Glee, 1x17, "Bad Reputation"
WOW! Sure, this one had its share of problems, but what episode of Glee doesn't?
+ People laughed at Sue for almost half the episode! Will took unholy joy in this fact, scarcely bothering to hide his laughter in Figgins' office! I was RS In Ecstasy. You know how I can't stand Molly Shannon? If she comes in to mock Sue, she's wonderful. It's so worthwhile that I'll even let her mock Will as a freebie without getting my panties in a twist
+ "No one is accusing anyone of anything! Puck, seriously, did you do it?" Hehehe.
+ Artie really, really wants to be accepted into black culture, doesn't he? XD I blame "Golddigger." He was never the same after that.
+ You know what I got out of Emma's stupid standing-up-for-herself scene? A deep, deep appreciation for the way he lets her go ahead and rant herself out, contributing little more than Stares of Disapproval. I imagine it's a technique honed from years of marriage to Terri, but I am still on his side.
+ When not making out with or platonically sleeping with various amazing women, Mr. Schuester has spent a lot of late nights watching Law & Order, and then doing his best to emulate Jack McCoy. This is one of the greatest things I have ever seen. Interrogations, priceless!
+ The entire Glist, priceless! I mean, except for the fact that I called immediate BS on Puck not being #1 with a bullet (and/or skulls & crossbones, poison signs, biohazard warnings, etc), and except for Rachel & the MC Hammer Tribute Band somehow thinking it was a bad thing to be in the positions they were in. Frankly, I was sure Sue had put it up herself.
+ Remember when Quinn tried to pin the glist on Rachel, and Mr. Schue's immediate response was to defend her? Okay, the actual words were merely "It just doesn't seem like Rachel," but I'm going to count it anyway.
Ice, Ice, Baby: WILL SCHUESTER IS RAPPING AGAIN, MY HEART SOARS WITH JOY!! Shut up. It does. I didn't know this song had words beyond those in the title, nor did I initially realize why that opening melody sounded so familiar, but as soon as I realized what was happening I may have screamed and begun clapping. Look, the music itself is terrible, but it is in fact so bad that it wraps all the way back around to being AWESOME. You should see my eyes. Literally shining. Laughing at this scene's unabashed ridiculousness makes me happier than anything in the world! I will also never, ever argue with him dancing.
Especially not if he gets the entire room up there with him (except poor Artie! Left in a corner...I shouldn't laugh, but I am). Even Jesse, despite the latter's initial 'what the actual fuck' faces! I do not understand why the whole school does not hear about this and then bang down the door to get into this club. I really don't. Especially when your other main option is to drink blends of cayenne pepper and sand while a mentally unstable woman screams abuse at you daily.
U Can't Touch This: IS THIS A THING THAT JUST HAPPENED? IN THE SAME EPISODE? Two white guys rapping hilariously? I am surprised I have not actually passed out from excitement overload. I'm definitely short of breath from laughing so hard, and close to hyperventilating. During the episode I was busy being mortified/full of fury that they dared to disrupt the peaceful quiet of a sacred library, but in retrospect, that that dancing was fierce. By which I mean adorable. Even the little old librarian thinks they're precious and wants them to perform for her church! Hahahahaha!
+ When Rachel said something about being musically promiscuous, I got scared, and made threatening noises to the tune of "you better mean you're singing 'Promiscuous Girl,' because if I have to witness anything awkward or gross with you, I swear..." and then it was this totally innocent thing instead. *beams*
Run Joey Run: Never heard (or heard of) the original, and I want to know why, because STORY SONG! It's possible/probable I love it just because it's Lea Michele's domain now, but whatever, amazing! Interestingly enough, Mark Salling's voice is less offensive than Corey's, so even while I sigh and think that this song would have been BEST if she'd dueted with Jonathon alone, I like the sound of the whole trio with her. And it's very, very catchy.
