So, right now I’m watching The Voice with my parents. I like singing shows, and I like the four artists who are picking the teams, so I thought I’d check it out. I like the concept of blind auditions… just listening to someone’s voice and judging them solely on that, and not how he/she looks. Because, really, shouldn’t music be about the quality of the song, and not what the singer looks like? (btw – Adam Levine is making me laugh like whoa…)

These blind auditions totally fit in with the theme of tonight’s Glee (which I will discuss at great length in a bit). People who were born to sing… regardless what these people look like, they were born to sing.

I had to work this morning from 9:45-1:45. It was pouring on the drive over, which was zero fun. Although, I should be thankful that it was just rain and not the epic tornadoes that the southern part of the country has been experiencing.

(Dude, this Voice show has toooooooooo many commercials. Blah. And one of those commercials is for the local news on after the show… and it’s showing people holding signs for Equal Marriage. Which I TOTALLY support. But I guess there are people around here who are trying to get an anti-gay marriage law into the State[?] constitution. How the heck is it 2011 and people still don’t have equal rights in this country?! That boggles my mind to no end. Regardless of people’s religious beliefs, I think it would just make the most sense for all people [who are all created equal, so says the U.S. Constitution] to have equal rights. Right?)

Anyway, I digress…

So, I worked for 4 hours today. And I was stuck in the area of my workplace where they don’t play music. Blah 😦 Luckily I was super busy, so even w/o my music, time went by quickly. And, I made a bunch of people happy today, which is always nice… the one thing I actually like about my job is when I get to make someone else feel good. I like saving people money. I like helping them pick out something for a loved one. I like hearing their stories about where they’ve been that day, or why their at my workplace. I hate my job for what it is, but I love getting little glimpses into other people’s lives like this. So, I try to see the good in what I do, even though I know I cannot do this for much longer. (When I’m at work, I listen to colleagues chatting with the higher ups… and I am continually amazed that some people are working at my workplace for their career. I just could not do that for years and years at a time… props to them for doing so. But if I am at my workplace for more than a few more months, my spirit will completely crush, and I will be left soulless. I kid you not.)

After work, I drove home as fast as the laws would allow. I didn’t get a break at work (for the bajillionth time… way to go, people who make the schedule and schedule zero double-coverage on the entire floor), so I was in need of some foodage. I made a turkey and hardboiled egg wrap, with a side of cold stuffing. (Go ahead and judge, but it is soooooooo good cold.) I ate my wonderfully disgusting food and then went down to my room to watch the Q&A w/Darren Criss at Billboard.com.

This week’s livestream was highly uneventful compared to last week’s. The stream kept freezing and had a bunch of glitches in it, so I missed chunks of it here and there. (Boo.) Also, the interviewer asked mostly the same questions that he’s answered a bajillion times before. But, Darren Criss gives great interviews, regardless that he sounds like a broken record every time. I really appreciate that he does take time out of what I’m assuming is a bonkers busy schedule to do Q&As like that. There has probably been this surge of interviews with him because of the Warblers album, which makes sense… the more press he does, the more people know about the album… but he deserves the recognition he’s been getting. He’s talented and he’s not a dick about it. That’s kinda refreshing.

The rest of the afternoon/evening was spent waiting for Glee to happen. I played some Wii sports with my mom, kept her company while she made dinner, watched the news, read some more of the book I’m in the middle of (On Chisel Beach, by Ian McEwan, one of my favorite authors).

And then, by some grace of God, it was Glee-o’clock

(SPOILERS FOR “BORN THIS WAY”)

To start, I liked this week’s episode waaaaaaaaay better than last week’s episode.

I was a fan that the show started off with the glee club rehearsing dancing for Nationals and Finn accidentally smacking Rachel in the face and breaking her nose in the process. Finn and Rachel aren’t dating anymore, but he still cares about her and the fact that he was the one to break her nose was a good segue into the other Finchel moments in the episode later on.

