Sunday, October 10, 2010

Glee 2.03: "Grilled Cheesus"

If you couldn't already tell from the slowness of the blog, this past week has been a busy one for me, with three major assignments due at school. Luckily for all you readers, however, our frequent guest blogger Sarah agreed to help me out and blog this week's emotional episode of "Glee." Enjoy!


“I don’t believe in God, Dad. But I believe in you. And I believe in us. You and me, that’s what’s sacred to me.”
- Kurt

When I first watched this episode I admit I cried. The story was emotional and it just kind of hit me in a way the first two episodes of the season didn’t. Maybe it was the religious storyline that got to me. I mean, I’m not overly religious but I feel a certain connection to God through song. And that was what this episode was about. Plus, how could I not like an episode that used both Simon & Garfunkel and the Beatles?

So anyway, the episode starts with a Finn voiceover, and we see him making a grilled cheese sandwich. When he takes it out of the grill, he thinks he sees Jesus. So, he decides to try praying. He prays that they win the first football game of the season (he says it’s for Artie) and in return Finn promises to honor God at Glee that week. As nice as I think it is to do an episode on religion, Finn was ultimately pretty shallow in his prayers. Then again, I guess it was pretty in line with what teenage boys think about.

The next morning, Kurt brings his dad breakfast (something much healthier than his can of Coke and two slim-jims). Burt reminds his son that their Friday night dinner is going to be earlier that week because Finn and his mom will over, and Finn’s mom needs to work that night. Kurt says he can’t go because there’s a one-a-year sing-along “Sound of Music” playing and he’s been looking forward to it all year. Burt tells him that their dinners (started by Kurt’s mom before she died) are sacred and that means that it supersedes anything else going on. Kurt blows it off, ignoring his dad’s comment about being disappointed. To me, this sets up a lot of Kurt’s theme for the episode, which eventually gets paid off.

In any event, the McKinley High football team wins the game (Artie scores the final touchdown) and so Finn brings up singing about God in Glee club. Finn explains he’s found Jesus and feels they should honor Him with songs that week. He gets mixed reactions from the group, ranging from Kurt being totally disinterested in religion to Puck not liking that people just throw around Jesus whenever they feel like it. This prompts our first musical number of the episode. Puck gives a really fun rendition of “Only the Good Die Young”. He’s got everyone up and dancing, except for Kurt who sits texting on his phone (though who he’s texting I don’t know since all his friends are in the room). The happy and energetic mood disappears pretty fast as we go to a mainly silent montage of Emma and Will informing Kurt that something’s happened to his dad (we saw Burt keel over while helping a customer). We soon find out that Burt had a heart attack caused by an arrhythmia. He’s comatose, and the doctor has no idea if or when Burt will regain consciousness. Kurt asks for a moment alone with his, dad and he begs his father to just squeeze his hand. It’s rather emotional as it fades to black.

Finn’s back to praying to Grilled Cheesus and this time, he asks to be able to touch Rachel’s breasts. Typical teenage boy thing to ask for. That’s part of what really annoyed me with this episode. Finn was so shallow. Anyway, the next day, everyone’s somber as they walk in to Glee club rehearsal. They comfort Kurt, and even Brittney and Santana are sweet and respectful. Then Finn bursts in, angry that he was the last to know. He and Kurt have an argument about whether they’re family and thus Finn had a right to hear about it right away, instead of in gym class. Mercedes gets up and expresses her feelings in song. She does a very nice spiritual, “I Look to You.” I think I enjoyed this song because, hey, I’m a fan of contemporary Christian music, and it was a piano ballad that I could relate to. Not surprisingly, Kurt reacts badly. He repeats the fact that he doesn’t believe in God and while he respects his friends for voicing their beliefs, he doesn’t need or want their prayers.

Meanwhile, Sue’s found out about the Glee club lesson for the week and seeks to put a stop to it. She spouts off about separation of church and state and then storms out of Figgins’ office. That night, Rachel and Finn are spending time at Rachel’s house and they end up making out. Rachel even lets Finn touch her breasts. He thinks his prayers have been answered again.

