Welcome back Glee! I know, I know, you just gave us a new episode after the Superbowl two nights ago, but tonight’s “Kissing Booth” is what you do best! Brittany correctly guessed my reaction to this episode (so she can graduate!): Love. We got some well-deserved plot developments, genuine struggles with feelings and relationships, hilarious moments and great musical numbers. Again—LOVE Glee.
The Glee Club was told by Mr. Schue to prepare love songs in honor of Valentine’s Day to sing to a person of their choice. What could have come across as a gimmicky theme actually had many fresh angles to it. I think it may be easiest to break it down by couples/love quadrangles tonight:
- Puck and Lauren: Puck knows he is not the smartest guy, but while sitting in either Geometry or English (who can really tell the difference?) he realizes he can’t choose love. And there is something about strong and pushy Lauren that is quite appealing. He even dedicates his Glee love song to her—it was an awesome performance, but an unfortunate song choice given its message “Fat Bottomed Girls” (haha). I actually think this is a genius pairing. It makes a lot of sense that Puck would be really into the one girl in school who doesn’t fall all over him—someone who makes him work to earn her and who talks back. After many amusing back-n-forth matches over to go out or not to go out—plus an amazing bitch fight between Lauren and a jealous Santana—Puck finally agrees to back off a little and try friendship dating with Lauren. I hope to see many more Lauren and Puck pairings…they make a good and feisty team. Plus, Puck could use more time in the library since he didn’t know where they were.
- Artie and Brittany / Mike and Tina: The more stable couples of Glee had the least amount of drama because, quite frankly, these two couples are each working out pretty well (how much do you love Artie and Brittany, still!). The guys sing about how lucky they feel to be with their ladies in a fantastically choreographed duet of Michael Jackson’s “P.Y.T. Pretty Young Things”—loved the slow-motion dance down the hallway. Later, Tina attempts to return the favor by serenading Mike with “My Funny Valentine.” Just as I was saying, “Really? She picked THAT song?” Tina began to break out into sobs and could barely make it through the performance. I wasn’t even sure what was happening or that it could be because she was that moved by emotion, but what made it hysterical was that no one in Glee understood it either. The looks on everyone’s faces were priceless.
- Kurt and Blaine: What a great showcase for the Kurt and Blaine developing storyline. First of all, their opening scene when Blaine sweetly orders Kurt’s coffee and confesses he wants to sing his love to a special someone for Valentine’s Day was adorable, as was Kurt’s reaction. Even though it was clear to the audience that Kurt was about to get sucker punched in the heart, Kurt should take solace that his chemistry with Blaine is most certainly not all in his head—they really have something. After an amusing “emergency meeting” with The Warblers, the group decides to break their rules of not performing in public to help Blaine woo his potential boyfriend at the Gap where he works. Cue Blaine and The Warblers singing Robin Thicke’s “When I Get You Alone” (I don’t think there is a single song they don’t cover well). Despite being hurt, Kurt still participates because he is a good guy like that. When Blaine’s crush doesn’t return the sentiment (and is actually quite angry about the incident), Blaine is devastated to think that he may have made more out of their connection than there was. I was so happy that—rather than skirt the issue—Kurt actually spoke up and told Blaine that is how he felt about them. Our favorite Dalton duo decides they are each not very good at knowing how to navigate complicated relationships…they are like Harry and Sally (Kurt calls dibs on Sally). I found this resolution quite real—there will always be some heartache, but there is also hope. I mean, in the end Harry and Sally DO end up together.
- Rachel-Finn-Quinn-Sam: Even this love quandrangle offered a great mix of absurdity, humor, and an emotional core tonight. I must admit, I am not a fan of Quinn and Finn getting back together, but at least I felt some chemistry between them tonight to make it seem plausible. Plus, Finn was amusing as the school’s newly minted football god for bringing home a championship. I can see where that would give him the confidence boost to set up a kissing booth (for Glee fundraising, of course) and try to win back the girl he can’t have. Sam, of course, was suspiciously nervous…and I think we are probably headed into deeper jealousy waters. Meanwhile, Rachel was still trying to sort out her feelings for Finn to get him back. It wasn’t until Mercedes gave her sleepover sistahs (Rachel and Kurt) a pep talk about what it means to be a proper diva that Rachel finally realized she needed to let Finn go in order to move on (literally out of Lima one day) to be a true star. When Finn agreed with her, it was nice to see that he genuinely agreed with her: that Rachel does have star power and needs to choose her talent over high-school love for the time being. I thought this was a good resolution (finally) to the Finn-Rachel romantic pairing…I like them better working together to achieve Glee’s goals and their own personal ambitions than as a couple.
- Santana: Oh Santana, what can I say? You pretty much stole the show for me tonight, at least in terms of humor. I think this was possibly your best episode to date. We could actually see glimpses of a hurt and lonely human being underneath her super fierce and bitchy protective shell. I am going to have to use her line: “I try to be really really honest with people, but they suck”—love it (I think I might be your soul mate, Santana). Basically, the Glee Club informs her that she is good at dishing out the insults, but isn’t good at taking them herself. The problem is, Santana knows it is true but she can’t drop her tough girl attitude. She has an even tougher time dealing with all the Valentine’s Day couples while being the odd girl out (I hear ya, Santana! I’ll go to Breadstix and make snarky faces with you when The Warblers look right in your eyes and sing ‘maybe love will never find you’). However, the best use of Santana’s unique talents and skill set has to be when she figures out Finn and Quinn are secretly hooking up behind Sam’s back, so conniving Santana spreads mono the old-fashioned way (mouth-to-mouth) to Finn, who then gives it to Quinn. It is like biological warfare—hilarious.
There were so many other little details that added enjoyment to “Kissing Booth,” from Santana buying her own V-Day jewelry from Jared’s (ha!) to the zinger Kurt delivered to Blaine’s crush: “Let’s be honest—look at your hair, they know [you’re gay].” I really enjoyed an episode that focused on the kids of Glee and their relationships after the over-the-top absurdity of the Superbowl episode. And I didn’t miss the adults. I also learned that I do not find Katy Perry’s Fireworks song nearly as obnoxious when it is actually sung, as opposed to screeched.