio by Duran Duran, which would have been 10,000,000x better than that Train crap. Sadly, my imaginary baby brother is shot down.
Rachel confronts Finn, who comes clean about his tryst with Black Magic Woman in a counseling session with Emma. Emma wisely guides Finn not to say stupid stuff and make it worse.
Brittany is in a panic, scared she won’t be able to pull off her fancy dancing. Artie finds her paralyzed with fear in the corner of a classroom. Plus, the cricket that reads to her at night is stealing her jewelry. I wonder if he’s in collusion with that diary reading cat of hers? Artie gives her his “magic comb” to ensure that she can’t fail. Brittany is relieved, and gratefully takes it.
Will goes to Puck (Mark Salling has thankfully become less obnoxious than he was earlier in the season.) to enlist his help in finding a twelfth member of the club so they can actually compete in sectionals. Puck gladly takes on the role of ambadassador to find new members. (Fox was all over the new words last night – procrastibate!)
Cute Boy Academy: Kurt’s adorable friend offers him a chance to audition for a solo for sectionals. Kurt beams.
Locker Room: Puck tries to rally the football players to join Glee, they are disappointed he’s not there to set his farts aflame and proceed to kick his ass. 24 hours later, Puck is missing and Rachel wears duct tape over her mouth to Glee practice. Will lays into her (thank you!) and she pouts some more. He tells everyone to straighten up and try to be good sports. Puck, looking a bit worse for wear, comes in with A/V club Lauren, who found him trapped in a port-a-potty. Puck has invited her to join Glee, which she does in exchange for a case of out of season Cadbury eggs and seven minutes in heaven with Puck, where she “Kinda rocked [his] world.” Yeah she did. I love Lauren, aside from the constant candy/carb jokes they give her character, she’s one of the most well-rounded overweight women on television.
Hallway: Santana blows kisses at Finn and taunts Rachel. Puck is nice to her, which makes her instantly suspicious, but she warms to him and spills her troubles. Puck has a plan to help.
Different Hallway: Tina, rocking an adorable gothy ragdoll cheerleader look with goggles on her head, is convinced Mike Chang is doing more than learning choreography with Brittany, and goes to Artie for an outrage partner. Tina’s evidence includes Mike’s lips tasting like Lip Smackers, but Artie assures her that Brittany likes to share and he enjoys how it’s like candy for the lips.
Rehearsal Room: Rachel is being Rachel, when Kurt sneaks in for a visit, asking her advice on what to sing for sectionals. First song of the night alert: Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina. Nothing says teenaged angst like Andrew Lloyd Weber. Both of them nail the hell out of it, and Rachel finds a mysterious industrial balcony to address her loving, if imaginary, public.
Hallway: Brit blows off Artie.
Parking Lot: Set to the same gloomy music as last year’s sectional get-on-the bus scene, the kids morosely get on the bus. Emma, looking adorable I might add, approaches Will to say she can’t attend because Carl doesn’t want her to go. They had a fight, but he told her he loved her and she told him the same. Not wanting to hurt him, she agreed not to go to sectionals with Will, but offers the team her best wishes. Will is stricken. Everyone has a sad. Rachel’s sad is predictably snarky. I’m wondering if the only time Quinn, Santana and Brittany get to wear anything besides their Cheerios uniforms is during Glee performances.
Kurt did not get his solo, and his cute friend told him he was trying too hard. The goal at Cute Boy Academy is not to stand out, especially if Kurt wants to be a Warbler.
Sectionals: Rachel is on the hunt for raisinettes to appease Lauren and runs into Kurt. They have a lovely moment, I really like what these two can bring out in each other.
On Stage: The Hipsters are up first, and they kinda tear the roof off the joint with Mike + the Mechanics’ The Living Years. Those are in fact some adorable old people. I want to be in old people Glee club at their age.
The Warblers: Oh hell, I hate this song. I don’t know if I can listen all the way through again. They should have listened to Kurt. Everyone should listen to Kurt. They do a nice job, the harmony is gorgeous, but it’s freaking Train, people. The assholes who sang about a dream lady exercising in high heels. In a cute moment, Rachel stage moms Kurt into smiling. Thank heavens, it’s over.
Green Room: Drama! Artie and Brittany are fighting, Tina and Mike are fighting, Rachel and Finn are fighting, everyone threatens not to go on. Lauren is enjoying the hell out if all, and is delightful in her misanthropy. Rachel finds out she was the last to know about Finn and Santana, and you can predict how well that went over. Will actually acts like a motherfucking adult and goes all Gipper on the team. The lights flash – PLACES!
Backstage: Artie confronts Brit, who apparently thought adultery meant she was acting dumb “like a dolt?” because she never cheated on Artie. Apparently, she lost the magic comb at motocross practice. Hello, that’s awesome. Of course Brittany does motocross. Artie assures her the comb isn’t necessary for her to be absolutely fantastic on stage, and they kiss and it’s so sweet I think I might be a little bit (happily) diabetic. Lauren is doing push-ups to get psyched, but tells Puck that showchoir is stupid.
Auditorium: Quinn and Terminator Moppet 5000 sing Time of My Life. It’s nice, I really like Quinn’s voice. There’s some dancing, it’s all very pleasant, but there is no lift. It is not Time of My Life without the lift. Next, Santana is freaking amazing singing Valerie, which is a song I’m not familiar with, but I will be much more familiar with soon. The dancing in this number is SWEET. I could watch Mike and Brit all day.
Results: The celebrity judge from the Central Ohio BMV names the Hipsters in third place and the Warblers and New Directions tie for first, so both get to go to regionals. Woo! Please, please give the Cute Boy Academy something GOOD to sing?
Back at School: Will shows Emma his giant trophy, which is not a euphemism. Emma crushes his poor, creepy heart by telling him she and Carl flew off to Vegas and got themselves hitched. (Go Emma!)
Hallway: Rachel and Finn look to be making up, and after declaring a new openness and honesty policy, Rachel admits to messing around with Puck while they were fighting. Finn breaks up with her. Unless this brings back cereal bowl cardigan Rachel, I’m not optimistic about how she’s going to handle this.
Cute Boy Academy: Kurt is afraid he’s killing the canary, his friend assures him otherwise and tells him the bird is just molting.
Auditorium: For the wrap-up song, the group sings Dog Days, and Mercedes and Tina completely own it. At least they finally got to sing.
All in all, a great episode with (mostly) great music. I give it an A-