Glee hit a milestone last week; the very last song was recorded. The studio is closed (metaphorically) and the lights are out. It’s been a long six years, and there have been some duds (Run Joey Run), some okays (Roar) and some are-you-kidding-me-that’s-the-best-thing-I’ve-ever-heards (Being Alive). But, like them or love them, show tuner or head banger, Glee covers are a part of musical history, and we’re privileged to have witnessed the hit-and-miss first hand.
I really don’t think that people in five or ten years, seeing Glee for the first time, will understand the thrill of First Listen Fridays or the sweet anticipation of the Full Performance Of videos. Non-Gleeks were, and still are, surprised that the cast could actually sing, but we know that vocal prowess is just part of the package. Each song takes you back to that scene, that outfit, that storyline and just won’t let go, and I don’t ever want them to. Don’t stop believing.
Just when I was hoping we wouldn’t see Max George again, there he is, in the middle of the screen, screeching out an awful rendition of You Give Love A Bad Name. On behalf of Glee, I’d like to apologise to Bon Jovi and all other hairbands. Please forgive.
I do like it when the writers show us continuity; that little blue clunker with the dragging muffler that we seeing chugging along? Season one, episode one memories come flooding back. The little car was a juxtaposition to Will’s nice, new SUV which his voiceover says is one of the perks of working for Vocal Adrenaline, along with his own masseuse, presents from the booster club and a pay check so big he’s bumped into the next tax bracket.
Will and Emma (and it’s really nice to see Jayma back, the real Jayma that is) are walking Danny through the park while Will complains about how Vocal Adrenaline have no heart and inspiration – wait, he didn’t know that when he took the job? Anyway, Blaine and Rachel run up to meet them covered in eggshells. Yep, Blaine’s pristine hair was no covered in raw egg after an attack by Vocal Adrenaline. Again, Will, did you really not know what you were getting into?
We next see Will in the auditorium at Carmel High, trying to teach the VA kids about tolerance and getting laughed at. So, because these teenagers are so open to persuasion, he decides to bring on a Carmel alum, Unique, and sing a pretty horrific version of Same Love. Obviously, Vocal Adrenaline were still giggling after the performance was over, but who wouldn’t after hearing Will’s awful accent as he “rapped”.
At McKinley, Sheldon Beiste is making his entrance, and is welcomed by Sam asking to talk about “guy stuff” and Sue declaring how she’s always been against bullying; right before she excuses herself to do some “fat shaming”. Okay then.
In the teachers’ lounge, Rachel is upset that her childhood home has finally been sold. Sam, bless him, tries his best to empathise by talking about when he was actually, really homeless and is shut down by Rachel who refuses to feel guilty about anything anyone else has ever been through. As it’s everyone’s job to make Rachel feel better; Sam, Kurt, Mercedes, Blaine and Kitty are discussing her “homelessness”, and it turns into a discussion about growing up and life changes. Almost like the kind of discussions they had two years ago when they actually left high school, the first time that is.
In Sue’s office, Beiste is telling her and Will about the repugnant graffiti written on his car, which was also decorated with an eight-pack of toilet paper. The vandals were Vocal Adrenaline, of course, yet Will is still shocked. He does vow to get even with them, so that’s alright.
We’re in the choir room and Rachel is announcing the theme for this week when she is rudely interrupted by Kurt, who although co-coach is apparently not allowed to change Rachel’s lesson plan. It’s all smiles though, as the alums announce that they’re having a party at Rachel’s to say goodbye to her house. Artie, who is back in Lima yet again, has a wheel of fortune which is used to pick duet names for the party. Mercedes goes first, and picks Roderick (we’ll see the wonder that is their fantastic duet later) and then it’s Kurt’s turn.
Side note: I get really annoyed when we are already several scenes in with no Chris Colfer. He’s the main reason I stuck with Glee all these years and I want him in every scene, okay? Okay.