Rachel’s nose doctor was a douchebag, which was also very much needed for the episode. Even though it was a clean break, the doctor commented that Rachel should consider a nose job to fix her deviated septum. He said it could make her sing better, but also was suggesting that it would make her look better/look more like an actress. Rachel counters with Barbra (Streisand), but the doctor shoots her down. (For shame, doctor man. For shame.)

In glee club, Rachel tells the others that she’s considering the nose job (getting a nose like, Quinn, for example). But everyone else seems to think it’s a bad idea. Except for Santana… she brings up how everyone has something they’d like to change about themselves. She says she’s “keepin’ it real”. Will asks why they are all down on themselves leads Mercedes to bring up how the thing that makes you different is what other people at the school use to bring you down. This glee conversation prompts Will to talk with Emma about the kids’ lack of self-acceptance.

Emma (who still is wiping off her grapes… but refuses to use the acronym OCD to describe herself) and Will talk, and she mentions how she may not have been “Born this way,” but that’s her lot in life. Will gets an idea to use Gaga to help the kids out with self-acceptance.

Meanwhile, in the hallway, Quinn is hanging up prom queen signs. Santana watches and her inner monologue goes on about how if she (Santana) was prom queen, she could make Brittany be with her (b/c Brit would believe something like that…). But, she opines that she wouldn’t have enough votes. So, she thinks about getting the jock vote – cue Sam walking by doing a Sean Connery bit from The Hunt for Red October (I laughed so hard, I almost spat). Santana passes and her eyes turn to Karofsky who is walking down the hall… and checking out Sam’s ass as Sam leans over the water fountain. Uh huh…

Santana catches this and her gaydar goes off like whoa.

At the Lima Bean, Santana (who is sitting w/Tina, Mercedes, Blaine and Kurt) stares at Brittany and Artie. Tina and Mercedes are talking about Nationals and that gets to Kurt, who sarcastically comments how the Warblers are prepping to perform at a nursing home in a strip-mall next to a bank. The girls ask if there is anyway that Kurt could come back to McKinley. Blaine says he’d be all for it if it wasn’t for Karofsky. Santana is intrigued by the mention of his name, and is all like, “Huh?” Blaine says that Kurt needs to be safe (awwww…) and Kurt asks if they can change the subject. Santana’s flawless inner monologue determines that the way to winning prom queen and getting Brittany (and winning Nationals) would be to get Kurt back.

The next day at glee, Mr. Schue tells the kids that their next assignment is a two-parter… singing a song about accepting themselves and then a group Gaga number (“Born This Way”). Emma is there to help the kids with their costumes… a white t-shirt with a word/phrase that says something about themselves that they can’t change. She had a shirt for herself that was to be an example for the kids… and her shirt said Ginger. Will was pissed it didn’t say OCD… but more on that later.

In the hallway, Lauren eyeballs the Prom King & Queen crowns. Puck sees this and she tells him about how she was in pageants when she was little, but how she won’t get a crown now. He vows that she will be prom queen. (Note – I love Puck and Lauren together. It was strictly comical at first, but over time has become quite a dynamic relationship. They are both strong characters, but also have completely sensitive and vulnerable moments. I hope they last awhile longer 🙂 )

Back at the doctor, Rachel and Quinn wait in the waiting room. Quinn is pumped that Rachel wants her nose. Rachel asks Quinn what it’s like to look like she does. Quinn says that it’s pretty awesome… and you can tell Rachel is jealous. Not ready to go under the knife quite yet, Rachel asks if they could do some photo composites so she can see what she’d look like after the procedure.

