Like Rain On Your Wedding Day
The Glee kids mash up Carole King and Alanis Morissette and you you you oughta skip it.
Is It A Scream Or A Cheer?
"How do you call yourselves a sheet music store if you don't have the soundtrack to Smash?" asks Kurt. "I know," Blaine replies, "it's like a show choir hate crime." On the one hand, why would a sheet music store carry soundtracks, Kurt? Get your shit together! On the other hand, referencing Smash is like an Adam dog whistle, so it's going to be that kind of night, I guess. The boys aren't actually there together; Kurt was just thinking out loud and Blaine jumped in. Dave's there too and it's awkward. Separately, they sing Carole King's "It's Too Late" while browsing the music, which becomes a pretty slick flashback montage of their time at Dalton and McKinley together. As much as I loathe this plot, I like this song, and Colfer's and Criss's voices always sound good together.
Would Karofsky Go Down On You In A Theater?
In the choir room, Kurt tells Rachel about the awkward encounter and that he "spent the rest of the night having a fantasy about singing 'It's Too Late' all over town." Hee. "Hey, why don't we use Carole King's seminal breakup album Tapestry as this week's lesson?" Thanks for explaining that so gracefully to the younger audience there, Kurt. Rachel thinks that's too much of a downer, and that if they're going to do a breakup album, it should be Alanis Morissette's "modern and edgy" Jagged Little Pill. Ah yes, the modern, twenty-year-old Jagged Little Pill, which, if my math is correct, came out when Rachel was three. Kurt appreciates the music education Mr. Shue gave them (HA!) and wants to do the same for their kids. He suggests a mash-up week: "Two great albums written by great singer-songwriters." Look, I love Alanis Morissette in general and Jagged Little Pill in particular, but did you really just put her on par with Carole King?
Sam and Coach Beiste have a heart-to-heart in the locker room about how well Sam's been doing in his job, and how he'd love to take over for her someday. Beiste's knee has been acting up and she thinks she'll have to have surgery. Spencer says he wants to be quarterback, but Beiste won't hear it. Who cares?
Didn't Think You'd Miss Will, Did You?
Glee club rehearsal. The alumni (minus Mercedes and Artie) are still hanging around because why not? They're going with "Jagged Little Tapestry." Santana: "Oh, look, finally some songs about Rachel's hair extensions!" Someone in my house laughed a lot at this. Not saying who. Also let's not discuss Rachel's skirt. Rachel and Kurt are kind of a disaster. They haven't prepared their remarks and they're a mess. Jane says she doesn't understand what they're supposed to do. Tina: "Just sit and smile like I did for three years." Santana and Brittany volunteer to go first just to stop Rachel and Kurt from talking.
Life Goes On
Becky confesses to Quinn and Tina that she lied to her college boyfriend, who is coming to visit, and told him that she was the president of every club at McKinley, including Glee. Because what this show needed was more Becky. The girls offer to help. Becky calls Quinn "Kitty," which is a decent running gag that doesn't make up for how unbearable this plotline is clearly going to be.
Exception That Proves The Rule
Santana and Brittany are in bed together, talking about scissoring. I'll allow it because Brittany and Santana are the best. Santana wants to do a mash-up of "I Feel The Earth Move" and "Hand In My Pocket." Brittany, missing the point, wants to do "You Oughta Know." I will gladly watch either of these. Santana wants to move back to New York and go back to college, and wants Britt to come with her. I'm confused by the continuity but I guess these two are still together and they're adorable and the only couple on this show I'll give a pass to on my "no high school relationships" rule.
Did Someone Lie About Caring About This Story?
Sue advises Becky that "all healthy relationships are built on lies." The boyfriend arrives and Sue grills him, clearly suspicious of the fact that he's totally cute.
I've Got One Hand In My Pocket, And The Other One's Feeling The Earth Move
Santana and Brittany go with the mash-up. It's musically tenuous but these are two pretty unbreakable songs sung by two of the best in the cast, and everyone, even the actors who haven't had any lines yet this episode, looks like they're having fun. After the song, Santana says "I wanna mash up with you forever, Britt," and proposes. Hmmm. Somehow, the fact that super-negative Santana is doing something so sweet makes this seem okay, but I may have to revoke my earlier pass. Kurt stands up: "Did you learn nothing from me and Blaine? We're too young to get married! All of us!" Yes, gurl. "As somebody who has lived her life jealously attacking the happiness of others, even I can't hate this engagement," says Tina. The bell rings.
Beauty And The Beiste (I'm Sorry)
Spencer narcs to Sue about Beiste missing practices and yelling a lot. He says he saw her wearing a too-small shirt and taking a lot of pills. He thinks Sam could take over. What is going on?
Dr. Hummel, Report To The Burn Unit
Rachel accuses Kurt of not being supportive. Ya think? Santana finds them in the hall and says she took what he said to heart, but maybe he and Blaine didn't work out "because you're a judgmental little gerontophile with a mouth like a cat's ass. Maybe Blaine got tired of hearing a shrill, self-aggrandizing lecture about how you felt the two of you were at the very apex of the gay rights movement every time you so much as cooked macaroni and cheese together, or farted. Maybe Blaine didn't wanna be with someone who looks like they just removed their top row of dentures every time they smiled, or someone who doesn't dress like an extra out of one of Andy Dick's more elaborate wet dreams. Maybe Blaine grew weary of dating a breathier, more feminine Quinn Fabray. Maybe he finally got freaked out by your strange obsession with old people that causes you to skulk around nursing homes like one of those cats that can smell cancer. Maybe he got tired of watching you drape yourself on every piano you happen past to entertain exactly no one with say some song that Judy Garland choked on her tongue in the middle of or say some sassy Broadway standard made famous by another dead alcoholic crone. Maybe Blaine woke up and said you know what? I don't want to marry a sexless self-centered baton twirler. Maybe I need someone who knows more than three dance moves: the finger wag, the shoulder shimmy, and the one where you pretend to twirl two invisible rainbow colored ribbons attached to your hips. So you know what? Maybe that's why it didn't work out. Maybe it has nothing to do with me and Brittany. Maybe it's just that you are utterly, utterly intolerable. Maybe that has something to do with it." I mean...she makes several good points? The only thing better than this monologue is Rachel's face during this monologue.