The wheel spins and lands on “Artie”, but with a little help from Kurt’s finger it clicks around once more and lands on Blain’s name. Kurt pulls his “oh, look at this coincidence” face that reeks of adorable guilt. Blaine is onto Kurt though, and is all smiles when Kurt joins him in the hallway. He asks Kurt to not tell Karofsky, as “he thinks there’s something between us, which there obviously isn’t”. “Obviously”, replies Kurt, and these two are clearly still so obnoxiously crazy in love with each other that you really want to bang their heads together, repeatedly.
Colfer and Darren Criss really do connect incredibly well on screen and it’s a crying shame that in a few weeks we won’t see that again. However, I really hope that we’ll get to see the adorably comical face Colfer pulls when Blaine hugs Kurt goodbye; I’ve missed Colfer’s special brand of physical comedy, his expressions are the best.
Back in the teacher’s lounge, post-gay is ranting about VA vandalising Beiste’s car. Beiste tells them it’s “been handled” and then goes on to say that Sam has been “a helluva coach” and how happy he is that they’re friends. It’s all very nice and touchy feely and nausea-inducing.
Will is doing his best to chastise Vocal Adrenaline, but “Clint”, aka Max George aka can’t act can’t sing, says they’re willing to be the bad guys because “winning is everything”. Also, they make fun of Will’s vests.
Will, uncharacteristically acting as an authority figure, throws Clint off the team. I am the team, says Clint. Shoo, Max, says I.
Will and Emma are still having the same conversation about Will’s job, i.e. his sudden realisation that VA are all about the winning and nothing else, at their apartment. Emma is doing her best to persuade him that he can get another job – especially with her pamphlet of the month money – and that baby Daniel will notice if Will sells his soul to buy him gifts. Here, we see that Emma has no experience of children. They don’t care how or why the Elsa doll arrives in their sticky hands, dammit, just give it to them. Now.
It’s Rachel’s party (yay) and her basement is decorated and filled with people who adore her. Chief of these enablers is Mercedes, who sings an incredibly good version of All About That Bass with Roderick. Noah Guthrie may have joined Glee at the eleventh hour, but geez has he made an impact. Boy can sing. Really, really well.
In the corner Kurt is bopping his is chair for all he’s worth, while Rachel is doing some sort of zombie mating dance, it appears. A really sweet touch is Kitty and Artie dancing with each other. During the song, Rachel and Sam go upstairs to what is left of Rachel’s bedroom; she’s packed everything except her photo wall, covered in pictures of her friends.
Sam, ever the cheerleader, says she’s just going to need a bigger wall when she takes it back to New York, and that he’ll always be on it in his tight gold booty shorts from The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Apparently, because the image of Sam in those shorts is an aphrodisiac, Rachel kisses him; thinks about it, then lunges at him. I guess Samchel is on, then.
Everybody’s “two favourite gays”, Kurt and Blaine, are next on stage with Somebody Loves You. The performance is great; the kids are all jumping around and messing with Rachel’s costume stash. Kurt jumps up and down on stage wearing an astronaut helmet and feather boa, while Blaine is busy giving him heart eyes like Kurt hung the moon and stars.
Kurt follows Blaine outside; Blaine is leaving because he and Karofsky have an early football game to get to. When Blaine brings up their first duet, Baby It’s Cold Outside, Kurt reminisces about wanting to “confess my undying love for you and give you the world’s most passionate kiss”. He rambles on about Blaine’s infamous Gap crush when Blaine, as much to shut him up as out of passion, kisses him. It’s not a teeth-smacking lunge like Rachel’s, but a delicate yet searing kiss that leaves Kurt breathless and kind of shocked. Blaine walks off without a word. See what I mean about banging heads?
Rachel and Sam duet on Time After Time, as we see the kids packing up Rachel’s pictures. As they are put into albums, the photos turn into clips from the show, which is a really nice effect.
In the locker room, Beiste is joined by Unique, who had the first trans* storyline Glee attempted. Beiste says that although he’s happier and is fine with the effects of his surgery, he is sad to be going through it by himself. Unique says he’s not alone, and there’s an ominous beat which you just know means we’re going to revisit this later, probably in an extremely sappy way.
