Basically, this episode smashed a dozen eggs over my head. And then TP'd my house. Pretty sure it was on the verge of shoving me in a mud puddle when it finally ended. THINGS GOT BRUTAL.
And now, to transform my opinion by kneading out every passing thought I had until this post had worked itself into the usual 3000-word zone. You know, I have a CSI: NY post that I tagged 'epic' at about 2500. I love how that number's just par for the course with this show. I don't know why I have so many feelings about everything! I try to eliminate redundancy, but my opinions are too brilliant to be contained.
[Sidebar: apparently, last episode and this one were originally meant to be aired in swapped order. Idiots. Now I don't know which timeline I want to believe, because I don't know if the change makes things better or worse.]
Music & Performances
Another One Bites the Dust: decent original song, decent cover aided as usual by Groff's voice, and decent choreography, but nothing stands out other than the fact that I rather like watching Jesse jump around the stage. Truth is, unlike New Directions, Vocal Adrenaline has never had a performance that bowled me over. "Highway to Hell" shocked and awed, but I still think "Bootylicious" is the only performance from another school to rival our kids.
Tell Me Something Good: I didn't hear any of this, on account of MY EYEBALLS BEING SCOURED OUT BY HYDROCHLORIC ACID. This completely obliterated "The Thong Song" as the most nauseating thing Will has ever sung to a woman. *vigorously scrubs at arms, torso, brain*
Loser: Why. Just, why in the hell does this exist while "Daydream Believer" does not.
Good Vibrations: One, when I said you should pair up Finn/Mercedes some time, not really what I meant! Two, dear god, I think I finally understand the agony you guys must feel when Mr. Schue starts rapping. DESTINATION: HORROR.
It's a Man's World: Who did I piss off to get hit with this many atrocities in one night? I love Quinn & everything Dianna does with her, but this was more uncomfortable than "You're Having My Baby." Could not sit through it, even on mute.
Funk: Song? Meh. Performance? Amazing, just because you get to see absolutely everybody as individuals, and even though I should be filled with secondhand embarrassment and hatred for their awful, unpolished, freestyle dancing, I find I am overwhelmed with love for their outfits, their personalities, their great attitude, and of course, Will being all proud and full of Sectionals-style joy off in the sidelines. Heck, even the song is growing on me, from watching it 20 times and seeing new things to love on each go.
Though I have to say, this looks suspiciously close to the disco they all spurned in the pilot.
This punched me in the soul harder than anything else, including Jesse smashing an egg on Rachel's forehead. ENDLESS PAIN. "Dude, you're not even dating Emma, why are you persisting with this divorce charade?" But then suddenly, they signed the papers and in one painfully swift moment, it was over. That's it? Unfair. Do you think there's any way they could have a Jordan/Perry style approach to divorce, where it turns out that they get along better than ever when not married? And by get along with, I mean 'fall back in love.'
On the bright side, this happened:
"You're still that 16-year-old boy to me. You always will be."
You loved her, William. You really loved her.
You loved her, William. You really loved her.
Oh, my word, Terri is so precious. "Maybe you could be my second chance." And yet, not in the creeper way the promo suggested! (though I do love how they explicitly painted her seeing Finn as Will all over again. When did they plan that, episode 4?) I definitely want to believe in a world where she's his mentor and they become adorable quasi-buddies.
...fanfiction.net, you don't happen to have an AU where they ARE Finn's parents, do you? And I mean total AU, no war-hero father or single mom, just these two from the start. I'd like to see Finn caught in the middle of this divorce tussle. Assuming Emma rather than fake-pregnancy is the catalyst, of course. It could be interesting. Especially if Quinn's baby was Finn's, repeating his parent's high school mistake, and...I want this way too much.
Meanwhile, the whole tangle of Will/Terri/Finn/Quinn/Unborn Beth remains intriguing, and wish the show would move at a slower pace so we could have explored all the connections more fully before they broke.
I see they couldn't go without hitting me in the grief bone one last time, though:
"I have this compulsive need to crush other people's dreams."
"Yeah, that's what Mr. Schue said."
(WHY DO YOU WOUND ME)
You know what else makes me clinically depressed, is Rachel/Jesse being over, even if we did wring an extra episode out of it first. Immediate reaction: "Nooooo! Remember when you didn't want Rachel to get hurt? How is you dumping her in a great big 'fuck you' gesture at her own school, in front of everybody else, not hurting her??"
Theory to which I am clinging: since he had to save face with his V.A. buddies, he was hoping to piss her off so much that she'd be too busy hating his guts to feel anything else. Because his defiant smirk definitely slipped a little when she merely stood there, staring at him with great big doe eyes of betrayal. I still think there was something forced about his whole grandstand, like he was trying too hard to be convincing.