Quinn and Tina teach Becky some dance moves, but she blows them off for her date with Darrell and is needlessly mean to the girls. Everyone is perplexed by Darrell's relative hotness.
Sometimes You Feel Like A Nut (The Nut Is Brittany, And It's All The Time)
Brittany is putting together an engagement present for Santana made of Mounds bars, "the lesbians of candies." Kurt apologizes and says that he's bitter and doesn't think anyone should get married until they're thirty. But he thinks he and Blaine are just on a break. Brittany breaks the news that Blaine and Karofsky are moving in together; she was helping them decorate the other day (she had the bed removed because "when I pictured you having sex I imagined a U-Haul mounting a moped"). She wisely advises Kurt to move on. He's not ready to admit that it's over. "These Mounds bars are delicious," Brittany says. "But you have to eat them. If you just hold them in your hand hoping that you might get to eat them one day, they're going to melt. Then you'll look like somebody just pooped in your hand. Don't let waiting for things to maybe work out with Blaine turn you into the guy who looks like somebody just pooped in your hand." Oh, Brittany, keep being the best.
Stop Pretending Nene Leakes Can Act, Ryan Murphy!
Roz interrogates Darrell, along with Sue, Quinn, and Tina. Darrell seems cool. He explains how he and Becky met, and why he likes her, and it all seems totally above-board. He turns their discomfort around and accuses them of being bigots. Why are we doing this? Why did you bring Nene back for this? What's going on?
You've Already Won Me Over
Jane and Mason perform "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow" and "Head Over Feet." It's kind of amazing? Musically, it totally works. We didn't really get to hear this guy sing last week and he's really good! Kurt gets all mopey and flashes back to every Klaine moment from the entire series, just in case you were wondering if we were meant to care about the new kids at all. Bitter Kurt gives them lots of bitchy notes in the name of competition. Rachel tells him to go home.
Wait, Where Is This Going?
Sue confronts Beiste and says that she searched her desk and founds a particular type of steroids, which Google says are used in cancer treatment. Beiste says she didn't want to trouble anyone with it, and Sue is supportive, of course, in her Sue way.
So Far Away...From Caring
Quinn and Tina sing the beginning of a lovely "So Far Away." Becky is supposed to join in, but she runs off. The Glee girls follow her and explain that it's normal to tell white lies at the beginning of a relationship, like "you're the father of my child" or "I have a stutter" or "I'm straight" or "I have three vaginas." Becky says it's different for her, because she doesn't think she'll ever get a chance to get another guy like Darrell again. Santana, citing Sue's instruction to treat Becky like everyone else, calls her on her bad behavior and tells her to fess up.
It's Almost Like They Have No Training Or Experience In Teaching
Kurt apologizes to Rachel for bringing his baggage to class. Rachel says he was right to be hard on the kids, who have been watching videos of
Season 1 the New Directions on YouTube and see how good they were; the new kids know that they need to be pushed harder if they want to win. Rachel admits that she needs Kurt, and says they make a good team.
Sue calls Sam into her office, where Sue tells him that Beiste has cancer. Only she doesn't have cancer, she's trans. Or rather, he's trans. "When you think about," says Sue, "it's not that big of a stretch." And it's not. As crazy things on this show go, this isn't terribly crazy; it's kind of been there all along. Dot-Marie Jones plays it really well, too. It's no Transparent, but it's surprisingly sweet. Beiste is going to need Sam to step up while he has surgery and treatments. Sue stops him: "Please spare us the details of the literal sausage-making. ...Should you choose to return to this school, your job will be waiting."
Good For Becky. Now Go Away.
Becky and Darrell are at Breadsticks, having been banned from Fuddruckers. Becky confesses her lies, and Darrell says that he likes her anyway. "It's going to take me some time to a guy having my back." This would be sweet if I cared at all.
I'll Come Running...Because I'm Contractually Obligated
"Kurt and I just wanted to say together that we're very proud of you guys. Although we've just begun to jell as team, we learned this week that two very different styles of teaching, although may clash sometimes, they yield very important lessons."
Madison: That sort of sounded like you were congratulating yourselves.
Tina: You get used to it.
They conclude with a full-cast "You Learn" / "You've Got A Friend." It's sweet, but remember when they said they wanted to balance the sweetness of Carole with the roughness of Alanis? Yeah, this is the opposite of edgy.
I'm of two minds with this verdict. Mathematically, it's definitely a skip. And if you're not into Alanis and Carole, then there's almost nothing here for you. On the good side, Santana and Brittany remind us why they've always been the comedic MVPs, and even Tina gets some nice moments. Quinn has turned into the most mature of the alumni, which feels natural. Will is absent, Puck has one line, and if you do like these artists, the music -- despite the absolutely criminal lack of "You Oughta Know" or "Ironic" -- is on point. But even as a fan of both albums, I found the musical numbers pretty dull dramatically. The Beiste reveal is interesting, but the entire run-up to it is deadly. I suppose there are Becky fans out there, and if you are one, then more power to you, and her, but clearly I am not. And certainly nothing happened here that seemed to set up anything that will play later in the season, except Beiste, which now you know about. The best I can muster is Watch With A Heavy Thumb On The Fast-Forward Button.