Glee: The Whitney Houston Episode

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Glee S03E17: “Dance with Somebody”

“This isn’t about passing judgment on Whitney; it’s about celebrating her music.” Mr. Schue took a trip through the world of creepy characterization this week, but at least he made this point, which is a very important one to make considering the nature of this week’s episode. Admittedly, I wasn’t wild about the idea of a tribute episode a first. It seemed morbid and exploitative. To put it bluntly, if Whitney Houston hadn’t died in February, this episode would've never been written. But I came around to it. I had the same experience with the Michael Jackson tribute. I should have learned my lesson then.

The opening number, an a capella version of “How Will I Know,” was simple and awesome. The locker shrine was a nice touch.

Moving into the actual plot of “Dance with Somebody,” Schue decided that this week’s rehearsal theme would be the music of Whitney Houston. The only real downside to this theme for me was that I’m not terribly familiar with Whitney Houston’s music. I know “I Will Always Love You” and “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” and I’ve seen her stellar performance of the National Anthem on YouTube. OH, and she sang a duet on The Prince of Egypt soundtrack with Mariah Carey. That song did not make an appearance on Glee.

Kurt agonized over which Whitney song to perform and which to sing for his NYADA audition and, upset over the lack of attention Blaine had been showing him recently, bonded with newcomer Chandler at the music store. They began to exchange flirtatious texts and of course Blaine found them in Kurt's phone. Kurt and Blaine argued over whether the texting counted as cheating because Kurt had no intention of taking his relationship with Chandler beyond digitally transmitted messages. Both sides in the debate made strong arguments, but Rachel hit it right on the head when she asked Kurt, prior to Blaine stumbling upon the texts, that if it was all so innocent, why didn’t he just let Blaine in on the secret from the beginning?

Yeeeeah.

Scorned, Blaine sang “It’s Not Right But It’s Okay,” publicly shaming Kurt in front of the glee club and recreating the actual Whitney music video. I noticed that Glee gave “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” the same treatment, and I loved it. I’m sure I missed all sorts of little details due to my lack extensive Whitney knowledge, but what I saw was really awesome.

Also, Darren Criss needs to get all INTENSE more often. Love me some Darren Criss. I was delighted when research revealed that he’s only about a week older than me, therefore, it’s not at all unacceptable for me squeal like a 13-year-old at a One Direction concert whenever he sings.

So, let’s take a moment from the song and dance to talk about Mr. Schuester and why his sudden desire to bump the wedding up by several months PURELY to guarantee that the glee kids can make it is creepy and...creepy. There is nothing wrong with teachers and students bonding, becoming actual friends outside of the classroom, or maintaining that relationship long after the student has departed. I’ve been exchanging letters with my fifth-grade teacher since I was eleven. I get it.

But the man wanted to completely alter months of planning—not just his OWN, but his FUTURE WIFE’S—without even really asking her, because he feared that the glee kids might not be able to make it to November nuptials, since most of them will be scattered all over the country.

It’s a valid concern, sure, but I think the action is a bit much. Maybe not by itself, but it certainly crosses an alarming line when you take into consideration his general dismissal of Emma’s concerns. It’s her wedding too, Schue.

So there was that. I don’t particularly care when the wedding takes place. If it were to happen in November, and some of the kids didn’t make it back, I’m sure it would be a reluctant decision on their part. I mostly feel bad for Emma at the moment. If she has to get married at a KOA campground, the woman is going to hyperventilate her way down the aisle.

Back at New Directions, Kurt tried to change Blaine’s mind with a heartfelt rendition of “I Have Nothing” but they ultimately ended up in couples' counseling with Emma Pillsbury. Despite Emma's admission that she was really not qualified for it at ALL, the boys managed to get to the bottom of their issues. Sure, Blaine was pissed about the texts from Chandler, but really, overall, he was upset about Kurt’s impending move to New York City. He has a lot invested in their relationship. He’s altered his life in a lot of ways to be with Kurt. And now Kurt is leaving.

It looked like, at the very least, Emma managed to slap a Band-Aid on Kurt and Blaine's relationship woes. Hopefully it’ll work out. I hate when those two look so sad.

And as though to counter the general angst pervading every other relationship on the show, Joe and Quinn tentatively became a thing. Joe spent most of the episode worrying about whether or not he’d have to compromise his faith to be with Quinn. When he finally just asked her, she was totally accommodating. Aww, they’re so cute.

Cue awesome group performance of “My Love is Your Love.”


Questions:

1. Favorite song of the night? I’m going with Blaine’s “It’s Not Right But It’s Okay” and the ending number. What were yours?

2. Do you think we'll see Schue and Emma's wedding before the end of the season?

3. Was Emma’s counseling just a stopgap, or do you think Blaine and Kurt are going to be fine?

4. How do we feel about Joe and Quinn getting together?

5. And finally, I really missed Sue. Did anyone else miss Sue?

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