But before we get to that, I signed up to be part of the FOX Viewer Panel (YOU GET TO ANSWER SURVEY QUESTIONS. ABOUT TV SHOWS. SOMETIMES WITH TEXT ANSWERS), and my favorite thing about it is how with one easy snapshot, I was able to display my feelings on every character:
[it's a ranking chart!]
click to enlarge if you like
Minor adjustments include how Rachel and Quinn are normally level 5, but were knocked down in this survey since it was based on how I feel about them in season 4, and I am not loving all their choices right now. Marley is only still at level 5 on the strength of her potential, because she needs the boost, or she’d be with them. Similarly, Artie jumped up two spots since he’s mostly kept his trap shut and his directorial-debut ego under control this year.
Glee, 4x08, "Thanksgiving"
It's like this episode is subtitled "Awesome Ladies Making Disappointing Decisions." Exception: Isabelle.
I saved the best part for last, if you're looking for my reaction to the phone call.
++Homeward Bound/Home: Melted into an emotional puddle of tears after two seconds. Like, graduation levels of sobbing. I can't figure out why I know this music (I listened to Phillip Phillips like twice, and S&G is not part of my regular listening), but it sounds like the most familiar thing in the world and everything just breaks my heart with overwhelming emotion and love and pride. I love how equally all the grads share parts. Granted, this reunion would have meant way more if everyone except Quinn hadn't already come back and seen each other at least once by now...
Come See About Me: It's a beautiful example of Quinn's voice, it got stuck in my head and I enjoyed the impromptu dance, but it's not really that interesting.
-Let's Have A Kiki/Turkey Lurkey Time: What even the fuck did I just watch/listen to. Frozen in open-mouthed horror/revulsion/disbelief, except during bouts of hysterical "what is happening here" laughter. The oddly catchy non-mashed version of the first song might be salvageable, but I am too traumatized to try. [edit: gdi, I tried it once and now it is stuck in my head. And the Turkey Lurkey chorus keeps bursting in uninvited too. Trauma I say!]
+ Mennonites' Medley: OK, they clearly need to win Sectionals, because that was strangely awesome.
--Whistle: I checked out after the first line because ARE YOU KIDDING, ME, GLEE, WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU, GROSS.
--Live While We're Young: I perked up at Sebastian's voice, thinking possible earworm, but then I heard "tonight let's get some," and Jesus, Warblers, there is such a thing as "subtle" sexuality.*
Voice: Well, obviously. All these references are very sly, no?
RS: I'm just saying, I thought One Direction music was suitable for 12-year-olds and now I don't know what to think.
[*alternate line: Warblers, "getting sexified" is so 2 years ago.]
--Gangam Style: Nope. I'm not going to listen past the few seconds that assaulted my ears in the promo.
Quinny Quinn Quinn
Once again, Quinn continues to be the only graduate following a normal post-high school path, the kind where you leave for school but look forward to coming back and seeing your friends for the first time at the first major holiday. (also, super-secret societies, yay! "My girl is gonna make it after all!") At least, she was the only normal graduate and then she dropped her "lol sleepin' w/ married professor, totes in love!" bomb and I'm done.
Before the spoilers hit, I was really hoping they wouldn't say anything about her dating life so I could play with the idea in this fic, about the first really nice boy in her life. After spoilers, I was prepared to either ship the hell out of this relationship (what with my Will/Quinn background and all), or failing that, to dig into the tragedy of how Quinn is forever looking for a place to belong and seeks approval in all the worst places.
I was able to do that right up until the "he's going to leave his wife" crazy, which is virulently upsetting, because it turns Quinn from a vulnerable lost girl into a low-class idiot. Apparently Quinn's brain just breaks every autumn, because this is back on the level of planting evidence for CPS to find. I mean, I shouldn't be surprised given that her role models in the wife-leaving department are Will Schuester and Emma Pillsbury, but you'd think seeing her own mother get cheated on would...well, I guess Glee + cheating has no continuity except that literally everyone does it. Quinn is better than this and I hate whoever wrote this even more than I hate the person who decided Blaine would cheat.
An optimistic fic writer might write a fix-it fic where they actually do have an emotional connection, but sadly I'm 100% sure that Santana's reference of "quickies on the couch" is more accurate.
What is Quinn even doing in a psychology class? What is the appeal there? Even if it's just a gen. ed. thing, there are a lot of social science choices, so I need to know -- why that one?
Oh, oh, let's not even get me started on this fuckery about Quinn not having seen Rachel even once despite Quinn being the only classmate Rachel has been actively trying to stay in touch with. Wasn't Quinn the one who came up with train passes in the first place?! Retcon! Balls!