Sue continues to put her plan to stop the Glee club from doing spiritual songs on school grounds into action. After pumping Brittney and Santana for information, Sue turns to Kurt and tries to convince him to complain to the school board about what’s going on. Next thing we know, Emma’s being a competent adult for once and calls Sue out on her actions. Sue explains that she doesn’t believe in God because as a child, she prayed every day to make her sister get better until she realized no one was listening. I can understand Sue’s reaction and subsequent loss of faith. I think that it shows Sue can be human and have emotions.

Finn’s third prayer of the episode is that he becomes quarterback again. Puck catches him praying and Finn scrambles to cover what he was doing. Puck admits to going to temple with his grandmother to pray for Burt. I know some people don’t like the sensitive side of Puck and think it’s out of character but I find it cool. Tough guys who are pretty much jerks can have softer sides. It makes them more three dimensional. We don’t see the result of Finn’s prayer quite yet. Instead, he and Rachel are outside and Rachel sings “Papa Can You Hear Me?”. To be honest I had to fast forward through that part the second time I watched because I don’t really like the song. It ends in Burt’s hospital room. Quinn, Mercedes, Finn and Finn’s mom are there with Rachel when Kurt shows up. They explain that since Mercedes, Rachel and Quinn are of different denominations and religions, they’ve been taking turns singing to Burt. Kurt’s offended by their actions and tells them all to leave, as a Sikh healer arrives to try acupuncture.

In the second football game of the season, Finn gets to be quarterback again because Sam (the new kid we met in the pilot) gets his shoulder dislocated in a botched play. Finn’s a little concerned but he doesn’t think much of it. The next day in Glee, Kurt shares a story from his mother’s funeral where his dad just held his hand, and knowing that his dad’s hands would always be there was what got Kurt through the loss. He sings “I Want to Hold Your Hand”. It was one of my favorite performances of the episodes. I’m a sucker for Beatles music. And I think the song fit his voice. His voice has definitely matured since last season. He’s still obviously a tenor, but it’s a much stronger tone. While Kurt sings, we see a flashback to Burt and a young Kurt (who really looks like a young Chris Colfer) having a tea party. After the class, Mercedes approaches Kurt and asks him to go to church with her that Sunday. Her congregation dedicates a service to someone each week and this week they’re dedicating it to Kurt’s dad. Kurt agrees to go, after Mercedes mentions he’ll get to wear a fabulous hat.

Finn finally confesses about his prayers to Grilled Cheesus to Emma. She gives rational, non-God related reasons for the happenings of all three events and Finn’s face falls. He says that now he feels like everyone else and not special anymore. He’s just floating around alone. Emma tries to convince Finn that he’s not alone and that the big questions are big for a reason and everyone struggles with them. Finn leaves her office and ends up singing REM’s “Losing My Religion”. It was a decent rendition but I think I prefer the original a little better. Everyone’s a little shocked at Finn’s change of heart.

Next we see Mercedes and Kurt going to church. Mercedes gives a little speech before she and the choir go into a gospel version of “Bridge Over Troubled Water”. I was so excited to hear a Simon & Garfunkel song in this episode and the gospel version was very interesting. Anyway, Mercedes impresses upon Kurt that even if he doesn’t believe in God and the power of prayer, he needs to believe in something that is sacred. That’s really only the second time we see the theme in the episode which is nice that the writers didn’t bang the theme over our heads. Kurt seems genuinely appreciative of the song at the end of it.

We have a short scene with Sue and her sister playing checkers. Sue explains why she doesn’t believe in God (again) and her sister says that God doesn’t make mistakes. It’s clear that her sister’s belief affect Sue and she even allows her sister to pray for her. Meanwhile, Kurt’s at his dad’s bedside recounting a story of their first Friday dinner after his mom died and ends up breaking down. He tells his dad that their relationship is what’s sacred to Kurt, and Burt, still mostly unconscious, squeezes Kurt’s hand.

The episode ends with a really good version of “One of Us”. I remember being really excited about this in the promo because it was the theme song of one of my favorite shows from a few years ago; “Joan of Arcadia.” The Glee version (the full version, not the one used in the episode) is on repeat on my iTunes at the moment. I think it was a good way to close out the episode. Sue doesn’t even object when she sees the kids singing it. The final scene is Finn eating the other half of the grilled cheese.

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