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Holy cripes, I feel like my Tumblr existence is validated now -- over two hundred notes on my simple observation of this episode. I can be clever with words! And also piss a few people off for spoiling them even though I posted some 3 hours after it aired and tagged it with "spoilers" and the episode title and I thought everyone realized Tumblr was a lawless territory. I have definitely arrived.

Glee, 3x14, "On My Way"
Hearing that the internet at large hated it flipped my feelings from neutral-ish to "fourth best of the season so far."  Ramble mode: on.


Music
I felt oddly blah about most of the music, so while the "blaine anderson" tag on Tumblr obsessed over the lyrically ridiculous "Cough Syrup," I have chosen to handwave it and merely consider it tolerable part-of-a-soundtrack listening. [edit: or I will hear it one more time and then find it just hypnotic enough to keep repeating; stupid magic voice.] Out of all the competition songs, I thought "Here's To Us" was the best since it grabbed my ear right off the bat, but "Glad You Came" soon became extremely catchy, with fun dance steps. I love the Warblers more each time they appear.

All I have to say about Blaine rapping on the who invited Nicki Minaj?! mashup is "Yyyyeah...no, honey, stick to Katy Perry." The rapping -- even worse from Santana -- utterly ruins this song, which is a shame because while it's relatively plain, Rachel singing out that three-syllable "fly-y-y" over the chorus voices was breathtaking, and they had some lovely choreography on this too. And...that pretty much covers my feelings on the mundane competition aspect of this episode, I guess.

(Angry) Blaine
So...I'm thinking perhaps Kurt did not mention his bright idea to hand the tape back to Sebastian? Because Blaine is a surprising ball of anger and hostility about the incident (I saw how quick you were to join Finn's Beatdown Posse), and it seems unfair to attack Mr. Schue for being ineffectual. Don't get me wrong, I love it -- I find it fascinating that he really does seem to have a hair-trigger temper he's actively repressing beneath his polished exterior, and it is pleasantly novel that this seems to have been a real wake-up call for him about Sebastian -- I'm just saying, when he blows up on stage and then backtracks "I'm not mad at you," I can't help adding a skeptical, Really? Because it seems like you might have cause to my transcript.

And it just keeps going! I did not realize how much I was looking forward to a Blaine/Sebastian face to face meeting, and while I still like the sociopath!Sebastian in "Rage, It Burns Like Chinese Torture," this was good too. I love how there is absolutely zero give at the apology. "That means nothing to me." His eyes are like coals. It's quite a change.

(granted, two seconds later he starts wavering, and by performance time he is back to giving a decidedly nonplussed Kurt looks of "See, he's not all bad," but...)

Then Blaine mostly fades to the background, but there are two wonderful blink-and-you-miss-em moments I'd be remiss not to mention:

1. Mission: write the background context for the first pic. I feel like this is not the first time Blaine has annoyed him with this.
2. Oops. Accidentally shipping him and Quinn again. That was so not my intent.

EDIT: Whoops, forgot to give any talk time over to the cracktastic blackmail plot, so I'm stuffing it in here and there. Here:

The King and Queen of Glee Club are not happy.
# you know I can't resist these shots, or that collective title

Sebastian Smythe: "It's All Fun and Games Until It's Not"??
MAN. *whines* Are you going soft on me too? Because I cannot have this. It's very nice you actually feel bad about Blaine and all, but if you're going to let a little thing like guilt that you have may have helped drive a kid to suicide with your insults color your whole outlook on life, you're just not who I thought you were. I'm drop-kicking you for that blonde football jock. Nick something? That dude has not only embraced the locker slam, he is such a jerk he facilitates an atmosphere for people who write "Better luck next time" on Facebook walls. That is a bully you can admire. 

(psst. My offer for season 4 series regular status is still on the table. In spite of everything, I've grown accustomed to your face.)

