Season 3, Episode 2
I Am Unicorn
This second episode of Glee’s third season was definitely stronger than last week’s premiere. There were some solid character moments spread across the ensemble, giving several folks the chance to shine. We also didn’t have to suffer through a gimmick like ‘the purple piano project’ to get the kids to sing. Instead, they were auditioning for the upcoming school production of West Side Story (excellent choice!) and getting a surprise visit from Shelby Corcoran (Idina Menzel as Rachel’s mom and former Vocal Adrenaline coach of course).
Smile and Tell:
- West Side Story auditions: I like this musical selection and hope they continue with it enough to actually show the McKinley production. I also think it is refreshing to have Emma and Bieste—plus Artie—as the co-directors. These three each bring something different to the directors’ chair, as witnessed in their great reaction shots and amusing conversation about finding ‘ethnic Marias’ and casting a Tony that can “excite the lady parts” of Bieste.
- Shelby’s return: Shelby coming back to Lima brought out the big emotional moments of the night as she tried to get Puck and Quinn to clean up their acts if they want a shot at being in baby Beth’s life. Puck pulled it together really quickly—except for a beer or two—while Quinn was more stubborn. Puck’s line to Quinn was pretty great too, “You look like a Real Housewife of Reno.” But mainly I liked the expected diva duet of Rachel and birth mom Shelby belting out “Somewhere (a Place for Us)” from West Side Story.
- Brittany running for president: Brittany began the episode wanting to be Kurt’s class president campaign manager because she considers him a unicorn (which means he is special…plus a lot of other weird beliefs she has about unicorns). But after getting encouragement from Santana, Brittany realizes she is a unicorn too, and McKinley could use a female president for once. Best (and most unexpected) line of the night was when Brittany uttered an intelligible and astute comment about the economy: “Look where guy presidents have gotten us…in a double dip recession!” This coming from the girl who said “O” is the capital of Ohio.
- Something’s Coming: But is it something good? I think this male lead rivalry and confusion they are building between Kurt and Blaine is a very interesting story line. Kurt is comfortable with himself—and has family and friends who love him for who he is—but this is a new twist for Kurt to feel inadequate in regards to being cast as masculine leads. While Kurt questions his masculinity, it is nice to see Burt back in the picture offering advice and love. This show always does a nice job with these father-son moments. And now the stage has been set for an interesting dynamic between power couple Kurt and Blaine.
Show and Yell:
- While I appreciated Shelby’s presence and voice, the premise for her character being back at McKinley—solely to cater to Sugar Motta’s desire to be in a Glee Club—is absurd. I know, I know…Glee as a show is pretty absurd. But sometimes it works for me and sometimes it doesn’t.
- Mr. Schue’s Booty Dance Camp seemed like an awkward after-school special. This was especially evident in the scene when Finn fell down while trying to learn some smooth moves and Will gave him a pep talk to get him up on his feet again—literally. The only thing this was missing was a star and rainbow shooting across the screen to cheesy music and “The More You Know.” Oh, that was NBC.
- I am still not feeling Sue’s candidacy based on common hatred of the arts. It just feels like it is trying so hard to prove how important the arts are by having the villain support the opposite claim—so much so that it is taking our intelligence for granted. I will admit that I did get a laugh out of the initial video Sue tried to make featuring Quinn as an arts failure. I actually liked pink-haired Quinn. Quite frankly, I am not sure why Quinn’s punk style automatically makes her ‘inadequate’ in the eyes of Shelby, but whatever.
- Kurt’s auditions were just bad. Why wouldn’t Kurt sing a song from West Side Story to showcase what he could do for the Tony role? And the whole Romeo and Juliet audition scene was strange because I, like the directors, wasn’t sure what to make of it.
Did you also like this episode better than last week’s? What do you make of Quinn setting up a deceptive plan to get custody of her baby? I feel like this all came out of left field this season…but it could lead to some decent stuff this season.