Saturday, October 24, 2009

Glee - Mash Ups, or So Much Will Shuster

The tables have turned at William McKinley High School! Quinn and Finn are no longer A-list, Puck and Rachel have a fling, and Sue Sylvester is nice!

Turns out that, since Finn is part of glee club, his football buddies have turned on him and now slosh him with Slushee's every time he walks by. Since Finn has been incapacitated by corn syrup in the eye, he can't take the lead on a new song that Will has proposed be the base of the mash up (get it?) for their sectional diddy. The answer? Will himself must sing and dance his way through it.

In fact, this entire episode was pretty much a vehicle for Will to get in some singing and dancing time. Not only did he rap through "Bust a Move", he also sang and danced to "The Thong Song", had a duet with Sue to "Sing, Sing, Sing", and danced with Emma to "I Could Have Danced All Night". Of course, all these seemingly spontaneous dance numbers were totally necessary and explained in the course of the plot.

"The Thong Song" occurred when Emma and Ken ask Will to help them create a (wait for it) mash up of their two favorite songs, and teach them how to dance. Ken's song of choice is, of course, "The Thong Song", so there's a great sequence with Emma in a Princess Diana-style wedding dress and Will singing and dancing all around her, while she stands prone.

Ken walks in on their merry-making and has finally reached the last straw of the Emma-Will flirtation. To punish Will, he makes all the guys on both football team and glee club choose which extracurricular to pursue, once and for all.

Meanwhile, we get a glimpse into Puck's home life. Turns out his real name is Noah Puckerman, and his mother compares him to the Nazis while berating him for not dating any nice Jewish girls. Well, turns out Puck does know a nice Jewish girl: Rachel!

The two start dating, much to the chagrin of both Quinn and Finn, due to their crushes on Puck and Rachel, respectively. I'm truly glad that the writers have figured out that Rachel Berry is totally hot, and also that Puck sang an awesome rendition of "Sweet Caroline" as a tribute to a great Jewish American song writer.

Abruptly, we find ourselves watching a swing dance sequence with Will and Sue. After their dance, Sue explains that she's letting Quinn stay on the cheerleading squad out of pity (which explains that she's still wearing that ridiculous outfit all the time) and she's given up her hate of glee club. Why? Turns out she's started dating the TV anchor of the evening news, on which she sometimes contributes for a segment called Sue's Corner. Apparently, love makes Sue into a new, generous person, who is also an awesome swing dancer.

Will confronts Ken about making the kids choose between glee and football, which reveals that Ken knows all about Emma's obsession with Will. Will admits that he hasn't done anything to quell Emma's love, and promises that Ken won't have to worry about Will anymore. But, Ken still keeps up the dueling clubs, holding a mandatory football practice during glee's rehearsal time. Jerk!

The next dance number is Emma and Will dancing to "I Could Have Danced All Night" with Emma taking the lead! I don't know why I was surprised that she could sing as well, as I should have realized that singing and dancing skills were probably a prerequisite to audition. Anyway, they dance (with her in a much better dress) and it's beautiful. Will can't stay long, though, as he has to determine which of the football guys will choose glee at 3:30.

After much anticipation, all the football guys choose glee, except Finn! Now, they don't have enough members for sectionals, and the club must disband. To add insult to injury, the football team forces Finn to hurl a Slushee at Kurt, or face a beatdown. Finn Hamlets it up, being wishy washy while waving the Slurpee in Kurt's face. Finally, Kurt forcibly takes the Slushee from him and showers himself. Why? Because he's taking one for the team. "Now get out of here," Kurt says, grape slush dripping from his face, "and take some time to think about whether any of your friends on the football team would have done that for you."

Oh, Kurt! Apparently, Finn really did take some time and think about it, because he pleads with Coach Ken to let all the kids participate in both clubs, and Ken relents.

So, is everything now back to normal? Well, not exactly. After walking in on her new beau making out with his co-anchor, Sue is devastated, and takes her anger out on the kids. She's back to demanding set lists from Will and impulsively kicks Quinn off the Cheerios. In the final scene, we see Quinn donning normal human apparel, about which she is devastated, for some reason. The episode closes with all the glee members sloshing Will with a Slushee, for unclear reasons. But it was cute.

One lingering question, and I don't know if I've raised it before, but the writers really have to get on this soon. How on earth is Tracy going to make a baby swap if she's already "showing" (quotation marks because it's all padding) and Quinn's belly is flat as a board? Will she have to tell Will that he can't see the baby for however many months until Quinn actually gives birth? And please, Glee writers, don't do the thing where Quinn suddenly sprouts a belly overnight.

That aside, this episode was pretty fantastic. It's everything we want from Glee: singing, dancing, making out, breaking up, and hilarious one-liners. My favorite from this week came from Ken Tanaka: "I had a monster case of Athlete's Foot a couple years back and I got all my toenails removed, so if she steps on my feet during the dance I might pass out." Brilliant.

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