This has got to be one of my favourite episodes of Glee. Well, most of season 1 is packed with my favourite episodes but this one is high on the list along with Vitamin D which I cannot wait to get to. But let's focus on the episode in question shall we?
So this episode starts off with Will Schuester in a pretty good mood. He's head of the Glee club and even has a fancy license plate that says "Glee" on it to advertise this fact. Rachel bounds up to him with sheet music, saying that she's found a bunch of songs that would feature her as lead vocalist but Mr. Schue cheerfully informs her that he has a song picked out. Finn shows up next to her and offers to carry her bag for her which distracts her from her quest to gain more leads.
Mr. Schue then passes by Artie, Tina, and Mercedes who informs him that they are learning runs. Schue does a vocal run with them before reminding them about Glee rehearsals that afternoon. Then he strolls merrily past Kurt, Puck and some jocks near a dumpster, completely oblivious to the fact that they are about to toss Kurt in to said dumpster and cheers on the school's team, the Titans. Once Mr. Schue is gone, Puck and his friends move to toss Kurt in but first, Kurt hands them his bag (so it doesn't get dirtied) and then drops this most epic of lines:
|Ah Kurt, I loved you once...|
Seriously, I want you guys to remember this characterization of Kurt because it is wonderful and it is going to be completely undone in the next half of this season and onwards. To the point that the very season finale rewrites this character and pisses me off to no end because season 1 Kurt...First 13 Episodes Kurt, is magical.
We then go back to Mr. Schue as he continues on his blissfully ignorant way down the school hallway. Emma is waiting for him but pretends to just bump into him so that they can cutely banter together. I forgot how, kind of conniving and crazy Emma was in the beginning. I kind of love it. She's super crazy, like basically she's this girl:
|She even has the same buggy eyes|
Emma points out that they match since they are both wearing periwinkle.
|Oh hey, we totally match for some reason. No, I was not the one |
peeping in your bedroom window as you dressed this morning...
Santana and Quinn walk up to them and tell Schue that Sue wants to see him in her office and that she doesn't like to be kept waiting. Schue nervously agrees to go.
Will enters Sue's office apprehensively. She's busy working out but dismounts and offers Will an iron pill because they "keep your strength up while menstruating" which leads to probably one of my favourite throw away quotes from Sue ever:
I just love that line delivery, just matter of fact statement that leaves you hanging and wondering what the fuck is up with her? I like this version of Sue, she's hilarious and not yet ruined by bad writing.
Anyway, Sue tells Will that Figgins is going to cut the Glee Club if they don't place at regionals. On top of this, they can't even qualify for regionals if they don't have 12 members and by Sue's count, they only have 5 and a half (she's counting Artie as half a person because he's in a wheel chair, you see). Sue then tells Will to just disband the glee club and join her Cheerios team as her assistant. Will "politely declines" her offer and tells her that glee is here to stay even if she is used to being the "cock of the walk"
Meanwhile, in the school hallway, Rachel is listening in to a conversation between Quinn and Finn. Quinn is trying to convince Finn to quit glee so that they have a shot at being homecoming king and queen. She tries to tempt him to quit by offering him the ability to touch her boobs, under the shirt but over the bra. Finn is conflicted but ultimately declines because he wants to be in glee because it makes him happy. Quinn is furious because everyone thinks he's gay now and so what does that make her?
Finn leaves and Quinn spots Rachel eavesdropping. She tells Rachel that she can sing with Finn and dance with him but she will never have him. Rachel says that she is an honourable person (laughable considering next episode spoilery stuff), so she doesn't need to steal her boyfriend. She then says that glee's stock is rising while hers in falling and she'll just have to deal with it.
|In conclusion, Glee's stock has not risen at all...|
or at least, Rachel's hasn't
We cut to the glee club practicing Le Freak by Chic but they are clearly not into it. Mercedes stops the practice to complain about Rachel almost kicking her in the face and to flat out tell Will that his song choice sucks. Will tries to tell them that the song is fine, they just need more energy but even Kurt objects.
|You know a song is gay when...|
Will tells them that they don't have time to discuss this as they are performing the song in front of the whole school on Friday. Naturally, the entire club is mortified at the thought. Will tells them that it's important that they perform well at the assembly because they need recruits as they can't qualify for regionals without 12 members. He then assures them that his club took nationals with Le Freak because it's a crowd pleaser.