In the waiting room/doctor’s office/other locations around McKinley, Quinn and Rachel sing a duet of a mash-up of “Unpretty/I Feel Pretty“. I LOVED this mash-up. Glee can get preachy at times, but I thought that this mash-up was completely appropriate and very socially relevant. I know when I was in high school, there were times when I would just feel so out of the loop because I wasn’t as pretty as some of the other girls in my class… and I know that was not a me-specific problem. So, to see Rachel and Quinn sing this was a really great moment, because you could tell Rachel was just so torn about the nose job. (For the record, though, I never thought about getting a nose job. I like my nose. Sure, it’s big and it has a bit of a hilly ski slope down the front of it, but it hold my glasses up just fine and makes me, me 🙂 )

Back at the Lima Bean, Santana and Karofsky are out for coffee. Karofsky goes on about how he’s not surprised Santana asked him out because he’s a stub, but she quickly tells him to stop because she knows he’s gay. He scoffs and asks how she knows that. She tells him she say him checking out Sam’s ass. He scoffs again and says that he was just seeing what jeans he had on. She then tells him that she knows about him because of his interaction with Kurt before the benefit last week about the “truth getting out”. She’s like, “Boom. It’s out.” He threatens to beat them up, but she takes his hand and tells him that he’s going to be one of those people to stay in the closet, get married, have some kids and then get caught later on. She accepts that about him, but says that he needs her and she needs him because they “play on the same team”. He tells her that he isn’t gay, but she says she’s trying to help him out by being each other’s beards so they can be prom king and queen so they can rule the school.

Finn and Quinn’s conversation at the lockers was one of my favorite moments in the show. I liked how it was shot (very artsy), but I also thought it was good to see Finn sticking up for Rachel and expressing to Quinn that he didn’t think it was right of her to help Rachel with the nose job stuff and going against Mr. Schue’s lesson of self-acceptance. Quinn questions why they are fighting about Rachel (b/c Finn still likes her, duh…). It was also pretty good foreshadowing when Quinn stated, “Maybe I’m not down with this week’s lesson,” slammed her locked and left Finn all confused (as he usually is) and saying “I love this lesson.”

And I LOVED Finn’s music number of “I Gotta Be Me.” Props to Cory Monteith for a solid vocal and an adorably awkward dance sequence 🙂 Finn’s inability to dance, though a forever running gag, just makes me smile. He owns not dancing. And that’s self-acceptance to the max.

But then Rachel decides to tell the others that she’s getting a nose job and passes around pictures of her with Quinn’s nose. Tina calls her a hypocrite and says that she (Rachel) does not like herself very much but that she (Tina) is going to embrace what she doesn’t like about herself. Puck is pissed and tells Rachel that she shouldn’t do it. (yay Puck) Finn asks her not to do it, and tells her that she’s beautiful. Awwwww, Finn. Maybe I don’t hate you so much anymore. Maybe.

Will and Emma are at lunch again and he tells her he was mad she didn’t put OCD on her shirt the other day. She balks and tells him it’s not appropriate to talk about her personal problems in front of the kids like that. After a discussion about her lack of addressing her problem, he whips out unwashed berries and tries to get her to eat some. She won’t. Of course.

In glee again (don’t these kids have other classes/home lives outside of school?), Figgins asks the kids to hear out Karofsky, who is apologizing about how he’s been a bully to everyone, especially Kurt. He says he knows what he did was wrong and wants to reach out to Kurt so that Kurt can come back. You see Santana reciting his speech, so you know she’s the mastermind behind the whole plan of Karofsky’s Guardian Angels program to stop bullying at McKinley. They also announce that they are dating. People are shocked by all of this… and rightly so.

(Note – even though Karofsky’s anti-bullying front is seemingly just a front right now, I think this plot line has a potential to grow into an actual character arc for him. Once he figures out how to accept himself, maybe “Nice Karofsky” won’t just be an act. And, I really like Max Adler, the actor who plays Karofsky. He is such an important part of why this show works so well. I want to like Karofsky because I like Max Adler. And I think that eventually, the audience will come to like Karofsky so long as Karofsky keeps heading in the right direction.)

