'Glee' Recap: Bully Whips and Dancing Queens
Prom Elections are in full swing and New Directions is filling in for Air Supply as the house band. While most of the club is pretty psyched about the news, but our beloved Mercedes is hung up on the fact that she doesn’t have a date. She was really Jonesing for that Cinderella moment and damn it, new best friend to all, Rachel Berry, is going to give it to her. Sam is recruited and agrees that with a little financial aid, he’s up for the job of accompanying both divas to their big night.
Kurt asks Blaine to prom and with a bit of gentle open-minded prodding he agrees. The more important question however, is Warbler really his last name?!?
The scheming part of the episode involves Santana’s anti-bullying campaign/bid to earn herself a few more votes for Prom Queen and Puck enlisting Artie to spike some prom punch as part of his own campaign to earn back his street cred. Meanwhile, Rachel’s all focused on picking out a solo for the occasion, unaware that her take on Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” is about to be interrupted in the best way possible – by senior schemer, Jesse St. James (Jonathan Groff!) who kills as soon as he comes in on the second line of the song. It’s a stripped down, awesome duet of a terrific song.
When Jesse and Rachel get down to talking, there’s a nice wink at the sloppily plotted end of their relationship last season. “It was kind of weird. One day you were telling me you loved me and you were inexplicably throwing eggs at my head the next.” Yeah it was weird but he did it to win nationals, is sorry, and hey, what’s up with prom? Well, it turns out that just because Rachel’s doing prom on a budget doesn’t mean she’s cheap, and Jesse has to settle for being part of the Sam/Mercedes groupdate that’s been assembled. Of course, Finn’s huffing and puffing about the whole thing, but girl is on her game tonight and politely asks him to back off and then offers him some solid friendly advice.
Artie’s plan to win a date to prom with Brittany includes a serenade in the middle of a baking lesson. Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t She Lovely” is his choice tune, and after starting out as an acapella number, he brings in the rest of the Glee guys - guitars, drumsticks and all. Brittany’s answer is “Thanks, but no thanks.” He called her stupid, remember? She’s done with him. Artie is free to help Puck spike some punch.
Kurt’s prom ensemble doesn’t get the reaction he was hoping for, but he’s resolute in his suit and the skirt that goes with it! His confidence gets another boost when he realizes that the teasing and taunting he usually encounters has subsided. Sure, Karofsky’s escorting him to class as part of Santana’s anti-bullying campaign, but Kurt feels the progress. When the closeted former bully takes the opportunity to offer a sincere apology for his past transgressions, so do we. The genuine nature of the mea culpa and Kurt’s gracious acceptance was a really solid moment that hits the emotional core of the show’s themes of acceptance and tolerance.
A totally different but equally well executed scene came when Finn arrived to take Quinn to prom. From the lofty expectations for a fantasy night to the awkwardness and nervousness that brought them back down to reality, it was appropriately poignant.
Leave it to Rebecca Black to come in and kill my buzz (which obviously continued with a comically enamored Rachel fawning over Jesse’s brilliance) with a performance of that annoying song “Friday.” The best I can say is that the ‘Glee’ cover was better than the original but I’d rather have heard a full choir performance of the last song Brittany declared a favorite --- the Rachel Berry original, “My Headband.”
As for Rachel’s solo, she’s decided on Christina Perri’s “Jar of Hearts,” a seriously intense song about heartache, if ever there was one. (Sample lyrics: “you’re gonna catch a cold from the ice inside your soul.”) It’s well done and relevant to the people Rachel’s singing to… although probably a buzzkill to most other prom goers in attendance.
Puck and Artie’s punch-spiking is thwarted by Sue, and after a pointless “torture” scene Blaine gets microphone privileges and sings lead on “I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance with You.” The vocals are overshadowed by a Finn/Jesse fight, which Sue breaks up, leaving poor Quinn alone on the dance floor.
Prom King and Queen results are announced and Karofsky wins the crown along with write-in Queen Kurt. Hurt feelings send several of the kids running out of the room for all different reasons. Kurt is humiliated that he thought he could rise above the haters, Quinn is miserable about her lack of date and lack of crown and slaps Rachel across the face, and Santana is just miserable. Luckily they’ve all got loyal supporters that give them a tissue and push them to move forward.
Kurt gets on the stage to claim his crown, tells Kate Middleton to suck it (or something like that), and gets a big round of applause. Karofsky and Kurt take center stage for their first dance, until Karofsky yields to Blaine who happily steps in. Mercedes and Santana deliver a pleasing duet of “Dancing Queen,” Artie gets a dance with Brittany, there’s a balloon drop and everyone ends the night laughing.
Only two more weeks of ‘Glee’ to go and a whole lot of drama to deal with before Nationals in New York! Should be an interesting ride! But first, what did you think of the ‘Glee’ prom?