(NOTE – I’m reposting my Glee-caps here on my WordPress blog… I put them on Tumblr too, but more people seem to read them here than there, so… this was originally posted on 9/14/12)
At last, at last… New episodes of Glee to pick apart and/or flail over.
To be honest, my expectations were mighty low. (My theory is, this show has disappointed me so much in the past, that if I go into an episode thinking it’s going to be Meh and it’s a bit better than that, then I am a happy camper.)
This is going to be super spoilery if you haven’t seen The New Rachel, so SPOILER ALERT
You have been warned.
The show opened in NYC with Rachel in her Dance 101 class, taught (dictated?) by Cassandra July (Kate Hudson… Who I might not get too sick of.). Right off the bat, the first thing I noticed was that Rachel was the only student in the class wearing a pink skirt over her leotard (everyone else was wearing all black… remember this). Also right off the bat, Cassandra tells Rachel that she sucks. (I’m pretty sure this is the scene where Rachel is given the nickname “Schwimmer” – as in David.)
After the “glee” title card (which I’m thankfully they rarely change… Sometimes it’s a different color, but I like the simplicity of it.), we are thrust into the halls of McKinley where a fro-less Jacob Ben Israel Is interviewing the remaining New Directions members because they are “cool” now. (and by “cool,” I mean kinda douchy)
My favorite bit during this scene was when JBI said Artie’s been seen sitting with Cheerios and jocks at lunch and Artie said, “I’m usually seen sitting.” (ba-dum CHING!) I was hugely disappointed with Tina. Not only did she break up with (the flawless) Mike Chang (not my Tike, yo!), but she has a freshman Personal Assistant who she is mean to. JBI asked a group of the seniors who the new Rachel was and all of them replied themselves… game on.
Back at NYADA, Rachel’s v/o let’s us know that she hasn’t met her (very sexually active) roommate and that she takes showers at 3 am so she can get through her skin routine (obviously being besties w/Kurt has rubbed off on her). So, in her co-ed shower (is this a thing? It sure wasn’t at my college…), she hears some manly voice crooning “Sister Christian” from the shower stall. (Cue Rachel leaning into the center of the frame much like Mr. Schue in S1 and Finn in S2 when they discovered Finn and Sam, respectively). And then out of the shower walks a very naked (and very handsome) Brody. Hello new guy, and welcome to Glee. You have filled your naked shower hazing… proceed to make the ladies swoon. I’m sure we’ll be seeing much more of you later…
(The guy that plays Brody is attractive. I saw him on set in NYC and he’s as handsome in person as he is on camera. That being said, I was not wowed with his acting skills. I will give him a couple more episodes before I make any huge decisions with him… but his singing voice is good, he’s handsome, but acting – meh thus far).
Back in Lima, Kurt is roaming the halls of McKinley (sadness) to visit Sue and her new baby, Robin. (We still do not know the ID of the baby daddy…) This was Sue’s only scene, and I was thankful for that. She insulted Kurt for breaking the stereotype of only has-been athletes hanging around high school. Then she introduces Kitty, her new “Head Bitch” Cheerio. Kitty is rude to Kurt right off the bat and asks why he isn’t in college – “Aren’t gays successful overachievers?”
Kitty is Quinn 2.0, but worse. She is mean the whole episode and has ZERO redeeming qualities. I hate her. (I’m sure she’ll have some story line that lends her one iota of empathy, but she’s just a mean character with no remorse. I’m sick of these kinds of characters on my television – especially on Glee.)
(small tangent – Kurt got way more attractive over the summer. Like, Season 3 Kurt was handsome, but Season 4 Kurt is like day-yum. But what’s with all the hats?)
In the hallway, Mr. Schue puts up the audition list and kids flock to sign up for glee club (a huge difference from S1 and S3).
In the choir room, the loss of the Class of 2012 is noticeable right away. Most of the chairs are empty and we know they need at least 12 kids to perform at Sectionals, so let’s fill those seats up…
… sadly the first slot is filled by Wade/Unique (a transfer from Carmel/Vocal Adrenaline). They hinted at this in the S3 finale and sadly it came to fruition. I like Wade/Unique’s singing voice and sassy stage presence, but Alex Newell is not as strong when it comes to acting. (Sorry – I’m just trying to be honest here.)