(otherwise, the group dinner at Breadstix was pretty sweet, and I love the reminder that Blaine and Mike are still friends, if the latter knows about his unsuccessful texting)
The good news is, I found the first inklings of human behind Kitty's dead eyes! Her obviously sincere worship of Quinn made her look so much softer and younger - I can absolutely see the middle schooler in her, determined to be just like her idol when she grows up. It's funny given that she has nothing but contempt for Santana, who was a Cheerio longer while Quinn wasn't even on the squad senior year (a bit like Blaine Warbler in her legendary sophomore rise, no?), but she obviously made the right choice. I just wish that Quinn could lay the smackdown on her about messing with Marley's head, because you know that losing Quinn's respect is the only thing that could actually rattle her. Write me all the fic!
Sucked having to leave that business to Santana, never mind the fact that Santana has apparently surpassed Quinn in maturity post-graduation if their conversation in the choir room is anything to go by. (poor Brittany must be completely overwhelmed in the wake of all this upheaval) Santana was the only lady besides Isabelle making good decisions this week, and I loved her both going through Marley's bag/confronting her, and marching up to confront Quinn about everything as well.
(though for the record, I did love Sass Quinn strutting up to Lesser Puckerman and jabbing a finger into his chest while warning him to keep his grubby Puckerman hands off the vulnerable ingenue. Even knowing what we know, she's not wrong, and it's the only sensible thing she says all night)
Let's Get Ready To Sectional
- Jake/Ryder stuff = 5, 6, 7, 8! I! Am! In! Hell!
- Baby Marley Rose was precious and between that and her voiceovers, Ilovehersomuch.
- Did you see Joe lean over and say something to Blaine after Finn's mention of the Warblers, presumably checking on his reaction? A+ background acting choice, Samuel!
- Favorite dance rehearsal exchange --
"Wears no shoes!"
- Third on the "awesome things Joe does tonight": lead the group in prayer, which you could not have done while Kurt was in this group, no you could not.
- From first attempt at throwing up to starving/puking and abusing laxatives in like 3-4 weeks? "Well, that escalated quickly." What I don't understand is how she's taking them after Ryder painted a very specific picture of what laxatives would do.
- Sam's smile upon seeing Mr. Schue was so cute.
- For the entire second half of the episode, I was so worried about both The State of Klaine and the competition that my face looked like Marley's: tearful and sick to my stomach.
- I heard some pretty musical notes that I think might constitute Marley's Theme during the backstage stuff with her, and I loved it.
- Oh! It took me a while, but I finally connected the dots that Ryder gives up the dance solo not merely for the good of the group, but because it's the only thing he can still do for Marley - reduce the chances of them losing and thus her blaming herself. Also, if Jake is now the boyfriend going first, does that mean we endgame my ship and call the time spent on Jarley treading water?
- Since when have they ever done a group number before the solo/duet number? Screw you, Glee! The Blaine/Marley duet should have come first and she should have been in the middle of it when she collapsed so that he could have been first on the scene.
I don't think you understand how bitter I am about the lack of King and Queen of Glee Club 2.0 interaction.
I. First, let it be known that as of today I hate Rachel. I can't even love their arm-in-arm walk-n-talk, because up until now I have loved their relationship, but today it became very clear to me how selfish Rachel is. "We don't have to go home just because there's a show, or a long weekend," OR A MAJOR HOLIDAY THAT IS ALL ABOUT BEING WITH FAMILY, W/EV.
The way she talks about not needing guys - no. You don't need guys, you desperately need to be without guys, but Blaine is not Finn. Kurt's circumstances are very different from yours and just because you want to assure yourself you're not the only sad and lonely person here and you want someone to come on your bold new self-makeover journey with you doesn't mean you should rope him in. It's stupid for him not to go home - yes, there's a chance he could run into Blaine around town, but Blaine's not going to be at his house or wherever Kurt usually goes for Thanksgiving. It's stupid for Rachel not to come home, while we're at it - if Puck can fly home to Lima from L.A. all the time, don't tell me spoiled Miss Princess can't afford just as many tickets - but she has things already tying her to New York. Kurt doesn't.
Really, I lost it after Kurt admitted to missing his dad, and Rachel's actual, entirely insensitive and unsympathetic response was "I miss my dads too - but I just feel like every time we go home it just makes me feel sad, and like we're not moving forward." See, NO. That is ALL YOU, and you are extremely at fault if you think moving forward means you have to forget everything you came from. I didn't know one single 18-year-old who felt she was an independent adult or had even officially moved out of her parent's house (usually still referred to as "home") when she started college. Granted, I also didn't know anybody who lived in an apartment rather than a dorm, but still.