Annnnnd, then there was the egging. Of course something awful was going to happen, but it was still like taking a steak knife to the HEART, before having it cut out and ground underfoot with bits of broken glass. Show, this is not the part of "Never Been Kissed" that I wanted you to emulate!
But on the bright side, it played out as well as I could have hoped. I love that she finally got resigned and bitter: "Do it. Break it like you broke my heart." All things considered, I think that was the best revenge she could have gotten - guilt, guilt, guilt. And when he claims "I loved you"? I am taking that at face value. I take it as confirmation that my earlier theory is right, and that if he hadn't had a vicious ring of wolves threatening to turn on him if he didn't lead, he would have had no part in this - but it's not like standing up to them is an option. Remember "Along The Yellow Brick Road"? Jesse, the one without courage. It's never seemed more apt.
I'm sorry, maybe I'm taking the gullible way out, but that's how I roll. I think Will was unintentionally right when he said Jesse cared about her - not the way it looked, with the promises and support and tactile affection, but in spite of himself. And it's not that Rachel ~*changed*~ him into the guy he pretended to be, because I'm pretty sure he's naturally a spoiled, self-centered jerk, but I don't think he's deliberately cruel. I think he likes the safety net of a ring of like minds, that he needs it as confirmation of his stardom, and that he's not going to jeopardize his position as the leader both vocally and socially for anything.
Besides, one early smirk aside, does he look pleased as everybody pelts her with eggs? No, he does not. In fact, you will notice his sharp reaction to the whorish (girlfriend? flavor of the week?) when she makes the vegan crack - though possibly that was just a 'how stupid are you?' look - the deep breath, and the way his expression hardens before he goes up to her, like he's steeling himself. It is my firm interpretation that the deliberately excessive crushing of the egg is more of a gesture to himself: forget her, get rid of anything you felt about her, she doesn't mean anything, it's over.
I'm not done - I could devote an entire essay to this - but I'd like to discuss some other topics too, so let's move on. Just know that Rachel's brave little soldier face, trying so hard to stand her ground and not cry until they were gone, absolutely killed me.
P.S. NOTE TO PRODUCERS: splattering Lea Michele with wet, semi-liquid food substances is not clever, it is not funny, and it is definitely not necessary, so please stop doing it.
Notes: OOH! He's voluntarily seeing Rachel in his office, FFFFFFFFFFFFSFJLDKJFKLASJDLFKJASLKDFJASL
"Jesse cared about you."
*clutches at chest* I think I am dying! He is not only voluntarily concerned about my favorite student's well-being, but concerned about her fragile, overemotional heart. (by the way, this adds some extra punch to his conversation with Shelby, if this was supposed to come first. I'm still concerned that she was humiliated by her boyfriend and rejected - however gently - by her birth mother practically back to back.)
And then my notes turn into this: D'oh, Will, no, hey, *snap-snap*, stop going off on your own thing! ..SHE IS CRYING. SHE IS STRAIGHT-UP CRYING IN YOUR OFFICE AND YOU ARE NOT EVEN LOOKING AT HER. Fanfic just came to life, fanfic that I thought was tired and full of contrivance but is now happening in an amazing way on screen, and you cannot be bothered to even platonically comfort her?! I believe Kendra has an appropriate sound bite for this situation: "I HATE YOU, WILL!"
And he's not even lost in thought for a good reason. Oh no. He's busy drumming up something that will scar me for life. But hang on, hold that thought for after...
*keels over in a dead faint* No, I did not just hallucinate that. Where I expected him to be full of disapproval for her awful song choice and/or overkill display, he instead was full of caring and sympathy. AND VOLUNTARY SUPPORT-HUGGING. Quill 2, Will/Rachel 0.
Yeah. That thing I said about Will having chemistry with every woman on the planet except Emma? Do not test the boundaries of such blanket statements, is the lesson I learned tonight. GROSS! GROSS! GROSS! AUUUUUUGHHHHHHH!
*shudder* *shudder x1000*
*rocks back and forth under shower spray, scrubbing with a brillo pad until bleeding* Still...not...clean...
Like, I very much enjoy how manipulative and cruel he can be when pushed to the limits, Sue's humiliation is the most glorious thing I've ever seen in my life - and it was so marvelously effortless, like a hot knife slicing through butter, the way he eviscerated her in one go - and only the certainty that he was choking back the same bile I was got me through that stuff, but seeing their faces inches apart made me dry-heave. Maybe break out in hives.