Will and Terri are looking at a ginormous house with a realtor. Will explains that the hunt for a newer and bigger home happened because Terri's sister convinced her that they had to upgrade to a bigger home for the new baby. So, here they are looking at what appears to be a mcmansion and Terri is gasping in delight over banisters made by Ecuadorian children, grand foyers, and sun nooks. Will points out that they can't afford the house but Terri scoffs at this and shows him a frilly pink bedroom.
Will says he loves it but that they still can't afford it. Terri says it's her very own "Sophie's Choice" before saying she'd take the grand foyer and give up the sun nook. Will relents and says that he'll sign the papers while thinking about how he'll need to get a part-time job.
In the choir room the next day, Kurt and Mercedes are arguing and I hear him say that she looks like a "Technicolor zebra" which should totally be the name of a band. Anyway, Will comes in and tells them that they are going to do a Kanye song which gets them all excited until Will says that they are still doing disco at the assembly. He says that communication is key and they asked for modern music so he listened and is giving it to them. Artie says that they'd like to not do disco at the assembly but Will ignores him while passing out the sheet music and telling Finn he has the solo. Finn declines in a panic, saying he isn't ready. Will tells him that he'll walk him through it and we are introduced to the first of many "Will raps" sessions.
Quick aside: a lot of people hate Will rapping. A. Lot. I'm actually not one of them. *ducks for cover amidst boos and rotten fruit being tossed at her* No, seriously, I don't find it that bad. We're not supposed to take these performances so seriously, they are just about a group of people having fun and singing and to me, that's all that was happening here. Just a teacher singing a song with his students and having a good time. It's what glee is all about, hell, it was the entire philosophy of the previous glee teacher that made Will want to do this in the first place:
It's a nice sentiment and I really think that's all that this is about. Just a bunch of people singing a song they like and having fun. No one was actually supposed to take Will seriously as a rapper. No one is asking Matthew Morrison to drop a rap album, it was a performance in a show that was intended as commentary to what was going on in the plot. Ie: the song they are singing is Golddigger by Kanye West, while they are singing we also cut to Terri and her sister going over plans for the new house and obviously, talking about spending money they don't have. It works in this scene. So, yeah, this song was fun and harmless. Get over it.
|And don't make me quote a Taylor Swift song again|
We next cut to Emma in the bathroom when she overhears someone obviously puking. She investigates to find Rachel leaning over the toilet. Emma asks if she's throwing up but Rachel says that she tried and failed because she doesn't seem to have a gag reflex.
|This show, man. Hilarious|
Emma asks Rachel to have a chat with her in her office. We cut to them in her office where she hands Rachel one of her many hilarious brochures.
|These brochures are some of the funniest things in Glee|
Rachel says she doesn't have bulimia and she won't ever try throwing up again because it grossed her out. Emma asks what made her try it in the first place and Rachel answers that it's because she wants to be thinner and prettier like Quinn Fabray. She then asks Emma if she's ever liked someone so much that it made her want to lock herself in her room, turn on sad music and cry. Emma says no but we cut to:
Emma then gives Rachel the advice to find a common interest with whoever she likes because then he'll see her in a positive way and who knows what could happen.
We next cut to Will, Sue, Rachel, and Finn in Principal Figgins' office. It starts out with Sue demanding that they tell Figgins what she caught them doing, leading you to believe that they were caught having sex. In reality, they were making photocopies on the Cheerio's private photocopy machine. You want to know what they were photocopying? Flyers advertising celebrities who were in Glee club in high school:
|Back the fuck up! Did Glee make Robin Thicke a thing? |
This was way before Blurred Lines. Damn you, Glee!!
Sue is horrified to see them using it, saying they could have broken it.
|Damn, there are so many quotable lines in the early episodes|
Will asks how many photocopies they made (17), and how much a photocopy costs (4 and a half cents), then suggests that Rachel and Finn just pay for the copies they made. Figgins likes this compromise and asks them to pay Sue, then tells Sue that she has to clean her congealed protein shake off of the floor since he had to fire half of the janitorial staff due to the recession. Holy shit, yeah, this show came out around the time that everyone was panicking over the recession. Crazy, that seems like so long ago now but it has only been 6 years. Anyway, Sue is not pleased with this outcome.
Finn apologizes to Will while Rachel plots to get their flyers up as soon as possible. Will shoots the idea down, telling them that they are doing the assembly and that everyone loves disco.
|Tell 'em, Freaks|
Finn is completely freaked out and sure that he's going to be a dead man. Rachel tries to cheer him up by telling him how talented he supposedly is. Look, he's alright but I wouldn't say that he's destined for a singing career or the most deserving of the male characters to get a solo. But, the show wants us to believe he's good, so here we are. Rachel asks him if he wants to practice after school but he informs her that he has a Cellibacy Club meeting.