The rest of the glee club must feel the same way I do because they are NOT happy when Wade is brought into the group. In fact, when Wade sits down next to Blaine and challenges him that he (Wade) is going to be the vocal lead of the group, Blaine says that they are all to meet at 5 and throw down “Thunderdome-style.” (Blaine, what does this even mean? Isn’t the Thunderdome a cage-match arena?)
So, that evening, Wade, Blaine, Brittany, Tina and Artie meet in the auditorium so that the former four can have a sing-off and Artie will pick who the new Rachel is.
Cue “Call Me Maybe”
Now, this is one of my favorite songs of the summer, and one of my least favorite Glee covers ever. The arrangement wasn’t anything special. My bias/love for Darren Criss made me appreciate his red pants and his “ta-da” arm gesture at the end of the performance. I also enjoyed the moment in the song where he gets shoved out of the way by Brittany and his face just crumbles… like his show-face drops and he’s like “Hey… :/”. It’s little facial reactions like this that bring you into the moment and into that character just a little deeper.
In the next scene, Blaine is out with Brittany at the Lima Bean. He asks about Santana and she says that it’s hard to scissor with a web cam. (So… scissoring has been brought up no less than two times on this show, but Blaine and Kurt can’t/don’t talk about their relationship. Double Standard much? I think so…)
Oh yeah, Kurt works at the Lima Bean. (For the record, he did apply to work there last season during Ep 8…) It’s just kind of sad. And you can tell Blaine is sad that Kurt is working there. Especially when Kurt gets humiliated by Kitty (whose iced latte is too cold) and his manager. Kurt is too talented to be working at the Lima Bean. Kurt is also too talented to be that excited for the New Direction’s auditions that are coming up. YOU GRADUATED, KURT. MOVE ON.
Back at NYADA, Cassandra’s TA comes in and tells her he’s leaving b/c he got a part as a flying monkey in Wicked. She is genuinely happy for him and you get a glimpse at legitimately nice Cassandra… so we know she’s not pure evil (like Kitty). However, when he leaves, Cassandra dumps an awful lot of vodka into her smoothy.
Meanwhile, in Ohio, the glee kids are at lunch and sitting at the cool kids table. We’re introduced to Marley (sophomore) and Tina is outright rude to her. (WTF Tina?) Then, Wade sits down (with some fierce eye makeup on…) and Blaine and the others tell him not to wear makeup because it’ll diminish their social status (they liken school to the Game of Thrones). Guess those glee kids aren’t all-inclusive like they used to be, eh?
To make matters worse, the glee kids get coerced into making fun of the obese lunch lady so that they fit in with (stupid) Kitty and her jock friends. Blaine looks conflicted (he doesn’t say anything mean about the lunch lady, but he doesn’t try to stop anyone else from being mean either… this bothered me. Blaine should speak the fuck up. This happened before in last year’s Christmas episode when the Glee kids opt to star in the Christmas special instead of honor their promise to Sue to perform at the homeless shelter. Blaine had this look on his face like he wanted to say something, but he didn’t. Why do the writers keep doing this? This is only acceptable if Blaine finally cracks one of these days and gives a moving speech about how people should do the right thing instead of just the easy thing. Hopefully this will be part of his class president platform/speech. Right?).
Anyway, Marley notices the kids being mean to the lunch lady and in the next scene, we find out that the lunch lady is her MOM! (Way to go, Glee writers. This I accept. I kind of hope Marley’s mom and Coach Beiste become BFFs.) The mom tells Marley that she’s confident she’ll do well at her audition, and that she’ll park a few blocks away so no one will see Marley getting in her car. (Marley’s mom is clearly one of the best parents on this show. Burt Hummel will always be #1, but Marley’s mom is pretty great so far.)
Back in NY, Rachel asks Cassandra why she’s picking on her AND she calls her out on having alcohol on her breath (not good, Rachel Berry, not good). Cassandra gets pissed and then performs “Americano/Dance Again” (and it’s pretty great). Rachel stands there (in a red skirt this time, geez) and gawks. When Cassandra is done, she quips, “You’re not just on my list, you ARE my list.” OH SNAP, BERRY.
I’m guessing Cassandra was probably like Rachel when she was younger, and then got her ass handed to her… so now she’s taking it out on Rachel. Right?