Meanwhile, I will just sit back and laugh hysterically at the many fantastic lines he got in prior to being neutered:

a) "Well, well, well. If it isn't a young Barbra Streisand and an old Betty White. Where is Gay Cyclops? Still trying to stumble his way in?" (Gay Cyclops. Oh, I wish I made Tumblr posts about Glee characters on a regular basis, because that would be my new tag for Blaine)

b) "You're going to come down with Asian bird flu, or whatever Tina Blowin-Wang just had..." (good one, writers)

c) Kurt: You give a bad name to the entire gay community.
Sebastian: And you give the gay community cutting edge fashion that's usually only seen on Puerto Rican pride floats.
Kurt: I'm sorry, I didn't hear you, I was distracted by your giant horse teeth.

(I like how Kurt is ready to go all day -- truly, their ongoing insult war is my favorite thing-- but Sebastian quickly grows bored of his easy prey and moves on. On a related note, you have no idea how much I love this opening scene or how many times I have watched it. The Rachel/Kurt friendship and wedding dress window-shopping, "We can't come here anymore," the twin reactions of horror and outrage at the photoshopped Finn pic...)

d) Karofsky: So, how do you get a guy to like you?
Sebastian: You get a guy? Please.
Karofsky: Why? What's wrong with me?
S: First off, you are about a hundred pounds overweight. Stop waxing your eyebrows, you look like Liberace. In fact -- just stay in the closet, buddy.

Karofsky & The Suicide Attempt
(I love that they used pink paint on his locker. It's the little things that count)

Nope, still don't care about Karofsky and am not particularly glad he's alive, although at least I don't understand this "trigger" aspect that's bothering people so I can watch Blaine's full performance all I like. And that clip with his dad finding him was just some painfully godawful acting. What I did enjoy was the fallout, starting with Kurt showing up to the God Squad meeting in search of meaning or support despite his entire stance in 2x03. Remember when Kurt in tears was the only way he was tolerable? It's still his best side. "If I had just answered one of those stupid calls..."

Though I notice that once again, God Squad has been used as a mouthpiece for obnoxious and puppet-like statements that the writers felt should be made in the interest of conflict, regardless of who said them. I've always wanted Kurt and Quinn to interact, but not like this. On the other hand, I find Quinn's harsh outlook on suicide + choked-up voice fascinating. It's obviously happened in her life, a friend or a family member, which she's never told anyone here about. Write me the fic, internet! Or actually, hang on, I could maybe write this one myself.

Hum-drummed my way through the hospital conversation, except during that lovely self-flagellating "I should have returned your calls" or the millionth time he tells Karofsky it's okay when actually it was not, but frankly -- if you are going to give me Kurt crying in a hospital room, you know all of the ways I am going to use that. And I did pay attention long enough to hear something about how Mrs. Karofsky belongs to the Awesome Relatives Club with Santana's grandmother. Look, I cheer for the jerks when their children suck. If you want to make this relevant to my life, you have to involve Blaine.

Bonus Fic Rec
A pretty awesome alternate version of this storyline, taking place in early season 2 instead, the best part of which is when it gives me the backstory I need to accept why Karofsky jumped ship from Awesome Bully to Sad Side of the Tracks in the first place.

Eventyr - [info]tamakito
He may have accidentally given himself an obsession with Kurt Hummel.
Or: "Dave’s attempts to deal spiral him into a couple of obsessions, one of them with Kurt. Kurt is finally adjusting to being at Dalton. Right up until he gets a call from Dave, who has swallowed a half a bottle of pills."

Suicide Awareness Project
I liked the Hopefulness Circle that Mr. Schue called. How wonderful to have season 1 Schue back, after that terrible mess in 3x12. It was actually a good exercise to have them all go around and describe something they're looking forward to (Sugar's answer is fandom related, #Iloveherthebest). Am I crazy, or did we actually hear from everyone?

I think it is a WONDERFUL thing to have given us that backstory about Mr. Schue's own attempt. Can you imagine? Terri would have been the opposite of sympathy if he tried to talk to her about the pressure he was under (there are real problems in the world, Will. If she loses her spot at the top of the pyramid to the new foreign girl, she can kiss next year's captaincy goodbye, and do you understand what kind of social devastation that would wreak upon her??), and I can see him feeling completely alone by that point. Count me among the captive audience as he gets lost in the memory. This is the long-absent character I used to love.

