Glee, 3x17, "Dance With Somebody"
It feels like this aired forever ago and I've spun through this episode's scattered pieces so many times I literally cannot keep count anymore, yet I am still nowhere near feeling like I'm "done" with it. I had to spend my entire night working on this just so I could pretend to be ready to face a new week of TV/the next Glee episode, but I'm pretty sure I could still come up with more to stay about it if I had the chance.
General Highlight: Finn not getting to participate. I am playing this episode's soundtrack pretty much nonstop.
How Will I Know: Eh. I like the emotional intent behind it and Kurt and Rachel look/sound lovely, but we know how I feel about a capella. A capella Whitney seems like a step down from that.
(-)I Wanna Dance With Somebody: I fiercely love the original, there were way too many horrified voices about the remixed Glee version, and I loathe Brittana. So I skipped this on First Listen Friday and still can't make myself watch it. [edit: forgot that you have to watch all choir room numbers at least on mute for the other characters. So much adorable Blaine I nearly missed]
Saving All My Love For You: I collapsed and nearly died at the words "Joe/Quinn duet" (#all I ever wanted), but alas, not even their magical voices pairing up can rescue this slog of boredom. And this is lyrical fail like whoa. Which is not to say that I don't coax myself to listen to it now and again, like finishing my vegetables before dessert. Because they do look lovely singing it. Quinn especially, awww, those smiles!
++So Emotional: I actually loved this; uptempo songs are great. Work that pop music angle! This is what I meant by Whitney songs having nowhere to go but up. I can't even fault the shippers of this particular pairing for going nuts over the lyrics; their flailing is adorable. On a shallow note, Rachel's dress is super prety. (and in background news: glad to see a reaction shot from Blaine over Kurt's texting/giggling)
++It's Not Right But It's Okay: We also know how I feel about uptempo Blaine solos. (#dancing to this forever)
Performance-wise, it's incredible. I didn't realize how awful Blaine's singing faces had gotten over the past few episodes until they were gone, and he just looked magnificent (a little problem at the very end there, but easy enough to overlook). Especially the fantasy segment -- super sharply dressed, love the confident swagger to his movements. I had no idea how they were going to make me feel emotion given the dance club style of the song, but turns out Blaine does some pretty magnificent glaring. In the non-fantasy part, I love how the kids sing along with confused looks on their faces, like they are powerless to stop themselves and don't know why. (answer: the power of the choir room compels you!) But mostly, I love how Kurt goes from looking annoyed and disdainful to just hurt and upset by the end before Blaine stomps out.
++I Have Nothing: Oh, I have missed Kurt solos. It wasn't by any means instant song love, but it didn't take many plays to embed itself in my consciousness and become phenomenal. And this performance is mesmerizing. Every single expression is perfect
[Tumblr is being ill behaved at the moment; this space is reserved for when I find that perfection in .gif form again]
Has anyone ever told you you're very pretty when you cry?
++My Love Is Your Love: I did not expect to care about this one, but then I found out Kurt and Blaine were contributing (you have NO IDEA how hard I flipped out when I saw that on FLF). Unexpectedly catchy, and once I actually saw the performance and they had a Will-in-the-wings moment? Bawling. Never mind all the hugging (by which I mean: Kurt and his girls) and watching each additional pair come adorably scampering onto the scene out of nowhere. Oh, little glee club of perfection, my heart is not going to cope well without youuuuu. (that photo of Glee Club season 1 in the locker...no. can't watch anymore.)
On the tribute itself: I don't get why this group is rent with grief about Whitney either. I am significantly older than they are and I don't care about her either way. I hadn't even heard of 5 of the songs before this ep. The setup was clumsy -- not tacky or tasteless, just also not great -- so I'm glad the songs paid off.
Will/Emma: Shut up, Emma, your feelings are unimportant. God knows I'd rather you have a 5-year (or forever) engagement, but if Will wants to make sure all his kids are at the wedding, then he had better get all his kids at the wedding, and in May if he wants it. "I don't want them to leave. These kids changed my life." That is by far the most beautiful devoted-teacher moment I've seen all semester, if not year, and one of the ever-more-fleeting moments that make me remember why I loved him once. Skipping all your other scenes, bye.