+ Music video for the above: MORE JOY! Better if we excise Puck from it, but at least he got the most boring section, and meanwhile, Jesse is smoking hot in a way that interrupts my normal brain activity. And Finn got the fun bit with her dying in his arms, so you know my daydream playground is having a field day with that one. I'm going to ignore the ridiculous consequences at the end, because like I told somebody else, having three people play one part was visually interesting and I didn't even question why she'd done it.
Meanwhile, Brittany & Santana make the best
+ "How could you do this to me? To all us guys? Is your stupid reputation more important than your relationships?" Finn has exactly zero legitimate claim to make this statement, which I will rant about later, but it does earn him points in what I call the Marshall Erickson category, where the guy has the more emotional approach to love & romance. Non-How I Met Your Mother watchers can just ignore this bit.
Total Eclipse of the Heart: Wait, what was that I was saying about wanting Lea & Jonathon to share their own duet? One that wasn't a horrible Lionel Ritchie ballad? OH, HELLO THERE, FINAL SONG OF BEAUTY! Like, I can't even process the fact that they are randomly in ballet together and doing beautiful partner work and incredible lifts that make up for three seasons of crap on So You Think You Can Dance, because my ears are having such a field day.
+ Although I did process the sight of Melissa "Naughty Ballerina" from the aforementioned SYTYCD. That was her, right?
QUINN & THE HEART-TO-HEART: Apparently if I whine long enough about them not addressing the foiled baby plot, TPTB will do me one better, and while continuing to skip over that particular hiccup, they will give me a scene between Quinn & her teacher that is eight hundred times better. I love he she goes from hostile and defensive to streaming tears in the space of five seconds. The two of them connecting, bam, it is my new favorite thing. Rachel who?
"People would part like the Red Sea when I walked down the hallway. Now I'm invisible."
"And you think being seen as a cheap tramp is better?"
I can't believe he actually says that to her, and yet I love that he doesn't mince words. Or even sound judgmental, because he's so understanding it's ridiculous. Don't think I missed his reaction to her silly response that a bad reputation is better than none at all! And: "You're a really good teacher, Mr. Schue." Literally, this is the best teacher scene since...well, since Finn broke down crying. Clearly everybody should just make time to have a good crying session with him.
I'm peeved that Figgins got in the way of a hug...will console self with the cute way she promptly hides behind Mr. Schue for protection. That tiny whispered 'thank you' at the end was the icing on the cake.
Two fic recs I've been hanging onto, but which seem especially relevant right now:
1. Eight Times the Glee Club thought Mr. Schuester was a Pretty Okay Guy, All Things Considered - ignoring that ridiculously clunky title (sorry, I scold anybody whose fic has too many syllables, especially if the second word is 'times'), this is your one-stop shop for more great (pre-pilot) teacher scenes. There's an especially good one with Quinn that ties into last week's Cheerio diet theme.
2. Teach the World to Sing - you know how the Will/Rachel fandom is full of enthusiasm, but totally sucks at writing it? Pledge your allegiance to Will/Quinn instead, and here you go. Yuletide fic of joy, what happens after Quinn gets herself kicked out of Finn's house.
Bad stuff, with good mixed in in spite of itself:
-I don't know when Will stopped wearing his wedding ring, but this is when I noticed how sad and bare his hand looks without it. :(
-Please stop letting Jane Lynche "sing" anything. It doesn't even sound like her. It is like a robot voice. Irrelevant! Sue is so irrelevant.
-"This song should be arrested for the crime of sucking." At which point I decided that maybe Jesse could just...not talk, anymore. Either sing or shut up and look pretty.
-Any time Puck & Rachel share a scene, I start skipping forward. On the bright side, is this what Murphy meant by revisiting Puck/Rachel? Is that it, and can it be over forever now? I really hope so. I figured as long as she was still dating somebody I'd be safe, but, well. See below.