While having a couple's bath together, Will tells Terri that he can't find part time work so they won't be able to get the grand foyer. Terri is pissed. Will tells her that they don't need a grand foyer to be happy but she is having none of it. Terri is annoyed at always having to compromise and whines about how no one gives back to them despite how hard they work. I seem to recall you saying you only worked 16 hours a week, Terri. Shut your mouth about working hard.
The next day, Will catches Figgins scraping Sue's congealed protein shake off the copy room floor. Apparently, Sue got a note from her doctor that said she couldn't do any cleaning, so Figgins had to do it himself because he fired most of the janitorial staff. Will gets an idea and offers to take over one of the night time janitor jobs at half the pay to get the extra money for the dream home her wife wants.
At the celibacy meeting, Rachel sits alone across from a group of Cheerios. So, apparently all of the cheerleaders practice abstinence? Seems legit. Rachel asks where the boys are and Quinn pissily explains that for the first half hour they separate, then they come together in their faith. This club lasts an hour? Dear god, that sounds painfully boring.
In the next classroom, a bunch of football players...come on now. Football players? In the Celibacy Club? I mean, one or two sure but most of them? Whatever, show, whatever. Finn proves my point by saying that he only joined the club to get into Quinn Fabray's pants, so not so celibate after all. Then, the most vile and obnoxious character this show ever produced starts whining about wanting to kill himself because they are bombarded with sexual imagry and short skirts everywhere and are expected not to do anything about it. Jewfro? I hate you. I loathe you. You are the worst character ever conceived of and this isn't even you at your worst. Seriously? Yes, you are expected not to do anything about it. No one owes you sex because you're horny unless you pay for a prostitute then yes, they kind of owe you but the general public? No, they don't owe you shit. You're horny? Go whack one out in the privacy of your own damn bathroom/bedroom like the rest of society. Please, dear god, keep it in the privacy of your own room. Please!?
This is going to come back up, not today but soon and it will haunt you for the rest of your life. You have been warned. #season2trauma
We cut back to the girls who are dancing around in their short Cheerio skirts and going on about how happy they are that someone invented short skirts. Then they say their power motto: It's all about the teasing, not about the pleasing. Before continuing to dance around happily, proud of the fact that they are holding out sex even though they know it drives the guys crazy. This...this is what every guy thinks girls do, isn't it? That's depressing.
We cut back to the guys. Finn is asked how far Quinn lets him get and he responds that they make out and grind. Jewfro asks how he keeps from cumming early but in tv words. Finn says it isn't a problem for him but in his voice over, he informs us that it is a problem. I kind of like this, it's a very subtle jab at how guys tend to talk a big game but are in fact, just as nervous or clueless about stuff as everyone else. He informs us that the way he tries to keep from ejaculating too quickly is to think of the time his mother was teaching him how to drive:
|Definitely a mood killer|
We cut to the entire Celibacy Club together. They are all paired off to dance with a balloon between them. What Quinn calls "immaculate affection" and remember, "if the balloon pops, the noise makes the angels cry." Puck proceeds to sexually assault Santana by grinding into the balloon and her while she tells him to stop. Rachel is paired with Jewfro and is suitably creeped out when a balloon pops. It's Quinn and Finn's balloon and she's pissed.
Then, Rachel becomes my absolute favourite high school girl character of all time and forever when she utters this beautifulness:
RACHEL: You know what? This is a joke. Did you know that most studies have demonstrated that celibacy doesn’t work in high schools? Our hormones are driving us too crazy to abstain. The second we start telling ourselves that there’s no room for compromise, we act out. The only way to deal with teen sexuality is to be prepared. That’s what contraception is for.
QUINN: Don’t you dare mention the “C” word.
RACHEL: You want to know a dirty little secret that none of them want you to know? Girls want sex just as much as guys do.
Did the writers just write a sex positive high school girl character? Did they seriously just have a high school girl admit that she wants sex?
|You earned Patrick Stewart's nod of approval, show. Congrats|
You have no idea how much I love this scene. No idea, guys. I'm just so sick of the dumb trope that the girl always has to be the one scared of sex, not wanting to try sex, embarrassed about sex, etc, etc, etc. Do you know how good it feels to have a female character on tv finally say what most of us were thinking? That we too are curious about sex and want to experience it? It feels pretty damn good, let me tell you. It brings a tear to my eye every time I see it, I just think the scene is that beautiful and important for every teenaged girl to see. It is ok to want sex, don't feel ashamed about it in any way. You don't have to pretend to be all naïve about it. Educate yourself and then hopefully we will have less girls being pressured into things they don't want to do simply because they've been kept in the dark about sex because they were told to not want it.
