Thursday, November 19, 2009

Glee - Ballad, or So Many Crushes

I was really concerned that they weren't going to pull this, but it was inevitable, really. Of course someone was going to develop a massive crush on Shuster. He's irresistible, and if I were 17, hell, if I knew him today, there would be no stopping that attraction.

Anyway, Rachel finally got the memo that Shuster is hot, talented, and HOT while assigned to sing a ballad with him. Mike (who? yeah, I don't know either) is out because of a "spider in the ear" related incident, so Shuster and Rachel have to perform a ballad together to get ready for sectionals in a few weeks. Other pairings for the ballad-off include Mercedes and Puck, Quinn and Kurt, and the two other cheerleaders.

Meanwhile, Quinn is still pregnant, and can no longer fit into her chastity ball dress! The horror! We finally meet Quinn's clueless parents, who are aptly characterized as boozy conservatives, due to some subtle glass clinking sound effects, and the exhortation from Quinn's mom, "Glenn's on!" Pretty clever, there, Glee. To make matters worse, Russ Fabray has decided to invite Finn over for Sunday dinner, where I'm sure everything will be fine and nothing terrible will happen.

So, Rachel is in full on stalker mode, and gives Shuster a blue tie with gold stars on it. "Gold stars are kind of my signature thing," she explains. Oh, Rachel, we all know what your thing is.

But, this isn't the first time this has happened to our boy Shu. Apparently, a few years back, there was the Suzie Pepper incident, where she stalked him, and after being told to back off, ate one of the world's hottest peppers, which burned holes in her esophagus and left her in an induced coma for three days. Not exactly a success story. Thankfully, Emma's back to offer advice! She suggests that Will sing his non-feelings for Rachel, letting her down easy.

Cut to Kurt and Finn, trying to rehearse. Finn is weirded about about singing to a dude, so Kurt suggests he sing out his feeling of frustration about the impending adoption to the crowd, imagining his daughter is out there. We are then treated to a beautiful rendition of "I'll Stand by You" with interspersed shots of Finn singing to a video of a sonogram.

During the big finish, Finn's mom walks in, carrying a basket of laundry. She asks what we're all asking inside: "Are you singing to a sonogram?" The answer is yes. Because she is obviously an more observant parent than Quinn's folks, Finn's mom immediately realizes that Quinn is pregnant. Finn breaks down sobbing in Mommy's arms.

Finn tells Quinn that he spilled the beans, and she freaks out, worried that his mom will tell her parents.

We find out that Kurt has had a long-standing crush on Finn, even though he realizes how foolish it is. Though Kurt realizes that foolishness of his feelings - "I don't know why I find his stupidity so charming. I mean, he's cheating off a girl who thinks the square root of 4 is rainbows" - he can't get over him. He's so delusional that he believes he can turn Finn gay with the right combination of camaraderie and girl bashing. Oh, Kurt, you poor sweet thing. Although, to be fair, a relationship with Quinn would be enough to scare a lot of men away from the ladies forever.

Speaking of poor sweet things, we get a peek into Rachel and Will's ballad rehearsal. Will has composed a mashup of "Young Girl" and "Don't Stand So Close to Me" in the hopes that she'll understand that he's not interested. Poor Rachel doesn't get it, and both Rachel and Emma are sent into paroxysms of joy and lust. Rachel rushes home to compose her own mashup of lovey songs to sing right back at Will.

But, she can't wait until the next day to get her lovin' on, so Rachel shows up at Will's house, cooks him dinner, and cleans the bathroom. Terri puts up with these shenanigans, even encourages them, so that she doesn't have to do housework. Terri! Anyway, Will takes Rachel home, and it's super awkward.

Next, we see Mercedes and Puck attempting to rehearse their ballad. Mercedes reveals that everyone has decided to sing a song to Quinn and Finn to show support during Babygate. Puck freaks out and reveals that he's really the father. To Mercedes! Luckily, he picked the right person to reveal to, as Mercedes brings the tough love advice. She says that impregnating Quinn does not make him the father, and that role will be filled by Finn, because Quinn chose him. So, back off and leave her alone. We'll see if Puck gets the message through his mohawk, which seems pretty likely, judging by the look of sheepish surliness on his face.

Suddenly, it's Sunday dinner time, and the Fabray's are in full on crazy mode. Finn decides to break the tension by singing "You're Having My Baby" to Quinn right in front of her folks. We find out that it was Kurt's idea to serenade her, in the hopes that she would break up with him. Oh, Kurt, you conniving little fashionista! Further hammering home the fact that the Fabray's are the stoutest bottles on the shelf, it takes them at least two verses of the song before they realize that Quinn is knocked up.

Then all hell breaks loose. Because she's such a disappointment to them, the Fabray's disown Quinn and kick her out of the house. What? This really happens to people? Aren't we pretty clear as a society that kicking your children out at their most vulnerable tends not to work in their favor? Well, I guess old Glenn Beck didn't have that message on any of his programs, so the Fabray's didn't get the memo. She's given a half hour to pack, then moves in with Finn and his much more reasonable mom.

Suzie Pepper, Will's old stalker, corners Rachel in a bathroom to tell her to back off Shuster. However, this isn't some old rivalry emerging, but rather, more sound advice from someone who's gone through hell. She says that her and Rachel are not so different, and they both hitched their stars to Will because they know he'll never reciprocate their feelings. They are attracted to unattainable boys, further reinforcing their fear that they'll never be good enough to love. Suzie's advice is to find someone else, and save herself a lot of heartbreak. Not that I ever had an inappropriate crush in high school...but I wish someone had given me this advice at 17. The only beef I have with Suzie's pep talk is that she refers to Rachel as mildly attractive. What?! Rachel is smokin' hot, and I refuse to conform to the narrative of unattractiveness that Glee is perpetuating against Rachel!

Anyhow, Rachel gets the message, and apologizes to Shu for her inappropriateness. Will sits her down, reiterates that they will never have anything more than a student/teacher relationship, but says that there's a boy out there who will love every part of her, including the parts of herself that she wishes she could change. Again, where were these beautiful, uplifting speeches when I was in high school?

We wrap things up this week with a lively rendition of "Lean on Me" from the glee clubbers to Quinn and Finn. So, the message is that, even though Quinn is effectively a homeless orphan, it'll be okay, because her high school buddies still like her. Hooray!

I shouldn't be so callous, but really, what is Quinn going to do? She's about to have astronomical medical bills, a terrible emotional upheaval (if she does give the baby up for adoption) and no income. Glee is about to take a dark turn if things continue in this direction. I'm hoping that Mrs. Fabray (the less crazy one) grows a brain and takes Quinn back in. With any luck, she'll also divorce that neanderthal, Russ Fabray. But until then, we'll always have the music.

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