Cut to Burt and Kurt Hummel, Dave Karofsky and his dad, Figgins and Mr. Schue in Figgins’ office. I know I sound like a broken record, but Burt Hummel is seriously one of my favorite television characters of all time. (Mike O’Malley is AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) I love that Burt is so passionate about Kurt being safe. And I like that he points out that the bullying stopped b/c the top offender stopped. I also like Karofsky’s dad. He seems to mean well. And I wish we got more (or will get more) of the Karofskys’ back story.

I was also glad that the writers wrote the bit between Kurt and Karofsky where they were talking alone in Figgins’ office while the adults waited outside. As much as authority figures are important, peer-on-peer interaction is beyond influential in a high school setting. So, I thought it was really great to have Kurt call Karofsky out like he did and demanding that Karofsky owes him the truth (esp. when Kurt never told anyone but Blaine about the kiss). Karofsky spills about how it was all Santana’s idea (to be prom queen & get Kurt back for Nationals), and Kurt is repulsed and impressed all at the same time. Kurt makes a pop culture reference that goes over Karofsky’s head, and Kurt replies that he needs to know those things if he is gay. Karofsky counters back that he’s not sure if he is gay (which leaves the writers with some wiggle room, I guess), and Kurt goes along with that response and tells Karofsky that he (Kurt) could either tell everyone the truth, or come back to McKinley and then they need to form a PFLAG chapter at McKinley because regardless of Karofsky’s sexual identity, he needs to be educated. Karofsky doesn’t look too happy about that.

In the girl’s bathroom, Rachel looks at her nose. Puck walks in and he tries to talk some sense into her. That her nose is a birthright. He asks for an hour of her time the next day…

Meanwhile, outside, Kurt Hummel announces that he is officially back at McKinley. Mercedes tells him there are some people who want to say goodbye to him, and the Warblers descend down the stairs.

Blaine tells Kurt that he was a great addition to Dalton and the Warblers and how he made them a better team. He says that he’ll still have Kurt after school and on the weekends, but the other Warblers won’t, so they wanted to say goodbye.

Blaine and the Warblers proceed to serenade an obviously touched/moved Kurt with “Somewhere Only We Know”. And there are tears… and it’s really a very moving Glee performance. And as the Warblers hug Kurt goodbye and New Directions hug him hello, Kurt’s crying and Blaine’s teary eyed. As the song ends, the two boys embrace in a desperate hug where Kurt then whispers to Blaine, “I’ll never say goodbye to you.” (TEARS :*( ) They part, and Blaine walks back to the steps. Part way up, he turns to give a tearful goodbye to Kurt, who is busy fraternizing with his McKinley friends.

(And inside, I’m thinking, “WHAT?!” It took 10 episodes for these two to get together, and now they are at different schools and that’s how their goodbye goes? I mean, I loved the song and the heartfelt emotion brilliantly acted by Chris Colfer and Darren Criss, but how can you keep those two apart for 10 episodes and then put them together for two, only to physically split them up – they are still “together” with nothing more than a parting hug and some tears. Where’s the “we can do this, regardless of the distance” talk? Right? And Blaine says they’ll see each other after school and on weekends, but the audience hardly sees these characters outside of the school setting… I’m just saying. I know the show is about New Directions and all, but you can’t just completely forget about Blaine since he’s with Kurt and Kurt is pretty much the star of the show by now…)

And then, as if the “Somewhere Only We Know” didn’t tug at my heartstrings enough, the next scene was Kurt singing “As If We Never Said Goodbye“. (I can’t find a video of this yet, but I will post one soon. Just hand Chris Colfer the Emmy already, Jesus.) The vocal was flawless. Of course. And it was just so nice to see Kurt in his element… dressed in his flawless Kurt outfit. Singing to himself *and* to the glee kids. (God, I hope Chris Colfer sings this on the tour. I’ll have to bring a sweatshirt for the goosebumps I will surely get if I hear this live.) I was hoping, though, at the end of that scene that Karofsky would be in the hallway listening to Kurt sing. Alas…

