I know the credits list everyone's names in alphabetical order to reflect that this is an ensemble show, but Lea Michele is the star all the way. Her rant about how off-pitch half the rest of glee club was is a reminder of how uniquely hilarious this character is written. She's annoying and arrogant, and yet one of the most interesting protagonists on TV. Seeing Rachel sing The Climb horribly off key was a thing of beauty! Lea continues to impress in her range as an actress. How many people can sing a song bad on purpose and make it look genuine?
Rachel had the titular laryngitis, and it was cute to see her freaking about her ability to sing over her general health. Finn stuck by Rachel which was nice to see, and even helped put her situation in perspective by introducing her to a football friend who was paralyzed. To lose the ability to move seems a lot more serious than a hiccup in Rachel's singing career doesn't it?
The second major storyline involved Puck trying to get back on top of the High School food chain. I got a real kick out of seeing nerds drop HIM in the dumpster for a change! Puck got the ill-conceived idea that hooking up with "that black girl" would up his popularity, but Mercedes saw right through him. It was a little weird that she still went with it, but I can understand that its nice to finally have someone like that interested in you. At least she knew exactly where they stood, and the situation helped her see what kind of person she really is. Result: she quits the Cheerios. The third plotline was probably the strongest of the three, as Kurt continued to vie for his father's affection. No, I don't think this has been overplayed yet. The trick is every time this story comes up, a new element comes into play. That's why this is the best subplot on the show. This week Kurt had a bit of an identity crisis and after a conversation with Sue Sylvester of all people, (favorite exchange: "Being in glee doesn't mean you're gay It just means you're awful." LOL!) he tried to act more boyish. I liked the take on what Kurt thinks it means to be more of a 'guy'. He's asking his dad about John Mellencamp, he's making out with the school bimbo, and he's wearing plaid shirts and baseball caps. This was amusing but also kind of sad in a way, just the right touch of commentary from the Glee creators on gender roles and inner voice. Brittany had my second favorite exchange of the night: "Let me know if you want to tap this.."
Three really good stories, and great music to boot? That's all I ask, folks!
"Jessie's Girl" by Rick Springfield.
I love this song. Finn still pines for Rachel now that he gets how awesome she is. He did fine by the song, and they were wise not to mess with it too much. It basically sounds just the same.
"The Lady is a Tramp" by Sammy Davis Jr.
This is the number Puck won Mercedes over with. It was total pandering to her interests, but also funny to see him doing something so clearly out of his element just to show how "black" he can get. A toe-tapping swinging good song.
"Pink Houses" by John Mellencamp.
Kurt solidly belted this one out, carrying some great subtext on his face. It was brief, it was simple, but it was good.
"The Boy is Mine" by Brandy ft. Monica.
Holy damn, they dusted this one off! I was like, "Oh man, I haven't heard this in forever!" (I'm flashing back to MTV circa 1995!) Mercedes and Santana faced off, fighting over Puck in a surprisingly great sequence. These two rocked the cat fight!
"Rose's Turn" from Gypsy.
I applaud. Contrasting his earlier number, This one was big, it was stagey, and even more emotional. If you know Kurt, this is so his inner voice, and if you know me, I have a bias for theater. As I said before, Kurt is emerging as the sleeper star of this show. This was awesome!
Grade: A+ "One" by U2.
Well come on, this song is excellence. Even with Glee turning it all grand and perform-y, its going to take a lot more than that to damage it. Besides, the context in which it was used was nice, with Lea and the paralyzed guy. Still not cry-worthy or anything, but it hit the message home. Great number.