Then, in the auditorium, the glee club, Mr. Schue and Kurt (ugh, leave Kurt) are waiting for auditions to start. I was glad to see that Blaine was not impressed with how happy Kurt was for the auditions.
After some whack auditions, Jake (“just Jake” – be fans already know who he is…) sings “Never Say Never.” (side note – when I saw this was a song on the show, I got excited b/c I thought it was the Bieber song. I don’t like Justin Bieber, but I like that song… this, however, was not that song. Sadness.) He sang well and both Sugar and Wade think Jake is sexy. Mr. Schue is impressed and cuts Jake off mid-song. Jake gets pissed b/c he practiced and throws a music stand (temper, temper…).
Back at NYADA, Whoopi Goldberg is back (honestly, I’m going to just call her Whoopi b/c I don’t remember her character’s name…). So, they are all in this round room w/awesome acoustics and Whoopi tells the new kids that they get 2 chances to sing solos this year, and this is one of them. The first girl sings Ave Maria and gets cut from the program. Rachel gets up and sings “New York State of Mind” while Brody looks on, obviously smitten and impressed with Rachel’s talent (so much so that he stands and claps when she’s done).
Rachel’s singing is juxtaposed with Marley’s audition (surprise, surprise, she sings THE SAME SONG). Marley sings well and everyone is impressed. (I was too. The girl has a good voice. And I know people have been complaining that Marley is a Mary Sue – and she is – but I actually like that about her. She’s inherently good. Glee needs a good character… as there really isn’t one. Everyone else is super selfish or just plain mean. Marley is kind. Marley sticks up for what is right. And she wears tennis shoes. She should probably lose the Newsies hat at some point, but I like her. And I totally get that she and Jake are going to be an item at some point. Like, they need each other and they will understand each other.)
After the commercial break, Mr. Schue posts the glee list and the only new person added to the roster is Marley. (How does that work, Schue? You don’t have a full club yet…)
In the choir room, Kurt organizes the club’s sheet music on the floor. Blaine looks like he might explode soon, just holding back with his discontent of Kurt’s situation. During this scene, Artie announces that the new Rachel is Blaine (Tina is mad). Mr. Schue introduces Marley to the glee club and Blaine welcomes her (awww, he can be nice). Sugar exclaims that she likes Marley’s sweater and asks where it’s from. (We, the audience, know her mom sewed a J. Crew label in it in an earlier scene… it’s probably from the thrift store or something) Marley responds “J. Crew” and Sugar knows instantly that’s not right. (Poor Marley… they’re going to find out she’s … well, poor.)
Back in the kitchen, Marley tells her mom that the glee kids make fun of her (the mom). The mom says she doesn’t mind. (Aw… 😦 )
Outside in the courtyard, Klaine is sitting at the table and Blaine offers Kurt advice – leave. “You can’t be here anymore, Kurt.” Blaine says that Kurt belongs in NY, not Lima. Kurt asks what will happen to them and Blaine counters that he’ll be there next year, but it’s Kurt’s time. And then Blaine launches into “It’s Time” by Imagine Dragons. And if I wasn’t already smitten with Blaine (which I have been since S2 E6 – HOLLA!), I would have with his performance of this song. He double dutch jumped rope, then did a little stomp the yard, then did this cup thing with a bunch of Cheerios and other kids. Blaine basically united everyone to sing his boyfriend a 3rd courtyard performance in so many seasons. Blaine loves Kurt. (watch his face, especially at the very beginning of the song…) Blaine loves Kurt so much that Blaine wants Kurt to go and be Kurt in NYC. And after the performance, they kissed passionately.
No wait. No they didn’t. They looked at each other like they were going to kiss, but they just hugged.
Because this is Glee and Klaine only gets to kiss in episodes where they start dating (S2 Ep 16) or when they lose their virginity (S3 Ep 5).
So, they hug and Kurt says “I’m going to miss you so much.”
Back at the lunch table (wait – do they have recess before lunch?), they are all hating on the lunch lady again when Marley finally caves and reveals that the lunch lady is her mom. Blaine looks guilty/sorry, but says NOTHING. (Seriously, kid, speak your mind.)