The next scene caught me way off guard… when Lauren confronts Quinn about her real past. How Quinn’s real name is Lucy… and how she used to have glasses, be chubby, have acne, and a different nose. Quinn didn’t like who she was when she was younger, so she changed herself… because she didn’t want to be Lucy Caboosey anymore. She lost weight, used Proactive, and got a nose job. No wonder Quinn didn’t like the self-acceptance lesson. Well played, Glee writers. Well played. I did not see that coming. But I dug it. (That picture was horrible, though… and not super believable. It was like Ryan Reynolds in Just Friends.)

Later at the mall, Puck and Kurt give Rachel a Barbra-vention. There is a flash mob to the song “Barbra Streisand” and everyone dances. Yay team. (btw – I love that Kurt and Puck get along/are friends. Especially since Puck was soooo mean to Kurt in the beginning of Season One. But I think those two make a great pair because they are so different. I think Puck is one of the best characters on the show… that character is just great.)

If we’re handing out Emmys for tonight’s show, then one should go to Jayma Mays (Emma) for her performance in the therapist’s office. “I don’t want to just start popping pills so I can turn into someone that everyone else wants me to be. This is who I’m supposed to be.” (or something like that…) Those line really resonated with me. Don’t get me wrong, the right pills do work for the right illnesses. But I think it was really great to point out that popping pills is not always what is best. And while pills may actually be the best thing for Emma, it’s good to show that there two sides to this equation. Popping pills does not always solve everything. But, sometimes pills are the exact things one needs to help one overcome certain adversities. (I had to take pills for a few weeks or so in high school for [what my doctor called] Depression [though I would argue that it was more anxiety/stress-induced ailments than depression… but whatever], and they helped. But, I remember not really telling anyone about it because I was afraid that people would judge me for having to take pills. My peer group lacked the knowledge about the kind of pills I was on, and I was worried that I would be socially persecuted for being on the medication I was on… you know?)

Mental illness is a serious, serious topic. And I thought Glee handled it really tastefully tonight. Again, it wasn’t preachy, but it was very effective.

Back at school, Quinn told Finn her prom campaign was over b/c there was no way she’d win. Finn pulled out the picture of “Lucy”. I like how he said that was the first picture of his girlfriend where you could really see her. Awwww… Finn.

Lauren apologizes to Quinn. Quinn says she respects Lauren (shocking, but yay!) for being able to command the hallways like she does. I like it when Quinn is nice to people.

The Brittany/Santana scene at the lockers was great. I loved Brittany’s “Lebanese” shirt she made for Santana. (She thought it spelled “lesbian”… oh, Brittany). Brit tells Santana that she was proud of her for telling her what she told her about her feelings. The two argue a bit because Santana is mad that Brittany doesn’t love her back, but Brittany does (just not in that romantic way… at least, that’s what I’m assuming as of right now).

In the auditorium, the kids gather with their Born This Way shirts (really, Mr. Schue, “Butt Chin”?). Rachel tells everyone she cancelled her appointment and is not getting the nose job.

And then they sang “Born This Way.” (No video yet… I will post soon.) And I loved it 🙂 Besides me loving this song anyway (Gaga can do no wrong), I really like the message… as cheesy as that is. I like that Kurt’s back in New Directions. I liked everyone’s shirts. I liked that Santana (in her “Lebanese” shirt) and Karofsky (who looked a bit shocked) were sitting in the audience watching them.

“Born This Way” is an anthem that we all can share, regardless of who we are or what we are. And in that regard, it’s the perfect song for the glee club, as that is an eclectic mix of races, ethnicities, orientations, and religions. Glee celebrates differences/individuality and unity.

I’m sure I could go on for a bit more, but I’m tired and I don’t want to start repeating myself 🙂 I might expand on some of the themes tomorrow, as I have more time to digest the episode.

(END SPOILERS)

Well, have a good one

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