-OH NO HE DI'INT. Jesse did not just walk out on Rachel! I barely got any of them together at all! I can't even process the stupid reasoning behind it, or how irrelevant Finn's contributing anger is, because I am so distressed & distraught. Seriously, he's mad that she used other guys for her video? "I should have been enough for you"?! Did I miss the part where she was sleeping with/kissing/dating Puck and Finn this week?
Because I am in the habit of blaming women, I will be happy to concede that it might have been good if she'd a) mentioned her plans during filming, and/or b) not put him in the middle section, which is traditionally the most forgettable one, but all things considered he is SO IN THE WRONG that I have no choice but to console myself with the certainty that breaking up with her is merely part of his master spying plan, and he would have jumped at any trivial excuse.
...also, for purposes of maintaining my sanity, I need some sort of scenario that involves Rachel unnecessarily begging for forgiveness until he takes her back. Ideally while apologizing for his own overreaction, but that's not required. Feminist sensibilities I don't even have are offended by this notion, but that's where my brain is, deal with it. I put up with your fandom porn.
Speaking of your fandom porn, which I clearly have no interest in at all, I found you an NC-17 Rachel/Jesse fic for this episode (slightly AU). Not that I would have read it or found it hot or anything, I'm just saying, it's there.
Although If I had read it, I only would have gone 75% of the way through, just far enough to squeak and wonder what sort of unsuitable content I am peddling, except oh, it's so lovely beforehand and lets me indulge in a world he actually cares about her.
+ "I always knew you'd break my heart." Oh, Rachel. *hugs*
"Well, that's the funny thing about reputations. Everyone thinks I'm the big heartbreaker, but the fact of the matter is...you broke mine first."
Right, I love the sound of this last section, so I will be off in AU land, taking it out of context. I don't know what context I can possibly use, but that's never stopped me from pretending something is as serious as it sounds before!
-EMMA. I burn with hate, I burn! Stupid twit! Stupid, insecure twit making a pathetic and wholly unnecessary scene! Look, people, if you want to make me dislike Will Schuester or see him as flawed in any way, you're going to have to try a lot harder than this.
W: I messed up, Emma. I think in all this discovering-who-I-am business, I took a couple of wrong turns. And I get how those detours might have hurt you. [RS: wow, apologizing, you're bad at it] But now I know that that's not who I am, or who I want to be.
E: I know what's supposed to happen now. I'm supposed to smile and be impressed by how in touch you are with your feelings, and moon over the fact that you care about me so much --
RS: In a word, yes. Could you?
E: --but I can't.
RS: No, because you're terrible.
W: But Emma, this is - this is killing me.
RS: We're all watching the same scene, right?
W: I want you to look at me the way you used to.
RS: Yeah, well, so does Terri. (sorry, repressed bitterness there, OTP rules all)
Incidentally: Future Suitors, if you use that line on me, I will take you back. Actually, I probably won't dump you in the first place, but I'll definitely take you back with a face like that. Go ahead, friends, take a moment to look disgusted with me. Now proceed to the next item, after I take a moment to reflect on the irony that I'm hating Emma for doing exactly what I've been begging them to do since day 1, and put at least a temporary end to this nonsense. She can't win! You should clearly get rid of her for her own good.
Conclusion: All things considered, that was flippin' amazing. Must have internal debate with self over whether this is good enough to be named new best of the back 9, or if that honor still belongs to #14.
Lost, "The Candidate"
Uh-oh. I saw somebody using a Jears icon, and I don't think it was in jest. This is going to be horrible, isn't it?
Death Toll: 3 (unconfirmed 4th, red shirts not withstanding)
Emotional Impact: Mild to moderate.
It's a bummer about Sayid, but I pretty much gave him up at the season premiere, so all this did was make it official. That might just be the numb shock talking. At this point Lost is so close to being over that I'm shedding my emotional ties to the characters like I do the Survivor contestants. (When's the last time you heard me mention Brett? And he has his own song.) Um, it's nice that he went out a properly redeemed sacrificial hero, though. I should have been suspicious when Naveen Andrews had time to randomly guest on SVU halfway through the year...