Hummelberry: Now this is the Rachel I like. The one who has no conversations with or about Finn unless prompted, and is best buds with Kurt. Between her unabashed shipping ("Blaine is supposed to make you feel good") and her general friend support, I'd practically forgotten what it was like to like her. Also: trololol, "lesbian bed death" still kills me. I don't know how to feel about the fact that they have scheduled makeout sessions -- is it delightful, like it ramps up the anticipation and they can't wait to get home on those days to be together, or just sad? -- but since I've been Disneyfying them in my head forever...
also lol @ Kurt being actively disappointed that Blaine is not constantly trying to get in his pants. Who's trying to be spontaneous and fun now?
Pezberry: Yuck. Rachel, it was bad enough when you associated with Kurt before I was ready; this trash is unacceptable.
Bridesmaids in the Bathroom: *flailing* I love so much about what this chooses to be, including a giant friendship fest and a focus on Quinn. I also kind of love that Quinn is suddenly so full of self-deprecation, the girl who just wanted someone to love her, now more certain than ever that nobody will.
I Just Have A Lot of Feelings (in my pants): Ugh. It's like I can't even remember why I used to like Sam at all anymore (remember in December when I still took his side over Blaine? hahahaha). Standing by 2x06 "horny little bastard" comments forevermore. I realize the irony is high that I am only judging one boy in this scene, but as we'll expand on later, Joe is harmless and non-threatening to my way of life, thus making his clueless side of the conversation stupidly charming rather than nauseating. And that said, this isn't even a scene I feel the need to skip. I watch it every time.
Gym Class Broments: All I'm getting out of this is how touched Blaine sounds to be included in this group. Probably right before he realizes that all these guys are leaving too. #FOREVER ALONE
Hummels: any other episode this would have been a highlight; today I keep forgetting it's here. There's too much! It doesn't help that the scene rips my heart out of my chest more than any of the fights with Blaine, because I cannot cope. I cannot cope with teenagers who can't wait to leave home, who pack up their lives when they graduate and never look back. I say this as a person who has managed to change her life back, post-college, to exactly what it was in high school, but even so. I don't want to hear that Kurt is a ruthless and unsentimental person who will throw possessions out at the drop of a hat. I can turn my wrath back on, kid -- you don't know how close you are at any given moment to going right back on my hit list.
As for the actual conversation, most of it's still too hard to listen to. I'm just going to mute it and watch Kurt tear up while hugging ensues. And then I'm going to focus on the fact that the decidedly un-queenly crown and scepter are on display, and that this picture has got to be one of the most beautiful pictures I've ever seen. Particularly when so nicely colored.
Stolen from Tumblr. Credit is hard to remember. Tumblr seems to actively discourage it, considering the rate at which people change their URLs and disappear.
[Update: Tumblr has finished identifying all the pictures.]
First, a moment of silence for the fact that this happened right before I could float the crack!fic theory that Joe is her guardian angel. I was hoping they would drag this out a little, maybe make Quinn's feelings 1-sided while he didn't show any interest in her besides friendship, unless she pushed.
But that's okay. For the first time ever in fiction, I love the fact that Quinn is older. Two years is the limit on which I will consider shipping pairs in which the girl is older, so it wasn't an automatic dealbreaker, but it still seemed like a possible detriment. Instead, it enhances it. I love that he's stuck on her but awkward and shy because of his total lack of experience. It's terrifically endearing how he tags along like a puppy and mumbles about caring about her when asked point-blank why he wants to come with to therapy. And I'm sorry, Past Me, but I'm pretty sure I felt more chemistry during that ~*intense gaze*~ in therapy than I did during any of her kisses with Sam, ever.
(You have NO IDEA how happy it makes me to love a het ship in Glee canon again. It is such sweet, merciful relief. Anything they try can't and shouldn't last, but I'm suddenly desperate for them to make the most of their limited time before Quinn's gone.)
You'd think the second therapy moment would horrify me to the moon, but it doesn't. Quinn's laugh is music to my ears, because somehow when you factor in his mortification it's completely non-threatening, even sweet. It's an ego boost, for sure, but there's something nice about how uncomplicated it is with him, lacking the complex history she has with everyone else in glee. Also music to my ears: "Don't do that. Don't find ways to run yourself down," both because it fills my general romantic expectations, and because it's a very specific example of why I love him for the support role he's been playing thus far. It only tests the limits of my patience when he too-eagerly asks if she wants him to give up his faith for her (ugh, sound dumber), and then it's right back to being intriguing.