Later that night, Emma catches Will cleaning one of the classrooms and he confesses that he had to take the part time work to help him and Terri buy a house. She says she'll keep it between the two of them and then asks if he wants any help. Will declines but Emma insists because she can see he's not doing the greatest job and she knows for a fact that the teacher who's room he's cleaning doesn't wash her hands after doing number two.
Fast forward to them cleaning together and Will asks if he can help her with one of her problems. She says she doesn't have any and he points out that she's been cleaning the same pencil sharpener for an hour. Emma admits she has a problem with messes but she has a totally legit reason to have it.
EMMA: Okay. When I was a little girl, it was my dream to work on a dairy farm.Groooosssssss!!!! She gets all my sympathy for that. Will suggests that maybe she should see someone to help her deal with her issues but she insists that it is totally manageable. She just takes lots of showers and doesn't eat dairy. He suggests that they do a test and picks up chalk dust on his finger and wipes it on her nose. Dude, that is not ok, especially since she was telling you that she was not comfortable with doing it. But, the show plays it up as this super romantic exchange as they stare into each other's eyes. Ok, show, whatever. Emma nervously stutters that she should go and leaves the room. We then see that Ken Tanaka has been watching the whole exchange and is not pleased.
EMMA: Yeah. And when I was eight, we finally visited one and after the tour and the yoghurt tasting my- my brother pushed me into the runoff lagoon.
EMMA: And, um, ever since then, I’ve just- I’ve had a little trouble forgetting the, uh- the smell.
The next day, Rachel has called an emergency glee club meeting to talk about what they'll do about the assembly. Artie says that he is super against their suicide mission, ie singing disco. Rachel says that they're not going to kill them because they are going to give the other students what they want. Sex.
What follows is, perhaps, my most favourite performance that Glee has ever done. Every time I watch it, I laugh with, well...glee. This is what glee was about to me, a show that isn't taking itself or its performances seriously, a show that just wants to entertain. I have to show it to you in its entirety for you to appreciate what I love so much about it:
Hilarious. I love it. I can watch this clip over and over again and enjoy it every time.
Of course, Sue hates it and we cut to her in an office with Will and Principal Figgins, where she utters one of her usual fantastic lines:
SUE: Let me be the one to break the silence. That was the most offensive thing I’ve seen in 20 years of teaching, and that includes an elementary school production of Hair.Sue then asks for Will to resign from teaching and for the glee club to be disbanded but Figgins tells her that the issue is content. He thinks the glee kids have talent but that they need to sing more family friendly songs. Luckily, his pastor gave him a list of such songs and they are only allowed to sing them from now on. Don't worry, this won't come up ever again in later episodes so we won't have to endure church hymns and balloon songs at all, it's basically a set up for a later performance in this episode. Figgins also thinks that the kids need new outfits, so he cuts Sue's dry cleaning budget to pay for new costumes for glee. Sue is naturally, outraged.
|I feel like I've been posting a lot of Sue. She just has the best lines early on|
Rachel confronts Will when he leaves Figgins office to apologize for going behind his back and singing a different song than they rehearsed. Will isn't having it because he's super pissed at her for doing it. He tells her that no parent in their right mind would let their kids join glee now and accuses her of ruining their chances. He then tells her that they have a preapproved list of songs that they have to sing from now on. Rachel looks it over and asks what a "luftballon" is. Will ignores the question, and tells her that he understands why she did what she did but he didn't like how she did it.
Ken enters the staff room and plunks down tickets in front of Emma, telling her that they're for something called Tulip-alooza. Emma declines his offer because he is gross and horrible. He then proves my point by basically shaming her into dating him, calling her out for chasing a married guy and then telling her that he's a good man (laughable) and a minority so he can't be fired, then he tells her that she could do worse than him and that in this town, she won't do any better. Uh, excuse you?
|Even the Queen is done with your bullshit, Ken|
In the auditorium, Rachel and Finn are practicing his notes together. She is very encouraging, though I still don't think he's all that great when he's supposed to be amazing but whatever. He wants to take a break because he's hungry and Rachel has prepared a picnic lunch for just such an opportunity. They sit down on the blanket together and she asks him why he wanted to practice with her. He tells her it's because he wants to be really good at something, like her. She's flattered and asks if he really thinks she's good and he responds that at first he thought she was insane but that when she sings, she touched something in his heart. He then proceeds to touch his hand to the part of his chest where his heart is not which is kind of adorably stupid. She corrects him and then asks if he wants a drink. He then points out that she has a bit of drink on her lip and they stare at each other until Rachel tells him that he can kiss her if he wants to. He says he wants to and they make out until...