Jin & Sun, well...on the one hand my heart cried that it was like witnessing the Titanic, on a smaller and yet somehow more horrible scale. On the other, JK Rowling already killed my favorite parents together; nothing similar will ever touch that level of heartbreak. If two people had to die in a scene, I am perfectly willing to write the Kwons off.
Back to the first hand, though, the whole thing was really well done,
Someone mentioned that we don't actually know what happened to Lapidus, whom I had forgotten about (oops) after the door hit him, but it's a bad sign that he didn't wind up on the beach with the others. I think it'd be rather poetic if his last words were "Aw, hell."
Other things that happened:
-I am so loathe to part with my beloved show that I am watching every minute of it - even desperately boring things that involve Locke in Sideways World - for fear I'll skip something crucial. Note to self, I won't. What a waste of time! I would, however, have paused for the Claire bits. Jack randomly inviting her to stay with him rather than a hotel, because being "family" overrides them being perfect strangers = epic win! YES. Cater to my whims, show, cater!
-The merry band of fools got locked in bear cages again. Reminiscing (sort of) ensued! Weaponry was held to Kate's head, Sawyer subsequently surrendered & got himself abused with other weaponry, I was quite pleased all around. Their friendship chemistry, man, it's...it's not sparkly, exactly, but it glows with warm embers of promise and is beautiful?
-Kate got shot! I was alarmed by how worried I was until I realized it was a shoulder through-and-through. I was more alarmed by how sad I felt when the theorists speculated that she would wind up dying later on anyway. Again, at the end of the Survivor road I generally don't mind if my top contestant takes 1st place or 6th as long as they make it to the final week of airing, so any Losties who survive to the penultimate episode have kinda won in my book...but I think I'll still be upset.
On the bright side, if that's true, I can look forward to Hurley's eventual demise too, right? I've been gunning for him longer than anybody else at this point. I have my own list, you see, and he's the only crossed-out name that doesn't have a check mark of completion beside it.
-Speaking of Kate getting shot, it very rapidly led to two of my favorite things in the hour: Sawyer's reaction (2 parts: reaching out when she struggles to sit up, and the worried "She gonna be okay?"), and Jack tending to her. There is a certain level of exquisite joy in how gently he tells her "It's okay. Just relax, everything's going to be all right." Skate? Was that a thing I shipped 3 seconds ago? I think you are mistaken, because I just switched alliances, baby.
-Sawyer trying to go back for Claire, despite having previously written her off as a Kate-killing nutjob, warmed my heart.
-My favorite random note: "Watching Flocke & Sawyer outplay each other is like Con Roulette." I don't know what that means, but I like how it sounds.
-Jack vs. Sawyer is the best conflict this show has ever introduced. It is magical and marvelous all over the place, but most spectacularly in the head-to-head over the bomb. Look, I know Jack has been wrong a lot in the past, but right now Sawyer has gotten out-conned every single step of the way. At some point he should stop being in charge. However, I will forgive him due to the best line in the TWoP recap: Sawyer doesn't say it, but you can see the memory of Jack's involvement in Juliet's death flash before his eyes. He's all; 'screw you and your screwy ideas, Doc' and pulls out the wires.
-Sawyer's face after realizing he's pretty much just killed everyone is incredible. I also approve his being conked on the head while joining in the Tour de Brute Force to free Sun, and Jack bringing him to safety.
-Oh, did I mention that I made the foolish decision to start watching this episode 25 minutes before I had to leave for work, knowing that I would have to stop in the middle, and then being so exhausted after that I had to wait until the next morning to finish? THAT was fun, trying to concentrate on essays while wondering just how many people TPTB were planning to kill that night.
-Final scene of crying: oh, Jack. My entire thought process revolves around the fear of heroes being irreparably broken - thanks for traumatizing me at age 15, K.A. Applegate! (never trust an author who goes by her first two initials, is the lesson you should be taking away from this post) - and I just, I want something better for him, please?