[sidebar: I totally forgot to comment on the Glass Menagerie thing last week, but I'm sad she didn't get her part. Not surprised, but disappointed, because I love that play and Rachel would have made a stunning Laura.]
II. How precious was Kurt inviting Isabelle to Thanksgiving? It always seems like he is wildly overstepping and yet she always indulges him - she is so nice it scares me sometimes. I keep waiting for her inner Bob Kelso to come out, all, "Do you not realize you are nothing but a large pair of designer jeans to me?" But the Fairy Godmother image holds true.
III. The "forget you, cheater" attitude, despite the fact that it was what I said I wanted prior to 4x07, really hurt. Would have hurt more had Isabelle not seen right through that act and reminded me that Kurt's season-1 survival mechanism was to turn icy and bitchy, a shield between himself and the world. The less he pretends to care, the less I believe him. (and, okay, for a second I worried that her advice was going to make Kurt completely shut the door on him and Blaine when he'd just said he'd actually been considering whether or not they should get back together, like there was an actual possibility of the former!), and if she was the cause I'd have to hate her, but then the phone call had the opposite effect so I'm golden)
IV. Brody is such a giant douche. It's really quite remarkable. If this dickhead, intentionally or unintentionally, convinces Rachel that "adult choices" means sleeping with people you like ASAP so they'll stay interested in you...just, ugh. I want to protect my baby even though I'm mad at her. Meanwhile, their turkey buttering foreplay was gross (never mind how Rachel is the worst at being vegan), and I don't understand how Kurt hasn't tried to kill this relationship yet, because I would not tolerate that in my living space.
The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year
The phone call. Oh my god, the phone call. Surpassed every expectation I had and then some to become their best scene of the entire year. THINGS TO LOVE ABOUT IT:
- They're about five minutes away from performing and this might be the most important shouldn't-be-rushed call of his life, but Blaine still picks up without hesitation because he promised he always would.
- The way Kurt sounds like he's been crying (and can't you just imagine him feeling suddenly lost and overwhelmed in his own space as the party swirls around him, beginning to regret staying here for Rachel, because now she's off laughing with Brody and he's surrounded by strangers, not even Isabelle left to talk to, and it's nothing like last year's warmth at home).
- Blaine's usual attempt to get in his own way, mercifully cut off mid-sentence.
- "I've been trying to forgive you, but I'm just not there yet." "Trying." "Yet." This is where we are as a fandom, and exactly where I want Kurt to be, so never mind last week's statements about directing my wrath his way after all.
- Blaine's face absolutely crumpling at "I miss you" because that's all he needed to hear.
- This is the first time a tear has actually run down Blaine's cheek instead of just brimming in his eyes. Awesome!
- "I can't stand not talking to you, even though I'm mad at you, because you're still my best friend." Either part of that sentence would have made me cry for joy; getting both is overwhelming. (my notes may or may not say "Hah! Take that, Platonic Soulmate Rachel!")
- Re: skating on the river, anyone else get the sudden headcanon that Kurt is referencing something they did last Christmas?
- The giggle-sob! And how over-eager Blaine is to confirm they're really going to see each other at Christmas.
- I held my breath at "Kurt, I love you so much," sure that Blaine had ruined what scant forward progress they had just made even though it was and remains beautiful to hear. So for Kurt to say it back? Mind: blown. I mean, super worried that this is going to become a "love's not enough" situation*, but for today, just for today, can I cherish it? There's so much regret and sadness in it, but as long as there's something we can work with it.
[* Increasingly pissed off by the 4x11 spoilers and dreading how they might ruin our happy Christmas in order to get there.]
- And perhaps most important of all: Isabelle seeing his face and immediately coming over with a wordless hug, because that's all he needs. I was actually expecting and dreading Rachel there, and this was so much better. (plus her dress was really pretty)
- Oh! I only just caught the tear on Kurt's face, too. Nice touch.
In conclusion: I want to hate it despite the fact that it was full of Quinn, but honestly the whole thing kind of turned into a giant blur in my memory after the phone call. That is all I care about.
Up next: I continue to be sick to my stomach with nerves about whatever is happening at NYADA, I can't wait to see what's going on with Marley, and I am desperately fighting tooth and nail against all spoilers for the first time in weeks. I know almost nothing about what's going down, and it feels great.
And last but not least, everyone NEEDS to watch this amazing fan trailer. What do you mean, you've "never made a trailer before," because this is epic perfection. I've watched it at least 12 times in the past 3 days. I keep looking for places to buy a ticket to this film. Cannot stop dreaming of an alternate universe where Glee does not exist and this does.