The only reason I'm forgiving it at all is because he then got about half an episode to bask in the success of his scheming - and better yet, he essentially forced a draw at the end. I always figured Sue Sylvester defied the laws of physics: for every action against her, there is an opposite and doubly vicious recoil, so the stronger your upper hand, the harder it will come back to bitchslap you. But really, the end result wasn't any worse than what she was planning to do in the first place, and meanwhile he got in some incredibly satisfying shots and still came out the hero on the other end*. :D
*SHUT UP, ENTIRE WORLD
Specific Will/Sue interaction I found enjoyable
-"Sue? Get out of my room." Um. Yes. Please do more of that
-Calmly asking to see her trophy, and then HURLING IT AGAINST THE WALL, where it shatters on impact. "You dropped your trophy, Sue." I am still in a speechless, melted puddle of love. ...I like it when he throws stuff. ...it's a thing.
-I desperately hope someone steals Sue's newly incriminating diary and posts it on the internet. Let's see Olivia Newton-John help her get out of that one! (oh, who am I kidding. Belle du Jour would probably show up at her door and help her get a cable series and/or book deal based on her life. Plus she probably already ripped out those pages and ate them for supper.)
-Will chilling on the sofa with a bowl of cheese puffs, waiting for Sue to show up ("right on time") in her whirlwind rage about being HUMILIATED! IN PUBLIC!, followed by this:
-"Gosh, Sue, I wonder where I learned how to do all that." I am so not fit for polite company right now, it's not even funny. "You meddled around in my marriage - you terrorized the glee club - you continue to sabotage my relationship with Emma!"
-"I have NO interest in dating you, Sue. You're a bully, and you're mean to kids."
"I'm mean to everyone!"
"Yeah, well, fine. Consider this a little taste of what you love dishing out." And then he grabs her by the arm and physically escorts her back out. And casually slams the door after her. All while wearing a white V-neck tee. I'm about to humiliate myself in public if I can't put a lid on all the things I'm tempted to say in response to this unbridled hotness.
-Oh, for the love of...you don't get to pin Sue pulling out of nationals on him. Does their coach actually need to be there? If he's that worried about the girls having mental breakdowns and losing scholarships, can't he take them like Emma took the glee kids? I'm just saying, as much as I like that Santana has now had the requisite fit of tears in front of him (prompting another look of alarm and concerned shoulder touch - I swear, everybody but Rachel!), I'm not sure putting Sue back together was the only way to go on this. I think it'd be good for everybody if she stayed permanently out of commission.
-Sue hunkered down in bed, hugging a trophy like a teddy bear, may be the most precious sight I've ever seen.
-His capacity for kindness exceeds his capacity for cruelty. That's the difference between him and Sue. That is why he is the centerpiece of the show (no matter how much the ENTIRE CRITICAL WORLD + FANDOM incorrectly thinks otherwise), flawed but still the guiding figure, and why she will never be anything more than an irredeemable, bitter old shrew.
"And you're not alone, Sue. Your kids need you. So you do have love in your life."
"My kids don't love me, they fear me."
"But you love them."
Wow. I can has trophy husband? I just exhaled an embarrassingly dreamy sigh there. See, he doesn't just sacrifice for his own kids - he gives up his dreams (dreams like 'running my glee club free of constant heckling and scheming plots of internal sabotage') for random cheerleaders, too. You think Sue stops to think twice about Finn needing a scholarship, or this club being the only thing that gives half its members a place to shine?
-That said, forget the sappy nonsense with her sister - this is the first time I saw the soft and vulnerable side of Sue, and liked it.
Threat Level Midnight (a/k/a Rachel's Personal Justice League)
Nothing has ever made me happier than seeing Puck and Finn full of explosive rage on Rachel's behalf. Except possibly for when every other boy in glee club got up to follow them on a quest to go MESS UP THAT JESSE KID'S FACE. No, damn it Schuester, now is not the time for your hot pacifism! Less talking, more punching!
"GET BACK HERE AND SIT DOWN."
...okay, that's hot too.
Hotter still? That he's just as worked up and defensive as everyone else, but he channels it into a personal phone call & challenges Jesse to a duel. Well, more of an order to show up so he and his buddies can have their asses handed to them, musically speaking, and in nicer words, but the intent is the same. This is the world I like! Everyone rallying around Rachel
Random Bits of WTF
-So Will has turned to petty revenge vandalism as a solution. Which in turn incites Puck & Finn to commit felony vandalism. Well, that's just peachy! William, you know Sue is going to find a way to have you arrested at some point, and it's going to be right before one of your big competitions. Don't poke the bear. (but I did like briefly seeing Shelby again, especially in the same room as Will and especially being kind enough not to press charges or let his students get expelled.)
