Tonight our Glee Club made it to Sectionals in “Special Education.” I know that I am supposed to look past these things for the good of the story—but I can’t help it—I am a stickler for continuity: Wouldn’t the glee clubs from last year’s sectionals also be competing again (assuming their schools are still operational?) And, since Dalton Academy has existed long enough for Pavarotti the birdie to have great-great ancestors, wouldn’t Dalton have also competed in last year’s sectionals? I digress.
Anyways, this was a solid episode of Glee—and I highly enjoyed each musical number, especially seeing other Glee Club members get the solos and spotlights for once! Seriously, they all have amazing voices, each with unique strengths. But, while the musical numbers were fun and fresh, I felt that the competition itself lacked the spark and surprise of the competition episodes last season—heck, I think Quinn and Sam had almost the exact same dialog and tender moment before singing down the aisle that Rachel and Finn had last year before their duet. Maybe this was done on purpose to hit us over the head that we should consider Quinn and Sam the new “it” couple…but still…they didn’t need to actually recreate that exact moment. Plus, umm, New Directions and The Warblers tie for winner of Sectionals? That is just a tad too convenient and a little lazy on the writing side.
The episode kicked off with Will offering Emma a ticket to Sectionals since she has always supported Glee and been a good-luck charm…at which point I said to myself, “oh yeah—Emma! I forgot about you!” Yes, Emma was back in full force tonight as everyone’s favorite OCD guidance counselor and (apparently) couples counselor (I guess she filled the adult quota because we got no Sue or Principal Figgins). When Emma predicted Will’s exact strategy of song and singer selections for Sectionals, that got Will thinking that he should really ‘walk the walk’ and not just pay lip service to valuing everyone’s talents. I was pleased with this decision, as were Quinn, Sam, and the other members who are often overlooked. Rachel, as one would expect, did not like this one bit.
The first half of the episode was mostly arguing and jealousy, as Rachel acted bratty about not getting a solo and then learned that Finn had in fact slept with Santana last year (before they were dating). Brittany, hilariously, was literally “paralyzed with fear” at the prospect of her dancing being featured with Mike, and then both Artie and Tina got pissed when they suspected their significant others were cheating on them. I won’t go into detail on how all this shook out, but let’s just say the group was not in the best of moods (or speaking terms) when it was time to perform. They did, however, support Kurt’s new glee club efforts, which was nice. After a very quick pep talk from Mr. Schue (which even I found too short to be truly inspired) our Glee-sters pulled themselves together for some stellar performances: Sam and Quinn leading Dirty Dancing’s “Time of My Life” (LOVED this) and Santana singing “Valerie” (she has the PERFECT voice for this song). Big shout outs to their competition: The Hipsters (amazing name for the old-timers) performed quite well—and how hilarious that they mirrored New Directions with wheelchair guy and their black singer closing the song on a power note; and of course The Warbler’s “Hey, Soul Sister” (excellent, as we would expect).
Ultimately, Tina and Mike made up with an “Asian kiss,” and Artie and Brittany also made up very sweetly. I never thought that the writers would develop the Artie-Brittany relationship back when it first started, but they are actually turning out to be quite a fun and well-matched couple. Artie’s “magic comb” story to give Brittany courage, and her guilt at losing it, were nice moments and showed a softer side to each character. I also enjoyed the Rachel-Kurt venting and pep talks because these two really do get each other—they both want to be the best they can possibly be and are used to having to fight for it. Put them in a team environment and force them to take a backseat, and they both need to learn how to grow from the experience. I do want to note that the split screen “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina” was not as strong as their split screen “Defying Gravity” last year.
Finally, the big bombshells at the end of the night…Finn ultimately broke up with Rachel because while they were fighting she hooked up with Puck to get even. And, we learned that Emma and her hottie dentist Carl eloped in Vegas while the kids were at Sectionals. While Will was obviously crushed, I liked this development. It’s not that I wasn’t rooting for Will and Emma back in season one, but this season we have seen Emma change positively with Carl—so good for her!
Some final comments and quotes from tonight…this episode didn’t pack as many one-liners as usual (we miss you Sue), but that’s OK because we got a lot of performances in the second half:
- Why do they always show the hallways of Dalton in slow-motion?
- “Clearly we need to reinstate the 10 am slushie” (Football team to Puck’s Glee recruitment efforts)
- Will actually telling Rachel to cut the crap and stop behaving so immaturely.
- After his port-a-potty incident, Puck decides he will now be nicer to people, well, Jews.
- “Have you been working out? Your arms seem bigger” (Rachel); “It’s the steroids” (Puck)
- “Not really, it’s shark week” (Artie explaining to Tina that hasn’t noticed that Brittany has been ignoring him)
- “You are as brilliant and talented as you are irritating” (Kurt to Rachel, asking for help with his audition piece).
- “I thought adultery meant being stupid, like being an adult” – Brittany line of the night.
What did you think of this year’s Sectionals? Do you like having a Sue-less episode every now and then, or do you consider her a must-have in every single episode? Also, I for one miss Principal Figgins!