"So what is this? You and me?"
"I don't know. Something new."
"Oh my god, I wrote a 1500-word essay on them alone. Must break up with subheaders."
or, "Farewell, Prom Queen! You've finally been bested for Best Ship Showcase."
Before this aired, I read a wonderful piece of meta that has become my current definition for this ship:
"Kurt loves to be loved, and Blaine loves to be needed."
I'll just leave that there for us to think about before I dive in.
I love how Blaine just lays a hand on Kurt's arm to silence his list of reasons Whitney is great (#fabulous old married couple). Or how Blaine shifts and looks away when Schue brings up saying goodbye. Even that first locker scene, I am so starved for ship focus that if that was the entirety of their interaction, I could have gone home happy. I like seeing some evidence of Blaine pulling away, just for Disappointed Kurt, who has not been around nearly enough lately.
Kurt's Behavior Threatens His Relationship (Allegedly)
I was fully prepared to loathe Chandler, but other than being
Sidebar: that hippo head brooch, now that I've gotten a look at it, truly is marvelous.
The fight...is wonderful. The more histrionic shippers keep saying it's too hard to watch and I'm like, "What? No. BRING THIS ON FIFTY TIMES. A DAY." For here is the beginning of where I physically cannot keep track of how many times Blaine starts crying in this episode. Or nearly crying, anyway; I think it's all the more impressive for never actually shedding them.
For starters, this face is the most heartbroken face I have ever seen:
I still cannot see this as cheating per se, which is why I love how Kurt is practically tearing his hair out by the end of this conversation. But that's not important, the important part is how Blaine reacts to his perception that Kurt has. I didn't think he could look more miserable than he did at the beginning of the conversation, but there it is.
"This is cheating, Kurt."
AND WAIT, A THIRD TIME. "You like this guy." His voice ruins me right there. And the extra hatpin to the heart when Kurt doesn't explicitly deny it...
I love that they manage to bring up an entire season's worth of issues in one swift exchange. I transferred schools to be with you! I changed my whole life! (and oh, Kurt definitely remembers warning Blaine about this) That doesn't make you feel loved? (never get tired of hearing this. never. ever.)
That they brought Sebastian into it -- yes! / "Alpha gay." -- this is the second time they've referenced him making out with Rachel. The last time they did this it was torture. The good news is, between January and now, Kurt/Blaine has finally eclipsed Blaine/Rachel in my heart. Hell, they've eclipsed everybody. #1 OTP, past and present / "Do you know many times I've had to sit on a stool and watch you perform?" STILL YES.
"Then talk to me. Tell me that you're unhappy." Says the one who's been distancing himself, who has been clearly established as the person who shuts down to avoid dealing with unpleasant stuff and withdraws and represses every negative feeling until he explodes. Doesn't matter. Talking about communication is hot.
The transitional ending was perfectly worded. The incredulous look on Blaine's face when Kurt says it's "okay." Still glad this goes straight into the performance so I'm spared one fast-forward transition. I never get tired of Blaine's pissy song introduction, or how everyone immediately side-eyes Kurt. (You all cheat on each other all the time, hypocrites. I love how thoroughly disgusted Kurt sounds on "This is insane. I didn't cheat on you." And...then I may have done this:
Rogue Macro Set
Probably it would have been just as/more effective if I'd only done the last shot.
[Edit: and yet it is rocking
Are You Qualified For That?
So, so grateful that Emma is only there to get the ball rolling, which she does well, and then she shuts up and refrains from interrupting this beautiful conversation. I LOVE whoever actually watched 3x10 and wrote in some continuity about Kurt snapping his fingers for cheesecake. I laugh every single time at Blaine's sarcastic mimicry, and now I'm just imagining all these Breadstix dinners where Blaine bites his tongue and tries not to show his annoyance, apologetically thanking the waiter when they come and leaving extra on the tip. (kind of exactly like this. Thank you, Tumblr) The yelping about tan hands is also hysterical. As is Kurt looking offended by Blaine's sudden attack on NYADA, all wtf, they are not Finn and Rachel, Blaine is supposed to understand this.