-Oh, Will! Now so defeatist that you're turning to Sandy's drugs? I BET IF YOU HAD AN AWESOME WOMAN IN YOUR LIFE, SHE WOULD SNAP YOU OUT OF YOUR FUNK. I cannot believe I am saying this, but, *squeezes eyes shut and grimaces*, Emma, get over here and work your magic or whatever. My need for him to be happy overrides my need for you to get killed in a drive-by. Barely.
-"Fun - ky - tooooooown!" Never do that again. (On bright side, prior to her awful song, I loved that Quinn is full of soul and ANGER, and I was actually quite surprised when Will called Rachel into his office after that scene, because I thought for sure he was going to follow up on Quinn's clear Issues)
-Wait. So now Quinn's moving out of her second temporary home, and STILL hasn't ended up at Mr. Schue's? ;)
Kidding. But seriously, even though I don't know why it took her so long to stay with a female classmate, I'm officially over Quinn/Mercedes bonding. It's weird.
Random Bits of Awesome
Regrets! Who has some? Rachel morosely regrets giving her heart to Jesse. Quinn, with awesomely biting sarcasm, regrets thinking "trust me" was a sensible birth control option [in fairness, she was drunk]. And Will's is "
-But more importantly, when he says,"I just finalized my divorce" (HATPIN STABBING), Rachel's head snaps up, even though I'm sure that two seconds ago she was sunk deep in her own misery. Interpret!
[Also: SHUT UP, SANTANA. DON'T DISCOURAGE HIM FROM TALKING ABOUT HIS MARRIAGE.]
-Um, Puck & Finn are sort of awesome as a dirty-job-doing team. Puck is also awesome while blustering in Figgins' office about being a man. Mr. Schue has a hand on his shoulder to keep him from jumping out of his seat. I can't decide which part of this I like best.
-"SHUT IT, PUCKERMAN!" Go Rachel!
-Still no Emma!
-Will randomly speaking a line of Spanish to the maid
-I can't decide what's cutest: Sue randomly hauling Kurt backward to stand next to her on camera (it was like she hooked him with a cane!), his little high-kick & line in French (vive la difference?), or Will getting a chuckle out of it. I'm pretty sure it's #3.
-Rachel's phone is pink and bejeweled. *HEARTS*
-Brittany's hair is so awesome this week. I'm a little bit tempted to do a Glee rewatch this summer (it's not like I have anything else to watch, right? hahahaha) and write lists of 25 little random background things I like but didn't see or couldn't fit in during my original reviews.
-"See you punks at Regionals." Puck, quit being so awesome lately. I don't know how to deal.
Conclusion: Well, despite having awful music, ripping out my soul twice and leaving me with a lingering STILL NOT CLEAN feeling, I guess that wasn't as bad as I thought? I don't know. I think it probably landed in the middle of of the pack. There was a hug and a forehead kiss, some crying and trophy-smashing, a bit of possibly-imagined remorse that required me to study Jesse's face a lot, and a League of Angrily Protective Gentlemen!
Up Next: Regionals. Nooo, it can't be time for another finale already! To be honest, I've not got high hopes after "Sectionals." I foresee mediocrity. I also plan to hole up weeping forever about my two irreparably broken OTPs, and reject their canon-endorsed alternatives with renewed vengeance. Boy, this should be fun.
Question: How is it possible to ruin a movie that stars both Lee Pace and a dog?
Answer: Give Marmaduke that idiotic talking-mouth effect and turn it into a lame joke of a kids movie, because apparently children these days are too stupid to appreciate proper animal-centric family movies like Homeward Bound and Black Beauty. Yes, I realize that Marmaduke is a cartoon, but as cartoons go, he's a pretty realistically portrayed pet. And if your movie is going to use a live Great Dane, as opposed to that CGI Garfield atrocity, you might as well go real all the way.
-On another cinematic note, will any theaters be showing Toy Story 3 in NORMAL format? Because I am not paying extra or wearing ridiculous glasses to experience a movie. Normal screen or nothing, jerks. Don't think I won't wait for the library's copy in 2011.
-While googling for a list of the 30-day TV meme questions, I ran across the best support letter for Juliet Burke in the history of fandom. [Finale spoilers apply, but it's awesome.]
4. Apparently, after years of fruitlessly searching for surveys specific to my shows, suddenly ALL OF THEM have decided to spin off the 30 day meme. Bones! Lost! Glee! Who knows how many more I will discover this week! So I'm going to post them all as single surveys, because honestly, most of them don't require elaborate answers. The elaborate answers are fun, yes, but I have too many fandoms for that noise. I will...post them later, that is, after I decide what I'm doing with the other memes.