As for the haters who thought it was offensive to compare getting caught cheating to being outed and cyber-bullied for your sexuality: wrong. 100% of the things that made me suicidal in high school were related to the difficulty of homework/terror of presentations and the fear of how much harder the future was when I couldn't even do this. I was also caught cheating once, and it sent me into a similar tailspin even though I got off with a mere warning.

tl;dr: I'm really, really happy Glee acknowledged that there are reasons teens get depressed other than bullies and failed relationships.

Sue
I'm calling it right now, she's mistaking menopause for pregnancy. Failing that, there are still like 17 other ways this will end without a baby. I'm less worried than just annoyed that, for example, we cut a Faberry scene to waste time on her talking to Will about it.

Goin' To The Chapel And We're...
You know what, all I have to say about this is
a) It's nice that Mr. Schue came to support his idiot kids, and

b) For all that is weird and wrong and gross about this storyline, Rachel makes a beautiful bride. One of the most beautiful I've ever seen on TV. Forget her natural beauty, there's her perfect hair and her perfect veil and her perfect, simple, wonderfully modest dress. It's not at all what I imagined Rachel getting married in, and one day she will have something elaborate and ornate and so befitting of her, but it is perfect for the ridiculous teenage wedding she is having.

edit: c) I am ADORING this newfound Quinn friendship. Everything I have wanted since season 1 is finally happening, and on such a level that I have to admit it is really hard not to get corrupted by fandom and believe that Quinn's extremely strong opinions on the matter are stemming from less-than-platonic feelings about Rachel. I don't want to be corrupted by fandom, because what I want them to have is this perfect sister-like friendship that the show has never really had (Cheerios solidarity is but a pale imitation). And it just gave me all kinds of exploding-heart feelings that Rachel adamantly refuses to get married without Quinn there, even with the entire remainder of the club on her side.

GONNA GET HIT BY A TRUCK, APPARENTLY
I knew it was coming, and I still jumped out of my skin when it did. That was an unexpectedly direct and violent hit, Glee. And while I repress rage that it is Quinn's fault for texting while driving (I can't believe people actually do this; pick up the damn phone and CALL HER if it can't wait, your eyes should never leave the road)...good work.

Injury meets with my approval, and of all the people to hurt, Quinn is probably my number 2 pick. Seeing as you've already hurt my #1 pick, this could not possibly be going better. It'd be slightly more useful if she had a boyfriend right now, but to be honest with myself, at this point I probably care more about her relationship with Rachel than any of the boys. Do you have any idea how long my head has been playing with a car accident scenario? Since 2x03. AND NOW IT'S HAPPENING. Notch another win for the RS Makes A Wish program.

There are only two ways this could end badly -- death or a notion put in my head by stupid possible spoilers I was trying to avoid -- and right now I'm just going to cross my fingers, sit tight and hope this is not how it goes down, because I will not be able to cope if the universe jerks Quinn around any more than it already has. At the same time...she owns my entire heart, and this will only make me love her more.

[edit: Bonus Fic Rec, x2: i and tangled spines + its sequel, what beautiful battlefields you are - possibilist.

"The aftermath of Quinn's accident, told in 11 parts," and "The 12 months after Quinn's accident." They are beautiful word art and even come with recommended listening. There is some implied Faberry, but it can be worked around with minimal difficulty if you want this for canon compliant missing scenes. It should do until canon comes along to wreck all our assumptions. ontd_glee's Fic Recs Saturday is pretty much the greatest thing to enter my life in the past month.]

IN CONCLUSION: The only things that were actually wrong with this episode were any time Sue or Rachel's dads were allowed to speak. I'm quite happy with this ratio of good to bad and will probably be spending the next 3 days incessantly playing bits of it until I love everything even more.

Up Next: If it doesn't end up in my top 3 of the season, someone has failed spectacularly. I can't even describe my insane, off-the-wall reactions of joy to the phrase "Blaine's brother." AND we get the follow-up on Quinn, too? Too bad it's so far away that by the time it airs, I'll be working my spring temp job at night and have to wait extra hours for it, in addition to being generally exhausted. Thanks for deciding to give up Glee for Lent, network.

Obviously, I'll just have to think of all kinds of other Glee-related things to write about in the interim. Unlike most shows that get benched, there is no way this tag is going into hibernation along with it.

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