And then: so. much. magnificent. crying.
Just, go back to season 2 for a minute and try to imagine ever seeing this many cracks in that polished veneer. It is a source of constant fascination to me how much both of them have changed each other. It's made Kurt into this fabulously confident individual -- or even keeled, I suppose; he always had too much self esteem for his own good but now he can manage it well and is less apt to fly into a tailspin at the slightest provocation -- and it's molded Blaine into someone who can admit vulnerability. My heart's busy breaking throughout his entire broken-voiced "It's like you can't even wait to get out of here." Away from where I am. Away from us. Drawing again from the lettersfromtitan meta well --
"Kurt is always going to have to tell him is loved and special and good, because he doesn't have the ability to know that, intellectually."
Am working under the theory that part of Blaine's fear is, what if Kurt only gravitated to him because he was there? Blaine's in too deep now to let go; once he took the leap, Kurt was it for him. But maybe Blaine isn't it for Kurt. Maybe when someone else is there and Blaine isn't, Kurt will realize he has -- he deserves -- those options. And Blaine will be here and he won't be able to do a thing about it. (oh, self, we promised we were only going to use other people's words and not embarrass ourselves by going off script)
The spoilers promised there would be epic dialogue along the lines of "You move me" or "I'll never say goodbye." And oh, how happy am I that this was not an exaggeration in the slightest. "You are the love of my life" is being added to Blaine's half of the Binding Verbal Contract as proof of why they can never break up. You know that any time Finn or Rachel has said words to this effect I have been all "bitch plz," but from him? I believe it. I especially love that he is fearlessly willing to throw big, bold statements like that out there.
No complaints whatsoever about Kurt's response. True, they absolutely will not be visiting each other "every weekend"; that is just crazy fool talk. My optimistic goal is once a month. But it's the sentiment that matters. And "you aren't going to lose me" -- that's all I wanted to hear. All and everything I wanted, that promise. Blaine's face appropriately reflects my own:
"Sometimes Blaine likes to hug Kurt rather than kiss him. Because sometimes he just needs to be as close to him as possible, wrapped up completely in his arms and held and breathing him in, with his chin tucked over Kurt’s shoulder and his cheek pressed against Kurt’s..."
I Take Back My Lies About Moving Up From Rated G
Blaine: I know. It's from me.
RS: Oh god, please don't be a sext.
Kurt: *eyebrow raise* How unscheduled of you.
RS: God damn it. Blaine's got his dirty-flirty eyebrows on, too. -.-
I choose to believe they are too classy to leave incriminating evidence on their phones, though, and that it was very much implied suggestiveness. I could deal with that. I do love how they walk out with hands on each other's backs. Sadly, I have no post-ep fic recs today (you may check back for future edits, though) because I've read about a hundred of them and I'm still deciding which one(s) I like best and exactly which level rating I am willing to admit to reading.
Wait, One More!
See, we're so spoiled I forget that there's even more of them to love in the closing number as they stroll in with their arms around each other.
IN CONCLUSION: Perfect relationship conflict is perfect. This is how to do it right. And in case you somehow need extra discussion on this topic, here is some beautiful analysis w/ pictures on Kurt's feelings about the whole thing.
In Actual Episode Conclusion: I finally ranked episode 8 over episode 9, tentatively, but now I've confirmed that ranking because this episode is definitely better than Christmas. Is it better than Sectionals? I'm not a hundred percent sure on that. 3x08 has been so special to me for such a long time, that magic moment when season 3 finally lifted itself up from slumtown, but...this. Was really. Really. Good.
Up Next: I'm waiting patiently to see how much of the side-eye I'm currently doing will escalate into rage, and how much they'll be smart enough to temper within the episode's context. I don't think it'll be bad, but I am definitely wary.
In other and unrelated Glee notes:
-Best thing ever: The Doctor & Rose are clearly hanging out in the background of the Warblers Gap Attack.
-Awww, Tumblr has gone an obsessive quest to buy the script for the Christmas episode that is apparently up for auction so we can all have our deleted Klaine scene ASAP. Pretty sure whoever wins it will give it to the internet anyway, but...fandom! You are literally putting your money where your mouth is. *pats lovingly on the head*
-If I Die Young is most likely going to kill me at some point before it's over. #factual