Back in NYC, Brody finds Rachel in the park and gives her a pep talk about stuff and tells her “Don’t fight the new you.” (So, The New Rachel basically applies to Blaine, Marley [she will fill the brown hair ingenue role in ND], and Rachel herself…)
Back in dance class, Rachel is dressed ENTIRELY in red (why, Rachel, WHY?) and Cassandra tells her she’s getting better… then knocks her down another peg. Oh snap.
And then… oh boy, and then we get a Burt/Kurt scene.
There should have been a warning to grab your tissues.
Burt is dropping his son off at the airport. They sold Kurt’s Navigator to get him enough money for a couple weeks in a motel until he finds somewhere to live. Kurt tells his dad he doesn’t have to be in NYC to reapply to NYADA, but Burt wants him to go because NY is going to be better for Kurt b/c there are people like Kurt there. (Burt Hummel is television’s greatest dad ever.) Kurt tells his dad that he is the World’s Greatest Dad and Burt says he knows b/c Kurt bought him a mug that says that. And then Burt tells Kurt as he gets out of the car “You can always come back,” and then Kurt walks toward the airport. Burt then says to himself “But you won’t” (which caused a sob to loudly escape from my throat) and then Burt’s face crumbles after his son turns for one last wave goodbye.
My heart broken. Not just broke, but smashed into a bajillion little pieces that will never, ever be put back together again. (Let’s just say it’s Shark Week and Burt’s speech really got to me. I just moved to NYC, like, 5 weeks ago, and it felt like his whole speech was directed at me. Even my mom said she thought of me when she watched Burt last night. I literally burst into tears watching this scene… this was only the second time I ever cried while watching television, so you know that’s serious.)
Back at McKinley, Sam corners Marley in the hall and tells her that he gets what she’s going through. (I still think Marley is going to end up with Jake, but I can see her having a thing with Sam, or at least befriending him…) Then everyone apologizes to Marley and Blaine tells her “The best part of glee club is everyone gets to be a star.” (But you were crowned The New Rachel, Blaine. And we all know you will get all the songs and Tina Cohen-Chang will get none…). And then Wade and Marley get slushied by Kitty and her goons. Father-figure Blaine says “Let’s go get you guys cleaned up and go to rehearsal.” (Blaine, who has only been slushied once… albeit the most dangerous slushy ever, but still…)
Mr. Schue calls Jake into his office and tries to explain that he didn’t let Jake finish his song the other day b/c he already knew he was good enough. Jake counters “You don’t know me, you don’t know my life” (which my friends and I say all the time…). And then we find out that Jake is Puck’s half-brother. (Which, if you’re a fan of the show, you already knew this.) Puck doesn’t know about Jake, but they obviously share a similar temper. Jake keeps saying he’s not his brother… well, yeah you kinda are, man.
In the auditorium, Marley leads the group in “Chasing Pavements” (the only Adele song I can’t stand anymore…) and the others join in as they rehearse blocking (what?! you mean those kids actually rehearse?!). Jake sneaks in and watches the group practice much like Puck did at the end of the pilot in S1 (see, you are your brother…).
Back in NY, Rachel calls Kurt and bursts into tears b/c she’s not doing well in dance class and her roommate is having sex with everyone. Kurt says “maybe you should find a new roommate” and then asks her to turn around… and there he is! How he got to NYC so quickly and knew exactly where Rachel was is beyond me, but they are now reunited and will be roommates and END OF EPISODE.
Next week marks the return of Britney Spears music to Glee and I, for one, could not be happier. (Britney music is my JAM, yo.)
You know what also is my jam? No Finn… no Emma… no Mercedes. I did not miss them AT ALL. (I missed Puck and Mike, though, not gonna lie…)
I’m okay with this new format, but only because Blaine is one of the main characters in the Ohio half of the show. (I just wish Burt Hummel could be on more… I really want him and Blaine to spend some time together and miss Kurt together…)
It was a good episode. It wasn’t great. Most of the songs were just “meh” for me. “It’s Time” was AMAZING, though. Probably b/c Darren is so charismatic and really gave that song his all…
I’m interested in what lies ahead. We know next week is Britney. We know senior class president stuff is coming up. We know episode 4 is “The Break Up” and now we know the Warblers will be back in Episode 7 (as per a Tweet from Ryan Murphy). So… now we wait.
Did Burt Hummel break your heart too?