Will is trying to beat VA at their own game, when Clint announces that the booster club has, well, boosted him back onto the team, Will admits defeat and says he’ll do whatever it takes to ensure they win. Then, as Will Schuester is a master of psychological warfare, he pretends to have a scheme cooked up to get at New Directions. Oh gosh, we can’t wait to see it…
We’re at the Blainofsky apartment, and the guys walk in with Karofsky complaining about “fat ass Craig on defence”. Blaine is staring off into space with his patented “mooning after Kurt” face which apparently Karofsky has just recognised. When he asks what the matter is, Blaine tells him that he and Kurt sang a duet, but the moon face (complete with bonus puppy eyes) prompts Karofsky to ask “did he kiss or you kiss him?” Finally.
“I was lucky enough to get a couple of months in with you” says Karofsky, which makes Blaine sound a little like a rental car but comes from the right place. Yes, Karofsky was an awful bully and made Kurt’s life hell (literally) but he may be a little redeemed as he tells Blaine to go get him man. He’ll be okay, he has fat ass Craig on defence’s number.
Blaine runs down the hallway (in slo-mo of course) to tell Kurt that he loves him and wants to spend the rest of his life with him and wait, here’s Walter. Yep, just as Blaine sees Kurt putting on his jacket the catfish appears, and with a short “neat tie” blows Blaine’s hopes out of the water and enrages Klainers across the globe.
Rachel and Sam, who barge in the room oblivious (as Kurt is too, it seems) are going on a double date with Kurt and Cat, to Breadsticks for their chicken parm dipping balls. Mm-hmm.
Blaine’s face after they left was a picture of defeat, but there’s a strength there that I haven’t seen before, almost as if now that’s he’s learned to live without Kurt he knows it’s possible. He just doesn’t want to. Kurt doesn’t want that either, and we all know it. Bang. Heads.
In the auditorium, Will is creeping in with VA, telling them about boxes of KY Jelly which will soon be spread all over the stage. Or will it? Suddenly Unique walks out, singing a dreadful dirge, I Know Where I’ve Been, but looking quite spiffy, and the jig is up. It’s all a plan to show Vocal Adrenaline how, if we all sing and make nice, we can be friends. Sappy.
Unique is backed by a trans* choir – definitely the best thing about the song – which Beiste jumps into as he joins in with the singing. Surprisingly, VA aren’t convinced by the sing-along, and Clint is only happy after Will quits. Yay Will, but geez took you long enough.
In the choir room, Kurt offers Will the job of unpaid special alumni consultant for New Directions (presumably with Rachel’s permission) which Will of course drools over. There’s some nice easy chatter amongst the three ND bosses which lets us dare to dream that it might all end happily. But, it’s Glee.
You Give Love A Bad Name (Bon Jovi) – Vocal Adrenaline B-
We only got a few seconds of this song in the show, which is a good thing because I can’t stand to see Max George sing. Definitely better with audio only.
Same Love (Macklemore) – Will & Unique C
Unique’s part was okay, but Will – really? I don’t know which was worse; the rapping or the fake accent. No more, please.
All About That Bass (Meghan Trainor) – Mercedes & Roderick A+
Love this! Noah’s voice is the most incredible new voice on Glee since season two and everything he does sounds awesome. We could’ve done without other people interrupting the performance, though.
Somebody Loves You (Betty Who) – Kurt & Blaine A+
I don’t like Betty Who’s music, but this is a great cover by the guys. Chris sounds especially awesome, and it’s nice to hear him get more than a couple of lines in a duet. The performance was fantastic; lots of fun and jumping around.
Time After Time (Cyndi Lauper) – Rachel & Sam A
I adore the original and this is a pretty decent cover. Lea was careful to not over sing the lyrics and it worked. Wonderful.
I Know Where I’ve Been (from Hairspray) – Unique and the trans* choir C
A dirge, really, but its heart was in the right place.
Kurt’s Blurts & Shirts
Mr Hummel had some fabulous looks this week; I’m very happy to see the little extras like brooches and chains back. Enjoy the gifs; you might want to sit down for a while to look at them. Perhaps a few hours?
A treat for you this week; Kurt singing Blackbird at Dalton. Chris handled this huge song perfectly, and it’s one of my all-time favourites. Poor Pavarotti.