Friday, December 31, 2010

Glee 2.09: "Special Education"

Always entertaining guest blogger Sarah is back again, helping me catch up on fall blogging before winter shows start. She'll be blogging a couple of episodes of "No Ordinary Family" too, so keep an eye out for that. Meanwhile, here's her take on the "Glee" episode "Special Education."


“I don’t care if you guys hate each other. All I want is for you guys to go out there and sing together. Get up there and for six minutes, remind yourselves that you’re not alone.”
- Will

So, I liked “Special Education." For one thing, it was mercifully void of one Sue Sylvester. I mean she was entertaining to a point last season but now she’s just obnoxious and irritating most of the time. I know I said she was nice last episode with sticking to her word about expelling Karofsky, but generally, she gets on my nerves.

Anyway, the episode starts off with Will talking to Emma in the teacher’s lounge. He’s offered her tickets to Sectionals, saying she’s their good luck charm. When he starts to go through their killer set list, Emma interrupts by saying he’s going to have Rachel and Finn sing a ballad and then the rest of the group join in with a rock song with Mercedes ending it. Will’s a little surprised by her statement but soon realizes she’s right. He’s not letting all of the talent be showcased. He brings this up at Glee rehearsal and Finn and Rachel (well mostly Rachel) are thrown. Mike Chang and Brittany are going to do a dance number and Sam and Quinn are going to be doing the ballad. To make things worse, Santana outs Finn for sleeping with her last year.

Meanwhile, we see Kurt settling in at Dalton Academy, complete with blue and red uniform. I have to say, the uniform just isn’t Kurt. I miss his cute style. So he’s sitting in on the Warblers rehearsal and they hand him a canary named Pavarotti to take care of. He makes a joke about taking it to work with him in a coal mine with stray cats but it falls on deaf ears. Then, the council comes to order. Blaine explains that they select three upperclassmen each year to be the council since they don’t have a director. Kurt jumps in with his ideas for a Sectionals set list when the council promptly shuts him down. Instead, the council decides to do their entire set list in 8-part harmony. How they actually have enough singers to double parts is a little suspect but whatever. You need a little suspension of disbelief.

Back at McKinley, Rachel confronts Finn about what Santana said. It’s obvious she’s hoping it isn’t true, but Finn can’t lie. It turns out they are in Emma’s office for a counseling session. Rachel is pretty caught up with the fact that Finn slept with Santana. It seems she’s not all that pissed that he lied about having sex. It’s more the who than the what. I guess it’s not that surprising that she’s so obsessed. Things end with Rachel storming out. Meanwhile, Artie finds Brittany hiding in a classroom. She says she’s scared about performing at Sectionals because she doesn’t want to be responsible for if they win or lose. Artie cheers her up by giving her his “magic comb”.

Will tasks Puck with finding a new member for the Glee club. Since Kurt left, they’re a member short, and if they don’t find someone else, they can’t compete at Sectionals. Puck tries to recruit from the football team and gets locked in a port-a-potty for his troubles. He’s rescued by Lauren (Typhoid Mary from “The Substitute”). Will and Rachel kind of have it out when she protests not getting a solo for Sectionals. Will’s tired of all the kids being about themselves and says rather sternly that they will be good sports at Sectionals. They’ll cheer on the other teams and if either of them wins, the New Directions will congratulate them.

After rehearsal, Tina shows up at Artie’s locker, dressed like a cheerleader zombie (according to Artie) and tells Artie that she thinks Brittany and Mike Chang are cheating on them. Artie doesn’t want to believe it but Brittany has been avoiding him a little and when he goes to confront her, she says she has to go rehearse with Mike.

Kurt is in slightly higher spirits when Blaine tells him he can audition for a solo at Sectionals. Kurt pops by McKinley to ask Rachel for help in picking out a solo, and they end up doing a rather odd duet of “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina”. Don’t get me wrong, I loved their duet of “Defying Gravity” but this one just didn’t live up to the past performances. Another thing I don’t get is that it was really Rachel’s song. Kurt doesn’t get the solo and he’s again rather put out by his lack of success with the Warblers.

Emma ends up telling Will that she can’t go to Sectionals with him and the kids as they board the bus. She told Carl about everything and after a fight; Emma says that she can’t lie to him anymore. With a rather dull call from Rachel, Will boards the bus and they head off to Sectionals. Rachel runs into Kurt before performances start and she tries to be sympathetic that he didn’t get his solo. They share a sort of sweet moment before Blaine comes to collect Kurt.

We first see the Hipsters do “In the Living Years,” which is okay and kind of reminded me of the movie “Young At Heart.” Not a great performance but amusing enough. The looks on the New Directions are pretty amusing as well. Next we get the Warblers doing a very good rendition of Train’s “Hey Soul Sister”. I have to say, I adore this song and I really like Darren Criss’s voice. For those of you who watched “The Sing-Off” on NBC, my favorite group (Street Corner Symphony) did a great version of this song as well. Apparently, the background singers that make up the Warblers are actually a group from last year’s “Sing-Off.” Kurt is a little straight-faced at first but Rachel motions to him to smile and he does. Now it’s time for the New Directions to go on, and things still are pretty tense behind the scenes. Artie confronts Brittany about her supposed cheating and it’s revealed that she was avoiding Artie because she lost his “magic comb”. He’s relieved to say the least and admits that it was just a comb he found on the floor and was going to throw away. Rachel and Finn have it out as well and Finn makes the very good point that Rachel was dating Jesse at the time so she has no right to be mad at him. So true. Will comes and tries to rally the troops and stop the in-fighting.

Sam and Quinn do a duet of “Time of My Life”. It was pretty good. I liked their costumes more this year than last year. Chord Overstreet and Diana Agron actually have a good harmony. It would be nice if they laid off the Autotune a bit. Kurt enjoys the performance and ends up giving a standing ovation. The next song they do is “Valerie” that Santana sings the lead on. It’s an okay song but I’d never heard it before, and so it wasn’t all that memorable for me. I did enjoy that it was someone other than Rachel. I do have to say the dancing by Mike Chang and Brittany was really good and impressive.

It’s voting time, and it turns out that the Hipsters came in last place. Not surprising really. And both New Directions and the Warblers are going on to Regionals. They had to keep everyone in the storyline somehow. It seems a little odd that both got to move on. Wouldn’t it mess up how Regionals work? Anyway, it will be nice to see Kurt and the Warblers again. I’m hoping we get Kurt back at McKinley soon.

Will shows Emma the trophy and she reveals that Carl took her to Vegas and they got married. Will is really not happy with the news and I have to say it was kind of out the blue and rather stupid as storylines go. He feigns happiness and leaves. Next we find Rachel talking to Finn. She admits that she messed around with Puck after she found out about Santana because she was mad at Finn. Surprisingly, Puck was the one to break it off before it went too far. She doesn’t seem to get that this isn’t the same as what Finn did. She actually did cheat on him. I would hate to be Finn. He really needs a new best friend. Puck has a tendency to steal his girlfriends. Finn leaves Rachel standing in the hallway looking horrified that he’s just broken up with her.

Kurt has a weird little scene with Blaine discussing Pavarotti molting. It seems like they are trying to show some sort of twisted metaphor that Kurt is like the bird stuck in its cage of uniformity and I really doubt that will last, no matter how smitten he is with Blaine. We close out the episode with the Glee kids doing “Dog Days Are Over” with Mercedes and Tina singing lead.

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