And Finn awkwardly leaves because I think the mail man killing incident failed to do its job of preventing him from arriving early.
We cut to Terri in her doctor's office. The doctor is doing an ultrasound and informs her that there is no baby. She panics and asks if it fell out but he tells her that she was not ever pregnant. She just wanted to be pregnant so badly, that her body started mimicking the symptoms, what is called a hysterical pregnancy. While I know what ridiculous storyline is coming and how awful Terri gets or can be, in this moment I feel for her. Some people who really want children have a super hard time getting pregnant and it sucks, especially when you are bombarded with people asking you when you're going to get pregnant or people who were like "Whoops, we weren't even trying and now we're pregnant!" So, hugs for Terri, in just this scene.
In the choir room, the Unholy Trinity have decided to try out for glee, much to Will's surprise. Quinn informs him that she and Finn are an item and she wants to support him by joining glee. I'm going to show you this whole performance too because it became pretty iconic for the show and it is just a cute little performance. The only downside is that, at this point, Santana and Brittany were only really side characters at this point so their actresses were not actually singing but it's still an enjoyable moment with the trio:
In the next scene, the three girls are in Sue's office and confessing about joining glee club. Quinn begs to not be kicked off the Cheerios but Sue tells her to cut the waterworks and informs them that they are going to be her spies and help her take down glee from the inside. Quinn then happily chirps that she'll get her boyfriend back.
|God, I love old Sue|
Will runs up to Emma in the school hallway and tells her that he found a packet of disinfecting wipes, then he asks if she'll meet him in the boys restroom at 9:00 to clean. Uh, what are you doing, Will? Why would she want to do your job for you for free and also, a little weird that you want to hang out with her when you have a pregnant wife at home. Emma agrees with me and turns him down, saying she has a date with Ken. She walks off sadly and leaves Will alone to look sad.
Later that night, when Will gets home, Terri is waiting up for him with dinner made. She's made, what I presume to be his favourite, chicken pot pie from scratch. Given what we know about Terri, whining about working 4 hour days and then having to make dinner, this is a huge deal. Will tells her that she and their new boy or girl are what's important to him and says he hopes she knows that. Terri wanted to tell him that she's not pregnant but gets nervous and instead blurts out that they're having a boy. He's overjoyed and she now looks super uncomfortable and sad that she blurted that out instead of telling the truth and she knows she can't crush him now. Just so that you don't think she's super duper evil, she tells him that she wants him to quit his part time job because they don't need a new house. She will turn her craft room into a nursery.
The next day, in the choir room, Rachel is complaining because Will has given her solo to Quinn Fabray. Will tells her that she did this to herself and Quinn sang a song on the approved list and was really good at it. Rachel asks if he's punishing her and Will tells her that not everything is about her...or him. He admits that he screwed up too and that he didn't listen to them. When he was in school, disco was going through a revival (I grew up in the 90s and there totally was a 70s craze and I remember wearing platform sneakers and bell bottoms because I thought they were super cool). He says that disco was cool and they had fun and that is what glee is supposed to be about, having fun. He says that she may not always get the solo but that he will try his best to make sure that she is always having fun. She sadly asks him if she can use the auditorium to practice because her neighbours are filing a noise complaint against her. He agrees.
We end the episode with Rachel singing Take a Bow by Rhianna with Mercedes and Tina as her back up singers, while we also show her being sad in her room and watching Finn and Quinn longingly.
That was Showmance, hands down, one of my favourites and probably mostly because of the hilariously awesome performance of Push It by Salt 'N Peppa because it was magical but also because this show had the decency to finally write a female character who was actually open about being curious about sex. Not fearing it or being ashamed or doing the opposite and making her into a "slut", just a regular girl who is curious about sex and wanting to try it. Which is an amazing message to send to girls, so kudos to Glee. You are many steps ahead of the teen shows that I used to watch.
Shout out to my good friend, Lucas, who stepped up and made me the Glee related gifs that I needed since my life is just a mess right now and I haven't had the time to make them myself.
Next episode is a guilty pleasure of mine and I say guilty pleasure because I've read some fans say they can't stand the episode and that's it's the worst of the early season. I humbly submit that they are wrong. Stay tuned for Acafellas.